Hello again! I'm Mark, and this is the Type Specimen Digest, a weekly typography newsletter.
I've continued to document digital specimens adding several specimens a day for the last week. We're now up to over 50, with many more scheduled to be added over the course of the next few months.
Last week I dug into type testers for digital specimens and what the future holds for this little design pattern. This week I've continued my research into digital specimens. Themes have started to coalesce, which is pretty exciting!
Until next week, Mark
This past two weeks I've spoken to dozens of designers, educators, type designers, and foundry owners about specimens. Whilst there are some trends in the discussions, which is the topic of this blog post, I will say this: the thoughts and feelings about specimens amongst the type community are as diverse as the community is. So let's dig into some initial insights. What do people think of, and need from, digital type specimens?
Specimens this week
Concourse Beautifully typeset digital specimen opens with just a paragraph of editable text. Scrolling reveals panels of example text for various contexts for Concourse.
Mort Modern This is a fun specimen. Beautifully designed to match the feel of the typeface, the specimen initially takes you through the origin and inspiration of the work. There's a lot to dig into here: a long form essay, beautifully designed little panels of type features and testers.
Newlyn All Newlyn's specimens follow the same, templated (but slick) design. Simple cues, such as the flashing cursor, invite users to interact with the specimen further.
Moderat A single colour specimen that mixes geometric shapes with individually typeset single words in the many different weights. The specimen closes with a glyph set and demonstration of the many features of the typeface.
Digital type specimens that catch my eye are added to the type specimen feed on the website daily.
Type specimens research
Still plenty of room in my diary in the coming weeks for you to be involved in this project – if, of course, you have the time and inclination!
The research will take the form of a few interviews. I'll show you some stuff. We'll have a chat. All very informal. If you can spare twenty minutes, please just reply to this email. I'll get it.
A few interesting typography links
Iconfactory introduced Fontcase this week. Get fonts on your iPhone with support for iCloud and Dropbox.
Want to test your fonts across the web? Type-X is a Chrome extension to test your local fonts on any website.
This has been around for a little while, but I'm finding Wakamaifondue increasingly useful. Drop a font on the delightful spinning wheel for a comprehensive list of features glyphs, and even generated CSS.