Hoefler & Frere-Jones

Glen gave me a gift of fonts this Christmas: the Numbers set by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. I've been coveting this collection of numerals for quite a while, so I look forward to now being able to incorporate them in my designs.

For more than a century, typefounders considered numbers separately from the provision of other printing types. Nineteenth century type specimen books often displayed a separate section containing fonts of numbers alone, many of which contained unique features suited to specific kinds of settings. Fonts for tables contained digits designed to a standard width, so that columns would neatly align; those created for calendars contained forms such as "24/31" to accommodate orphan Sundays. The practice of creating specialized number fonts began to disappear at the beginning of the twentieth century, vanishing completely by the dawn of the digital age. But recognizing the usefulness of this practice, H&FJ has revived the tradition with its Numbers series of fonts.

The foundry has a blog that includes interesting links and news about their typefaces in use. Apparently, the two Democrat front-runners are both using their Gotham face, giving the font a combined 68% of the vote in Iowa.