At a Glance
- A fresh update to stalwart Helvetica.
- Text duties are limited by weight.
Light and open, this sans-serif font designed by Matt McInerney brings a modern touch to Web sites.
Sleek as a Bullet train, Raleway is an intriguing sans-serif
typeface from American designer Matt
McInerney, the man behind the massive styling of Orbitron.
Raleway’s appearance is sharp and functional, but that won’t stop
font lovers from calling it Grotesque.
In typography-speak, Grotesque is a style of sans serif
originating in the 19th century. There are Grotesques galore on
today’s PCs. Check your font folder for Helvetica and its Microsoft
mate Arial, styles that occupy–along with Raleway–a sub-category
called Neo-grotesque, where lines are relatively straight with
little line width variation.
Sound boring? Look closer. Raleway has plenty of attitude hidden
within its minimalist sensibilities. For instance, the lowercase e
has an overbite, the uppercase U doesn’t need a tail to remain
upright, the lowercase l is not simply a stick, and the numerals
bounce above and below the baseline without losing their dignity. A
blog entry by McInerney hints that the designer chose the name to
highlight the most “unique and characteristic letters” in the set.
Good thing he didn’t ask me, or the font would have been christened
This is a typeface made to teach WordPress themes a thing or two
about contemporary style even as the size scales down to 18 points
for Header duty on posts. The download offers both OpenType and
TrueType formats. Raleway also includes an Embedded
OpenType File Format (.eot). EOT is a format developed by
Microsoft to enable TrueType and OpenType fonts to be linked to Web
pages for download, insuring that the page displays with the font
the author desired.
The Raleway character set includes standard and discretionary
ligatures, the all-important @ sign and a fairly complete set of
diacritics. The license permits commercial use, as long the font
itself isn’t packaged for sale.
What’s not to like? Raleway loads in light Roman only. This
font’s versatility for text emphasis is limited. Tempted to apply a
false bold or italic using the buttons that come on many
applications? Instead, use Raleway for primary display and choose
another Neo-grotesque like Arial or Helvetica to fill in for text
work. In addition, beware choosing pale colors for this model-thin
typeface–and watch for characters that waste away when they drop
below 12 points.
Even without a bold attitude, Raleway plays well with others in
its class and has the style to carry projects fashionably forward.
Looking for a refresh? Download Raleway for your collection and let
the future begin.
Note: To use this font, unzip the folder and
install the .otf or .ttf files in the folder C:WindowsFonts. Note
that the fonts won’t appear in your applications until you close
and re-open them. You’ll find the font’s location by searching for
the license label OFL before the name.