Typography 101: All About Sans Serifs

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Tue, May 12, 2015

It's time to talk some more about type! Our last Typography 101 blog brought you some fun facts about serif typefaces. This time we're switching gears to the other most broad type classification: sans serif. Just like serif typefaces, there are many different styles of sans serif type to explore. Let's get going!

Grotesque Sans Serif Type Helvetica, TPI Solutions Ink

First up is the grotesque style. Grotesque typefaces were the first commercially popular sans serif typefaces. Their characteristics include a more upright axis and a uniform stroke. There is a slight squared quality to many of the curves and the letters have modern proportions.

Probably one of the most famous sans serif typefaces, Helvetica was developed in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann in Switzerland. It was designed specifically to be neutral with great clarity and to have no intrinsic meaning in its form. Helvetica has become one of the most widely used and recognizable typefaces of the modern age. In 2007, director Gary Hustwit released a documentary film about Helvetica and MOMA in New York also displayed an exhibit from April to March of the next year, dedicated to the typeface.

Square Sans Serif Typeface, Eurostile, TPI Solutions Ink

Square typefaces are generally based on grotesque character traits and proportions, but have a definite squaring of normally curved strokes. They usually have more latitude in character spacing as well.

Eurostile was first released under the name Microgramma in the early 1950’s by designer Alessandro Butti and his assistant, Aldo Novarese. Microgramma contained only capital letters and was renamed Eurostile in 1962 when it was re-released by Novarese with lower case letters. The rounded corners of the typeface are said to resemble the early television sets of the 1950’s & 60’s. The symmetrical and architectural qualities or Eurostile have made it a popular display font since it’s creation.

Geometric Sans Serif Typeface, Futura, TPI Solutions Ink

Geometric sans-serif typefaces, as their name implies, are based on geometric forms. Strokes have the appearance of being strict monolines and character shapes are made up of geometric forms.

Futura was created in 1927 by Paul Renner and was inspired by the German Bauhaus movement. Although Renner was not a member of the Bauhaus, he shared many of its views, believing that a modern typeface should express modern models rather than be a rival of a previous design. Futura has been widely used in corporate logos, films and advertising. It even had the honor of being the first typeface on the moon, chosen for a commemorative plaque left by the astronauts of Apollo 11 in 1969.

Humanist Sans Serif Typeface, Gill Sans, TPI Solutions Ink

Humanist type characteristics include proportions that were modeled on old style typefaces, open strokes and a slightly higher contrast in strokes in comparison to other sans-serif typefaces.

Gill Sans was released in 1928 by artist, sculptor and designer Eric Gill.  Often called the “Helvetica of England,” the design of Gill Sans stems from Edward Johnston’s iconic typeface, Johnston Sans, created for the London Underground in 1913. Gill studied under Johnson, and created his typeface with the goal of improving upon his predecessor’s work. Gill’s humanist lettering is based on classic roman proportions, which give the sans-serif a less mechanical feel than its geometric contemporaries. Gill’s work as a sculptor is very visible in his letterforms.

We hope you've learned a lot about serif typefaces from reading this post. Stay tuned for our next blog in this series: all about scripts.

Want more typography fun? Click the button below and we'll mail you a FREE 2015 typography calendar.

FREE 2015  Typography Calendar


Tags: graphic design, typography, type, fonts, Design, history

Earth Day 2015: Waltham Printing Company environmentally conscious

Posted by Carrie Grove on Wed, Apr 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Did you know that the Earth Day movement was founded 1970? That was forty-five years ago! Here in the U.S. there have been enormous positive changes in the ways that we, as humans, impact our environment. Because of legislation back in the 1970's such as the Clean Air Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act positive changes were set into motion to reduce the negative impact that a printing company or other manufacturer could have on the environment. And, that was a good thing!

Paper recycling at Waltham printing companyToday our printing company in Waltham, Massachusetts follows the environmental regulations that are set in place by our government and we do all that we can to reduce our carbon footprint on our own. Some examples of how we work to make a difference are:

  • Recycling of paper, cardboard, metal plates, plastic containers, computers and monitors
  • Energy efficient fixtures, bulbs and light switches
  • Reuse and re-purposing of cartons, pallets, computers
    and equipment

Printing and Paper

Have you been led to believe that using paper and printing is harming the environment? This is just not the case in North America.

Did you know that ...

  • forests in the U.S and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested each year,
  • most paper is made using wood by-products (chips) from the lumber industry and recycled paper rather than whole trees which are typically used for lumber production, and
  • wood from well-managed forests is a sustainable resource that is renewable, recyclable and can be planted, grown, harvested and replanted

Paper and Sustainable Forestry InfographicPaper and Sustainable Forestry #Infographic (click image to see larger view)

How are you making a difference for our planet this Earth Day and every day? Please share your story and ideas in our comment section.

Request a Printing Quote Today



Tags: printing company, printing, paper, Earth Day, Environment

Printing & Graphic Design FAQ's Answered by TPI Solutions Ink

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Fri, Mar 27, 2015

Here at TPI we get asked a variety of print related questions. Some come from experienced graphic designers who just need some specifics, while others come from clients who are just beginning to learn about the endless possibilities of putting ink on paper. We're always happy to answer them all, and we love to educate our clients to make their experience with our printing company the best it can be. Below are some of the most frequent inquiries we receive, along with some more detailed information abut the various topics.

TPI Solutions Ink PaperWhat types of paper can you print on?

We have the ability to print on a wide variety of substrates. Our options include everything from basic text and cover stock to plastics and magnets. We always encourage anyone curious about paper options to come visit TPI Solutions Ink in Waltham, MA and take a look at some samples. Choosing the right paper for your printed piece can make all the difference. For more information about different papers, check out our blog: Paper Choices for Printing: Which Substrate is Right for You?

Adobe LogosWhat type of file should I send?

While there are many different types of files that you can send us, what we usually prefer is a print ready PDF. We print directly from PDF's on our HP Indigo 5500 press, so sending a PDF to us will eliminate any extra prepress time. For more info about PDF's, check out: How to Create a Print Ready PDF. Sometimes we will need to make an adjustment on your file, in which case we'll need a packaged version of your Indesign or Illustrator document. To learn more about packaging a file, read our blog on How to Pre-flight & Package.


HP Indigo 5500 Design Guide TPI Solutions Ink

What should I keep in mind when creating my file?

Whether you're designing a project for digital or offset, it's a good idea to find out what exact capabilities your printer has so you can create your file accordingly. Here at TPI we specialize in digital offset printing on our HP Indigo 5500 as well as large format and traditional offset printing. We've put together a infographic about basic design specs for our HP Indigo to help you get the best possible results. Check out our Design Guide for Digital Print on the HP Indigo 5500.


What information do I need when requesting a quote for my next print project?

The more information you have when requesting a quote, the more accurate your quote will be. Trying to decide between a few options, color vs black and white, one paper or another, not sure how many pieces you'd like? Ask us, we're happy to quote a job multiple ways with different specs for you. It's also a good idea to send us a copy of your file so we can see what we're working with. Take a look at our Requesting a Printing Quote blog for a list of what to have ready when you're asking for pricing. 

We hope you've learned something new from our FAQs. What question can we answer for you? FREE 2015  Typography Calendar

Tags: print, TPI Solutions Ink, graphic design, HP Indigo press, paper, request for quote, Adobe Creative Suite

Typography 101: All About Serifs

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

Like most graphic designers, I'm a huge typography nerd. I love letters in their many forms and have an extremely large library of typefaces at my disposal. In our previous Typography 101 blog, we went into some of the basic terms associated with typography. This blog will tell you all about the different styles that fall under the broad classification of serif type. We've got lots of fun facts to get to, hope your ready to learn!

Old Style Typography, Garamond

The first type style we're going to explore is old style. Old style typefaces were originally created from the late 15th century to the early 18th century. Their most common features include low stroke weight contrast, heavy hair lines, and bracketed, angled serifs.

An example of old style type is Garamond. Garamond was created by French punch-cutter Claude Garamond (1480–1561) in the late 15th century. Some unique characteristics in his letters are the small bowl of the a and the small eye of the e. Many of the Garamond typefaces in use today are more closely related to the type designs of Jean Jannon, another French punch-cutter, who issued a specimen of typefaces that had some characteristics similar to Garamond 60 years after his death. Garamond is widely considered to be one of the most legible and readable typefaces ever created.

Transitional Typography, Baskerville

The style that evolved from old style type was transitional. Transitional typefaces bridge the gap between
Old Style and Modern serifed typefaces in the mid 18th century. Characteristics of these typefaces include a more vertical axis and sharper serifs than had previously been designed.

Baskerville was created in 1757 by John Baskerville in Birmingham, England. The typeface was designed along with Baskerville’s work in creating a higher standard for printing. He experimented with both ink and paper making and eventually redesigned the printing press itself to better capture the subtleties of his type. Baskerville showcases crisp edges, high contrast and generous proportions and remains one of the most popular transitional typefaces to this day.

Modern Typography, Bodoni

Modern typefaces, also referred to as Neoclassical or Didone, were created in the later part of the 18th century. Characteristics of these typefaces include dramatic stroke contrast, a vertical axis and horizontal stress. In many cases, stroke terminals are ball shapes.

Bodoni was created by Giambattisa Bodoni in 1798. Bodoni’s design was highly influenced by John Baskerville, whose work he followed very closely. Bodoni was hired by Duke Ferdinand of Parma to establish a premiere royalty press for the aristocracy. His attention to detail and work ethic lead him to be regarded as the greatest printer of the time. Bodoni is one of the most reproduced fonts in existence. There are over thirty different modern interpretations of the typeface available.

Slab Serif Typography, Rockwell

Slab serif typefaces, also called Egyptian, became popular in the 19th century.  They are characterized by very heavy serifs with minimal or no bracketing.  The stroke weight of all letters typically has low contrast.

Rockwell was created by Frank Hinman Pierpont in 1933. Its design was heavily influenced by another typeface, Litho Antique, which was released in 1910. Rockwell has been widely used since it’s creation and remains one of the most popular slab serifs among designers. Its distinctive features include a serif at the apex of the uppercase “A,” an “O” that is more of a circle than the usual ellipse shape, and a two story lower case “a,” which is unusual for such a geometrically designed typeface.

We hope you've learned a lot about serif typefaces from reading this post. Stay tuned for our next blog in this series: all about sans serifs.

Want more typography fun? Click the button below and we'll mail you a FREE 2015 typography calendar.

FREE 2015  Typography Calendar


Tags: graphic design, typography, type, fonts, Design, history

Infographic: A Few Fun Facts About Valentine's Day

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Fri, Feb 13, 2015

Ever wonder who created the Valentine manufacturing industry? Or, do you know where the phrase "to wear your heart on your sleeve" came from? Find out here, those are just two of the fun facts you will find in our Valentine's Day infographic!
Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at TPI Solutions Ink!

Valentine's Day Fun Facts Infographic by TPI Solutions Ink #infographic #valentines

Tags: graphic design, printing, infographic, holidays, cards, Valentines Day

Valentine's Day Print & Graphic Design Inspiration

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Tue, Feb 10, 2015

It's almost Valentine's Day and we're ready to celebrate! In honor of this affectionate holiday, we wanted to share some designs that really spread the love. From packaging to paper crafts, there's a wide world of printed Valentine's fun to explore.

Valentine's Day Poster Designs

Valentine's Day Posters
We love this collection of Valentine posters. From funny to thoughtful, they're sure to make your empty walls feel loved.

 Paper Crafts for Your Valentine

Valentine's Day Paper Crafts
These fun ideas for Valentine's Day paper crafts are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Find some fancy paper and get to work.

Festive Valentine's Day Packaging

Valentine's Day Packaging

Seasonal packaging is always an exciting way to showcase a product. These specialty hot sauces are sure to spice up your holiday.

Illustrations for the Science Nerd You Love

Valentine's Day Illustations

These art prints are great for the pun loving scientist in your life. From space freaks to robot lovers, there's something for everyone.

Hand Lettered Love for Someone Special

Valentines Day Hand Lettered Card

You can't go wrong with a classic card. These adorable cards feature some lovely hand lettering that anyone will love.


We hope this blog post got you into the Valentine's Day spirit. Here's hoping your February 14th is filled with chocolate, flowers and a beautifully printed card.

Free February 2015 Calendar Download

Tags: print, graphic design, inspiration, package design, holidays, posters, cards, illustration, Valentines Day

TPI's Top 5 Printing Blogs for Graphic Designers

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Mon, Jan 12, 2015

Happy New Year! We want to start off 2015 by bringing you some of our most popular how-to and informational posts for graphic designers. We hope these tips and tricks will spark your creativity and help make your next print experience a great one!

1. Design Guide for Digital Print
on the HP Indigo 5500



Our HP Indigo 5500 digital offset press is widely considered to be one of the best presses in the industry. We put together this handy infographic that outlines some basic guidelines to consider when designing for print including color specs, paper options and press sheet sizes.

2. How to Create a Print Ready PDF

Print Ready PDF  Blog
Creating files that will give you the best possible print output is very important. The simplest way to send us a file is usually a PDF from which we can print directly. This blog post will walk you through creating a print ready PDF to ensure your printed piece turns out great.

Request a Quote

When requesting a printing quote it's crucial to provide us with detailed information so that we can give you the most accurate price possible. This blog will walk you through some of the most important things to keep in mind when looking for a printing quote.

Pre-flight and Package an Indesign File

Indesign and Illustrator both have a helpful packaging option that allow you to send your working design file along with all the fonts and images it includes. Packaging is a simple process that ensures we have all the elements we need to get your file printed properly.

It's important to have a paper in mind before designing any print project. The substrate you choose will impact the overall look and feel of your design from the brightness of the photos to the readability of the text. This blog will walk you through some paper basics to consider when creating your next design.

We hope you've found these posts helpful and informative. Check out the rest of our blog for more printing tips.
Request a Quote Today!

Tags: print, graphic design, digital printing, HP Indigo press, tutorial, paper, Adobe Creative Suite

Frosty the Pressman: Happy Holidays from TPI Solutions Ink

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Wed, Dec 17, 2014

Warm Holiday Wishes from all of us at TPI Solutions Ink!

Frosty the Pressman - A Printing Tale for a Winter's Day


TPI presents "Frosty the Pressman"

Illustrations and video production
by Sara Capello

Lyrics by Addy Fulmer




Happy Holidays from TPI Solutions Ink

Tags: TPI Solutions Ink, printing, holidays, illustration, winter, frosty the pressman, movie

Graphic Design Inspiration: Thanksgiving

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Fri, Nov 21, 2014

It's that time of year again. The day when we reflect upon everything we're thankful for, and it's considered socially acceptable to overeat until you fall asleep. In honor of Thanksgiving, we've put together some graphic design inspiration for you to stuff your face with before the turkey fest begins.

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcards
Thanksgiving Postcards - Graphic Design
Thanksgiving Typography
Thanksgiving Typography
Hand Turkey Illustrations
Thanksgiving Hand Turkey Illustrations
Thanksgiving Greeting Cards
Thanksgiving Greeting Cards - #thankful
Vintage Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Photos
Vintage Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Photographs
We hope this post has inspired you with some holiday spirit. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!



Tags: graphic design, typography, inspiration, photography, holidays, cards, illustration, fall, Thanksgiving,, vintage,

What's Your Print iQ? Take Our Quiz and Find Out!

Posted by Addy Fulmer on Tue, Sep 30, 2014

Quiz - What's your print IQ?



 What's your print iQ? Take our quiz and find out!

Tags: print, graphic design, printing, paper, CMYK