Since the proliferation of digital fonts in the late nineties, astute advertisers have recognized the benefits that come from optimizing various aspects of fonts and customizing them to provide additional distinctiveness. For an even longer period large corporations have acknowledged the subtle psychological advantages by maximizing readability of the same medium that is entrusted to convey their messages. The benefits of making minor improvements to fonts’ ability to communicate cannot be underestimated.
There are dozens of ways modern digital fonts can be customized, such as simply adding a glyph or two, adding a logo or other symbol, fixing spacing and kerning issues, changing font format, making a new font with a different proportion, perhaps a whole family of weights, proportions or slants.
Type Associates consults to advertising agencies, designers, publishers and other font users to customize existing fonts* or create new fonts from the ground up. Finished fonts can be generated in Opentype, Truetype and a variety of webfont formats.
Optical Size Versions
Many font users may be unaware that their early digital fonts were in fact generated from the display size designs of typefaces that were originally intended for text usage. In other words, the typefaces have been digitized from the drawings of 72 point masters for example and modern technology and reproduction methods, advancements in printing technology and papers take care of the optical size requirement. The result being that fonts appear to be spindly at small sizes and possibly break up when reversed out of dark and multi-toned backgrounds. To overcome this problem we have developed a procedure for improving the readability of text when using scaleable fonts by creating optical size versions of fonts for use within a narrow range of sizes – say 7 point through to 10 point, beyond which the original display size design may suffice.
Variable Fonts technology
A recent advancement in fonting technology follows on from the optical size solution providing users with interpolated instances of pre-determined weight and width masters at opposite corners of the design space. For example: masters are Extra Light (weight) Extra Condensed (width) at one corner of the spectrum and Extra Bold Extended diagonally opposite – it is possible to “dial in” an instance that may be anywhere between those two masters, perhaps a Semibold Semi Condensed. Four masters would be needed for this example, one each for the extremes of weight and width and the end result is achieved by interpolation. Masters that include other variables of italic slant, serifs etc can be added to the mix providing almost infinite possibilities.
As font editing is a specialised and exacting skill, it not only requires a knowledge of font technology but typographic and visual expertise as well. We have more than 50 years experience in typeface design and have made contributions to most of the world’s major font libraries, mastered all the major font editing programs to ensure our customers’ reliable, trouble-free font data on all platforms.
Editing existing fonts
We can edit existing fonts (conditional on proof of license agreement), create new styles in weight, proportion or angle axiis, create lined variants and add-in new characters, symbols or logos. We can generate new cross-platform fonts in Truetype as well as Opentype which allows for a greater number of glyphs and can include numerous intelligent features such as multi-glyph ligature substitution, swash initials and other stylistic variations or alternatives, fractions, ordinals or small capitals or ornaments.
Add logos, symbols or signatures
Complex vector graphic logo artwork can be divided into keyable divisions enabling a logo or symbol to be ‘keystroked’ just like all other text. Logos can be added to existing fonts and allocated to an unused key or combination of keys if practical, or, stand-alone fonts can be created perhaps incorporating other vector graphics like a signature and used in your documents like any other font.
Additional Opentype Features
Opentype fonts may permit automatic substitution of glyphs if the feature is turned on in the app’s Opentype palette.
For example: if Discretionary Ligatures exist in the font and a Feature is included, the user may change a combination of glyphs for a ligature of those glyphs that has been designed to improve appearance, fit or avoid elements clashing. Common ligatures are doubles; ee gg ll mm nn oo, or stylistically embellished combinations such as Th. Modern Opentype fonts usually include Stylistic Sets that pre-determine combinations of features that can be switched on or off by the user.
New fonts from scratch and customized.
The examples in the slider below are either existing fonts that our clients have provided evidence of permission to make changes to or, in some instances new artwork created in Adobe Illustrator and applied to a font grid. Some showings may not reveal the subtle changes that make a huge impact on an ad campaign or the simplification that their mere existence may have provided to the user.