Sumner Stone describes his typeface Silica as “solid but subtle.” Distinctive without being quirky, Silica is appropriate for everything from advertising to branding to publication design. Stone confirms, “It is a highly versatile design.”
History of the Typeface
Creating Silica was an unusual process for Stone, in that he drew the design entirely on-screen. “I already had the design in my head,” he recalls. “I also knew that I wanted to build a family with a wide range of very light to very bold weights.” Initially trained in the lettering arts as a calligrapher, working directly in a digital environment was a new experience for Stone. He reflects, “Silica was my first attempt at doing the design process completely on-screen. No drawings. The experience was both difficult and rewarding.”
Silica also represents another “first” in Stone’s distinguished career. To date, it is his only slab serif typeface. Whereas his many other designs grew out of calligraphic and/or historic letterforms, Silica is a constructed, slab serif design. Broad shouldered and straightforward, Silica projects a sense of honesty and no nonsense.
London type founder Vincent Figgins released the first successful slab, or “square,” serif typeface in 1815. The face was a cap-only design called “Antique” and was offered in three sizes.
Within the next ten years, slab-serif typefaces were issued with lowercase characters. These designs enjoyed great popularity until the early 1900s, and then lost favor in the first three decades of the 20th century, when geometric sans serif typefaces became popular. After a several decade hiatus, slab serifs are again among the more sought-after designs. Silica absolutely has the legs to become a new classic.
About the Designer
Stone is a world-renowned calligrapher, typeface designer, typographer and writer. He is also a celebrated educator, continually striving to elevate the practice of the typographic arts. His first type design, ITC Stone, is a super family that contains “Serif,” “Sans,” “Informal” and “Humanistic” versions – and became the foundation of his well-earned reputation. Subsequent typefaces by Stone include Magma, Munc, and Leaves & Straw. Stone’s work encompasses a wide range of typographic styles, including original designs and historical revivals, serif, sans serif, slab serif, and uncial families. Stone was also the art director and one of the designers of ITC Bodoni, another super family. From 1984 to 1989, Stone served as Director of Typography for Adobe Systems, Inc., where he conceived and implemented Adobe’s typographic program, including the Adobe Originals.
When he is not making type or teaching, Stone writes. He is the author of many articles and two books on typography and type design: On Stone: The Art and Use of Typography on the Personal Computer, and Font: Sumner Stone, Calligraphy and Type Design in a Digital Age.
After leaving Adobe, Stone founded the Stone Type Foundry Inc., where he designs and produces new typefaces, including proprietary designs. Clients for whom he has created custom designs include Mobil, General Motors, Stanford University, and the San Francisco Public Library. With the exception of his custom work and the ITC Stone family, all Stone’s typefaces are distributed exclusively by Monotype.
Silica’s letterforms have old style proportions but otherwise conform to traditional slab serif design parameters. They have heavy serifs with no bracketing, and changes in stroke weight that are almost imperceptible. Stone has also weighted the character strokes so that letters can be manually condensed somewhat (to about 95%) without negative effect.
The Silica family is available in six weights, from a svelte extra light to a commanding black. While no italics yet exist to complement the roman designs, Stone has said that he may develop these designs in the near future. The family is also available as OpenType Pro fonts which offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.
While the absence of italics may limit Silica’s use in complex text documents, the family will perform gracefully in a variety of environments, thanks to its highly legible characters, full-bodied shapes and robust design traits. Silica communicates with strength and clarity, whether at small sizes on screen or a meter tall on billboards.
Licenses for desktop fonts
A typical desktop font EULA will allow you to install the font on your computer for use with authoring tools including word processors, design tools and other applications that permit font selection. Fonts can also be used for creation of print documents, static images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG) and logos. The cost of a desktop font license is determined by the number of workstations on which the font is to be used.View the desktop EULA for this family
Licenses for Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions
The Fonts.com Web Fonts license provides access to a selection of fonts for use on websites for use with CSS@font-face. Font delivery from our global network is available through all subscriptions – even our free plan. Some plans include the option to self-host, access to desktop fonts, and use of our FontExplorer X font manager and Typecast design application. The price of a plan is determined by its pageview allowance and other features included.View the Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription license agreement
Licenses for mobile apps
A mobile app license permits the embedding of the font into the iOS, Android or Windows RT mobile platforms. Licenses are platform-specific meaning a separate license is required for each platform the font is embedded into. Licenses remain valid for the total operating life of the app and a new license is not required to cover free updates to the app.Learn more about licenses for mobile apps
Licenses for electronic publications (eBooks)
An electronic publication license can be used for the embedding of fonts into electronic documents including e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. A license covers only a single title but is valid for the full operating life of that title. Every issue of an e-magazine, e-newspaper or other form of e-periodical is considered a separate, new publication. Format variations do not count as separate publications. If a publication is updated and distributed to existing users, a new license is not required. However, updated versions issued to new customers are defined as new publications and require a separate license.Learn more about licenses for eBooks
Server licenses authorize the installation of a font on a server that is accessed by remote users or website visitors. These licenses are commonly used by Web-based businesses providing goods that are personalized by its users such as business cards, images with captions and personalized merchandise. Users are not allowed to download the font file and the font may not be used outside the server environment. The font may not be employed for a software as a service (SaaS) application in which the service is the actual product and not the means of providing the product. Server licenses cover a set number of CPU cores on production servers (development servers are not counted) on which the font is installed. The license is valid for 1 year.Learn more about server licenses