Ascender Blog

Monotype Imaging is a leading provider of advanced font products specializing in font technologies, type design, multilingual font development & licensing and software development for mobile phones. The Monotype Imaging team is renowned for its TrueType and OpenType font expertise, and can tune fonts for on-screen legibility in Microsoft Windows as well as Digital TV, Set Top Boxes, Mobile Phones, Game Consoles, Embedded Systems, Consumer Electronics and other devices.

Reminiscing about wood type

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back in November (yes, finally getting around to posting this!) Tom Rickner, Jim Ford and Terrance Weinzierl ascended upon the Hamilton Wood Type Museum for the first annual Way-z-goose. The weekend included extensive reviews of the museum's wood type holdings as well as demos of a printing press and a pantograph. Matthew Carter was on hand to introduce his wood-only typeface Carter Latin and sign prints of his fellow typographers.

Naturally, some delicious pizza and micro-brewed beer garnished the trip to frigid rural Wisconsin.

Special thanks to Jim Moran and the volunteers that made the event possible.

More on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers Wisconsin:

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New Windows Phone 7 Series makes things interesting

Monday, February 15, 2010

Microsoft today introduced Windows Phone 7 Series, which features a very typographically rich User Interface. The initial reviews all seem to be very positive, especially regarding the UI. Gizmodo had quite a few articles including this one on the Windows Phone 7 Interface. The Windows Phone 7 features fonts from the Segoe family, designed by Ascender's Steve Matteson.
Windows Phone 7

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Fonts in eBook Readers

Friday, February 12, 2010

Is 2010 the year of the eBook reader? In the past six months quite a few new eBook readers have been introduced. From the Barnes & Noble Nook to the COOL-ER reader, almost all of these devices use similar screen technology.

When you look at text on the screens of these different devices, you will notice that there are some interesting differences in font rendering quality. Ascender has worked with a variety of companies to develop and license fonts specifically for use in eBook readers. We have had great success in tuning fonts for the screen, improving the legibility and readability of text, especially at small sizes.

There are lots of reviews being written about eBook readers. Unfortunately most of the focus seems to be on features and technical specifications, and not much time spent on the how the text looks and the fonts selected for the device. Here is one set of reviews that we found interesting because it covered a wide variety of devices: eBook Reader Review at Top Ten Reviews.

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A video game with text rendering issues

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ars Technica had a story on a popular video game with text that was illegible on standard TVs. A lot of users had complained about the text not being readable on screen.

The moral of the story of these recent articles is that not all fonts are designed for on-screen viewing, either for websites or on TVs. Game designers need to take proper care when selecting fonts for their titles and not rely solely on their Photoshop mock-ups.

Many headline fonts have design attributes that are difficult to render on any screen - HD or otherwise - so care needs to be taken in selecting fonts for optimal legibility and visual impact.

Ascender Corp, works with a wide variety of game developers and user interface developers in licensing off-the-shelf fonts and creating custom fonts. Ascender can fine-tune fonts for optimal display in a wide variety of product scenarios.

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Coming Soon - FontAid IV ampersand font to aid Haiti

Friday, February 5, 2010

Coming soon - Font Aid IV: Coming Together, a Collaborative Typeface

The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) has announced the Font Aid IV project to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders to assist with their relief efforts in Haiti. Ascender has contributed to a typeface being developed for this effort. When the font is completed, hopefully next week sometime, it will be available from and other type resellers. Chank Diesel is doing the heavy lifting on this project, and here is a sample of the work in progress.