Coming to your desktop: fonts from Mark Simonson Studio

This is our third post in a series highlighting foundry partners who will offer fonts for desktop sync, including Dalton Maag and FontFont.


Mark Simonson started designing type after the original Mac launched, and some of his biggest hits – like Proxima Nova, Coquette, and Refrigerator Deluxe – came of age during the dawn of web standards. Ten years ago, on any given day, web designers would gather to discuss the latest browser support for CSS and the latest typefaces from Mark Simonson — and today, we still do.

Mark is, one might say, a real web designer’s type designer. He worked with Paravel on the recent redesign of his site, and he maintains a blog (his Notebook): for starters, read The Scourge of Arial, Not a Font, or Mad Men, Mad Props (the latter being one of Mark’s popular “Typecasting” posts, which challenge the historical integrity of type in popular culture). Read interviews with Mark at Typedia, MyFonts, and Everyday Type.

We’re incredibly happy, and grateful, that Mark Simonson Studio was one of Typekit’s first foundry partners, and thrilled that Mark is now also one of the first type designers offering fonts for desktop sync.

Proxima Nova Regular in Adobe InDesign, with alternate “Primer” characters (a, l, y) enabled via OpenType Stylistic Set 1 (source text)

Proxima Nova, a geometric sans serif typeface, routinely appears in Sites We Like, and it’s one of your favorite fonts. Available in over 42 styles including Condensed and Extra Condensed, this expansion of Mark Simonson’s 1994 Proxima Sans could hardly be more versatile (or more popular).

Many of the features we have made available as separate web “families” – like alternate characters and small caps / old style figures – will be available as proper OpenType features in the desktop synced Proxima Nova families.

Coquette with ligatures disabled (left) and enabled (right)

Coquette is a flirtatious script that evolved over the course of eight years as Mark revised his early attempts at the design to match the warmth of his sketches. Coquette was originally called Ruby Script after Mark’s daughter Ruby, but was renamed to avoid confusion with an up-and-coming scripting language from Japan.

Ligatures are available in both the desktop and web versions of Coquette, although browser support for OpenType features is still imperfect. To try them on the web, enable the All Characters set in the Language Support section of the kit editor.

Refrigerator Deluxe default characters (above) and Stylistic Set 4 (below)

As further evidence of Mark Simonson’s iterative approach to type design, Refrigerator Deluxe is an extension of his earlier Refrigerator. Whereas the original represents a specific mid-20th century vernacular style, Deluxe expands this to, in Mark’s words, “an anthology of vernacular styles through the extensive use of alternate characters”.

In fact, Refrigerator Deluxe uses all 20 of the stylistic sets available to OpenType fonts — “sets of stylistic variant glyphs corresponding to portions of the character set”, according to the OT spec. See page three of the Refrigerator Deluxe User Guide (PDF) for details about the alternate characters available in each stylistic set. And when you know which one you want, here’s the CSS to make it happen:

h3 {
  -moz-font-feature-settings: "ss04";
  -moz-font-feature-settings: "ss04=1";
  -ms-font-feature-settings: "ss04";
  -o-font-feature-settings: "ss04";
  -webkit-font-feature-settings: "ss04";
  font-feature-settings: "ss04";

Below is a complete list of families from Mark Simonson Studio that will be available for desktop sync. Add them to your favorites so you can find them easily when we launch Typekit’s desktop sync feature next month, and use them on the web today. If you’ve never given Typekit a try, sign up (it’s free!) and upgrade to a paid plan whenever you’re ready.

2 Responses

  1. siiick! thanks to Mark!!! I’m really looking forward to russian language support in Proxima Nova Soft family =) That’d be awwwesome!

  2. Jean Alaba says:

    I’m using the Croquette for my site title. Simply gorgeous!

Comments are closed.

Tim Brown

Head of Typography for Adobe Typekit & Adobe Type. Practicing typography and web design every day. I write, speak, and make tools to share what I learn. I try to be helpful. I love my wife, kids, family, friends, teachers, and dogs. I'm a volunteer firefighter.

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