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Category Archives: 8 Styles
Ubuntu has some quirky elements, such as the corners created where shoulders meet stems on the letters a, r, n, m, h, p, q, and u. The quirks don’t undermine the overall texture, rhythm, or readability of the font, but it does give text a slightly “futuristic” feel which may or may not be appropriate for a project.
Even with the “futuristic” feeling, I categorize Ubuntu as a humanist sans because it has generous apertures, bowls with implied stress (on the b, d, q, p), a curved foot on the lowercase l, and a relatively humanist italic.
Ubuntu’s x-height is slightly smaller than Verdana, yet holds up very nicely at smaller sizes due to generous apertures and bowls. The bold weight is a bit heavy for my taste, though it is still legible on screen. While a semi-bold is available, it is not heavy enough to create a good contrast to the regular weight.
An old style font by Robert Slimbach, Minion Pro was originally designed for print. It is part of the Adobe Originals series.
Minion Pro feels “old” and pen-formed. It has a smaller x-height than Georgia, small closed counters on the letters a and e, and relatively small apertures. Thus it needs to be set larger to retain readability. Minion Pro is my favorite print font, and I didn’t expect it to work so well on screen (I usually prefer web fonts with a larger x-height and aperture). I was pleasantly surprised.
Minion Pro comes in 8 styles, including a beautiful semi-bold, which creates hierarchy without getting too heavy on screen. Even though it was originally designed for print, Minion Pro is well hinted and tests well across browsers. It gets a little light on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera on Windows XP, but is still legible if set at a generous size. The whole family is available on Typekit.
A slab serif font by Tavmjong Bah, based on the Vera fonts. Unlike traditional slab serif fonts, DejaVu has contrast between thick and thin strokes. The bowls are slightly square, and the large x-height means it remains readable at smaller sizes.
DejaVu tests well across browsers, though there are some letterspacing issues in Safari on Windows XP.
The DejaVu Serif family consists of 8 fonts (various weights and styles). All are available for free download at fontsquirrel.com.
A font that almost made it. A Venetian serif font by Jos Buivenga (exljbris.com), Calluna has a smaller x-height than Georgia, and works best at a generous font-size. Calluna feels like an “old” font; it has pen-formed serifs and terminals. The rising crossbar of the lowercase e is reminiscent of early Renaissance (Venetian/Humanist) letterforms.
Unfortunately, the font does not hold up across browsers. On Windows (XP, 7, Vista) the strokes on the letterforms get very light (thin). The pen-formed head serifs on letters such as h, b, d, u, and so on become too prominent, and the rising crossbar on the e becomes jagged and breaks.
The overall structure, spacing, and system of the font is beautiful. I had to include it in my collection anyway. If you are creating a site primarily for mac users, Calluna will serve you well.
The Calluna family consists of 8 fonts (styles, weights). Calluna Regular is available for free download at fontspring. The full family is available for license at fontspring and for font-linking via typekit.