What’s New in Gotham

Now Gotham’s more cosmopolitan than ever: starting today, the entire family speaks another 60 languages, including Russian and Greek.

H&Co is delighted to introduce a massive expansion of our Gotham family. With the addition of more than 29,000 character drawings, all 66 styles of Gotham — plus all 48 Gotham ScreenSmart fonts, specifically designed for the web — now feature the Cyrillic and Greek alphabets. These characters are now included standard in all Gotham packages.

The Languages

Today’s Gothams tackle sixty additional languages, including Greek, Russian, and a host of languages that use variants of the Cyrillic alphabet. Featuring H&Co’s Cyrillic-X™ spec, the fonts can render not only the major Balto-Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Belarusian, Bulgarian and Macedonian), but also many of the more widely-spoken and under-served languages of Asia, from Abaza (48,000 speakers) to Uzbek (27 million.) In all, today’s enhancements help designers communicate with more than one quarter of a billion new readers worldwide.

Got Gotham?

For those designers who have already purchased Gotham, we’re delighted to make these upgrades available free.

We’re rolling out these upgrades today, so if you’ve purchased Gotham for your computer, sign in and visit your Font Library. You’ll find a list of all your H&Co fonts, along with links to download their latest versions. If you’re using any of the Gotham webfonts via Cloud.typography, you’ll see an option within your project dashboards’ Character Set panel to add Greek, Basic Russian, or the full Extended Cyrillic set.

Get Gotham!

And if you haven’t yet made Gotham a part of your collection, now’s the perfect time. Packages begin at $169, with savings of $69 when buying specially-priced Gotham Bundles — and an additional $100 when buying bundles together.

Nicely Done: Purcell Heli-Skiing

With the imminent return of snowstorms to New York, we can't help but mention a wintry website that uses typography to great effect: Purcell Heli-Skiing, who have spent forty years choppering more than 50,000 adventurous skiers and snowboarders to the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. The website, designed by Ontario-based They, plays with the scale of its typography in a thoughtful and deliberate way. Text faces Gotham SSm and Sentinel SSm are used throughout, punctuated by the lighter weights of Tungsten Light in all caps, creating a monumental but hushed tone that evokes the striking terrain itself. —NW

Introducing Obsidian

I’ve always wanted to create a decorative display face in the Regency style, one of those stout, industrial alphabets enlivened by bright, detailed illumination. Toward the end of our Surveyor project, a deep exploration of engraved map lettering, this idea started to feel especially relevant: engraved maps were often badged with elaborate title pieces, and the more time we spent with these hatched and shadowed letters, the more we could imagine how some of their visual qualities could be successfully interpreted in a contemporary typeface — and one that would be useful and relevant to designers today. But then there was the matter of draftsmanship: how do you do it? Type design is still largely a manual art, and the thought of devoting years of our lives to drawing tiny curlicues was a bleak prospect indeed. Like the best of dead ends, this was where things started to become interesting.

I’d been discussing this puzzle with Andy Clymer, a senior typeface designer at H&Co. As part of the Surveyor design team, Andy had spent a lot of time with the heaviest members of that family, the ones most closely connected with the Regency style. An accomplished programmer and a procedural thinker generally, Andy had taken a short sabbatical in 2013 to attend the first class of the School for Poetic Computation, an artist-run school in New York that explores the intersections of code, design, and theory. Returning with some fresh ideas about particle studies and 3D modeling, Andy and I met to reframe the project: what sorts of rapid prototyping tools could we build to help explore different options, and how might these help us execute our ideas across the massive scale demanded by a contemporary typeface? Not content to be a mere set of decorated capitals, our typeface would need 1,400 glyphs spanning both roman and italic styles, bringing its esprit to the most esoteric of punctuation marks and accents.

Ultimately, Andy’s scripts would become an entire suite of proprietary tools for interpreting two-dimensional letterforms as three-dimensional objects, through the application of virtual light sources that vary in position, angle, and intensity. Like the best projects at H&Co, the typeface was shaped not only by exchanges between designer and editor, but by the iterative cycle of what the tools can do, what we need the tools to do, and what the tools turn out to be able to do that we didn’t foresee going in. After 53 weeks in development, I’m proud to present a project that seemed unattainable just 54 weeks ago: the new Obsidian typeface, from the designers at H&Co.

Webfonts with Stylistic Sets

Now there’s a way to transform your web typography at the touch of a button: introducing Stylistic Sets for webfonts at Cloud.typography.

In search of the perfect form for each of a font’s thousands of characters, typeface designers sometimes encounter questions that have more than one answer. Perhaps a flowery capital Q captures a font’s elegance, but one with a shorter tail is more practical when there’s no room for flourish. Perhaps a smart and serious typeface suddenly becomes cool and playful, with a subtle alteration to its lowercase a. H&Co loves making typefaces that offer different voices, and ones that anticipate and solve problems, which is why we’ve long furnished our desktop fonts with alternate characters that offer designers stylistic and functional options. Starting today, Cloud.typography users can achieve this same sophistication on the web, fine-tuning webfonts using a powerful OpenType feature called stylistic sets. Uniquely, we’ve implemented this feature so that it works not only in cutting-edge browsers, but in all browsers that support webfonts, so that your typographic preferences can be a fundamental and consistent part of the way you work with type.

At its simplest, a stylistic set replaces one character with an alternate form, such as the optional “single-storey” lowercase a available in Gotham, above. Activating this option affects not only the letter itself, but all of its related forms, including the à accent seen here. Usefully, Cloud.typography automatically makes this same change across all of a family’s styles, a welcome bit of housekeeping in a sixteen-style family like Gotham:

These adjustments are known as stylistic sets because they allow related transformations to be grouped together and controlled by a single switch. The “curly commas” option in the Whitney typeface affects not only the comma, but the semicolon, and both the open and closed forms of the single quotes, double quotes, and baseline quotes. The ability to manage complex adjustments with a single checkbox makes it easy to ensure consistency across your typography: not everyone would guess that turning on Whitney’s flat-sided M would change not only the capital and small cap forms, but also the symbols for trademark (™) and servicemark (℠).

Each of our type families has different stylistic sets, inspired by the natural properties of the design. There are versatile typefaces such as Surveyor in which common characters like f and g can be dramatically reshaped, straightforward headline faces like Tungsten Rounded that let you fine-tune details as esoteric as the percent sign, and exuberant display faces such as Landmark that include five different mechanisms for managing accents. Our Stylistic Sets FAQ details the things that await you in the H&Co library, a few highlights of which appear below. On behalf of our type designers who devise these characters, and the Cloud.typography team who brought this work to the web, I look forward to seeing what you build with these new tools! —JH

Introducing Quarto

Meet Quarto, a new family of display faces.

Dutch Old Styles are marvelous and versatile typefaces, and one of typography’s dominant species. The style, which dates to the late sixteenth century, features a large lowercase, compact descenders, and a dense texture, together making them an excellent choice for setting headlines. We had the opportunity to explore the style when we were commissioned to create an original typeface for Portfolio magazine, a business title launched by Condé Nast, and designed by Robert Priest and Grace Lee. From out of this work comes Quarto®, a new family of display faces for print and web.

In reviewing the historical artifacts that served as a foundation for the project, we decided that Quarto should not record this period style, but rather interpret some of its more intriguing and open-ended ideas. In one typeface, created by a Flemish punchcutter 444 years ago, we found a compelling tension between opposing qualities: dark, gothic strokes were offset by bright, crisp serifs; a forest of vertical stems was punctuated by moments of lavish roundness. This controlled tension became a theme for the project, and would serve us when Quarto left history behind — which would be sooner than usual.

The typeface that inspired Quarto included only a roman alphabet, so beyond the usual effort of designing plausible numbers, punctuation, and symbols, H&Co Senior Designer Sara Soskolne was faced with inventing a sympathetic and historically appropriate italic. (Our Flemish punchcutter, Hendrik van den Keere, worked in a range of styles throughout his career, but apparently never created a single italic.) Also unsupplied by the historical record were any suggestions about how to design additional weights: “boldface” is a nineteenth century concept, unknown to sixteenth century typefounders, and one of the reasons that contemporary Old Style faces often have either a small range of weights, or none at all. Quarto pushes beyond bold into black, offering a spectrum of styles that preserves the design’s fire and intensity throughout.

Toward a Philosophy of Webfonts: A Lecture at Beyond Tellerrand, Berlin

If you’ll be in Berlin next week, I hope you’ll join me and my fellow speakers for Beyond Tellerrand, the design technology conference that’s quickly become a favorite locus for interesting design thinking. Equal measures of visual design and web technology always combine for an inspiring and provocative couple of days.

I’ll be talking about webfonts, and a critical framework that I’ve found useful in understanding their intentions and assessing their quality. And if all goes well this week, I’m hoping to have the opportunity to introduce some new features that we’re developing for Cloud.typography, our second such announcement this month. —JH

Cloud.typography Browser Support Now Goes to 11

Cloud.typography now supports even more integrated browsers, like the ones built into web development tools and mobile apps.

Cloud.typography is designed to identify the type of browser viewing a web page, and to respond with exactly the right kind of fonts. This offers advantages in terms of both render quality and filesize: IE6 for Windows gets the additional help it needs to render small type crisply, and Safari for iOS gets fonts that aren’t encumbered by excess data. Now, we’ve supplemented Cloud.typography’s long list of browsers and font types with a safety net, designed to deliver industry-standard woff files to any browser it doesn’t recognize. As a result, you’ll now see webfonts in new places, from the browser built into the Google app for iOS, to the preview tool inside Coda, the great web development app from Panic.

Best part: there’s nothing you need to do. All of these updates are already online, and delivering for every Cloud.typography project. Enjoy! —NW

New from H&Co: Tungsten Rounded

There’s a wonderful materiality about rounded letters. Their lighter weights have an engineered quality: for me, they always bring to mind the controlled movements of a router, steadily cutting channels in brass or steel and leaving behind a spray of metal shavings. Their heavier weights are the stuff of the roadside, both the vacuform plastic letters that advertise gas stations and motels, and the painted signs that herald this week’s prices for groceries or liquor. Applying these tactile qualities to our suave Tungsten family gives us Tungsten Rounded, a new family of six fonts that’s at once earnest, energetic, and wry.

A common dilemma when working with rounded typefaces is what to do when two adjacent letters overlap. For the signpainter, the tiny divet created by two intersecting curves is quickly dispatched with a brush, but the letters in a typeface usually go unsupervised:

In Tungsten Rounded’s heaviest weights, we addressed this problem with a set of 151 alternate characters, designed to interact in more predictable ways. An OpenType feature automatically engages these characters when needed, to ensure that all of the 548 potential collisions are managed correctly, from common pairs like AX, to truly exotic ones such as .

Made with Cloud.typography

Football as Football

How six designers in Minneapolis crashed the American sports vernacular with the grandest graphic traditions of European football.

As the World Cup winds down, many Americans will turn from the excitement and agony of football to another beloved pastime: football. American football, to be precise. This year, six Minneapolis co-workers have combined these obsessions with their love of design into a single experience called Football as Football, which reimagines the logos of American football teams in the heraldic language of the great European football clubs. Watch as the mascots and monograms of the NFL take on German, English, Spanish and Italian accents: the design is both hilarious and spot-on.

While the crests are the star of the show, their designers lavished just as much care and attention on the site that presents them. “We wanted a brand for the project to wrap around the experience,” said Garrick Willhite, one member of the team. “We started with an icon, that lead to a logo, that guided the overall look and feel.” To support its vivid and varied imagery — and typography that includes fonts as far afield as Gotham and Hoefler Text — the team chose our Knockout family to use for the site’s webfonts. Originally inspired by sports ephemera, Knockout’s strong and athletic character makes it an apt choice for the project, and applied in a studied and subdued way, it supports the art instead of competing with it — just as a good team player should. —NW

Made with Cloud.typography

Thank You!

One of the great joys of designing typefaces is seeing them in the wild, and discovering what new voices people have coaxed out of your work. A year ago today, we launched Cloud.typography, and had no idea that we’d be presented with these delights so deeply, so rapidly, and so often: for twelve months, we’ve watched designers sign up for the service one day, build things the next, and deploy their sites the following morning. We’ve seen our letters come to life in ways we’d never imagined, on the sites we use every day, and in new settings that push the boundaries of possibility. It’s been a deeply gratifying experience for everyone who worked to build Cloud.typography, so we owe you our thanks for making our work a part of yours.

Thank you to the designers and developers who have put Cloud.typography to the test, using all the features we labored over, and reaching deep into the furthest recesses of our font library. Thank you to the organizations who have trusted their communications to our fonts, from the institutions who use our webfonts to bring their identities online, to the new businesses who have found their voice using H&Co fonts. Thank you all for a wonderful first year together — we are so looking forward to the next! —JH

New from H&Co: Nitro & Turbo

In contrast to our last release, a hundred-style family inspired by tiny engravings on vintage maps, today we’re introducing a two-style family of forward-looking, stadium-sized letters: meet Nitro & Turbo.

The irrepressibly energetic Nitro grew out of a commission from Michael Bierut at Pentagram, to create an original typeface for the New York Jets. An unusual project, Nitro started not with a moderate weight roman, but with a black italic, usually the most peripheral member of a type family. Instinctively we felt that Nitro could benefit from a companion design, but what? What additional style could offer a visual counterpoint, while sharing the design’s explosive energy and unstoppable momentum?

In place of a companion roman or a set of lighter weights, we decided to explore one of typography’s less obvious directions: the backslant. Like every project that begins with an unvoiced “how hard can it be?”, the answer came back, “harder than you think.” Backslants are eye-catching because they confound expectations, but tricky to draw because they go against the natural motion of the hand, the pen, and the alphabet itself, making them a design challenge as formidable as it is irresistible.

The result of the project is two fonts, the forward-leaning Nitro, and the backward-leaning Turbo. Both fonts have the versatility of a good hot pepper: they add a useful dash of fire to a surprisingly wide range of recipes, and in the right setting, they’re fantastic on their own.

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

Navigator Logistics

Endearing animations and meticulous type strike just the right tone in this small site for an international company.

When Navigator Logistics, a forwarding service company in Finland, brought on designer Nigel Payne to update their site, the collaboration resulted in a fresh design full of crisp typography and lively illustrations. “Right from the get-go, I knew the site’s illustrations were going to be in a limited color palette, and line-based,” said Payne. “I wanted a typeface that paired nicely with the technical blueprint style, but also had a little fun about it. Gotham Rounded felt just a little younger than his older, more sober brother, Gotham.”

Payne built the site around a compact palette, using just two weights of our Gotham Rounded ScreenSmart family. Though ScreenSmart fonts are engineered specifically for text sizes, Navigator Logistics uses them with equal success in headline sizes, using CSS letterspacing to manage the fonts’ fit, coaxing lovely voices out each style.

The site uses subtle changes in typography, illustration style, and animation to distinguish three discrete sections, presenting an overview, a list of capabilities, and contact details within a single page.

For mobile users, CSS media queries not only reshape the grid and eliminate discretionary details, but introduce buttons for calling the company directly — a smart use of the medium, and a thoughtful detail for users. —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

Introducing Surveyor

We’re delighted to introduce Surveyor, a new family of fonts for print and web, and sizes large and small.

I love maps, and not just for their vintage charm. I admire them as highly functional pieces of design, packing extraordinary amounts of information into small spaces, and invisibly educating readers about how they’re meant to be read. Spend a few moments with a map, and you’ll find that you’ve learned to distinguish counties, cities, and towns by the styles of type they use, without ever checking the legend. And these are just three of a typical map’s two dozen styles of lettering.

Surveyor® is a new family of fonts inspired by the traditional mapmaker’s letter. It revives a style of lettering that’s unique to cartography, one that evolved in the early nineteenth century and endured for as long as maps were printed by engraving. Beyond reviving the shapes of these alphabets, Surveyor celebrates what maps do best, by providing an expressive typographic vocabulary to help designers articulate many different kinds of information. A peek at Surveyor’s style list hints at what’s possible.

We’ve designed Surveyor in three optical sizes: a Text version for body copy, a Display cut for headlines, and a Fine for sizes larger still. Surveyor goes beyond the mapmaker’s roman and italic by including five weights, each of them outfitted with both roman and italic small caps, swash caps, and swash small caps. In its Text size, Surveyor features tabular figures, fractions, and symbols, to help it conquer the most demanding content. And for Cloud.typography users, we’ve created Surveyor ScreenSmart, a family of webfonts for text that contains all of these advanced typographic features, engineered to work in the browser at sizes as small as nine pixels.

New at Typography.com

We’re starting off the new month with some enhancements to site, and some good news for web developers. Here’s what’s happening.

Answers: Search and FAQ

We took the occasion of writing a new Webfont FAQ to polish up our site search tools: you’ll find both resources available here. In addition to some guided tours of topics like licensing and troubleshooting, you’ll find updated answers to questions about publishing apps, making PDFs, and more. Since the tool searches across the entire site, look for some colorful surprises, in case you just happen to be searching for poodle’s paws, lightning bolts, Tupac Shakur, Zipf’s Law, or any of the three places we mentioned Steve McQueen, which science can’t explain.

Larger Desktop Licenses

We’ve been delighted to see organizations of every size adopt Cloud.typography, from independent developers subscribing at $99 to high-traffic websites who measure visitors in the billions. In keeping with the range of webfont subscriptions we offer, today we’re expanding the range of desktop licenses that can be purchased online: starting today, you can license fonts online for as many as 250 computers. As always, our sales office is happy to assist organizations who need even bigger licenses. Drop us a line.

Webfont Domains

One of Cloud.typography’s highlights is that it lets you deliver webfonts to an unlimited number of domains. We’ve heard from designers who enable a single domain such as example.com that traffic to www.example.com is blocked, because the www hasn’t been explicitly included. Starting today, every time you add a domain, the www subdomain is automatically whitelisted, and vice versa: adding www.example.com whitelists example.com as well. If you’re grappling with an especially gruesome list of subdomains, you can use the asterisk as a wild card to authorize them all, by adding *.example.com. There’s more about this in the Cloud.typography User Guide.

We’re hiring!

The best news of all: we’re hiring! With Cloud.typography up and running, and the next generation of web applications in the works, it’s a great time to join a small and dedicated team of obsessives, and to build things for an audience who appreciates good design. This is a full-time position in our New York office, open to US citizens and others with authorization to work in the US. Tell your friends. —JH

Fonts For The Web: Two Lectures by Jonathan Hoefler, November 2 & 14

What makes a good webfont? Before we wrote the first line of code for Cloud.typography, or lit the first pixel of our first ScreenSmart font, we began the search for a solution to this riddle. The answers are unexpected: a good webfont is more than just legible, and more than just attractive, and some provocative solutions come from some unexpected places. Webfonts can learn a lot from nineteenth century engraved maps, twentieth century dictionaries, and twenty-first century authors.

If you’re in New York this month, join me at Ampersand NYC this Saturday, November 2, or at a special lecture for AIGA/NY on November 14, for an exploration of what constitutes fine typography on the web. I’ll be sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how we brought our library of fonts to the web, and some new ways of looking at type that are useful for every cross-disciplinary designer. —JH

Making One’s Own

“I never wanted to draw typefaces, I wanted to have typefaces.” I found myself uttering these words to a filmmaker this past spring, who shared them first with an audience of design luminaries, and then with the entire internet. It’s a strange sentiment, but one that’s familiar to anyone who makes things: as a designer, I couldn’t find the tools I needed, so I made my own. I designed typefaces to fill measurable holes in my palette, and to help me do things that other fonts couldn’t. As it turned out, the business of identifying these opportunities and inventing things to satisfy them became a project unto itself, which is how this company came to be, working to create the typefaces that help designers do more.

My work at Hoefler & Co. gives me the chance to contribute not only to the fonts themselves, but to a range of communications that use them, from paper invoices to type specimens to web applications. Each of these projects invites different ways of using type, and each raises different questions about what kinds of tools might help designers like us do our jobs more effectively. As someone who came to design through programming, I especially love the web: I find it satisfying to experience and rewarding to design for, even if I’m impatient with the pace of its growth as a typographic medium. Having outgrown an infancy of core webfonts that were high in quality but few in number, the web moved squarely into its adolescence, full of exuberant but badly behaved fonts that have yet to live up to their potential. Most webfonts are hard to read at text sizes, especially on Windows. Type is often broken, congested, or muddy; font families available for the web regularly include styles that are untenable on the screen. Indispensable tools like small caps and tabular figures have been ignored, limiting the ways in which designers can organize and articulate information. In response to these challenges, and in keeping with our tradition of helping designers solve problems, we created Cloud.typography, a webfont solution for design professionals. Like the fonts themselves, Cloud.typography is a tool, built to provide everything you need to create online experiences with the level of quality you’ve come to expect from us.

Typefaces are designed to solve problems. A good webfont should take on the biggest challenges of all.

Our goal wasn’t just to port our library of fonts to the web, but to create a new typography that suits this medium — not just fonts on the web, but fonts for the web. These are our ScreenSmart fonts, designed from the pixel up, and built to perform at text sizes as small as nine pixels. One rewarding milestone in designing a typeface is getting to use it yourself, which we’re doing today: the redesigned blog you’re reading features three of our new ScreenSmart families (Mercury SSm, Whitney SSm, and Gotham SSm) as well as our multipurpose Sentinel family for headlines. ScreenSmart fonts give us the opportunity to be as expressive online as we are in print, and Cloud.typography ensures that this same experience is delivered to readers on all browsers and all platforms. We’ve taken the opportunity to rework all six years’ worth of blog entries, to take advantage of all things we can now do with Cloud.typography: jump in and you’ll find exotic punctuation marks, extended accent sets, obscure and typographically complex numbers, unexpected kerning pairs, and letters brought back from extinction — all rendered using ScreenSmart fonts that are specifically designed for online text. These are the tiny moments in which a good webfont shines, and where typography proves its value to authors, designers, and readers.

The launch of Cloud.typography means a return to the blog, which has long been dormant while we’ve worked to complete this four-year project. There’s much to discuss, and a lot of surprises from us in store: I hope you’ll keep us bookmarked. —JH

Introducing Landmark

Typeface: Landmark

In 1999, we received an irresistible commission from Michael Bierut at Pentagram: to design a typeface for Lever House, one of New York’s most significant architectural landmarks. In a neighborhood of skyscrapers designed simply to warehouse the maximum amount of rentable real estate, Lever House is a rare building with thoughtful urban values, featuring a grand public colonnade, a welcoming sculpture garden, and an enormous setback that showcases that rarest of midtown luxuries: the sky.

The typeface we created was an airy sans serif, patterned after the existing lettering on the building’s Park Avenue window, and related to the style of its cornerstone inscription. The project revealed some interesting discoveries about the way architects use capital letters, and how a typeface designed specifically for architecture could serve designers especially well. A decade after completing the project, we set about creating a collection of decorative variations inspired the material and environmental qualities of buildings: the interplay of structure and surface, the effects of shadow and light, and the transformative power of perspective. Bringing typographic qualities to mechanical forms turned out to be a formidable challenge, but a fascinating one, ultimately absorbing our designers for more than a year. The result is the family of four new typefaces that we’re delighted to introduce: Landmark Regular, Inline, Shadow, and Dimensional.

Introducing THE NEW TUNGSTENS

Typeface: Tungsten Compressed

A good type family balances cohesion and diversity. Its styles need to feel related, but each is entitled to its own personality. Nothing’s worse than paying for a collection of two dozen fonts, only to discover that each speaks in exactly the same voice.

Tungsten began as a focussed set of styles that aspired to being disarming instead of pushy. “Smart, tough, and sexy” was how we described the design, a brief that gave us enough latitude to create four distinct designs: a sporty Medium, an articulate Semibold, a stylish Bold, and a persuasive Black. We stopped at four, discovering that so many of the strategies that served the design in these proportions became impractical at lighter weights. Tungsten is all about the interplay between positive and negative space, a relationship that disappears when the strokes become thin, and the spaces cavernous. So while we could make the design perform mechanically at lighter weights, it no longer felt like Tungsten.

But then we discovered something interesting. We found different strategies to use at these proportions, which could make the design look familiar but feel different. We created new designs whose forthrightness came through in different ways: some were elegant, others earnest. And when we started exploring different widths, we found we could gradually turn up the volume, and watch Tungsten go from cool to vibrant to ecstatic.

So today, we’re delighted to introduce The New Tungstens, a set of four different widths, each in eight weights, starting at $199. The full collection includes Regular, Narrow, Condensed and Compressed, and right now you can save $300 when you buy the complete collection of 32 styles.

Good Fonts, Bad Fonts, and the Presidency

Somehow we’ve let the election season come to a close without thanking both parties for making this an 100% H&Co election. Continuing the signature voice of its 2008 campaign, Obama for America kept Gotham as its typographic keystone, this year adding our Sentinel typeface as a companion slab serif. The GOP chose fonts from us as well, the Romney campaign settling on Mercury for its serif and Whitney for its sans.

We’d especially like to thank the teams at Obama for America and Blue State Digital for making us a part of their outstanding work on Barackobama.com. Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed that webfonts from H&Co made their first appearance on that site earlier this year, an especially meaningful milestone for all of us. It’s not often that your first beta tester is the President of the United States.

If the coming days bring a bitter electoral challenge, or the next four years bring the nation continuing deadlock on Capitol Hill, Americans will know exactly who to blame: typeface designers. According to this study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, bad typography may be useful in softening the stance of the politically extreme. The theory is that awkward or uncomfortable typography disrupts a reader’s “confirmation bias,” one’s tendency to only see things that are agreeable. What amateur typography might do for a candidate’s credibility is anyone’s guess, and whether the study’s choice of Times Bold really counts as an acceptable control for “good typography” remains an open question. But I look forward to the 2016 election, in which the honorable grunge candidate will face off against his esteemed colleague using Comic Sans. —JH

Introducing Idlewild

Typeface: Idlewild

Type designers are plagued by visions, recurring images which can only be exorcized by turning them into letters. For years we’ve been consumed by a particular quality of curve, overstuffed at the corners and punctuated by sharp edges, and gradually over time we’ve been able to give these apparitions form: first as unrelated characters, later as an alphabet, and finally as a family of fonts.

As these designs developed, we recognized them as something we’d often reached for in vain. There was a vacancy we’d noticed in the typographic spectrum, for a sleek sans serif that’s not only spare, determined, and tranquil, but satisfying. Not just gratifying, like an indulgent dessert or an extravagant gift, but viscerally satisfying, like a precision tool whose form both invites the touch and rewards the hand.

Today we’re very pleased to introduce Idlewild®, this new font family in five weights. For all its distinctiveness and personality, Idlewild delivers an unexpected dividend: it accessorizes with other fonts amazingly well. Idlewild can be approachable, earnest, bright, or cultivated — read on to see how this wide font can yield a wide range of moods.

Ideal Sans: A New Font Family from H&FJ

Typeface: Ideal Sans

Typefaces are born from the struggle between rules and results. Squeezing a square about 1% helps it look more like a square; to appear the same height as a square, a circle must be measurably taller. The two strokes in an X aren’t the same thickness, nor are their parallel edges actually parallel; the vertical stems of a lowercase alphabet are thinner than those of its capitals; the ascender on a d isn’t the same length as the descender on a p, and so on. For the rational mind, type design can be a maddening game of drawing things differently in order to make them appear the same.

Twenty-one years ago, we began tinkering with a sans serif alphabet to see just how far these optical illusions could be pushed. How asymmetrical could a letter O become, before the imbalance was noticeable? Could a serious sans serif, designed with high-minded intentions, be drawn without including a single straight line? This alphabet slowly marinated for a decade and a half, benefitting from periodic additions and improvements, until in 2006, Pentagram’s Abbott Miller proposed a project for the Art Institute of Chicago that resonated with these very ideas. As a part of Miller’s new identity for the museum, we revisited the design, and renovated it to help it better serve as the cornerstone of a larger family of fonts. Since then we’ve developed the project continuously, finding new opportunities to further refine its ideas, and extend its usefulness through new weights, new styles, and new features.

Today, we’re delighted to introduce Ideal Sans®, this new font family in 48 styles. Ideal Sans is a meditation on the handmade, combining different characteristics of many different writing tools and techniques, in order to achieve a warm, organic, and hand-crafted feeling. It’s distinctive at large sizes and richly textured in small ones, and available today in packages starting at $149.

FORZA: A New Font Family from H&FJ

Typeface: Forza

There are stylized typefaces that speak in a singular, powerful voice, and there are versatile ones capable of expressing many different moods. We feel the pull of both extremes, and are especially fascinated by the typographic styles caught in between. Sans serifs based on the rounded rectangle are an interesting study: they’re adaptable enough to have survived almost two hundred years, but in every incarnation they return with a new but overly specific agenda. The ones on enamel railway signs are charming, but a little sleepy; the ones on battleships are somber, if a little aloof. We’ve long wondered if this style could be harnessed to create a more expressive family of types, and recently had the opportunity to find out: Wired commissioned us to design a square sans as their editorial workhorse, one that could handle everything from philosophical essays to down-to-earth service pieces.

The result is Forza®, a new family of sans serifs from H&Co. Forza’s sophisticated visual vocabulary makes it alert and engaging, and its broad palette of weights ensures that Forza can meet the needs of the most demanding designer, from painterly display typography to text-heavy listings. Ardent, disciplined, shrewd, and commanding, Forza offers a range of voices to choose from, and is now available in twelve styles, from $199.

New from H&FJ: Whitney Greek & Cyrillic

Typeface: Whitney Multiscript

We’re pleased to introduce Whitney® Greek, Cyrillic, and Multiscript, a new internationalization of our Whitney family for our friends in Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

We’ve taken the fonts that already serve more than 140 languages, and extended them into the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets to satisfy sixty more. Whitney Cyrillic features our new Cyrillic-X™ character set, designed to accommodate not only major Slavic languages such as Russian and Ukrainian, but other important populations less well served by digital typography, like the 65,000,000 people who speak Azeri, Kazakh and Uzbek. For designers whose projects have an international scope — including everyone who needs all three official scripts of the European Union (Latin, Greek, and Bulgarian Cyrillic) — the Whitney Multiscript package integrates these three alphabets into a single set of fonts, across Whitney’s complete range of styles.

VITESSE: A New Font Family from H&FJ

Typeface: Vitesse

Please welcome Vitesse®, a new slab serif in twelve styles.

Slab serifs are one of typography’s most vibrant categories, yet they remain dominated by two ancient forms: the nineteenth century Antique, and the twentieth century Geometric. Both are vital and living genres — we’ve explored each of them, in our Sentinel and Archer type families — but what of the twenty-first century slab? Vitesse revels in the tension between organic letterforms and mechanical grids, and offers designers a distinctive new voice that’s suave, confident, and stylish. Engineered for responsive handling and a sporty ride, Vitesse is now available, starting at $199.

Introducing Tungsten

Typeface: Tungsten

A few years ago, we started wondering if there was a way to make a flat-sided sans serif that was disarming instead of brutish, one that employed confidence and subtlety instead of just raw testosterone. It was an unusual design brief for ourselves, completely without visual cues and trading in cultural associations instead: “more Steve McQueen than Steven Seagal,” reads one note; “whiskey highball, not a martini” suggests another.

The result is Tungsten®, a tight family of high-impact fonts in four weights: muscular and persuasive, without sacrificing wit, versatility, or style. Now starting at $99.

Introducing Sentinel

Typeface: Sentinel

Is any typeface more in-the-know than a Clarendon? These smart looking slab serifs have the timeless style of a charcoal gray suit, or a well-chosen pair of horn-rimmed glasses: they’re approachable, welcoming, and effortlessly persuasive. Yet they’re tough to use — out of the question for setting text — because they lack italics.

Enter Sentinel®, a new slab serif from Hoefler & Co. A new take on this lovely and useful style, Sentinel is a refreshingly complete family in twelve weights (Light through Black, with italics throughout) that’s designed to shine in sizes both large and small. Featuring text-friendly features like short-ranging figures, and our Latin-X® character set for extended language support, H&Co is delighted to present the entire Sentinel family for just $199.

The New Gothams: 46 New Fonts from H&FJ.

Typeface: Gotham

Fans of our Gotham typeface will be pleased to find that as of this morning, there are three times as many Gothams in the world as there were yesterday.

Designers who work with Gotham have enthusiastically deployed the fonts in a range of environments. We’ve seen Gotham on soda cans, boarding passes, billboards and banner ads; we’ve seen it engraved in marble on a cornerstone, and cast in rubber on the sole of a shoe. One newspaper used Gotham for financial listings, another for saucy tabloid headlines. But what we see the most are designers facing the challenge of making one typeface work across all channels. Last year saw one of the most remarkable examples of this: journalists couldn’t stop writing about something that designers have always known, which is that a candidate for president should use the same font for everything, from lawn signs and flyers to the campaign’s website.

Making a font work everywhere is a tall order. H&Co’s designers love these kinds of challenges, and are driven by an incurable compulsion to make fonts that can answer everyone’s needs. But designing a typeface is an arduous process requiring serious commitment, and we realized early on that if we weren’t careful, there could suddenly be an endless number of very specialized Gothams. The prospect of a “Gotham for embroidery” collection and a “Gotham for box scores” was daunting, and ran counter to one of H&Co’s core philosophies: that type families should be as small as possible, but as large as necessary.

So we organized all of these ideas into a coherent design brief, mapped out a way to bring a larger Gotham family to life, and then devoted years to drawing the new fonts that we’re delighted to present today. Today’s Gotham contains a total of 66 styles, neatly organized into four widths: regular Gotham, the new Gotham Narrow and Extra Narrow, and the newly-expanded Gotham Condensed. They’re all now available, in packages starting at $169, exclusively at H&Co.

ARCHER: a New Font from H&FJ.

Typeface: Archer

We’re delighted to introduce Archer®, a new slab serif in forty styles. Sweet but not saccharine, earnest but not grave, Archer is designed to hit just the right notes of forthrightness, credibility, and charm. Romans and italics in eight weights each, including a delicate hairline for display work, and featuring small caps, fractions, tabular figures, and our Latin-X® character set for extended language support. Now shipping in OpenType, with prices starting at $149, plus special savings when you order two or more Archer packages.

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