Type News: Mega May

May is here, and with it comes a flowering of news and some spectacular new type. So get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see … what’s happening this week in the world of type.

We’re not wasting any more time waiting to encounter this week’s new type, though. Hold on tight!

Jason Castle has been slowly expanding his Standard ST family since its 2003 launch. As an alternative to Helvetica and other common grotesques, Standard gains even more flexibility through the recent addition of Light, Extra Light, Ultra Light, and Hairline weights.

This just in from Helsinki. Typolar’s Altis blends “geometric regularity and soulfulness” into an extensive, updated humanist sans family. Ten weights ranging from hairline to black, exceedingly sharp terminals, and just enough curvaceous idiosyncrasies to keep things interesting.

Hoefler & Frere-Jones have finally put their own spin on the humanist style. Ideal Sans is described quite eloquently as “a handmade typeface for a machine-made age.” Spanning an voluminous 48 styles across 8 weights, Ideal Sans includes italics, small caps, persnickety attention to the numerics, and all the language support you can eat.

Perhaps better known for his collaborations with Adrian Frutiger and Hermann Zapf, the masterful Akira Kobayashi has released Akko, his first original typeface in what seems like forever. A softened rectilinear sans with a bit of a split personality, echoing both “the restrained and functional DIN Next and the more organic Cooper Black.”

Coranto Headline is an elegant extension to Gerard Unger’s tidy serif family for Type Together. Originally based on both his original Coranto and Paradox designs, the headline version has been slightly condensed and given an even larger x-height than its text counterparts.

Initially commissioned as a typeface for Centrefold Magazine №6, the Colophon boys revisited the solid, slightly condensed grotesque and released it as the suitably named Transcript Bold.

Those exasperatingly prolific designers representing their wares through the Google Web Fonts directory unleashed over 20 new typefaces this week. The list includes Jasper De Waard’s previously promised italics for his semi-stencil Expletus Sans and a baker’s half-dozen by Vernon “One Font Per Week” Adams.

While we’d love to show you every one of these fresh faces — we decided to whittle the list down to a pair of notables by the talented Gesine Todt. First off, Gesine has added bold and italic flavours to her lovely Amaranth, which we lauded just over a month ago.

Compared with Amaranth, Gesine’s second typeface is located somewhere near the opposite end of the attitude spectrum. Bigshot One is contrasty, Didonesque contraption with extra ears and a seriously sassy lowercase g.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate all the webfont services out there. Sylvia Egger attempts to cut through the mess with her overview of webfont services. Having access to webfonts isn’t enough, though — it helps to understand how best to use them. Potentially helpful is a May 24 event on designing with webfonts, from Webtype, Font Bureau, Monotype Imaging, and AIGA Boston. Are you having trouble with font-size consistency? Jonathan Snook would like to introduce you to a magic bullet, the relative em. Andrew Roberts shows how to use CSS to create inset text. And in the latest issue of A List Apart, Tim Brown guides us through his brilliant modular scales.

As if life weren’t busy enough already, June 6–10 is “Type Masters Week in New York City,” presented by the Type Directors Club. Erik Spiekermann will be awarded the 25th TDC Medal on Monday evening. Subsequent evenings feature lectures by Cyrus Highsmith, Ale Paul, and Luc(as) de Groot. In addition, Ale Paul is leading a day-long workshop on June 9.

And now, the rest of the news:

That’s it for this week. Did we miss anything? Did you see something beautiful today? Mark how each field turns a street, each street a park made green, and trimmed with trees — and anything else that strikes your fancy — in the comments.

Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for covering this week’s amazing new type. Thanks also to Robert Herrick for posthumously contributing a couple lines. Those guys know how to write.

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