Monthly Archives: January 2013

Type Trends Wrap

FF Flightcase

First, some light housekeeping: This is the final scheduled post in the Type Trends series. I’m sad to see it go, but glad for what’s taking its spot. Type Trends won’t go away forever; It’s liable to show up here and there, especially by popular demand. The major trends I feel are covered for now. (The pieces at the bottom of my list that didn’t materialize into posts included type designed and marketed with a very specific use in mind, and type that plays with extreme contrast.) If you were holding out with a better idea I’d love to hear it.

The new series is called Using Type, and it’s a return to the basics. How to use grids and figures and hyphenation and titles and so forth will be the topic at hand, and what I hope to accomplish with it is the creation of a space where all of us can learn something, and contribute something. The new content is presently in production and will drop here Thursdays. Here’s a taste.
Stencil faces

Whether for their forthrightness, ephemeral nature, or some connotation held of speed or strength, stencil faces have plenty to offer the creative typographer. When using stencil faces, select something with an adequate bridge, or gap between positive strokes. The leap of the eye to connect the unjoined parts, and the implied rules of the structure of the stencil is what makes the face fun to look at. Try incorporating a physical process, as that’s what stencils are for. Line bridges up with a the document grid. Experiment with graphic elements of a similar width as one of bridges or islands.

Verdigris and Apertura

Verdigris, Apertura

One face I’ve admired for its versatility quite a while now is Mark van Bronkhorst’s MVB Verdigris. It’s a Renaissance Roman that demonstrates a deep understanding of setting long texts. When in the hands of a good typographer it serves them well, and when worked by a novice, it’s forgiving and takes no umbrage. In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced Vare-di-gree, similar in rhythm to pedigree.

Taking the display role is Christian Robertson’s Apertura, a contemporary modernist sans. Apertura’s easy to spot with its definitive single-story a. Together, the two faces create a bit of tension, which the typographer can harness to emphasize a classical-over-modernist quality, or just the opposite, or some well-sung harmony in between.

Verdigris, Apertura

Apertura, Verdigris

Apertura comes in a range of weights across two widths, and if you must, a double-story a drops in as an alternate via OpenType Stylistic Set. Verdigris’s strength is text between 8 and 12 point, though the characters don’t completely fall apart at larger sizes. If you’re looking for a display cut of Verdigris, it does exist, though MVB Fonts holds it exclusively. It’s called Verdigris Big.

Verdigris, Apertura

Verdigris, Apertura

Above, Apertura serves well delivering text of modest length. Below, the italic cut is faithful to the spirit of Pierre Haultin’s italic from which it’s based. Note how the blobbiness of the strokes, visible up close, disappears at size.

Verdigris Italic

Verdigris Italic

New Fonts This Week

This week we have two new Linotype faces as well as some great deals we’d like to share with you. Indian Type Foundry offers 50% off promotional pricing on its Latin fonts Kohinoor and Engrez until January 17. Take a look at Linotype’s Agmena Paneuropean W1G and Club Type below, and as always, subscribe to our newsletter and read this blog for the full stories.



Agmena Paneuropean W1G


Club Type Std Complete Pack

FontBook 3.0.1 Has Arrived


Just before the new year, we hit you with FontBook 3.0, bringing the world of type to your pocket. You can now find an update to FontBook in the App Store which includes bug fixes and some additional features.  FontBook 3.0.1 is free for current users. A full list of updates is below:

  • New UI font, including kerning
  • Class category change to “Cs” (was Cl)
  • Redesigned UX elements and icons
  • Imprint: text changes
  • Enlarged touch areas for green pull tabs
  • Editable Favorites list
  • Faster font family view renderings
  • Bug fixes

Buyer’s Guide: Contact Us

Every year FontShop adds more foundries, new fonts, and tools to help you find the perfect font for you project. We also know that it can get a bit overwhelming to sort through all the products and features we offer, so we added a Contact Us tab.


It is always located on the right and you can find a person to chat with or submit a support request.


We  look forward to working with you in the new year.

Pinterested: Best Typefaces of 2012


For those of you who just can’t get enough of our Best of 2012 newsletter, we’ve pinned our top type for you to like and repin over and over again into as many of your own pinboards as you see fit. Our Best Typefaces of 2012 pinboard showcases the top 30 fonts on FontShop that made their debut last year from FF Chartwell to Quatro Sans to Romeo & Julieta. Get lost in the beautiful pastel samples of some of the best fonts from 2012 — this time, it’s ok to dwell on the past and reminisce through a yearbook-style list of typefaces that we’ll love for years to come.

If you missed out on the actual newsletter, be sure to check it out and find short ‘n’ sweet handwritten notes from other fonts!

Type Trends: Stencil

Stencils aren’t new. They’ve been around nearly as long as crates and people with not quite enough time to mark them. But what I’m seeing happen with stencils, to my delight, is that the genre is coming into its own. Marking the progress is the rise of stencil faces released as collections, and the development of stencil families independent of any non-stencil counterparts.

Stephan Müller's FF Backstage

The above example, part of the FF Backstage collection demonstrates stencils at work in their native habitat. Stephan Müller’s FF Container, and Cornel Windlin’s FF Water Tower.

Fred Smeijers's PunchoFred Smeijers’s Puncho, part of the Orly Stencil, Puncho, Standing Type pack. I love to see the robust bridges taking a more definitive role in breaking the letterforms and causing the eye to connect what’s left undone.

Great Pairs

Fakt & Typonine Stencil

Encountering Nikola Djurek’s Typonine Stencil was for me, and many others I can only assume, an awakening at what stencil type was capable of conveying; shown here with Thomas Thiemich’s Fakt as part of the Great Pairs series. Its fine details seem antithetical to the normal purposes of the stencil genre. Also note how substantial the bridges are that hold the islands in place.

Pedro Leal's User Stencil

Also a monospace, Pedro Leal’s User Stencil comes in both positive, and reversed Cameo weights.

Paul Barnes's Dala Floda

Paul Barnes's Dala Floda

To finish out, here are a couple we don’t carry; Paul Barnes’s Dala Floda, above, and Nikola Djurek’s Plan Grotesque Stencil below.

Nikola Djurek's Plan Grotesque Stencil

Nikola Djurek's Plan Grotesque Stencil

That’s it for this week; just something to whet the appetite for more stencils in use, here on Thursday.

Rational and Quirky: New Fournier and Scout

b+p New Fournier, Scout

Let’s take a quick look into the relationship between François Rappo’s New Fournier and Cyrus Highsmith’s Scout. Scout takes its influence from lots of sources. More particularly, its letterforms tend to favor the English grotesque, while its fit and detail feel equal parts American gothic and contemporary sans.

Scout, New Fournier

b+p New Founier

b+p New Founier Italic

Pierre Fournier’s work preceded and greatly influenced the designers of Romantic types such as Bodoni. An exact attention to detail renders the face both circumspect and human, seen most plainly here in the italic.  This particular Fournier happens to include several carefully drawn optical sizes for setting headlines and display pieces as seen in the Large Headline weight below.

New Fournier, Scout

Together, each plays it straight as much as it has to, while allowing the other to indulge in a bit of play. Using composition to one’s advantage, this can show up as an occasional wisecrack or a regular piece of the typographic texture.

Best Type of 2012: Behind the Scenes

bestof-headerWe hope you enjoyed the typographic treat in your inbox this morning to kick off the second day of your new year. The FontShop team loves putting together this Best Type issue of our newsletter each year and 2012 was no exception. It’s always agonizing making the final list because we love so many of the fonts that make their way across our desk(tops) every 12 months. We try to showcase a variety of 2012 additions from our catalog, from runaway hits like FontFont’s FF Chartwell to brand spanking new releases like Monokrom’s Telefon.

Planning for the issue begins about two months before we unleash it on the world. We bring together our Sales & Support Team, our Marketing Team, and of course our Design Team and Type Experts to bring their favorites and review the 2012 typefaces. As we brainstormed categories this year, we began joking about how it felt like putting together a yearbook. We ran with this and love the retro yearbook style our designers brought to the final product.

Huge props always go to our amazing type experts, David Sudweeks and Yves Peters for creatively writing the issue based on our theme and categories. Who didn’t laugh at the line about Filmotype Kitten washing her hair?

We truly hope you have as much fun reading this issue as we did making it. How excited are you for a whole NEW YEAR of fonts though? What releases are you most looking forward to this year?


New Fonts This Week

To ring in the new year, we’re happy to share with you the ‘impossible typeface’ Macula from Bold Monday.

Bold Monday



In addition,  check out the new web extension Suomi Hand Script Web from Suomi Type Foundry. And as always, subscribe to our newsletter and read this blog for the full stories.

Happy New Year! 2012’s Best Coming to Your Inbox TOMORROW

toptype2Is your 2013 off to a great start? Good! It’ll get even more awesome tomorrow when FontShop‘s Top Type of 2012 hits your inbox.

Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you get your hands on this type lover’s electronic collector’s item first thing.

What to do while you wait? Take a look at our 2011 edition and place your bets on our new picks!