History - Parachute® on Tuesday, November 06th, 2012

In 1936 the German Standards committee Deutsches Institut Normung (DIN) officially proposed DIN 1451 as the standard type of lettering to be used in the field of road traffic. The purpose of this standard was to lay down a style of lettering which is timeless and easily legible. Unfortunately, these early letters lacked elegance and were not properly designed for typographic applications.

Ever since, several type foundries adopted the original designs for digital photocomposition. The first digital versions were released in 1990 by Adobe but only in four basic variations. Similar ones were also released by URW.
By early 2000, it became apparent that the existing DIN-based fonts did not fulfill the ever-increasing demand of complex corporate projects for more weights and support for additional languages.

Parachute® was set out to fill this gap by introducing the DIN Text series which, ever since, has become the most comprehensive and sophisticated set of DIN typefaces. It was based on the original standards but was specifically designed to fit typographic requirements. Completed in 2002, it was first released in 2003 and published in the award-winning catalog IDEA as a group of 4 separate families (original, condensed, compressed and a special display version) each with 12 weights, including true-italics, for a total of 48 weights and support for Latin and Greek.

By 2005, all families were upgraded to include 14 weights each, opentype features (small caps, etc) and extended support for all European languages including Cyrillic. Later, an additional Hairline weight was added to all families. Eventually, each superfamily ended up with 15 weights and an average 1280 glyphs per font. Finally, in 2010 Parachute® released 4 new families DIN Monospace, DIN Stencil, DIN Text Arabic and DIN Text Universal.
Altogether the Parachute DIN series is a set of 8 families with a total of 96 weights.

The DIN Text Pro has lowercase ascenders that are higher than the capitals, varying letter proportions and italics that are not a mechanically-obliqued version of the regular weights, but rather true-italics.

The letterforms divert from the stiff geometric structure of the original and introduce instead elements which are familiar, softer and easier to read. The other two superfamilies Condensed and Compressed share the same attributes as the original.

DIN Display Pro, on the other hand, was designed as an alternative to the DIN Text Pro series. While DIN Display seems to retain DIN’s basic characteristics, it shines with its sharper corners and contemporary look. This superfamily, just like the other three, is enhanced with true-italics.

PF DIN Mono is one of the latest additions to the ever-growing set of DIN super families by Parachute®. It was based on its proportional counterpart DIN Text Pro, but was completely redesigned to reflect its new identity. DIN Mono is a monospace typeface which is comprised of characters with fixed width. In the world of proportionality, DIN Monospace stands out as a fresh new alternative to the popular standard, particularly for publishing and branding applications. The Monospace family consists of 12 weights including true-italics.

Despite the fact that over the years several designers have manually created stencil lettering for various projects based on DIN, there has never been a professional digital stencil version of any DIN-based typeface. The DIN Stencil family manages to preserve several traditional stencil features, but introduces additional modernities which enhance its pleasing characteristics and make it an ideal choice for a large number of contemporary projects. Furthermore, the spacing attributes of the glyphs were redefined and legibility was improved by revising the shape of the letterforms. The DIN Stencil family consists of 8 diverse weights from the elegant Hairline to the muscular Black.

In 2010, Parachute® released -in collaboration with designer Hasan Abu Afash- 2 new versions. DIN Text Arabic is the basic Arabic version which includes Latin and supports all variations of the Arabic script such as Persian, Urdu and Pashto. The second version DIN Text Universal is the most advanced DIN superfamily ever. It combines the powerful DIN Text Pro with DIN Text Arabic bringing the number of glyphs to 3320 per font. It is also enhanced with 30 advanced opentype features and kerning for all languages. All together it supports hundreds of languages, proving to be an essential tool for corporations which operate internationally. The whole family consists of eight weights from extra black to hairline.

Publications - Parachute® on Tuesday, September 04th, 2012

The new issue of Slanted magazine is focused on super families (large typeface families) and their amazing range of variations.

These families are characterized by a variety of cuts, which spread open to extremes such as Hairline to Ultra Black and Compressed to Extended. In addition, immediate relatives are also represented such as Sans Serif, Semi Serif, Slab, Rounded, etc.

The new issue comes packed with numerous wonderful photographs, essays and reports as well as special interviews with expert professionals, such as Nadine Chahine, Ian Party, Yanone and Ivo Gabrowitsch. Besides several historic families which are featured, the eight page fold-out cover presents something really cool: a geneology of the best type super families, edited by Indra Kupferschmid. In another interview, Panos Vassiliou from Parachute talks about the award winning typefaces: Centro Pro and Regal Pro.

Regal Pro is a Red Dot winning typeface and was originally created for the redesign of Grazia magazine. Later it was upgraded for further commercial use and the three basic families were expanded to include more variations, ligatures, swashes and additional support for Cyrillic and Greek. The final version includes 5 families (Regal FinesseRegal SwashRegal Display, Regal Text, Regal Stencil).

Centro Pro is a European Design Awards winning typeface and was characterized by the jury as an almost ‘invisible’ typeface with distinct personality. It has a range of weights that is ideal for a wide range of design works and fulfill its purpose while not attracting any unnecessary attention. Centro Pro includes 3 families. (Centro Serif, Centro Sans, Centro Slab)

For further information you can visit the Slanted website or blog.

competitions - Parachute® on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Red dot is the largest and one of the most influential design competitions in the world. This year, 15 international experts assessed, tested and evaluated more than 6,800 entries from 43 countries in Essen, Germany. They focused on innovative and smart design that sets new trends. Among the winners, Parachute was awarded the “red dot: best of the best” for the top design quality work of Regal Pro.

This set of five superfamilies has already received 6 international awards and distinctions before its official online release. Among them, Regal was also a winner in the Communication Arts Annual Competition 2012, in last year’s Creative Review Type Competition 2011, as well as a winner in the Granshan Awards 2010.

Regal Pro was originally created for the redesign of Grazia magazine and later was revamped and upgraded for commercial use. The original three basic families were expanded to include more variations, ligatures, swashes and additional support for Cyrillic and Greek. The final version of Regal includes 5 families. The prestigious Red dot best of the best award coincides with the release of Parachute’s new website and the official release of PF Regal Pro, which will be available online in a few days.

competitions - Parachute® on Thursday, May 03rd, 2012

Seeking global recognition for your type design project? Granshan 2012 has announced the 5th International Type Design Competition for non-Latin typefaces. Entries can be submitted until May 21, 2012. The categories include Cyrillic, Greek, Armenian, Indian, Arabic as well as Latin typefaces. Type designers from all parts of the world are invited to participate. Eligible are all typefaces that have been designed or digitized after 2001 and meet the competition requirements. The organizing committee of Granshan, has decided for this year to hold the competition in Yerevan, Armenia celebrating the 500th anniversary of the first printed Armenian book and the declaration of Yerevan as World Book Capital 2012 by UNESCO. The winners will be announced at a press conference held by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia in Yerevan in the month of June. Following the announcement, winning works and further selected entries will be exhibited in Yerevan and subsequently shown in Munich during the month of November and in Hong Kong during the month of October at ATypI conference.

Further information can be found here: www.granshan.org

News - Parachute® on Thursday, January 19th, 2012

For the second consecutive year Communication Arts held its annual typography and type design competition in search for the best typography of the year. The 2012 Typography Annual showcases the 150 winning projects selected by a distinguished panel of jurors such as Richard Kegler, Erik Spiekermann and Tiffany Wardle de Sousa.
More than 1,700 entries were submitted for this second Typography Annual, reflecting the quantity of work produced in a single year. The organisers were pleased with the international nature of the submissions, especially in the typeface category, and the inclusion of several non-Latin typefaces.

Regal Finesse Pro by Parachute, was selected to be among the winners in the typeface design category. This is not the first time that various families from the Regal series receive awards. Regal was also a winner in last year’s Creative Review Type Competition, as well as a winner in the Granshan Awards 2010. Regal Pro was originally created for the redesign of Grazia magazine and later was revamped and upgraded for commercial use. The original 3 basic families were expanded to include more variations, ligatures, swashes and additional support for Latin and Greek. The final version of Regal includes 5 families. Currently Regal Pro is available offline but will be officially released online shortly.

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