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TYPOGRAPHY MADE TO FIT TypeTogether’s primer about lettering, font usage and tailored typography

this is

NOT an end user license agreement

Buying fonts has become almost as challenging as using them. Nowadays graphic designers are faced with a rather complex universe of legal and technical issues that can turn buying fonts into a frustrating and time consuming experience. But do not panic! In the following pages, we have put together a series of thoughts and tips about the basics of lettering, font usage and tailored typography that serves as a checklist for the sensitive process of choosing and purchasing the right typeface for the job. This publication also provides guidelines about custom typography; when it is viable, how to order it, and what are its advantages when compared with retail typefaces. You will also find some words that will help you understand the different kinds of licensing models, in plain and easy to comprehend words, but please be warned about the legal validity of this booklet... That’s right, this is the unavoidable disclaimer: this document is not an end user license agreement and has no legal validity. It is just meant to broadly inform you about some of the basics of font licensing. If you are in doubt about licensing issues we strongly encourage you to contact us.

To read the different kinds of EULAs of TypeTogether please visit this url:


Why typography is important

Foreword 2 Why typography is important


How is typography sold


Licensing at TypeTogether


Retail vs tailored typography


Custom typography


Font selection checklist


Summing up


Graphic and editorial designers, information architects and web developers play a central role in modern communication and human interaction. They make sure that the visual messages are delivered in an appropriate and effective manner. Their raw material is language, which most commonly appears in the form of written language, as letters. And most of the times, those letters appear in the form of typography. Typography is, to a great extent, graphic designers’ main tool to communicate and convey messages. Understanding how type works and developing typographic sensitivity is in many cases what sets successful design aside from the rest. Fonts, if well used, amplify the effectiveness of words and the overall visual quality of a piece of design. However, composing text is no simple task. Especially when it comes to those design pieces that deal with many different elements that should work harmoniously together, and that require the combination of multiple type families. In these cases, each typographic decision must be in tune with the contents, the reproduction means, and the rest of the texts and images in the page. Such is the endless game of black and white that designers play every day. Furthermore, there’s an identitary side to letters. Type communicates, but it also represents, and it is as important as iconography and colors when it comes to corporate identity programs. That is why tailored typography has become a very appealing option for companies of certain sizes. A typeface sets the tone in which an organization speaks to itself and to others. In this sense, having a unique voice is as important as a logotype.

For more than 500 years type was cast in metal. Hence buying fonts implied moving around heavy boxes of lead. In the digital era typography lost its mass and weight to make way for binary code, zeros and ones. Therefore typography is commercialized like software or music files. Although most people speak of ‘buying fonts,’ all that is really sold is the license to use them. The actual design of the font software remains the property of the type designer. The license describes permissions and restrictions about how the font software is to be installed and used. Here are some of the most common things to be found in an End User License Agreement1. Amount of CPUs and geographical locations where the font can be installed.

Whether the font can be placed on web servers or be embedded in files and apps.

Defines if the font can be modified, decompiled and recompiled.


Sets permissions to transfer the font, redistribute or send it to a print bureau.

Explains which uses of the font would require additional licensing.

1. This text is based on the text published by the Association Typographique Internationale called Fonts and Fairness, which we recommend and is publicly available at <>

Most typefaces are designed by individuals or a very small group of typeface designers. There are two ways in which you can go “font shopping.”

FOUNDRY – DESIGNER MODEL Buy fonts directly at the developer’s online store:



1 Just a handful of font families 2 Consistent quality of construction and language coverage 3 Focus on similar style & function of typefaces (editorial, packaging, book, script, etc...) 4 Direct contact with designers allow for quick font customization 5 Fast technical support














Visit a font distributor to buy fonts: 1 Thousands of font families to choose from 2 Carries fonts for every use 3 Mixed levels of font quality and language coverage 4 Provide only first layer of customer support 5 No direct contact with the designer


how is typography sold?

TypeTogether offers different kinds of licenses. The most common ones are described below. As it is possible with fonts, licenses can be tailored to the customer’s specific needs. If you are unsure about licensing or require a tailored license please do not hesitate to contact us at




1 Fonts are provided in OpenType format (OTF).

1 TypeTogether provides webfonts for selfhosting only, but we part ner with other webfont service providers2.

1 Fonts are provided in OpenType format (OTF).

2 Smallest license allows the installation of font software in up to 5 computers. Multi-user discounts are available.

2 Fonts are provided in optimized for screen rendering.

2 Read-only embedding in a single application. Multi-app & editable licenses are available too.

3 You can embed the fonts in PDF and Flash files.

3 Fonts are provided in EOT, WOFF, TTF and SVG formats.

3 Each license allows for any number of app downloads and any number of mobile platforms.

4 You can use the fonts to design printed and digital pieces.

4 Webfont licenses are priced according to the website traffic.

4 One license is good for the lifetime of the product.

5 Font can be sent to a print bureau for production of design pieces.

5 Licenses can be bought on a yearly or perpetual basis.

5 One license is good for any amount of ebook titles.

Graphic designers: Use this type of license to install TypeTogether’s fonts in your studio’s desktop and laptop computers, and use them to create artwork for your clients.

Web designers: Use this type of license to host TypeTogether’s fonts on a web server and use them with @fontface CSS code in your client’s group of domain names.

Developers: Use this type of license to embed TypeTogether’s typefaces in a mobile application, regardless of its price, amount of sales and supported platforms.

2. We also advise visiting our webfont service partners, who provide a more cost-effective solution for websites with a lower amount of monthly visitors: FontDeck, Typekit and Webink.

Most of the common uses of our typefaces are covered with one of the three licensing models described above. However, we do require additional licensing in those cases where our typefaces become a significant part of a commercial product or enterprise.

EDITABLE EMBEDDING Fonts are used in a software product, which allows the end user to interact with the fonts, e.g. in a search field or other user-editable dynamic text. COMMERCIAL TEMPLATE LICENSING Fonts to be embedded in a software or web application, that can be used as an option for customizing an end product, e.g. business cards, t-shirts, etc... UNLIMITED COMMERCIAL OEM LICENSE Blanket license to include the fonts in any potential commercial product of a company or organization. LIMITED COMMERCIAL OEM LICENSE Same as the previous item but limited to a single product.

Ask for a temporary TESTING license, to create artwork for presentation purposes in the concept and mock-up phase of your project.

HIGH PROFILE BRANDING & BROADCASTING Fonts to be included prominently within a feature film or as a part of a TV channel identity. MERCHANDISING PRINT LICENSE Use letters and illustrations embodied in the font files on products for sale such as clothing, bags, and other merchandising.

It is commonly accepted that retail fonts are those that are already made and that designers can buy online for just a few Euros. On the other hand, custom typefaces are made on demand for very large organizations that have a lot of time and money to invest in this. In reality, the borderline between custom and retail typography is much more blurred than this. So, what is right for your client? Here are a few tips to help you find your way around this...




Retail fonts are ready to be downloaded and their availability is immediate. Just add them to your shopping cart, checkout and you are ready to start using them.


There are different levels of customization, from modifying a couple of characters of an existing retail font to creating a complete tailored type family. The first scenario takes only a few days, and the second may take several months.

The fonts in our library are open to be purchased by anyone. Retail fonts can also be adapted to specific needs, whether they are technical or aesthetic. As a result, customers obtain a typeface that is unique up to certain point, but it is anchored in a retail development.


Nothing will represent a company or organization more accurately than a typeface designed especially for it. Tailored typefaces will be consistent with the rest of a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s branding program. In many cases, a complete typeface is developed out of the logotype lettering.

Copyright of all of our retail typefaces is owned by the original designers. You can purchase, however, a company-wide license which would allow for unlimited use of the font files within the broader company structure.


It is possible to order a tailored typeface with full copyright transfer or not. If the customer acquires the copyrights they are entitled to redistribute, give away, or even sell the fonts. Otherwise they can use the fonts unrestricted within their organization, but not make them available to third parties.

Retail typefaces are by definition not exclusive. However, TypeTogether can offer custom modifications of retail fonts. When these modifications are of an aesthetic nature, such as the redesign of some glyphs, these can be purchased as exclusive variations of the fonts. This system allows companies to have unique versions of existing fonts at an accessible price.


When typefaces are ordered with full copyright transfer, the customer receives perpetual exclusivity of that design. Otherwise, a limited period of exclusivity can be agreed. TypeTogether then reserves the right to sell the product or a modified version of it under a different name when this exclusivity period ends.

Our fonts are provided in cross-platform OpenType format, and all of the necessary webfont formats. Other formats are available upon request. Our minimum character set covers Latin Extended A, which supports all of the European languages and more. Check our website for details about language and script coverage for each type family.


Custom typography will always comply with the technical and linguistic needs of the customer. We take everything into consideration, from the size of the character sets to the different reproduction methods and the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s software framework.

The price of our retail fonts depends on the amount of characters included. Fonts with small caps are slightly more expensive than basic versions. We also have a few free fonts. Check our website and download them immediately.


Pricing for tailored fonts is provided on a per case basis. The required amount of letters and scripts, complexity of the design, quantity of style variations and post-production processes have an impact on the final price of the project.

LOGOTYPES Graphic designer César Cesio chose the VAG typeface, developed for Volkswagen AG in 1979, as the type family for the corporate identity of Pomera Maderas, a FSC® certified forest management company and wood producer. Our task here was to design the lettering for the logo in concordance to the overall feel of the corporate typeface. The resulting logo shows letters with more coherence in their horizontal proportions, that work together towards stressing the importance of the letter ’O’. Horizontal strokes have a more appropriate width and the roundness of terminals is a bit more squarish. Still, both type family and logo resemble each other.


Without any doubt, one of the most common requests for custom lettershapes is for logo refinement. Installing a font and typing the brand name does not make a logo. This is due to a wide range of reasons. Main one being that when we design an alphabet we make letters in such a way that they can fit before and after any other letter. This is a condition inherent to the very definition of typography. If we knew the final word that will be written we would certainly make letters differently. And this is exactly what we do with logos: We interpret the designer’s ultimate intention and create and modify shapes to create a more harmonious, cohesive and appealing shape.

Retail typography

Custom lettering

As part of the redesign of the award-winning Islamica Magazine it was decided to use our Karmina as text typeface and to redesign the bodoni-style logotype. We were asked to develop something more humanistic with classical proportions that would reflect the magazine’s reputation. The problematic letter combinations LA and AM were solved by a stronger tilt on L’s serif and a fluid connection between the A and M serifs.

Sub Headline

Small Size

The logotype was intended to be used in different functions, scenarios and sizes. Therefore the design had to be adjusted correspondingly. In the small version the contrast between thin and thick strokes was reduced and serifs were thickened to guarantee good performance. The masthead on the other hand could feature much thinner strokes and serifs and so have an elegant appearance.

FONT CUSTOMIZ The magic of OpenType

Perú country brand, designed by FutureBrand

Design studio FutureBrand commissioned this customized version of our successful type family Bree. The objective was to introduce a series of changes that would help connect the typeface to the new logotype of the country brand for Perú, which is based on drawings from the Nazca lines.

quently as they have very strong impact on the resulting text. The capabilities embodied in the font format OpenType allowed for a simple solution. The six resulting fonts use different OpenType features to allow users to activate and deactivate the new ornamental shapes by just one click of the mouse. As a consequence, graphic designers The approved design reinforces the have a quick and versatile shortcut characteristic feature of the logo: to the iterative process of testing the spiral. However, the resulting these shapes on current DTP applishapes could not appear too fre- cations3. 3. OpenType support in DTP applications varies, so fonts are engineered according to the software that is used by our clients.

Built-in character replacement



Stylistic Set 01


AS Peg t&

Stylistic Set 02



Discretionary ligatures



Contextual Alternates

<B<D<E<F<H <I<K<P<R<T =B=D=E=F=H =I=K=P=R E>L>a>d>h> i>m>n>u>

<B<D<E<F<H <I<K<P<R<T =B=D=E=F=H =I=K=P=R E>L>a>d>h> i>m>n>u>

Characters that were simply redesigned to match the client’s brief.

Initial and final shapes that match the branding and can be accessed through stylistic alternates. Alternate letterforms that are engineered for better performance in text sizes or continuous reading. Optional ligature for letter pair ‘Qu’, which is highly common in Spanish language. Series of initial and final ornaments that can be typed through math characters and then accessed by means of the contextual alternates OpenType feature.


Portland based advertising agency Wieden-Kennedy contacted us with a simple brief: they needed a stencil version of Bodoni that supported the three scripts Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. However, the required font did not exist. Instead of designing a completely new typeface, TypeTogether advised a more immediate and inexpensive solution: 1.


Probably the lesser known part of our work is the one related to consultancy and license management. Ironically, this may be one of the most important reasons to seek a type foundry. We make sure design studios can achieve their goals without spending a fortune and keep their companies legally compliant.

Compliance & common sense

Levi’s® customized font for its 2011 campaign.




One of the most cost-efficient ways of purchasing a tailored font is getting a custom modification of an existing retail typeface.

We located a version of Bodoni that already had Latin and Cyrillic, commercialized by Russian type foundry Paratype.

3. We located a Greek Open Source version of Bodoni that would serve as a starting point. 4. We improved the design of the three scripts, added the stencil cuts and joined them under the Paratype Bodoni font file.

This required only a small fraction of the time and investment that would be needed for a complete tailored font.


2. We secured the appropriate license and permissions to modify the typeface.


Out of the ten most widely spoken languages only three use the Latin alphabet4. And even within Latin typography, there is a big percentage of fonts that does not support Central or Northern European languages. 4. Source:

Into the Tower of Babel The Typography unit at Apple requested a version of our typeface Athelas to include in their successful e-book reader, the iBooks mobile app. A character set extension was needed so that Athelas would support dictionaries, scholarly journals and publications in different languages.

As a result, Apple’s Athelas carries over 2400 glyphs while the retail version has 950. Language support is an important factor in the type selection process, but type families can be expanded upon request in order to fit specific needs.

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Standard TypeTogether LAT character set. It includes Latin extended A, discretionary ligatures, five sets of numbers, full super and subscript alphabets, small caps, math symbols and varied bullets, arrows and ornaments.

The language extension requested by Apple includes several additions to the Latin A range, Latin B (used in languages from Africa and Southeast Asia), Polytonic Greek, Extended Cyrillic and full International Phonetic Alphabet (used in dictionaries and other academic texts).

TAILORED Pete McCracken together with Cinco Design commissioned us to create a custom typeface family for the life simulation hit computer game, Spore. The exclusive fonts were to be used for all communication material linked to Spore including the extensive game manual, and the marketing campaign announcing the game. The typeface was conceived to be one of the pillars of Spore’s branding strategy, functioning in body text as well as in display situations. A tailored typeface greatly supports the company’s recognizability and distinctiveness, guarantees the process of exchanging information both internally and externally, and allows for the company’s expansion at no


extra licensing charges. Developing the custom font from the company’s logotype is often a good starting point. This will ensure visual coherence throughout the brand speaking in one tone. In Spore’s case, the agency indicated three main features that the fonts should fulfill: 1 Circular geometry, 2 Rounded ends and 3 Symmetry. Given the multi-purpose use of the Spore fonts, legibility was a clear concern during the design. For example, the little outstroke on ‘a’ and ‘q’ helps to distinguish the ‘a’ from the ‘o’ in text setting and it gives the ‘q’ a bit of idiosyncrasy.

Brand coherence

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789 The resulting shapes are a bit quirky and rather inspired by handwriting than printing, e.g. M N W X Y. Although apparently geometric, letters had to be optically adjusted for them to work harmoniously in text and to avoid unpleasant dark spots. So were counters slightly squashed to make them appear round and all connections were made thinner to avoid blobbing.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789

TYPOGRAPHY Find your own style

Even the slightest adjustment in a font can make a sensible difference in typesetting. In this vein, text-intensive pieces such as newspapers, web portals or magazines depend a good deal on the graphic designer’s typographic sensitivity and good taste.

Abril Display

Abril Text

Abril Almería

Style request checklist 1 How many characters should fit per line? 2 What is the printing size(s)? 3 What is the main function of the font (text, title)? 4 How will it be rendered? 5 What is the target color of the blocks of text? 6 How tight will the leading be?

Abril Display

Abril Almería

Abril Text

News consultancy firm Cases i Associats contacted us to develop a tailored font based on our own newspaper type family Abril. The objective was to generate a new style that, while sharing the curve strength and low contrast of the Abril text fonts, could be used for setting titles. Lettershapes, proportions, color and spacing in headline typefaces are distinctly different from text fonts. The personality of lettershapes in headlines should be molded in careful agreement with the editorial direction of a publication. For the development of Abril Almería we were able to work side by side with the news consultants in the fine tuning of a new typeface for these tailored headlines, which furnished La Voz de Almería with a highly effective and unique voice.

El veloz murciélago El veloz murciélago El veloz murciélago The resulting face is based on Abril Text, but due to its display use, some features were changed. For example, some of the optical compensations, such as the serif angle, necessary for text sizes, were removed. This adds to the newsy feel and gives the shapes more evenness along the x-height. Additionally, the letter widths and spacing were condensed to fit more characters per line and the overall color was increased to deliver more impact in large headlines on the front pages.


It is important to consider the multiple communication channels in which a font is likely to be used. Consistent rendering in different platforms is key to consistent branding.

Delivering on screens

In the Latin alphabet there is a series of lettershapes that, without careful design, may present recognition problems.


The serifs in ‘I’ help to make a clear distinction to letter ‘l’.


Stressing the brand

The stroke in number ’0’ and its condensed shape make it immediately recognizable.


Clear difference in construction helps to differentiate the numbers.


is the process by which fonts are adjusted for optimum rendering on computer screens. Hinting uses mathematical instructions to adjust the display of a fonts’ outline so that important parts of lettershapes such as stems or x-height appear consistent in a low resolution grid. At low screen resolutions, hinting is critical for producing clear, legible text.

QlikView is a software that helps present intensive amounts of data on screens. In other words, the software piece is a tool for application developers. Being stuck with system fonts (Arial, Times, etc...) presented several problems for them: They were generic and lacked brand value, had poor legibility for data visualization and their appearance did not express a forward facing piece of software.

community, and could become the defacto choice for data analysis and visualization. This project involved an extra layer of complexity because the fonts would be rendered in different browsers, operating systems and devices.

Ideally, fonts would be engineered to excel in their performance on the desired printing and rendering technologies from very early design stages to For those reasons, we set out to cre- the last post-production processes ate a type family that could be freely such as hinting. distributed, work well for the data

Role & purpose

Technical requirements

e What are the contents?

e What are the printing conditions?

e What is the role of the text?

e Will it be delivered on screens?

Make sure the font supports the required languages and contains the necessary letter and number alternates such as small caps or old style figures.

The selected typeface must have appropriate vertical and horizontal proportions. It should fit the right amount of characters per line and deliver the desired typographic color.

1 3

e How long is the text and how is it read?

The letter shapes must collaborate towards content delivery and the type family should have enough styles for the design. Also, ensure that the typeface does not produce fatigue in long texts.

Remember that sturdy shapes and ample forms are preferable for small texts. Ink traps can help printing on rough paper and low contrast typefaces are favored for coated surfaces.

When choosing webfonts, consult to verify if the fonts have been optimized for screen and verify the rendering is good enough on different browsers and operating systems.

It is important to check whether the font format is compatible with your design application. Be careful: some design applications may have limited support for OpenType features.

FONT SELECTION CHECKLIST We recommend this 4-step conceptual framework to ask the right questions in the right order when selecting fonts. A font selection process that is fully aware of complexities that go beyond decorative issues can only help to achieve better design, and it will hopefully guide graphic designers through a journey of type discovery. Remember, selecting the right font does make a difference!

Aesthetic considerations

e Will it work well with the contents?

Letters may carry loads of different emotional properties and create a general atmosphere. It is important that this impression feels in harmony with the message that is being conveyed.

e Will it work well with the other fonts?

If several font styles need to work together in the same block of text try to match the x-height or choose a superfamily5. If using contrasting sizes, try choosing fonts that share a design intention.

e Does it fit the lifespan of the piece?

Be careful about choosing fashionable type. Trends change, and the design can look outdated very quickly. Take special care when developing designs with a more permanent character. 5. Large font families that have different construction features (serif and sans serif, condensed and expanded, etc...) are often referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;superfamiliesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

2 4

e What about software compliance?


Budget & licensing

Does the license fit my needs?

Look into some limitations that font licenses may have: deployment as webfonts, embedding in software applications, use in mainstream broadcasting or some commercial applications may require additional and sometimes much more expensive licensing.

e What are the budgeting limitations?

Check your budget when selecting fonts, and see whether the fonts must work together with other types that have already been licensed. Also, we recommend checking that the licenses can be easily upgraded at a later date.


WEBFONT SERVICES Use our fonts in your website through the services of our trusted partners: FontDeck,, Typekit and Webink.

DESKTOP LICENSE Buy a font from TypeTogether’s library. With our basic license you can install the fonts in up to 5 CPUs.

FORMAT CONVERSION Buy re-engineered versions of our retail fonts in order to fit your current software workflow structure.

SCREEN OPTIMIZATION Request a manually optimized version of our webfonts, and host them on your own server.

APPLICATION EMBEDDING Embed our fonts in a mobile application, regardless of the amount of copies sold or the supported platforms.

WEBFONT SELFHOSTING Host TypeTogether’s webfonts on your own server, hence controlling load speed and reliability.

CHARACTER SET EXTENSION Commission TypeTogether’s typefaces with tailored language support.

SCRIPT EXTENSION Have a further character set extension by adding one or more writing systems to our typefaces.

COMPANY-WIDE LICENSE This license allows for unrestricted use of the fonts within your broader company structure. Suggested for 2000+ CPUs.





CUSTOMIZED FONT STYLE Get a new font style from an existing design, tailored to your communication and technical needs.

TAILORED LETTERSHAPES Request one of our typefaces with a limited number of redesigned lettershapes to achieve a unique voice for your brand.

CUSTOM LETTERING Have TypeTogether fine tune a logotype to achieve better brand cohesiveness and consistent rendering across sizes and media.

TAILORED FONT DRAFT Request a new font based on your sketch, extended to a fully working type family, according to your needs.

LIMITED EXCLUSIVITY Commission a tailored type family according to your needs, and use it exclusively for a limited period of time.


COPYRIGHTS TRANSFER Commission a tailored type family according to your needs and secure exclusivity by acquisition of copy rights.


C /TypeTogether D /photos/typetogether E @TypeTogether o

Typography Made to Fit  

In this primer, we have put together a series of thoughts and tips about the basics of lettering, font usage and tailored typography that se...