Type on Screen
Tailor-Made Type for Web Design
Thursday 19th December 2013
As we all know, just because a font is available on the web does not mean it was designed for the web. Today, Dan Eden looks at a few screen-optimized typefaces available from Fonts.com, which are also free for all Typecast customers to use on live sites!
Monotype recently released the second collection in their eText series of typefaces – fonts new and old drawn specifically for use on screen, optimized for pixels and high levels of readability. Just one of the new typefaces from the series is the classic Didot.
While Didot the elder is a high-contrast face normally seen at display sizes, the Didot eText revival is a fine typeface for use even at small body sizes, thanks to extra attention to detail in x-height and letter spacing.
“Didot was probably among the hardest to keep faithful to the original,” says Toshi Omigari, type designer of Didot eText. “One of the common modifications in our eText designs is to thicken the hairlines, yet Didot is all about the thin hairline. I probably spent two weeks just deciding the right hairline thickness, trying every single unit on different devices. I also made a couple of simplifications to the italic letterform. In the classic typeface, the middle connection of lowercase ‘w’ (which literally looked like a double ‘v’) and the curly, right fist of the ‘y’ do not render well on screen, so I decided to suppress them.”
Bitstream are a foundry famed for their screen-optimized fonts, and Amerigo BT is no exception. It’s a sharp-cut, calligraphic serif, with tapered strokes designed to work well and remain readable even at small sizes.
With a tall x-height and open counters, Amerigo BT is a beautiful and characteristic typeface perfect for screen use at a variety of sizes.
Created in 2006 by type designer Steve Matteson, Miramonte is one of those faces with an endearing lack of affectation, making it quite versatile. Yet it’s not without its touches. I particularly like the finish on the descenders of the ‘f’ and ‘j’, and even strokes and generous contrast between lower and uppercases aid legibility. Great for UI, corporate branding and publishing, it would also work well for tiny titles (like author attributions) and text for children due to its simple letterforms.
Clarendon is a warm, strong, and sturdy typeface that was also was one of the first and most popular Egyptian-style typefaces.
Another Bitstream font, this revival of the wood-cut classic focuses on a heightened x-height and more space between characters (as well as open counters and consistent stroke contrast), making it perfect for small body copy use and even a contester for captions.
Recognised as a popular standard in editorial work, Franklin Gothic is a long-lived grotesk sans-serif. ITC’s revival features a slight increase in x-height and character width, whilst retaining the original typeface’s strength and vitality.
A solid choice for editorial and display work, ITC Franklin Gothic is ready for screen at sizes big and small, providing a sensible and functional sans-serif suitable for a range of applications.
Used as the default typeface on the madly popular Amazon Kindle, PMN Caecilia eText is arguably one of the most readable faces Monotype has ever produced. Originally designed by Peter Matthias Noordzij to mimic the writing of a nibbed pen (complete with beautiful angled, curved and vertical strokes), in April Monotype redesigned this modern slab serif to perform better at small sizes on the web and devices. Its characteristic curved angles remain, while its strokes have been thickened to increase legibility in the 12px–32px range. It also benefits from hand hinting and a darker texture for optimum legibility on screen.
Georgia is infamous for its long-lived overuse in web design, thanks to it being one of the few fonts found on almost all computers – however, Georgia Pro brings fresh new styles to the family, including light and black weights and a condensed style.
The high contrast black weights and other new styles are a welcome addition to this popular screen-optimized font, as are its tall x-height and even, sensible stroke contrast.
Put all of these typefaces live for free
Remember that every Typecast Personal Plan subscription comes with a complimentary Fonts.com standard plan (which allows up to 250,000 page views/month), so you can use any of these screen-smart typefaces on your live sites at no extra cost.
For more web font recommendations, check out our Type on Screen collection. And a big thank you goes to our guest author Dan Eden for writing today’s post. Guest authors are paid for their contribution, and all opinions are their own.