Weekly Roundup: January 27
Here is the eleventh regular update by TYPE of font releases, custom type launches, and type-related events.
How to use variable fonts in the real world
Richard Rutter, designer and cofounder of Clearleft, wrote a case study based on his work for the new Ampersand conference website. The study, which has been gaining traction this week, details a simple five-step plan for effectively using variable fonts on the web, complete with code and Github links: (1) link to the fonts, (2) set the weights, (3) fix for browsers which are not Safari, (4) subset and create a WOFF2, and (5) provide fonts for incapable browsers. Read the detailed case study on Clearleft’s Medium
FontFont published Jörg Hemker’s new sans serif typeface: FF Nort. Inspired by Transport—the British highway system typeface—FF Nort features a handcrafted neo-grotesque quality” that gives it “a friendly mien and [separates] it from other industrial strength sans serif typefaces.” The typeface includes Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek, and comes in 16 styles. You can get FF Nort on the FontFont website.
Jan Maack’s The Ivy Foundry joined Type Network this week, debuting its latest typeface, Ivy Journal. This transitional serif face is loosely based on both the seminal Roman inscriptional capitals and classic movable type in the vein of Bembo, Baskerville, and Times New Roman.” Maack’s typeface aims to provide “nimble, easy reading.” See Ivy Journal’s ten styles on the Type Network website.
Fontstand International Typography Conference
Fontstand, the popular font rental service, has announced the new Fontstand International Typography Conference. Announced speakers include Andreu Balius of TypeRepublic, Paul Barnes of Commercial Type, Peter Bil’ak of Typotheque, and Laura Meseguer of Type-ø-Tones, among others. Only one hundred tickets are available to the conference; information and registration are available on the Fontstand website.
Swiss Typefaces released its latest “Lab” font, IKANSEEYOUALL. The “posh display face” features dramatic stroke contrast, large ball terminals, and a “markedly include” axis. The typeface’s single style, All of you, includes greater than 360 glyphs and is described as “an invitation to play.” See IKANSEEYOUALL and Swiss Typefaces’s other Lab fonts on their website.
Nils Thomsen’s Meret, originally released by OurType in 2011, has been updated to Meret Pro for a release by TypeMates. Initially developed as a dissertation project at the Type and Media course at KABK in The Hague, Thomsen’s Meret Pro reflects his approach to design: “undogmatic, direct and powered by research, perseverance and exploiting the latest font technologies.” The serif typeface was produced for newspapers to be read in thin columns with “dense leading.” You can find Meret Pro’s 16 styles on the TypeMates website.
Why Variable Fonts Will Succeed
Thomas Phinney, an avid variable font advocate, published a thoughtful essay on “Why Variable Fonts Will Succeed.” The piece contrasts variable fonts to two failed technologies of the past—GX Variations and Multiple Master—and explains what makes variable fonts different. The difference, Phinney argues, stems from the initial support of Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and Google; with “every one of the major players in type design tools and related utilities” on board, variable fonts should “see rapid adoption in a few very high-impact and high-visibility places, including as system fonts.” Read Phinney’s essay on his website.
TypeTogether published José Scaglione and Veronika Burian’s Protipo, a typeface designed for information design: “apps, infographics, UI, wayfinding, transport, posters, display, and even internet memes.” Protipo includes 48 styles, including compact, narrow, wide, and icons versions in multiple weights. The designers created the low-contrast sans serif for anything technical, ranging from “annual reports and wayfinding to front page infographics and poster use.” In the future, Protipo will include a variable font version. You can find Protipo on the TypeTogether website.
Send your announcements and tips to TYPE’s digital editor, Lucas Czarnecki.