I wanted to share a font this week that answered a fontish issue, that stems from the recent trend of free web fonts.
Free webfonts have recently been made especially popular by Google web fonts but also by others such as Font Squirrel. Some of these are really great fonts, Source Sans by Adobe, for example, is exceptional. There’re others too, Open Sans, Droid Serif are both good and have rich families of weights and styles that give commercial fonts a run for their money.
Then there are good fonts that aren’t so fully featured, think of them as limited trial fonts, with limited weights and styles that limit what you can do typographically. Museo, for example, is a free download in widths 300, 500 and 700. It’s a slab serif with rounded semi-serifs and in general, it’s a good looking font. But once you’ve started using it and you decide you want to pop a bit of italic in, you’ll be stuck. That’s because the full Museo with 5 weights in upright and italic is a commercial font, yours for £50. That does mean that the free version is a well set, commercial standard font, but it also means you may be lulled into thinking you’re winning with a free font, but actually, you need to buy the real thing later. spn.
Then there are many, many bad fonts. These are often only provided in 1 weight or style, or even worse, just simply badly designed. You can be the judge of that when browsing, but I want to highlight one particular font that I’ve had to use after being instructed by my client (and despite my protest) and one that I have started to spot around the place, in the real world (plus it’s #2 on Squirrel Fonts most popular! Yikes!).
Now it’s harsh to pick on this because there are others, but pick on it I will! It’s a monoline font, which is fine and dandy, I like that style, but some of its characters are hateful. Both upper and lower W’s, the lower g, most of the numbers, the upper R pulls a flick from nowhere. The Q is quite cute, however.
But the biggest issue isn’t the characters, it’s the kerning. Drop it in with default kerning and it’s all over the place, it takes an age tho whip into shape. Trouble is no one seems to bother, and you end up with really bad looking results.
I say all of this because I want to introduce you to Monolog. Here’s a font that sits in the same space as Quicksand, but does it with spoonfuls more style. With a W that makes sense! It also has stylistic alternatives to allow more oval shaped O’s and the like, plus loads more meaning that when it comes to kerning, you can quickly choose to use uppercase I’s with tops and bottoms or a single stick.
What I’d really like evryne to do is dump Quicksand for a better font, and Monolog would be a great choice.
Plus it’s less than £20 at the moment on MyFonts, for 6 weights.