If ever there were a popular question, it’d be that.
With or without a curse word, it’s a question that we’ve gotten asked countless of times – “What is it? Do I need to understand it? How’s it work?”
Kerning is an essential part of finishing a good font. Notice I use the word font, as opposed to typeface; that’s because I’m about to explain what kerning is – in terms of software, and how you use it.
If you’ve ever bought a font – even a really, really fantastic font – you were no doubt, at one time, confused.
The thing is, most font foundries make it complicated. Or hard. And as designers, we’re used to wearing different hats – Photoshop Tuesday, coding Wednesday, blogging on Thursday – but one most of us aren’t really that great at is taking extra time out from designing to trudge through dense EULA jargon before using one of those fonts. And if you find yourself considering plunking down $30 or $50 or $100 on a new one, you better know what it is you’re planning on using it for – if you pick the wrong license you’re gonna have to bust that wallet out all over again. Most designers – nay, people – I’ve ever met have at least some amount of issue with spending money on stuff they can’t actually use.
But those licenses doesn’t have to be entirely confusing.
The above message came by way of a very special fortune cookie a few years ago. Sometimes we need to be reminded, & that’s OKAY. As long as we remember. We all create in different ways—whatever that means to you, please don’t stop.
Featuring a bold slab serif typeface aptly titled, chunk (c/o The League of Moveable Type). By the way—if you’ve never heard of these guys before, you should definitely check ‘em out. Their open-source mission and manifesto is inspiring.
Some awesome insights on how Github runs their company the right way. Set in Ostrich Sans, of course. Zach is one of our favorite people to follow – knows his stuff, both programming & design, and says what he means.
Check out the embedded slides above or head over to his site & listen to the audio for his talk.
I apologize if this has been asked already or covered in the license, but I want to make sure before I invest a lot of time. Does the OFL permit me to use a font as a logotype/my logo? Would my logo be copyrightable/trade markable? Specifically I'm talking about Orbitron, but may go another direction.(You guys provide a lot of great fonts!) It's currently my tumblr avatar. Is that type of thing allowed with the OFL? Any info would be much appreciated!
Good question! We’ve gotten a couple of these, so here’s what’s up.
With any OFL licensed fonts (all of ours are OFL), you can use the font however you like – in a logo, embedded on a site, in an app, whatever you need. You don’t need to put in any sort of attribution (especially on a logo), though if you can, it’s always nice. As long as you’re not selling the font itself or claiming you originally made it, it’s allowed!
So feel free! Get it? No, but seriously. And we love getting tweets & emails & Tumblr fan mail about how you’ve used them, so we have more to blog about.
Hi there - I've looked through the Open Font License but didn't see a statement specifically pertaining to embedding LoMT fonts in (iOS) apps. Is that allowed with attribution for all League fonts? Thanks - chad martin chad|at|pivotalaction|daught|com
Great question! And 10 points for reading the license!
If you haven’t seen it, there’s a pretty great FAQ that comes along with the OFL (we have a pretty version online here). There are a couple bullet points in there that are specific to software that should answer your question, but we can save you the trouble:
It’s totally cool. OFL fonts are allowed to be embedded in software, both open-source or commercial. Essentially, as long as you’re selling the program, and not just the font, it’s not a problem.
And attribution is also is not mandatory (sometimes you just can’t), but if you’d like to do it, we’d certainly appreciate it!
Lettercase. It’s a platform that Micah’s been working on a for a long time now, because all the other font managers he’s worked with weren’t what he was looking for. It’s still in private beta, but you can sign up to be on the list for invites if you’re interested.
It's a pity that many of your fonts don't cover Latin Extended-A charset (I checked out Ostrich Sans, Sorts Mill Goudy, Goudy Bookletter, League Gothic and Junction). I love them and would love to use them, but on Polish websites it's impossible. Only Funwood was a lovely surprize :) Hope to see other fonts with a few of those additional letters some day.
Actually, we’ve had some opportunity to work on that for a few of our fonts lately. It’s difficult to find the time sometimes, but we do care about it & wanna make it happen. If anyone ever wants to help, you can fork any of our fonts on Github & contribute! We’d love to see that. :-)
Where has Flaminia disappeared to? I definitely recall it being there, and wayback machine proves me right, but it's as if the font vanished. Why is that?
We’ve always had trouble with Flaminia. The idea is wonderful, the designer is incredible, but people would download Flaminia hoping for a font they could use, and that wasn’t the case. It was really more of an experiment, something to play with multiple masters, and ended up with a lot confused people.
We’ll be re-adding it to our Github in the New Year, so that people will have the opportunity to extend it and play with it, but until it’s a font that people can use and install, we think it’s best outside of the catalogue.
For our body copy, we picked Calluna because it’s was great for the style we need, but a bunch of loyal Windows users have sent us screenshots that it’s not rendering so well on their machines, so we’ll probably be switching fonts soon. I want to keep the style the same, and Barry recommended a couple fonts that I’m interested in testing out, so we’ll try to push a site update within the next few days to make it more legible. Thanks for all the feedback about it, everyone!
This morning, The League launched a big update, probably the biggest since our first launch, which if you haven’t read about yet, you should.
There’s been a ton of awesome feedback & support from everybody, and The League is intensely grateful. We’ve got a handful of Supporting Members already, and tons of awesome tweets. There were a couple interesting debates that cropped up today, so I figured I’d share.
Dearest Followers, Typography Lovers, and Supporters,
I write to you today as Micah Rich, one of the original founders of The League. I’ve been working the past few weeks on a few major changes that I’m far too excited not to share with you. I have so much to tell you, but to start, let’s talk about how The League’s updated it’s branding, site, & blog.
"ttfautohint is a neat little program that takes an unhinted TrueType font and hints it using FreeType’s autohinting system.
This brings the excellent quality of FreeType to platforms which don’t use it to draw text, like Microsoft’s, and yet also require hinting for text to look good.”
Hinting is one of the hardest and worst parts about making a font. We know because our fonts are mostly not hinted, and we’ve been trying to work on that. This tool looks like it’ll make that process super simple, which means everyone’s fonts will look good all over the place, especially at small sizes.
We wanna see this happen, so we’ve donated as much as we can at the moment. But if you guys all help out, maybe we can get this really going!