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ubl6612
post May 10 2010, 01:09 PM
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Finding your way through the jungle that is the land of typography can be a little tricky. There are things you do, and there are things you don't do. Here are some rules and guidelines to help you out.


Typography Rules

The six golden rules that thou shall never brake.

1.Never use Windows Typefaces
2.Never use Faux Bold
3.Never use Faux Italic
4.Never stretch a font horizontally or vertically
5.Always use Anti Alias
6.Never use all caps on a script font


Text Fonts vs Display Fonts

There are two primary categories of type: text and display.
In general, text type is designed to be legible and readable at small sizes. This usually implies fairly clean, consistent, uncomplicated design features; more open spacing than a display face; and thin strokes that hold up at smaller sizes.
Display type, on the other hand, can forgo the extreme legibility and readability needed for long blocks of text at small sizes for a stronger personality, elaborate and more expressive shapes, and a more stylish look.
Most text types can also be used as display types, though most display types can't be used as text types.

Attached File  text_display.jpg ( 29.86K ) Number of downloads: 25


So how do you tell the difference? Well, there are no clear definition for which fonts belongs in which category. The best way to find out is to try and find out how the font looks at various sizes. Sometimes (not that often though) a font is listed as a text font or a display font. One example is Din by Parachute.

Attached File  din_comp.jpg ( 20.29K ) Number of downloads: 18



Opticals ( Caption, Regular, Subhead, Display)

With certain typefaces you might see various fonts for the same size, these are called opticals. For more information one the purpose of these here's a quote from Adobe article on the Opentype format

QUOTE
”Historically, some of the highest quality typefaces have included different designs for different print sizes. Several of Adobe's OpenType fonts include four optical size variations: caption, regular, subhead and display. Called "Opticals," these variations have been optimized for use at specific point sizes. Although the exact intended sizes vary by family, the general size ranges include: caption (6-8 point), regular (9-13 point), subhead (14-24 point) and display (25-72 point).”


Attached File  Minion_Pro_Opticals.jpg ( 40.01K ) Number of downloads: 18



Font Formats

The most common font formats these days are: Type 1, Postscript and Opentype.

Type 1 is a standard made in the early 80ies by Adobe and uses the extensions .pfb and pfm (pfm and afm on Mac).

Due to high licensing fees from Adobe, Apple made the Truetype standard in the late 80ies and subsequently licensed to Microsoft Corporation. Truetype use the extension .ttf.

Opentype is the newest standard and was created by Adobe and Microsoft to superseed the previous formats, and Opentype does have several advantages over the rest. Opentype supports up to 65.000 glyphs which that features such as small caps, old style figures, alternate characters and ligatures can be contained in one font instead of having separate fonts. Not all fonts have these features embed, many fonts have been converted from previous formats to Opentype to take advantage of the extra features (and the cross platform support). Sometimes a font is labeled as a Pro font which indicates that they do support the extra Opentype features, but this hasn't been standardized.


Font vs Typeface

So what's the difference between a typeface and a font? Is there any? Is Typeface just a prettier word and font the lazy version? Actually there is a difference between the two in more then one sense.

A Typeface is a set of fonts in the same style, or you can call it a family.
A Font is a specific type inside a typeface.

So if Helvetica Neue is the typeface, then Helvetica 75 Bold is a font

QUOTE
“The way I relate the difference between typeface and font to my students is by comparing them to songs and MP3s, respectively (or songs and CDs, if you prefer a physical metaphor).” - Nick Sherman


A Typeface (the song) is a creative output of a musician, the font (mp3) is a digital reproduction of the typeface.

QUOTE
”Font is what you use. Typeface is what you see” - Norbert Florendo



Windows Typefaces (and the other ones you should avoid)

So I told you not to use Windows Typefaces. Why? Because I say so that's why, and because it's really not that imaginative to use them, that's what seperates a designer from a non designer. To top it off, some of them are complete knockoffs, I'm looking at you Arial.
Here's the fonts in mention:

Arial, Comic Sans, Impact, Mv Boli, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, Tunga, Verdana.

There are more but these are the really bad ones.

So which ones should you use? The ones in the Suggested Typefaces would be a good start, but if you want specific alternatives here's what you do.

Instead of Arial use Helvetica. Arial is actually a cheap Microsoft knockoff of Apple's Helvetica.
Impact is based on Haettenschweiler other alternatives are Condensed versions of Helvetica or Akzidenz Grotesk or Compacta.
Instead of Tahoma and Verdana (which are quite similar) any other sans-serif would do.
Instead of Times New Roman any other serif will do.
And for the rest. Don't use them. Especially Comic Sans. Cause I'll kill you if you do.

Microsoft made Comic Sans, but the obviously aren't the only ones who have made crappy typefaces. For every 1 good typeface, there's 10 crappy ones.
Here's a few of the very bad ones:

Algerian, Bradley Hand, Brush Script, Cooper, Curlz, Hobo, Kristen, Mistral, Monotype Corsiva, Papyrus, Snap, Stencil, Tekton, Viner Hand, Vivaldi.


Essential Typefaces

Here's a short list compiled of essential typefaces based on sources such as Joshua Bergers 30 Essential Typefaces for A Lifetime, The German FontShop's 100 Best Typefaces, and my own picks.

Akzidenz Grotesk, Avenir, Adobe Caslon, Adobe Garamond, Avant Garde, Avenir, Baskerville, Bembo, Bickham Script, Bodoni, Clarendon, Didot, Din, Excelsior, Franklin Gothic, Frutiger, Futura, Gill Sans, Gotham, Helvetica, Lubalin Graph, Minion, Mrs Eaves, Perpetua, Optima, Rockwell, Rotis, Sabon, Signa, Swift, Trade Gothic, Univers, Walbaum, Warnock


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Bazzah
post May 10 2010, 01:35 PM
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I have learnt a lot from you over the years, when it comes to typography. It's great to see you have put this together to share with everyone.


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felipe-11
post May 10 2010, 02:50 PM
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Great post ubl!


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Arkflip
post May 10 2010, 02:55 PM
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This is where i feel very confortable at the cover scene, always loved typography and always do my best to achieve the best result when working on a cover.
Thanks for the tips Daniel, and i'm glad to see another typography maniac like me 8824.gif


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Kernie
post May 10 2010, 03:15 PM
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Glad to see somebody mentioning this!! 8824.gif 8824.gif 8824.gif

While I'm sure I don't always obey all the typography rules, proper font usage is definitely something that separates the amateurs from the masters. A lot of designers tend to ignore typography or think that fonts are interchangeable, but it really is an important factor when creating a good design. Although I won't pretend that there wasn't a time that I was ignorant to the subtleties of proper font usage. sad.gif

Thanks for the tips, ubl!! Definitely a helpful post and one that all up-and-comers should read!!! 8824.gif 8824.gif 8824.gif


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chefjoe
post May 10 2010, 04:02 PM
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Greatly appreciated, we need more posts like this, Most of us out there treat a font as a font, fortunately the only bad one i currently use is papyrus for egyptian kinda type, can you offer an alternative???
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ubl6612
post May 10 2010, 04:58 PM
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Instead of Papyrus you could always use the font they used on Avatar. Oh wait, maybe not.

There isn't really a good direct alternative to Papyrus like with Arial or Century Gothic. Papyrus isn't even that bad a font, it just went the way of Trajan, Eurostile & Archer. It's used way to often and often it's in the wrong place it's used. My best suggestion would be a nice serif.


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Fubster
post May 10 2010, 06:06 PM
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Fantastic information buddy - thanks for the post. I will be bookmarking this for future reference, although I'm sure I'll break the rules some more as I strive to learn them thumb.gif


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voetzoeker
post May 10 2010, 08:39 PM
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Great read Ubbl, when's the next lesson 8824.gif
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Arkflip
post May 11 2010, 01:17 AM
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QUOTE (ubl6612 @ May 10 2010, 05:58 PM) *
Instead of Papyrus you could always use the font they used on Avatar. Oh wait, maybe not.

There isn't really a good direct alternative to Papyrus like with Arial or Century Gothic. Papyrus isn't even that bad a font, it just went the way of Trajan, Eurostile & Archer. It's used way to often and often it's in the wrong place it's used. My best suggestion would be a nice serif.


Don't tell me you don't use Trajan Daniel... it's one of my most used fonts ever! lol
Trajan and ClarendonBT are on my top list of all time best fonts.


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Practice custom Blu-Ray covers, DVD covers and other stuff designs are displayed solely for the purpose of demonstrating design skills
and are no way intended to infringe upon the copyrights of the owners of the respective images with which they were designed.

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ubl6612
post May 11 2010, 04:28 PM
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Haven't used Trajan for ages. There are a lot of alternatives though if you want to mix it up.

If you want to use Clarendon I suggest you try H&FJ's Sentinel since it has a nice selection of weights. My favorite foundry btw.


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chefjoe
post May 11 2010, 10:44 PM
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serif'sare kinda hard to come by if yiu gotta purchase most of em, I'm definately limited to leech status, hehe


But I'm always thankful, LOL

This post has been edited by chefjoe: May 11 2010, 10:45 PM
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Jaldomar
post May 12 2010, 09:57 AM
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best alternative to papyrus font is Origins and definitely a font with much style... though is more a antique font combine with the parchment paper look... pretty cool font.


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Bunny Dojo
post May 12 2010, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE (ubl6612 @ May 10 2010, 12:58 PM) *
There isn't really a good direct alternative to Papyrus like with Arial or Century Gothic. Papyrus isn't even that bad a font, it just went the way of Trajan, Eurostile & Archer. It's used way to often and often it's in the wrong place it's used. My best suggestion would be a nice serif.
Archer is already over-used? unsure1.gif I was so excited about getting it a couple of years ago but haven't really had any appropriate opportunities to use it yet, doggonit! 8834.gif

QUOTE (ubl6612 @ May 11 2010, 12:28 PM) *
I suggest you try H&FJ's Sentinel since it has a nice selection of weights. My favorite foundry btw.
Definitely. Those guys are on their own level. I'd be perfectly fine with using nothing but their fonts for every single design I do. Gotham, Champion, Whitney, and Didot are major go-to choices. And Requiem is a solid Trajan alternative. If I had any of their other fonts, I'm sure I'd love those too.
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JollyRoger
post May 12 2010, 10:14 PM
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I like Gerard Unger's Swift family - very nice modern serif with amazing curves winking.gif


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felipe-11
post May 12 2010, 10:43 PM
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C'mon, Trajan aint that bad...


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ubl6612
post May 13 2010, 11:17 AM
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QUOTE (Jaldomar @ May 12 2010, 10:57 AM) *
best alternative to papyrus font is Origins and definitely a font with much style... though is more a antique font combine with the parchment paper look... pretty cool font.


After seeing this in the Rising Stars newsletter i get from MyFonts.com I was just about to post it myself. If you want the rough quill like outline of papyrus without selling your soul, Origins is the way to go.


QUOTE (Bunny Dojo @ May 12 2010, 10:59 PM) *
Archer is already over-used? I was so excited about getting it a couple of years ago but haven't really had any appropriate opportunities to use it yet, doggonit!


Archer is one of my favorite typefaces and I admit putting it in the same league as Trajan (1989) and Eurostile (1962) might be premature. There have been several situations where I have tried out Archer but have concluded that this wasn't the project that Archer fitted into, and that's the problem most projects aren't good enough to deserve Archer. That's probably the reason you haven't used it yet yourself.


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Arkflip
post May 13 2010, 12:27 PM
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Honestly i never used Archer... i have it but i feel the same.


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Practice custom Blu-Ray covers, DVD covers and other stuff designs are displayed solely for the purpose of demonstrating design skills
and are no way intended to infringe upon the copyrights of the owners of the respective images with which they were designed.

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ubl6612
post May 17 2010, 04:53 PM
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HiRes legend!
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Here's another Trajan Alternative for you Ark. From the same foundry that brought you the Aviano series, here's Mynaruse that packs some pretty sweet looking Opentype features.



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Arkflip
post May 17 2010, 05:21 PM
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Excelent alternative Daniel, thanks for the tip! It also reminds me Passion of the Christ title, not sure why lol


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Practice custom Blu-Ray covers, DVD covers and other stuff designs are displayed solely for the purpose of demonstrating design skills
and are no way intended to infringe upon the copyrights of the owners of the respective images with which they were designed.

Thank you for reading.
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