Slate™ font family
Designed by Rod McDonald in 2006
Shortly after his work with CNIB, McDonald was commissioned to design a large sans serif typeface family for Toronto Life magazine. Although not meant to be a legibility face," the design gave McDonald an opportunity to test several of the theories he formed during the CNIB project. Around the same time, McDonald also developed a sans serif family for Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. This typeface was primarily intended for use on the college's web site.
McDonald was pleased with both designs, he says, but craved further exploration. "I felt that I had only scratched the surface of what I wanted in a sans," he says. "I liked the soft, quiet look of the magazine face but was also encouraged by my success in drawing a good legibility design for on-screen use."
"One of the things I wanted was a type that could function as well in print as on-screen," McDonald recalls. To help achieve his goal, McDonald worked with the Microsoft Typography Team to learn about ClearType technology. ClearType was developed by Microsoft to improve the readability of on-screen text, especially on liquid crystal displays (such as laptop screens), flat panel monitors and mobile device displays.
McDonald's technological savvy and prior work on sans serifs for print and on-screen use have paid off magnificently in the Slate family of typefaces. Slate blends features of McDonald's earlier sans serifs into a humanistic sans with extraordinary levels of legibility."Although it's far too early to know if what I wanted works across the board," says McDonald, "initial testing in both print and on the web are quite positive."
In purely aesthetic terms, Slate is a beautiful design. "I didn't want a face with an 'engineered' look, or with any noticeable design gimmicks or devices, says McDonald. "I wanted a pure design. I confess that I was ruthless with any character that wanted to stand out from the rest.""
Slate Book Condensed
be installed on a computer for
use with applications.
Licensed per computer.
@font-face rule. They are licensed
for a set number of page views with
no time limitation.
embedded in an eBook, eMagazine or
eNewspaper. Fonts are licensed per issue.
a server and e.g. used by automated
processes to create items.
A license is per server core CPU per year.
on which the font will be installed.
that you can use over time. We’ll let
you know when you’re running low.
installations you want to license.
Some mobile app fonts allow an
unlimited number of installations.
you intend to embed the font in. Each license
is valid for one issue for the life of that issue.
CPUs of the servers on which
the font will be installed.
A license has a term of 1 year.
number of monthly page views
anticipated. The license has no time
limit and does not need to be replaced.
You only pay for additional page views
if your site gets more traffic than expected.
you know when you’re running low.
language support of the font.
the font: W1G (98 languages),
COM (56 languages),
PRO (33 languages) or
STD (21 languages).
available in. These differ in contained
characters and file size. You get all
available versions with your license.
Typecast is a web-based tool to create visual
and semantic designs. Check for readability,
rendering and beauty then share a working
prototype of your design.
Tip: Add fonts to your Favorites, then test your custom selection in Typecast!
Std / OT CFF
supports at least
No unencoded glyphs available
Windows menu name: Slate Std Bk Condensed
PostScript name: SlateStd-BkCondensed
PostScript full name: Slate Std Bk Condensed
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