Web font design app Typecast launches

Web service Typecast has announced its commercial launch. The service hit public beta in October and was subsequently bought by Monotype.

According to a press release, the browser-based design app will provide designers with a “tool that helps to save time and create better quality web typography”.

Monotype vice president, Chris Roberts, remarked: “Designers now have a simple yet powerful design tool that opens up a whole new level of productivity and creative expression. We’re very excited that it’s now part of our complete web font offering.”

Typecast director, Paul McKeever, was keen to point out the simplified workflow that should enable designers to spend more time experimenting and iterating with type design, visually styling text within a browser and exporting the results in various ways.

Speaking to .net, McKeever said you can now “automatically export fonts from Typecast to your own website with just a single line of code generated by Typecast". When you create an embed code, Typecast will “include both your Typecast CSS and the kits/projects you need to use fonts from Fonts.com, Typekit and Google Web Fonts on your own website”.

From a workflow standpoint, McKeever said the commercial release of Typecast also enables designers to “get to a prototype faster with production-ready code that reflects all their design choices". Thereby, enabling designers to make typographic decisions earlier, check readability and render type in the browser as they work, along with sharing ideas with clients and developers.

Web design is typography

For McKeever and his company, having worked on Typecast for 18 months, the commercial release is an exciting event, but McKeever also reckons it’s timely: “Oliver Reichenstein famously said that web design is 95% typography and I think, with the rise of responsive web design, typography will only become more important in the future." He added, "When you see the design of almost any website on a mobile device, type is generally what defines the look and feel.”

On this basis, McKeever expects to see: more brands focusing on type for mobile; broader adoption of OpenType features by designers; and browsers enhancing legibility, as well as an increased focus on the core principles of typography.

Typecast will aim to play a part in this online type revolution. Along with enabling designers to set styles, like font-size and line-spacing, it provides options for applying OpenType features such as ligatures, small caps, fractions, lining and more.

The application is available at several subscription levels, starting at $29 per month for an individual plan, and all plans include a free standard subscription to Fonts.com Web Fonts worth $10 per month.

Fulfilling Monotype’s promise to retain compatibility with other services, Typecast still additionally works with fonts from Typekit, Fontdeck, Webtype and Google Web Fonts.

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