Recommend web fonts with great hinting

eyeRhyme's picture

Could you recommend web fonts that you like and that have excellent hinting for the screen?

I am interested in work-horse typefaces for body text that I can purchase the rights to use with @font-face, so that would exclude all the offerings from those wonderful subscription based services. I have found the results from type at MyFonts can be spotty, and they never say if a font has been hinted by the designer.

Feel free to suggest your own work. I am interested in expanding my knowledge of good work that is out there. Thanks very much.

hrant's picture

Check out FontFont's offerings. Their engineers are masters at screen rendering optimization.

hhp

eyeRhyme's picture

Thanks hrant. Yes, it might be better to approach my question through identifying foundries, designers and quality resellers that have @font-face licenses and trusted attention to hinting. I know that Commercial Type, Village, Process Type, Type Supply, and FontShop/FontFont offer this. Klim does too, but those are priced dearly. Any others you would suggest?

Are FontFont and FontShop the same company? I think they are a really great options for what I am looking for. I wish their website was easier to filter out their webfonts (a massive catalogue) and see samples of them in use rather than PDFs and images. The new releases like FF Mark are an exception with really stellar micro-sites that blow my mind. FF Kievit is another example with a great micro-site.

Font Spring and MyFonts have @font-face—though MyFonts is increasingly having pay-as-you-go licenses. Font Spring has some of the largest per-views licenses and often has the lowest prices for what you get. They license the work of some designers whose work is obviously well crafted like that of Nick Shinn, Hannes von Döhren and Mark Simonson. My MS Windows emulator that I use for testing IE (I’m a Mac fanboy) oddly does not work for the Font Spring demo page (it defaults to Arial). Ironic, because IE is always the lowest common denominator and the whole reason for testing. So, I don’t trust that those unfamiliar designs are carefully hinted. For example, Trade Gothic FS would be quite useful, but how’s the quality?

I’m an institutional web designer and we’ve no budget for fonts beyond the Open Sans and Georgia chosen (by the powers that be) as our web identity fonts. So, I like to buy an occasional web font license with my own money so that I can become familiar with it through use. I’m partly hoping that I can one day earn some freelance money designing with it and it’s partly because I’m an obsessive font geek who spends evenings looking through specimens (to the chargin of my girlfriend).

I am willing to pay for premium well designed typefaces, but obviously there is only so much I can afford out of pocket. I feel that I am getting more value as a sharp-shooter with only six bullets a year when I buy @font-face licenses. My hands get sweaty. I recognize the fairness of use-based-fees and subscriptions for the laborious and creative work that type designers do. Nonetheless, I am just glad that I didn’t have to pay a per-project fee for every print job I’ve done. Perhaps when WOFF becomes standard, the pricing rates for web designers and fairness to type designers will even-out.

...but I’ve gone off topic now. Any stellar text web fonts you like besides the well-known Proxima Nova, Brandon Text, Museo Sans, etc...?

hrant's picture

I'm partial to http://ernestinefont.com/
since I had a hand in it...
But really, it performs superbly onscreen.

hhp

nina's picture

Do look at Webtype, especially their RE series.
http://www.fontbureau.com/ReadingEdge/

Edit: Just realized you said no subscription services, sorry. If that’s not an absolute requirement you may want to look anyway.

eyeRhyme's picture

Thanks nina & hrant. Webtype, Web Ink, Typekit, CloudTypography all have exceptional work. I have not explored fonts.com that much, but their new eText revivals of classic faces look gorgeous—I have used Sabon a lot in print.

I have great admiration for the Font Bureau’s work, especially the RE series for screens. Perusing the Font Bureau’s catalog makes me wish I had a lot more money to play with. Whenever a typeface gives me a thrill in a magazine it is inevitably from one of a few foundries/designers. Font Bureau typefaces are like going to ballet, everything looks effortless and makes me feel like I could be a type designer too...but that’s the grand illusion, right?

So, yes. I am looking for something other than subscription services for myself...but I still love to look at what’s out there and will probably recommend subscriptions to freelance clients when the project suits it.

hrant's picture

Do give it a shot, and post your work here for critique. In fact Ernestine evolved partly via Typophile.

hhp

eyeRhyme's picture

Thanks for the invite. I might do that once I have something original to contribute (chuckle). My attempts so far are only amateur and probably too derivative. They are learning experiences, and really make me appreciate the good work out there more...but that’s another topic...

hrant's picture

Not to worry – pretty much all our first fonts stink to high heaven! :-)

In fact, in reference to another current thread, when somebody pops up out of the blue and produces something highly polished (formally if not technically) the smart money is on it having involved plagiarism. :-/

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I spent a lot of time hinting the Monokrom catalogue, and even longer tinkering with curves, whitespace, spacing, alignments &c when I drew Aften Screen.

hrant's picture

Indeed, Monokrom is another commendably screen-rendering-obsessed foundry.

hhp

eyeRhyme's picture

Hi Frode, I’m already happy owner of an Aften Screen license...it is lovely. Thanks for adding your foundry here. Are all of your typefaces available with @font-face licensing or only with Webtype now?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Thank you! Both: Perpetual self-hosted licenses directly from our shop, and all the usual options from Webtype.

jasonc's picture

I would recommend any of Dalton Maag's fonts, they have some hinting experts on their team.

eyeRhyme's picture

Thanks jason, does Dalton Maag have web fonts?

pvanderlaan's picture

We haven’t converted our complete library yet but most Bold Monday releases are manually hinted, and can be purchased for self-hosting.

For text faces you might want to have a look at Nitti Grotesk, Trio Grotesk, or Nitti.

Drop us a line if you need more info!

eyeRhyme's picture

Thanks Paul, beautiful work. This thread has turned out to be very useful. Thanks for contributing.

jasonc's picture

I'm not sure about DM's licensing, but I believe they sell through WebInk

eyeRhyme's picture

Wow, it looks like FontShop read my mind. They have a new initiative called NextFontShop in beta. Bravo, it looks great. http://next.fontshop.com/

[Jason, I see Dalton Maag’s fonts in there. Thanks for your tip.]

Nick Shinn's picture

I would say that Richler is my best serifed face for small web body text. Although hinting is partly responsible, it’s really the open fit and squareness of the letterforms which make it perform as well as it does.

Rob O. Font's picture

"Wow, it looks like FontShop read my mind."

You were thinking about Yellow?

eyeRhyme's picture

Thanks for the link, Nick! Your typeface, Richler, is new to me. That is exactly the kind of suggestion I was looking for in this discussion.

Emanuel, Ha! Yes they certainly get the award for the most ballsy use of yellow. Fonts with a splash of danger (Carlos Danger? Do you watch John Stewart? I hear the music now). Seriously, it is nice to see them make a new site that focuses on their web font offerings with actual samples of the fonts in use (rather than images/pdfs FontShop currently has). As well, FontShop has @font-face licenses with way more page views (10 times more) than MyFont’s standard.

--

MyFonts gives you half-off the second type of font you purchase, if you purchase both the web and print at the same time. However, you have to buy them at the same time and can’t come back and get the discount later. Commercial Type let’s you get the discounts anytime...many foundries do this individually on request (e.g., Klim does), but Commercial is one of the few that I have seen that make it so easy at check-out time to get the discount. Commercial’s approach makes me willing to buy a style or two to test out the face and get familiar with it’s character through use...a slow process for me.

I recently purchased a license for a couple of styles of Lyon from Commercial Type and I really like the way they have their site set-up. They give discounts for bulk/family purchases, allow easy upgrades, and allow @font-face with perpetual licenses. I have a big crush on Lyon right now, unassuming and dignified as a text face with a lovely flare in the italics.

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