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The H&FJ Quick Look: Finishing Touches

Hoefler Titling with Gotham Narrow

In the middle of Gotham, our family of 66 sans serifs, there is a hushed but surprising moment: a fraction whose numerator has a serif. So important was this detail that we decided to offer it as an option for all the other fractions, a decision that ultimately required more than 400 new drawings. Why?

As you'll read below, it's something that we added because we felt it mattered. Even if it helped only a small number of designers solve a subtle and esoteric problem, we couldn't rest knowing that an unsettling typographic moment might otherwise lie in wait. We've always believed that a good typeface is the product of thousands of decisions like these, so we invite you to join us on a behind-the-scenes look at some of the invisible details that go into every font from H&FJ.

We wanted to give our Knockout family the energy and eclecticism of an old print shop, but without all the impractical nostalgia. To help designers coax different flavors out of the typeface, we included some well-placed alternates that dramatically alter its mood. Swapping in different forms of the capital R helps Knockout go cool and contemporary, warm and traditional, or dispassionately neutral.

Knockout from $169


When we developed Gotham Rounded, a type family inspired by the lettering of blueprints, stencils and templates, we were surprised to see how radically the font's voice could be changed by the slightest variation in weight or spacing. Helping enhance the font's lighter moods is a single letter, a lowercase A of single-storey construction, included as an alternate. Its inclusion helps transform the fonts from serious to cheeky.

Gotham Rounded from $179


Our Tungsten typeface doesn't demand tight spacing, but it certainly invites it. To give designers the option of locking the type together, we included an alternate ampersand that hugs its neighbors instead of keeping them at bay. Tungsten has other alternates that favor density over poise, some of them deep in the character set: an alternate "Ø" is included for our friends in Scandinavia.

Tungsten from $99


It's sometimes the lowliest symbol in a typeface that best embodies the design's possibilities. Our Chronicle family can be breezy or striking, qualities that we thought might be amplified by just the right kind of percent sign. By default, the fonts contain the cursive form whose top zero is joined to the slash, but a bold and graphic alternate is included for speaking in a more unequivocal voice.

Chronicle Display from $199


In our Knockout family, the shape of the figure one follows a rare design that dates to the early nineteenth century. Defined by a notch, rather than a protruding flag, this character is always easier to space between neighboring numbers, though out of context it can sometimes look peculiar. For these situations, we've included a more conventional form; both constructions can be comfortably used together.

Knockout from $169


Since our Indicia and Revenue typefaces are inspired by stamped numbering, we couldn't resist giving each font a full set of typographic accessories that evoke a world of library cards and adding machines. Some uncommon features of Indicia are its florid number sign and underlined figures, perfect for prices. The Revenue font benefits from a full complement of abbreviations, taken directly from cash register receipts.

Numbers from $129


Traditionally aligned with the period, the colon sits on the baseline where it corresponds to the proportions of the lowercase. But between numbers, the colon can sometimes appear too low, a situation that's often encountered in timetables. In Tungsten, we've included an alternate colon that's centered on the height of the figures, a useful option when setting the time.

Tungsten from $99


Our Whitney type family is built around a thematic angularity that helps it look jaunty and alert. This motif extends to the punctuation, where commas and quotes are reduced to trim angular darts. For designers hoping to achieve a more relaxed feeling, Whitney includes an alternate set of punctuation, which reintroduces the more conventional curved forms.

Whitney from $199


In addition to its natural-width proportional figures, Gotham includes a set of fixed-width tabular figures for setting columnar data. While developing Gotham, we noticed that the one-half fraction looked naked next to the tabular one, which sports a baseline serif in order to match the width of the other rounder numbers. So when invoking both tabular figures and fractions, Gotham automatically introduces a replacement set of numerators and denominators, in which the figure one is always seriffed.

Gotham from $169



Typographic Cousins: Forza and Vitesse

Cyrillic Typefaces by H&FJ

New in OpenType: Shades

Four Techniques for Mixing Fonts: Ask H&FJ

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You're receiving this e-mail either because you're a customer of H&FJ, or because you've created an account on our website, www.typography.com. We don't e-mail often, but if you'd rather not hear from us at all, you can simply click here to unsubscribe the address *|EMAIL|* from our list. Copyright © 2010 Hoefler & Frere-Jones. 611 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-2608. Chronicle, Gotham, Gotham Rounded, Knockout, Indicia, Numbers, Tungsten, Revenue, and Whitney are trademarks of H&FJ, which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Prices are subject to change without notice. All rights reserved.

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