News: Tagged as FF Letterine

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?

Type is typically one-color. Of course, after it’s set, a user can manipulate letters with a texture or a gradient; but out of the box, a font is usually capable of a single color. This is where layer fonts change the game. With glyphs that are designed to be overlaid on top of each other, layer fonts make it easy to apply multiple colors and other effects without extra steps or leaving the comfort of your typesetting or layout app.


Layer_Hero_FF_Identification

 

Multi-layered type is not a new concept. “Chromatic” wood fonts for printing large headlines in two or more colors were common way back in the mid-1800s. Polychromatic type continued to be readily available in the photocompositing era when graphic designers sent their text to specialized typesetters to do the precision work required to line up the layers. When digital type took over, there was a noticeable lull in layered type. There were few chromatic fonts available, and making them work was now the complicated and tedious task of the designer who was suddenly given the additional role of typesetter.

But now, thanks to new typefaces (and rediscovering some old ones), better software, and time-saving tricks made possible by OpenType, chromatic type is back! Just a casual glance at graphic design blogs or Pinterest boards is enough to see that layer fonts are in fashion again.

There are plenty of interesting and useful multi-layer typefaces in the FontFont library — it may surprise you to learn we have more than 50 families with layering capabilities (even some Free FontFonts like FF Pullman and FF Koko) — but they are often overlooked because online samplers are optimized for standard, single-layer type. So let’s take a closer, multicolor look at a few and see what they can do.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Make things pretty.

The most obvious use of type layers is to add decorative elements in multiple hues. A variety of FontFonts take advantage of layers to enhance their display qualities, from playful to grungy. Here are a few:

Layer FontFonts 
FF Beadmap, FF Minimum, FF Letterine, and FF Flava demonstrate the coloring possibilities of FontFonts with layers.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Add depth and dimension.

FF Profile Layers 

One of the more powerful benefits of layers is transforming type from an element that simply sits on a surface to one that has a three-dimensional shape of its own. A single layer font with built-in shadows or faceting can only go so far in simulating depth. With a layer FontFont like FF Primary you can use color to give each surface an appropriate shade, making the type pop off the page or recede into stone. Over at the FontShop blog, David Sudweeks wrote a good tutorial on using FF Primary (and most other layer fonts).

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Add realism. 

FF Kipp Layers

FF Kipp, inspired by a worn set of wood type, is one of the most popular typefaces with a rough, weathered contour. Still, users often overlook its layer variations which can make it an even more convincing emulation of imperfectly printed or painted letters. The extra fonts in the set offer a variety of degradation when overlaid over the base fonts. These extras can also be colored slightly different than the bottom layer resulting in an uneven, painterly effect.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Give text meaning.

FF MisterK Features

Layers aren’t only useful for visual appeal. Among the many smart tricks in FF Mister K are scribble, strikeout, and underline features that can enhance the meaning of text all while staying true to the informal handwritten aesthetic of the typeface. The OpenType-powered annotations are easy to apply, work with words of various lengths, and of course offer the ability to easily adjust coloring. Read more about how to use FF Mister K’s special effects in this info guide.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Clarify text.

FF Jigger Overlays

One of the graphic designer’s often encountered but seldom discussed challenges is overlaying readable type on a photograph or video. This is particularly tricky when the background has varying values of light and dark. Common hacks include drop shadows and strips of color, but it’s often more engaging when the element backing the type is in harmony with the typeface. This is where FF Jigger shines. Because there are separate fonts for front and back, each can be colored independently. And because it’s type, changes to content or color are easy to make.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Simplify iconography. 

FF Dingbats2 layering

Maps, infographics, UI design, and wayfinding systems ask a lot of iconography. To get the work done efficiently, icons must be easy to apply, easy to edit, and easy to change. That’s why working with symbol fonts makes so much sense. FF Netto Icons and FF Dingbats 2.0 offer frames and backgrounds to enable icon customization. Because these icon and border elements are separate characters they can each be colored separately. In FF Netto, key in the desired frame, apply its color, then key in an icon to align it perfectly inside the frame. FF Dingbats 2.0 uses an OpenType-powered layering feature to allow coloring of multiple elements in each pictogram without switching fonts (see above). Read more about this and the packages other features at the official FF Dingbats 2.0 site.

Using Layer FontFonts on the Web

You don’t need to limit your layer typography to print and images. Our friends at Typekit have written a simple CSS tutorial on using layer fonts in web design. For his article, Tim Brown demonstrates a chromatic typeface revived from the wood type era, but the technique will work with Web FontFonts like FF Prater Block, FF Advert Rough and parts of FF ThreeSix too.

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Best Collection FontFonts for festive occasions

For the past few months, we’ve brought together our favorite FontFonts from our Collection Tier and top tips for a particular intended use. With only a few days to go until we head off on our festive break, we couldn’t help but tackle the typographical heights of FontFonts suitable for festive occasions. So grab a mulled wine and a mince pie and feast your eyes on these festive fancies.

FF Quill

FF Quill

FF Danubia and FF Danubia Script

FF Danubia and FF Danubia Script

FF Nelio

FF Nelio

FF Elegie

FF Elegie

FF Letterine

FF Letterine

FF Eddie

FF Eddie

Showings and images by Angelo Stitz,
except FF Elegie: Image by Tobias Titz/
fStop (1009056)

 

Holidays and celebrations have a steady stock of traits to fall back on. These give you excellent opportunities to explore new script fonts, fat faces, or Old English types. Really, anything that looks traditional is likely to be a nice fit. You can also run wild with pastiche or kitsch – letters that look like they are made of candy canes, leaves, ribbons or snowflakes are fair game.

 

Type for festive occasions often takes the form of text to be looked at, rather than actually read. Don’t go the safe route and pick a face that looks too much like something for a book. Go ahead and let your type call attention to itself; there is no need to be too text-y.

 

Most important of all, be sure to pick something that feels cheerful; nothing brings down an invitation like a typeface that is too dreary or formal. Your fonts won’t be the only element of an upbeat design, either. Color will surely play a role, as will illustration or other imagery. Fonts with holiday ornaments can help in a pinch, too.

 

Catch up on our previous intended use posts:

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ÜberFontFonts

Every three months, we announce our top three fonts that have climbed up the popularity charts the most, during the last quarter. We call them our ÜberFontFonts.

There’s been a flurry activity here at FontFont, from our latest release FF 59, which includes the highly successful new designs FF Scuba, FF Chartwell and FF Tisa Sans, to the whole host of new features and functionality that we’ve recently added our website. We’re already halfway through the year (yes, we can’t quite believe it!), so it’s now time to announce our ÜberFontFonts for this quarter.

ÜberFontFonts Q2 2012

Our top three ÜberFontFonts for the second quarter of 2012 are:

FF Super Grotesk by Svend Smital is based on a 1930s design by Arno Drescher, the web version of FF Super Grotesk has been particularly popular recently.

The lovable and highly expressive FF Letterine family, which includes FF Letterine, FF Letterine Esagerate, FF Letterine TeatroFF Letterine Archetipetti One and FF Letterine Archetipetti Two by Alessio Leonardi is also climbing the charts and is one of our FF Collection Tier typefaces, a range of affordable priced full family packages (all the weights and font families for an all-inclusive price).

Last but by no means least, our third and final ÜberFontFont for this quarter is the Web FontFont of FF Speak by Jan Maack.

Check out our ÜberFontFonts for the first quarter of 2012

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