Made with Cloud.typography

Videri Chocolate Factory

A colorful and unexpected palette of webfonts helps three chocolatiers deliver their most piquant flavors online.

It was the shared dream of Sam, Starr, and Chris that brought about the Videri Chocolate Factory. From the historic Raleigh Depot in downtown Raleigh, NC, the three operate a retail storefront, a factory floor, an outdoor café, and now a website where an animated collection of webfonts from H&Co helps them tell their story.

Videri’s diverse font palette includes Landmark , Verlag, The Fell Types, and Indicia.

Finding a way to express the company’s personality with typography was a top priority for the the team at PRPL, the digital creative agency tasked with creating the site. “I wanted to create a type system that felt friendly and organic, but also would feel at home in a factory setting,” said George Kedenburg III, lead creative at PRPL.

Kedenburg chose a vivid collection of fonts for the project, relying not only upon hard-working ScreenSmart fonts for text, but some rare and unexpected choices for display typography. Verlag and Sentinel ScreenSmart are used throughout the site, while headlines feature a mix of our more exotic typefaces: the dazzling Landmark Inline and Dimensional, the textured Fell Types, and the rubber-stamped Indicia font from our Numbers collection.

At small sizes, Sentinel ScreenSmart keeps the text perfectly crisp.

PRPL assigned distinct roles to each typeface, and used the Cloud.typography character set panel to carefully control what each webfont includes. (The Indicia typeface is used for all the numbers on the site, from prices in the shopping cart to the digits of the company’s phone number.) Refining each font’s character set not only helps reinforce the site’s brand guidelines, but helps keep webfonts lean, and quick to download. “That’s something I don’t think we’ve ever done, or thought would be worth doing,” adds Kedenburg. —NW

Made with Cloud.typography

USPS Stamps

As part of their continuing work with the United States Postal Service, Journey Group turned to Cloud.typography for the new USPS Stamps website.

Even when “communications” meant an e-mail campaign delivered to 317 readers, Journey Group of Charlottesville, VA recognized that stamps have a story to tell — and not just to collectors. Stamps are built on typography, making the web a natural place to share their rich visual heritage, and making webfonts an important part of the experience.

Though postage stamps can pass unnoticed, their typography is wonderfully playful, and the new USPS Stamps website strikes this balance with aplomb. It delights readers with its typographic grace and wit, but relies on webfonts to perform in a diverse set of circumstances, accompanying an unforeseeable collection of images, and rendering seamlessly across all the browsers used by the site’s vast audience.

For the site’s typography, Journey Group chose our Verlag and Chronicle webfonts. Instead of merely styling the site’s headlines, they implemented webfonts for all of the site’s type, using Verlag for both headlines and annotations, and Chronicle ScreenSmart for text. Using a ScreenSmart font ensured that the site’s text would maintain its visual integrity at even the smallest sizes, so that all of the site’s readers are presented with crisp, legible type.

“I’ve always admired Verlag for its modernist swagger,” said Senior Designer Seth Nickerson. “My feeling was that it could carry a page when needed, but also be objective enough to live comfortably with disparate elements, without looking out of place. Chronicle ScreenSmart seemed the obvious choice to pair with it: it has a crispness that matches Verlag, and just seemed to invite long-form reading when we looked at it in the design, which is paramount.”

The site’s typographic sophistication goes far beyond its palette. CSS transforms and subtle animations play a gentle but effective role in bringing the type to life, and the site is filled with gracious nods to philately (including our favorite, the perforated edge in the main nav.)

We’re proud to feature Journey Group’s work for the USPS as our first profile of a website using Cloud.typography. When we return, we’ll introduce you to a site that uses meticulous type and illustrations to strike the right tone for an international company. In the meantime, if you’ve made something special that uses Cloud.typography, let us know: we’re on Twitter at @HoeflerCo. —NW

Guggenheim Redux

Typeface: Verlag Light

For one quarter of its lifetime, the Guggenheim Museum has enjoyed the use of a signature typeface created by H&FJ. The project originally commissioned by Abbott Miller, a sans serif in six styles called Guggenheim, has since grown into a family of thirty styles, now known as Verlag. This expanded set of fonts, now including five weights in three different widths, is now available from H&FJ. And gratifyingly, it’s still being used by the Guggenheim — now more than ever.

If the fonts’ thirteen years of continuous use can be attributed to anything, it’s the careful formulation of the original brief. The iconic lettering on Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous rotunda furnished the seed for the project; unchecked, this might have grown into an overly stylized typeface, too eccentric to be of much use. A more short-sighted designer might have made the easy play for nostalgia, but Miller took a more thoughtful approach, envisioning all the different applications that the typeface would come to serve. The family of types we created was therefore more interpretation than facsimile, a versatile family that we all hoped would evoke the qualities of the museum without simply replicating its signature. It was the right call: the fonts once used only by the Guggenheim New York’s publication department now serve the signage programs of four museums, the institution’s Webby Award-winning website, and now the new identity for the Guggenheim Foundation, also designed by Miller, and premiering this year as part of the Guggenheim’s fiftieth anniversary. —JH

Adventures in Kerning, Part II

Typeface: Verlag Book

A kerning table, which makes special allowances for characters that don’t fit together naturally, can reveal a lot about the personality of its designer. Every font pays special attention to the pair Va, but the font that includes Vr suggests a familiarity with French (vraie) or Dutch (vrouw). Pairs like Wn or Tx hint at an even broader perspective (Wnetrzne, Poland; Txipepovava, Angola), and the designer who kerns the ¥4 has presumably spent some time thinking about finance. Including ÅÇ is the mark of someone who’s trying too hard: these letters don’t nest together naturally, but nor do they appear together in any language.

When I first learned about kerning, mystifying to me was the presence of Yq in almost every one of Adobe’s fonts. Adobe’s early faces sometimes neglected far more common pairs, or even whole ranges of the character set — many fonts didn’t kern periods, dashes, or quotation marks — but Yq was ever-present. When I met him in the early nineties, Adobe’s Fred Brady hinted at why: located in northern California, Adobe’s designers often had a thing for viniculture, and one of the world’s most famous dessert wines is produced by Château D’Yquem.

We’ve included Yq as a standard kerning pair ever since, though I’d never gotten to see it in action until yesterday. Here, in the window of Sotheby’s on Bond Street, is our Verlag typeface, Yq kern and all. There are kerns obscurer still that we’re waiting to see in public, though I don’t suppose I’ll be seeing the 9th century Old English word wihxð (wax) in the window of Sotheby’s anytime soon. —JH

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