Monday, March 26, 2012

FontFacts


Here's a list of some interesting facts and stories I found and compiled regarding font types. 
 Helvetica was designed in 1957 by Max Meidinger. This deliberately anonymous typeface is one of the world's most commonly used fonts, with variations created for both Latin and non-Latin characters. Its solid, upright forms are tempered by surprising curves in the lowercase a and the uppercase R. Helvetica has a generous x-height and is available in numerous weights and styles. It was called Neue Haas Grotesk before getting its current name, Helvetica, in the early 60s, which is the Latin word for "Switzerland."
Frutiger designed by Adrian Frutiger took 7 years to develop and even after 40 years, continues to be one of linotype's best selling fonts. 
Futura is the font used on the plaque left on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts.
Courier - This typeface was designed by Howard Kettler in 1955 and was commissioned by IBM in the 1950s for use in its typewriters. Kettler originally named the font “Messenger,” but then revised the title to “Courier” to give the font more dignity, prestige and stability.
Stymie Extra Bold is used for headlines in the New York Times and sometimes in its Sunday magazine.
Verdana was designed by Matthew Carter to be used and read on screen. Carter co-founded Bitstream Inc. in 1981, one of the first digital type foundries, where he worked for ten years. Designed with an eye for both function and aesthetics, Verdana's characters have a large x-height and are widely spaced to ensure that letters don't run together. The font was first released when shipped with Microsoft's Internet Explorer in 1996.
Scala was designed by the Dutch typographer Martin Majoor beginning around 1990. This thoroughly contemporary typeface has geometric serifs and rational, almost modular forms, yet its humanistic design reflects the calligraphic origins of type, as seen in the lowercase a. Majoor sought to create a font suitable for laser printing. A skilled book designer, he designed the serif and sans-serif versions of this face to work together. Majoor followed Scala with Seria, another contemporary classic.
Gill Sans was created by the English designer Eric Gill in 1928. Its forms are more humanistic, less geometric, than its German contemporary Futura. Note how the lowercase a relates to the a in Garamond (in contrast to the circular a of Futura). Additionally, Gill Sans is recognized by its flared capital R and the closed descender of the lowercase g. Gills Sans has been called Britain's Helvetica; it remains today an overwhelmingly popular typeface across the United Kingdom.
If a font is any less than 4 pixels high it becomes unreadable.
It is believed that the letter "a" is the first letter of the alphabet because it came from the symbol that represents the phoenicians' chief livestock the ox.

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