Visual corrections in type design animated

Last Saturday we gave a presentation at the 6th typography meeting in Aveiro, Portugal. The theme of this year’s conference was “perception”.

Our talk was titled “Tricked!” – we attempted to explain how our eyes and brains play a lot of tricks as we read, and manipulate the visual information even before it reaches our conscious thinking. We talked about cultural aspects (how our background biases what we see), as well as perception psychology.

One part of the presentation demonstrated the necessary visual corrections of letters step by step so they look as intended. We think it could serve as an overview of the “anti-tricks” that can be found in every font, so we created an animated gif and a PDF for download.




Good bye, JAF webfont service. Hello self-hosting webfonts!

Just over five years ago, we launched our own webfont service – in fact, we were one of the earliest commercial webfont providers on the net, proceeded only by Typotheque and Typekit. Today, we are saying good-bye to her.

Our self-hosting webfont offers, previously available on request, are now integrated into our online shop. What’s more, you can purchase licences with pricing starting at € 89 per style for 500,000 pageviews per month.

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Suppression and emphasis of features in typeface design

Last week we started the pre-order for our book “Size-specific adjustments to type designs”. Here, we would like to share a part of the content to give you a better idea of the book. This sample is “Suppression and emphasis of features”, a section from Chapter 6: Design advice (full table of contents here). Keep in mind that this is just one of several techniques to optimize a type design for different sizes.

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Update: Size-specific adjustments to type designs

→ Update: You can now order the book.


With a little delay, we are coming close to finalizing this project. The book has been proof-read by Sally Kerrigan, and the foreword is being written by Christian Schwartz.

The original version of this paper was written as part of Tim Ahrens’ MA in Typeface Design at the University of Reading in 2007. Tim first became engaged in the issue of optical sizes while he worked on the digitization and redesign of the Leipziger Antiqua (published as JAF Lapture in 2004). Through the project, he realised that although size-specific adjustments were commonly practiced for 500 years of metal type printing, not much documentation was available on the subject. This lead him to research and write about it himself, in the hope that the outcome would become a useful source for practitioners who wish to create fonts with size specific styles. The book looks into type history and perception psychology, and analyses designs by old masters as well as numerous contemporary designers.

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In search of Johannes-Type

While everyone else seemed to be heading to the ATypI conference in Amsterdam yesterday, JAF spent a day in Hamburg.

We have been digitizing a very peculiar typeface called “Johannes-Type”. We first came accross this typeface in the specimen book 50 der schönsten Schriften aus 100 Jahren Schaffen 1833–1933 from the Genzsch & Heyse type foundry in Hamburg.

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We are updating and re-publishing our book on optical sizes

→ Update: You can now order the book.


We are happy to announce that we are in the process of updating and re-publishing Tim’s book on optical sizes, currently titled “Size-specific adjustments to type designs”. We have been constantly asked about the availability of the book, but the book has been extremely difficult to obtain. Furthermore, it was overpriced since the book was produced “print-on-demand”. Finally, we got out of the contract, and we are updating the book with new materials and a re-designed layout.

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