The Type Desk

Monotype Clones Frutiger For Microsoft

Microsoft will be using a font named Segoe UI, for their new Vista operating system. Agfa Monotype created Segoe UI for Microsoft. Agfa Monotype claims to have designed it, but it’s actually a copy with minor modifications of Linotype’s Frutiger Next font.

In January 2004 Microsoft applied to register multiple designs of the font with the European Union’s Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). All of the applications were denied.

Segoe UI is the third cloned font Agfa Monotype has made for Microsoft.

link: A Second Helping: The Two Ms Do It Again

Posted by on April 19, 2006
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Thumb-speak Short-hand

Internet Type
We’re seeing an evolution of communications where written and spoken dialog are merging into some strange sort of thumb-speak shorthand. Negative or positive, it’s happening.
Link: Internet Linguistics

Posted by on April 12, 2006
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Serif vs. Sans Serif

sans serif

Serifs or no serifs? What’s your vote?

A: Sans Serif Type
Sans serif type is superior for legibility and should be used whenever possible before using serif type.

B: Serif Type
Visually, serif type is more appealing than sans serif type. Affording more opportunities, it should be used in place of sans serif type whenever possible.

C: Both Serif and Sans Serif Type
Both serif and sans serif type can be equally effective for legibility and style. Each should be used whenever appropriate.

Posted by on January 18, 2006
Filed Under Graphic Design, Typography | 34 Comments



A ligature is a character consisting of one or more connecting letters. As in the graphic above, sauerstoffflaschen—the German word for oxygen tank—is the only word to contain the “fffl” ligature. It also contains the decorative “st” ligature. Below are examples of standard and decorative ligatures.

nullligature examples
Letter pairs with their associated ligatures in Adobe Caslon Pro

When appropriate, I always use ligatures of well designed fonts for print and screen. Though, sometimes it requires a history lesson…

As many people aren’t familiar with ligatures, their use is often suspect. The use of some ligatures has become so rare that some folks view them as jarring, especially when editing or critiquing designs. Some standard ligatures—letter pairs like fi fl ff—will pass by unnoticed while others (st ct sk sti) may raise flags. Then it’s also possible, when not in edit mode/mood, some skeptics will pass over the more extravagant ligatures unnoticed.

Often, concerns with ligatures are not unfounded. Ligatures can’t be used for everything, so it’s possible to go overboard with them. They can be used in body copy above certain sizes, but rarely should they be used for titles. Letter combinations in ligatures can’t be kerned, so titles using them often suffer from blown spacing.

Posted by on December 21, 2005
Filed Under Typography | 18 Comments

Use of the ampersand & and

& and

When is it appropriate to use an ampersand “&” instead of the word “and”?

[A]   Ampersands should be used anywhere the letter pair “et” exist. &ymology instead of etymology.

[B]   Ampersands should be avoided unless they are part of a company name or a commonly used abbreviation (R&D)

[C]   The ampersand should never be used. It’s punctuation and doesn’t belong in most contexts.

[D]   The decision to use “and” or “&” is a matter of personal habit.

Posted by on December 15, 2005
Filed Under Typography | 32 Comments

Type Radio

Type Radio
From Underware comes Type Radio. Type Radio has MP3 radio streams and Podcast downloads on topics of typography and design from Matthew Carter et al.
(Link courtesy of Laurie Forehand)

Posted by on July 21, 2005
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