Author Archives: Mayene de Leon

Buyer’s Guide: Picking script fonts for non-design programs


A couple weeks ago, we talked about picking scripts for design programs. This week, we’ll discuss picking the right swashy font for those who will be using them in programs like Microsoft Office or iWorks applications.

Picking scripts for non-design programs gets a little bit tricky. Microsoft Office does not handle OpenType features well — these OpenType features include the beautiful stylistic or contextual alternates available in some script typefaces that you might want to use and are discussed in our Using Type: Contextual Alternates, Ligatures post. Don’t worry: there are script fonts that are made to work in Word or Pages, if that’s what you’ll be designing your invitations or printing your envelopes from.


For example, let’s take Feel Script and Mahogany Script. Feel Script is beautiful and a quite popular typeface for wedding collateral. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well in Microsoft Office or Pages. If you take a look at the Character Set for Feel Script, you’ll see that this one font alone has over 1,000 glyphs:


On the product page for Feel Script, you can view all the glyphs in the character set as well as see how many glyphs total there are. If a script font has over 1,000 glyphs, it’s safe to say that it won’t work as well in Microsoft Office or Pages. Many of the basic glyphs (such as the default uppercase and lowercase letters and default numeral set) would work in non-design programs, but if you had your eye on a beautiful curve in the Stylistic or Contextual Alternates, you’re likely to be disappointed that you can’t use or access them. Pages may be able to access some Stylistic Alternates, but it’s not guaranteed. Instead, Mahogany Script is a good alternative solution.


Bickham Script Pro is another popular wedding typeface that does not work well in Microsoft Office programs. Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives to use, like Helinda Rook. Let’s take a look at Helinda’s character set:


Compared to a more complex font like Feel Script, you’ll notice that there are no Stylistic or Contextual Alternates listed and the total number of glyphs is pretty small. It’s safe to assume that a script font that has about 200 to 300 total glyphs will work just fine in Word or Pages, especially if there are no Alternates listed. You might also find that some of these fonts with smaller character sets are listed as “PC TrueType” format fonts — do note that PC TrueType fonts do work on Macs!

Also, some fonts that are usable on Word or Pages do have Alternates, but the Alternates are treated differently:


For example, here’s Sloop. If you do want to use a font with Stylistic Alternates, some fonts are divided into separate font files. Here, you’ll see “Sloop Script One”, “Two”, and “Three”. At a glance, they all look similar, but you’ll notice that some letters have more swashes to them. Instead of treating these swashy alternates as OpenType features, they are offered as separate font files for those who use programs that can’t access OpenType features — you’ll need to install all three font files to access the alternates.

Stay tuned this week for our Using Type post on Thursday which will address accessing OpenType features in programs such as Pages or Word.

If you’re still having trouble choosing a font or something similar to a font you can’t use in Word or Pages, don’t hesitate to contact our Sales & Support team — we’ll help you find the right font for your needs!

Pinterested: We do!


Wedding Month continues at FontShop! Last week, we created the I do, I do, I do pinboard on Pinterest with some lovely wedding photography from fStop Images. This week, we pinned some great typographic wedding invitation designs and neat cake toppers that we found around the internet. We’ll keep on adding to this board as Wedding Month goes on. Stay tuned next week for a visual list of script faces you might like!

Pinterested: I do, I do, I do


To kick off Wedding Month on Pinterest, we created a board this week featuring beautiful wedding photos from fStop Images. This week, our I do, I do, I do pinboard features lovely bouquets and veiled brides. Follow our wedding board and stay tuned for next week’s additions: script fonts!

Buyer’s Guide: Picking script fonts for design programs


Many of the script fonts available on FontShop have contextual alternates, stylistic alternates, or just beautiful swashes in general that would work well for wedding invitations. But how do you know which font to say “I do” to?

If you’re working in Adobe Creative Suite programs (such as InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop), you’re in luck. Fonts with lots of contextual and stylistic alternates work well in these programs. To get started, you can browse our Full-Featured Formal Scripts FontList. A typeface like SudtiposPoem Script Pro has many options to choose from. The uppercase “I” alone has six additional stylistic alternates — you can say “I do” in multiple ways!


Full-featured formal scripts are fun to work with, but only if you’re using them in design programs like Adobe Creative Suite. You can read more on how to access alternates in Photoshop or Illustrator in our Using Type: Contextual Alternates, Ligatures post. If you’re designing your wedding invitations or other materials in different programs like Microsoft Office or iWorks applications, you have to be a bit more choosy. Poem Script has a total of 1,675 glyphs in its character set — some programs just can’t access all of these alternates. Stay tuned for Part 2 of picking script fonts for use in other programs.

Pinterested: Swashbucklers


FontShop’s Wedding Month starts next week! Along with our Great Pairs pinboard, prepare yourself with the pins on the Swashbucklers board. If you’re working on save-the-dates and invitations, this pinboard will provide plenty of swashy inspiration!

Pinterested: Great Pairs!


As announced earlier this week, FontShop’s Wedding Month starts next month! Just over a week away, you can prepare by getting acquainted with our Great Pairs pinboard. Every Wednesday, our type expert David Sudweeks pairs two typefaces available on FontShop; you can easily view and find all past pairs on Pinterest!

Pinterested: New pins this week


Besides new fonts and promotions, we love pinning cool type we find around the web! Check out how Oreo celebrated their 100th birthday or create a message in Neko Font (“Cat” Font) — follow us on Pinterest for weekly typographic finds!

Pinterested: Fleurons for Mom

This Sunday is Mother’s Day — if you forgot to put in your order for a bouquet to be delivered to your mom, you still have time to quickly order some flowery fonts and send her a bouquet of glyphs.


With the combination of beautiful images from fStop and the selection of fleurons and springtime fonts on FontShop, you can also create a quick e-card to send your mom if you can’t visit her this weekend. Check out our Glyph Garden board to get started!

Buyer’s Guide: Educational and Non-Profit discounts


While we have occasional promotions for new fonts, we have ongoing discounts for students, teachers, and non-profit organizations.

For students and teachers, you can use the promotion code “EDUCATE10″ to take of 10% off your cart. This discount automatically works for school emails ending in .edu, but if your school email has a different ending, just send our Sales & Support team an email and we’ll get you set up!

For non-profit organizations, you can use the promotion code “NONPROFIT” to take of 10% off your cart. This discount automatically works for emails ending in .org.

Pinterested: High-5!


Looking forward to the Fifth of May? Get ready by browsing a bunch of 5s on our I Got 5 On It pinboard. From different font categories from Ayres Royal‘s swashy blackletters to HGB Lombardisch‘s deliciously inky glyphs to bold display faces like Parkinson Type Design‘s Sutro Shaded Initials, these glyphs will look good in bright, vivid colors too!

Buyer’s Guide: Font Validation Errors


If you work on a Mac, you’re probably familiar with the default font management application, FontBook (not to be confused with the FontBook App!). Sometimes, a “Font Validation” window will pop-up when trying to install your newly licensed font — don’t panic. There is nothing actually wrong with your font file even if you find errors listed such as issues with “kern table structure and contents”.

Our suggestion? Go ahead and select the font when the Font Validation window pops up and install the font; your font will still work properly within the programs you intend to use them in. The software is just acting overly cautious with the font files — the same font files will install successfully on Windows without a validation error as Windows does not have a default font management application like FontBook. If you’re still unsure about it, you can send our Sales & Support team an email and we can install and test the fonts from your order for you before you commit to ignoring the Font Validation window.

Pinterested: April Showers


It’s the end of April and May flowers should be popping up soon. To keep you in the springtime spirit, we have three pinboards that you can browse.

First, start with Water You Waiting For and let your brain soak in typographic inspiration and water fonts. From fish fonts to seashells to beautiful pictures of the deep blue, you’ll be ready for your next projects and ideas to bloom. Next, travel to another world full of lush foliage in our Keep Calm & Hobbiton pinboard and talk a walk in our Glyph Garden. Our flowery fonts won’t spread any pollen in the air, so have fun playing around with Blossomy and Posy from Kapitza or Imagination Flowers from Elsner+Flake. Enjoy the greenery without allergic reactions!

Stylizing digital sheet music with music fonts

For composers, songwriters, and those who dabble in transcribing music for fun, digitized sheet music is often found left with their default fonts in tact. Music notation software such as Finale™ or Sibelius™ automatically loads music fonts on the user’s computer upon install — Finale uses a music font labeled as “Maestro” by default while Sibelius typically uses “Opus Std” for music notation. On top of these music font settings, Times New Roman is usually paired with these music fonts by default, though in Sibelius the default font depends on what type of score or instruments you’ll be writing music for.


Plantin Std paired with Opus Std in Sibelius for the default piano score template

The majority of digitized sheet music may look similar to the transcription above, but if you feel like stylizing your sheet music, it’s quite easy to change font settings in Sibelius. With the addition of Urtext Music Fonts type foundry, we’re happy to give composers and arrangers options to make music look better.

If you’ve already started composing or transcribing your song in Sibelius, you can edit your font selection and apply it to your existing notation.


Main Text Font — By changing this font, you’ll change the text that shows the composer and part names (as in the music example above, where “Piano” and “Muzio Clementi” are noted). You can choose any (non-music) font you have installed on your computer.

Main Music Font — This selection will change all common music symbols, such as  key and time signatures, notes (both noteheads and flags are affected), and rests.

Music Text Font — Any additional expressive or articulation markings will be affected by this font selection. This includes dynamic markings (such as the bold “pp”s for pianissimo and “ff”s for fortissimo) as well as fermatas and trill markings, which are briefly explained below.

Here are some examples of dynamics and technical markings in Urtext Music FontsKapellmeister OT (in purple):


Once you’ve decided which font you’ll use for text and which font(s) you’ll use for the music notation, hit OK and watch your sheet music be transformed. In the example below, Plantin has been switched out for P22 Morris Golden and Opus Std has been switched out for Clementi OT, giving the excerpt from Muzio Clementi’s Piano Sonatina a more appropriate feeling:


In a side-by-side comparison, the following excerpt starts with the default music font (Opus Std), and where noted by the asterisk, changes to Clementi OT:


Other major differences are usually noticed at the beginning of the music, with the key signature (in this piece, the sharp “♯” sign) and time signature (the “fraction” 2/4). You’ll also see a difference of style in the way clefs (here, what precedes the “♯” sign) are drawn between music fonts:


To those unfamiliar with music notation, you can see also differences in the music fonts by comparing the design of the notes — the shape and weight of the notehead (the round part of the note) may differ as well as its flags (the part that waves itself off note stems on eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and any other note that has flags). This is better seen than explained; below is a comparison of eighth notes (again, in purple) in the Urtext Music Fonts available at FontShop:


You’ll notice that some noteheads are more elliptical (like that of Brumaire) while others are more round. Also, some flags are straight and angular while others are curved. With tastes and styles in music so varied, why should sheet music all look the same?

While Urtext’s range of music fonts address traditional styles, capturing the feeling of hand-engraved music from the Baroque and Classical periods, these music fonts are still fit to be used for any modern-day composer.

Buyer’s Guide: Webfont pricing tiers explained

When licensing a webfont in EOT/WOFF formats, web licensing is based on the traffic the website it will be used for generates, or in other words, the website’s average pageviews per month. If you’re not sure whether or not you have a webfont in your cart, read our “Buyer’s Guide: Am I buying a webfont?” post to learn more about buying webfonts.


Once you have a webfont in your cart, you’ll notice that you won’t be entering the number of users you need to license (that’s generally for desktop licensing), but instead you’ll be choosing from three different pricing tiers: Personal, Business, or Professional.

A common question we get is: “My company’s website doesn’t generate more than 500,000 pageviews per month. Do I still have to purchase the Business tier or can I purchase the Personal tier?”

The answer is: choose the tier that best suits your needs based on the pageviews per month listed. These names — Personal, Business, and Professional — are just the tier names and do not refer to what type of website you will be using the fonts for. For example, if you’re a small business whose website traffic does not exceed 500,000 pageviews per month yet, choose the “Personal” tier.

If you need to license your webfonts for more than 50 million pageviews per month, please contact our Sales & Support team and we’ll get you set up with the licensing you need.

Pinterested: New pins this week


We don’t just pin cool things to one board every week. While our New & Noteworthy and Ideas & Inspiration pinboards are good places to start for eye candy, don’t forget about our other boards that might help you get through a case of the Mondays or an uneventful Friday night. Check out:

  • Lettering: Because handmade creations aren’t dead! Handcrafted words are still very much alive.
  • Character Studies: Find personalities in different individual glyphs!
  • Swashbuckers: Swoon over beautiful curves left and right.
  • Found Type: Seeing fonts in use might help you along in your next project!

But remember, we have almost 60 boards for you to peruse over and and over again!