Winner of the 2006 TypeCon WhatTheFont contest…

August 31, 2006

The results are in, and the winner of our font identifying contest at TypeCon 2006 has been determined!

Thomas Phinney, one of the font guys at Adobe, correctly identified 16 of the 26 mystery letters and took the time to fill out and submit a form. As a reward Thomas has received $100 of credit to spend at MyFonts (kinda makes those of you who were at TypeCon but didn’t give it a shot wish you had filled out that form, doesn’t it?).

For those of you who took the test but didn’t do as well, here are the answers:

A is for Akzidenz-Grotesk
B is for Bodoni
C is for Clarendon
D is for DIN 1451
E is for Estilo
F is for Fakir
G is for Garamond
H is for Helvetica
I is for Interstate (this one stumped a lot of people, not surprisingly)
J is for Joanna
K is for Kabel
L is for Lithos
M is for Mrs Eaves
N is for Neuland
O is for Optima
P is for Penumbra
Q is for Qurillian
R is for Rockwell
S is for Satisfaction
T is for Times
U is for Univers
V is for VAG Rounded
W is for Walbaum
X is for Xanthippe
Y is for Yumi
Z is for Zaner


You can also see this list with samples in its related MyFonts font album.

Incidentally, we haven’t heard back from Mr. Phinney yet, so if anyone reading this talks to him, let him know he’s got 100 bucks worth of MyFonts to his name!

Text Fonts: To Serif or To Not Sans Serif, That Is the Question

August 21, 2006

Many experts recommend that serif fonts are best to use for writing papers and for publishing books, magazines, and newsletters, because the feet of serifed characters help guide the reader across the page:


(set in Esta, a serif font)

Serifed fonts also lend text a more formal appearance, in lieu of the casual look-and-feel of sans serif fonts:

Orcin Sans

(set in Orcin Sans, a sans serif font)

However, sans serif fonts also give a cleaner, uncluttered look to the text, avoiding the use of flairs at the ends of characters, and the thick/thin transitions in the curved portions of characters from thick to thin lines. In other words, sans serif fonts tend to be more monocline and uncomplicated.


Orcin Sans

No matter what choice of font you decide to use, we do notice the use of more sans serif fonts for online publishing, including content on websites, in PDFs, and any other documents meant for online reading. In most cases, online resolution is usually less than 10% of the resolution of the printed page. This makes the use of a less complicated font, like a sans serif, more useful for reading on a computer monitor or mobile handset than a more highly designed serif font, where the “little feet” and flairs on the characters can get lost at smaller sizes.

MyFonts is creating a special publication newsletter on text fonts. We encourage you to try out serif and sans serif typeface designs to see what suits your project best.

Yours in font land,
Bob Thomas

TypeCon 2006

August 16, 2006

TypeCon has come to an end. The week was extremely interesting, especially for a first-timer like myself.

I won’t go on forever detailing every session and social event, but suffice to say that I am very glad to be a part of such a great group of people that make up the type community. To be totally honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when interacting with people from other companies who might be considered “the competition”, but I quickly learned that most everyone on the scene seems to be more of a family than anything. Everyone is related somehow, and the majority of people seem to focus more on a love for typography than anything else (either that or I’m just happily naïve).

I’m sure there were all kinds of business talks going on behind the scenes but, as a designer, I was glad to find most of the events and conversations focusing on the art of type more than anything else (ie, the fun stuff!).

The materials I designed for MyFonts seemed to go over well. For those of you who attended and took some of the buttons, but weren’t sure if you got the full set, I’m including an image of all 13 designs here:

MyFonts TypeCon buttons

I also set up an album on MyFonts of all the fonts I used for the buttons.

Similarly, I’ll include a photo of our tablecloth. We had a contest going to see if anyone could identify every font in the alphabet, but as of now we have still not met anyone who can ID all 26 (so far, Stephen Coles from FontShop and Typographica has come the closest). Feel free to give it a shot yourself… a helpful hint is that each font name begins with that letter of the alphabet (eg, “C” is for “Clarendon”).

MyFonts tablecloth

I’ll end by saying that the final event at the Museum of Printing was the perfect way to close the week. Hearing Larry Oppenberg and Mike Parker talk about Chauncey Griffith and his contributions to the Mergenthaler Linotype library, and then flipping through all the actual drawings (some older than 80 years!) in person was quite an experience.

Hearing old anecdotes from Howard Hansen was priceless, and it will certainly be hard to top the reaction from John Collins (my boss) when he unexpectedly ran into an archaic (and bright pink!) “MVP” peripheral that he built decades ago to run the Mergenthaler “VIP” photo-typesetter.

In case you haven’t done so already, I will direct you to become a member of the museum so that more people will be able to experience stuff like this in the future.

Looking forward to next year’s TypeCon in Seattle!

August 2006 Rising Stars

August 7, 2006

Every month we add new, innovative fonts and sign up new foundries. In the August 2006 issue of Rising Stars, we show you our top-selling new fonts.


Boycott is a noisy design — a little rough around the edges, but just the way we like our big grunge fonts. Boycott is a perfect design for posters and large headlines.

High Society

High Society is based on a delightful, delicious, de-lovely offering from Blandford Press’s 1946 tome, Lettering for the Commercial Artist. The editor called this one “The Elegant Alphabet” and cautioned that it “being neither quick nor easy, needs to be used with discrimination.” Or not…. We like this elegant swash design because of its retro appeal.

Adagio Pro

Adagio Pro is a decorative script that works well for invitations. The design is from profonts, whose mission is to release a beautiful series of script and display designs from the past, in OpenType format, with all the features necessary for making scripts so easy to handle and so wonderful to print. We think this formal font continues the tradition admirably!

P22 Declaration

P22 Declaration features two lettering fonts based on the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The design has the look of classic 18th century penmanship with a slightly irregular edge, as found on documents made with ink quill pens on vellum or parchment. The Blackletter font is also derived from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, as it was used for emphasis and the famous document title itself. A third font, which features the signatures of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is also included in the Pro set.

High Society Adagio Pro P22 Declaration Boycott

Big news in the type world

August 7, 2006

Monotype acquired Linotype last week!

TypeCon should be interesting this weekend, for sure!

Helvetica, the documentary

August 7, 2006

I just got the first e-mail newsletter regarding the upcoming documentary on Helvetica, by Gary Hustwit.

Some official info on the film:

Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, their views on type, and the past fifty years of graphic design. Helvetica was shot in high-definition on location in the United States and across Europe. The film is currently in post-production and is slated to begin screening at film festivals worldwide in early 2007.

Interviewees in Helvetica include some of the most illustrious and innovative names in the design world, including Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Wim Crouwel, Hermann Zapf, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Bierut, Jonathan Hoefler, Tobias Frere-Jones, Experimental Jetset, and many more.

Check the official site for more info and some cool t-shirts and stuff:

Unfortunately, no trailers up yet, but I am looking forward to seeing some clips at TypeCon this weekend.

For The Love Of Letters

August 2, 2006

For The Love Of Letters

I recently printed these posters to promote the letterpress show that will be up at MassArt during TypeCon (August 9-13). If you’re in Boston, they will be available at the opening. If not, they might be sold online after TypeCon.

For more info, visit the new MassArt Press site.


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