Each month we take our popular Rising Stars newsletter and convert the samples into webfont versions, noting the best ways to exploit the fonts’ features or find workarounds for the best results in common browsers. Here’s this month’s selection:
RBNo2.1 is Rene Bieder’s RBNo3.1 with a squeeze. When we featured the original back in August, we recommended it for “both commanding headlines and medium-length settings”, while noting that its alternate characters were only available through OpenType supported browsers. While the first point is equally true for this new version, essentially adding more flexibility to how headlines can be set, there’s now an interesting development with this new release regarding the second. RBNo2.1 comes in a and b versions, with the alternate characters provided in the b version of the font. In our sample we’ve used the same
<span> classes technique as we did with Dom and Mary (below), but really we would expect most web typographers to simply choose one or other of the fonts, depending on their own tastes; substituting and mixing alternate glyphs within a line of text is a useful technique for replicating calligraphy or hand writing but the extra coding required doesn’t necessarily deliver a comparatively eyecatching result with these chunky display sans typefaces.
Dom Loves Mary is a model example of the type of script font we will always recommend for web designers; as well as an extensive, fully featured OpenType font for each weight, there are fonts just containing the Stylistic and Contextual alternative characters as well as three fonts for various flourishes and add ons. Intended primarily for users with limited access to OpenType features, such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop, these fonts are also very useful for web designers. In the sample above, we used
<span> classes to substitute alternate characters from these other fonts; for example, two different styles of ‘f’, ‘r’ and ‘b’ can be seen.
A useful additional extra is the inclusion of a small caps text font in a simple yet still formal calligraphic style, making for a perfect complementary typeface for longer passages of text.
Although clearly a very different breed of typeface, Verb brings the foundry’s knack for creating persuasive yet informal and approachable letters to the contemporary sans serif genre. Featuring 18 fonts all told, there’s plenty of scope here for creating sophisticated typographic layouts, that look particularly good for consumer and people-oriented brands and web-based businesses.
Chalk Hand Lettering from Fontscafe is well suited for web designers’ purposes; for an artistic script typeface it’s pretty low-tech, featuring just a basic character set with no alternate glyphs, ligatures or programmed letter connections. It will pretty much work straight out of the box, even if using the handy set of symbols and illustrations will require picking the appropriate glyphs from a character viewer in your operating system.
The style is a step above other typical chalk effect fonts that replicate classroom blackboards or pub menus; based on work by Brooklyn’s Dana Tanamachi, this is a much more artistic and expressive form of lettering which, combined with the stylish shapes in the Extras font, will be best reserved for homepage poster-style layouts or site mastheads.