Author Archives: FontShop

FontFont Release #54

FontShop starts its new year with the 54th release update from FontFont. Check out our extensive release notes in this PDF, including new FontFont designs FF Basic Gothic, FF Massive, and a new batch of Web Fonts.

Download the PDF (4.2 MB).

User’s Manual for the FF Massive Typeface System

With its 2010 release the FF Massive OT family was expanded with an extra outline version into eight different Open Type fonts, divided in four variations which together form a versatile typographic system. The eight different FF Massive variations enable the user to compose a number of combinations, which can lead to surprising results, especially with the use of contrasting colours.

This manual will explain how the FF Massive type system is best employed. Enjoy!

Download the PDF (1.4 MB).

Embrace the Power of OpenType

Developed by Adobe® and Microsoft® to provide users with an accessible and advanced typographic toolset, OpenType improves upon PostScript and TrueType.

Multi-Platform Support

OpenType is a truly cross-platform format. Use the same font on Mac or Windows machines without converting the font — same typeface, same kerning, same line breaks.

Extended Character Sets

Based on Unicode, an OpenType file contains up to 65,535 characters or glyphs. This allows for extensive language support and makes room for advanced typographic features like ligatures, figure styles, fractions, stylistic alternates, swashes, small caps, ornaments, borders, and so on. The PostScript format is limited to 256 characters per file, with metrics information and extra characters often stored in separate, individual files.

One File, Not Many

A single OpenType file contains all the information required for a typeface style: metrics, kerning, outline, hints, and bitmaps.
Compare the multilingual PostScript version of FF Meta 1, a package of four type styles, with its OpenType successor. A folder of 360 files is reduced to 4 files. This reduces the possibility of missing files, corruption, and conflicts.

Easy Access To Advanced Features

Make the most of modern design applications, like Adobe Creative Suite and QuarkXPress.These applications, as well as Mac OS X native apps, take full advantage of the features that OpenType offers. Convert text to true Small Caps, swap Oldstyle Figures with Lining Figures, and substitute letter pairs with discretionary ligatures, all from within the same menu in each app.

Read more about using advanced OpenType features on The FontFeed.

OpenType And

Each OpenType font can include a variety of features. Different fonts, from different foundries, have more extras and language support than others.

Since there is no industry standard for defining these extra features across foundries or font packages, on we’ve made it easy to see what’s included in any OpenType font. First, look for the OT icon. Once you have clicked to a font detail page, select the Character Set view option. Here you’ll find every glyph available in the font, as well as a selectable list of OpenType features that the font offers. If you see an arrow next to a glyph, click on it to view the alternate glyphs available for that character — just like in the glyph palettes found in Adobe Creative Suite.

Three new features that will make your job easier

Favorites Tagging

Ever since we released Favorites, users have asked for the ability to group or tag them. We heard you. Introducing favorites tagging. After adding items to your Favorites page, simply click “Add a tag” to categorize fonts by client, project, or your own personal keywords. The possibilities are wide open — any word or set of words will do. Then click a tag at the top of the page to filter your favorites. We’re so excited about this feature that we’re unleashing it in beta mode. Let us know what you think as we make improvements in the coming weeks.

Typographer’s Glossary

We launched the FontShop Education Page last month and we’re overwhelmed by the response. The four docs and TypeTips Twitter feed produced some of the most positive and widespread feedback in our history.

Now, just in time for fall semester, comes a new Education doc: the Typographer’s Glossary. Our page featuring typeface anatomy and typographic terms has long been a favorite among educators and design professionals. This expanded and enhanced edition features new terms, updated descriptions, illustrated examples (click the images to enlarge), and a PDF optimized for printing or viewing on portable devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Students and teachers: take the Glossary to school and never be at a loss for words. Pros: learn the lingo and show clients that you know your stuff.

Don’t forget our educational discount. Register using your .edu email address and use code EDUCATE10 to receive a 10% discount at checkout.

Amazon Payments

Not only do we want to make choosing fonts simpler with tips on type selection, we’re also always looking for ways to simplify the purchase process. Have an Amazon account? Now you can buy fonts at without having to type in all that credit card and billing information.

Once you’re at the Payment Information step in the checkout process, just select the “Amazon Payments” option in the payment info. Click “Purchase” and you’ll be asked to confirm your credit card number, billing address, and total amount at

After your transaction has been approved you’ll return to where your fonts are ready to download. You’ll receive an email confirmation from both FontShop and Amazon. This payment method is quick and entirely secure.

FontShop’s Education Page is more than a site that sells fonts — we want to help you do great work too. That’s why we created our new Education page. Enhance your design skills, whether you’re a student in Type 101 or a seasoned professional.

The Education page premieres with four docs filled with typography tips and tutorials from our team of experts. The PDFs are formatted for easy downloading and printing, perfect for the classroom or studio.

Meet Your Type: A Field Guide to Typography

Why settle for casual flirtation when looking for a long-lasting relationship? Finding the perfect match is easy if you know the rules. “Meet Your Type” will help you overcome common obstacles, and keep your heart thumping for your one true love: typography.

Created in collaboration with students at Brigham Young University, this fully illustrated booklet is written in a casual, light-hearted tone that’s easy to read, and hard to put down. Packed with useful textbook info — without the boring textbook text.

Download Meet Your Type on the Education page.

Erik Spiekermann’s TypoTips: Seven Rules for Better Typography

Ever since the invention of “desktop publishing” designers still make the same classic blunders in typesetting, even in top-quality printed matter. Erik Spiekermann, FontShop founder, designer of FF Meta®, and co-author of the classic typographer primer “Stop Stealing Sheep”, offers his top tips for steering clear of the most obvious but common mistakes.

Download Erik Spiekermann’s Typo Tips on the Education page.

FontShop Education on Twitter

Erik Spiekermann: “NEVER use CAPITAL letters to accentuate words in running copy. They STICK OUT far too much. Use italics instead.”

Follow @TypeTips on Twitter and keep sharp with regular excerpts from our Education docs and links to other useful typography info from around the web.

Read Education Docs Anywhere

Type Anatomy

FontShop Education docs were designed for easy reference wherever you need them — on your desktop screen, the printed page, or your mobile device. The PDFs read especially well in iBooks on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Introducing Webfonts

Update April 19, 2012 | With the gains in popularity of webfonts across the web, FontShop is glad to now offer webfonts from more foundries. Take a look at the updated Webfonts page for the latest and most popular fonts for the web.

Or if you see the above Type filter when browsing a foundry’s library, specify ‘Web’ to display only that foundry’s webfonts. See a list of the latest foundries to carry webfonts on our site, and note that the list is growing.


For nearly 15 years, web designers had two frustrating choices when it came to type on the web: use one of the few “web safe” fonts preinstalled on major operating systems, or substitute text with images and Flash/JavaScript® hacks. Not anymore. Recent developments in web standards (using the @font-face CSS declaration) and font formats make it possible to render HTML text in typefaces other than the same old default fonts. Today, FSI FontShop International is leading the charge to offer fonts designed specifically for web use. More than 30 of the most successful FontFont families are now available as Web FontFonts, including FF DIN, FF Meta, FF Dax, and FF Kievit.

This long-awaited step enables a more seamless and effective transition from print design to the web. An organization whose identity uses FF DIN, for example, can now deliver that experience on the web, using true HTML text.

Web Fonts Features


Any web developer will tell you that HTML text is far more flexible and easier to update than an image. Using Web FontFonts gives you type that is both customized and dynamic.

Web Fonts Features


Search engines don’t like images nearly as much as text. Now all the branded typography on a page can be found and indexed. Text is also more accessible to users with disabilities.

Web Fonts Features


Because HTML text can be resized, copied, and edited by website visitors, you can create stylized interfaces, forms, and applications without relying on Flash or other hacks.

Why Webfonts?

  • They look great.
    Great care was taken to optimize Web FontFonts for display on nearly any screen, whether that screen is connected to a Mac or driven by Windows with ClearType switched on.
  • They are easy to buy.
    Buying a Web FontFont is as easy as licensing a conventional desktop font. There is no subscription to sign up for and you pay only for the font you need. Pricing is determined not by domain or bandwidth, but by the average monthly pageviews for all websites in the licensed organization.
  • They work on all modern browsers.
    Web FontFonts are delivered in WOFF and EOT Lite, the two formats supported by the most commonly used browsers: Internet Explorer®, Firefox®, Chrome®, and Safari®. With FontFont’s Web FontFonts, a free Typekit hosting option extends compatibility to older browsers, in addition to most mobile devices. Certain limitations apply to this Free Trial account, see Typekit Plans for details.
    *Note that though we now carry non-FontFont webfonts (see the update at the top of the post) Typekit hosting presently applies only to Web FontFonts. All other webfonts are licensed for self-hosting only.
  • No DRM.
    Because webfonts are essentially shared with everyone who visits a webpage that uses them, some font makers may want to use some sort of DRM to prevent unauthorized use. Not us. Web FontFonts come in formats that work only on websites (not in any desktop app), and do so without crippleware or user interruptions.
  • They speak more languages.
    The FontFont library has always offered top class language support, extending many of the most popular families to include character sets like Central European, Cyrillic, and Greek. Web FontFonts are no exception. The Pro versions contain the same language support as their desktop companions.

Download the Web FontFont User Guide (229K PDF).

FontFonter: Try Web FontFonts on Any Website

Ever since we released Web FontFonts you’ve been asking for a way to preview them in a live environment. It took us a while — we wanted to develop something that works well for a variety of needs and different kinds of web content — but we think you’ll like it.

Introducing FontFonter, a quick, easy way to see the impact of Web FontFonts on nearly any site that exists on the web right now. Want to see how Web FontFonts change the look of your favorite site? FontFont it! Spec’ing webfonts for an upcoming project and want to sample them in the design itself? Just enter a web page address in the field and FontFont it!

FontFonter uses custom CSS and other techniques to temporarily replace a site’s font styles with Web FontFonts.

FontFonter has been in private beta for just a few days and we’ve already seen some great applications beyond the sample sites we suggest on the start page.

Before and after: see the New York Times in FF Meta and FF Meta Serif.

Users are throwing the tool at their own blogs to see if it’s time to make the switch away from humdrum Georgia and Verdana. Others are generating detailed, live specimens of Web FontFonts using Tim Brown’s Web Font Specimen (here’s FF Quadraat Web).

We’re launching FontFonter with a limited selection of the hundreds of Web FontFonts available. Expect more soon. Give the tool a spin and tell us how you’re using it. Found a site where a particular FontFont works especially well? Let us know!

Introducing FontCase 1.5: Auto-Activation, improved performance, and more

FontShop and Bohemian Coding are happy to announce FontCase 1.5, a free update to the award-winning font management app for Mac OS X.5+. FontCase users can download the update from their FontCase app menu. Haven’t yet tried FontCase? Download the 15-day free trial now!

FontCase 1.5 introduces a number of exciting features and enhancements, including:


If you open a document which specifies fonts that are not active, FontCase will jump into action and auto-activate those fonts. You can see which of your fonts have been auto-activated in a new sidebar filter. When you close FontCase, any fonts that had been auto-activated will be deactivated.

FontCase Auto-Activation works in most apps, including Adobe Creative Suite. (InDesign requires an additional step: simply hit option-I in FontCase to activate the fonts specified in your topmost InDesign document.)

Duplicate Font Handling

FontCase now detects all of your duplicate fonts and conveniently groups them in a new sidebar filter. You can see which styles are duplicated, along with the location of the duplicate files, and you can easily select and deactivate them. FontCase will warn you

Improved Performance and Efficiency

FontCase 1.5 shows a marked improvement in launch time and overall responsiveness over previous versions. Preview caching is also now performed more efficiently, saving disk space.

Automatically Import Missing Fonts

When FontCase launches, it will check if new fonts have been installed using other font managers. If so, it will import them into your FontCase library.

Check out the FontCase page for more features and to download your free trial!

About Web FontFonts

More than 30 of the most successful FontFont families are now available as Web FontFonts.This article will walk you through everything you need to know about this new web-optimized format on

Why Use Web Fonts?

Most fonts are designed to be used in desktop applications for design that will be printed or output as an image file or PDF. Web fonts are an entirely new category of fonts optimized for use on web pages using the @font-face rule. This fairly new addition to CSS allows fonts to be linked in web pages and downloaded by browsers so that anyone who visits the page can view the fonts declared by the page’s designer. This means your website can display indexable, editable, resizable, dynamic HTML text in a font other than the handful of “web safe” options we’ve had to rely on for years. Read more about the benefits of web fonts in our newsletter.

How Are Web Fonts Different from Desktop Fonts?

Mileage may vary … but not much. These examples of FF Meta Web as rendered by Internet Explorer on Windows, Firefox on Windows, and Firefox on Mac OS X show how the same font can look slightly different in each environment. Despite these unavoidable inconsistencies, Web FontFonts are designed to look their best on all modern systems.

Web Fonts are indicated by the “Web” icon throughout They are designed to work exclusively on web pages and cannot be installed on a desktop OS for use in applications like Word, Photoshop, or QuarkXpress. Most web fonts are also optimized to download and display quickly because they include only the glyphs recognized by web browsers. That said, many Web FontFonts come in Pro versions with support for Eastern European, Greek, and/or Cyrillic character sets. Web FontFonts are also optimized for screen display and look especially crisp and clean on Mac OS X and Windows versions with ClearType enabled.

How Are Web FontFonts Sold?

All Web FontFonts are available as full families, Basic Sets (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic), and individual styles. While standard desktop fonts are licensed by the number of users or workstations using the fonts, Web FontFonts are licensed by the average pageviews per month of all the domains within the licensing organization. There are three simple license levels: up to 500,000; up to 5 million; and up to 50 million pageviews per month.

Contact us for enterprise licensing beyond this amount.

What Do I Get in My Web FontFont Download?

Web FontFonts come in two DRM-free formats: EOT Lite, supported by Internet Explorer 5-8, and WOFF, supported by Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer 9. We expect WOFF to be supported by Safari and other browsers soon, but currently IE, Firefox, and Chrome cover over 90% of all web visitors. Both formats are delivered with every Web FontFont purchase and can be used without relying on any third-party service. The Web FontFont downloads also come with a User Guide [229K PDF] full of helpful information for web developers, system administrators, and website visitors. HTML test pages for each of the downloaded fonts are also included.

How Do I Use Web FontFonts?

Because Web FontFonts work using basic CSS, using them is pretty straightforward. If you are even vaguely familiar with CSS you can make Web FontFonts work on your website. The simple instructions in the Web FontFont User Guide [229K PDF] make it easy. Also be sure to read the End User License Agreement for Web FontFonts.

Optionally, you can skip self-hosting and coding altogether and host the Web FontFonts you purchased with a free Typekit account.

We’ll continue to post more information and tips about Web FontFonts in the coming weeks. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, the fonts are ready to roll! Go have a look.

Buy Web FontFonts at, Host Them on Typekit

Web FontFonts are compatible with Typekit. Our partnership gives users an additional way to serve Web FontsFonts to their sites. The Typekit service delivers Web FontFonts from a global network of servers to every browser that supports @font-face, extending compatibility to all browsers.

How does it work?

Web FontFonts licensed on can be sent to a free Typekit account. After purchasing your fonts you’ll find a link on your checkout confirmation page. Simply click it to send your license and fonts to Typekit, then follow their instructions to add a single line of code to your site and your fonts will be served immediately. The Typekit option works under their Free Trial account and hosting your fonts this way is purely optional. Certain limitations apply to the Free Trial account, see Typekit Plans for details.