Go Wild With OpenType
The OpenType font format has been around for quite a few years now, but many type users, and even aficionados, are still not aware of the groundbreaking technology’s creative potential. An OpenType font which takes full advantage of this technical tour de force can offer almost endless possibilities: dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of alternate characters. Here are a handful of our favorite fonts that make great use of OpenType's rich capabilities. We’ve selected four diverse scripts and a modern sans serif.
The Veljovic Script™ typeface is an informal, brush-style calligraphic typeface from master calligrapher Jovica Veljovic. Its letters generally do not connect, although certain combinations will overlap. The heart of the design is multi-lingual, supporting both Latin and Cyrillic scripts.
The Avant Garde Gothic™ typeface evolved from the logo of the eponymous magazine, Avant Garde, created in the late 1960s by Herb Lubalin. When Avant Garde Gothic was initially turned into a digital font, the ligatures and alternate characters were not included.
Today’s OpenType technology has allowed ITC to release a complete version of Avant Garde Gothic, offering not only all the original alternate characters and ligatures, but also more than two dozen new ones.
The Libelle™ typeface is a 21st century English Copperplate Script whose name is the German word for “dragon?y.” To provide graphic designers with a compelling way to replicate true copperplate lettering, Libelle’s designer, Jovica Veljovic, drew a large suite of swash and alternate characters, including alternates for almost every lowercase letter and ligatures to replace several critical letter combinations.
The WilliamLucas™ typeface is a free-flowing script that evolved from the hand-lettering of its designer, Martin Wait. This robust and readable script is slightly retro, surprisingly versatile and totally charming. The face is rich with options for customization, thanks to myriad swashes and alternate characters.
The Bickham Script™ Pro typeface is an elegant, flowing, formal script based on traditional 18th century English round hand writing. it is one of the most impressive examples of OpenType technology: its hundreds of alternate and swash characters appear dynamically as the context changes.
- Editor’s Note: Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer and writer specializing in all aspects of typographic communication. She conducts Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. Read more about typography in her latest literary effort, Type Rules! The designer's guide to professional typography, 3rd edition, published by Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article was commissioned and approved by Monotype Imaging Inc.