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The ITC Stone Sans II typeface family is new from the drawing board up. Sumner Stone, who designed the original faces in 1988, recently collaborated with Delve Withrington and Jim Wasco of Monotype Imaging to update the family of faces that bears his name. Sumner was the lead designer and project director for the full-blown reworking – and his own greatest critic.
The collaborative design effort began as a relatively simple upgrade to the ITC Stone Sans family. As so often happens, however, the upgrade proved to be not so simple, and grew into a major design undertaking. “My initial intent,” recalls Sumner, “was to provide ITC Stone Sans with even greater versatility. I planned to add an additional weight, maybe two, and to give the family some condensed designs.” As Sumner began to look more closely at his twenty-year-old typeface, he decided that it would benefit from more extensive design improvements. “I found myself making numerous refinements to character shapes and proportions,” says Sumner. “The project scope expanded dramatically, and I’m pleased with the final result. The redesign has improved both the legibility and the overall appearance of the face.” The original ITC Stone Sans is part of the ITC Stone super family, along with ITC Stone Serif and ITC Stone Informal. In 2005 ITC Stone Humanist joined the family. All of these designs have always offered the same three weights: Medium, Semibold, and Bold – each with an italic counterpart. Over time, Stone Sans has emerged as the godfather of the family, a powerful design used for everything from fine books, annual reports and corporate identity programs, to restaurant menus, movie credits and advertising campaigns.
ITC Stone Sans, however, lacked one attribute of many sans serif families: a large range of widths and weights. “These fonts had enjoyed great popularity for many years – during which graphic designers repeatedly asked for more weights and condensed designs in the family,” says Sumner. “Their comments were the impetus.” ITC Stone Sans II includes six weights ranging from an elegant Light to a commanding Extra Bold. An italic counterpart and suite of condensed designs complements every weight. In all, the new family encompasses 24 typefaces.
The ITC Stone Sans II family is also available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts, allowing graphic communicators to pair its versatile design with the capabilities of OpenType. These fonts offer automatic insertion of ligatures, small caps and use-sensitive figure designs; their extended character set also supports most Central European and many Eastern European languages.
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