Blog

Fonts as sweet as honey

APIS design recently chose Graviola as its brand typeface. With focus on the education and culture markets, APIS design specializes in developing strategic solutions through editorial design and brand identity. When I designed Graviola in 2014 I never imagined I would see such a sweet application. APIS design’s new brand combines beautiful illustrations, vibrant colors […]

Densia Sans will get an upgrade

I’ve started Harbor Type almost 6 years ago with Densia Sans. My goal back then was to design a typeface from scratch and to test the waters on this market. It turned out enjoyed the whole process and decided to make it my full-time job. Hurray, Densia Sans!

Double awards at Hiii Typography 2018

Kiperman and Rocher were given Merit Awards at Hiii Typography 2018. Already in its 5th edition, the Hiii Typography International Typography Design Competition is hosted by Hiiibrand Inc. and aims to explore outstanding design talents, reward excellent design works, and to advance the development of typography design career.

How to animate variable fonts using Python and Drawbot

One of the most common uses of variable fonts is to make animations. You probably have already seen it: fonts that gain and lose weight, get wider and narrower, or even morph between a normal font and a stencil version, always incredibly smoothly.

You don’t need to buy expensive software to do that. In fact, a lot of these images are made in Drawbot, a free application for MacOS. Although Drawbot was initially developed as a tool for learning to code in Python, the fact that it can export in PDF, SVG, PNG, MP4, GIF and other formats made it an excellent tool for automating tasks in graphic design. You can even typeset a whole book in it and then export it as a print-ready PDF with CMYK colors!

Malva 2.0: variable font update

Version 2.0 of Malva is here and it comes with variable fonts! If you don’t know what that means, variable fonts are one of the most exciting new developments in digital typography in the last few years. This new format allows you to have many styles in a single font file. All styles are organised along axes, which means you now have the ability to select the exact weight value you need (or any other variation the font might have). No more wishing the bold was slightly bolder and the regular was a little lighter!

Website redesign

After months of hard work, I’m delighted to tell you this website has received a well deserved facelift! I designed the new website with a mobile-first approach. Whether you’re visiting it on mobile or desktop, you’ll find much more information about each typeface, including OpenType features, its complete character set, language support and a type tester.

Kiperman: a typographic tribute

You probably already know the most common reason to develop a custom typeface is when no typeface in the retail market meets a brand’s communication needs. Or maybe the brand needs exclusivity, a font family that no one else can use. Alternatively, it may be that the company is very large – with thousands of employees – and buying a license for all these people would be very expensive. Or the company uses very specific software or processes and not every font works correctly under these conditions.

Any of these arguments alone would justify developing a custom typeface. But what is not always remembered is that the custom route is also a great opportunity to pay tribute to someone.

Custom fonts on the Kindle

A recent update for the Kindle software introduced the ability to use any third-party font to read any ebook. This has made the process of testing text typefaces a lot easier. Before this update, testing on Kindle meant embedding the fonts on ebooks using Calibre and transferring them to my Kindle Paperwhite. This would be fine, but doing so for every minor font version soon filled my device with dozens of the same ebooks that I would never actually read…

Rocher Color: making a variable color font

Stacking multiple fonts on top of each other is a makeshift solution for creating multicolored text in digital media. I was well aware of this when I designed Rocher. On the other hand, I so excited about it I couldn’t keep myself from releasing it even knowing the user experience would be subpar.

Things have been changing rapidly since then. Support for color fonts has seen a considerable increase in the last couple of years. On top of that, variable fonts technology has opened up another plethora of possibilities. Merit Badge, by David Jonathan Ross, was the typeface that inspired me to go into this rabbit hole and release Rocher Color. This is its story.

Scripts for Glyphs

A quick update for those who develop fonts in Glyphs. I’ve recently published my first repository in GitHub with a few open source scripts. Their functionality range from the very simple (open all/selected nodes) to the somewhat complex (an almost complete solution for exporting and importing SVGs for making color fonts).