Elliot Jay Stocks — designer & musician

The final Google Fonts Knowledge drop of 2022

The year’s almost at its end, but we’ve got one last Google Fonts Knowledge drop for you, and, although I’m biassed... it’s a really good one. In my opinion, it builds upon what we launched for Q1, Q2, and Q3 with some well-rounded content that really takes the resource up a notch. Please allow me to run through all of the Q4 additions to the site:

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

A new module on CJK, written by Min-Young Kim (with Lisa Huang), offering a detailed look at type classification in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, plus general typesetting rules for CJK scripts, Japanese typography basics, and the evolution of Hangeul type design — the latter being a nice companion piece to the entire module on Hangeul that we launched in last quarter.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

Another three articles on type history, written by ILT’s John Boardley: “Modern type”, “Display type”, and “From metal to digital”.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

A gigantic piece by Tom Muller called “From type to logotype”, which does exactly what it says in the tin, working from sketch, to typeface selection, to incorporating a mark, to finalising a full logo.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

“Vertical spacing & line-height in design systems” by Sebastian Bailey — an article that I think GFK and indeed the internet has needed for a while. Line height can get surprisingly confusing, especially when you’re trying to maintain (even the simplest of) design systems. This piece addresses some of the main paint points.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

An exploration into Indra Kupferschmid’s work on pairing typefaces using the font matrix, written by Pimp My Type’s Oliver Schöndorfer. If you get stuck on how to combine typefaces and the usual tips don’t lead you anywhere that inspiring, I thoroughly recommend this approach.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

An introductory piece on how typefaces are designed and fonts are made by my friend, neighbour, and the man behind the 8 Faces blog, Jamie Clarke. Again, I’ve never found a good primer to point type newbies to, and I think Jamie’s article does a great job.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

A new module on readability, kicking off with two articles by Google’s own Hilary Palmen and Susanna Zaraysky: “How type influences readability” and “Introducing accessibility in typography”.

An illustration from a new Google Fonts Knowledge article.

And, finally, a new article by yours truly, called “How to make type feel authentic”, about overcoming repetition in type. You know, like when film posters have supposedly ‘distressed’ type, except that every letter is distressed in the exact same place? Man, that stuff drives me mad. So this article is basically me trying to offer a straightforward way to fix it.

By my count, GFK now consists of 76 articles (spread over 9 modules) and 149 glossary terms. Crikey. I’m immensely proud of this and it’s a real honour to have worked with so many talented folks to bring all of this educational content into being. Also, a big thanks to our panel of expert reviewers for Q4: Laurence Penney, Bonnie Shaver-Troup, Emma Price, Thomas Phinney, Gerry Leonidas, Ben Weiner, Minjoo Ham, Shoko Mugikura, Indra Kupferschmid, and Piper Haywood.

We’ve got some big plans for GFK next year and we’re still eager to hear your feedback. What content do you want to see on the site? What’s missing? Do you want to write it? Or do you know someone who’d be a great contributor? Please do get in touch with me or Google Fonts team and let’s see what we can do.

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far and you’re still craving more typographic action, why not sign up to my newsletter? I’ll be sending out the final issue of the year relatively soon.