Type News: Cornucopian

This week we add more monospace to the mix, cover classics gone pro, investigate an Arabic addition, and trot out tidbits from tech to tweak.

Well, hello there.

I’m very pleased to be filling in for Erik this week, while he’s enjoying the long weekend and a well deserved break from his Type News duties. Onward, shall we?

We’re only two weeks into the month and yet it’s shaping up to be a full on Monovember. Hot on the fixed-width heels of Helvetica Monospaced and Skyhook Mono are another fine pair of non-proportionals.

Comb Pro specimen

OurType’s multi-weight Comb family was created by Frederik Berlaen specifically for designing forms. An informal sans with humanist leanings, Comb features a subdued set of stylistic alternates, case sensitive punctuation, alphanumeric superiors and inferiors, arrow symbols, plus comprehensive form-specific elements such as boxes and lines.

And how serendipitous is it that a typeface named Comb is released during Movember?

Ahem.

Pragmata Pro specimen

A favorite of folks who prefer their code condensed, Fabrizio Schiavi’s Pragmata just turned pro. More characters, less scrolling.

Parka specimen

With a background in information design, Daniel Perraudin’s extensive Parka is a flexibly robust entry into the humanist sans superfamily arena.

DIN Arabic specimen

Parachute’s take on the stalwart DIN 1451 series has been expanded once again with the addition of DIN Text Arabic. Retaining the softer aspects of their popular reinterpretation, these new fonts contain “the most complete and powerful array of arabic features commercially available”. An impressive accomplishment.

MVB Verdigris Pro specimen

Hanging out in the Legacy Font Format Lounge for many years, Mark van Bronkhorst’s gorgeous workhorse of a serif has been rereleased as MVB Verdigris Pro. Now including mid-caps and thorough metrics tweaking by Linnea Lundquist—which apparently allows this new version of the face to “practically set itself”.

Other interesting typographic bits:

If you’re lucky enough to be in the vicinity, there’s still time to sign up for next Friday’s Letterpress: Forward Thinking at London’s St Bride Library. Speakers, demonstrations, and lively discussion celebrating handset typography are all part of this one day event.

Over at The Ministry of Type, Aegir Hallmundur ponders word harvesting, a term introduced by copywriter Ellen de Vries as a means of providing source material for type specimens. Carefully selected feathers, indeed.

House Industries’ Ken Barber continues Keepin’ It Casual for Communication Arts with a short treatise on informal, mid-century script lettering.

The prolific (and whip smart) Tim Brown proffers yet another post in his ongoing series about web type rendering. This time around, Tim specifically addresses the design of fonts for the web.

Mike Parker’s fifth installment in his increasingly epic Story of Type takes us to Italy, where we meet up with the likes of Manutius, Griffo, Tagliente, Arrighi, and Blado.

“Simplicity needs a lot of work” … at least according to Jean François Porchez as he describes the process of refreshing the masthead for Chatelaine magazine.

I’m sure this has happened to all of us at some point. You’re in the midst of setting text using InDesign or Illustrator when suddenly you stop, put down the mouse, push back from your computer, and wonder out loud … “I wish I knew more about Adobe’s optical kerning technology.” Well, wish no more. Thomas Phinney’s got you covered in the surprisingly appropriate About Adobe’s Optical Kerning.

Hinting, and tables, and glyphs! Oh, my! Vincent Connare shares a small snippet from his massive store of knowledge relating to TrueType font development.

Ouch. Wrapping your head around optical kerning and TrueType hinting is probably a bit too heavy for this late in the week. Why not dive into an overview covering the underlying differences between metal and digital type instead? Now that’s my type of heavy … literally.

How about a little something for the library? Modern typography: an essay in critical history by Robin Kinross is a “brisk tour through the history of Western typography”. For fans of French typography, the voluminously illustrated Roger Excoffon et la fonderie Olive by Sandra Chamaret, Julien Gineste, and Sébastien Morlighem celebrates the work and approach of the popular Excoffon and the history of the Olive type foundry.

Feeling frisky? Download the latest Firefox 4 beta and head on over to the FontFont Kosmik Flipper for a small taste of web type’s animated future. Some cleverly implemented OpenType features, combined with a few CSS3 typographic properties, put on a subtle show.

That’s all the news we managed to round up this week. Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments.

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