14 December 2012

Top 10 Worst Applications for Comic Sans

10. Warning signs (e.g. Beware of Dog, No Trespassing)
9. Body text in a science textbook
8. Headings for the 3rd-quarter analysis spreadsheets
7. PowerPoint presentations about the Higgs boson
6. Stern memos about unnecessary font usage
5. Rejection letters to job applicants
4. Funeral announcements/obituaries
3. Newspaper headlines
2. State welfare agency logotype
1. Printed text on traffic citations

Top 10 Best Applications for Comic Sans
10. Game text in The Sims Classic
9. Er...
8. Well, there's...
7. Um...
6. Let's see now...
5. Ah...
4. Eh...
3. Hmm...
2. Uh...
1. Could you repeat the question please?

28 November 2012

Why Swansea, Mytupi, and Helvetica can co-exist

You see it all the time. There's a Monotype version of Helvetica and a Linotype version. There's a URW version of Balloon and a Letraset version. There's a Monotype version of Trade Gothic and a Bitstream version. Why is this? It never looks like anything's been changed. If it has, it's so infinitessimal that you can't tell the difference without computer software. In the United States (a.k.a Planet Earth's ministry for de-evolution) there is a little blurb in the Copyright act that makes font liberation possible.

In a computer display font, only the source code can be protected under US copyright laws. The abstract letterforms are uncopyrightable.

Even though the entire institution of copyright is in serious need of a major revision, there are still little places like that where people can snake through the chaos.
In effect (if I had the right software) I could copy the letterforms from GE Inspira into a seperate TTF file, call it something (like maybe "EcoLogic NBP") and then I could release it into the public domain. Depending on how many boobytraps GE comissioned, I might have to redraw the entire typeface. But the point is that unless the monkeymen in business suits are hell-bent on proving that "EcoLogic NBP" is an infringement on Inspira's copyright.... more likely than anything is that it would just slip by unnoticed and work its way into publishing houses all across america as a free and highly legible typeface.

16 November 2012

The Sims fonts: a semi-complete list

A couple days after I started the blog up in June I talked about The Sims fonts a little bit. My list of Sims fonts was kind of sparse at the time but now I'm almost finished. A few of the Sims 2 and Sims 3 boxart logotypes are escaping me at the moment but I'll add to this list as I find stuff.

The Sims Classic
Comic Sans: Game text (PC)
One Stroke Script: Game text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Bodega Sans: Base game and House Party display box text
Kabel (modified): House Party logotype, On Holiday display box text
Futura: House Party display box text
Chalet London 1970: Hot Date logotype, display box headings (w/ Helvetica)
Avant Garde Gothic (modified): Superstar logotype
Trade Gothic Condensed: Superstar and Makin' Magic/Spellbound display box text
Brush Script: Unleashed display box heading text
Interstate: Unleashed display box main text

The Sims: Bustin' Out
Frankfurter Medium: Game text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Comic Sans: (a proprietary bitmap font based on it) Game text (GBA/NGE)
Gill Sans: Bustin' Out logotype, display box text
Futura: Instruction booklet main text
SimDialogue: instruction book heading text

The Urbz: Sims in the City
Franklin Gothic: Game heading text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Gothic 720: Game main text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Proprietary bitmap font: Game text (GBA/DS --- use Glasstown as a substitute! -_~)
Kabel (stylised): The Urbz logotype, instruction booklet subheading text
Gill Sans Condensed: Instruction booklet main text

The Sims 2
Benguiat Gothic Bold: Game heading text (PC) All game text (GCN/PS2/PSP)
Helvetica Neue: Game main text
Proprietary bitmap font: Game text (DS/GBA --- use Zarbville as a substitute -_~)
Russell Square: Base game display box heading text
Arial: Base game display box main text
Triplex Sans: Expansion pack display box main text
Helvetica Extended: Expansion Pack subtitle
Kabel: University logotype
Aspirin (modified or combined with Imaginer): Nightlife logotype
Helvetica Extended, House Brush, House Slant: Open for Business logotype
American Typewriter Bold: Pets logotype (all platforms)
Coop Heavy: Seasons logotype
Gotham Book Bold: Bon Voyage logotype
Unidentified font: FreeTime logotype (probably made by Emigre or House Industries)
Ed Interlock: Apartment Life logotype (A and L from Ed Gothic)
Gill Sans: 100 Million Sold logotype
Univers: Instruction booklet main text (all instruction book headings are the same as their expansion pack's logotype)

Helvetica Rounded: Game text
Kabel: Display box text, instruction booklet heading text
Franklin Gothic Condensed: Instruction booklet main text

I'm still working on the list of The Sims 3 fonts. Some of them are obvious (like Generations, which is Times New Roman (or it might could be Dante even) and the Russian Ambitions logotype which is Arial.... says something about Sims Division's creativity these days doesn't it? -__-) others are not so obvious though. Fortunately for maniacal typography archivists like myself >:D EA tends to use fonts from California-based digital type foundries like Emigre and House Industries for their playful fonts.
Without saying too much about EA's business practises (not a Sensible Human in the lot of them) I am looking forward to seeing what they select as the new SimCity game fonts.

19 October 2012

Fonts similar to Klavika

Edited 25 May 2013
I don't know about you but I think Klavika is a stylish display font! It definitely makes #5 on my top 10 list of display fonts. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any fellow FG/CLs who have it. I might have to buy the suite and CL it myself actually. Until then though, there are a few types that can do in place of Klavika.
The first is Neo Sans. It's what I've been using primarily as a Klavika substitute mostly because it has so many weights. Light, Bold, Black, and Ultra. I like Neo Sans Bold especially :) It's like #2 behind Ubuntu Bold. And talking of...
Ubuntu is also very similar. Plus the best thing about it.... it's free! Compared to Neo Sans which costs 54 quid/individual TTF on MyFonts. The best things in life are free right? :P
Aller is another free one from Dalton Maag (maker of Ubuntu). It and Klavika both have a double-storey lower "g" but some of Aller's vertical strokes don't connect (i.e. R K and X -- Klavika's K doesn't connect either).
Ruda has quite a few similarities to Klavika and might even be indistinguishable in a few applications. It's the nearest free substitute that I've found so far.
If you're not doing a serious logotyping design or you want to make fun of Facebook or something then Banksia is a decent Klavika-like typeface. I think it's sort of like a Cachet/Skia hybrid.
Cuprum is a bit narrower and more humanist than Klavika, but it does contain a few of the same design elements. It kinda makes you wish there were a Klavika Narrow, doesn't it? And talking of...
Economica is like the Klavika Narrow that never was. Actually, even if there were one, this free typeface by Vicente Lamónaca would probably work a little better. It's a little narrow for main text, but it works famously for section headings.

10 October 2012

Erbos Draco goes viral!

This is a screenshot of http://countdown.depechemode.com. It clearly shows the use of Erbos Draco Open NBP! Cool! I'ma have to listen to them now.... I think they did some Simlish stuff for The Sims 2.
So even though this is only the second time I've ever seen one of the fonts I made in use... they used the OLD VERSION! Like last week sometime I redrew a few characters in the Erbos Draco family to make it less similar to other LED screen styled types on Fontspace (like LED Phone and TPF Display). Plus, I drove past a real actual LED sign that had been there for years that had the exact same upper G as Erbos Draco has. So that's why I messed with it. Then, someone points out to me that Depeche Mode is using v.1.0 (version ONE-point-freakin-ZERO!) @_@ So I decided that, since its being used now, I'd bring back ED Open and ED Regular from the old version. And I did. Because I'm a nice guy :)
Well anyway, it's cool that somebody out of the 2100+ people who've downloaded it decided it was nice enough to use for something. 

So what exactly is DIFFERENT about Erbos Draco from other LED types on Fontspace?
For one thing, there are symbols and lowercase letters. The lower letters don't go below the baseline (because there isn't a "below the baseline" on a scoreboard display). Most other uppercase Rs look like Arial or Interstate. ED's looks more like Univers or Helvetica. The 7 is based on Akzidenz-Grotesk.

You can o/c download Erbos Draco from Fontspace.

Oh FYI. The name "Erbos Draco" has nothing to do with dragons. It's an anagram of "score board" ;)
Let's hear it for pixely LED styled typefaces!

BTW I had an interview today for a graphic design position at a local advertising agency so you might see alot more typefaces of mine showing up in places!

26 September 2012

Fonts similar to GE Inspira

I can't speak to whether it was someone actually looking for it or just a random spider search but one of the things someone searched for on google was "fonts similar to ge inspira". They found this blog probably because I talk about it so much (probably not :P whatevs). I don't actually have a list of fonts that are similar to Inspira on here. So to combat this problem.... let's fix that.

Anyway, there are quite a few types which are passably similar to Inspira (that is if you don't want to go to ufonts.com and download GE Inspira directly).
First is VAG Round. This is the closest one because it was the inspiration behind Inspira. It was the old Volkswagen logotype from like the 70s.
Next up is Futura Rounded. It's virtually impossible to tell Futura Round from VAG Round (though there ARE differences--- like Arial and Helvetica).
Talking of--- the next one is Helvetica Rounded. BTW it's also the primary text in The Sims 3. But of course, if you're on a PC and not a mac, then you probably don't have Helvetica and can't get it without severing your leg please sir.
In that case you probably have Arial Rounded (it's probably in the list as "Arial Rounded MT Bold"). Basically any font with "Rounded" in the name is going to be similar to Inspira. But these are all expensive fonts. Aren't there any free ones?
Ubuntu Titling is free.Not to be confused with "Ubuntu Title" which has no uppercase letters.
Alternatively there's Ubuntu Regular (just called "Ubuntu") which is my personal fave. It's not rounded but it kinda works out.
You could also look on Fontspace. There are quite a few there that would work as an Inspira substitute as well. Such as BPreplay, RockoFLF, and Jolly. Except in this case, not all the fonts you find will be licensed for commercial use (say, if you wanted to use it in a commercial spot or on a magazine advert or something). Jolly is not a commercial font. The other two are however.
Of course, like I said at the outset---
GE Inspira itself is available on ufonts.com. At least THAT hasn't been taken away yet.

19 June 2012

SimCity and The Sims fonts

For The Sims Fonts ONLY, click here for a more comprehensive list.

Right now, I'm trying to make a list of all typefaces ever used in the Sim series (from SimCity to SimAnt all the way to The Sims Social). But there are WAY more than I ever thought possible! I'm not even halfway through yet! Of course, I'm trying to find the ones they used on the packages, the instruction manuals,and in adverts as well as the game text. But if you searched for "the sims font" on Google and found this entry, you probably only want to know the game text, which I can tell you about. THAT part of the list IS finished. Mostly. Here's what I have so far.

Oh, incidentally--- the SimCity 2000 logo is in Newport Classic ("SIM") and Industria ("CITY 2000")

SimCity 3000 (the first game where a typeface other than the default bitmap font was used)
Comic Sans for the headings and (I think) MS Sans Serif on Windows and Chicago on Mac.

The Sims
Comic Sans for all game text

The Sims: Bustin' Out
Frankfurter Medium for all game text (the 0 [nought] is substituted for an uppercase O with stroke)

SimCity 4
Stoclet for headings and Arta for main text.

The Sims 2
Benguiat Gothic for headings and Helvetica Neue for main text.

The Urbz: Sims in the City
Gothic 720 for headings and Franklin Gothic Demi for main text.

SimCity Societies
Tahoma for headings and Arial for main text.

The Sims 3
Helvetica Rounded for headings and Helvetica standard for main text.

SimCity 2013
So far, all the screenshots with game text show Twentieth Century.



Font vs. Typeface

Right to the point.
A Typeface is the style of lettering. Helvetica is a typeface.
A Font is the size and weight of the typeface. 18pt Helvetica italic is a font. A font can also be the files (a font family) that make the typeface display on a computer screen. In the Helvetica font family there is Standard, Bold, Italic, Bold Italic, Condensed, Compressed, Extended, Black, Inline (an outline of the characters--- like having an outline with no fill in Microsoft Word), Rounded, and several others.
So... um... why do people say "font" when they mean "typeface?" Well... I don't know. Maybe it's easier to say? Also, somehow "font" came to mean the digital file the typeface is saved in when computers started having monitors. There are some people who are really snobbish about it, but really I'm not. I'm the FontGeek. Not the TypefaceGeek. I'll sometimes use the word "font" when I mean "typeface".