Test Fonts, Books & Zines, Blobs, Conferences and More…

Marmite Defontes newsletter post #7

Test Fonts, Books & Zines, Blobs, Conferences and More…

Hello dear subscribers!

I thought I’d make a short newsletter, but it seems I’ve piled up enough material to write a dense edition. Buckle up and enjoy!

The menu:

  • About Test Fonts
  • Read About Type Design
  • Words of Type
  • Some Glyphs, After All!
  • 🎟️ For paid subscribers: a New Monospace Font Preview!
  • Quick Links

About Test Fonts

Let me share a couple of information and thoughts about test fonts here.

Fonts are software, OK. That means that you grant access to the software by charging some money: aka the licence. Up until this point, that’s common knowledge.

Then comes the question of “Can I have a sneak peek and see if this piece of software fits with my project?” We experience “testing” in a lot of contexts: trying a pair of shoes before buying them, listening to an extract of song before listening to the album, watching a trailer for a movie. Even appetisers in a restaurant can be considered as a try before you go all the way (testing/tasting: close enough ^.^). Expectations are the same way for fonts.

That is why most foundries provide test fonts, or demo fonts, or trial fonts. When I say ‘most’, that’s a ballpark assumption based on my current experience. Let’s round that up to ‘more than 50%’. I’ll do some proper research backed by numbers later! And event if the foundry doesn’t distribute trial fonts, you are just one email away asking for it. Type designers will be delighted with you reaching out!

Well, in ‘most’ trial fonts there is… Stuff. Usually A to Z, a to z, numbers and if you are lucky: a couple of punctuation marks. Perfect for any English content… So much for other languages! It’s like if you get a demo period for Photoshop but you get access to ‘just’ the first 5 items of the first 7 menus in the interface. I got more funny and sarcastic examples:

  • “Sorry, our policy states you can only try on the left shoe. Hope for the best with the right one. What’s your strong feet, by the way?”
  • “Hey, please enjoy an extract of my new song! By the way, the drum and singing parts are only available with the complete track.”
  • “Madame, monsieur: the Chef as prepared an exquisite appetiser for you. This is a ‘Beignets de Fleurs de Courgettes et son Espuma de lentilles à l’Obium’. You may chew the appetiser two times before you spit it out. Bon appétit!”

I took a different approach: I give full access to font features and glyphs. I’m not the only foundry proposing this approach. Clearly, it’s a very tiny percentage of type foundries. Because you know, piracy, etc. Let’s give access to what’s really possible within our fonts! The one thing that is different is the actual name of the font in your interface, with the TRIAL suffix.

I trust that people finding value in my fonts will purchase a licence. If they don’t see the value, then they probably won’t use it. And in the case they use it without a proper licence purchase, back to square one: they give value. But we switch to a different conversation, involving legal terms.

Read About Type Design

I’ve published a book/publication list a couple of months ago. Those are books and magazines I own or we were referred to during the Practica Program. I’m actually working on a new version of this list.

I’m lucky to have someone who reached out providing feedback and proposing help curating the publications. That’s a huge motivation to move this side project forward. Coucou Nora! 🙌

You can visit the current version (let’s call it the prototype) and here’s a preview of the new and coming layout.

Mockups for the new version (MVP? V 1.0?)

Words of Type

“Words of Type is an encyclopedia of typographic terms, illustrated and explained in multiple languages. Words of Type aims to be a useful and accessible tool for everyone interested in typography and type design, everywhere.”

I love this project. Simply because it holds two things dear to me: education and localisation.

Lisa Huang did an amazing job already (she’s not alone) and she/they need our support making it happen. **Only 8 days left guys!** Made my pledge already.

Some Glyphs, After All!

I did it again. Instead of advancing the Twig family, I starter another display font! Gotta work on this ‘finish what you started’ issues.

Anyway, please let me introduce to you Zoyg, a blobby display typeface. This is still an early design. I’m looking at expanding the idea to a full family with different widths and heights, maybe event a slanted version. Let me know what you think by using the comment at the end of the post.

The font is already useable, reach out if you want to test the beta files.
I’d love to see those numbers on a t-shirt collection or in a way-finding system.
Isn’t it the cutest ‘at’ sign you’ve seen in a while?
Current state of the Latin alphabet in this ‘55’ weight.

🎟️ Paid subscribers section: a New Monospace Font Preview!
Consider subscribing ;)

Quick Links

ATyPI Paris conference

ATyPI (Association Typographique Internationale) started to publish the videos of the last conference in Paris on their YouTube channel. Here is my top 3 picks so far:

  1. Juan Villanueva“Reclaiming Peruvian Typography: A decolonial read on design history” — ±30 minutes. A strong and personal introduction to the need of reclaiming the written heritage in South America, and especially the Mayan culture. I’ve been a passionate kid and teenager with everything related to Aztec and Mayan cultures and mythology. This talk is an opportunity for me to research what is in the making regarding those languages in the digital landscape. Material for another post I guess.
  2. Fer Cozzi“Yeah, type design is cool, but have you tried to be a feminist?” — ±30 minutes. Yup, a much-needed topic to be discussed. Just watch it.
  3. Ana Sofia Mariz“It Started as a Typeface for Post-digital Letterpress…” — ±35 minutes. I did the Practice Program with Ana Sofia and I can attest her project Vine is so interesting (and huge). Her work on shapes inspired by nature inspired for sure my work on Twig 🌱

Tips for First-Timers

Because you can always use another pot: the silly new ad for the famous Marmite brand.

“Love it. Hate it. Get it on.”

Source article

Music nugget: piano and keyboard again 🎹

Please enjoy a full performance and short interview (±35 minutes) from Hania Rani live at KEXP in 2022. It’s a direct link to the Ólafur Arnalds concert from last post. Hania actually did a track with Ólafur on her last album “Ghosts”. I was lucky to see her on stage last night. Highly recommended if she’s touring nearby. Next time, I promise: I’ll pick up more guitars and drums. 🤘

Until next time, cheers!


Photo credits of Hania Rani @ KEXP 7-9-2022 by Travis Trautt

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