A curated list of digital specimens
of the highest quality. Updated daily.
There is something about this specimen that reminds me of the printed specimens from Emigre in the mid 90's. Maybe it's the colour combinations, or the simple panels of large glyphs.
This specimen for Andada is well constructed and comprehensive. The fonts in use section is particularly useful to see real-world application.
Will you look at that CA ligature in the title! This specimen for Montecatini is very refreshing. Leading with design information and inspiration, the specimen goes on to provide type testers. The real stand-out, though, is the real selling point: the contextual and stylistic alternates.
Part article, part type specimen, and part – sort of – product landing page. The 'pay-what-you-want' personal licensing is a welcome addition, plus the various calls to action for signing up to the newsletter. These commercial additions – whilst welcome here – are sadly lacking from many specimens out there.
Uivo is a geometric grotesque hybrid with a specimen full of personality. The delicate balance of marketing, usefulness, distinctive, and design is well constructed with a simple colour palette, stacked specimen components, and finishing with some really useful customer testimonials. I wish we'd see more of those.
Process's type specimens are always so simple, engaging, and just useful enough to tempt any designer to part with their cash. Really good specimen with larger than life type.
NaN Fiasco is a disobedient sans-serif drawing inspiration from errata in the design, application and reproduction of letterforms. The specimen is a neatly stacked selection of type testers before concluding with one of the most engaging license selectors I've seen.
WEG font is an experimental type system where legibility isn't the focus. It's refreshing to see this type of experimentation is still alive and kicking in the type design industry. The specimen demonstrates potential usage which frames the experiment in the real world of application to products and services.
Some interesting components in the specimen for Garet. The opentype features selector is particularly useful when combined with the sample text. The inclusion of some experimental and playful components – such as the 'talk' component – is very welcome.
Dinamo does it again. Vibrant, useful, exciting specimen for a monster typeface release. Of particular interest is Arizona Flare – a nice blend between Serif and Sans and a natural progression from the variable font design space.
There has been an increase of this type of digital specimen over the last year; stacked type testers of set text in the various weights of the typeface. And that's it. The best of both worlds. Interesting enough from a design perspective to really show the glyphs off, but with the added functionality to really start probing the typeface for your own needs.
This is a little different. Indian Type Foundry have created this free offering of their entire catalogue for non-profit or personal use. Brilliant. And the specimens to display the catalogue are really well done with some nifty, subtle design elements.
Neacademia is a Latin and Cyrillic type family inspired by the types cut by 15th century Italian punchcutter Francesco Griffo for the famous Venetian printer and publisher Aldus Manutius. The specimen is available in Latin or Cyrillic which is nice – so often language support is shown in the glyph table, rather being set as text.
Almost every bit of type on this specimen is a type tester. Controls reviewing themselves on hover, they are stacked, starting with huge single words before slowly changing into more long form content all the way to paragraphs.
Another specimen where the buying options caught my eye. A multitude of boxes – each labelled with the font packages, ranging from Personal, to Large, allow the user to easily choose. The one thing that caught my eye was the 'pay-what-you-want' for non-commercial and testing purposes. An interesting alternative to limited trial fonts.
This specimen for Rowton has the usual components: type testers, carousel of designed images etc. But, rather unglamorously, it's the buying options that sets this apart. A really simple walk through licence type, scripts, and individual weights and promotional packages. Super clear and easy.
When most digital type specimens seem to be a single scrollable page, it can be hard to miss those that split the vertical sections into different web pages. This was the case for me with the specimen for Lenora – I somehow missed the navigation! A thorough specimen with excellent use of spot colour to draw the user's eye.
New addition to Displaay's Matter typeface. Like its parent typeface, Matter Mono is just different enough to warrant attention. The specimen has a good type tester proceeded by some designed images.
There is just something about slightly extended or condensed typefaces that take me right back to memories of Space Lego, ABBA, and the early '80's Where everything was brown and orange. Not this specimen, though. Stark, stylish black type testers display large type harking back to those more stylish days.
Just look at those swash italics! Beautiful font, and quite a simple specimen – from a functional and aesthetic point of view. But what stands out on this is the copywriting. The wonderful little story sits alongside the font in the quirkiest of ways. There are other short stories o the site as well for you to enjoy.
A big release from Klim, and, as you'd expect, the specimen is pretty special. Following similar information architecture to the other specimens in the collection, Mānuka's distinctive branding sits atop the specimen and across all of the marketing. That's what I like about Klim's releases: the thought and careful execution given to branding every release.
Not a specimen as such, but I know Toshi and the care and attention he puts into the design of his typefaces. Codelia is no exception. Beautifully designed for a difficult work environment, it's sensitive to the needs of programmers who sit all day looking at code.
Perhaps the longest scrolling foundry homepage I've seen. Atop is the specimen for Now Grotesk with some brilliantly designed components outlining the font features and design details.
I'm a big fan of combining the design story of the typeface in a specimen. Of course, this has to be done sensitively, and at the right point in the user's evaluation of the typeface. The specimen for Faction does that particularly well, seamlessly moving from detailed specification type content, over to the story of how the typeface came to be.
Now this is cool. Instead of just showing a bunch of letters, type testers, and features like all specimens do, why not take three short stories and typeset them to show off the real-world capabilities of the web font. Perfect.
This is really, really interesting from Positype. The unusual, but simple, interaction design of mirrored scrolling lend itself perfectly to this high contrast fashionista type design. Just enough content to whet the appetite presented in a cool way. Take my money.
Some interesting things can be done with colour fonts. Bixa was originally designed as wood type for letterpress, and is now transformed into a multicolor font for web. The specimen suffers slightly in the same way specimens for variable fonts do: they have to explain the benefits and features ahead of the actual design. That said, this is an interesting specimen.
If you ignore the strange spinning wheel in the top corner, this is a well put together specimen. Striking colourways underpin some solid, usable components. The feature illustrations are particularly good.
This specimen page for Kaligari belongs to the 'scrollable svgs' type of specimen. That said, these look great. High contrast, interesting shapes, and enough detail to properly evaluate the typeface without a type tester.
Proxima Nova goes variable! This specimen, or more like a micro site, has some interesting examples as type testers: mocked up physical artefacts with the type overlaying them and controls to change the variable axes. Seen many times in more corporate guidelines, this is a cool addition to a specimen site.
A useful specimen from Luzi Type for Spezia Serif. Of particular note is the little variable font tester. This is great. A simple user interface offering axis sliders and italic toggles.
A solid, functional library specimen from Kontour. Stacked type testers with variable length sample text give way to accordions of features and design story.
A specimen exclusively made up from stacked type testers for each weight and style. The vibrant colours work well against the large, heavy glyphs.
An interesting specimen for an interesting idea. A font that degrades in weights that represent the degredation of the Artict sea ice from 1979 and that projected in 2050. Specimen wise, it has some nice touches.
I miss typefaces like this. Reminds me of FUSE. The specimen for Two System doesn't quite demonstrate the possibilities, though. I'd really appreciate a type tester and some example usage.
Newlyn's templated specimens are really excellent from a usability perspective, offering all the features we know users need when evaluating a new font. But, of particular interest, is the multi-lingual content for the type tester.