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Georgia & Verdana’s expanded palette


While I was a program manager at Microsoft Typography, two of the typefaces that fell within my purview were Georgia and Verdana, the highly readable screen fonts designed by Matthew Carter in the 1990s to make reading text onscreen easier on the eyes. So I was in a position to encourage and approve a joint project of Ascender Corporation (now a part of Monotype Imaging) and the Font Bureau to work with Carter to create a much-expanded set of fonts for both Georgia and Verdana. The project was announced two years ago; this week, Font Bureau and Monotype Imaging have released the new fonts.

Georgia Pro and Verdana Pro are now large type families, with five weights instead of two, each one with its accompanying italic, as well as small caps and several alternate kinds of numerals; and all of those weights and styles are repeated in condensed form. This makes it possible to have truly bold headlines in either typeface, or to fit copy into narrow measures, or to combine weights and widths in expressive ways within a typographically consistent page.

Not surprisingly, given the advent of downloadable web fonts, both Georgia Pro and Verdana Pro are being shown off in a web-based type specimen from Webtype. And they’ve been hinted to be as consistent as possible across platforms and browsers.

I’m looking forward to seeing them put to use.

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