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Typespotting: Sans serif electric supplies

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:09pm

Sometimes finding a new typeface you love is just a matter of taking a walk around your neighborhood. Once in a while I walk by this electric supply building on my way to the office, and every time I find myself staring at the letters.

I wish I knew where the name MALTBY comes from. The building front is so spare, and really makes the letters stand out. I was curious what our visual search tool would make of it.

I wasn’t expecting so many sign painting typefaces for this one. Bungee was probably the closest to what I’d been expecting in the results.

Bungee has a lot of personality — maybe even more than MALTBY does. While I loved that L with the exaggerated serif, I knew I’d want to look for an alternate in this case. I also had some reservations about the A and Y, probably the least-matched of the letter shapes overall.

I decided to try running the visual search again, this time highlighting only the letters M and A from the sign. This ended up yielding some very different results.

Museo Sans Rounded seemed much more similar to the sign than Bungee, with other options like Filson Soft also looking pretty close.

With that, I felt ready to take a stab at making a type specimen.

After some playing around, Museo Sans Rounded 900 looked a little too compact to me. I chose Filson Soft Heavy for the company name instead, and used Museo Sans Rounded 300 for the smaller type. I also switched up the name just for kicks.

Visual search made it fun to explore different type for an offbeat use case, and even though I didn’t end up using it I’m glad I got that introduction to Bungee. I’m definitely not going to look at that building the same way again.

Recently published by the Typekit team

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:32pm

Our outreach routinely goes beyond this blog, and as a team we have all kinds of publications to our name. Here’s a few that have published recently for a little Team Typekit reading list.

Ari Remoundakis & Meghan Arnold both have writing featured on Alphabettes this month. Ari’s description of bringing her parents along to a type conference is hilarious and great reading; she attended Typographics in New York earlier this year and decided to make it a family trip.

Our ever-organized Meghan has put together a fantastic gift-buying guide that supports women in typography — some awesome stuff in there. And don’t miss her lovely reflection on this year’s Hamilton Wayzgoose up in Two Rivers, WI.

Frank Grießhammer wrote about the work of digital typography pioneer Allen Vincent Hershey in two different small publications: Issue B of Footnotes and (with neat vintage photos from the ’60s) in Production Type’s Béziers, Hershey, & Lombardics: Minotaur Typeface compilation. This has been a long-running interest of Frank’s (some of you may remember his 2015 TypeCon talk on the subject) and these publications are really neat in their own right.

Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention Ken Lunde’s continued updates to all topics CJK type-related on his long-running CJK Type Blog. For anything related to technical details of East Asian type, his blog is a great resource.

Happy reading!

By the numbers: Great type for numerals

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 9:10am

Often overlooked, numerals are a special part of many typefaces. In some cases they may even carry more style and flair than the regular letters do.

I asked around the Typekit office for some ideas for fonts that are great for setting numbers, and got ample advice. Thanks especially to Jake Giltsoff, Meghan Arnold, Ariadne Remoundakis, and Tim Brown for your input — and to the whole team for narrowing down the vote on that zero at the last minute.

The slashed 0 of Mono45 Headline proved irresistible for this one. Zero is easily confused for uppercase O, but many of the monospace fonts in our library are specifically designed to avoid this in all kinds of clever ways.

Atrament features oldstyle figures as well as lining. The big 1 featured here is the default lining style (and bold rather than light), but the glyph palette will open all the other options to you as you work with this one.

Now we’re getting into some heavy territory. Maple Black takes up all the space you’ll give it, but it’s hard not to like its quirky personality — by far the most dynamic of all the Maple weights.

Lust has a number of different weights you’ll want to try out, but the uniting characteristic at all weights is the high contrast and wide counters. Look for a few alternate styles, too, on the 2, 5, and 8.

Always fun, Blenny will dominate anything else in your design and rightfully so. See even more of Blenny’s numbers on Meghan’s Advent Activism website.

Essonnes Headline shows off the graceful lines of this typeface and would be a great choice for a dressed-up invitation. There are plenty of alternates to play with for this one, too — and don’t miss the Thin weight for slightly more whimsy.

FF Carina numerals are striking on their own thanks to the unusual “wobble” in the counter. Oldstyle alternates are available for this one too, which can help blend numerals in with lines of text.

Oxtail should probably be on anyone’s shortlist for house numbers. We love the swooping curves here, and the big personality.

It can be hard to know where to start with a typeface like Variex, but looking at only the numbers is a neat exercise — especially when you run into an 8 like this one. Try increasing the weight size to see increasingly-abstracted versions of the shapes.

Blackcurrant is on its way to being a lava lamp, but that might suit the number 9 just fine. A little definitely goes a long way but there’s a lot to love about this unique typeface.

We used a decidedly undemocratic process for the type we’ve highlighted here, and Source Code Pro was a runner-up for choice zero. If the slashed zero is your jam, don’t fret — there’s an alternate to cover you here.

What are some of your favorite typefaces for numbers? Let us know here or on Twitter or Instagram — we’d love to see your picks!

Now in Marketplace: Fonts from Process Type Foundry

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:44am

Minnesota-based Process Type Foundry has a healthy new crop of fonts on our Marketplace — don’t miss it if you’ve been looking for the perfect typeface for a holiday greeting, a logotype, or beyond.

Process Type Foundry is one of our earliest foundry partners and we’re delighted to expand our relationship beyond web hosting to Marketplace — so you can get their fonts in more places!

Moniker Light, Scandia Bold, and Elena Light from Process Type Foundry

For a neat look inside the foundry, check out our interview with Nicole Dotin about her work back in 2011. Dotin’s Elena has been popular ever since its release, and for good reason — it’s a wonderfully adaptable serif that’s comfortable for long-form reading and plays up its grace at larger sizes. If it seems to suit your needs, don’t miss the package offering, which puts the whole family bundle in a single purchase.

One of our all-time favorites is Klavika from Eric Olson, shown here on a website we featured in a 2014 Sites We Like. (Sharp-eyed readers will note Elena in there too.) The straight vertical edges make for a strong impression without overwhelming or detracting from legibility, making Klavika a fantastic sans serif for a clean, modern look.

Capucine by Alice Savoie

We’re also excited to include Capucine by Alice Savoie. We’ve added a few of these styles to our regular subscription library, and of course you can find multiple packages for this on Marketplace too. It’s difficult to classify but carries an undeniable energy, and might be just what you need for type that really stands out.

Finally, for something extra stylish, the single-style typeface Pique by Nicole Dotin is well worth your consideration for something scripty but not at all fussy.

We’ve got a total of 17 families from Process Type Foundry — far more than we can cover in one post! See the whole collection on our Process Type Foundry page.

Fonts on Marketplace are a one-time purchase, and you can then use the fonts like any other you have access to via Creative Cloud: sync it to your desktop and use it in applications, or add it to a kit so you can use it on the web. (And no, you don’t need to keep paying for a subscription — you only need to keep Creative Cloud software running when you’d like to use the fonts you buy.) Learn more about Marketplace.

Introducing Ten Oldstyle

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 4:07pm

As type usage becomes increasingly globalized, type designers are increasingly called upon to extend the language coverage of their typefaces.

As a Western type designer, I’m often challenged to design non-Latin extensions for both new and existing designs. Because Latin has always been my initial focus, I’m used to adapting non-Latin scripts to work within Western typographic standards. In doing so, I seek to balance script compatibility with script authenticity. With the Ten Oldstyle project, the tables had turned, and I was now being called upon to develop a Latin roman design to accompany the new Ten Mincho font that was being developed by Adobe type designer Ryoko Nishizuka and the rest of Adobe’s Japan-based type team.

One of the challenges in designing a Latin counterpart for a Japanese font is to find ways to create a pleasing harmony between the two scripts when they are set together in text, while still aligning the Latin to the classical principles of Western type design. Unlike scripts such as Greek or Cyrillic, which have comparable design features and alignment zones for things like capital height and lowercase x-height, the Japanese alphabet has a significantly different single case square structure, and originated from a very different system of writing. In addition to needing to harmonize the Latin with the Japanese in a visual sense, it is important that they align in terms of typographic function and personality, given that they will be called upon to perform in identical typographic settings.

The Ten Oldstyle project began informally, when we were asked by the Japan team if we would be interested in producing a single roman font to accompany their new Mincho design. I had already developed a few trial Latin designs for another rumored Japanese type project, so when that project fell through, it made sense to use these fonts as a starting point for discussing the direction of Ten Oldstyle. Of the three trial designs, the Japanese team felt the most formal variation was the most promising, so I began to develop it as the working Ten Oldstyle design by modifying its features to embody more of the typographic qualities of Ten Mincho.

Initially, when we asked the Japanese team to describe the nature and functional uses of Ten Mincho, we received an email simply describing the font as being cute, mysterious, and ??? I didn’t really know how to interpret this information at the time, but from looking at the working design I could see that it possessed the formal characteristics of a text face, while also having a somewhat informal gestural appearance with only a moderate degree of stroke contrast. Ryoko later described to me in person the background of the design during a rare trip to San Jose to receive the “Founder’s Award” for her achievements at Adobe. She described Ten Mincho as being historically linked to the lettering styles used in the tile-block printed Kawaraban newspapers from the Edo period in Japan. These printed handbills were richly illustrated with animated caricatures of people and animals, and covered a topics ranging from the commemoration of social gatherings to the reporting of superstitious happenings and murders. Her description made the earlier more fanciful characterization more clear. The resulting Ten Mincho design harkens back to some of the spirit these handbills, and is being described as a general-purpose font for things such as advertising copy, book titles, and headings.

A promotional piece for Ten Mincho designed by Ryoko Nishizuka.

Given that Ten Mincho grew out of a rich calligraphic tradition of Japanese calligraphy, which is most often written with a pointed brush, I sought to imbue Ten Oldstyle with a comparable degree of calligraphic activity. Rather than mimicking the stroke style of Japanese calligraphy, I looked to the humanist writing tradition of the Italian Renaissance for inspiration. Even though these two writing systems have many opposing characteristics, including the writing instrument that is used to produce each script, they share similar organic properties derived from the act of writing, which acts as a unifying agent. The more formal upright manuscript hands of the later fifteenth century served as a direct model for early roman typefaces, and like these types, Ten Oldstyle exhibits much of the form and energy of humanist calligraphy. I also see Ten Oldstyle as possessing a lot of my own personal handlettering style, which helps give the forms added vibrance and depth. Finally, the design also embodies the soft-edge qualities and degree of contrast displayed in Ten Mincho.

One of the early tests using Ten Oldstyle and Ten Mincho together.

As the Ten Oldstyle design began to take form, I gave the design a weight axis, spanning from light text to bold, so that the Japanese team would be able to calibrate the weight and relative size of Ten Oldstyle to best match Ten Mincho according to their specifications. A set of italic designs soon followed, and while Latin italics aren’t necessarily a requirement in multi-lingual Japanese typography, they add another dimension of depth and functionality to the project.

James Thomson, The City of Dreadful Night (excerpt). Written between 1870 and 1873.

While most of the design development occurred without much interaction with the Japan type team, there were two noteworthy instances where I made revisions based on their input. The first was to replace the question mark with a more conventional form that would be more recognizable to a Japanese audience. The second revision involved adding a small amount of weight to the serifs to reflect a late design modification that was made to Ten Mincho.

Ryoko’s diagram which accompanied the Japan team’s request that the serifs be made slightly heavier.

With Ten Oldstyle now taking the form of a small type family, it made sense to also release it to a Western audience as a four weight family with matching italics. The end result might be described as a low-contrast semi-formal book face–a style which isn’t all that common among oldstyle fonts. These traits lend themself particularly well to reading on-screen text, especially when the content is of an expressive nature.

All in all, the project went very smoothly, and it was a nice reprise from some of the larger projects I’m currently involved with. It was also rewarding to work on a project that was tailored to a specific purpose, in which the project requirements often call for one to seek out new creative solutions. I’d like to thank everyone that was involved with the project, including the talented and very pleasant Japanese type team; David Lemon who helped to initiate the project, Dan Rhatigan for his ongoing advice and support; Miguel Sousa for lending his technical expertise, Ken Lunde for acting as a technical contributor and intermediary for the two groups, and finally to Ernie March who cheerfully took on the final production tasks, including testing and mastering the family.

Ten Oldstyle is available for sync and web use on Typekit and can also be purchased on Fontspring.

Charming mischief: Introducing Ten Mincho from Adobe Originals

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 4:03pm

Ten Mincho is the latest Japanese typeface design from Adobe Originals, designed by Ryoko Nishizuka, Chief Type Designer at Adobe. We’ve added it to the Typekit library for web and sync, which is included with paid Creative Cloud plans for no additional cost.

Prominent in the design are the dynamic characteristics of hand-written characters, as well as a stroke formation style that is typically seen in the Kawaraban printed newspapers from the mid- to late Edo period (1603–1863) in Japan. As a traditional Mincho-style design the strokes are slightly heavy and rounded, and exhibit smaller counter spaces. Ten Mincho will be useful for a broad range of settings, such as advertising copy, book titles, and headings.

For a little surprise tucked away in the glyphs, a marten (“Ten” in Japanese) is right at home. Twelfth-century ink illustrations such as Choju-giga (????) were the inspiration here, and it’s a charming addition to the design.

“Generally typefaces in the Mincho style are classified into traditional and modern styles,” explains Nishizuka, “but I had been wondering if this multi-purpose typeface couldn’t take a different direction — something traditional yet spirited, inspired by some hand-written kana characters I happened upon.”

Ten Mincho also features a full set of Latin glyphs, collectively known as Ten Oldstyle and designed by Robert Slimbach, Adobe Type’s Principal Designer. Ten Oldstyle combines the immediacy of calligraphic writing with the practicality of classical humanist book types of the Italian Renaissance.

This fully-functional and relatively feature-rich Latin subset includes OpenType features that are generally not found in Japanese fonts, which provide support for small caps, tabular figures, old-style figures, and more — along with a separate italic face.

Design collaboration

Ryoko Nishizuka and Robert Slimbach at the Adobe San Jose office.

In order to make Ten Mincho a harmonious typographic system, Nishizuka and Slimbach compared notes all the way through the design process.

“It was more difficult than I had expected to design Ten Mincho to suit both display and body text without significantly distorting the traditional form, and it took a while to settle on a design,” says Nishizuka. “Creating a new variant on Mincho style required a lot of research and several rounds of modification, and it wasn’t easy to give kanji the same dynamic expression as the kana characters.”

She persevered with her work on Ten Mincho, and around the time she’d begin to settle on her design direction, she saw some work in progress on a serif typeface from Slimbach and admired the calligraphic touch. “I thought its style might harmonize well with Ten Mincho, so I reached out to him hoping that he’d be interested in consciously developing the serif design to pair naturally with it.”

Slimbach notes that from the outset, the nature of this project presented an interesting challenge. “Japanese and Latin fonts don’t naturally relate in terms of their structure, alignments, and proportions, so it was a special challenge to devise a Latin counterpart that is compatible with Ten Mincho in terms of both function and general appearance.”

Nishizuka was impressed by Slimbach’s work from the beginning of their collaboration. “I felt strongly that we would make the collaboration successful with a shared intention for the two designs, even if particular character elements and shapes are different between Japanese and Western type,” she says.

Some common attributes of book typography presented a useful starting point for the designers. Slimbach observes, “The presence of the human hand is clearly present throughout the Ten Mincho family. The handwritten basis of both Japanese and Latin book types—while dissimilar in practice—provided a means for creating a visual link between the Western and Japanese scripts.”

Nishizuka speaks to a similar philosophy regarding her own approach. “When harmonizing Japanese and Western type designs,” she says, “it’s important to decide which design properties should be aligned. I prefer not to force conformity upon every detail. Instead I believe harmony comes when the designs are historically consistent, and the weights and counter spaces are well-balanced on the whole.”

Meeting face-to-face gave the designers the opportunity to walk through sketches together and get a better understanding of how the shared vision for the typeface would come together — and how to translate the spirit of Ten Mincho into Slimbach’s Latin glyphs.

Collaboration resulted in changes to both Latin and Japanese elements of Ten Mincho. Slimbach made the serifs thicker to attain better balance; meanwhile Nishizuka adjusted several of the Japanese glyphs to better harmonize without losing their dynamic spirit. She remarks, “I think there’s a certain impish personality fused into the traditional Mincho style, and the shapes of Ten Mincho reflect this. I really believe the final design is the unique result of our collaborative work, and would not have turned out the same way if we’d done the designs separately.”

Coming soon: Color SVG & OTC deployment

We’ve released Ten Mincho with black and white versions of several fun glyphs, and our next release in 2018 will introduce color SVG versions of these designs.

At that point we’ll also make Ten Mincho available as an OpenType Collection (OTC). In contrast to our previous open source OTC deployments, such as the Source Han (Pan-CJK) families, Ten Mincho OTC will be exclusively a commercial offering.

For the time being, Ten Mincho is available on Typekit for web and sync. For more information on the technical development of Ten Mincho, look no further than the CJK Type Blog.

Enjoy Ten Mincho, and let us know what you think! Adobe Type is on Twitter, and we’re always happy to answer questions at

Hitting the Road with Hamilton Woodtype

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:00am

Gorgeous prints and posters promoting the traveling wonders and merriment of days long gone will now hit the road themselves thanks to a collaboration between Adobe Typekit and the Hamilton Woodtype & Printing Museum.

The Enquirer Collection exhibit was unveiled at the Hamilton Wayzgoose conference earlier this month in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, framed in custom travel-ready cases. We chatted with Artistic Director Bill Moran about this new endeavor.

What is the Enquirer Collection? Why is it going on the road?
The Enquirer Collection is a group of printing plates, wood type, vintage posters and correspondence letters from Enquirer Printing, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company was founded in 1895 and was one of the country’s premier circus and entertainment letterpress shops. The shop is run by brothers Mike and John Anderson who are 4th generation printers working in the company founded by their great grandfather. The shop was especially well known for the beautifully carved, multi colored wood block plates.

Hamilton acquired the collection in 2015 and is in the process of cataloging the 4,000+ blocks that will not only be printed at the museum but also be exhibited as original works of American advertising art. Most of these blocks and their accompanying posters haven’t been seen by the general public in over 70 years. Because of the exceptional beauty of these plates, we’ve decided to share this collection with the larger design community as an example of how sophisticated entertainment advertising was in the early to mid 20th century.

What was the catalyst for the traveling exhibit?
When Adobe Typekit approached us with the intent of supporting of the museum, we wanted to channel their gift into sharing this collection with a wider audience. We realized that a professionally designed and secure traveling exhibit would allow us to showcase the collection at various design, letterpress and printing venues around the country.

Who is involved in putting this exhibit together?
Museum director Jim Moran and artistic director Bill Moran began with assessing the need to protect both original prints and restrikes from the collection. Exhibit designer Dan Spock visited the museum in 2016 and suggested we enlist fixture designer Amanda Wambach to create industry-standard cases that would stand up to freight transportation requirements. In turn Amanda recommended Grant Wibben to manufacture the cases. A key part of the manufacturing process was to create a traveling crate that would adequately protect the cases during transport.

Where would you like to see this exhibit travel?
Design conferences, rare book libraries, corporate design venues, and book arts centers.

Who is the audience for this exhibit?
Graphic designers, typographers, letterpress printers and American art lovers of all stripes.

When can it get on the road?
We’re ready to get this on the road after April of 2018.

How can organizations/events host the exhibition?
Reach out to Bill Moran to schedule. There is a fee for transporting and rental of the exhibit.

Do you foresee the cases being used for non-Enquirer exhibits in the future?
As of now the Enquirer Collection is the primary use for the cases. We designed them to also hold the blocks themselves. When the exhibit isn’t traveling it will hold various items from the museum’s permanent collection of prints.

Anything else you’d like to add?
In many ways Typekit has been instrumental in helping the museum realize its vision of being the premier collection of printing history and a place where new printing is done every day. They and many others have helped to get us where we are today. Thanks!

All images courtesy of Hamilton Woodtype & Printing Museum

New on Typekit: Load web fonts with CSS

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 8:00am

In August, we launched an Early Access preview for serving web fonts without JavaScript. Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve rolled these capabilities out to all our customers.

With the CSS embed code, you can use web fonts from Typekit in HTML email, Google AMP, and custom stylesheets, and more — places that our previous reliance on JavaScript prevented us from supporting. Starting today you’ll see the new CSS embed code in our kit editor, where it’s available as an HTML link tag or CSS @import statement.

Any existing websites with the default JavaScript embed code will continue to work with no change on your end, but you can change to the CSS embed code if you wish by grabbing it from the kit. When you create a new kit, the CSS embed code is the new default — and you still have the option to choose the advanced JavaScript embed code if you need it, whether for dynamic subsetting or fine-tuned control over font loading behavior.

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback that people are excited to finally use fonts from the Typekit library in their email campaigns, and we’re pleased to support it! It was also great to see LitmusApp added us to their “Ultimate Guide to Web Fonts in Email” on the tail of our Early Access announcement.

Since the Early Access release, we’ve added support for our partners using the Typekit Platform API – which means you can now serve Typekit fonts using the CSS embed code for your customers. See our documentation for more info about using our APIs.

Some folks have asked if we have a preference for the font-display CSS property. The font-display descriptor has been introduced in drafts of the CSS 4 specification to provide tighter control over when to display a font. Since the property is not yet widely supported in browsers, we won’t be applying our own preferences to the CSS output that we serve at this time. In the future, we’d like to expose this functionality so you can set your own preferences.

We’re looking forward to see what you build using CSS web font serving from Typekit! Here are some resources for getting started:

Myriad Devanagari and Myriad Bengali: New Brahmic type from Adobe Type

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 9:07am

It is with great satisfaction that I present the two newest additions from Adobe Type to the Typekit library, Myriad Devanagari and Myriad Bengali. Designed by Vaibhav Singh and Neelakash Kshetrimayum, respectively, these typefaces translate the design of our popular Myriad family to the most-used writing systems of India.

From the beginning, the concept for these families was to make them harmonize in spirit with Myriad, Adobe’s best-loved sans serif design, and to continue building out the general usability for the Myriad superfamily. Existing Myriad families already included script coverage for Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic writing systems. Designing Devanagari and Bengali extensions of Myriad provides a powerful typographic system for designers who may need to set text in various languages using a consistent style.

Writing systems supported by Myriad families (from left-to-right, top-to-bottom): Devanagari, Greek, Latin, Bengali, Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew.

In addition to usability, an equally important concern was the appropriateness of the design for digital display. The design principles that govern Myriad—letterforms informed by writing, generous counters, bright joins, simplified detailing—are all hallmarks of type design that works well for screen-based media. In adapting the typographic features for Devanagari and Bengali, we took great care to balance the traditional calligraphic conventions of these scripts with the spirit and simplicity of Myriad.

Some calligraphic details of the Brahmic writing systems (highlighted in orange) have been retained, other features (in green) have been rationalized to be more neutral, similar to the original Myriad design.

Vaibhav and Neel, both extremely talented designers, have previously worked with us on the Adobe Gurmukhi and Adobe Bengali types. It was very important to me to involve Robert Slimbach to find the right balance of “Myriadness” for these family extensions as he was one of Myriad’s principal designers, along with Carol Twombly, and had also designed the Arabic and Hebrew extensions of the family. Fiona Ross also consulted on these projects, providing guidance and ensuring that our design decisions were appropriate for the Indian scripts.

The resulting designs for Myriad Devanagari and Bengali are sturdy and dynamic, combining moderately low contrast with traditional proportions, and detailing informed by calligraphy. On screen, the resulting text leaves a strong impression and avoids a dull, heavy texture that can be a pitfall for many sans serifs.

The contrast of Adobe Bengali Bold (left) is is much higher than Myriad Bengali Bold (right). This is shown by the relative weight of the heaviest strokes, highlighted in green, and the thinnest, in orange.

Although the stroke contrast of Myriad Devanagari (right) is considerably reduced in comparison to Adobe Devanagari (left), stroke joins are kept open to provide a pleasing texture in running text.

Each of these new families includes 10 styles, featuring five weights from light to black with accompanying obliques. This suite of variations provides a wide range of typographic options typically unavailable for these writing systems. Myriad Devanagari supports the languages Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and Sanskrit. Myriad Bengali supports Bangla and Assamese languages. These fonts can be used on the web or synced for desktop use from Typekit, and you’ll find perpetual licenses for them on Fontspring.

Brahmic type design at Adobe

These two new families have been designed and produced as part of an Adobe Originals initiative to provide our customers with premium quality fonts for the top 10 languages of India. This project began in 2005 with the development of Adobe Devanagari by Tiro Typeworks for our library. In 2012, Adobe moved Brahmic type development efforts in-house, collaborating with external designers to produce well-crafted fonts for additional Indian writing systems.

Until now, all of these released Brahmic type designs have been specifically tuned for use in print media in order to meet the needs of our print publishing customers on the Indian subcontinent. The release of Myriad Devanagari and Myriad Bengali, both developed with screen display as a primary use case, is a notable shift in our Brahmic type design philosophy.

Personally, I’m excited that these typefaces are breaking new ground, and it’s always very humbling to work with such talented designers in the process. I feel that it took all of our combined efforts to make these new type families a reality, and I’m looking forward to what’s next.

New variable fonts from Adobe Originals

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 7:18am

Photoshop and Illustrator announced plenty of new features at Adobe MAX this week, include some exciting typographic features we’ve been anticipating: support for OpenType variable fonts.

This new font format allows users to customize the styles within a typeface design, effectively giving them an entire family of fonts in a single file. We’ve included a few Adobe Originals families with this release of Illustrator and Photoshop to make it easier for you to explore what variable fonts can do.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of this week’s typographic updates from the Photoshop team.

Don’t miss the Illustrator announcement, either, which introduces its own nifty typographic controls.

We chose six families to best show what the new format will allow, and how the possibilities may differ from one typeface to another. Five of these are from our Variable Concept font collection, allowing you to play with the full variable design space on some of our most popular Adobe Originals families (although you’ll only have a limited character set for now).

  • Myriad Variable Concept allows you to see how the weight and width styles of Myriad Pro can interact as you adjust each property.
  • Acumin Variable Concept allows you to adjust weight, width, and even the slant angle, combining all of Acumin’s 90 variants in a single dynamic font file.
  • Minion Variable Concept is a special treat — a preview of a major update to the Minion family that will be released in the near future. Although you won’t yet get to see all the features of the new Minion, you’ll be able to adjust its revamped weight and optical size settings with this version.

From the Source superfamily, Source Sans Variable, Source Serif Variable, and Source Code Variable all allow you to play with the weight range in each design, and they also contain the complete character set of the Pro versions.

In addition to using the Source Variable families in Photoshop and Illustrator, you can download them from our GitHub page so you can try them out in other applications and environments as the support for variable fonts becomes more widespread. We’ll keep you posted as that support develops! Check out our roundup of variable fonts news and follow the discussions on TypeDrawers.

Introducing visual search on Typekit

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 3:00am

Whether your inspiration comes from signage, posters, flat artwork, or that weird billboard you drive by all the time, our visual search feature brings a new dimension to the way you find type with Typekit. We launched an Early Access preview for visual search back in September, and today we’re very proud to announce that we’ve rolled these capabilities out to everyone.

Start with a photo of type you’ve seen, and send it through visual search to find the fonts in our inventory that are visually similar to it. From your desktop or your mobile device, you can highlight a specific line of type from your photo to control the search, and then sync the fonts you like best right away.

Want visual search from Typekit in your app?

We’ve made the APIs available, too. Learn more.

Start a visual search from any page on Typekit — drag & drop, or upload directly on mobile.

Adobe Capture CC also got a makeover for MAX and now includes Type Capture, a new feature powered by the same Adobe Sensei technology as the new visual search on Typekit. Now as you snap pictures of type on the go, you can save similar fonts as character styles and use them in your favorite desktop apps like Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Adobe Capture uses the same Sensei technology as Typekit to find similar fonts on the go.

Get started now — on Typekit, either look for the camera icon in the search box to find or capture your photo, or check out the Discover page for tips and even more inspiration.

You might start noticing type in more interesting places!

Need a walkthrough? If our Early Access blog post doesn’t clear things up, reach out to us directly at and we’ll help you out.

Adobe Sensei as a service: Visual search APIs released for developers

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 3:00am

If you’re a developer who loves type, and you want to share that love with the people using your apps — we’ve got great news. Starting today, we’ve made the API for our visual search feature available on

Visual search from Typekit pairs our team’s typographic savvy with Adobe Sensei’s machine-learning technology, and in fact is the first Adobe Sensei capability to be released to the public as a service. With these APIs, your users can upload any photo of lettering or type and visual search will return a list of similar typefaces on Typekit.

When you enable visual search from Typekit in your own apps, you’ll be engaging with your users from the very beginning of their creative process — regardless of typographic skill level. Consider the initial design research phase of a creative professional. It’s impossible to know where and when inspiration will strike, but it’s pretty likely that user has a camera-enabled smartphone. An integration with our visual search means they can tap into a vast network of typographic knowledge early on.

In addition to the updated APIs, we’ve continued with our policy of providing fully thought-out documentation to accompany this new feature. You’ll find well-organized design patterns, API reference materials, and full endpoint documentation at your disposal on Have a look, and eliminate the guesswork in your development cycle.

Our visual search documentation includes well-organized design patterns.

We believe there is immense value in enabling customers to find, get, organize, and use fonts from Typekit without ever leaving the application they’re working in. That’s why we’ve been hard at work on reimagining how we support integrating the Typekit service into apps. Got questions? Get in touch with us about what you’re working on, and how you’d like to integrate type. We’d love to hear your ideas.

Type sessions at Adobe MAX

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 7:40am

Last week we told you all about what we have going on in our Typekit City booth at Adobe MAX. Today we want to highlight the awesome type-centric talks and workshops going on at the conference, as well as a some special events. There’s even a couple of livestreams hosted by our own Ariadne Remoundakis for those tuning in from home.

Tuesday, October 17

8:30 am to 5 pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Hand-drawn Type & Lettering: From Line to Sign
Dr. Shelley Gruendler

Good design needs good typography and great design needs great typography. Individual letters are the base for nearly all forms of communication and by understanding how today’s letterforms emerged, we can better design letterforms for the future. In this pre-conference workshop, stretch your creativity by designing a unique and totally distinctive letterform. You’ll begin with an abstract form derived from everyday objects and then grow and refine your form in accordance with how alphabets of the world have evolved. The abstract beginning of the letterform will become real as it is adapted and modified. Your creativity will expand as your glyph evolves.

Wednesday, October 18

3 to 6 pm
Workshop: Best Tips and Tricks for Beautiful Brush Lettering
Laura Worthington and Debi Sementelli

Learn the basics and beyond in this brush lettering workshop. We’ll start with the essentials — from tools and materials to brush manipulation and handling, creating core letterforms and structures, adding flourishes, and refining your lettering — and finally put it all together in one or more completed works for your portfolio. Previous experience in hand lettering isn’t necessary. All supplies will be provided.

6 pm
Book signing:The Golden Secrets of Lettering
Community Pavilion
Martina Flor

Thursday, October 19

8:15 to 9:30 am
Talk: Typography Tips Everyone Should Know
Lara McCormick

Studies show that good typography improves mood, comprehension, and cognitive skills. In the race for people’s attention, details matter. As a result, an increasing number of non-designers are realizing that typography matters to their brand, their customers, and their success. So your type game better be on point!

2:45 to 4 pm
Talk: Lettering Design from Sketch to Final Artwork
Martina Flor

Dig deep into the art of lettering. Lettering artist Martina Flor will unveil the secrets behind the craft of lettering and walk you through the steps from hand sketch to final digital artwork. Learn the essentials of sketching and how to get the best out of your drawing. Gain techniques to go from analog to digital by drawing letter shapes in Illustrator and adding color and texture. Finally, get insight into how to get better at your craft while building a portfolio of work.

5 to 6 pm
Livestream: Live Lettering
Martina Flor & Neil Summerour hosted by Typekit’s Ariadne Remoundakis

Friday, October 20

8 to 11 am
Workshop: Best Tips and Tricks for Beautiful Brush Lettering
Laura Worthington and Debi Sementelli

10:15 to 11:30 am
Talk: Typography Tips Everyone Should Know
Lara McCormick

10:30 am to 12 pm
Workshop: Behance Portfolio Reviews
Including Dr. Shelley Gruendler, Type Camp Founder

1:30 to 4:30 pm
Workshop: Expressive Lettering
Gemma O’Brien

Join Australian artist Gemma O’Brien for a hands-on workshop that will teach you how to create expressive and dynamic lettering pieces. Gemma will begin with live demos of brush script and experimental ink techniques before moving into methods of combining illustration and text into a single design. This class is perfect for beginners or those who wish to build on their existing lettering skills. All supplies will be provided.

2:30 to 3:45 pm
Talk: Lettering Design from Sketch to Final Artwork
Martina Flor

3 to 4 pm
Livestream: Live Photoshop Compositing
Brooke Didonato hosted by Ariadne Remoundakis

Advanced web font loading with Typekit’s CSS embed code

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:49am

When we introduced our CSS-only embed code, we wanted to provide users with the feature they’ve been asking us for over the last several years – a simple, JavaScript-less, single line embed code that they could use anywhere.

But some of you may have noticed that something is missing. In our JavaScript embed code, we give you the opportunity to control things such as loading the fonts asynchronously, and adding custom timeout for when the embed code should stop trying to load fonts on your page for users. But you don’t have to give up on all of those optimizations that JavaScript can help you with in order to use our CSS embed code! There are ways to mitigate the problem.

We can’t propose a native CSS-only solution to this problem yet; at the time of this writing, we don’t have access to the new font-display CSS property in all browsers. In the meantime, we can look to other JavaScript libraries to control the code on your page.

Font Face Observer — a small, simple, and easy-to-use JavaScript library developed by our very own Bram Stein — allows browsers to load system fallback fonts first, while tracking when web fonts are loaded. It can then add a custom CSS class to your elements, which will apply your specified web fonts once they have been downloaded. You might be wondering why you would forgo using Typekit’s JavaScript embed code in order to maintain your own copy of a JavaScript font loading library, and the answer is this: speed, and advanced usage.

From a speed perspective, hosting your own JavaScript gives you only a slight advantage. Typekit has a vast number of nodes through our Content Delivery Network (CDN) to ensure that your fonts are cached around the world, so that they can be delivered to your content viewers as quickly as possible. However, you might notice a slight speed boost on initial loads by hosting a copy of the Font Face Observer library, and referencing Typekit’s new CSS embed code within.

Another perk of going through the exercise of controlling how fonts load on your page is that you can choose a lightweight library — one that is smaller than Typekit’s kit JavaScript — while still getting the advantage of loading Typekit fonts asynchronously, which prevents calls referencing the external font files from blocking the initial rendering of a page.

Now that we’ve explored the reasons you might be interested in trying a lightweight library such as Font Face Observer, let’s try it out!

First, download the source for the Font Face Observer. You can also install it using npm, as referenced in the documentation. For this example, we’ll use a locally copied version of fontfaceobserver.js from the github repository.

Next, make sure you have Early Access turned on at and create a kit for your website. (You can also use this technique on an existing kit on Typekit.) Once you’ve created your kit, visit the “Embed Code” section of the kit editor.

Once there, copy your CSS embed code to use in your project—you’ll see where to use it in the example below.

Since Font Face Observer detects and notifies you when fonts are loaded, you need to create a special class that the JavaScript will add to your DOM when the fonts are loaded and ready for use. In our example below, we are using the class fonts-loaded, but you can use anything.

Make sure to add the font-family name that Typekit provides you in the Kit Editor to ensure you’ve added the proper font families that are in your kit.

For our example, we modified our body and h1 CSS elements to first be loaded with the default system fonts, and then, once Font Face Observer detects that the fonts have finished downloading, it will apply our fonts-loaded class with the Typekit fonts we’ve selected from our kit.

body {
font-family: sans-serif;
.fonts-loaded body {
font-family: 'brandon-grotesque', sans-serif;
h1 {
.fonts-loaded h1 {
font-family: 'chaparral-pro', sans-serif;

Then, you can use the Font Face Observer library to apply your font-family style once the fonts are done downloading. Below is the full example of what you would insert at the bottom of your document, before the closing <body> tag.

(function () {
var script = document.createElement('script');
script.src = 'fontfaceobserver.js';
script.async = true;
script.onload = function () {
var chaparral = new FontFaceObserver('chaparral-pro', {weight: 400});
var chaparral_heavy = new FontFaceObserver('chaparral-pro', {weight: 700});
var brandon = new FontFaceObserver('brandon-grotesque');
Promise.all([chaparral.load(), chaparral_heavy.load(), brandon.load()]).then(function () {

Now that you have a basic idea of how to use Font Face Observer with Typekit’s CSS embed code, try it out and let us know what you think! We’re excited to see how people can expand their usage of Typekit using advanced techniques like this one.

Visit Typekit City at Adobe MAX

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:28am

Typographic souvenirs, live lettering, and feature demos. All await you in Typekit City at Booth 103 in the Adobe MAX Community Pavilion this year.

Build a city of type with #TypekitCity

If you’re reading this blog, we have a hunch you’ll be photographing great type while you’re exploring Las Vegas. When you post on Instagram or Twitter make sure to use #TypekitCity. Your photos will automatically print to the Typekit City booth. Stop by the booth and leave one on our walls and take the other home!

Find your new favorite font with visual search

Our team is looking forward to showing off the new visual search feature on Typekit. We can’t wait to demo it for you in the booth. Stop by at any time, or come for formal demos each day from 2 to 3 p.m. We suggest trying it out on your #TypekitCity stickers. You can put them in a souvenir Scout Book and write down all the favorite new fonts you find!

Meet the muralist

We’re pleased to host Adobe Creative Resident, Rosa Kammermeier, each day as she live letters a wall in our city. Meet Rosa and see her work evolve over the three days in the pavilion. Stop by Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. or Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Shape the future of Typekit

Feedback from type lovers and type users like you is what continues to help Typekit evolve. Fill out a short survey card in the booth and receive some extra Tk goodies. You can also sign up for future research opportunities.

Check out the Type Village

Meet our foundry partners at the kiosks next to Typekit City! This year we’ll be joined by:

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