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Archive for 2017


Microsoft Word 2016 giving you trouble?

We’ve had a couple customers in the past months who, upon upgrading their version of Microsoft Word 2016, noticed changes to their documents related to our fonts. We started to get inquiries around July of this year but the issues could go back to updates from a couple of months earlier. So, if there are two customers with an identical issue, there are usually more. Read on if this sounds familiar.

The blurry type problem
When generating a PDF using Save, the fonts in the PDF either look blurry or chunky. It really just depends on how you interpret it but the bottom line is that the type was rasterized because the fonts failed to embed. Our take on the problem is that newer versions of Word won’t embed fonts with PostScript outlines, or specifically OpenType fonts with Postscript outlines since that’s what we provide. This will happen to any OpenType font with PostScript outlines and is not specific to our fonts.


  • You can generate PDFs via the Print function instead of Save. When you’re ready to create a PDF, go to Print, then under Printer choose Microsoft Print to PDF.
  • Use TrueType fonts instead. Since TrueTypes (usually) have TrueType outlines, Word will embed the fonts and your PDF will look fine again. Need TrueType versions of desktop fonts you purchased from us? Send us an email and we’ll be glad to send them at no charge.

The line spacing problem
Now, this issue is specific to our fonts. Documents built in previous versions of Word, and opened in newer versions, may have reflow issues. Put another way, the line spacing (or line height/leading) changes for the same document between Word versions. It may even change between what you see on screen versus the printed document. Fun! There is a bit set in our fonts that Word didn’t mind for years and now it’s decided to pay attention to.


  • If your line spacing is set to anything but Exactly, change it to Exactly to get the correct line height. This is found in the Paragraphs realm of options, accessible by selecting text and right clicking.
  • Given the first solution might be annoying, you can also request fonts from us that will resolve this problem, again at no charge. We’ll update our entire library soon but until then, send us an email and help us find your license of desktop fonts by including an order number or a name to look up.


It’s Pique Week

A couple of Pique things turned up at once so here we are. Check out Nicole Dotin’s typeface in use for an important NYC Health campaign and then watch two videos about its design. While we’re at it, go ahead and take 10% off any license of Pique offered on the site until end-of-day Friday, August 4th (that’s the ‘week’ in Pique Week). Just use the coupon code ‘piqueweek’ at checkout.

In Use: Bare it All
Thanks to Quentin Schmerber for tipping us off to this NYC campaign, after spotting Pique on the subway. “Bare it All” encourages LGBTQ patients to have open discussions with their doctors. And to spread the message, Pique boldly sweeps in across black and white images in print ads and their video.

How was it made?
In the latest Fontribute video, Erin McLaughlin and Thomas Jockin deconstruct and discuss Pique and Lokal Script in some detail.

After watching the video, Nicole picked up her brush marker to (re)construct Pique and show how the marker underpins the design.

To learn more about Pique, visit Pique’s page. #piqueweek


Yep, stop clicking…

© Norman Posselt (Monotype)

© Norman Posselt (Monotype)

More than a week ago, I was in Berlin leading a workshop on bash shell scripting at the TYPO Labs 2017 conference (get a run down of my workshop on the TYPO blog). Shell scripting definitely sounds mysterious and impenetrable if you’ve never indulged. However, it’s a relatively straightforward way (or it can be) of telling your computer what you’d like it to do in a text file rather than clicking around a GUI. What’s great about it is that even writing simple scripts, however inelegant they may be, can save you valuable time.

I started learning bash shell scripting by looking at other scripts that dealt with fonts. So, I’m posting the script we wrote in my workshop to help someone else get started.

The script:
The script takes a folder of TrueType fonts and creates an HTML webfont specimen for each one. The specimen is a pre-written HTML file that gets copied over into a specimen folder, along with other required files, and a find/replace is performed to insert the name of the font in the @font-face path. There is also an option to run the fonts through TTFAutohint, but it must be installed for that to work. There are instructions on how to run the script in the script itself (just open the file in a text editor) but they assume a small amount of knowledge.

Keep in mind the important thing isn’t necessarily what the script does, but the methods it presents — looping through fonts, using and modifying variables, or writing if statements, for example. They are useful beginnings.

Download the script and supporting files:

Learning More
There are more shell scripting tutorials then you could possibly ever read. Here are some I’ve bookmarked at varying levels of depth:

Writing Shell Scripts
A quick guide to writing scripts using the bash shell
Shell Script Basics
Bash scripting quirks & safety tips

One Last Thing
In my workshop, I started by showing a script I wrote that packages our fonts — creating folders, putting the right fonts in the right folders, injecting a license into each one and finally zipping them all up. Here are lines for two important steps in that process:

One license for each folder

The line below copies a file into every folder in the working directory. It will not copy the file into subdirectories of those folders. Change <path to license file> to the path of the file you want to copy into each directory.

echo */ | xargs -n 1 cp -R -p <path to license file>

Zip each folder

This line zips every folder in the working directory and puts the zipped folders in a folder called ‘xFinalZips’. It will zip the ‘xFinalZips’ folder too but who cares, just delete it! You have to create the ‘xFinalZips’ folder for this to work, so that’s what the mkdir line does. The folder name can be changed to anything you want, of course.

mkdir xFinalZips
find . -type d -d 1 -exec zip -r xFinalZips/{} {} \;

Happy scripting! — Nicole


New Release: Moniker


We’re excited to announce our latest typeface, Moniker by Eric Olson. Moniker is a rounded sans serif that captures the informal tone of the genre while maintaining a sensible workhorse mentality. The family is made up of five weights with lively italics, and with features like small caps and multiple numeral styles, the fonts can take on the small (tables and text) and big (headlines and logos).

Moniker is available for desktop, webfont and app licenses. And it’s offered in full and basic versions. The basic version has a smaller character set — and price so you can start there and always upgrade later.

Desktop: SpecimenSpecsPurchase Options
Web: SpecimenSpecsPurchase Options