I vs I

Better Letterer

Comic lettering tips from Nate Piekos, who has created some of the industry’s most popular fonts and has used them to letter comic books for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Image Comics.

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Craft and creativity

Blambot’s comic lettering tips

“These infographics were originally posted on Nate Piekos’s social media accounts, and are collected [on Blambot’s website] for your reference!”

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Mozilla logo

Mozilla’s new brand identity

I don’t do many posts highlighting new brand identity work, but I really like this. Some might reasonably argue that the design is too clever, but I feel like that’s fine for this company logo. If this were the new Firefox logo, that might be a different matter.

Mozilla logo variants

Our logo with its nod to URL language reinforces that the Internet is at the heart of Mozilla. We are committed to the original intent of the link as the beginning of an unfiltered, unmediated experience into the rich content of the Internet.

The font for the wordmark and accompanying copy lines is Zilla. Created for us by Typotheque in the Netherlands, Zilla is free and open to all. [The font will be made available later.]

Mozilla bespoke typeface

We chose to partner with Peter Bilak from Typotheque because of their deep knowledge of localization of fonts, and our commitment to having a font that includes languages beyond English. Prior to partnering with Typotheque, we received concepts and guidance from Anton Koovit and FontSmith.

Selected to evoke the Courier font used as the original default in coding, Zilla has a journalistic feel reinforcing our commitment to participate in conversations about key issues of Internet health. It bucks the current convention of sans serif fonts.

Anyone can create the Mozilla logo by typing and highlighting with the Zilla font, making the logo open and democratic.

The black box surrounding the logo is a key building block of the design, and echoes the way we all select type in toolbars and programs.

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Craft and creativity

Mozilla’s new brand identity

“At the core of this project is the need for Mozilla’s purpose and brand to be better understood by more people. We want to be known as the champions for a healthy Internet. An Internet where we are all free to explore and discover and create and innovate without barriers or limitations. Where power is in the hands of many, not held by few. An Internet where our safety, security and identity are respected.” — Mozilla

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My Type of Beer, a fun typography-flavoured packaging portfolio piece by Alec Hughes.

(via Page)

Craft and creativity

My Type of Beer

Fun typography-flavoured beer can designs by Alec Hughes, a student of Falmouth University.

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How to measure typographic accessibility

Fontsmith: The illustrations use one of our most accessible typefaces FS Me which was researched and developed with charity Mencap and designed specifically to improve legibility for people with learning disabilities.

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Use your words

How to measure typographic accessibility

“Accessibility in typography is not an exact science and there is no such thing as either accessible or not. It is better to imagine a sliding scale where certain speciality typefaces are highly accessible at one end and some eg. script or display fonts are very inaccessible at the other end. Most fonts lie somewhere in the middle.” — Fontsmith

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No More Tofu

Google Noto Fonts

When text is rendered by a computer, sometimes characters are displayed as “tofu”. They are little boxes to indicate your device doesn’t have a font to display the text.

Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel. Noto is Google’s answer to tofu. The name noto is to convey the idea that Google’s goal is to see “no more tofu”. Noto has multiple styles and weights, and is freely available to all.

Monotype: Creating Noto for Google

Monotype: A typeface five years in the making, Google Noto spans more than 100 writing systems, 800 languages, and hundreds of thousands of characters. A collaborative effort between Google and Monotype, the Noto typeface is a truly universal method of communication for billions of people around the world accessing digital content.

Malayalam and Devanagari in-use on Android devices

Above: Malayalam and Devanagari in-use on Android devices

TechCrunch: To be sure, there was a degree of skepticism when Google and Monotype embarked on this project, in my opinion well summed up in the words of Pakistani-American writer Ali Eteraz (quoted by NPR in 2014, when the project was already well underway):

“I tend to go back and forth. Is it sort of a benign — possibly even helpful — universalism that Google is bringing to the table? Or is it something like technological imperialism?”

Noto color emoji

Noto includes Android’s blobby emoji

Wired: But developing a typeface for 800 languages that feels cohesive yet respectful of each language’s cultural heritage created inherent tension. And making those fonts “unmistakably Google” is nearly impossible. The Tibetan script, for example, draws heavily from a calligraphic tradition, while English is more linear and geometric. The Arabic typeface is emphasized in left to right strokes, while French’s letters carry their weight in their vertical stems. Some fonts, like Runic, are so obscure that typographers at Monotype built the font from scratch using stone engravings for inspiration.

[Steve Matteson, Monotype’s creative director] designed Noto to be modern but friendly, with open counters, soft terminals, and strokes rooted in 5th century calligraphy. He avoided making Noto too austere, mostly because the shapes wouldn’t translate as nicely to other languages.

“It’s not easy to interpret fancy calligraphic languages like Tibetan into a Futura typeface model, which is all circles and straight lines.”

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(Post updated to include excerpt from the Wired article)

Use your words

Google’s Noto Project: a unified font for all languages

Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel.

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Where the “comic book font” came from

Vox: So…why does all the writing in comic books look like that? Vox’s Phil Edwards looked into it and found an aesthetic shaped by comics culture, technology, and really cheap paper.

Comic book fonts

See also

  • Todd Klein’s websiteI’m best known in comics as a letterer, which I’ve been doing since 1977, working with writers like Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Bill Willingham and many others, and collaborating with a host of artists.
  • Comicraft & Blambot, purveyors of fine comic book fonts.

Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles

Academy Originals: Title designer Dan Perri explains how he designed movie titles for films such as “Star Wars,” “The Exorcist,” and “Raging Bull.”

(via Wired)