A thousand fonts, quantified
October 23, 2017 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Anatomy of a Thousand Typefaces is a nifty online tool that helps you find fonts to use by implementing some of the ideas in Cole's Anatomy of Type book. As explained in this post, it uses objective ways to classify fonts by things like the height of the "x" character and the proportions of letters, which make it easier to find similar (or different) fonts. Turn on advanced filters to see the cool area charts.
posted by blahblahblah (12 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
I tried to use this to look for this delightful ligature I found last week but I guess I don't know what I'm doing!

(Glad to see Averia is on the list!)
posted by rebent at 11:32 AM on October 23


I tried to use this to look for this delightful ligature I found last week but I guess I don't know what I'm doing!

Not all (in fact, strikingly few) typefaces include the double-f ligature, even though they might include things like the f-i ligature.

The tool is kind of cool, and is obviously a tremendous bit of work. But, a type tool that doesn't include such workhorse basic classics like Helvetica seems weird to me. I mean, it's the san-serif face that launched a bajillion (poor) imitators.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:40 AM on October 23


Hey rebent, I work at the same place as one of the authors. I'll see if I can find more info about the typeface if you'd like.
posted by nushustu at 11:45 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Computer Modern, the font usually associated with TeX and LaTeX, uses those ligatures.

I used to drive coworkers batshit by writing internal docs in TeX and publishing as PDF. When they'd try to C/P into Word docs, those ligatures would show up as boxes, I guess because they're implemented as single special characters. I am embarrassed at how insufferable that was, but I was very much on my "you are the communications department, why is opening a PDF hard for you" harrumph-fest. It still irritates me how many companies make you submit a resume or other documentation in Word, but I have found better hills to die on.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:48 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


But, a type tool that doesn't include such workhorse basic classics like Helvetica seems weird to me. I mean, it's the san-serif face that launched a bajillion (poor) imitators.

I'm pretty sure these are all free or open fonts.
posted by Iridic at 11:59 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


I prefer PDF resumes, but I understand insisting on Word - they can easily reformat them to match their preferred view; they can highlight the sections most useful to them before sending them to the team manager; they can copy-paste the name & three most important bullet points into an agreggate document to show the top three applicants' most relevant experience. (I can do all that with PDFs, but most admin assistants can't.)

And while your resumes may be concise, with decent margins, a readable font, and at a point size readable when printed, not everyone follows that - and schools are currently pushing "your resume should be ONE PAGE; shrink to 8 pt font, single spaced, with 1/2" margins, if that's what you need to make it work." While I'd love an approach of "if your resume is hard to read, you're not eligible for this job," talented sales or data programmers shouldn't be badly penalized for having fallen for some "WIN AT BUSINESS!" website's instructions on "how to make your resume stand out from the crowd!"

For myself, I have a great love for slab serifs; they're what I find looks best on e-ink ereaders. I caught a sale on Queulat a couple of years back - the whole set for $40 or so, including that weird Queulat Alt font (that I love but have absolutely no use for).
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:20 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


This is the sort of link that, immediately after clicking, think "Oh man, Metafilter would love this" and then remember where I came from...
posted by Jpfed at 1:18 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


As a note, modern latex formatting makes it so that you CAN copy and past without those ligatures causing a problem.
posted by Canageek at 2:31 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


There's an "XML Resume" schema that no one seems to use. Which is a bit sad, since its exactly the kind of thing XML is good for.
posted by Death and Gravity at 7:22 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure these are all free or open fonts.

The front door says "For demonstration purposes, the collection is limited to the Google Fonts Library."

I was disappointed there weren't links to, you know, use the fonts. Demos!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:03 AM on October 24


The fonts are available for Google Docs. It'll be a useful site for me; I hate scrolling through all the g'docs fonts trying to find ones that I like.

... of course, there's the problem that g'docs documents don't convert well to anything else, because those fonts aren't in Word. Bleh.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:40 AM on October 25


those fonts aren't in Word.

It's a bit of a pain, but you can download any of these fonts to your local machine from the Google Font Directory. (Click the + next to any fonts you fancy, then hit the download button in the upper right corner of the pop-up menu.) Once you've installed the fonts (by right-clicking the .ttf file and selecting "install"), they should be usable in Word, and your Google docs will convert with more fidelity.

(Word lets you embed fonts, so you can forward the converted docs to a new machine without having to repeat this process on the other end.)
posted by Iridic at 12:36 PM on October 25


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