“For many, Helvetica is the epitome of neutrality. It's known for being the blank page or the empty vessel; the typeface that stands back and lets others do the talking.” For many, Helvetica is the epitome of neutrality. It's known for being the blank page or the empty vessel; the typeface that stands back and lets others do the talking.
During the editorial design of a novel by Boll, designer Sandrine Nugue created a sharp, elegant typeface to be used specifically for expressing the many insults found in the pages of the novel.
Commercial Classics Journal entry on the how the digital processes of making type today differ from the days of moveable type. “We made all of the faces in the Commercial Classics library digitally from start to finish. However, the originals they were based on were made in the traditional analogue method that had been in use since the fifteenth century,“
Toshi Omigari’s definitive survey of ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s arcade video game pixel typography. Arcade Game Typography presents readers with a fascinating new world of typography: the pixel typeface. Video game designers of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s faced color and resolution limitations that stimulated incredible creativity. With each letter having to exist in a small pixel grid, artists began to use clever techniques to create elegant character sets within a tiny canvas.
Commercial Classics, like Commercial Type, is a joint venture between Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz, whose “intention is for these historical forms to escape the past and come to life again.” The classics draw heavily from resources in the St Bride collection, and for each purchase the foundry will make a donation to help support the library.
Physically, we use our voice, facial expressions. gestures and posture to convey a wide range of emotional cues from the subtle to the dramatic. Typefaces and the way they are used provide a similarly extensive emotional range typographically.
The latest edition of Jen Farrell (aka Starshaped press)’s weekend Printer encourages us all not to be complacent with arbitrary values (& trying to speed up an inherently slow process). “I know it’s fun to throw a bunch of big, juicy wood type on a Vandercook, slap some magnets down and go to town with it. I am often asked how I turn out a lot of work in a short period of time and it’s because I DON’T do that. What seems like the fast way is anything but, and if you want to learn a few tips to do it right, read on.”
Fontself partnered with Francis Chouquet and Daniel Hosoya to bring you super-packed creative advice to help you up-your type craftsmanship. They synthesized their top recommendations & illustrated them as part of two new articles on the fontself blog: The first entitled ‘How to draw better letters for your fonts’ and the second builds on this wisdom with tips for consistency in ‘How to design a typeface system‘. (Use these tips to develop your own typeface with Fontself like I did here)
“Anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness and isolation – we're all at risk of suffering from these common afflictions. The more we talk about it, the more we expel any taboos on mental health and the better we all are,” this article is a must read!
Letterform Archive is a critical cornerstone of our community. They urgently need a new home. and are asking for our support to make it a reality. “In so many ways, we are near or beyond capacity. When we imagine the Archive of the future, we imagine a place worthy of the history we hold. We see a purpose-built, contiguous space for classes, tours, collections, and staff. We dream of a larger venue for events, where more of our community can gather. We picture a dedicated gallery for exhibits. We long for accessibility to public transit. Most of all, we need room to grow.”
Hightype is a type foundry strictly for three-dimensions, founded by Manuel Rossner in Berlin last month. At the moment, its two main purposes consist of lowpoly-models for games and websites as well as smoother versions for print and video. Manuel tells It’s Nice That: “Its possible applications are promising, ranging from VR typography games to augmented reality to interactive websites and high-resolution brand imagery.”
Love it or hate it if you have an opinion on comic sans (or have ever worn crocs to a wedding) this medium article is a lesson in context and appropriateness for you. “if you love Comic Sans, you don’t know anything about typography. But if you hate Comic Sans, then you don’t know anything about typography either…and you should get another hobby”.
“Our mission is to develop typefaces that push ourselves, and that push boundaries,” says Simon Bent of Melbourne-based type foundry Metis. From the heavy Dot19 to shape-tastic Geometer Regular, Metis’ typefaces blur the lines between creative expression and practicality. “You have to be creative with how you apply some of them in practice because of how far we push the limits of legibility, but that’s something we can live with,” Simon tells It’s Nice That.
“Specimen VI is a refined hand by artist Aileen Fretz of Plume Calligraphy: thoroughly modern yet absolutely timeless.” It is impressively natural, legible and remarkably robust. At 2,580 characters, with “Rubix-cube-inspired feature code” Specimen VI provides beautiful opentype alternates to ensure the text looks like it has flown from the nib.
Fiona Ross and Alice Savoie, wrote a tribute to Patricia Saunders, a designer of iconic typefaces such as Arial, Corsiva and Columbus, who passed away last Tuesday 25 June 2019. “Patricia will long be remembered as a role model for aspiring women type designers; and her contributions to type design will continue inspire further generations working in this field.”
Patricia Saunders (then Patricia Mullin) in the Monotype Drawing Office in 1955, aged 22. © Monotype Archives
Adrian Shaughnessy founded Unit Editions with Tony Brook and Patricia Finegan in 2009. Since then, the studio has become one of the most highly-regarded independent design-oriented publishers around, releasing books on the likes Paula Scher, Herb Lubalin, and Vaughn Oliver. Its latest title is the forthcoming What is Universal Everything, an overview of that studio’s work over the past 15 years.
Fontsmith has an amazing pedigree for developing valuable typographic resources. In their latest release FS designer Krista Radoeva shares wisdom on type classification.
Typography Daily reports “Anthony James runs a successful design studio in Manchester, UK. He creates fonts, but not only, he also creates powerful iconography based on type” on his site Anthony writes; experimentation is essential for creating new ideas, so we've compiled a collection to act as a catalyst for innovation.
Letterform Archive is a living collection which aims to tell the continuing story of design. This selection of diagrams, illustrations, models, and methods used to teach people how to make letters can be as engaging as the resulting letters themselves, unearths just a few items from the hundreds of instructional works at the Archive.
New on the Alphabettes blog is an interview with Mexican sign painter Alina Kiliwa. Her work, as a lettering artist, extends the width and length of her native Mexico.Her work preserves the tradition of the vernacular sign, typical of the urban landscape of Mexico City. She combines with powerful messages aiming for social conscience and brightens the day of pedestrians who get to see her pieces through the the streets.
I always love seeing the diverse quality produced by the TypeMedia graduates. Their class of 2018 microsite is live and it does’nt dissapoint with loads of terrific typefaces on offer. My favourite (although it was tricky to choose!) is Zrinka Buljubašić’s Dalma which is a “reinterpretation of contradictory movements of the sea such as static and dynamic, sturdy and delicate, elegant and raw, wild and calm”
As the largest foundry, and distributor of typefaces today (and a typographic pedigree which dates back hundreds of years) Monotype has huge influence in all things type (and design), whether you love them or hate them (as the organisation does polarise people) they shape our industry and so it is huge news that they are doing due diligence on a potential buy out.
Jason Pamental believes “Type is how we ‘hear’ what we read” as he was preparing for a recent conference talk a tweet from Nina Stossinger was “poking’ him in the back of the head, “nudging me to think about it more, and how it can (and should) influence how we think about design and typography.” in this excellent article Jason Pamental explores the friction in communicating ideas
Jyni Ong, wraps up the festival for it’s nice this “While each talk revealed design industry truths in their own way; some scary and others enlightening, this year’s Birmingham Design Festival packed a punch with thought-provoking content and approaches, tackling the ensuing issues that effect our discipline. Shedding light on the innovative West Midland’s design scene, this year’s series of events not only broadened our idea of Birmingham’s creative landscape but also hosted the talks and workshops with broader scope too.”
Brandy Willetts discusses the revolution of postscript, Adobe’s impact on the democratisation of design and how the desk top publishing revolution gave users a complete set of tools to do their own typesetting and printing (and what that meant for typographic design).
Sophie Elinor Brown was the latest speaker announced for the 2019 conference - I have waxed lyrical about her many talents here before. In this interview she discusses how she accidentally stumbled across typography, her process and passions. Learn more (and grab a ticket to hear Soph speak!) here.
Designer Jeremy Tankard describes his latest release as ‘expressive, emotive and explosive’. The Brucker family has 4 weights in 2 styles, and is designed as a ‘restless typeface’ which adds drama and energy to text through the use of interrupted curves, a dynamic rhythm and disjointed baseline. The forms are commanding, and I was captivated so I caught up with Jeremy to learn more…
John Boardley tells of a 15th century best seller ‘a tale of illicit love and adulterous passions’ the latest article on ilovetypography.com which is sure to please all the book and print historians. “This a woodcut from the only illustrated printed edition of the fifteenth century. Printed by Pacini around 1500. Only four copies survive: three in Italy and one in the United States, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.”
It was Beatrice Warde who first compared typefaces to the clothes that words wear. A finely tailored suit can completely change a person's appearance, and in the same way typefaces can drastically alter what words mean, how they work, and how they make us feel. But just as a torn seam or a missing button would spoil the effect of a Savile Row suit, so too can the details of a typeface put readers off. Read the latest installment of Monotypes ‘Good Type’ articles to read more.
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