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Fonts in Microsoft products; Lucida; Microsoft Typography; fonts on other platforms

Posted by jpluimers on 2012/06/25

19941123 - Polyvroom - Failissement

19941123 – Polyvroom – Failissement

Historically I have an interest in digital typography: in the early 90s, I used to freelance for Polyvroom in Lisse (that went belly up on 19941123, the remains bought by Trip Productions) that digitized (together with the still existing Visualogik) many of the TrueType and PDF fonts for Mecanorma and Monotype (now acquired by Agfa and – after Agfa acquired ITC as well –  renamed into Monotype Imaging).

I even have the whole set of Lucida Fonts that beta testers got for testing a Windows version (I think it is Windows 95, but it might be earlier as TrueType was introduced in Windows 3.1). (sidenote: most of the Lucida fonts got designed by Kris Holmes, the rest by Charles Bigelow, so now you know where Bigelow and Holmes stems from; they don’t run their own site any more).

There are many good articles on screen fonts, but that’s not the point of this post, maybe in a future post.

Historically, I kept an eye on the Microsoft Typography website (I have backups from early this century) because of the information quality and cross platform information.

Back in the default.asp era, they had a few pages with fonts for certain platforms:

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/atm.htm Adobe Type Manager
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/mac.htm Mac OS 
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/unix.htm Unix/XFree and GhostScript
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/win2000.htm Windows 2000
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/winxp.htm Windows XP

Since then, they redesigned the site, and now their http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts fonts page is aspx based, and contains lists with links for:

  • virtually all Microsoft products showing which fonts ship with that product
    (alphabetically from Age of Empire till Windows XP)
  • fonts from families indicating in which product ships which version of the font
    (an odd thing: Office 2010 ships with older versions of mosts fonts than Office 2007)

All individual fonts referred on those links (like Vladimir Script) have a sample as well.

The fonts page also contains a few bonus links:

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/web.aspx Core Fonts for the Web
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/cleartype.aspx ClearType Font Collection
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/windows7.aspx New Fonts in Windows 7
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/popular.aspx Most Popular Fonts in Microsoft Products
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/cs4.aspx Adobe Creative Suite 4
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/unix.aspx UNIX / XFree and GhostScript
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/macosx.aspx Mac OS X 10.5

The really cool thing is that they kept the old links, thereby preventing link rot. Well done!

Another cool thing is that the vast majority of Ubuntu users have the mscorefonts installed. I learned something new there too!

Now they should include some more information on the Metro design language, that is heavily based on the use of typography.

One of the fonts that has Metro like look and is available in many Microsoft products is Century Gothic. I love the geometric design of it!

–jeroen

One Response to “Fonts in Microsoft products; Lucida; Microsoft Typography; fonts on other platforms”

  1. […] image via @GraphicsVectors) is now licensed to ProCraft BV. The text is not completely accurate (Trip took over late 1994 when Polyvroom went belly up), bug gives a good […]

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