New Additions: July 2015
5th August 2015
We add hundreds of fonts to the Identifont database every month. Most of these are recent releases, and some are simply new acquisitions from foundries who were not yet represented on our site. Stephen Coles gives his take on the most interesting recent additions.
Slabo is a typeface commissioned by Google for improving the typography of their online advertising — specifically, AdWords. Because AdWords is such a controlled platform (a set number of characters with a large 27px headline and 13px text), Slabo was tuned to this environment, with separate fonts for each size. The Humanist slab design is clear and contemporary, without any obvious visual traits — only what was necessary for legibility. Similar predecessors with larger families include PMN Caecilia and TheSerif.
A recent trend in retail font sales is to offer stylistic packages rather than traditional families. These suites or collections contain a handful of typefaces that span different categories (sans, script, display) but share a similar hand-rendered style or intended application. As mentioned in the January blog post, Laura Worthington was one of a few who pioneered this current craze. Always one to recognize and capitalize on current fashions, Hannes von Döhren has followed suit with his Goodlife collection. Goodlife is looser than other families in this genre, with a sketchy unevenness that conveys an unfinished (and perhaps more personable) quality. Everything except Goodlife Brush could have been doodled by someone with reasonable skill and an ordinary pen. Personally, I find this style to be overused in branding and advertising these days, but at least Goodlife offers a fairly convincing and legible (despite its roughness) option for those who can’t resist the fad.
While we’re talking about less traditional type families, it makes perfect sense to mention Buendia. While the styles are given familiar names — Thin, Regular, Medium, Italic, Bold, Extra Bold — the group is a mix of classifications, from sans to serif to bulbous display. This novel design comes from Bogota, Columbia’s César Puertas who has spent several years of practicing and teaching graphic design, and even producing a few fonts, but this is clearly his best effort yet.
Finland-based Mika Melvas, who has issued a bevy of (mostly script) typefaces over the last 5 years. Sivellin lacks the exciting, individual style of Signalist or Saline, but it fits in an uncommon niche of signpainter’s brush scripts that is occupied by few other typefaces. Perhaps only Kinescope and Las Vegas Fabulous have such large caps paired with a small lowercase. One reason there are so few brush scripts with these proportions is that they require a lot of space — but once the stage is set, they can be rather dashing.
Télémaque FY separates itself from other Didones by replacing the usual ball terminals with a flaring stroke, sliced on an angle like a scimitar. This can be a striking detail at large sizes, but I’m not sure it’s successful in text, and more importantly, it also leaves some endings feeling feeble where a conventional teardrop would balance the weight of a high-contrast letter: see ‘j’, ‘r’, ‘y’, and especially ‘J’. Typographers seeking an idiosyncratic Didone might be happier in the long run, and in more settings, with Didot Elder or Ambroise.
Typnic Script joins the dozens of other contemporary calligraphic scripts that have appeared on the market in the last three years or so, but it has a sophistication and writing quality that lands it amid the top of that heap. The fonts have plenty of alternates, but it doesn’t need them to render a smooth flow. (A few more standard ligatures, though, would reduce repetitive shapes and make it feel more like real writing,) The Compact option, with a smaller uppercase, is also handy. Typnic’s huge bundle of swashes can be as over-the-top as any others in this genre, but they bend and twirl in logical ways. It shows that Manuel Corradine — this post’s second Columbian! — isn’t merely a bandwagon-jumping poser, but really can handle a pen. Incidentally, I’ve actually seen Corradine in action myself at a workshop last year in São Paulo, so I know it’s true.