A curated list of digital specimens
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Class graphic design meets modern web design, the Commercial Classics Showcase specimen is everything you'd expect from the team involved. Notable that Michael Bierut was Creative Director for the specimen. As always, beautiful typefaces from Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz.
Smart looking specimen from Sharp. What works for me here is the progressive disclosure of the user interface which appear only on hover of selected elements. The Menu is a solid addition, too. Many specimens forego labelled sections in favour of just one, scrollable page. Having an insight into the process is a nice touch, too.
This specimen is an exercise in restraint. Just the barest of essentials are provided for the designer evaluating Anon Grotesk: a list of weights – presented as as a type tester – with the simplist of tools to just vary the font size. A PDF Specimen, available on download, mirrors the stark functionalism of the online version. The only bit of colour is the link to purchase.
At first, I was drawn to the bold, confident typesetting at the start of this specimen. It's a little tempered by the fact these are images when, really, they should be web fonts in a digital specimen. That aside, the real beauty of this specimen is at the bottom of the page with clear, instructional illustrations for the features available in the font. I think many type designers and foundries can forget that many font users do not know what 'stylist alternates', for example, might be.
This is something a little different. Universal Specimen is a single page app designed to preview and compare local fonts across multiple languages. Simple controls allow for tweaking column width, line height, and size. A really useful idea for web designers and type designers alike.
Clarinet is a work in progress I stumbled across at Future Fonts. The specimen is somewhat templated (as it's, well, a template), but the page showing examples of various types of layouts and designs are interesting. I wish these were produced with the web-fonts, however, instead of images.