Type Specimen Copy

scruggsdesign's picture

I’m designing some specimen sheets for my fonts. I’d like to do something similar to Font Bureau’s Headline Showings (In their Type Specimens Third Edition book and on their website). I was wondering where one would get the source material (for the copy). Is there a random phrase or headline generator or do you just browse newspapers/magazines? The design is going well its just the search for the text to use that is the most time-consuming.



Miss Tiffany's picture

You could always pick a topic and go to wikipedia.

istitch's picture

you can also use your imagination.


crossgrove's picture

The Font Bureau folks are experts at the kind of whimsical narrative text that has been used in type specimens for decades. It definitely requires some imagination. I don't think any of that kind of specimen text is copied from headlines; at most some of it could be inspired by current events or personal stories.

Depending on the style of type you are showing, you might prepare some headlines that seem appropriate to the design. House Industries also devise elaborate logos and headlines to show their display types. I think it is very useful for designers who might like to spec the type but need to see how it performs. Again, if the tone or content of the text is sympathetic to the typeface, all the better. If you have a text typeface to show, it might be better (easier) to get permission to reprint part of an existing story or book. See Adobe's specimen books for more examples.

Bald Condensed's picture

The best type specimen copy is readily available in your mailbox. :^)

Stephen Coles's picture

Writing type specimen copy is one of the greatest joys in creating type. It's typographic poetry. Like Carl said, use words that feel like the typeface and show off the face's most distinctive glyphs.

As for more models (of what to do or avoid), I've done some specimen posters for MAC Rhino and mini specimens for the QBN Typecase at Newstoday.

And Christian Schwartz, who is responsible for many of those posters at Font Bureau has more at Orange Italic.

scruggsdesign's picture

thanks for everyones suggestions. For anyone interested, I finally found what I was looking for after a lot of searching.

lots of great tools here.

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