“Create your own sample book of typefaces on your computer that you can refer to.
Organise them into:
• Serif for continuous text; readable at small sizes and those suitable for headings.
• San-serif for continuous text; readable at small sizes and for headings.
• Script fonts that look handwritten with a pen or brush.
• Decorative fonts only suitable for headings or ‘fun’ uses.
• Fixed width, techno and pixel fonts for use on the web or to give a computer
I’ve made some attempts to organise my fonts previously, by simply typing all of them into Illustrator under the headings of serif and sans-serif. It takes hours, and then I found I had to look through all the documents to try and view what I was looking for.
This exercise is great, as it made me think “Right. Time to look into Font Management Tools.” There are plenty of useful online reviews discussing various commercial downloads such as “Suitcase”, and others. I eventually settled on “Nexus Fonts” to organise my fonts (its free – yay!). You can create categories to group relevant fonts together, I’m sure its far more basic than some, but it certainly does the job for now. My entire font collection isn’t vast – but it’s already proved to be FAR easier to organise my fonts. Its also very easy to delete them, which I find is helpful too.
Once I’d installed Nexus Fonts, I could start creating font categories, and name them whatever I liked. You can then drag and drop your fonts into the newly created folders. Some of these are self-explanatory, others are maybe a bit eccentric, but make sense to me! I’ll no doubt carry on re-naming and refining as I go along. naturally this takes hours… But is well worth it.
Here’s a screen shot. Currently showing all fonts installed on my computer, rather than any specific category. (Categories listed on the left)
The little TT and O symbols next to the font names refer to Truetype, and Opentype. I never remember…hang on..looking it up…Its to do with formats…
TrueType was developed by Apple, and then licensed to Microsoft. This is a slightly older format, and not always cross compatible, as each company made their own adjustments.
Opentype is a newer format, developed by Adobe and Microsoft, which is crossplatform. Sometimes considered to be a better format than truetype.
Serif Fonts Body Text
Here’s a screen shot of some of my serif fonts. Actually only a few are available in a useful number of weights, such as Minion Pro.
Serif Suitable for Headings
San-Serif Body Text
At first glance, I have a reasonable amount of sans serif fonts suitable for body text, but obviously the ones without italic and bold are less useful.
The majority of my fonts are Windows system fonts. I know some designers are sniffy about using any pre-installed fonts, but never mind, this is what I have for now. I found several of the Thai font families (such as Browallia, and Cordia) are very small. How do I know they are designed to support Thai? Its thanks to this Microsoft info:
Its a list of all their system fonts, and a bit of info about each of them. I found myself clicking on each name to view background info on the fonts! Ahem.
By the way, I also got curious about what some of these letters stand for such as UPC. It stands for Universal Product Code. Apparently this means the font is compatible with barcode technology. (I stumbled upon a scary forum where a man was asking how he could create his own barcodes, as he finds them fascinating. Gulp. I thought typography was anorak-y!!!)
. The letters UI stand for user interface – ie good for screen use.
Vrinda supports Bengali. Lovely letter shapes!
We were also asked to show which sans-serif fonts suitable for body copy were available as Regular, Italic and Bold. I haven’t pictured them individually but here’s my category selected in Nexus Fonts. Briefly they are: Arial, Browallia, Calibri, Candara, Corbel, Cordia, Deja Vu, Freesia, HP Simplified, Iris UPC, Meiryo, Myriad Pro, Segoe UI, Utsaah, Verdana…Not many at all!
I don’t think I’ve entered Segoe into my main sans-serif group! Grrr! More organising!
Sans Serif Headings
Here’s some of the fonts I feel are more suitable for headings, or small amounts of copy.
Script and Handwritten Fonts
Fixed width, techno and pixel fonts
This could go on and on…Oh! I haven’t shown any decorative fonts, or my retro category….
OK. I’ll stop now!