Font of Inspiration
Don't spare your feelings; you'll need them when using this typeface
A carefully chosen font can carry the tone of a print message, but even
hours of sifting through gluttonous font disks sometimes won't turn up the
perfect face. A German company invented a more subjective way to typecast:
it classifies 3,900 fonts by the feelings they convey and offers a search
engine for narrowing the choices.
FontExplorer by Linotype Library GmbH, available for $15 on CD-ROM, sorts
faces according to general terms it'll find all the sans serif fonts
(those with "feet") or list all faces commonly used in newspaper
publishing, for example then weeds them out in varying degrees of
choosiness according to the face's "mood." Using sliding buttons
on degree scales, users decide whether they want fancy rather than ordinary
fonts; a warmer, cheaper feel than a frosty, high-priced one; or one with
more of a feminine touch than masculine.
Another menu scrolls a timeline to find fonts that reflect a desired
historical era. If you're promoting feminine, ancient-inspired jewelry,
a historical search suggests Columna® or Pompeijana as your fonts of
choice. Designating the shape and size of serifs, the size of line strokes
and the height and length of ascenders and descenders on letters further
limits the number of fonts that turn up in a search.
The fonts come with the CD-ROM, but owners need to pay for the fonts
they want in order to "unlock" the files for use. Linotype Library
offers instant payment and registration on its Web site or by fax. For more
information, contact the company's American affiliate, Type Associates Inc.,
Huntington Station, NY 11746; (516) 549-4472, fax (516) 549-5847, www.LinotypeLibrary.com.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.