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Fun With Type!

Last year I became a beta-tester for Astute Graphics’ Adobe Illustrator plugin “VectorScribe”. Those who know me know that I’m not really a very tech-savvy person. I get quite comfortable just sticking with doing things the way I usually do them. Over the years I’ve become very adept at using Illustrator, and was not overly excited at the thought of having to learn some new tools. I’d heard of Illustrator plugin tools, but I’d never really thought of using them before. So, to my surprise, I almost immediately embraced the new tools in VectorScribe. They work really well, ironing out a lot of the inherent flaws in Illustrator. I’d learned to live with a lot of those flaws, but once I learned I didn’t need to live with them anymore, those “flaws” started to look more and more like gaping wounds. VectorScribe is great—now I don’t know how I ever got along without it! You can download a little Case Study we did about VectorScribe here. I would definitely encourage all serious Adobe Illustrator users to at least try the 14 day free trial version. It will change your life!

So when the good folks at Astute Graphics asked me if I’d work on a little printed promo for them I thought “Well, why not? I really believe in their products”. The front and back covers of the piece were to be covered with testimonial quotes about their plugins from other users. The challenge was to make this list of quotes visually exciting. Most of my work is lettering-centric, but with this project the challenge was to only use set type and limited color—something a little different for me. I did use two of my own fonts, PowerStation (currently on sale) and DeLuxe Gothic: see if you can find them. Anyway, I think you can see that it’s possible to create a lot of visual fun by just using the basics, and combining them in imaginative ways. This is real Alphabet Soup!

Above is how the front cover turned out...

...and the back cover below:

The Dyna-Fonts Winners at Applied Arts

The judges at this year's Applied Arts Design Competition, in their first ever Typeface Design category, selected both Dynascript and Dynatype as winners. They were selected as The Dyna-Fonts—a typeface family.

I'm very proud of these fonts, and am pleased that they've begun to get the recognition I think they deserve. They work extremely well both together and separately, and in both display and in smaller settings, as you can see from the comparison below (click to enlarge).

I've begun to make both Dynascript and Dynatype available together at a reduced price. They can be found under the name "The Dyna-Font Collection" which can be purchased at MyFonts.

The Dyna-Fonts are now following in the footsteps of some of my other recent fonts that have garnered industry acclaim—most notably Deliscript, which was lauded by the Type Directors Club in their TDC² 2010 competition and also in 2011 by CA's Typography Annual 1, (the page excerpt of which can be seen HERE), and  Steinweiss Script—also recognized in this year's Typography Annual 2, (the page excerpt of which can be seen HERE). After being named a "Rising Star" Metroscript became "MyFonts’ Brush Script Font of the Year" and was subsequently named as #5 in Smashing Magazine’s “30 Brilliant Typefaces For Corporate Design“. The magazine went on to say about Metroscript: "lettering artist Michael Doret has adapted his trademark hand-lettering style to the computer, creating one of the most sophisticated suites of script fonts on the market.”

Typography Enters the Space Age! - Dynascript's World Premiere on MyFonts

DynascriptDynascript brings the ease of “Pushbutton Automatic” to your typesetting experience. Dynascript is actually 2-Fonts-In-1: without switching fonts you can instantly change from Dynascript’s connecting font to the non-connecting italic with the simple push of a button. (Just press the “Stylistic Alternates” button in the OpenType palette.) 2 Fonts In 1! Typesetters across the planet will also be able to set copy in their language of choice. Global Language Support Dynascript’s 694 glyphs can be used to set copy in: Albanian, Basque, Catalan, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Kalaallisut, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Maltese, Manx, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Oromo, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, and Welsh—and of course English. Sorry! Off-world languages not yet supported. Dynascript Complete Character Set What is Dynascript? It’s is a completely original, never before seen, bold script font—but to some it may be reminiscent of various mid-century neon signage, and of sign writing, Speedball alphabets and even baseball scripts. The design of Dynascript also takes some cues from a historical typographic curiosity that began in Germany in the ‘20s and which lasted into the ‘60s—when Photo-Lettering gave it the name "Zip-Top". Basically it was believed to be the wave of the future—that by weighting an alphabet heavier in its top half, one could increase legibility and reading speed. The jury’s still out on whether or not there’s any validity to this claim—but you can decide for yourself!

Dynascript makes it's debut today on MyFonts, and we'll start its special introductory sale on MyFonts tomorrow (25% Off!).

For more detailed information please download “The Dynascript Manual” pdf (800 kb).

Dynascript Design and Art: Michael Doret

Dynascript OpenType Programming: Patrick Griffin/Canada Type




Steinweiss on Steinweiss

When I originally did the title lettering for "Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover" I hadn't yet designed "Steinweiss Script". In fact it was designing this headline that spurred me to do that typeface design. In retrospect there were many interior headlines and other lines of copy for the book that Josh Baker, AD at Taschen, would have liked to have had set in a new Steinweiss Script font. But they had to settle for what was available at that time, which was one of several different digitized versions of what Alex Steinweiss had originally designed for Photo-Lettering. Now Taschen has released their more moderately priced trade edition of this incredible book—and just in time for this release I was able to reset all their headlines and other copy the way we had originally wanted to—in Steinweiss Script:

Above: Before and After Details from the older and newer editions

Below: You can Look Inside the earlier edition...

...or Look Inside the newer version:

Our intention was that the newer version, with everything reset in Steinweiss Script, would feel closer to what Mr. Steinweiss would have done had he been able to apply his scrawl to these pages.

Just a reminder: Steinweiss Script is available for purchase on MyFonts, Veer, FontShop and YouWorkForThem. To learn more about these fonts, read Steven Heller's Imprint article or MyFonts' Creative Characters for January.

Is Steinweiss Your Type? Pre-Valentine's Sale!

R U My Type? Mark your iCals! The Steinweiss Script 20% off sale will begin on Tuesday, February 8th.

Steinweiss is the perfect type for helping to pull you out of your shell, and getting you to express your most heartfelt sentiments.

Available in Bold, Medium and Light, or all together as a loving Family.

Just go to MyFonts on (or after) February 8th to hook up.

If you'd like to cozy up and get more familiar with Steinweiss before jumping into a serious relationship, read Steven Heller's recent Imprint article. Steinweiss Script also features prominently in the lovingly composed interview I just did for Creative Characters.

Just Revealed: 3 Colors Typesetting With PowerStation Fonts

PowerStation in 3 Colors It's always nice when someone reveals something new to you about your own work. That's what has recently happened in the preparation of the Creative Characters newsletter that MyFonts has just published on my work. While helping to prepare font samples for the sidebar, Anthony Noel was experimenting with my PowerStation fonts, and stumbled across a capability that I had not intended.

PowerStation Sample

In setting the copy he inadvertantly combined both PowerStation Block and PowerStation Wedge. When I designed this font for 2-color layered typesetting, I had not even considered combining these two fonts on layers, one over the other. But that's exactly what Mr. Noel did, with what for me were unexpectedly interesting results. I would have never thought it would work, and so never tried it.

So what's come out of this is that we've discovered that PowerStation can now be typeset in three colors. Two color typesetting was always achievable with either the PowerStation Block fonts or the PowerStation Wedge fonts. The difference is that one would need BOTH of those packages in order to set type in three colors. I've created a PowerStation User Manual Supplement (1.1 MB download) which outlines the steps that need to be taken to effectively create three color typesetting. PowerStation my be purchased from MyFonts, Veer, FontShop, FontBros or YouWorkForThem.

MyFonts Creative Characters Newsletter

I feel very honored that MyFonts chose me as the subject of their January 2011 Creative Characters Newsletter. It took the form of an interview, and in it I've answered a lot of questions, probably at greater length than I have in the past. So if you're curious as to what makes me tick, set aside 10 or 15 minutes and read this interview. If you still have any questions, I'll entertain them here!

All you information hounds can also check out the new "Interviews & Resources" page I've just set up on my website, where I've posted other interviews, articles, PDFs, etc., that I've done in the past. Now go write that report!

Steinweiss Script - Just Released!

We're very proud to be able to finally announce the release on MyFonts of The Steinweiss Script Family. We've described these fonts briefly in the last two postings (scroll down) but, to reiterate, this family is made up of three weights—a Light, a Mediuim and a Bold. Within each of the three weights, through advanced OpenType features, a user has the ability to access three distinct variations: Simple, Fancy, and Titling. Rather than trying to describe them again, I've provided an image that demonstrates what they are:

I began designing this font with just the larger caps and taller ascenders/descenders, but in the end felt that giving user's these options would add usefulness to the font. These variations make Steinweiss Script accessible not just for headlines, but for applications where vertical space might be an issue,  and also for longer passages of text.

To help users understand how to be able to access these features (and also to show off the font) I created "The Steinweiss Script User's Guide" in PDF form (1.2 MB download). I've also created an "Incomplete" character showing to give somewhat of an idea of what's in the font:

Steinweiss Script is available on MyFonts and FontShop either as a family of all three weights, or each of the weights can be licensed individually.

As always, we'd love to hear your comments about this font!

Steinweiss Script - Design and Art: Michael Doret - after Alex Steinweiss Steinweiss Script - OpenType Programming: Patrick Griffin/Canada Type

Steinweiss Script Update: Release Date Set

Head's up everybody! I've just set the release date for the Steinweiss Script Family for Tuesday, November 9th. It will be available only on MyFonts—at least initially. And I'll be running an introductory sale at a 20% discount. For a good preview of what's in the font and how it's OpenType features work you can download "The Steinweiss Script User's Guide" (about 1.2 MB).