A common problem that affect most script fonts, is that each letter must be draw in a way that connect with the next and previous letters. And that's quite difficult.
By having 26 lowercase character, that gives you more than 600 possible combinations for each letter (and arround 15600 for the whole alphabet). It's next to impossible to make it always connect seamesly whitout compromising the shape that each letter was originally intended to be.
That's why trying to make script fonts works it's like magic.
Font designers use all kind of tricks to make it work. But, in the end, the results always compromises the shape of the original letters to make the whole alphabet work together.
We will took a different approach.
The new Open Type fonts give us the possibility to have multiple versions of each letter, and that's exactly what we are going to do: Instead of compromising the design of our letters to force connections, we will do what lettering artist do.
We will draw a lot of different versions of each letter and a hell lot of different letter-pairs (aka "ligatures") so we can always use the best possible variation of each letter depending of the context of the letter inside each word.
The beauty of real hand-draw lettering is that the lettering artist sublty modify the shape of letters so they connect with the next ones. This linked letters-pairs are called "ligatures".
In the following hand-made lettering work by Laura Meseguer, you can spot a few:
The first ligature is the 'th' in the 'the' word.
To make something like that to happend in a computer font, you will have to draw the 'th' as a separate letter, apart from the normal 't' and appart from the normal 'h'. And when you type 'th' in your design program, the open type programming inside the font automatically replaces the regular 't' and the regular 'h' for the specially draw 'th' ligature character.
Also, look closely at the "es" in the middle; and compare to the "ers" at the end of the "Homestagers" word. The first and second 'e' and the first and second 's' are different from each other, but they connect with they neighbours like a charm.
That kind of things -that incredibles subtle ligatures- is what we are trying to acomplish.
So far, we have added 79 subtle ligatures to The Lobster Font, and we plan to keep
Here you have just a few samples of the Lobster ligatures:
In the first row you see the fonts whitout ligatures.
In the bottom you see how the overall feeling subtly changes to a most pleasant, hand-lettered one (Making use of the ligatures). They are tinny little details, but the sum of the details is what makes Lobster beautiful.
In case you haven't spotted the differences, here they are:
- In "venezuela" the ligature is in the 'ez'.
The 'e' discarted the long bottom tail. The 'z' gets shorter at the top and a little more slanted.
- In "fixture" we have a 3 letters ligature, in the 'fix' part
The 'f' joins with the 'i' dot and the 'i' blends more naturally with the 'x'.
The 'x' bar is just a decimal of an angle more slanted.
- In "exitoso" there are 2 ligatures playing together at the same time.
The first one is on the 'ex' and the second one is in the 'os'.
In all the 3 cases, we are also changing the last letter of each word. Those shorter letters at the end are called 'Terminal Forms'... keep reading to find more about it.
Here is another example of hand-draw lettering by the great Mark Simonson:
Have a detailed look at the 4 letters 'e'. The two first 'e' that are in the middle of the word 'Reversing' have a longer tail that connects perfectly with their following 'v' and 'r'.
Now look at the other two 'e' that are at the end of the words 'the' and 'Curse'. You will notice that the tails is shorter, because there is no need to connect to any other letter. (They are bolder at the bottom also, because their lost their tails).
That's called "terminal forms". It means that at the end of each word, where we don't ever need to make connections, we will use the shorter tail versions of each letter. The result is that our words will look much better.
So far, we have included 37 terminal forms for you to choose from.
Here you can compare the conecting normal 'h' and 'g', with the shorter tail terminal alternates.
In the first 'h' (the standard one) the tail is only needed when there is another letter next to it and they need to connect. But when the 'h' falls at the end of a word, there is no need for that long tail, so we replaced it for the shorter more natural one. The same goes for the 'g', and all the other letters of the alphabet.
All this happens automatically as you type!
In any program that support Ligatures (Like Photoshop or Illustrator, for example)
- 2010/07/02: Lobster 1.4.
Completely redraw, including lots of improvements based on your feedback.
Extended charset to cover even more languages.
- 2011/03/06: Lobster Cyrillics now Available!
Designed by Alexei Vanyashin and Gayaneh Bagdasaryan, adding support for Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Macedonian, Moldovan, and Serbian languages.
Download from the Lobster Cyrillics page at the Google Webfont Directory.
Check out the Version History & To-do List
Use it on your website:
The Lobster font is available as a Webfont on the Google Web Fonts Directory
By default, Google Fonts will subset the font to make it smaller.
This is great for most font, but not for Lobster.
In order to get all the alternates and OT features working in your web browser, you need to disable sub-setting by adding "&subset=all" to your request. Like this:
We have to keep The Lobster healthy!
Thanks to all this fine people for their donations:
- Clay at Creative Type, for the first donation!!
- JustinHernandez (Php programmer living in Hawaii) for the second donation!
- Kris Todd, Graphic Designer form Atlanta.
- Satto, Illustrator & Designer from French Polynesia.
- Sara Sinclair PhD student in Dartmouth College Computer Science Department.
- Rishad from T. Rex Design, a great book cover designer form Singapore.
- Ron Gilad from Israel
- Martin Dörsch from Austria
- 目崎 大樹 from Japan.
- Rude Goose from the United Kingdom.
- Google, for their support and inclusion of the Lobster into the Google Web Fonts.
- Gisele Jaquenod a great designer & illustrator from La Plata, Argentina.
- Netdiver Magazine (A design + digital culture magazine that uncovers, reviews and publishes outstanding work by the international creative community since 1998) from Canada.
- Sunira Moses from United States.
- Bjoern Bippus-Brender, 3b | buero fuer gestaltung from Germany.
- Kevin David Crowe Illustrator & Designert from NYC, USA.
- Christian Decruynaere from France
- Mark MacLachlan from United states
- Javier Tubert Serantes designer & illustrator from Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
- Goran Ilic freelance Web Designer from Austria.
- Des de Kousemaeker from Netherlands
- Samantha McKillop from Australia.
- Farhan Ahmed from United States.
- Caroline Metzler from Coyote Creative. United States.
Your feedback is really important!
- Find a glyph that needs more work?
Just tell me.
- Need some kerning adjustments?
I will be glad to do it.
- Finded a letter pair that's not working?
Please.. I can't allow that... you MUST tell me!
If you see errors, please tell me. Don't be shy!
Lots of improvement have already been done thanks to your feedback!
See you soon!
Thanks for stopping by!