Recently, I had the need to use some “Irish” fonts — fonts that have a Celtic influence and would appear to most people as if they came from Ireland.
I knew I had some fonts that fit this description, but I couldn’t remember their names! If only I could ask my font manager to find all the fonts that look like they are from Ireland…
I found a great solution in TypeDNA, a $49 utility that analyzes font shapes and recommends similar or complementary fonts. (I don’t use TypeDNA to manage my fonts — I use a more powerful tool for that — but you don’t have to use the font management tools in TypeDNA to use its font classification ability.)
First I had to find a “Celtic” font, so I went to MyFonts.com and searched for “Celtic”. (I could have gone to another font website, but this one popped into my head.)
I scrolled down the list of 137 fonts they consider “Celtic” and saw one that I already have in my collection. That gave me a “seed” I could use in TypeDNA to find others like it. All I had to do was find that font in TypeDNA and click the “Similar” button.
TypeDNA showed me a bunch of fonts that it considered “similar” to my seed font. Some of them weren’t remotely applicable, but 16 of them were! I created a Group from them, just to be able to quickly refer back to them, and went off to design my piece.
I can’t imagine how I would have found all these font possibilities without TypeDNA. Thank you, TypeDNA people!
(You can read my review of TypeDNA 2.0 in Macworld at http://www.macworld.com/article/157703/2011/02/fontdna2.html)
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.