Font Tasting by Robert Long
©1997 Weatherly Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Trademarked names mentioned in the reference below are recognized as property of their respective owners.

Typefaces from the WSI-Fonts/Professional Collection

ACADEMIA Despite its rather ornate details—or perhaps because of them—University Roman continues to be a popular face for short messages or for display in conjunction with a more sober face. Our similar design dispenses with the "Roman," which is implicit in the roman letterforms; no matching italic appears ever to have devised. In fact, part of the face's appeal comes from its play of very round rounds against quite condensed forms in the vertical or square characters, a characteristic that probably would be much less becoming if carried over into an italic.

ACKLISHON is classified as an “egyptian” face due to its square serifs. But – like its cousins, Aachen and Egyptian Bold Condensed – it sports stubby serifs to give it a look that is at once fresher than that of conventional egyptians and suggestive of the wooden display faces of a century ago. These properties have made such faces popular, above all in advertising design. Acklishon’s frankly stentorian “voice” and subtle playfulness make it a good choice for all sorts titling where strict formality is not needed.

AGATHA is a Victorian face whose supple curves suggest the Art Nouveau movement of the turn of the century, though its roots actually go back farther than that. Televiewers may recognize it from the “Murder She Wrote” titling. Its rather arbitrary detailing catches the eye but also becomes wearisome if overused. Save it for headings where its period appeal will mesh with the subject.

AIERO DISPLAY is deliberately designed to set very close, in the manner of modern, tightly tracked headlines. Used too small, this can make it look crowded and awkward, while its thin, clean lines can appear merely wimpy. So save the face for moments when you need to be expansive without being effusive.

ALADDIN is similar in appearance to a typeface known as Legende, originally issued in 1937 and traditionally associated with the Arabian Nights because of a vague resemblance to some Arabic scripts and because of a certain extravagance. It is basically a broad-pen script that, while showy, is more legible than many and can be effective for heads and short texts in many contexts.

ALBERT is among the more attractive of the many faces that imitate the appearance of broad brush or felt-marker hand lettering. Despite the neatness of the individual letterforms, it maintains a great deal of spontaneity through subtle variations of character size and terminal treatment. Like Accent, one of several names under which very similar fonts have appeared, Albert is an excellent choice for advertising or signage where informality is desirable but legibility is imperative.

ALLURE SCRIPT is formal, old-fashioned and rather stylized. That is to say that it is frankly a typeface, with letterforms and details that do not try to mimic actual handwritten script too literally. It is a fine choice for invitations or for ad headlines in a high-style context where traditional values prevail.

ALSTRALE ROMANA is similar in appearance to a popular titling font called Albertus. Though its letterforms at first glance suggest the classic Roman forms of Trajan’s Column, they have a subtle quirkiness that gives the face its edge and its sparkle. But don't be tempted to use it for long texts, where its assertiveness can be intrusive.

AMAZING will amaze your readers. And it will confuse them hopelessly if you aren't careful. Like all such novelty fonts, it must be set in such a way as to carry sufficient clues to its meaning. Otherwise, rather than slowing the reader down and creating a fascinating puzzle to focus the reader's attention, it will defeat its own purpose through reader frustration.

AMPHION The expansiveness of Amphion, which is similar in appearance to a face called Americana, runs against the fad for ultracondensed faces and, for that very reason, stands out from the crowd. Though it is based on traditional letterforms, they have been redrawn in a very contemporary style that suggest a bold, positive outlook. Use it cautiously; these properties can make other faces look rather cramped and musty by comparison, so companion faces must be chosen with care.

ANACONDA may be used in contexts where its suggestion of neon signs or industrial-design applied metal lettering is apt, though it actually owes more to the Speedball-pen hand lettering of the Forties and Fifties than to the more mechanical forms. Since all three methods are associated with the same period, however, the distinction is of no great importance; one way or another, it is a bit of TrueType nostalgia.

ANASTASIA, reminds one of the titling used in Disney's classic Fantasia. Similar in appearance to ITC’s Anna, it is a bold, condensed Art Deco display face whose individuality is created largely by the very low crossbar height-presuming an extremely small x-height if the face had included lower case. It is exceptional in combining individuality, compactness, and clean, unfussy forms. A prime example, perhaps, is the economy with which the “Q” is treated, with a break in the oval serving to emphasize and articulate the abbreviated tail.

ANGLICAN is based on faces whose greatest popularity lasted from the Victorian era into the 1930’s. The dot in the counters of the “b” and “c,” among others, is adapted from manuscript practice of the middle ages, and the “e” and “h” remind us of uncial antecedents. Yet the “T” has serifs like a turn-of-the-century “oldstyle” and the little flourishes bear an Industrial Age feel. Today, as the name implies, such fonts are most often encountered in an ecclesiastical context-or when the typographer wants to evoke such a context.

ARAMIS is a clever modern all-caps display font whose roots one reference credits a font called Accant. I believe the original dates from the 1960s, which means that it may have appeared first in phototype. The play of the thin internal “separator” lines against the much heavier outline is what gives it its basic quality, but the witty ways in which the internal details are handled is the source of its real charm.

ARCANE is a modernized version of the sort of tall, willowy sans serifs that became popular during the Art Deco Thirties and is even more popular today. Its most distinctive touch is the use of a triangle in place of the more usual circle or square in the dots of the “i” and “j” and as the crossbar of the “A.” A display font of cool refinement, it can be used for titling and headings as well as in advertising and looks best at sizes above 20-point in most contexts.

ARCHERY DISPLAY is one of those fonts that you can't do much with until you find the right context and can’t do without once you've found it. It's not easy to read, so take care how you use it. Note the “lowercase,” which is composed almost entirely of arrows and straight-line connectors, while the uppercase goes much farther afield. Since the latter is generally harder to read, avoid all-caps setting.

ARENA One of the contemporary “humanistic” sans-serif faces, a class that includes Helvetica and Univers, Arena is intended to expand the range of the Arial font that comes with Windows 3.1. These faces all are more legible than either the so-called grotesque or gothic faces of the late Nineteenth Century or the more geometrical forms of the early Twentieth Century, so they are better suited to relatively long texts than are the earlier faces. At the same time, however, their lack of mechanical quirks makes them more self-effacing and therefore less eye-grabbing.

ARITOMA This relatively formal script face derives from one named Ariston in the metal-type world. More modern in feel than those based on the so-called Spencerian model, it is less extreme in its formality and thus broader in its range of appropriate applications. In addition to the obvious use for invitations of all sorts, it can be an excellent choice for advertising display work where grace and graciousness are desirable but excessive informality could undermine the message.

ARRUBA uses fun “scroll” forms to make its point. By contrast to some other scroll-detail fonts in this collection, it is more consistent in line weight and therefore in overall color. It also is sturdier and more legible than many such fonts, which helps to keep it amusing, rather than irritating, as long as you don't use it promiscuously.

ASTUTE, while it bears a resemblance to Anastasia, is much more delicate and less individual in its details. Its letterforms suggest the bent chromed-steel forms of Deco furniture and give it a cool sophistication well suited to fashion and design subject matter. And, again like Anastasia, it is strictly a caps-only display face.

AVIAN Avian is similar in appearance to one of the most successful of Art Deco faces: Avant Garde. Its evocation of the Thirties puts it right back in style during the present Art Deco revival. The geometrical quality of its letterforms argues against using it for very long texts, though this rule is sometimes overlooked where style takes precedence over content and ease of reading.

BACCARAT is similar in appearance to Morris Fulmer Benton’s Banco, no doubt originally released by ATF, whose doyen he was for many years. He did little to promote his own name, though among his 200 or so type designs are many, including Banco, that remain very popular today. It is as bold and assertive as he was modest and retiring. It is most appropriate for ad heads; with care, it can be used in logos and editorial headlines.

BACCUS and BACCUS BEVEL follow the pattern of a host of condensed titling faces from the 1930s. Typical of that group, its counters are the same width as its strokes, which would give it a hard-to-read “picket fence” look but for the way in which outer details are played against the rectangularity of the counters themselves. In Baccus, these outer inflections are rounded; in Baccus Bevel they are angular. Note in particular the detailing at the top of the lowercase “i,” which makes itself understood in this way even without the traditional dot.

BAILEY is, quite frankly, a novelty script face designed more for attracting attention than for practical legibility. The uppercase characters are distinctly showier than the lowercase, whose regularity keeps the extravagance of the uppercase in check. For that reason, all-caps setting must be discouraged, as it must in many script faces, but Bailey is great for eye-catching headlines where a hand-drawn look is needed.

BALOGNA is similar in appearance to a 1939 typeface of Max Kaufmann known as Balloon. The uniformity of weight in its strokes suggests the use of a round-tipped lettering pen. Since the 1930’s, type of this sort has been used widely for headings in advertising and product announcements, where its letterforms and all-caps style effectively suggest the sort of hand-lettered signs you might find, say, in the produce department of your supermarket.

BARATZ suggests the calligraphic lettering and typefaces of several designers, most notably Arthur Baker. Baratz is among the more extreme of the type, with bold, brush-like strokes and irregular shapes and character placements on the baseline, giving it an especially ad-hoc quality as well as a pungent personality.

BARBER POLE adds diagonal shading to what is basically an extra-bold “classical” sans serif face like Helvetica. You don't need to take that reference to the barber pole too seriously. The design will work well simply as a shaded headline type in many non-tonsorial contexts. On the other hand, sometimes you may want to print the face in red to emphasize its barbering connection.

BASSET The Eighteenth-Century Scottish printer and typefounder, John Baskerville, developed types that combined the “rational” vertical stress of Bodoni with the less exaggerated and more easily legible letterforms of Bodoni's French and Dutch predecessors. In so doing, he created the classic face in what is sometimes termed the “Scotch” style, which paradoxically is more modern in appearance than either of his models. Basset is based on Baskerville's fonts.

BASTIAN is a face cast in the mold of Buster. The absence of any line to define the far edges of its three-dimensional letterforms is what makes it intriguing. But this-combined with its necessarily loose letterspacing, to keep the characters from obscuring one another-inhibits easy reading. Use it for headings that will stop readers in their tracks, then quickly shift to something more legible.

BEDROCK is patterned after the typeface used in titling the Flintstones cartoons and movie. As faux-primitif as Fred and friends, it is frankly a fun face that can be adapted to all sorts of informal uses. If you choose it for a yard-sale poster (and it is well suited to such a purpose), be sure to add a note about not feeding the dinosaur.

BEETLEJUICE, an exceptionally successful “fun” face inspired by a 1960’s typeface known as Bees Knees, is full of amusing touches that hint at “jazz era” lettering styles but project a contemporary feeling. Note, for example, the way the “I” is differentiated from the “J” by bending slightly in the opposite direction, or the play of off-center counters against the strictly circular bowls of many of the letters. As an all-caps face, Beetlejuice is intended only for titling and headings, where it should be paired with text fonts-serifed or sans-that are not overly sober or rigid.

BERNADETTE Bernhard Modern, the model for Bernadette, is one of a wide variety of faces that bore the Bernhard name. It is modern only in the sense that it adopts the vertical shading of Bodoni’s faces, as opposed to the diagonal stresses in Garamond and other “old faces” that preceded Bodoni. It also retains the tall ascenders of Bodoni and his predecessors and even exaggerates them to create a sense of old-fashioned elegance. The consequently short x-height is further emphasized by the generous width of the lowercase. These characteristics make it inefficient in long texts but demand attention in shorter ones by defying the current fad for relatively condensed faces with large x-heights.

BIGGEN Its model was Hellenic Wide, one of many extra-expanded egyptian faces of a kind often associated with Victorian advertising and the American West. It introduces a certain air of nostalgic make-believe. Set it all-caps to create a very insistent horizontal, upper and lower to make your head more compact.

BILBO DISPLAY is a “calligraphic font”-an oxymoron that serves to identify typeface letterforms whose details suggest that they actually have been drawn with a pen. This one is similar in appearance to Verona Humanistic, a rather obscure face under its original title, but one with a pleasantly antiquarian feel that can enhance its usefulness in appropriate contexts.

BILLBOARD is a face in the so-called grotesque tradition that is presently making a big comeback. The term was used in Victorian England as a generic for sans serif faces, but it has come to mean the more assertively anti-classical sans faces the Victorians used for posters and ad heads. This particular exemplar is similar in appearance to Impact, a design of the Stephenson Blake foundry, which is associated in particular with traditional British titling faces.

BITMAP deliberately introduces jaggies into its tall, svelte letterforms to suggest monitor-display associations. At the same time, these proportions prevent any literal association with screen dumps. Use the face when you want to imply high fashion and sophistication as well as cyber-life, reminding your reader that the two are not mutually exclusive after all.

BIZARRE CAPS is a virtuoso study in positive and negative space. It gives up its text reluctantly, but the puzzle it poses is so ingeniously worked out that few will resent the impediment to reading unless you over-use the font. It is perhaps best saved for contexts where ambiguity or obscurantism is itself an issue.

BLACKOUT imitates the look of embossed-plastic labeling tape. The reversing of the text against its black-or color, depending on your software and printer-background makes it an attention-grabber. The monospaced caps-only alphabet, while necessary to maintain the intended appearance, doesn't lend itself to anything but brief, headline uses.

BLARNEY is at once a very standard and a very unusual Art Deco font. Its uniformity of line quality makes it appear bland and conventional by comparison to many alternatives-which, for that reason, may be better suited to titling and headlines. On the other hand, it is full of unexpected details: the slant of the crossbars in the “A” and "f,” the rounded upper left and curving tail on the “R,” and so on. If you save Blarney for announcements, decks, sidebars and similar uses — the equivalent of, say, one to five paragraphs — it should come across to best effect.

BLEUCHER is an outline font in the Art Deco style. The original appears to have been a face called Bloc, though Blocky is among the other names under which similar designs have appeared. The straightforwardness of its line quality, which is moderately heavy throughout, helps it stand up over a wide size range, which isn't often true of this sort of font.

BLIMPEDIE is derived from Blippo, a bold, contemporary geometric sans-serif face that has achieved considerable popularity for display work. Though the face includes lower case, don’t be tempted to use it for long texts. The degree to which its stylization slows reading adds to the impact of heads but inhibits continuous reading, which is true of most stylish display faces.

BLUTUSS CAPS certainly owes something to the Art Deco style but rises above it to a sort of timelessness. It is a thoroughly appropriate font for almost any subject to do with the Twentieth or Twenty-First Centuries. As an all-caps font, however, it is limited almost exclusively to titling use.

BOBBY WIRE, which is similar in appearance to a face called Hairpin, is a novelty design suggesting that the letterforms have been fashioned out of bent wire. Like all designs that are more amusing than legible, it must be used sparingly and in a context appropriate to its particular forms. When the right opportunity comes along, however, there no substitute for such a font.

BOLSTER, similar in appearance to a face called Bolts, is a bold, squared sans-serif in which the prevailingly heavy stroke is varied on occasion to accommodate characters whose clarity can be improved with a lighter internal stroke. The “s,” “e,” and “t” are among the obvious examples. The “f” in addition sports the backward-curving descender of the old “long s” for an unexpectedly playful touch. The original design dates back to 1860 by A. Phemister, and was revived in 1936 by C. H. Griffith.

BONNEVILLE This modernized black-letter font is a refreshing alternative to its stuffy “old english” and similarly fussy models. If you want to suggest a tradition to which such fonts are endemic but proclaim your independence and modernity, Bonneville is a fine choice for your title or headings.

BOOKPLATE is our version of the classic Bookman family, derived in the mid-Nineteenth Century from the Old Face of William Caslon. It is a little less fussy than Caslon’s, though the “Q” goes in the opposite direction, and is darker in color. It is characterized by short ascenders and descenders, which gives it a sturdy quality. Though intended as a text face, it can become oppressive in long texts if it is carelessly handled, and today it is more commonly used for headings.

BOOP SHADOW has an Art Nouveau feel coupled with the strong shadows that give it a three-dimensional look quite alien to the Art Nouveau ethos. It is certainly eye-catching, but the space occupied by the shadows forces extremely loose letterspacing, so that it cannot be used appropriately for anything but brief heads.

BORDEAUX Basically an Art Deco geometric sans-serif, Bordeaux’s letterforms are more playful than most. This saves it from the severity that geometric faces tend to have and makes it more inviting and piquant for sleekly style-conscious headings.

BORDERBATS are graphic devices intended for use as decorations, particularly when used in combination to construct borders. The Filligree series is particularly border-oriented. The two Fleur sets (Fleur One and Fleur Two) are what are known in English as printer’s flowers (fleurons, in French). Some of the Geo geometric series can be used as independent decorations or, like the flowers, combined to construct more complex decorations.

BOSTON We give the name of America's Brahmin city to our version of what is sometimes considered the Brahmin among typefaces: Bodoni. A child of the Age of Reason, Giambattista Bodoni consciously abandoned the calligraphic influences that had shaped previous letterforms. Stresses were strictly vertical, serifs were reduced to unbracketed straight lines, and the contrast between thick and thin was emphasized more than in any previous faces. These factors give the face a formal and very regular look. Though typographers term such a face “modern,” this is merely in contrast to the “old style” faces that follow the lead of Garamond et al. Bodoni was a contemporary of Josef Haydn, and his types were as truly “classical” as a Haydn symphony.

BOUTIQUE DISPLAY CAPS derive from a decorated font called Showboat. The look of a century ago, which is once again popular, can be a very effective attention-getter but it palls very quickly, too. Use it in brief heads if you must; otherwise save it for very decorative initial caps.

BRAILLE Louis Braille lost his vision at age three as the result of an accident. About 150 years ago he invented a character set consisting of a matrix of raised bumps that could be felt and “read” by the blind. Since only a limited combination of these bumps is possible, Braille has fewer characters than text sets, but this limitation has not prevented Braille’s use for printing music, as well as text. Our Braille, used with any of the familiar sorts of computer printers, will not produce the bumps necessary for touch-reading, of course. But otherwise the character set faithfully reproduces the patterns of the standard Braille character set.

BRANDYSCRIPT Like its 1869 model, Brophy (or Brody), Brandyscript prints lowercase with tails that make most letters seem to join to their neighbors in a continuous script flow. The bold brush-stroke quality and the excellent legibility of the design compared to many brush scripts make the design outstanding for contemporary advertising display, and the slightly irregular placement of the characters with respect to the baseline keeps the reader's eye enticed and adds to the face’s apparent naturalness.

BRASH CAPS admittedly is a “silly” face by classical standards. The design appears to have resulted from doodling with PostScript path dynamics, the Outline version being the stroked path and the Display version the result when the path is filled. Use it as it evidently was intended: for fun.

BRAVADO is an ultra-black display face in the Art Deco style inspired by the look of Monotype's Braggadocio. Among popular faces, its closest relative probably is Futura Black (our Fultonist Black). Bravado is more expanded and has a more stylized, less stencil-like appearance, making it better suited to high-style environments.

BROOKSCRIPT comes in three versions-narrow, medium and wide-to help you tailor your heads to the available space. The brush script is quite stylized, with squared-off terminals that, in some characters, suggest a broad pen more than a brush. It thus is frankly a typeface despite its informal, dashed-off-by-hand look.

BRUNSWYK, patterned after Tintoretto, integrates roman and uncial letterforms into a distinctive shadowed titling font. This combination can be used to suggest everything from the north-European mythic to the ecclesiastical and points beyond. The font’s strong personality may bite the hand that chooses it if you do so for the wrong reasons.

BRUSH-DOM, similar in appearance to Dom Casual, is a popular brush-script design that first appeared in 1952. Its regularity and legibility are far greater than is the case in most brush scripts, making it acceptable for much longer texts. Like any brush script, however, it is best used for titling and headings.

BRUSH FLAIR is a brush-lettered face that suggests rapid writing but has compact, well controlled lowercase and numerals for excellent readability and efficiency on the page while portraying a sense of the emphatic while maintaining the casual sense that most brush scripts impart. The flair, in fact, is on display primarily in the expansive capitals, which set the overall tone of the face even though they will be outnumbered by the lowercase. In fact, they do not lend themselves to all-caps setting.

BRUSH FLASH, like most scripts, is intended for use in texts that combine upper- and lowercase characters, even though it is logically used for titling. It a more relaxed and easygoing style than some other brush scripts, but despite its informality it presents a neat and consistent “hand.” The simplicity of the figures further adds to its unassuming legibility and help to retain a friendly feeling that more imposing scripts generally miss-often by a very wide margin.

BRUSH HAND and BRUSHSTROKE Only in this century have type designers developed convincingly “hand-lettered” scripts that work well as typefaces. To do so, the letters must connect more or less as handwriting does, which is no mean feat when handwritten ligatures vary so much, depending on which characters are being connected.

BRUSSELS TITLING CAPS should not literally be used for titling under most circumstances. They're similar in appearance to the uppercase of a font called Celebration Text and are much too ornate to use in forming words unless very special circumstances justify the graphic confusion. But they do make superb dropcaps where their roughly Sixteenth Century flavor is consonant with the subject matter.

BUCKINGHAM draws inspiration from Uncials and Lombardic script as well as from the classic black-letter (so-called old-english) faces. Its modern detailing and playfulness, as well as its greater legibility, makes it a welcome alternative to more literal renderings of these faces. Try it for the heading of a newsletter, for example, to suggest a newspaper without falling into the cliché of black-letter. It’s useful as well for ad titling and for invitations.

BULLETIN is cast in the mold of the extra-bold condensed versions of Futura (or our Fultonist), particularly Futura Flyer. Its most memorable characteristic, aside from its boldness, is its crispness. The terminals on the cap S, for example are “trimmed” vertically, so that they taper to a sharp point. This gives the face exceptional life and sparkle, inviting reading. It is an excellent choice for ad headlines or for the sort of exuberant layouts you find in supermarket newspaper supplements.

BUSINKO, similar in appearance to ITC’s Busorama, is a playful geometric in the Art Deco tradition. Note that although it is a caps-only display face, it comprises two alphabets in that some of the letterforms in the “lowercase” set differ from their counterparts in the regular caps set. The “A” and “V,” for example, lean in opposite directions in the two sets; the “E” in the lowercase set has much longer top and bottom arms than its counterpart; and the “S” of the lowercase set is quite stylized. The typographer thus is given unusual leeway in controlling the appearance of the text.

CAMMY CAPS DISPLAY harks back to a little-known font called Multiform No. 4. Its letterforms suggest the first half of this century, but the random “reflections” (if that's what the designer intended) suggest shiny metal. This very unusual combination will not be appropriate everywhere, by any means, but offers a change of pace when you find the right context.

CANDYSTRIPER offers to split the difference between big, bold, blocky letterforms and delicacy of line and color-a sort of “have your cake and eat it” proposition. If a super-fat sans seems right in principle but just too leaden for the page, try Candystriper as an alternative.

CARLISLE has the playfully funky hand-lettered look that is extremely popular these days, particularly in youth-oriented contexts. The specific model in this case is David Rokowski's Carrick-Groovy. It can be used where the context deliberately thumbs its nose at “the establishment,” but it is equally at home simply suggesting informal good humor.

CARNIVALE Where graphic pizzazz is more important than easy legibility, there are few more virtuosoic titling fonts to be found. It is very modern-looking, of course, which limits appropriate contexts, but its suggestions of mechanistic glamour are worked out with great imagination and ingenuity.

CASQUE The greatest of English typefounders (before this century, at least) was surely William Caslon. Unlike his Scottish near-contemporary, Baskerville (who was somewhat younger), Caslon went back to pre-Bodoni models almost exclusively for his inspiration. The result was a series of Caslon typefaces in the early 1700's that became the model for subsequent "oldstyle" designs. Our Casque follows it closely. It is valued for its combination of ruggedness and grace and has been widely used as a text face from Caslon's day to our own. Also included is Casque Open Face, an oldstyle intended for setting large display elements without overwhelming the lightness and delicacy of the smaller types that accompany it.

CASQUE OPENFACE WACKY may be based on the WSI version of the classic Caslon face, but it is a little like a crazy aunt in a staid and conservative family: amusing, certainly, but a distinct embarrassment when combined with its relatives. Use it when you need to be off the wall but want a vague reference to more conventional typographic decorum.

CASSIA SCRIPT A brush script similar in appearance to Cascade, Cassia Script has the slant and stroke stresses of hand lettering but maintains the letterform clarity that many scripts abandon in favor of quirky individuality. So while Cassia Script is strictly a display face, its legibility is far greater than average for such a design, and it will support both reading and graphic interest over longer texts than might otherwise be the case.

CATHEDRAL GOTHIC The “cathedral” refers, of course, to the gothic-arch theme that permeates the font. So insistent is this theme, however, that readability is poor, and you must be sure that it's both pertinent to the subject and confined to only brief use if you are not to abuse the sensibilities of your reader.

CHALLENGE closely approximates the Caslon Open Face from several digital foundries, but it is not really a Caslon. Its tall ascenders and relatively short descenders suggest some of the willowy oldstyle faces from the 1930’s. Use Challenge with similarly proportioned text faces for large heads that still match the main text's color and aristocratic bearing.

CHATTSWORTH is an all-caps titling family modeled after Charlemagne, a face that subtly varies the ancient Roman letterforms in the direction of calligraphic details from the early Middle Ages. To the two weights traditional in the family WSI has added matching italics.

CHECK NUMBERS gives you the characters that are printed in the semi-cryptic code at the bottom of checks. Without magnetic inks, they cannot be read by bank scanning equipment, of course. So unless you are having checks printed according to the full spec, its use will be limited to simulating the look of a bank check. The characters are obligatory, for example, when you want to suggest what a winner's check will look like in a mailing piece for a give-away campaign.

CHESHIRE begins with Auriol condensed as a model but then expands the condensed to create Cheshire Broad, which has a slightly different feel, compared to uncondensed Auriol. The strongly calligraphic style is maintained, but the WSI font has a slightly more modern, less specifically Art Nouveau quality. It thus takes on a slightly elusive, aristocratic edge that adds allure to an already stylish face.

CHESTERFIELD is a bold display face with square, bracketed serifs. Its most obvious antecedent is Clarendon, though Chesterfield is more expanded. This latter property emphasizes its affinity with the wooden display faces of the last century and with such faces as Stephenson Blake's Egyptian Expanded and Adobe's Blackoak-both of which are unbracketed and therefore somewhat harsher in appearance. The extra grace in detail, and its less extreme letterforms, qualify Chesterfield for somewhat longer texts.

CHICANE is derived from a face called Choc — a French word related to our "shock," but stipulating a physical shock or blow. The original came from the Olive foundry (of Antique Olive fame). The exuberance of the face is widely valued for advertising and packaging. Yet it is remarkably legible and could be used in all sorts of heads and titles where off-the-cuff impulsiveness is appropriate.

CHIMKA will look familiar to Mac users, where its progenitor (called Chicago) is used as a screen font. It also is related to the standard Windows screen font and to such sans-serif designs as Berthold's Imago. All retain a clean appearance, even on display devices of only moderate resolution (like computer monitors), by maintaining a strictly vertical stress and subtly squaring off the rounds. In printed matter, Chimka make a nice change from Helvetica or Arial for such things as subheads.

CHIPLING DISPLAY comes from Brenda, a turn-of-the-century face with strong Art Nouveau influence. Its sinuous letterforms are composed of several elements in many cases, and the points at which they intersect will not look adequately clear if you run the face too small. But it is sufficiently condensed that you can run it at large point sizes without taking up undue space.

CHISEL makes playful use of the “nick” at the joints between its characters’ “strokes” to create a sparkle and liveliness that its extremely mechanical letterforms would otherwise prevent. In some contexts it will suggest a very modern version of the German black letter (Fraktur); in others it will simply appear as an intriguing bold display face whose individuality exacts surprisingly little penalty in legibility. The foundry face on which it is based was called Checkmate, perhaps to suggest the bold self-confidence of a master player.

CHORDS can be used if you're setting music. That’s about it. If you don't know your guitar chords, you'll never want or use this font. But it's one of those fonts you'll have a terrible time finding when you do need it.

CHORIZO conveys the appearance of having been cut in wood or linoleum blocks. The “uppercase” characters have a surrounding pattern that suggests sparkling or exploding. Use it alone to create an intentionally crude sense of dynamics or glitter, or combine it with the “lowercase” so that the surround pattern becomes decoration on the initials.

CHOWMEIN is one of many faces (Mandarin is the basic model) that suggest Chinese ideographs through the use of separate, stylized "brushstrokes." As such, it has obvious applications in which conventional type simply won't do. But, like all novelty fonts, it must be used sparingly if the amusement it affords is not to degenerate into annoyance.

CHRISTMAS TREE places each character of its all-caps serif face on a Christmas ornament. The same “modern” alphabet also is available as the lowercase, without the ornament frame, so you can use the ornamented version as the initial capital and set the remainder of the word without the broad letterspacing required by the ornament. Alternatively, you can set a brief title with full ornaments and then add an unornamented deck to match. Or your heading can be the unornamented version, with ornaments as dropcaps.

CHUBBY’s model was a typeface called Too Much. In many contexts, its inflated letterforms would be literally too much, but it is an amusing titling face with a fairly broad range of uses. Solid and open (outline) styles were among those offered in the original. WSI has added a second weight of outline and oblique (italic) versions of each upright style.

CIVIC The squarish lines of Civic (or City, the typeface on which it is based) provide an updated view of the square-serif “egyptian” faces of yore. The squareness adds a regularity and consistency that often was notable by its absence in the earlier faces. Perhaps the name was suggested by the similarity between a line set in Civic and row houses in an urban landscape. Be that as it may, the face lends itself to attractive blocks of type without the disparity between round and square letterforms that often is apparent in conventional square-serif and sans-serif faces.

CLAMPETTS DISPLAY is named after the TV family and is intended to suggest the slap-dash backwoods style that family brought to Beverly Hills. The "boards" out of which the characters are constructed are seldom straight or true, adding to the raffishness of the forms

COASTER is usually identified among digital typographers as Jazz Poster, though actually the face goes back to one called Ashley Crawford, designed by Ashley Havinder in 1930. It is playful, with a hand-lettered feel-which does indeed make it appropriate for use in posters. The crossbar terminals, or qasi-serifs, give the font its basic flavor, but it is the quirky S letterform and the pointed elbows of the M and N that perhaps contribute most to its uniqueness.

COBLEIGH TITLING CAPS is an ornamented font based on uncial letterforms. Though WSI uses the term “titling caps” as a generic for all caps-only fonts inappropriate for decks or text, Cobleigh will look badly overdone if you try to set whole words in it. Use it as dropcaps, where it gives a very rich appearance without becoming fussy or cluttered.

COCKTAIL is our rendering of the Cochin family, which dates back to 1912 in its present form but ultimately is based on the work of the Eighteenth-Century French punchcutter after whom it was named. It is characterized by long ascenders and sharp serifs. As in many fonts of Cochin's day, the italic is considerably more condensed than the roman; in this case, it also is particularly cursive, with a “d” that, in particular, is redolent of copperplate engraving of the period.

CODE 3 OF 9 This popular bar-code format can be used for identification of anything accessible to a bar-code reader — not only for product labels, but for inventory-control systems and routing logistics among many potential applications. It contains only the characters valid for that bar code; use the “@” or “*” key to get the start/stop position code.

CODE-USPS If you do mass mailings, you're surely aware of the U.S. Postal Service bar coding that, placed on the envelope, can cut costs by permitting Post Office automation to perform optimally. Well, here is the code — digits only, of course, because it codes only the zip of the addressee-ready for you to use when you build your own direct-mail empire. Use the “@” key to create the stop and start codes.

COMIX obviously evokes the sort of lettering used for funny-paper dialog “balloons,” though the bold version looks more as though the characters were snipped from dark colored paper. The “lower case” characters actually are variants of the upper case, so you can get more variety, and thus a more convincingly hand-lettered look, by intermixing the two, particularly where letters are doubled or otherwise appear more than once in the same word. WSI also offers COMIX HEAVY, which while very different in appearance, would be used in the same venue.

COMIX HIGHLIGHT is patterned after Bertram, a 1936 design. The basic letterforms are not radically different from those of many “hand-lettered” all-caps fonts, but the suggestion of relief and shadow set them apart from others of the sort. It's a good font for grabbing attention rapidly in posters or ad headings.

COMPASS is a typeface in the tradition of Onyx, Ultra Bodoni Condensed and-among digital faces-Latino Elongated, Spire and DV Boy. Technically, it classifies as an extremely compressed “modern”: that is, a serif face with vertical stresses. The verticality gives it a formal look; the tall, thin letterforms suggest fashion models. While neither property is conducive to easy reading, they make a strong statement in a consonant context.

COMPOSER is a musical notation font similar in appearance to Sonata. It is intended primarily for use with music composition software and MIDI programs, and while seemingly random, actually has its characters and symbols in the positions where such software expects to find them. Musical notation is far more standardized than verbal fonts, of course. Composer follows modern practice in offering forms that enhance legibility by being at once cleaner and zestier than was the rule a century ago.

COMPSTYLE was inspired by MICR, the typeface in which bank and account numbers are printed, in magnetic ink, on check blanks. While the original comprises only numerals and a few symbols, Compstyle offers a full character set and has been redrawn for legibility by human eyes, rather than bank equipment. At the same time, it still suggests the high-tech associations of the originals.

COOKIE The most popular of ultra-black typefaces is surely Cooper Black, on which the present face is based. Unlike its nearest rival in this field, Ultra-Bodoni (or Bodoni Ultra, in digitized terminology), it offers only just enough contrast between thick and thin to give the characters personality and legibility. Otherwise they remain as unremittingly black as almost any character set ever committed to type, unless you use WSI’s hollow version.

CORONA SCRIPT A graceful, formal script, Corona Script doesn’t try to ape hand lettering. Its finely honed letterforms are frankly “manufactured” and cultivate clarity and aplomb, rather than the individuality and quirkiness inherent to hand work. It is best suited to relatively formal statements.

COWLICK A playful novelty face, Cowlick bears some resemblance to Hobo in its bowed strokes but maintains the crisp terminals of some pseudo-oriental brushstroke styles. Of particular interest are its oldstyle numerals-as witness the descender on the 4 and ascender on the 6-in place of the lining numerals usually found in such display faces.

COWSPOTS, a WSI original, fills an openface sans of the Helvetica sort with random coloration similar to that of cowhide on the hoof. Please note that you need not have a Gateway 2000 computer (and their cow motif) to use this face. It is frankly humorous, though the dignity of the underlying letterforms saves it from being slapstick. Western allusions-specifically, those to cowboys-are among the most obvious applications for this font.

CREENAY eliminates all curves from its caps and small-caps letterforms. It is most appropriate in contexts that supply a connotative reason for doing so. They may have a geometric reference-perhaps to a block-dance (get it?). Or the reference might be to collegiate athletic letters. Without some tie-in to the text, however, the face can look, well, “square.”

CRESSIDA is WSI’s version of a design known as Croissant, c.1896. The rather bulbous, curving strokes from which the characters are constructed do suggest croissants in some cases, though to have done so in all would surely have pushed the effect much too far. As it is, the curves evoke the Art Nouveau style to some extent, though the feeling of the face overall is entirely contemporary.

CREW CUT CAPS, with its vaguely Art Nouveau lines, follows the lead of a face called Theatre. Because of the extreme contrast between its thick and thin strokes, the bold weight does not, at a single glance, look significantly bolder. But if you use the face in two sizes, you will improve their appearance by setting the larger size in the regular, the smaller in bold.

CRICKET Lettering of this sort first achieved popularity in the architectural drawings of the so-called “craftsman” style in which homes, particularly in California, were designed early in this century. Its effect is achieved through exaggeration: of round versus rectangular forms, of high versus low crossbars, and so on. The dots that serve as serifs are derived from architects’ habit of emphasizing line terminals by twisting or pressing down on the pencil at each end point.

CROATE DISPLAY CAPS, which is similar in appearance to the digital font Benjamin, has the look of chrome-plated metal tubing. It thus suggests “moderne” furniture and architectural detailing from the mid-Twentieth Century. It is very inventive, but as often is the case with such fonts, style takes precedence over readability. The “piping” of the letterforms is quite thin, so the detail will be lost if you set the font too small.

CROIX has an Art Deco feel to it, though it is less mechanical than most fonts of that style. It is quite condensed, with elliptical curves. This and the extremely short descenders give it a very compact appearance without being extreme. The inward curves of many stems — for example on the "A," "M" and “N” — add to its unique styling, which makes it an apt choice where the context seeks to be upscale without being aloof.

CRUISELINE DISPLAY CAPS is similar in appearance to Fry's Ornamented, a long-time favorite where a rococo or garden-party touch is wanted in titling. WSI has added an italic to the original, which was available in roman only. Either version can be used almost anywhere the word “pretty” would not seem out of place in describing the subject matter.

CURRENCY derives ultimately from the lettering style traditionally used in engraving large text in plates for the printing of folding money. Too broad an engraved stroke will not hold ink properly, so the engraver resorts to a series of parallel, ruled lines to “shade” the larger areas. Currency Outline dispenses with this shading and yields a crisper look, though one that less specifically suggests currency. At small point sizes Currency Outline generally maintains better clarity. A similar typeface, Chavalier, was produced in 1928 by Morris Benton.

CURVAC BLACK is characterized by flared, concave terminals that suggest serifs without actually including any. Perhaps “semi-serif” might be an apt descriptor. In the “B” and “D” the concave ends of the stems segue into the bulging bowls in curves whose character can be traced back to ancient Roman models. The overall feeling conveyed by the face is decidedly modern, however.

CURVETTE DISPLAY is a “real” computer font in the sense that it couldn’t logically have been designed with any other tool. It does suggest cut paper a little, but its geometry would be far easier to create in virtually any drawing software. Use it accordingly, keeping in mind that the letterforms are fun but not especially readable.

CUT-AND-PASTE is not alone in mixing fonts for a deliberate collage effect, but it is among the most amusing and the most literal in representing the scraps of paper from which such collages are assembled. It's great for headlines where the subject matter supports it. But, like almost any novelty font, it can overstay its welcome if you use it too liberally. Enjoy-with restraint.

DAHRLIN is a stylized script that, at first glance, may suggest several others. Note, however, the little marks to the right of many of the capitals. This is the beginning of the stroke that will tie them to the next (lower-case) character, solving the age-old type problem of maintaining that intimacy in a properly slanted script where some of the upper-case characters have a “hole” at the lower right. This design works for initial caps only; do not set all-caps text in Dahrlin.

DANCE HALL CAPS, which is similar in appearance to Gardenia (digitized elsewhere as Holtzschue), can be used either in titling, where the decorative details are restrained enough to permit reasonably easy reading, or as initial caps. They have a distinctly Gay Nineties feel and are probably better used for fun-and-games subject matter than for relatively sober material, though they do have their own sort of dignity.

DANIELA The origin of this face is a little-recognized type named El Greco. Its obscurity is astonishing, given the outstanding combination of flair and excitement it generates on the one hand, and legibility and regularity on the other. Usually these considerations are mutually destructive, but here they have been reconciled with outstanding finesse. Note the special alternates that are available as terminal “swashes” — letters that can be used only at the beginnings or ends of words because of flourishes that extend far beyond the characters’ proper territories.

DARWYCKE might be characterized as an italic uncial face, oxymoron though the phrase may be. The uppercase has letterforms derived from the uncial-based so-called Irish faces, but the slant is atypical of that breed. So is the lowercase, which is quite modern with only hints of the same roots, as in the “t.” These qualities, combined with its calligraphic informality, recommend it in particular for statements that are at once personal and timeless.

DASCHA (or its prototype, Davida) is a titling face created in 1950 by M. Davison, designed in the Victorian decorated manner. Though restrained by Victorian standards, it is rather too exotic for general use by those of today. But where the application is appropriate, its combination of staid letterforms and playful “pom-pom” decorations can be an effective departure from typographic routine.

DATCOTHEQUE is a stylized Deco titling face designed as a companion to WSI’s Discotheque. The main differences are that Datcotheque employs a shorter, broader white line to modulate the blocky letterforms and that it is fitted with small caps in place of lowercase. As a result, Datcotheque tends to hold up better to small point sizes and, conversely, to prove a little coarser and more rugged at large sizes.

DEBEVIC CIRCULAR is an airy, playful geometric font whose elements have been disassembled in what might be considered a deconstructionist style. This gives it a very contemporary feeling despite elements that, reassembled, might appear to be Deco. While an excellent choice for brief heads in, say, a high-style catalog, it lacks legibility for longer texts. It is most effective confined to pages in which no additional text is needed or in which any other text is set very much smaller in a very different face.

DEBEVIC DECO Named after the designer’s favorite ’50s restaurant, this is one of those fonts you're not likely to find anywhere else. It was created for those times when you want something different-something that intrigues the reader's interest by giving up its meaning only to the attentive. Its geometric design puts it in the Art Deco camp. The aesthetics of that group often emphasize style over content, and Debevic is extreme in this respect. Use it as a chef might use clove or ginger: to add spice, but sparingly.

DESIGNER TITLING CAPS derive from an Art Nouveau design known elsewhere as Konanur Caps. Use them as initials or dropcaps, where they give a much cleaner, more modern appearance than do most Art Nouveau initials. But avoid the temptation to string them together for titling; the decorative “encapsulation” gets in the way.

DICTIONARY TNR supplies the diacriticals necessary to express dictionary pronunciations when working in Times New Roman. A sample printout may look like some sort of arcane primitive language, but these are standard phonetic symbols used to represent everyday English.

DIGIFACE apes the segmented letterforms of LCD (liquid-crystal diode) readout panels. It thus is an excellent choice for representing the messages that can appear on the control panels of a wide variety of high-tech hardware, from laser printers to CD players to automatic cameras. If you ever have occasion to write owner's manuals for such equipment, keep Digiface handy.

DINNERTIME can only be set at very large sizes if its constituent flatware parts are to be readily apparent. Used that way, and confined to very short heads, it can be an amusing means of announcing anything with gustatory associations. Set it too small, and it may simply look like bad printing.

DISCOTEQUE is a geometric display face with a strong Art Deco flair. The “strokes” that form the letters are less the heavy black masses of the characters themselves than the fine white lines that cut into and articulate those masses. This makes for a clever and stylish appearance, but not for easy reading. Use the face carefully and sparingly, and it will repay your care.

DOGWOOD ORNATE was inspired by Cottonwood, one of a series of Adobe display faces based, in turn, on Nineteenth-Century wooden types. Ornate and fanciful, it brings to the printed page a hint of the showboat or of the “Opera House” that adorned every town of any pretension during the Victorian era.

DOMAIGN is an ultra-black Deco titling face similar in appearance to one known as Dolmen. Diagonals and triangles are used in various ways to create both its individuality and its consistency of rhythm. The triangle, for instance, is used as a crossbar in the “A,” as an arm in the “E” and “F,” and at an arm/serif combination in the “T.” Note, too, how the diagonals of the numerals are mirrored in the thin ear of the “g” and dots of the “i“ and “j.”

DOORJAMB is similar in appearance to a font called Wedgie, both named as they are for obvious reasons. Just as the type seems to be sitting up off the page, so will your reader sit up and take notice-but only if you use DoorJamb with enough restraint to keep its quirkiness from overstaying its welcome.

DRACONIAN, like the adjective after which it is named, tends toward the extreme. Large-and, in particular, very wide-uppercase is played against small lowercase to give it an extravagant sense of drama even though the brush-style letterforms themselves are not loaded with excessive flourishes or affectations. This promotes legibility without inhibiting the face's intensely personal style.

DRESSEL hints at Victorian antecedents but basically is a timeless face with tiny serifs-so tiny it might almost be called a semi-serif. The lightest weight, which stands up best at fairly small point sizes, is readable enough for text use. The heavier weights, which should be set larger in any event, are more attractive for display use.

DROPCAPS are, in most cases, best saved for just the use the name implies: as large, decorative initials used to begin with a flourish a relatively long text. The celtic-style design “embossed” on the characters makes unusual memory demands, for one thing. For another, the design tends to dissolve into gray unless the characters are used very large-say, 36-point or above.

DUO-LINE catches some of the feel of neon signage without literally representing it, as some other Deco-style fonts do. It is sturdy enough to be used in a wide range of sizes-another point that many other Deco display fonts fail to share. It also is more legible than many of its type, though it clearly is intended for display use only.

DUSTINE is available in both solid and outline forms. It has its roots in the late Nineteenth Century-and, specifically, in the Art Nouveau movement. The “high-waisted” look derives from lettering used by architects and poster designers of the period, and fonts of this sort remained popular, particularly in relatively “arty” contexts, through the 1920s. Our version is similar in appearance to a Font Bureau revival called Desdemona.

DYE-CUT has been available under several names, including Pinwheel and Pinnochio. Our name reflects the way the characters appear to have been punched from sheet metal or cut from plywood with bit and jigsaw. Very frankly a novelty font, it must be used sparingly if it is not to become annoying. But you may never find another face that so clearly suggests machine-tool craftsmanship.

DYONESTY uppercase displays some unusual touches for a sans serif of this weight, but it is the lowercase that really sets it apart. The partially “disassembled” letterforms give it sparkle without appearing gimmicky or outré. It was inspired by a face called Dynamo, though Dyonesty emphasizes the “disconnection” a bit more. It would make a welcome change from the traditionally Helvetica Bold subhead spec, for example.

EDEN DISPLAY The very unusual, serpentine letterforms of this font defy association with standard generation techniques. They are unlike any of the familiar sorts of drawing, digital or otherwise, just as they are unlike photo or metal type, though anyone who as tried a pressure-sensitive computer tablet may be qualified to guess at the technique employed.

ELEGANCE descends to us from a Victorian font known as Rafael. It, in turn, was based on Caslon (note the serifs on the "T") but has been transformed by all sorts of little manipulations and added fillips. Today, it requires a distinctly tongue-in-cheek context if it is not to look either gauche or a mite tacky.

ELISIA comes in three versions: plain (solid), inline, and open (outline). The letterforms are characteristic of the delicate, airy variety of Art Deco that was used in the late Twenties and Thirties, particularly where high style was involved. They retain much of the aristocratic sophistication of the style, but to modern eyes also convey a touch of nostalgia—and perhaps a certain sense of innocence lost. In the inline and open forms, the delicacy of the fine lines will only show up at fairly large titling sizes.

ELMORE is a personal-handwriting font. Elmore did not show himself to be by any means a careful calligrapher, so be wary how you use his handwriting if you value reader comprehension.

EMBLEM creates a strong stylistic statement out of the simple expedient of extending the arms of the letterforms so that their inboard terminals, so to speak, are not lost in the stems, as they usually are. The extreme regularity of the font in other respects emphasizes that this is not a question of inaccuracy in forming the letters, but as deliberate gesture on the part of the designer. The model in this case was a digital face: Letraset's Insignia.

EMPRESS was inspired by Empire, a stylish, compressed sans. Empress is condensed—but not as much as the model, and it's therefore easier to read and better shows off the elegant detailing. While the original had lowercase, Empress sticks to what works best: the uppercase and numerals. It is an excellent choice for titling when you're dealing with stylish, contemporary subjects.

ENCINO is one of those typefaces that are patterned after a style in which architectural drawings have been lettered. The best known of these probably is Adobe's Tekton. Encino's ultimate model is a more personal, less catholic hand. It hints at the lettering styles of the Twenties or Thirties, though many architects today cultivate such individual traits as Encino's narrow, slanted "O" and "Q."

ERGOE and ERGOE MILD One of the most original designs of recent decades, Eras was produced for photolettering in 1969 by a Paris studio. Neither a true roman nor a true italic (or oblique), it splits the difference between them with a slight slant that lends urgency to whatever text is set in the face. Ergoe follows the lead of Eras fairly literally, except in preserving the usual upright plus oblique stances. Ergoe Mild, however, combines the basic Eras letterforms with subtly flared terminals similar to Hermann Zapf's Optima for added elegance and improved legibility. You won't find the equivalent of Ergoe Mild elsewhere—yet.

ESPLANADE DISPLAY derives from a titling face called Binne. This shadowed version is based specifically on a variant known as Uncle Bill but adds small caps. It is rather quirky, as witness the crossbar of the "H" and the high-waisted "E" and "F." It is thus a change-of-pace font to be used on occasion, rather than one you would want to standardize on, say for headings in a newsletter.

EVITA is based on the triangular-serif "Latin" faces that were introduced in the middle of this century but harked back to Victorian designs. Specifically, Latin Wide was the model for this eye-catching expanded display face, which is well suited to a wide variety of titling and headline uses.

EYECHART suggests its namesake in the stark simplicity and square proportions of its letterforms, which include caps and small caps, rather than lowercase. It thus might be mistaken for a Copperplate Gothic but for the absence of the little accents that pick out all corners in the outlines of the latter.

EZUROPA The derivation of this face from the very popular Microstyle, designed originally by Aldo Novarese as Eurostile, will be immediately apparent to most users. The distinctive squarishness of the letterforms has made it a hit for advertising applications, particularly in the heavier weights and in the extended form (as in Ezuropa Wide). At the same time, the rather severe elegance of the lighter weights has made Eurostile popular among art publishers. While it is not suited to long texts, it works very well in subheads and captions.

FACET takes its name from the angular facets that suggests the curves it dispenses with. In the lighter weights, these facets subtly suggest the differences between, say, "O" and "D;" in the heaviest weight, they take on some of the collegiate character of our Letterman face. In all weights it represents an attractively simple and legible display face, particularly for advertising, signage, and similar applications.

FAINS is very similar in appearance to Gowdy Text, among the most famous of 20th Century recuttings of the so-called old english character set. Fains sets a bit more compactly and is available in two weights and two styles, whereas the original came in one only.

FAIRBANKS harkens back to a face designed by Alfred Finsterer and issued by the Stempel foundry in 1954. It was called Duo Dunkel in German, which would translate as Duo Dark. A reverse version (white letters casting black shadows) was called Duo Licht, or Duo Light. The crisp spunkiness of both is quite appealing, though the Dark/Fairbanks version looks more up to date. WSI has added the italic.

FAIRY SCROLL DISPLAY is so far out of fashion it's in—for some uses. It's similar in appearance to a fanciful Victorian font called Houghton, full of absurd curlicues and eccentric letterforms that look outrageous today but were considered merely decorative in the original design. Have fun with it, but make sure that its outrageousness fits what you're using it for.

FALKVILLE 3D begins with letterforms similar those of ITC's Serif Gothic and adds a three-dimensional "body" below each character. If you reproduce the font in white ("paper," in some software) against a dark panel—and large enough that the fine lines don't get lost—it will look like shadows falling away from the characters. Either way, it introduces a dramatic element into your display work.

FASTRAC FASHION, similar in appearance to the 1937 typeface Bernhard Fashion, is a very thin display face that combines elements of Deco (the uniformity of line weight and the geometrical caps) with hand lettering (as in the "a" and "g"). Its most obvious characteristics, however, are the very small x-height, exaggerated by the oversize caps, which descend below the baseline.

FERNANDO is one of several currently popular fonts that combine characters from as wide a variety of faces as possible. Unlike some, it suggests a sort of fey frivolity more than it does a cut-and-paste ransom note. This antic quality refuses to let the reader take altogether seriously whatever text is set in Fernando, maintaining an obvious sense of playfulness.

5TH GRADER apes the style in which a fastidious 11-year-old might letter the sign for his/her lemonade stand. It is far neater and more legible than our fonts that seek to reflect the writing of earlier grades, of course, but it retains enough of the spontaneity and irregularity to be ingratiating.

FIFTIES presents a sort of historical anomaly. Just as its model, Harlow, presumably was named to reflect nostalgia and admiration for the Jean Harlow era—roughly, the early Thirties—WSI’s realization of it is named to reflect its consistent use in contexts that now hark back to the Fifties. Its linear forms, which do suggest neon signs especially in its hollow version, are copied in diner signage and wherever someone wants to evoke the days of automotive tailfins and "modernistic" brightwork.

FINGERPAINT emulates the way a hasty, but not sloppy finger traces letterforms. Note the spots where excess pressure has thinned the "paint" so that the stroke appears to have holes. If you can, use this font in a saturated color to further enhance the finger-painting image.

FIORNE is modeled on a font called Duc de Berry, available from Adobe and others. The reference is to the Duke of Berry's "Book of the Hours," among the most famous and beautiful of all medieval illuminated manuscripts. The face seeks to convey the spirit of the hand in which its text is rendered. Of all type faces, therefore, this is one of the few that, in terms of historic calligraphy, can claim to be truly Gothic.

FIRST GRADER looks like the lettering of . . . well, a first grader. It is one of many currently popular faces that affect a deliberate crudity in one way or another. The simplicity and directness of this particular example can be useful in assuming a child's attitude or viewpoint, but it can be equally effective in heads that speak adult-to-adult on matters that concern children.

FLAMING DISPLAY CAPS, which is similar in appearance to a digitization called Crackling Fire, hardly needs an explanation. But, like most of the obvious novelty fonts, it does require a warning: For pity's sake, don't overdo it! What's cute in a few words becomes a crashing bore by the end of the first sentence.

FLEETWOOD, based on a rather extravagant bit of Victoriana known as Kalligraphia, is a highly stylized script with exaggerated thick/thin contrasts, which give it its basic "feel." It's eye-catching, but use it sparingly. A single provocative statement is about the most it will support; continue with the explanations and details in something lighter and more readable.

FLEURISH SCRIPT, while similar in both appearance and appropriate uses to WSI's Formal Script, is based on a somewhat later model. For instance, Formal Script follows the Spencerian model in its "r," but Fleurish adopts the flat-topped "r" used by most Americans in their own handwriting. The flourishes in the capitals and the strict regularity of the lowercase, however, maintain the face's formality; use it only where dignified aplomb is called for.

FLORENTINE Among script faces, the ubiquitous chancery handwriting model is conceded to be one of the most legible. Florentine follows many of the letterform characteristics of that model, but suggests the use of a more flexible pen and a freer hand than are the rule in chanceries. This gives it much more sense of flair and individuality than a typical chancery, but Florentine's openness maintains much of the chancery legibility. For added flourishes and élan, a second version of Florentine includes swash caps. These generally should be used only at the beginnings of words; though some words will set satisfactorily in some script all-caps, it's always safer to stay with upper and lower.

FORMAL SCRIPT Based on the so-called Spencerian handwriting that was taught in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, this script is characterized by the controlled evenness that was instilled through endless penmanship exercises when the hand was popular. It is extremely conservative in feel, suitable for very formal invitations or similar applications.

FOSSIL, similar in appearance to a face called Head Hunter, makes amusing use of bone-like elements to form an all-caps alphabet of surprisingly elegant proportions. The bone shapes are easiest to see at large point sizes, of course. But at 14 points or even less, the face maintains a pleasantly nubby or sketchy look that may complement your text even when the reader is unaware of the skeletal reference.

FOSTER stems from typefaces that would have been classified as sophisticated-modern in the 1930's but have a distinctly nostalgic quality today. Some touches may remind you of New Yorker Magazine's titling, for example. The reverse-oblique "BS" versions are, to that extent, downright quirky and convey a hint of irreverence or even perversity.

FOX TROT is one of several faces derived from the lettering used by New Yorker Magazine. Unlike some, Fox Trot does not resort to a simulation of hand-made inaccuracies. Its curves are firm and frankly mechanical, in keeping with the somewhat arbitrary stroke weight variations that characterize the original. Its "high-waistedness" and small x-height contribute to a rather stilted look that is eye-catching if used judiciously and cloying if over-used.

FRACTIONS can present a typographic nightmare unless you have a true fractions font like Fractions. This one comes in two flavors, one is a serif version similar in appearance to Times Roman (probably the most widely used of any serif face today) and one on a sans similar to Helvetica or Arial. So if you're using almost any standard text font, these fractions will blend with the rest of the text.

FRANZFURT dates back to Morris Benton's Franklin Gothic, issued before World War I and continuously popular ever since. It is a display face widely used for headings but capable of handling quite long texts in its lighter weights. (News Gothic was specifically designed to match it in text setting, however.) A true classic, it is one of those faces that expresses its historical roots but never goes out of style.

FRANTIC, similar in appearance to a typeface known as Fat Cat, reduces the elements that differentiate one character from another almost to the vanishing point. They are small white clues that modify a basic black block to create a decipherable text element. This is the source of Frantic's appeal, and by beguiling the eye with something like a puzzle it draws the reader's attention. By the same token, however, it is not an "easy read," so use it judiciously.

FRATERNITY One of many relatively contemporary redrawings of the classic roman alphabet, it (and Friz Quadrata, a very similar design) is full of sparkle and spunk. It is intended as a display face and can be used in conjunction with more conventional, self-effacing serif text faces. With care, its ebullience can even be tamed enough to handle sizable texts.

FREEWAY GRAFITTI is intended to look like crude hand lettering made with a spray can as is often depicted along the roadways of Los Angeles and on the sides of buildings in New York City. Aside from the shock value they afford when used in contexts where the reader might expect a more conventional font, they emphasize a personal element in whatever is being communicated. An extreme form of informality, perhaps, but useful in any case.

FRILLY For sheer eccentricity, few fonts can match Frilly. Dodging back and forth between the whimsical and the absurd, it has been known to produce chronic giggles, so take care how you use it. And for maximum effect, don't overlook the alternates in the related Extras fonts.

FROILANCE is similar in appearance to a face called Freestyle. It maintains a delicate brush-stroke appearance, despite the consistency of its stroke weight, by subtle stresses of both weight and contour. It thus avoids both the heaviness of typical brush scripts and the mechanical quality typical of scripts that, in order to keep the line quality light, reduce it to a single, standard width. In short messages it could even be used as a text face, following a bolder brush-script heading.

FUNKYFACE is a Victorian backhand script with exaggerated contrast between thick and thin and all sorts of quirky detail. The original, known as Alfereta, was only one of many such reverse-slant scripts popular a century ago to make readers sit up and take notice. It will do that even today, though it is far too ornate for anything but brief heads.

FUNSTUFF, similar in appearance to the style of Remedy by Judith Sutcliff, is a totally whimsical "hand-lettered" face that clearly tells your readers "I don't take myself too seriously, and you shouldn't take me too seriously either." Though it has roots going back to the 1940s, it is very contemporary in feeling and represents a characteristic thrust of stylish typography in our time.

FULTON is modeled on Futura, one of the Art Deco sans-serif faces. As such, it is more geometric in feel than the sans-serifs developed after World War II. Futura was designed by Paul Renner in 1927. Although it is only one of many Deco faces that adhered to strictly geometric letterforms, it is a classic that has remained popular to this day while many of its rivals either went into temporary eclipse in the post-war era or have disappeared altogether.

FULTON BLACK (POSTER) and FULTON STENCIL are similar in appearance to the geometric simplicity of Fulton but carry its stylization a step farther by breaking the letterforms into "pieces" the way a stencil-maker must in order to keep the stencil itself from falling apart. Of the two, Fulton Black is the more stylized and stylish. Futura Stencil conveys a more literal impression of stencil-making and thus suggesting spur-of-the-moment signage without abandoning the Fulton geometry—as a conventional stencil font would force you to do.

FULTON FIXED WIDTH adds another dimension to this font family. The fixed-width spacing makes it possible to set material written on a typewriter or in DOS text (ASCII) without losing the vertical relationships between words and word blocks. It is not as elegant as its proportionally spaced siblings—no fixed-width font is—but it will have practical advantages for some work.

GAELIC It's one of those ironies of letterform history that the Italian hands used in manuscripts of the Dark Ages were best preserved against the pillaging Norse by the monasteries of Ireland, and we are thus induced to think of the Irish when we see their letterforms. Gaelic is loosely based on them. It suggests the broad pen and simpler, more open letterforms used in uncial manuscripts, rather than the denser, more elaborate manuscript hands of the later Middle Ages on which Guttenberg based his black-letter fonts.

GALLANTE and its outline version derive from the style of Gillies Gothic Bold, produced by the Bauer foundry in the 1930's or perhaps earlier. It is an idealized script, comparable to Kaufmann, in which the idiosyncrasies of individual handwriting are suppressed to create a "universal" style. As a relatively conservative and impersonal script, it is best used perhaps in the context of lifestyle issues that avoid the outré—traditional home decor, for example.

GASTON is similar in appearance to Gallia, a breezily formal "modern" titling style when it achieved popularity in the first half of this century. Nowadays its charm lies in what appears to contemporary eyes as its old-fashioned fillips and its suggestion of hand lettering. It is a gazebo among fonts: airy and fanciful and intended for amusement more than for serious use.

GANGLY DISPLAY CAPS may, perhaps, be a way of having your pretentious and hiding them too. As a shadow font, it is inherently imposing, but its letterforms are so whimsically twisted that nobody would accuse it of being overbearing. Use it where its sense of gentle self-mockery suits the occasion.

GARDEN DISPLAY CAPS is WSI's version of Eve Initials. And though we use "display caps" as a generic for uppercase-only fonts, this one really is best saved for use as initials—including dropcaps. The background tends to look cluttered and the letterforms wimpy and arbitrary if several of the caps are placed together to form a word. Used singly, the reader's attention is focused on the charm of the naïve botanical drawings.

GARNET The type of Claude Garamond, on which Garnet is based, is the equivalent of an “all-time all-timer” on the old Your Hit Parade show: a creative product with an astonishingly long run of popularity. It is as well loved today as it was at any time in the four-and-a-half centuries since Garamond cast his type. After all that time, many variations have crept into the design, and Garnet follows modern practice in designing for a significantly larger x-height than was the rule in Garamond’s day. This makes it possible to set text at smaller point-sizes without losing legibility.

GARTH WACKY is a backward-oblique sans that has been twisted upright—wacky, indeed! But for that very reason it will draw eyes to it. Use it as an obvious attention-getter in heads of limited length—and for nothing else if you value the good will of your readers, since it has a strong abrasive edge.

GATSBY, though obviously an Art Deco design, gains an unusually aristocratic feeling among its peers from the ultra-thin strokes and tall stance of its characters. Though the crossbar height of most of the caps is very high, the x-height is not. The long descenders add to the sense of attenuation and stylization.

GECKO is a shadowed "brush-lettering" font similar in appearance to a design called Riccardo, originally issued by the Haas foundry. It is strong and informal, a fine choice for banner headlines in advertising layouts and newsletters where you want a "just among us folks" feeling.

GERIC CLASSIC The model here is the sans-serif developed by 1930's designer/artisan Eric Gill, one of the major figures in the flowering, roughly during second quarter of this century, of British type design. The lighter versions of the face move only subtly away from the geometric linearity of earlier sans-serif faces, but the bolder weights show an imaginative use of thick/thin strokes to gain the necessary detail without undue bulbousness or heaviness.

GHOULY A "fun" face if ever there was one, Ghouly and Ghouly Solid are WSI-Fonts originals. Though it obviously was conceived with Halloween in mind, the matter dripping from each letter need not be taken as gore. Used as display type in an air-conditioner ad, for example, it could suggest that the text is melting in the summer heat. As a specialty font, Ghouly contains only basic letter, number and punctuation characters.

GILDE This series of faces is similar in appearance to one named after American type designer and typographer Frederic W. Goudy. Though Goudy himself designed some 116 faces between 1896 and 1944, some of the faces that bear his name were designed by others. He sought to combine classic virtues of clarity and legibility with sufficient individuality in the letterforms to hold the reader's eye and imagination. Gilde is a roman that is relatively free of the quirky details that often crept into Goudy's work.

GLYPHICS comprises two stylized fonts in one. Both share a single angular freehand style, similar to the typeface known as Flintstone, but the "lower case" characters are glyphs or symbols, rather than characters as such. Many bear a graphic relationship to the characters whose keys they occupy—for example, the "c," "d," "e" and "f"—but this is more a mnemonic device than an invitation to cryptic lettering. Still, the face as a whole conveys a sense of deriving from some mysterious primitive culture.

GOLESTON was inspired by a Victorian face known variously as Gold Rush or Egyptian Shadow Line—actually a misnomer, since the line suggests a shadow only when the type is dropped out of a black background. In normal use it suggests a 3-D treatment. The face is amusing without being excessively quirky and combines well with a wide variety of serif text fonts—particularly with "Scotch" faces, whose vertical stresses harmonize with the frankly mechanical quality of Goleston's basic letterforms.

GOTHENBURG's relatively airy look, by comparison to most other black-letter fonts, is achieved by a combination of somewhat light stroke width, relatively expanded letterforms and the limited use of some very fine decorative touches. Those touches have a Victorian feel, so the face is perhaps most appropriate where nostalgia is involved.

GRAFITTI, like our X-Grader fonts, is intended to look like crude hand lettering. Aside from the shock value they afford when used in contexts where the reader might expect a more conventional font, they emphasize a personal element in whatever is being communicated. An extreme form of informality, perhaps, but useful in any case.

GRAIL LIGHT Like the faces that inspired it, including Bernhard Modern and New Yorker, this is a very modern redrawing of classic letterforms with an emphasis on the tall ascenders that are avoided by most modern faces. The result is a character set of willowy elegance but one that requires somewhat greater point-sizes than those with larger x-heights if equal legibility is to be maintained. For this reason, it is best suited to relatively short texts where an intriguing typographic twist is desirable.

GRAIL NEW and GRAIL NEW CONDENSED These additions to the Grail series are somewhat bolder in the strong verticals than the original weight. The crossbars of many of the capitals have been moved lower to match the very small x-height of the lowercase, occasioned by the extremely tall ascenders characteristic of the face, which may be viewed as a sort of modernized Bodoni. In Grail New, this keeps the lowercase quite small relative to the generously proportioned uppercase. Grail New Condensed maintains the same lowercase with slightly tightened spacing, but narrows the capitals so that they have less tendency to overpower the lowercase.

GRANGE imitates the sort of sans that dominated the field, under a variety of names, from the 1930's to the 1960's, when the more "humanist" sans designs (Helvetica, Univers, Folio, et al) began to take over. It is very sturdy, particularly in this weight, and makes a fine all-purpose font for titles or subheads.

GRAVERPLATE A whole series of faces in metal type emulated the carefully formed roman character sets that traditionally had been used by engravers in preparing plates for printing custom work like invitations, announcements, and visiting cards. These faces, collectively known as Copperplate Gothic style, were the inspiration for Graverplate. Among the characteristics they share are extreme regularity, the use of small caps in place of lower-case, and especially the fine cross-strokes at the terminals, which mimic the way the characters are incised in the plate by an engraver. Although such faces are not uncommon in display advertising, they still are associated with their traditional applications, particularly for business and government.

GREAT RELIEF and GREAT SHADOW are similar in appearance to faces variously called Graphik or Graphique. The original was designed by Hermann Eidenbenz and issued in 1944 by the Haas foundry. Both make elegant titling faces, the difference between them being Relief's lack of the defining lines on the "highlight" edges. It is thus somewhat subtler than the Shadow version but not quite as striking or readable.

GREGORIAN combines capitals in lombardic style with a calligraphic lowercase whose "stroke" style precisely matches that of the uppercase. The face is best used in ecclesiastical or antiquarian contexts, perhaps, though it has a distinctly modern feel by contrast to most faces that employ lombardic letterforms.

GREMLIN CAPS departs from its model, the familiar Cartoon Bold, in supplying two subtly different weights, each with an upright and an oblique version, and adding small-caps "lowercase." The choice lets you solve typographic problems that defy the usual, single-design approach.

GREMLIN OUTLINE is similar in appearance to the even more familiar Balloon, but here in outline form. Like Gremlin Caps, it is a bold titling font, but the rounded outlines and open centers make it much airier, so that it can be run larger without becoming oppressive.

GRIFFON is basically a conservative face with understated serifs that give it almost a sans-serif look at first glance. But one aspect of the design—similar in appearance to a font called Dragon—is downright radical: the uppercase is much shorter than the lowercase ascenders. So it's moot whether the x-height is large (as compared to the caps) or small (as compared to the overall lowercase height). This ambiguity keeps the reader slightly off-balance and adds subtly to the interest of the reading process.

GRONK is one of those fonts that, however much fun to use, cannot be recommended for serious work because of its obscurantism. Amuse yourself and your friends with it, but beyond that, save it for moments when there is a real point in puzzling the reader.

GROUSE was inspired by a turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau face called Mira, though it doesn't follow the model in every detail. The letterforms look quite exotic and are entirely appropriate in headlining something distinctly out of the ordinary and perhaps a little mysterious. But they may also be chosen for their offbeat grace.

GROVER was inspired by VGC's Glyphic Series of ultrastylized, ultrabold designs. Its use of geometric forms gives it an Art Deco feel, though the way in which these forms are employed is exceptionally imaginative and varied. Its panache is achieved at an obvious price in legibility, but it can be extremely effective for short heads.

GRUNION SCRIPT suggests quick lettering with a brush or felt pen. Note the faint traces where the writing implement is quickly dragged from one character element to another. It's similar in appearance to a font called Polo, bit it's not particularly suitable to so aristocratic a pass-time. Use it instead for bulletins, notices, and the like.

GUMMY DISPLAY isn't an easy font to use well because its shadow lines force very wide letterspacing. But the letterforms themselves are perky and interesting, and with care it can deliver striking effects. Try it, for example, reversed against a dark panel, so that the bold letterforms stand out in white and the shadow lines really look like shadows.

GUNTHER CALIGRAPHIC bears some similarity—of general style, if not of detail—to the typeface known as Carolus, but it includes lowercase as well as caps. It has an "old manuscript" feel without affectations of medievalism and is an excellent choice for texts in which a truly informal script would seem too flippant but a more "learned" style would suggest pompousness.

GYMNASTICS is similar in appearance to a novelty font called Posture. It might with equal appropriateness be called Gesture. It's best saved for initial caps or dropcaps in contexts dealing with fitness or physical well-being, but depending on which specific characters are required it may prove fitting for a wider range of uses. If you feel compelled to use it for titling, please keep the title brief.

HALIBUT is an expanded sans serif comparable to what you might get if you stretched, say, a Vogue or Spartan horizontally—a favorite trick of some typographers. Note the thickened verticals relative to the horizontals, which is the intrinsic result of this sort of type manipulation. In contrast to all the ultra-condensed faces that presently are very popular, an expanded face of this sort suggests mobility and expansiveness. Use it for headings only; its sense of propulsion leaves the reader a little breathless in longer texts.

HALLOWEEN This gory novelty face, which has small caps for use as lowercase, is characterized by enlarged, squared superstructures that resemble the Frankensteinian head of Herman Munster on TV. You may not often find appropriate applications for Halloween, but nothing will quite substitute for it when you do. An alternative in some cases will be WSIFonts' Ghouly, or the solid black version, Ghouly Solid.

HAILSTEN is WSI's version similar to one of the most widely used of all sans serif faces, Helvetica. It is quite similar to Arial, but not identical. Note, in particular the right leg of the "R." In Hailsten it is a reverse curve; in Arial it looks rather like it's in a splint. Hailsten comes in an enormous range of weights and styles to encompass virtually any need you may have in a classic sans.

HAMMER This is one of the sans-serif faces that uses little touches of individualism to inject a sense of personality into what can be a very impersonal type style. Notice, for example, that the "m" has no stem at the left, emphasizing the curves of the two loops. This emphasis on curves in details where we are used to seeing straight or squared forms is what humanizes the face even though the curves themselves tend to be strictly circular.

HAND SCRIPT is a very breezy, informal face that is in some respects at the "handmade" extreme of the script class. It remains extremely readable by dint of hewing to roman letterforms instead of assuming the cursive scrawl of a true informal script. It suggests quick lettering with a fine-tipped felt pen, which looks more natural in many contexts than the broad strokes used in constructing many of the most popular of informal script faces.

HAND STROKE is a hand-lettered font that avoids both the regularized, mechanical extreme and that of highly individualized calligraphy. Its style lies primarily in its very plainness, in fact, though the slightly spiky letterforms do give it consistency and a certain spunkiness. It is casual, clear, undemonstrative, unpretentious. Use it for its off-the-cuff quality and its avoidance of any excess stylistic baggage.

WSI’s HANDWRITING COLLECTION contains many literally hand-written fonts. The handwriting of real people, whose first names are used to name the fonts, has been digitized to create the character sets. They vary a great deal and defy classification in the usual typographic terms but can supply a sense of person-to-person communication that conventional typography cannot match.

HANDYBRUSH is a brush-script font that is fairly typical of its type but offers a variation on the theme. Its most obvious point of individuality is the slight separation between vertical stems and the curves that work off them in the "D" and "R." Its regular but flowing nature gives it good legibility and fairly even color, making it a versatile member of its group.

HANKY SHADOW is similar in appearance to Thorne Shaded, one of several similar ultrabold faces that graced or aped Victorian posters. The triangular (or "latin," in Thorne's native Britain) serifs, on the "C" and "G" for example, are characteristic and give the face a little extra cachet among its equally stentorian rivals.

HARBINGER In the 1920's and '30's, designers like Frederic W. Goudy experimented in all seriousness with modernized and romanized uncials, often with hints of lombardic thrown in. As in our Harbinger, the results often look more quaint and even jocular today than Goudy and company intended. In upbeat contexts you can get away with its waywardness, but it may prove too heterodox for safe liturgical use.

HARDIN CAPS retains a strong Art Nouveau feeling and much of the grace of the best lightweight Art Nouveau fonts. Use it where this quality obviously is called for, because without such a tie-in to your subject matter it can appear rather wimpy and very old-fashioned. Just as the basic attitude with which something is approached makes all the difference between trash and treasure in the antiques market, so it does in typography.

HEIL SCRIPT is a script in the steel-pen manner and is similar to the Snell Roundhand typeface. The connecting lines between lowercase characters are rather contrived-looking, as they were for all such faces, which adds to the sense of formality conveyed by the script. It is best saved for use on formal invitations.

HELGAR CHANCERY isn't strictly a chancery face. By simulating broad-pen letterforms, it is pushed in the direction of a black-letter font, so it hovers between the Italian-Renaissance and the German-medieval traditions that were the two main thrusts of early printing. This dichotomy can be useful to the typographer by avoiding the too-explicit implications of fonts at either extreme.

HELMSLEY is the sort of open, informal, easily legible script that first appeared in profusion when photo typesetting replaced hand setting of metal type for headlines and other display use in the middle of the century. Its quirkiness—if it can be called that—exists entirely in the irregularities of character size and width that make it appear hand-lettered; it is far more neutral and friendly than the more radical handwriting fonts, but it necessarily has a less specific personality.

HERKEL is similar in appearance to a typeface called Harlequin that, in turn, was based on a lettering style often used in turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau lithographic posters. And that style was in turn based on a French conception of what the lettering in Japanese prints looked like. The letterforms' playfulness and irregularity owe more to a fresh imagination than to pen or brush lettering, though they are crisper than you would expect from a lithographer's crayon.

HERMANN derives from Goudy Stout, though like at least one other digital version of that face it increases the hand-lettered look. Goudy's model, in turn, was such faces as Poster Bodoni or Falstaff, but here small caps have been substituted for the lowercase. It is very fat but hardly pompous. Note that the "bold" simply increases the weight of the few thin strokes; the fat ones could hardly be more so.

HIGH NOON suggests, to some eyes, bright sky and dark earth reflected in raised chrome lettering. Some details also suggest Art Nouveau lettering of a century ago, though the overall feeling is quite contemporary. Although frankly a novelty face, it has good legibility and consistency of detail. Note, for example, how both the upper- and lowercase "C" and "S" descend below the baseline, mirroring each other.

HIPPIE DISPLAY takes us back to the days of the flower children, with flowers serving as counters or just plain decorations on virtually every character. It is similar in appearance to an original called Daisyland and has also been digitized as Corsage, confirming that you need not be discussing Haight-Ashbury to use it. It would be even more appropriate in the heads for a garden-club newsletter, for example.

HOBBY HEADLINE This deliberately quirky face, with its "bowlegged" look, is similar to Hobo, a face that has remained popular for display advertising and product labeling for many years and is at least as popular today as it has ever been. Though it is amusing, its humor wears thin on overexposure, so use it sparingly.

HOLLYWOOD is an inline Art Deco face like many that were popular during the 1930s and beyond. Being less complicated than many of that sort, it can be used successfully in a greater range of sizes, though of course it will block up at small sizes on laser printers. In smaller sizes, use Kabob, whose letterforms are the fundamental model for Hollywood.

HOT TAMALE follows the lead of a face called Fajita—Fajita Mild for the uppercase, Fajita Picante for the lowercase—and adds a slanted "italic." These are frankly "grunge" fonts, with spatters surrounding most of the characters and adding to the clutter. So save them for the most unbuttoned of contexts.

IGNATZ is similar in appearance to a broad-pen script face known as Mermaid among digitized typefaces. But as Ondine, it dates back to 1956 and a design of Adrian Frutiger for the Deberny & Peignot foundry. It is a neat compromise between the showy scripts, which generally are difficult to read, and the more mechanical styles that opt for legibility over personality. The latter property shines through, for example, in the "d" and "g" of Ignacious, and most of the letterforms have at least one or two details that clearly set them apart from other faces. This, plus its overall regularity, invest Ignatz with some of the best of both extremes.

INDIGO, similar to Ignatius, is one of several recent designs that revive the idea of an openface constructed of parallel strokes that do not close into a full outline. As applied in the current models, this imparts a spunky, piquant quality that gives them far more vitality than is possible in a conventional openface. Indigo combines well with classical serif body faces and can be run large without becoming heavy. In fact, it loses quality if set 14-point or smaller.

INSTITUTION, like its model, Industria, is a slim Deco-style face. Though it includes lowercase as well as caps, it is a display face ill suited to text of any length. While certainly not extreme by Deco standards, the letterforms have many individual details that give the face character despite its regularity overall. Note the treatment of the "N," "K," and "k" in particular and the serif-like terminals of the "C" and "G."

ISTRA NOUVEAU's initials are derived from an Art Nouveau font called Calcutta. Of its type, it is quite graceful and open, with none of the cramped waywardness of some such faces. It can be used for heads or as initials, but care must be taken in choosing associated faces to keep Istra Nouveau from looking excessively wispy by contrast.

ITALIAN STYLE The chancery hand is a specific form of handwriting valued for its clarity and regularity. Type designer Hermann Zapf used it as the basis for the typeface known as Zapf Chancery, whose popularity no doubt has been enhanced by compatibility between it and Palatino, another Zapf face.

IVY DISPLAY CAPS is the direct descendant of Tenderleaf, an uppercase titling face that has often been suggested for dropcaps in appropriate contexts. WSI's version adds slightly smaller caps as the lowercase and includes both bold and italic (oblique) variants.

JACQUES suggests Victorian decorated faces, because of its bifurcated terminals, but possesses a simplicity that few of the Victorian models can claim. It is thus a good choice when you want to add frills without exceeding the bounds of taste. The hand-lettered quality of the face is a little more obvious in the Roughcut versions (roman and italic) than in the regular pair.

JELLYBEAN Here's another really fat face for your collection—and one of the most amusing. Note how square and round terminals are played against each other, and the way a few elements (the middle arm of the "E" for example) are almost squeezed out of existence by their neighbors. Use it for its fatness or for its jolly personality.

JOHN HANCOCK bears less resemblance to the handwriting of its namesake than it does to several relatively showy scripts of the last fifty years, and it bears none at all to the serifed metal typefaces of that name that appeared even earlier. Still, it has the sort of positive, "look at me" quality ascribed by legend to Hancock's remark when he signed the Declaration of Independence.

JOLT obviously is designed to suggest electrical current—not excluding lightning. Use it to give your reader a jolt as well. This is the sort of novelty face that perhaps is best saved for a single word or, at most, phrase to add special emphasis and meaning in what otherwise would be a typographically staid, conventional head.

JULIA, an all-caps face, derives from Victorian display faces in many details, but particularly in the characteristic flaring terminals that impart a similar form to the characters themselves—as witness, for example, the "A." The extravagance of these details, plus the extreme contrast in stroke weights, argues against using such a face for anything but brief heads; still, it maintains considerable dignity for all its flourishes.

JULIUS takes its inspiration from Serpentine—which seems an odd choice of name for so unsinuous and rectilinear a design. The sense of style and subtlety with which it is endowed derives in particular from the play of thick and thin in the straight strokes from which the characters are formed. The result, even in the Black version, is a surprising grace in what might otherwise have been an exceptionally rigid, geometric face.

JURASSIC, whose name tips its hat to the recent hit film that popularized the style, actually traces its roots back to Rudolf Koch's Neuland (see Newell) — or, to be more precise, to Neuland Inline. Though this face has been all but overlooked by digital type designers, its white "inline" gives it a sparkle and sophistication that the all-black version lacks and recommends it for a wider variety of display work. Jurassic adds small caps to the all-caps original, further expanding the face's usefulness.

KABOB similar in appearance to the bolder weights of the geometric sans face Kabel, which itself was based on a 1927 design by Rudolf Koch, Kabob is a fairly straightforward example of a face in the Art Deco style. Though the lighter weights of Kabel are characterized by relatively tall ascenders, the heavier weights in effect enlarge the x-height to keep the lowercase legible. It is appropriate for titling or for break heads that must stand out from the mass of type around them.

KATARINA is another novelty face. Its playfully spiraling terminals and the extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes are primarily responsible for its individuality. The detailing and the condensed letterform proportions both argue against trying to use this titling font at small sizes. Try to set it in at least 36-point to avoid a crowded, skimpy appearance.

KENSINGTON might be called moderately outrageous among the various Art Deco fonts in the WSI collection. It is a lot more readable than the most outrageous, more stylized than the most conventional. Take the "A" for example: just a triangle, but readily recognizable as an "A." When you want something a little different but with a strong Deco feel, here it is.

KEYCAPS A WSI-Fonts original, this face is intended for computer hardware and software manuals, to illustrate keystroke procedures. Somewhat similar fonts have existed for many years for use in texts that teach typing and related skills, though few had comparable finesse. Since legibility, as such, is not the point of such a font, it should be saved for those contexts in which it is clearly to the point and its suggestion of the computer keyboard contributes materially to the intended effect.

KIRA SHADOW As with most such fonts, it's moot whether the shadow is a shadow or a 3-D body stretching back from the character faces. This one is based on a geometric sans, with caps and small caps, and is exceptionally vigorous of its type. The bold versions have somewhat deeper shadows, which forces a slightly wider set width.

KING TUT is a charming pair of fonts for which, frankly, I can't think of a single practical use. No matter. Whether you simply use them as arcane doo-dads to leaven your page or indulge in encoded messages by setting in King Tut a note to a comparably equipped typeophile, they are great fun to have around.

KLAXON is only one of the digital-font names for a design that was known as Codex in earlier forms. It is elegant and very readable. While it makes an excellent titling face, it also makes a fine effect in moderately long texts where italics and bold will not be needed. The calligraphic letterforms keep it piquant but not intrusive. It is particularly consonant with fine-art subjects.

KOFFEE SCRIPT similar in appearance to Kaufmann, Koffee is an idealized script with a very regular, linear style. While its letterforms follow those of handwriting, it is utterly frank about its mechanical nature. The total absence of any variation in line thickness keeps the letterforms clean and relatively easy to read. It thus suggests handwriting, rather than simulating it.

KOOL KAPS DISPLAY is an archetypal fun font: deliberately helter-skelter and impertinent. But if you're really, really clever you could end up winning art-direction prizes with it, given the right context and layout design. Just don't use it for annual reports or award diplomas.

KREBBS is in the same tradition as Bitstream's Ad Lib, though it differs in detail. Very obviously a fun font, it plays curves against rectilinear forms in clever ways that, in some cases, suggest paper cut-outs. Use it for its informality, its good humor, and its ability to make the eye do a double-take on its iconoclastic letterforms. It is readable enough that you can even get away with whole paragraphs—or posters—set in Krebbs.

KRISTIN, modelled after a Monotype face called Kino, may be thought of as a highly stylized font with Deco overtones; or it can be seen as a fairly conventional condensed sans whose elements have been truncated—particularly at top and bottom. It's all a question of subjective viewpoint. Either way, it arrests the eye without severely compromising readability.

KRONE The basis for this face is Korinna, a modernized roman type characterized by a certain delicacy and by little touches of individualism. It is sufficiently regular, however, to be used for fairly long texts without becoming cloying or intrusive. The original dates back to 1904 and the Berthold foundry, though it remained a popular face for many years. In the 1970's it was redrawn by Ed Benguiat and digitized, giving it a second career, so to speak.

KWIRKY is similar in appearance to a face presumably named after Paul Klee. It uses line with the sort of spare wit that characterizes its namesake's paintings. Generally Kwirky works best if used for heads or drop-caps that are very much larger than the body-text face, which will overpower Kwirky if it is too heavy. In two-color work, Kwirky is effective if run in black over a "brush slash" of the second color, provided that the latter is not too dark.

KUDZU, despite its Art Deco overtones, is essentially a timeless—and therefore contemporary—extra-bold sans titling face. It is modeled on a font called Koloss, which has both humor and dignity. It thus is appropriate for a very wide range of applications in posters, titling, headlines and, indeed, almost anywhere you may need a very bold display face.

LADYBUG is very much like Katarina, though it has been expanded to regular proportions. The broader letterforms may hold up somewhat better at small point sizes, but the spirals from which it derives its sense of fun will be almost as prone to blocking up, particularly on printers of moderate resolution, if you try to set it too small.

LAPLAND Lubalin served as the model for the present example of a square-serif typeface (formerly known as "egyptian"—though at an even earlier date that term was used for sans-serif). It is fairly typical of the genre, which trades subtlety for a rather stentorian way of presenting its content. As a result, it is better suited to headings than to text, though sometimes it is used in solid blocks for the sake of the coarse texture it creates.

LARIAT, like other similar novelty faces, forms its characters out of rope-like loops. A script that isn't really a script, it need not be confined to cowboy subjects, because the "rope" is not explicitly a lariat. But it does require context support for its properties if it is not to look a little awkward and silly. Budget projects that can be done "on a shoestring" is only one alternative.

LARISSA and LARISIMA Larissa is an elegant, flowing script well suited to invitations and some sorts of advertising. Its big advantage over many possible alternatives is that it is available in several weights—and in the bolder, broader, more assertive Larisima—giving the typographer unusual freedom in using it, particular where large and small sizes must be kept in harmony or where emphasis must be focused on one part of a text.

LEISURE CALIGRAPHIC falls squarely in the middle of its chosen field. It is neither an elaborate historical reconstruction nor a strikingly personal statement. Its simple lines gracefully reflect pen technique without making a big deal of it. It can be used as a display face but also lends itself to captions, sidebars and similar relatively long text blocks that need to be differentiated from a main text set in an unobtrusive serif face.

LETRA SANSERIF is designed after Letter Gothic. In this context, "gothic" is the Nineteenth-Century term for sans-serif faces. Letter Gothic, specifically, is a sans often found in typewriters or daisy-wheel printers and (like Courier) is supplied for computer printouts that, being monospaced, simulate or are output-compatible with these devices.

LETTERMAN clearly is intended to suggest sports-uniform lettering and its collegiate connections. This appearance is achieved primarily through the combination of the outline style and the octagon-based letterform bowls. The character set includes caps and small caps, rather than true lowercase, which would be inappropriate in this context. A solid version is also available.

LIDDIE is similar in appearance to Lithos, which was one of the first faces to be designed specifically for Adobe's digital type line, and one of the most successful. In designing Lithos, Carol Twombly took her inspiration from Greek stone inscriptions, but the wit and grace with which she adapted the letterforms has made it a delightful and versatile titling font, whose quality even supports surprisingly lengthy texts despite the absence of lowercase. Liddie can be used in similar applications.

LINOLETTER CUT, or rather LINOLETTER CUT RAGGED, is a face intended to simulate the technique used in illustrations by linoleum-block artists. The "raggedness" is a natural consequence of that technique, and it lends considerable charm to the face at a surprisingly small readability price. If you want your "artist" to work more carefully—or if you need to set Linoletter at small point sizes—you can use the cleaned-up version.

LINUS and LINUX are similar in appearance to the long-familiar Linoscript and Linotext faces. The "script" suffix needs no explanation. In this context, "text" does not mean "as opposed to display." Also called "old English" (though it is neither), this sort of text face takes its name from the German word "Textur," which specifies the Germanic black-letter fonts that trace their lineage back to Guttenberg. Text faces, though much more recent in origin, are used most often where an academic or antiquarian flavor is desirable.

LITHE is a clean, geometric sans-serif with an open, comfortable stance that keeps it from projecting an excessively mechanical feeling. The incomplete closure of the bowl on the "P" (similar to that in Hermann Zapf's Palatino) is repeated in the "B" and the "e." Other unusual details include the treatment of the "J" and the play of rounds ("5," "6") vs. ovals ("0," "2") in the figures.

LIVELY DISPLAY CAPS takes a somewhat different tack through the shapes and textures of Art Deco than do most of the alternatives. The contrast between linear and solid elements is cleverly worked out, and the "gray" of the linear portions softens the overall impression, relative to all-solid fonts. Be careful, though; the fine-line work will block up if you run it too small.

LOGAN is our version of the witty all-caps display face Stop, which has rapidly gained popularity, particularly for advertising. Its appeal stems, in particular, from the way its stylization seems deliberately to defy easy reading by removing major portions of some characters (the "H," for instance) and reducing others to what might be called geometric caricatures ("A" or "M"). Cunningly, however, the letterforms cajole the reader's eye into supplying the missing parts and details, making the text much easier to read than reason tells us it should be.

LOGASH, while similar in appearance to the popular Stop (or Logan, in the WSI-Fonts series), uses somewhat different letterforms for some of the characters and differentiates between the upper- and lower-case letters. In general, the "lower-case" are more regular and classical, the "upper-case" more radical. The latter can be used as initial caps. In many texts, however, you may get better results by setting the entire text in the "lower-case" and then substituting the alternatives only where the overall shape of the word will be enhanced by the change.

LOGS DISPLAY CAPS derives from Victorian or Edwardian models and is similar in appearance to a digitization known as Logger. The reference to natural wood forms—the sort of forms found in the porch railings of Edwardian "camps"—is obvious. While this severely limits appropriate applications for the font, when you do need this look Logs Display supplies it in outstanding style.

LOPP and LOPPLER DISPLAY have evolved from a series of fonts known as Mania, all of which have a similarly bulbous Art Nouveau quality but differing treatments of outline, shadow, reverse, and so on. Specifically, Mania No. 3 is the model for Lopp Display. WSI's name reflects the way in which the heavy-bottomed letterforms suggest the soft, pendulous ears of lopp rabbits.

LOUISIANNE offers a clever amalgam of roman and script. Its model, a bold titling typeface called Salut, was designed by H. Machler in 1931. That design, also known as Einhorne, was used almost exclusively in advertising. By today's standards it is a fine choice for display in a much broader field. It has a nice flow in the lowercase that makes it acceptable for whole paragraphs in advertising or extended decks in magazine or newsletter layouts, as well as for headings and titling. Its contemporary feel avoids formality but otherwise suits it to a wide variety of applications.

LUBLICK has the look of Art Nouveau hand lettering. Use it when you want something a little more formal than a handwriting font but a little more personal and individual than a regular script. The many exaggerations in its letterforms are not to every taste, but they do keep the font safe from accusations of being commonplace.

LUFTWAFFE is similar in appearance to the face called Fette (literally, fat) Fractur. Fraktur is the modern descendent of the sort of black-letter faces used by Guttenberg in imitation of the hand practiced in German scriptoria of the era, and Germany alone has continued to print some texts in faces of this sort while the rest of the world has adopted romans and italics. Luftwaffe thus evokes a specifically German literary climate even when it is used for titling English texts.

LYNDSEY and LYNDSEY INLINE are oblique deco titling fonts characterized by bold stems, a serif-like flare at the main stems' terminals, and delicately hooked terminals on many of the descenders and some of the ascenders. These flourishes contribute a sense of importance to the faces. The inline version adds a pinstripe, so to speak, that is elegant but intended for use only at relatively large point sizes, particularly if your printer resolution is 300 dpi or less.

MACKINAW DISPLAY CAPS ultimately comes from the highly decorated faces of the Victorian era, though it specifically resembles Adobe's Rosewood or Intecsas's Buffalo Bill—or their model, Coffee Can Initials. It is particularly handsome example of its type, but it does not repay use at small sizes, where the detail will block up. Use it large, but use it sparingly.

MAGNETIC CARD looks as though it could be read by automatic magnetic readers—though for that, magnetic ink would be required, of course. It is similar in appearance to the Data 70 font and is useful to suggest all sorts of automatic-processing equipment or high-tech information handling.

MAHONEY's playfulness—indeed its downright jocularity—is achieved at a surprisingly modest price in either legibility or letterform quality. For this reason it is much more versatile and will sustain much longer texts than most "amusing" faces. The key is the use of eccentric counters as the consistent element of surprise in what are, otherwise, fairly staid letterforms. Note, for example, how the quirkiness of the D, G, and Q offsets the restraint of the H, I, M, and N.

MAITRE-D achieves the richness of a great French pastry. It is similar in appearance to Motter Femina, which shares with other faces in the Motter series a refreshing originality of detail. Note the spiral swirl of the "o" and the thick/thin contrast of the "x." For all its stylization, it is a surprisingly legible font that can be used in all sorts of heads. Avoid all-caps setting, however, unless you want to confront your reader with a tangle of curlicues.

MANDREL is very similar to a number of fonts, including Guggenheim and Construct, that carry the Art Deco emphasis on basic geometry to an almost absurd extreme. WSI offers it in solid form and in two weights of outline. When you can get away with so stylized a font, Mandrel makes a strong statement with its monolithic abstractions, though there obviously are more readable alternatives.

MANUSCRIPT OPEN raises a question: When is black-letter not a black-letter? Black-letter (the only unequivocal term for what too often are called "old english" or "gothic" faces) is usually composed of solid strokes. The openface approach to this design reflects the logos of many a newspaper, and lightens it to the point where one is tempted to call it a white-letter face.

MANZANITA The spiky, spunky look of Manzanita, in either width, is achieved by a combination of the spur tails on the "K," "Q" and "R" together with the stencil-like breaks in the rather Edwardian letterforms. As an elegant alternative to conventional stencil fonts, it fits a wider and more upscale range of applications.

MARKING PEN is not unlike several relatively condensed "hand-lettered" faces, but with one characteristic difference: the slight exaggeration of terminals, which is typical of felt-marker lettering. It is both exceptionally regular and clear and, at the same time, an exceptionally convincing simulation of hand lettering. This combination of factors recommends it for all sorts of applications where an ad-lib immediacy is desirable.

MARLBORO takes its name from the cigarette brand whose logo inspired the face. How many readers will actually make the connection is another matter altogether. Use it simply as a good, condensed, square-serif titling font. Its strong, no-nonsense vertical emphasis makes it an excellent choice for headings in a newspaper-style newsletter, for example.

MARQUEE is an Art Deco face characterized by very short descenders and by a larger than average x-height. These characteristics help make it well-behaved in headlines, because it has few "loose ends" to cut into background graphics even at relatively large sizes. While it is more elegant than, say Futurist Black, it doesn't retain legibility as well at small point-sizes.

MARQUEE FLASH adds a decorative "squiggle" to each character of the Marquee letterset. This makes it look more festive, more contemporary, and less severely geometric—in this respect, taking it in the direction opposite to that assumed by Marquee Mieux.

MARQUEE MIEUX, like WSI's earlier Marquee, is an art deco display font. The letterforms are different, however. Marquee Mieux is more individual and stylish, not only because of its more complex use of fine-line detail, but also because of its stronger, more inventive shapes. For example, the 3 and 5 both have surprisingly large "bellies" to balance the fine line in which the lower portions of these characters are executed.

MEDFLY defies categorization. Its slab-like serifs suggest an "egyptian" but are round-tipped and are mostly shorn away altogether on the outer sides of the stems. It is too perpendicular a face to be called an italic or oblique but too slanted to be called a roman. Its letterforms obviously are geometric, but the geometry is so varied that it avoids the arid rigidity of typical geometric faces. Note the way stem intersections are sometimes angular, sometimes rounded—in the "E" and "F," for example.

MELANIN is a very regular, ultra-condensed, ultra-light geometric face that avoids the fussiness of many of its peers. Note that although all letters are uppercase, those that result from use of the lowercase keys in some cases are different in form. This gives the typographer some leeway in determining how the text will appear. In general, however, mixing the two alphabets in a given text will be less successful than sticking with one or the other.

MEMOIRES takes its inspiration from Melior, one of the evergreen faces from Hermann Zapf, arguably the dean of type designers in our era. Its most noticeable characteristic is the squareness of its letterforms, which to some extent straightens out the verticals and horizontals of what would otherwise be round shapes. An excellent text face, even in book lengths, it is nonetheless effective for display work when handled deftly.

MENTHOL in a sense splits the difference between scripts that maintain a brush-stroke appearance and those that seem to have been written with a very flexible pen. It also falls somewhere between the extremes of the very personal, flashy, and difficult to read on the one hand, and the regularized and often boring brush scripts that keep legibility a top priority. Menthol thus is a useful alternative not only to those shortcomings, but to other bold informal scripts as well.

MEPP DISPLAY SHADOW simply adds the shadow effect to a standard sans serif alphabet. Its lack of specialization suits it to a wide variety of applications; the white character faces keep it from being excessively heavy; the shadow effect makes it stand out from the page and catch the eye. All in all, it's a very useful design.

MERRILL has a hand-lettered look that was attempted in metal type but only became really convincing with the introduction of photo lettering. Merrill is more expanded than most of its near-clones, suggesting generosity of spirit. The slightly irregular character placement on the baseline adds to the hand-lettered feel.

MINSTREL SCRIPT One of the most "handwritten" of all script types, Mistral, was the basis of the present face. It has been extremely popular for brief heads and product labels in recent years, where its dynamism can be extremely effective. Its great flair exacts some penalty in legibility, limiting use to such short texts. The bold version is not just a bolded Minstrel Script, but rather a "strengthened" one. Many of the characters actually have a different structure, such as the lowercase "p."

MIRKWOOD GOTHIC is an "old english" font similar to one formerly known as Antique (another confusingly ambiguous typographic name). It is representative of its type in both proportions and details. It is therefore an excellent choice for newspaper-style titling, awards and certificates, and similar uses.

MIRROR IMAGE may seldom be useful, but you'll find few if any alternatives when you need one. The letterforms are similar in appearance to Times Roman, so you can combine Mirror Image with your favorite version of that face when you need both forward and reverse views of the same text.

MITZVAH Though the alphabet is roman, Mitzvah's letterforms are based on those of the Hebrew alphabet in somewhat condensed form. Some characters look more literally like Hebrew than others, but all have the strong, curving horizontal terminals (in effect, serifs, on some characters) at top and bottom that typify Hebrew lettering. It is intended for display use in any context where a Jewish flavor is needed.

MODAERNE presents soberly modernized, squared-off letterforms in a choice of weights. The interest of the face comes from the clever play of sharp corners against others that are tightly rounded. It is best suited for display use in many contexts, though the lighter weights can serve for longer texts if used with care.

MONARCH is an aristocratic display face with the tall ascenders and small x-height that characterized many such fonts in the first half of this century. The inline treatment of the "engraved" version further adds to its delicacy for high-style titling. Its nearest model among digital faces is ITC's Mona Lisa, though Monarch has rounded serifs to add grace to what otherwise can appear to be a rather aloof type-style.

MONOTONE is similar in appearance to a face called Machine, c.1910. Other similar faces often have sports-related names because the diagonal "corners" on what might otherwise be rounded shapes resemble the sew-on letters made for team garments. Anything but subtle, Monotone cries out to the reader like a cheerleader and often is used for comparable purposes.

MONTAGUE makes its effect with little flourishes on almost every character. While it doesn't represent handwriting as literally as some pen scripts, and thus is more appropriate for advertising and other conventional display use, it maintains much of the formality of the Spencerian-based scripts. Like most such faces, it is designed strictly for upper-and-lower use; the uppercase characters fight one another if you try setting them in all-caps.

MOROCCO is a recreation of a 1937 Victorian-style all-caps face whose name (the original was called Algerian) is justified by a certain exoticism of detail. Note, for example, the bent crossbar on the "A" and the "gesturing" right arms of the "V" and similar characters. The fine line work with which the letterforms are picked out does not stand up well at small point sizes in most reproduction media, so save this face for large titling use: 36-point or more, perhaps, for laser printers.

MULLINS CAPS has an obvious Art Nouveau heritage. Though the letterforms are free of the convoluted decorations that complicate many Art Nouveau designs, they're still quirkily individual. If your subject is too sober or too commonplace, Mullins Caps can look ludicrously out of place; introducing offbeat or art-related subjects, it can be quite intriguing.

MUNK CALIGRAPHIC combines some uncial-like letterforms with blackletter details, suggesting antiquarian connections. The expanded letterforms, many of which are quite modern in shape, establish this as an informal mix-and-match font that merely teases history without seeking to reproduce it. You may get away with it in sober contexts, but you'll be safer if you save it for mock-sober moments.

MURDOCK The shadows in Murdock, like those in Boop Shadow, force a very loose letterspacing that limits the use of the face somewhat. Murdock is more contemporary and projects a sunnier personality. The shadows add a strong "presence" in heads and signage. It will catch the reader's eye if you can state your message briefly, so you don't have to compromise the font's quality by running it too small.

MURPH, WSI's realization of Murray Script from the 1960's, reproduces the qualities of modern, very clear handwriting with extra flourishes added to the capitals. It maintains an excellent balance between flair and legibility, and it often is used in advertising where a sense of person-to-person communication is wanted and the face's slight hint of effusiveness would not be amiss.

MUSE represents, perhaps, the ultimate in understated hand lettering. Its utterly simple, unadorned lines make it plain that though the lettering is very neat and carefully done, it—or rather, its context—has no patience with fuss of any sort. It is a "just the facts, ma'am" sort of font.

MUSIC HALL is an unabashed return to the Victorian era, with its delicate curlicues and its insistence that decorativeness is, in some contexts, more important than utility. It is based on the black-letter ("old english") typefaces, but with a penchant for linear adornments that the Germanic originals don't even hint at. It also is exceptionally condensed of its type, making it appropriate where a monogram-like quality is desirable. WSI is the first commercial collection to produce and offer such a clean digitization of this style face.

NATHAN begins with a basically Deco ultra-black titling style having extreme thick/thin contrast (similar in appearance to Marquee) but departs from it in two important respects. The first is the little “cross-hairs” at the terminals, which serve as quasi-serifs. The second is the many quirky but consistent touches making it plain that this is a Thirties face rethought in Nineties terms.

NEEDLEPOINT is an interesting alternative to conventional types for any context in which needlecrafts—or, indeed, a wide spectrum of home crafts—are involved. Actually the letterforms are closest to those used specifically in traditional cross-stitch, but they have been stylized to the point that even the most punctilious should have no quibble with their use in connection with a broad range of activities.

NESBITT can be looked at as a sort of stencil font or as a modern squared sans that is stylized in an unusual way. That is, its stencil qualities need not inhibit its use in contexts where that would not apply. For example, in a gardening contexts, it's more likely to suggest the texture of a dry stone wall than a stencil. But, like any font, it will not do its job well unless, however unconsciously, the reader makes some sort of connection between type and text.

NEVILLE SCRIPT might be called a handwriting font (comparable to those in the WSI-Fonts Handwriting Collection), but it really is quite stylized and, therefore, more similar to the older sort of “handwriting” fonts, like our Helmsley. Admittedly, however, it is more irregular than Helmsley and friends and consequently has a more specific personality.

NEW MEXICO is similar in appearance to a metal face called Paris Flash, issued originally by the F. T. Française foundry. The rather nervous surface texture is held in check by the simplicity of the sans-serif outlines that it fills, giving the characters a strength that many “jittery” fonts lack. At the same time, it retains enough electricity to galvanize browsers into readers, which is the purpose of most heads.

NEWELL BLACK is WSI’s realization of Neuland, a face designed by Rudolf Koch for the Kingspor foundry and first issued in 1923. Its rough-hewn look has appealed to several digitial-type designers as a relief from both the button-down patness of typical ultrabold sans faces and the blowzy bulbousness of Cooper Black and the like. This realization adds small caps to what originally was a caps-only typeface. (This collection's Jurassic, an inline face, is otherwise similar in appearance to Newell.)

NEXXUS, similar in appearance to a typeface called Zephyr, makes its points by keeping the reader off-balance—that is, by being decipherable but not readily readable, so that the reader must focus attention on the text to make any sense of it. This ploy, which to some extent is shared by all novelty fonts, flies in the face of the truism that legibility is the ultimate criterion in typefaces, and it's true that the ploy will galvanize attention only for a limited time.

NICKLE traces its lineage to a face called Neil Bold that may have been designed for photo setting. It is ultra-fat, with crisp, clever detailing. Use it where you want to make an impression and remain amusing but not slapstick. It is neither high-style nor high-camp, but there's plenty of room left for it between those extremes.

NIGHTSIGN CAPS The obvious reference to neon signs in both the name and the design matches the basically Deco approach to the individual letterforms to produce a font for eye-catching banner headlines that hint at stainless-steel highway diners and Busby Berkeley musicals. Because of the intricacies of the curves, Neon Caps should only be used at large point sizes; below 36 points the detail becomes muddy on dot-matrix or desktop laser printers. Nightsign Thick can be used smaller because of its simpler, sturdier approach; even at large sizes it may carry better than Nightsign, depending on the application and context.

Non-Roman alphabets and ideographs These are faithful digitizations of the character sets used for a variety of languages. If you plan to actually set texts in them, however, you will need both a knowledge of the language in question and appropriate software and character mappings for using them. The collection includes:

NOTEHAND is a handwriting font much in the spirit of Present Script but elegantly thin and aristocratic, with some of the stylization of a Flora or a Nadienne—particularly in the bold. NoteHand would be a fine choice as an alternative to conventional scripts in formal invitations—a field much in need of its freshness—while NoteHand Bold is perhaps better suited to stylish advertising copy, where it or the normal weight can be used for body copy as well as heads.

NOUGAT is a strong, distinctive sans titling face with slightly projecting terminals that hint at the use of a broad-nibbed signage pen. While the letterforms themselves are very similar to those of many sans faces, these details lend character and invite reading in a way that the impersonality of the more familiar versions does not. It can be used successfully for titling in everything from advertising to books. Nougat is somewhat similar in appearance to a heavy version of a face called Dynamo.

NOUVEAU ASTA might be called an ultra-Deco font. It is as quintessentially a part of the inter-war years as a Marcel Breuer chair or an Airflow Chrysler. The witty balance between thick and thin, round and straight cannot be appreciated at small point sizes, so give it room to show off its fine—if somewhat severe—detailing.

OBESION could be classified as an ultra-condensed version of a classic Bodoni face. It is similar in appearance to Onyx, which was popular in the 1930s and 40s for advertising heads—and even body copy on occasion—but then went into eclipse until recently. Now it is among the ultra-condensed faces that have become extremely popular for headings and running heads in magazine layout and brochures.

OETJEN SHADOW DISPLAY adds shadowing to a fairly conventional serif display face, making it among the most neutral, and therefore most easily used, of our shadow faces. Its letterspacing also is not as loose as that of some shadow faces. It works somewhat better in all-caps than in upper- and lowercase, perhaps, but it will attract attention either way.

OLD ENGLISH GOTHIC The word “gothic” is used equally for this sort of "black-letter" font and for certain sans-serif fonts, making it ambiguous. Equally familiar—and equally misleading—is the term “old English,” since the source of the letterforms is the black-letter of Guttenberg and his contemporaries in Fifteenth-Century Germany. Be that as it may, character sets of this sort have become almost mandatory for display use in academic contexts as well as naming newspapers.

OLD NEWS has an unpretentious charm that can be quite telling in the right context. Among hand-lettered, distressed-typewriter and calligraphic fonts, it falls approximately in the middle, with some of the properties of each. As a text face, it is open and legible; set large, as a display face, it is full of interesting but unobtrusive irregularities. But it is best applied one way or the other, not used for both display and text in the same page.

OLDSTYLE is modeled on Prospera, one of many recent designs that rethink classical typefaces in contemporary terms and, for that reason, are preferred by many typographers to the strict revivals of the original models. The Oldstyle family is particularly interesting because of the special ligatures that are available in the Flourishes font. If you want truly elegant typography, select Oldstyle for your text. It is available in condensed form as well.

OLIGARCH, as any typeophile will recognize immediately, is similar in appearance to Antique Olive—named after its original type-foundry, not the martini condiment. The “Antique” presumably refers to the sans-serif design, often called “grotesk” and thought of as a crude, rudimentary sort of alphabet in the face's native Germany. Paradoxically, the subtle modernity of this specific design is what has made it such an enormous success, particularly for ads and catalogs.

OMNECO”s Victorian or Edwardian touches—which are most obvious on the “A,” “N,” “f” and “g”—give it a special personality that is emphasized by the use of triangular details. The latter originated in Victorian times but continued to appear in “up to the minute” fonts for almost a century. The resulting historical ambiguity keeps Omnico from being either particularly appropriate or particularly inappropriate for many history-related contexts.

OPTICAL CHAR OCR-A This standardized face originally was designed specifically for OCR (optical character recognition) use. The growing availability of OCR software that can read normal faces has left OCR-A (and the similar OCR-B) as something of an anachronism. Today it probably is used more for its evocation of automation and robotics than for its original purpose.

ORACLE Another of the faces mandated by previous use in daisy-wheel devices, Oracle is characterized by its substitution of small caps for the lowercase of, for example, Letter Gothic. Because this design dispenses with descenders, the uppercase can occupy the full height of the type, making the result larger and often easier to read than standard sans-serif designs of the same point-size. Being typewriter-derived from a face called Orator, it is a monospaced face, which accounts for the relatively loose spacing of the small caps.

ORIENT is a traditional chinese font in aping the quick brush strokes of Chinese ideographs, though it really resembles Chinese writing only very superficially. Such fonts have become standard for such applications as Chinese-restaurant menus, however, so here is our version, which is patterned after a typeface called Hong Kong.

OSBORNE is similar in appearance to Oz Handcraft, a font only recently made available in digital form. Its style hints at turn-of-the-century graphics (the era of L. Frank Baum's Oz books, in fact), though it is right at home in current typographic trends as well. Far too condensed to support extended text, it is strictly a display font. Use it where you need a sharp contrast to either assertive bold fonts or sinuous scripts.

OSTANE The model for this "humanist" face is among the triumphs of Twentieth Century type design: Hermann Zapf's Optima. In a sense, it splits the difference between serif and sans-serif faces by flaring the stroke terminals to provide the emphasis of serifs while keeping the shapes clean like sans-serif. This, plus the superb balance of the letterforms, creates outstanding legibility; Optane has been widely used for full-length book texts that few typographers would even think of setting in a conventional sans-serif.

OUT HOUSE DISPLAY CAPS follows fairly literally the details of a face known as Shantytown. The image it creates is of something nailed together in quick-and-dirty style. So be conscious of the sleazy overtones that such a face carries with it and take care that they don't rub off inappropriately on the context to which you apply them.

PAGECLIPS obviously plays with paperclip shapes in the letterforms and is similar in appearance to a face called Paperclip. It is intended as an amusing novelty face for headings in press releases or notes of any sort where the idea of clipping your page to some other, possibly less ephemeral publication is appropriate.

PAINTER A fanciful display font, Painter suggests an Oriental character in many of its “brushtrokes.” Though this sort of face must be used sparingly, it is another for which some contexts cry out. When one does, a more conventional face would certainly not be an adequare substitute.

PALISADE Yet another extremely popular design of Herman Zapf, Palatino (created in 1948), is the point of departure of this face. Though originally intended as a display face, it is widely and very successfully used as a text face for everything including full-length books. Its spunk and wit sustain interest, while its excellent balance and openness make it extremely legible—qualities that are hard to overrate in almost any application.

PARADE carries quirkiness to the brink of the bizarre—and perhaps even a little beyond. What saves it from appearing to be a mere distortion of conventional letterforms is it inventiveness of detail. The little ball terminals, for example, are reminiscent of some typographic details from a century ago and suggest the round bells at the ends of the fringe on a jester's costume. Tension is constantly maintained between the characters (like the H) that have an italic lean, and those (like F) with a “backhand” lean.

PARCHMENT, similar in appearance to Fontek Papyrus, will remind many typographers of Present Script. Parchment is both a bit more formal and more individual, however, with taller ascenders in the lowercase, high-wasted E’s and F’s, alternate forms for many letters, and oldstyle figures. It also adds a raggedness to the letterforms, as if printed on a very rough paper. It thus can convey a strong feeling of elegant hand calligraphy while retaining the dignity and excellent legibility of its basically roman letterforms.

PARKER PLACE Like its model, Park Avenue, Parker Place is a close cousin to Coronet among script faces. It has more flair and individuality than the latter, and somewhat more wit, but it maintains a similar relationship to its handwritten roots, which it suggests without pretending to be anything but what it is: a graceful script typeface.

PC CharSet will be welcomed by anyone who has to print straight ASCII texts from Microsoft Windows, which assumes the ANSI character mappings in place of the original IBM extended ASCII set. The face is monospaced, like a typewriter face, and includes all the IBM line-drawing characters, so shareware documentation and similar texts will print as their writers intended.

PEN TIP, though technically a script, does not ape the variable stroke weights of handwriting. It is frankly a typeface—and a rather flowery one, suitable for all but the most formal of printed invitations, for some sorts of advertising, and for occasional relief of what might otherwise be an overly austere typographic scheme.

PENCHANT is a somewhat modernized black-letter face that, in many details, hints more at the use of a steel lettering pen than the sharpened quill of the scriptoria aped by Guttenberg and his colleagues. It would thus be a particularly appropriate choice for preprinting the text of a presentation scroll or diploma that will be hand-lettered by a modern calligrapher with the recipient’s name or other specializing details.

PENSTYLE, though somewhat stylized, represents a conservative writing hand. That is, it has some details in the uppercase that suggest Spencerian training, but it is neither as formal nor as careful as that writing style of almost a century ago demanded. At the same time, it is not the sort of writing one expects from anyone under fifty today. If you need a handwriting style for Granny Soandso's recipes, this may be spot-on.

PENYAE Among sans-serif type faces that break the rigidly mechanistic mold of their ilk by introducing very individual traits, Penyae and its inspiration, Peignot, are among the most elegantly extreme. Very French-modern in feel, its deft mixture of upper- and lowercase letterforms gives this design a special chic that suggests the most sophisticated boutiques of the Grands Boulevards.

PERDOO is another of those fonts whose personality on the page will depend on context. For general use, on the one hand, it is a pleasantly contemporary hand-lettered style: fairly forceful but not overbearing. In a more exotic context, however, the eye may catch on some details that suggest Art Nouveau—the letterform of the “w” for instance—and emphasize the font's latent quirkiness. Evaluate it in that light before you commit to it.

PHINSTER is a sans face, available in several weights, that is quite classic overall but is full of intriguing details that set it apart as a WSI original. Among them are the unexpected, fine-line elements in the G, K, and R, the slanted crossbar on the lowercase e, and the feathered terminal in the descender of the lowercase g. Even subtler is the slight battering of the outer stems of the M, more often found in serif fonts than in sans.

PIPEFITTER Holy plumbing, Batman, but this is an unusual font! Use it for fun, or use it where water supply or drainage is involved. But unless you're editing a newsletter for plumbers, you can become enamored of Pipefitter only at risk of appearing ridiculous in most contexts.

PIXEL POINT Anyone who has owned a dot-matrix printer will immediately recognize the intent of this display font. While not literally derived from the pin-firing charts of typical dot-matrix fonts, these character patterns simulate them with, if anything, greater visual logic because of their pixel-grid layout.

PLANKS DISPLAY CAPS comes from a font called Trading Post. The strokes of which the characters are composed resemble slashes with a broad, house-painter's brush or planks with broken ends, depending on how you look at them—or, more precisely, what context you chose to employ the face for.

PLASTIC SHEET is an all-caps font modeled on Fanfold, which was also used as the pattern for “MasterCard”, in which it was expected that characters sloping upward to the left (the “uppercase”) would be alternated with those sloping in the opposite direction (“lowercase”) to create a pleated-ribbon look. If you prefer, you can stay with one case to create the impression of a series of single-character cards, one behind—or in front of—the other.

PLAYCE A highly creative adaptation of the Art Deco concept, Playce has a very up-to-date feel that recommends it for display use wherever modishness is an issue. Few faces of its sort carry equal impact or style. In both respects, it is far ahead of the typical Art Deco models of the 1930s, which look a little stogy in direct comparison.

PLAYING CARDS essentially has one use and only one: to explain card games. If you need to do that, you will be hard put to find any alternative computer font. To that extent, the clarity and attractiveness of the present design are beside the point. If you don't have it, you probably won't have anything for its intended purpose.

PLEDGE is one of a series of faces whose origin has been obscured by many conflicting names, presumably because its early uniqueness and popularity led to wide imitation. Though there is some difference in detail, Aurora, Permanent Headline, Inserat Grotesk, and Helvetica Compressed (though the “r” in particular clearly is not Helvetica) all are similar. Their extremely compact but stylish letterforms are characterized by very short ascenders and descenders and strong emphasis on the blocky verticals.

PLOVER is a graceful, linear sans-serif whose multiple weights give the typographer fine control over the effect, particularly where multiple sizes are called for as well. The diagonals used in the squarish bowls add interest, but the basic simplicity of the letterforms and the large x-height make it both legible and compact. It thus can be used effectively for longer texts than many display fonts will support.

POCONO All geometric sans fonts constructed with a uniform line width have something of an Art Deco look about them and, generally speaking, must be very straightforward if they are to stake any claim to timelessness. Pocono—like WSI’s Logan—rises above this truism to achieve a particularly contemporary look, relative to other fonts of its type.

POOKY DISPLAY is at once stentorian and playful. It has a lot of the Art Nouveau in its exotic stylization, but there is enough about it that is not specifically of that period that it's not particularly limited by the association. You can use it almost anywhere where you want to be showy and offbeat.

PRESTON is similar in appearance to the typeface, Present Script. Despite the name, it represents hand lettering, rather than handwriting. It offers excellent clarity and legibility, yet it maintains a strong personality through the fine, brush-like modulation of the stroke weights, giving it an airy quality that is both attractive and useful, even for fairly long texts.

PRITCHETT SCRIPT, similar in appearance to Hogan Script, neatly splits the difference between careful, easily legible brush lettering and breezily informal brush script. The characteristic, looping tails on the “o,” “w” and some other letters establish its rhythm and its implication of quick hand work. Choose it for this quality in heads, and it will strengthen whatever sense of interpersonal communication that they convey.

PROMENADE has a look that may be recognized by those familiar with Letraset’s Plaza. Though another Deco face, it is quite different from any other in the WSI-Fonts collection. Both alphabets are uppercase, but that in the slots regularly used for capitals are intended for use as initial letters only; the circular flourishes to the left of each one would otherwise interfere with both the preceding letter and with legibility. So type your text in upper and lower, and let Promenade add the flourishes only where they belong.

PROTEGE similar in appearance to two little-remembered typefaces, Phenix and Tourist Extra Condensed, Protege is a delicately “moderne” design that hints at Atlantic crossings on the Normandie. Though it is full of playful details, its tall elegance maintains a basically sober stance. Type of this sort has recently been rediscovered as a display face for well-bred advertising.

PURLOIN comes from a design of Eric Gill, among the leaders of Britain's typographic flowering between the two World Wars. Joanna, as he called it, has light square serifs and fairly tall ascenders. The italic is considerably more condensed, and noticeably more individual in its letterforms, than the roman. Since its later appearance in digital form, the most common versions of which are known as Perpetua and Forever, the face has become very popular for a wide variety of texts, from books to ad copy.

PYXIDIUM and PYXID Pyxidium includes two full uppercase “hand-lettered” alphabets. If you want maximum regularity within its extemporaneous style, stick to either the caps or the lowercase keys. But for the ultimate hand-lettered look, deliberately mix the two, paying particular attention to letters that are repeated within the same word. By alternating between the two alphabets, you can suggest a quick note with a felt-tipped pen. Mixing the roman with the “Quick” (oblique) in the same passage, however, tends to look unnatural and give the show away; try to stick with one or the other. Pyxid is a modified version that scales down the characters in the lowercase positions, to better simulate the writing style of some individuals.

QUANTAS, a WSI original, is an interesting and successful amalgam of elements. Overall it resembles the "Moderns" or "Romans" of the Nineteenth Century—the predecessors of the Century series—in rather condensed form. The vertical stress, the thick/thin contrast, and the thin slab serifs of many letters, however, suggest Bodoni. At the same time, the serifs on such letters as the "T" clearly derive from such faces as Caslon Oldstyle. Particularly intriguing is the Q, with its graceful detached tail. Besides the usual regular and bold, it comes in a full range of weights.

QUARK obviously apes the appearance of bent, chrome-plated steel rods. It cleverly suggests everything from classic "moderne" furniture to those multi-link puzzles that used to be a staple item in Christmas stockings. For most typographers the face probably will be more at home in advertising than elsewhere, but the truly creative always find inventive ways of defying such rules.

RAMONA The face was inspired by one named Greco Adornado. It's not particularly Greek, but it is adorned—with "shading" down the center of what would otherwise be an outline face not unlike Caslon or Garamond. The line quality suggests a lettering pen, and the original source of the design probably was hand lettering from before the middle of this century. Ramona's playfulness suits it to relatively informal titling, while its roots in oldstyle typefaces keep it very legible.

RELIEF SERIF is a way of making your words appear to be "cast in stone," so to speak. The delicacy of the line structure lets you run the face in very large point sizes without ponderousness. The classic proportions and detailing of the letterforms add to the sense that the words set in Relief Serif carry as special authority. The face also serves as an effective foil for type elements set in much smaller, blacker faces.

RENDEAUX SLABSERIF is similar in appearance to Rockwell, designed by F.H. Pierpoint, and introduced in 1934 by Monotype. It is one of the classic "egyptian" (slab-serif) faces. Perhaps Monotype chose the name Rockwell to suggest the slabs of dressed stone characteristic of ancient Egyptian temples, which may be the source of the Egyptian connection. It any case, this design is notably more elegant in its proportions and less rigidly geometrical than was the rule among its predecessors. Generally used for headings and titles, it is legible enough to serve for moderately long texts.

REVEALE The model for this face is the 1955 Revue design of Aldo Novarese, one of the early successful attempts to vitalize a modern, bold sans-serif by infusing it with a wealth of individual and even eccentric detail. If the name Revue suggests the music halls of the Place Pigale, the association is consistent with the face's exhibitionism. It can be very effective if used sparingly in the right context.

RIBBONS The design for Ribbons can be traced back to Victorian times to a typeface called Ribonette, though a similar face by David Rakowski has been popular recently among Macintosh users. The busyness of its "ribbon" background adds to interest but not to legibility, so use it sparingly. Note that the curly-bracket keys—"{" and "}"—produce a beginning and an end, respectively, for your ribbon, while adding an equal number of spaces to the left and right of your text will lengthen the ribbon and keep the text centered within it. By its design, this is a complex font, and your installation of Windows may have trouble printing it with default TrueType parameter settings.

RICHTER may remind you of WSI's Newell at first glance, but Richter has a less rock-hewn appearance. Its curves and unexpected angles suggest lettering scissor-cut from construction paper. Its interesting but un-fussy details make it appropriate for a wide variety of relatively informal applications.

ROBOTYPE is frankly a novelty face that can be used as a eye-catcher but is ill suited to longer texts. As the name implies, it appears to have been devised by some designer who (like a robot) can manage straight line segments but not curves. The deliberate omission of some parts of some characters—a sort of shorthand face in that vertical strokes normally associated with many of the letterforms are omitted, as in the A, B, E, and F—adds to the piquancy, but not to the legibility. So enjoy the face, but use it judiciously; you will want to restrict its use to contexts where its ultra-mechanical quality has special meaning.

RODEO is one of many modern titling faces that, by imitating decoration schemes of a century and more ago, suggest Western or gay-Nineties associations. As an all-caps face, it is intended for display only. It can be used to add razzle-dazzle to playbills and theatrical advertising, for example, and will suggest that whatever you set in it is not to be taken too seriously.

ROMAN FIXED WIDTH Toward the end of the last century, a reaction against the excesses of Victorian type design resulted in a number of simplified romans and square-serif "ionics" that expressed very frankly the mechanical nature of metal type. Among the best known examples today are Clarendon and the Century series. Fixed Roman is in that same tradition, but with a difference: It is a monospaced face (that is, one with equal character widths, like a typewriter). It thus brings the authority of a true typeface to applications that, without it, have been limited to the likes of Courier and Letter Gothic.

ROMAN STONECUT doesn't literally reproduce the appearance of Roman inscriptions, but its classic feeling strong suggestion of three-dimensional relief justify the name. It is similar in appearance to one of the Augustea faces of Aldo Novarese and Alessandro Butti: Augustea Filettata, issued by the Nebiolo foundry in 1955. Though Novarese later redid Augustea, adding lowercase and calling it Nova Augustea, he seems never to have redone Augustea Filettata itself. Less laid-back than Relief Serif in this collection, Roman Stonecut carries more punch for use in headlines, and is intended strictly as a titling face.

ROMANESTE is similar in appearance to the Art Nouveau face called Arnold Böcklin. Its strong individuality—its pungency, even—limits its uses considerably. But where its Belle-Époque mannerisms are at home there are few faces of any provenance that can equal its panache.

RUBIKS obviously takes its name from Rubic's Cube, and it can be equally puzzling if you use it poorly. Set reasonably large as heading in any context where geometry or construction—particularly modern construction—is to the point, its ingeniously articulated positive/negative letterforms can be quite fascinating

RUBY SCRIPT isn't really a script at all. It is similar in appearance to Valencia Italic, whose old-fashioned hooked terminals do suggest Spencerian script, but the face itself has more in common with the italics used in books and advertising a century or more ago. The slight awkwardness of some characters and the starched-collar stiffness of many, which raised the hackles of typographic reformers earlier in this century, actually constitute the charm of such a face for use today.

RYNDERS is a family of faces that share flared terminals in the manner of Poppl-Laudatio. The letterforms are more condensed and less classic than the most famous of all flared-terminal faces, Optima, and their effect is thus quite different. But, like Optima, Rynders can be used for everything from text to titling and, with that in mind, is supplied in a wide variety of weights.

SAMSON DISPLAY Whereas the fine line work in Lively Display caps softens the overall geometric feeling of the font, that in Saminoa gives it a light-and-shade feeling. It is a particularly stylish display font, appropriate for almost any contemporary subject where modernity or design consciousness is an issue.

SASH DISPLAY CAPS takes its interest from the tension between the apparent slashes with a wet, broad brush that are the basic letterform elements and the fine, geometric, dropout inline. The placement of the inline toward the left, like the fine black vertical in many black-letter fonts, might be used to hint at newspaper titling, though the predominant mood is certainly that of modernity and of a balance between formal and informal.

SASSY SCRIPT's insistent angularity suggests a saw blade and can be equally abrasive if misused. When the right "lean" of the lettering is broken—as it is in the "k" and the "x"—the effect is as galvanizing as a bride in purple. So look at your title or head carefully before you commit to the final wording. Maybe you'll want to exploit that quality—or banish it.

SCHOLAR A major revolution in typography occurred at about the turn of the present century when American Typefounders issued L. B. Benton's Century as the first of what became a series of typefaces. In essence, they sought to rethink letterforms from the ground up as a Claude Garamond might have done had he been privy to modern hot-metal typesetting equipment. They were modern, simple, pure, and frankly mechanically-printed in nature. The most durable of the Century series probably is Century Schoolbook, the model for our Scholar. Its letterforms represent the ideal of each character, shorn of any quirkiness or distraction that could mislead young minds about the essential nature of the forms. To this day, the face is widely used for beginning readers and the like.

SCHWARZWALD is German for Black Forest, the face on which it is based. It is a script with lower-case letterforms that to some extent suggest the chancery hand and rather showy capitals. Many of the details hint at uncial or Lombardic roots, making the face appropriate for contexts in which there is an antiquarian connection, though it is a frankly contemporary adaptation of whatever antecedents may have inspired these details.

SCIMITAR's vaguely Oriental reference—in both its name and its letterforms—need not deter you from using it where a general exoticism is called for, though a few characters do have specifically Arabic details. Of those, only the "E" and the "S" are really hard to avoid.

SCOGIN was inspired by Squire, created by Austrian typographer Michael Neugebauer. It is very linear and stylized, with letterforms that suggest hand lettering, though always subjected to the overriding linear style that sets the face apart. It has an airy, modern quality and could profitably be used for decks and subtitles—and even, with care, for titling, despite its light weight.

SCOTSDALE During the Victorian era, "gothic" (that is, sans serif) faces with inward-curling terminals on the "C" and similar letters were commonplace. This characteristic was picked up in a modernized sans family known as Britannic that seems to be gaining increased popularity. Scotsdale is most similar in appearance to Britannic Bold.

SECOND GRADER may be neater and more robust than the printing of most second graders, but never mind. It's the idea that counts, and in this case the idea is to convey a sense of childlikenss appropriate for texts by or about children. Better the high legibility of this face than the more literally childish scrawl that is the obvious alternative. But if this is too legible for your purposes, you can always use WSI's First Grader font.

SELDANE SCRIPT is one of an enormous class of neat "hand-lettered" script fonts that burgeoned, above all, in the 1960's, when photo-type was at its high-water mark. At the time, these fonts were used as up-to-the-minute advertising heads; today they look less striking but remain attractive for their informality and easy legibility.

SENATE derives from a typeface called Congress. As a text face, it is mildly assertive and a little quirky, which gives it spice on the page. As such, it is an excellent alternative to such faces as Cheltenham or Schneidler or Caxton, among many others, when you want a subtly unusual feel. It also works well as a display font, particularly in bold, where it conveys much of the spunk of, say, Novarese.

SHARNAY represents a synthesis. The basic letterforms are geometric and simple, like the best of the sans-serif designs from early in this century. The geometry is not so rigidly applied as to inhibit legibility, however: note the grace of the tail on the "g," a letter that proved problematic in many of the prototypes. In the bolder weights, the individuality of Sharnay becomes more apparent in the diagonal vertical terminals and in the subtle variations in stroke weight to aid clarity of form. In the latter respect, you may be reminded of Gill Sans, though Sharnay avoids the quirkiness that Gill indulged in at the heaviest weights.

SHEER BEAUTY, SHEER GRACE and SHEER ELEGANCE are similar to the Shelley family of scripts (Andante, Allegro and Volante). They are related in basic concept but differentiated in their relative extravagance or reticence of calligraphic detail. Sheer Grace, like Shelley Allegro, takes up the middle position; Sheer Beauty (Andante) is more understated, while Sheer Elegance (Volante) is more ornate.

SHERWOOD CAPS have a strong Art Nouveau flavor. But, used as initials or dropcaps, their historic breeding is less obvious and their sinuousness becomes their salient quality. They may be at their very best, however, as titling for subjects dealing with craft work having fine detail. Speaking of which, don't run them smaller than 24-point if you want their delicate detailing to be appreciated.

SHOTSHELL is named for the "bullet holes" that serve as both counters and decorations in the bulky, monolithic letterforms. Where that bulk might prove oppressive, particularly at large point sizes, you can use the open version instead. The font's single alphabet wittily combines upper- and lowercase forms and is full of amusing surprises. It also comes in an "open" version.

SHOWER is, well, a relatively silly font, though its letterforms are quite staid. The droplets suggest a dog shaking itself after a bath and are sure to defeat almost any attempt to use the font in serious surroundings. Keep a touch of humor in the headings that are set in Shower, and you should be able to get away with it. Otherwise, look for subjects that offer a more literal tie-in.

SHYLOCK, a finely detailed, squarish sans display face, can be used for an extremely broad range of applications. It is very stylish, unusual in both character and detail, and fairly readable—particularly when set in upper and lower. All-caps titles do tend to take on a bit of a picket-fence look, but not as severely as in some faces.

SILVERPLATE has the raised, shiny look and decorative flourishes of fine old silverplate. Basically an italic titling face with some qualities of a script, it is best used at fairly large sizes so that its detail is clearly visible. It is best saved for those contexts, perhaps in invitations or in small, personal signage, where a sense of artisan-crafted lettering is appropriate.

SKETCH HEAVY at first glance is a “hand lettered” face. Actually, the squared, sharply defined terminals are more like those of characters cut from black paper, but the hand-made feeling is what predominates in any case. Though the letterforms are loose and informal, the overall effect is much more regular and sophisticated than is the case with many such fonts.

SLALOM This “hand-lettering” face is similar in appearance to Slogan, designed by Aldo Novarese, the most prolific and successful of Italian type designers in this century. Its spontaneous-looking "brushstrokes" make it a favorite eye-catching display face for advertising, particularly in the field of women's fashions.

SLICKER is similar to a design known as Handel Gothic. It as a sophisticated variant on the usual sans serif letterforms, with curves where we might expect right angles (as in the “L”) and straight lines where we might expect curves (the terminals of the "C"). These style elements give it some Art Deco feeling, though the forms actually are very different from those of typical Deco fonts: subtler and more aristocratic—and more legible.

SMITHEREENS takes a staid, if very bold, sans face (it's similar in appearance to Unimpress/Univers, actually) and treats it to a facelift with an irregular network of fine lines that lend surface interest, or “shattered.” Don't let the moniker inhibit you about using it where the image of shattering is inappropriate. The applied texture might equally be taken for bits of spider webbing, for instance, and is fundamentally abstract.

SNOWTOP CAPS derives from a typeface called Igloo Solid. An all-caps titling face, its applications are too obvious to require listing here. It is among the most dignified and successful in a broad field of "snow-capped" faces. Avoid using it at small point sizes, however, because the upper detailing begins to look like a fault if it cannot be seen clearly.

SOCRATES is similar in appearance to Delphian, one of several open-line titling fonts that were particularly popular in the Twenties and Thirties. The purpose of such a font is to print large without introducing an excessively heavy line weight by comparison to the type of the body copy. Socrates is a little less classical than some of its rivals (note the form of the "U") and a little subtler in detail—as in the extremely spare serifs.

SOROS The extravagant, medieval-pen look of many of the individual characters—particularly the uppercase—proves surprisingly readable when text is set in upper- and lowercase. It has none of the built-in Irish connotations of the uncial-derived scripts and none of the fussy, academic baggage of those devised by F. W. Goudy and his contemporaries between the World Wars. Use Soros to suggest manuscripts or quotations from other ages.

SOUTANE The model, Souvenir, was one of many "modern" (Morris Benton in 1914) recuttings of classic letterforms, though its bowed diagonals now give it a slightly quaint feeling, redolent of the early years of this century. As a result, the name no longer suggests a remembrance of types long past, but carries of faint odor of lavender sachet, like the photographs from Grandma's bureau drawer.

SPEEDBALL is a calligraphic font in a not-too-literal broad-pen style. The leftward swashes on the uppercase argue strenuously against all-caps setting but give a stylized manuscript feel when combined with the lowercase. It is appropriate for use, perhaps, wherever the context refers to the written word.

SPEEDY MARKER is among the fonts that simulate lettering with a broad felt marker or brush. Unlike most, it is strictly an all-caps italic titling font. Use it to simulate quickly made ad-hoc signage. It's appropriate for everything from the announcement of a sale to the head on an informal birth announcement.

SPELLBOUND is a semi-original, in a sense. It was created from the few letters used in the logo of Estee Lauder's SpellBound perfume. A little like a condensed Art Deco font, it is yet very contemporary—thanks, in particular, to the detached elements in, among many others, the "A" and "T" and "2." Its quality might best be described, perhaps, as understated upscale. Do note that there are a few alternate forms to this all-caps face in some of the lower-case positions, including "R," "S," "U" and "Y," where some are better suited to initial or trailing characters and others are better used mid-word.

SPRINT is poised somewhere between an italic and a script. The fluidity of some characters—for instance, the "m" and "n"—play against the insistent, sharply defined stems of the uppercase to create a display font that is both dynamic and graceful. It is rich in exhilarating detail: the perky upward turn of the tails on the "R" and "K," the inventive ampersand, the bracketing on the central arm of the "E," and so on.

STAID is patterned after ITC Serif Gothic, which has a hint of a serif here and there in all the letterforms, but by no means everywhere you would expect them in a serif face. In fact, some of these mini-serifs appear in very unexpected places to tweak the shape into crisper, more telling form than it would otherwise have. There is perhaps a hint of Art Deco as well about the designs, which are rather self-conscious but convey a strong sense of style in all weights of the family.

STARBURST is patterned on a face called, simply, Burst. Its hint of fireworks lends itself to dramatic announcements. While the superimposed radial pattern is perhaps a little gimmicky, the classic black-sans proportions of the underlying letterforms reclaim the font's dignity. Keep it big and festive.

STARS & STRIPES (fanfare, professor, please) suggests July Fourth above all, but it should prove serviceable for display work in connection with any U.S. national holiday. Unlike most "patriotic" fonts, it avoids a sentimental approach in favor of one redolent of Art Deco influence. This keeps it clean and brisk looking despite the literal reference that, otherwise, could have made it cloying.

STARS CAPS puts your text up in lights. The letterforms are big and brash, like those used on the older legitimate theater marquees to headline offerings in letters composed of discrete bulbs. Star Caps is a natural for what's-playing-at-the-movies columns and the like, but it needs that sort of tie-in to make any sense.

STENCIL No explanation of this face should be necessary. It can be used to suggest everything from Army transport to temporary conditions to spur-of-the-moment sales or bulletins. The message it carries is a utilitarian "We didn't have time to get a proper sign made for this." Its urgency, as well as its informality, have made it popular for both advertising and product labeling.

STENCIL SANS Stencil fonts have an ad hoc quality that suggests urgency and expediency. This family is unusual both in being a family (the usual stencil face comes in one flavor only) and in being a condensed sans with proportions suggesting some of the wooden "grotesque" fonts of the last century. At the same time, the elegant economy of means used to create the letterforms hints at Art Deco influence as well. Stencil Sans thus is both efficient and stylish.

STEWARD, similar in appearance to Garth Graphic, is a fine example of a contemporary text face inspired by, but not slavishly reproductive of, the great faces of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Its sharply defined, slightly bracketed serifs help give it a spunky quality that stands up to extended texts without fighting them. It is at home in almost any context. It is additionally offered in an extrabold and black.

STINGER is frankly an attention-getter. Its angular, nervous shapes and deliberately distorted letterforms and uneven line cannot be accused of elegance, but they do insist that the eye take notice of whatever they say. Two weights of the solid-black Stinger are supplied. The shadowed open-face version is perhaps the most effective of the three at their chosen task. As with all such faces, it must be used with caution, but as a real "fun" face, it can be just the thing when all caution is thrown to the winds.

STRIPER CAPS isn't a subtle font, but it is effective in calling attention to itself. The prison-uniform stripes lend themselves to all sorts of alternative interpretations—from steps and ladders to the American flag. But it's up to you to make the association stick in the way you word the headline you set in this font.

STYLED GOTHIC is similar in appearance to Morris Benton's Clearface Gothic and is a sans-serif face designed specifically to complement Styled Roman (or Clearface). The Gothic is available in eight varieties, affording the typographer a subtly varied palette of sixteen gradations when it is used together with our Styled Roman.

SLYLED ROMAN follows the lead of Morris Benton's Clearface of 1911. It is compact, with a somewhat condensed proportion in the capitals and moderate x-height in the lower case. At the same time, it is designed for easy legibility, as the name implies. Benton's design in some ways prefigures Times New Roman, introduced four years later. In today's world, however, Times is so widely used that the earlier design looks fresh and new by comparison, while its relatively tall ascenders lend an added elegance. In strong contrast to that legibility and elegance, we also offer two "grunge" versions called Clearly Mangled Roman and Clearly Striper Roman.

SUBWAY LONDON is styled like the London Underground signage—a notable example of letterforms that were born, so to speak, without type-foundry midwifery. It is quite similar to Gill Sans, though there are just enough differences that they cannot be considered interchangeable.

SUNBELT adopts the stylization of a digital font called Jackson. Most fonts that are this stylized, and yet crisp and carefully constructed, have strong roots in Victorian, Edwardian or inter-war typographic design. Sunbelt is strictly contemporary and, therefore, offers a better choice when you need to avoid misleading historical implications.

SUNDOWN DISPLAY CAPS is based on Victorian or Edwardian models, which went in for literal pictorialism more than most faces do today. As a result, its representation of an alphabet back-lit by a late-afternoon sun is quite arresting in today's typographic world. If there is a logical tie-in to your subject matter, go for it.

SUNDRA DISPLAY CAPS, or Franconia, as its Art Nouveau model was called, is at once sinuous and crisp, with details that suggest quick penmanship despite the clear and consistent letterforms. Use it where its suggestion of exoticism will not be out of place and its strong sense of style will reinforce the message.

SWISS CHEESE has been described as a "hole-ier than thou" typeface. The jocularity is to the point, because this is not a font to use in sober contexts. The basically handsome proportions and letterforms of the underlying characters save the face from silliness, but dignity is not its strong point.

TABATHA is an inventive sans-serif display face that contains hints of Art Deco but is very contemporary. The openface, Tabatha Fresco, uses a slightly different letterform for some characters, substituting added piquancy of detail for some of the sturdiness of the solid versions. Either way, these are fonts for headings and titling, not for text.

TACO FESTIVA and TACO BOLE closely resemble a font called Sarah Elizabeth—which is, in turn, similar to our Hot Tamale and its model. All are deliberately scruffy "grunge" fonts intended to convey a contemporary urban-underground, iconoclastic feel. Choose Taco Festiva when Hot Tamale goes a little too far in that direction, Taco Bole to split the difference.

TANGO A playfully individualized variation on the Art Deco sans-serif idea, Tango's liveliness is bought at a noticeable cost in legibility. Its monogram-like stylization of the letterforms can effectively attract the eye in short heads and similar display applications, though it obviously is unsuited to longer texts.

TECHNICAL The ultimate inspiration for this font—like its closest model, Tekton—is the sort of lettering found on contemporary architectural drawings. Often used as a display font or for ancillary text like captions and sidebars, it has even been employed as the main text face in pamphlets and brochures where a hand-lettered feel is desirable.

TEMPURA is similar in appearance to a face known as Japanette. Though the quirkiness of its tapered strokes limits it to display use, it by no means need be confined to subjects with a Japanese connection. As a thoroughly contemporary novelty face, it can be effective wherever you need to do something decidedly "different."

THORIN DISPLAY CAPS uses letterforms that resemble lombardic but are much lighter and more delicate than a typical lombardic. It thus suggests a medieval connection and is a good choice in ecclesiastical, mythic, or folk-tale surroundings where you want the heads to avoid both the heaviness of lombardic or black-letter fonts and the specifically Irish connotations (to modern eyes) of uncials.

TIMBREL is similar in appearance to Tiffany, a face originally introduced early in this century and popularized in the mid-1970's. Its parentage in Caslon Oldface is particularly noticeable in the "T," whose slightly exaggerated serifs are echoed throughout the character set. Also taking its cue from the top of the Caslon "A" is the liberal use of spurs on the diagonals of Timbrel's uppercase. These characteristics are responsible for its exceptional character and sparkle, compared to similar faces.

TITLING CAPS, despite its name, is best saved for drop caps in text. Based on a turn-of-the-century German design and obviously influenced by the Art Nouveau movement, the elaborate detail demands so much memory that titles set in the font may print slowly or incompletely. In any event, the background is too elaborate to permit easy reading when the characters are combined. But these same characteristics can be very effective in drop-cap initials.

TOKYO CAPS adopts the rhythms and details of Japanese ideographs (kanji and kana) to construct fanciful versions of Western letterforms. If you want to make Western readers think at first glance that they are seeing Japanese—or Chinese, whose "alphabet" the Japanese adopted as kanji—try this font. Hard to read? Is a puzzlement, but that's the fun of it.

TOLKIEN is a more or less uncial-style face that obviously was inspired by the lettering used in J. R. R. Tolkien's "Ring" books. It could be used in antiquarian or ecclesiastical contexts, though many readers will recognize the style and might feel more comfortable if it is coupled to material that involves legend or fantasy—which might include "quest" computer games, for example.

TOLKIEN UPRIGHT is similar to our Tolkien, but a number of the letterforms have been made more regular (upright) in the interests of legibility and ready recognition. In both versions, however, Tolkien invokes the mythic (and somewhat mystic) world of J. J. R. Tolkien and is based on the lettering used on the dust jackets of his "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

TOLTEC is a close match to a font called, appropriately enough, Kryptic. Use it to slow down your readers—or perhaps stop them in their tracks—keeping in mind that puzzles hold their appeal only so long. A thought: If you run it upside-down, perhaps only those who know the key (turn the page around) will be able to read it at all.

TOOL SHOP CAPS For a really off-the-wall character set to be used in conjunction with workshop-related texts, this font is a real winner. Each character is immediately identifiable as the tool from which it takes its form, yet immediately identifiable as well as the character it represents.

TOPEKA's curving, rounded outlines give the impression of an Art Nouveau font photographed slightly out-of-focus. It retains legibility to quite small point sizes—12-point at least, depending on your printer—and could even be used for relatively short text blocks where you want an antiquarian or craft-related feel. The uppercase is distinctly fancier than the lowercase and can be used as dropcaps.

TRAINS probably will affect you one way or the other: either "just what I always wanted" or "what for?" I happen to like trains, frankly, and this is an amusing and stylish way of playing with them. Take note of the flat car, which is ready to accept whatever typographic burden you care to place on it. The rest I leave to your imagination. Also, notice that where practical, the cars are placed in a mnemonic position (i.e., Diesel is in "D" and "d" while Engine is in "E" and "e"). Enjoy, if you can; otherwise, pass on to more practical fare.

TRANSYLVANIA cleverly suggests black-letter faces, characters cut from paper and brush lettering, all without specifically relating to any of these methods. Its thorny look and bold weight catch the eye, but its condensed letterforms do not take up excessive space. It thus is as versatile as it is unusual, though its shark's-tooth spikiness is too insistent for any extended use.

TRAVELLER SCRIPT is similar in appearance to Berthold's Bellevue, a formal titling script. It is very conservative in feel, and should be saved for occasions when that traditionalist quality is appropriate—big social events, wedding fashions and so on. It is neutral enough to use for very short texts, as in invitations, though by today's standards is not particularly distinguished.

TREKKER faces are reminiscent of lettering styles that appear in the Startrek series. Trekker itself is known otherwise as Crillee. Trekker Two is similar but based on a script alphabet, rather than the oblique sans of Trekker. Trekker-3's outlining revives a simple Victorian means of dressing up a relatively plain font. Trekker-Frontier's angled crossbars set up a pleasant and stylish rhythm.

TRIFLES falls somewhere between an oldstyle (note the serifs on the T, for instance) and a calligraphic or "hand-lettered" font. The feeling, in fact, is that of a hand-lettered oldstyle. Triffles was inspired by an old transfer sheet, though the design obviously goes back to a time before transfer sheets were invented—probably the 1920's or before. The typeface is another digital first from WSI, and there is a certain quaintness to it. It is a deliberately quirky font, redolent of the Craftsman design tradition. While too pungent to be used for anything but brief heads, Trifles is an attention-grabber in the right context.

TRIMBLE, inspired by Novel Gothic Bold, is a sans titling face with a Deco flavor. Among its characteristics, the triangular dots are not unique to the font. But they do combine with other features to give it a unique look. Note the diagonal lower terminal on the "f," the uneven arm length on the "k," and the interplay between characters whose stroke width varies with those whose stroke is unvaried. All contribute to the overall effect.

TRINGLE probably made its appearance about a century ago (at the time of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago), as the Columbus Bold typeface. Its lowercase is quite down to earth; the quirkiest flourishes are saved for the uppercase, which sometimes is used as initial caps. Since it is an assertive font with a strong personality, it must be used with care.

TRUFFLE and TRUFFLETTE Along with Playce, Truffle is an Art Deco face that leaves the original models of the Thirties in the dust. A solid version and an openface, Trufflette, are included. Both are arresting, though Trufflette is the more outstandingly original. The utterly contemporary feel of both versions makes them appropriate for all sorts of display work in both advertising and editorial contexts.

TYPEWRITER ROUGH, which comes in both roman and an apocryphal italic, is one of many digital faces to imitate text written on a typewriter that has seen better days. Among its uses are bulletins, simulation of typewritten notes or memos, emphasis on the low-tech nature of the subject at hand, perhaps a touch of nostalgia for the recent past.

TYPIST Like its model, American Typewriter, Typist bases its letterforms on the old Underwood Typewriter character set. But both faces are proportionally spaced and, to that extent, unlike the necessarily monospaced character placement of mechanical typewriters. The proportional spacing increases the gracefulness with which the various characters can relate to each other and enhances legibility, while the suggestion of typewritten characters has made such faces standard for some forms of correspondence and for editorial or advertising use where a "late bulletin" feel is required.

TYPOGRAPHER DISPLAY, which is best used as initial caps or dropcaps, is based on 16th Century drawings demonstrating the construction of classical roman letterforms. They fit all sorts of design contexts, reminding the reader that fonts, too must be designed, and lend a classical reference that is not out of place even when contemporary design is the subject at hand.

ULTRA SHADOW This design is best known under the name Umbra, which means shadow. It is a caps-and-small-caps sans-serif face that is defined not by the strokes that comprise the letters or even by an outline around those strokes, but by the shadows the letters would cast were they raised from the paper.

UNCIAL MODERN squares off (well, octagonizes?) the round uncial letterforms to create a stylized version suggesting uncials, though it is unequivocally modern. The smaller you set it, the more it emphasizes its uncial roots; the larger you set it, the more obvious is the octagon paradigm to which the letterforms adhere. Use it where both characteristics—uncial and modern—are to the point.

UNCIAL ROUNDHAND and UNCIAL NARROW Uncial derives from the manuscript style of the Middle Ages. The uncial character set poses a bit of a problem to the modern type designer, because the original made no distinction between upper and lower cases. Sometimes uncials, as lowercase, are combined with lombardic caps. This face uses Roman models, copied as though with uncial-style pen-strokes, in place of the lombardic, which gives it a much less arcane, more readable appearance. The Narrow (condensed) version gives it a different look again, much more like late Roman penmanship than is suggested by the fuller shapes of typical uncials.

UNIMPRESSED Similar in appearance to Adrian Frutiger's Univers, Unimpressed reflects the direction that mainstream sans-serif type design has taken since World War II: to increasing subtlety of letterform in order to break away from the geometric approach that typified prewar faces. The result is much greater suavity and readability than had been the rule for sans-serifs. Unimpressed, in lighter weights, is probably the face of choice for book design among contemporary typographers who employ sans-serif for that purpose.

URKLE is a high-tech font in that it suggests printed circuit boards or some sort of machine-readable coding. It is similar to a typeface called Amelia and is appropriate in any context with a connection to robotics or similar technologies. Despite its extreme stylization, it is fairly easy to read and might even serve for captions or brief texts.

VAGABOND The rounded terminals on this and similar faces may have been suggested by the sort of template-controlled pen lettering that was usual in engineering drawings before the advent of CAD. While Vagabond (and the 1935 VAG Rounded, its primary model) look thoroughly at home in engineering-related uses, faces of this sort have also attracted attention for advertising, as a change from the usual serif or squared sans-serif display-face terminals.

VALENCE's crisp little serifs and generally clean lines suggest a copperplate gothic at first glance. A second look reveals the unusual form of individual characters: the "E," "Q" and "R" in particular. Most of the characters have classic Roman proportions, however, and carry a faint hint of inscriptions carved in stone, which can be useful in some contexts.

VANGUARD, a WSI original, offers an inline, what might be called an "openline" (in which the white "inline" extends right across the perimeter of each character, so that it no longer is a closed form), and an exactly matching solid font. In order to achieve this, the lowercase has been kept quite expanded, leaving room for the inline without resorting to an extra-bold weight in the solid. Ascenders are tall, descenders are fairly short to suit the x-height, making the face most appropriate for display use. If you don't go too small, however, you can use the solid version for short texts in conjunction with inline heads. The combination of expanded lowercase and tall ascenders give the faces their basic character, which is dignified and somewhat formal..

VATERS TITLING CAPS, which has been digitized elsewhere as Varah Caps, is a decorated dropcaps font that probably was designed prior to World War II. It is quite strong and therefore should not be used with body type of weak color, lest it overpower the message. Though it has some slightly antiquarian touches, it can be used in a wide variety of contexts.

VINYL CAPS is similar to a face called Steelplate Gothic Shaded. It has a rather convex-embossed look that adds importance without adding weight. The face itself is severely plain and profits from the fine-line detailing, which adds a touch of elegance. Vinyl Caps can be used for titling in a wide variety of circumstances.

VIVACIOUS derives from a popular script face called Vivaldi. Its extravagance is so tastefully achieved as to quash accusations of excess. The lower-case characters actually are fairly simple of their kind. The upper-case are anything but simple and cannot be used consecutively without creating a tangle of flourishes. Where they must be used together (as in certain acronyms and abbreviations), leave spaces between them.

VOSTREY is a new/old face that combines almost lombardic details with wittily modern ones. Note, for example, the combination of quasi-serifs with almost brush-stroke tails on the "r" and "n." The original was a font called Pretoria, which may date from the 1920's. But the well-integrated medieval-modern elements make it essentially timeless. But be careful: its innate humor may thumb its nose at excessively sober contexts.

WACKY CALIGRAPHIC takes a font based on simplified black-letter characters and twists the letterforms to provide an irregular, rather jumpy quality. Use it when its conventional counterparts look too static or too formal on the page or to introduce a hand-lettered feel without resorting to details that suggest quick or careless work.

WADELL CAPS is reminiscent of the Engravers Initials fonts, though it is less ornate than they tended to be. It is quite compact—among black-letter capitals, it is more condensed than almost any but German Fraktur sets—which makes it appropriate for use as initials with, say, a condensed sans lowercase that needs dressing up for headings.

WANKLE DISPLAY CAPS, like Chipper, comes from a turn-of-the-century face named Brenda. But Wankle is skewed with respect to the baseline, giving it a more urgent quality. As with Chipper, it's important that the face not be set too small; otherwise you may lose the details that show how the characters are structured and from which the font derives its interest.

WANTED-POSTER The extremely bold slab serifs of the face follow the lead of metal types like Playbill that, in turn, take their inspiration from wood types of the last century. The brashness of the design lends itself to informal and humorous headlines, and it can even suggest a certain rowdiness. It is especially suitable where the context suggests the American West or popular entertainments of various sorts.

WEEKEND IN PARIS is similar in appearance to a face called Parisian, which was popular for stylish advertising during the 1930's. The exaggerated thick/thin contrasts and ascender height looked very sophisticated at the time. Now they have a strong period flavor that suggests Maurice Chevalier movies, the taxi horns of Gershwin's "American in Paris," and sailings of the S.S. Normandie.

WEIRDO WARP is a WSI original design that is frankly a fun font, but one that retains good legibility despite its deliberate quirkiness. The rather wet-brush style, in fact, saves it from appearing downright willful. That is, it suggests that the letterform manipulations are the result of hand lettering, rather than just distortions, and therefore gives it the freedom to introduce variety without losing a sense of naturalness and unity.

WESTERN SHADOW can claim Minsky Shaded No. 2 as its progenitor. There is a strong gay-nineties feel to the face, making it appropriate for any sort of popular-entertainment or Americana-nostalgia subject. But don't try to use it to spice up anything too high-flown or it may look "like a pair of brown shoes at a black-tie affair," to quote George Gobel.

WESTMINSTER was inspired by Abbey English. The "E" may be the clue to why it was so named; the uncial form of the letter suggests medieval manuscripts. But the face is otherwise elusive. The "W," in particular, is redolent of Art Nouveau. The "A" is a curious hybrid. And the overall feel is quite simple, with subtle variations in line weight. Overall, it looks like careful, if informal, hand lettering, and the associations of these individual characters are little more than details.

WILD WEST is very similar to Rodeo, though it is somewhat simplified by the omission of the decorations at "waist height." Use Wild West just as you would Rodeo, emphasizing the latter when you want maximum glitter, Wild West when you need a little more restraint.

WINSTON SCRIPT is similar in appearance to a typeface called Troubadour Light. The basic cursive letterforms are not particularly formal, but the thinner outboard line adds a great deal of formality. It also adds body without adding weight, to maintain grace. While the face is a little too elaborate and unlike penmanship to work well for invitations, it can do nicely for heads in the right context.

WIZZARD is our take on Visigoth, a face designed by calligrapher Arthur Baker. It suggests a pen with an extremely flexible nib, guided by an impulsive hand. Its emphatic gestures demand attention but can become irritating for that very reason if the content is too trivial or the portion set in Wizzard too long. But if the text deserves loud, excited delivery, Wizzard may do the job admirably.

WOBBLES resembles a digital font called Wave, though it is considerably less extreme and, therefore, more legible. It might be used to suggest reflections in water, but it's more likely to look at home in contexts that refer to fear, nerves, queasiness, vertigo or the like—particularly if these problems are treated in a relatively lighthearted manner.

WOLFGANG CAPS may remind you of cuneiform, but such fonts for some reason have often been associated with Mexico, rather than Messopotamia. Be that as it may, its triangular, sharply tapered strokes (or stylus-marks) create a very stylized, condensed font that gets attention but must be used carefully because of its fairly poor legibility.

WROGHT IRON derives from a decorative titling font called Dresden. It can be used for initial caps and dropcaps as well, and it is appropriate in contexts dealing with decor, gardening, general crafts and, in general, what might be called "conservatively arty" subjects. Since it is rather effusive, it can be badly out of place coupled with subjects that are strong, urgent, or serious.

WSI-BATS (DingBats) The name "Dingbats" is often associated with the contemporary designer Hermann Zapf, whose Zapf Dingbats have been a staple of digitized type. Actually, the word has been used by other designers as well to include what traditionally were called "printer's flowers" — the little flourishes and decorations that have formed borders and cartouches in all sorts of display printing from title pages to handbills since the days of Claude Garamond.

WSI-FONTS HANDWRITING COLLECTION contains many literally hand-written fonts. The handwriting of real people, whose first names are used to name the fonts, has been digitized to create the character sets. They vary a great deal and defy classification in the usual typographic terms but can supply a sense of person-to-person communication that conventional typography cannot match.

XPRESSIV was inspired by Expresso and is a geometric sans-serif with Art Deco overtones. It relies heavily on broad, circular curves but relieves them with such unexpected details as the tightly curving joint between the arms of the "V" and "v." The face features exceptional letterform consistency between weights; many designers resort to changes in order to accommodate the heaviest weights of such a series. While this font will not sustain extended texts, it is quite versatile in its intended job: for display use.

YUCATAN takes its inspiration from Letraset's La Bamba, among the most popular of the "funky hand-lettered" fonts now so much in vogue. Of its type it is both unusually readable and possessed of a professional aplomb despite its deliberately extemporized appearance. This extends its welcome much longer than most faces of the sort. Depending on size and context, you can even use it for multi-paragraph texts.