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« Small socks, freight, editing/layout, and a phone | Main | A small thing, addendum: Type and language coverage! »

September 10, 2007


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Donna Druchunas

Hmmm could something so simple as font choice be the problem I'm having getting the Lithuanian characters to display in my blog? Maybe I need to force some Lithuanian text to a different font and see what happens. I wonder if something simple like Arial has "everything"?

Donna Druchunas

BTW, Cat's book is great. I love the versions of the socks that have the heel stitch on the bottom of the heel, instead of on the back. I always bust holes in the bottom of my socks, not in the back of the heel.

Deborah Robson

Donna, the Lithuanian characters may not display on another person's monitor if they don't have the same font and it doesn't have the same character set. Arial is pretty likely to be comprehensive, depending on the version you have.

I haven't found that heel stitch helps the durability of my heels. Not sure why. . . . Maybe I have really pointy heels. . . .


Thank you for such a fascinating insight into typefaces, I will definitely be looking more closely at the books and websites I read. I always really enjoy your posts and find them very informative and interesting.


Funny you should talk about type. It's not something I get into detail about, except--some Macreader of my blog is really vocal when something about the settings don't work for her. It caused me to think more about this, why I change type for the sake of interest and resting my eyes, and why it matters to me. In fact, I recently was reading a book and the type (and the content) were so disconcerting that I just returned it to the library, unread. These things can make a big difference!

Kristi aka Fiber Fool

I <3 type! I'm not as experienced in it, but I dabbled in studying it several years ago. I think you achieved your goal with ...Discovery... because I hadn't really noticed it, except that it read easily in PDF format :-) But now that I think about it, it meshed very well with the feel of the illustrations. In fact, I was surprised when I got to the point where you said the font was chosen before illustrations were begun! So, job well done! :-)


I will be one of the blog reviewers for Donna's new book. My review will be about how the books is designed, layout, etc. makes it a good book for knitters. Donna sent me your website and I love the article. This will make my job even easier knowing where you got your inspiration.
I'm also a graphic designer and love type. I, too, have been leaning more to san serif fonts for text — Gill Sans Serif in particular. I'm glad I'm not alone in this because I too, have almost aways used a serfi font for text.
Something I've seen on the website and also in Knitting for Dummies is poor kerning. I've had knitters asf me, what the abbreviation "md" stands for. When I saw the text I had to laugh. What they were reading as "md" was actually "r n d" for round. I can forgive this error on a personal blog, but I have a hard time forgiving the publisher who publishes the "Dummies" books. Maybe they need "Typesetting for Dummies."

Not Bob Bringhurst

Many of the modern meta-families of text faces - like Nexus and the like, all contemporary and made mostly by European and American designers - are EXCELLENT. For example, take a look at Joshua Darden's Freight - a titling sans, a micro style for tiny settings, text and display roman - beautiful.

Myfonts does fill a specific niche and they often have the best prices. That said, Fontshop.com might be a good plae to look for really good, professional families that include ALL the European diacritics. Quadraat is another one you might want to look at - it has display, text, and sans styles. It goes without saying that these all include true smallcaps and all the normal ligatures so you'll never need to fake them again.

Note: there is a "type for dummies" book - it's called The Elements of Typographic Style.

As for sans for long, continuously-set type: this is a fad and I don't think fads have any place in book design. Think of the readers, not those who simply look at the book.

For more personalized recommendations from the designers themselves, go to typophile.com. They'll give you a half dozen based specifically on printing process / medium, reader demographic and subject matter, your three primary deciding variables.

-an anonymous typesetter & letterpress printer

Deborah Robson

Alas, neither Freight nor Quadraat has all of the Lithuanian characters.

Storm Foundry's Anselm Sans or Sebastian might work. Anselm's character set looks deep enough, although reading onscreen I can't tell for sure if what I need is in the group.

Not Bob Bringhurst

Hmm. You're right. However, Joshua is a nice guy and might incorporate the Lithuanian characters into the font for you if you asked.

Mark van Bronkhorst's Verdigris looks like it might have them; also, Stefan Hattenbach and his compatriots at Fountain should have them in their faces, since they sell so much type to central Europe.

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