The Extensis Community Blog
It’s Cinco de Mayo, amigos! Today we’re partying with Chunk Five and Aleo fonts from 1001 Fonts. Download them here. Put an H—or five—in your Tequilaahhhhh.
Choosing the right font style can be a time-consuming and difficult challenge. Typography experts estimate that there are over 30,000 font families to choose from. Yikes!
So…how do you find the RIGHT font/typeface in an endless sea of options? Some basic guidelines might help.
May 3rd, 2016 by Joscelyn Zell
If you’re evaluating digital asset management (DAM) solutions, learning about customer experiences is an important step in the process.
We sat down with Les Barker, a seasoned Digital Strategist, to get his unique perspective on the value of digital asset management, best practices, work/life balance, and more! See what he has to say in this brief video.
If you’re interested in exploring digital asset management solutions further, our 45-day free trial is a great place to get started.
To learn more about digital asset management and its benefits, hop over to our Portfolio page.
You may know that here at Extensis we recently conducted an in-depth survey of our users. Maybe you even were one of the 1,900 people who participated! We called it the Type Trends Report, and you can download it here.
We learned a lot during this process. We learned about the lives you lead, your main font faves, and—of course—your most hated typefaces. Below, please enjoy what we think will be a type designer’s most beloved hate read: your 6 most loathed font trends, ranked in order from meh… to ugh… to hell no!
6. High-Contrast Script
Responders to the Type Trends survey felt that although high-contrast script fonts—like Whomp, by Alejandro Paul from the awesome foundry Sudtipos—may be trendy, but can also be hard to read. While a few of you got into this style’s retro, love child groove, the majority of people felt that love for the ‘60s and ‘70s is fading.
April 29th, 2016 by Joe Spencer
Handwriting fonts are everywhere these days. Designers love the organic aesthetic they convey and consumers respond to them on a personal level because of their handmade, human quality.
Examples of handwriting (also known as handwritten, cursive, or script) fonts
But did you know that modern handwriting evolved because of the Fall of the Roman Empire? When the Romans succumbed to invading barbarian hordes, widespread plague, and political corruption, the educated world experienced a major lull in literary and cultural works.
An Italian poet and writer named Petrarch labeled this period “The Dark Ages” and began to campaign for a form of writing that was infinitely more “simple” and “clear” than the ornate Gothic lettering which was popular with the ruling class at the time.
It’s the end of April, and that means it’s the end of National Poetry Month. Not a poet? Not a problem. Neither was Henry David Thoreau—so he says, in this short poem, which concludes our celebration. Anyway, May is National Hamburger Month, National Strawberry Month, and National Chocolate Custard Month… so no matter what you’re into, next month is sure to be delicious.
Fonts: Arvo, Apple Chancery, Bebas
Sons and daughters of Extensis let their creative juices flow with Fontspiration in honor of National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. With the school year ending, we knew it would be a hard time to bring kids to us, so we brought our work to them! Parents sat down with their kids to engage them in one of our biggest passions: fonts.
Kids ages 9-13 created custom typographic masterpieces using our Fontspiration app. We thought this would allow us to inspire our children. We were pleasantly wrong. They inspired us!
“Show us your girl power!” Kaia, age 10.
“The future…”Alex, age 12.
“Graphic Designer in the making.” Jarod, age 13.
“Don’t forget to rise to the stars.” Sam, age 10.
“Caught in a web?” Edward, age 9.
“Selfies are important.” Vincent, age 10.
“Positivity.” Ryann, age 11.
We’re impressed! Thanks to all the kids who participated and helped us get inspired.</>
Make your masterpiece!
Learn more about Extensis’s free Fontspiration app and start creating using all kinds of fonts, colors, animation and more. Share your creations with us on Instagram or Twitter using #fontspiration.
April 26th, 2016 by Joe Spencer
Calligraphy font is a trendy way to let friends and family know that your upcoming wedding will be not only tasteful but perhaps even elegant. Calligraphy on your wedding invitation says “Please don’t wear shorts, Uncle Richard!” (and we all have an “Uncle Richard” in our family).
(FYI If you found this site because you’re exploring calligraphy options for your wedding, The Knot wrote a about where to find local calligraphers or even learn to do it yourself!)
But it might surprise you to know that calligraphy originated in China thousands of years ago as a means to unify the many languages spoken at the time. In fact, calligraphy began as simple pictorial images that represented forms of nature—the earliest known examples of calligraphy were engraved into the shoulder bones of wild animals!
THE EVOLUTION OF CALLIGRAPHY
Cangjie, widely credited as the inventor of Chinese writing, drew inspiration from observing animal footprints in the sand. He then created simple images that represented natural phenomena like sun, moon, rain, or dog.
From Encyclopedia Britannica’s page on Chinese calligraphy:
‘Each stroke, even each dot, suggests the form of a natural object. As every twig of a living tree is alive, so every tiny stroke of a piece of fine calligraphy has the energy of a living thing.’
Western calligraphy first gained popularity during the Roman Empire and helped form the Latin alphabet. At the height of Roman rule, calligraphy spread as far as Great Britain. When the Romans fell, their literary influence remained, often in monasteries as religious texts.
CALLIGRAPHY AND HAND LETTERING
As mentioned previously, calligraphy is very popular for wedding invitations. But hand-lettering is experiencing a major renaissance everywhere you look. In the digital age, consumers respond to art that feels like it’s made by an actual person (even if it’s not).
The Oxford Dictionary defines calligraphy as “decorative handwriting or handwritten lettering”—which is an overly simplistic description and completely ignores the historical and artistic implications mentioned above. It’s accurate that all contemporary hand-lettering styles evolved from calligraphy, however.
Design expert Gerrit Noordzij referred to calligraphy as “a single pass of the pen/tool to write as a form of art” whereas hand-lettering “consists of built-up letters—drawing with multiple strokes.” His seminal book The Stroke: Theory of Writing is an interesting analysis of letterforms and the process of creating them.
New York designer Chavelli Tsui outlines some key differences between calligraphy, lettering, type.
The Greek word kalligraphos literally translates to ‘person who writes beautifully’ but increasingly, calligraphy and hand-lettering are being designed on computers. Purists might reject the notion that calligraphy can be created by something other than a pen or brush but rules are made to be broken, right? As Noordzij once said “Unassailability turns science into superstition.” The digital age has enabled young artists and designers to put a modern spin on an ancient art form. Technically, there’s no such thing as “computer calligraphy” but there are still many artists that do custom hand-lettering.
In a recent interview we did with calligrapher Laura Worthington, she noted that the current calligraphy renaissance is due to “an increased demand for custom, one-of-a-kind items” and “a desire for more individuality and personal expression.”
Gregory McNaughton of Reed College was asked whether calligraphy was obsolete in the digital age. He likened it to walking in the automotive age. “Sometimes walking, like handwriting, is more efficient and practical. When we take a walk beside a dear friend, or down a trail into the wilderness, it transcends transportation and takes us places we can’t go in a car. The same is true of beautiful writing.”
So….long story short, hire an artist (like Stephen Pies or James Lewis) if you want your calligraphy to be truly unique. If you’re looking for calligraphy fonts online, here are some great places to check out:
COLLECTIONS OF CALLIGRAPHIC FONTS
Of course, FontSpring offers a number of modern calligraphy fonts, such as:
Mila Script Pro
Salt Spice Pro
Adorn Pomander Script
If you need further inspiration check out Vandelay Designs 40 most beautiful calligraphy fonts.
Purchasing a font online is a great way to do your wedding invitations on a tight budget. It’s also the safest way to prevent your canine calligrapher from ruining your house.
It’s still April—though not for long! Our celebration of National Poetry Month continues today with a real springtime poem by Anaïs Nin.
Font: Old Man Eloquent
On April 21st, the world mourned the loss of Prince Rogers Nelson, one of the most prolific and successful musicians in history. Prince sold over 100 million albums during his remarkable career that spanned four decades. Though he was clearly influenced by legends like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, and James Brown, Prince was always completely unique and creative in his artistic expression as well as the way he chose to live his life. There will never be another Prince.
You might be familiar with Prince because of his long list of hit songs like When Doves Cry, Kiss, or Let’s Go Crazy. Or maybe you first became aware of his genius during his breathtaking performance at the Super Bowl. Though he achieved mainstream success, he never conformed to trends or pandered to his fans. His music was complex, moody, and singular—much like the man himself.
I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am something that you’ll never understand.
In 1993, Prince legally changed his name to this symbol to protest what he believed was a Draconian clause in his contract with Warner Brothers. The Love Symbol, as he called it, was a combination of the male and female symbols and represented liberation from corporate control as well as societal norms regarding sexuality and gender.
“The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about.” -Prince,1993