Comic book lettering has some grammatical and aesthetic traditions that are quite unique. What follows is a list that every letterer eventually commits to his/her own mental reference file.
Make your handwriting into a font with Yourfonts. Download the PDF, draw your alphabet, scan and upload, then download the finished result. Examples. Via Drawn!
Decodeunicode.org has a useful and full-featured search for the names and glyphs for those Unicode characters that display as a plain box full of despair. It is presented by the Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. Roll the dice ⚅⚄ and try it out. [more inside]
If you're feeling guilty about that long flight from San Francisco to Berlin you can use EcoFonts (which is created by omitting parts of the letter) to assuage your carbon-heavy guilt.
Enter some text and see it written in all the fonts installed on your system
Definitive guide to fonts on Mad Men. Mostly the fonts that didn’t exist during the time of the show. Not every single thing is “historically accurate,” apparently. [more inside]
Ever since Napoleon Dynamite became a surprise hit in the summer of 2003, and the subsequent rise of Judd Apatow a trend in sentimental but cynical film comedy was born. But this post isn't about the comedy.. [more inside]
Can you guess these movies from just one letter of the poster? Empire has put together a little quiz to test your movie font knowledge. Guess the movies from just one letter in the film's poster title. Via Neatorama
Font Conference. A video from CollegeHumor which made me laugh more than a video from CollegeHumor really should.
The Rather Difficult Font Quiz Do you know your Birch from your Bembo from your Bauer Bodini (Hey! Where's Bookman?) At the moment, 34 fonts to identify with more coming soon. A fun way to spend 2-3 minutes and learn just how much a font nerd you really are. (I only got 25 out of 34? I'm ashamed!) [more inside]
60 Brilliant Typefaces (for corporate design) plus 40 free ones. From Smashing Magazine (prev), which last year presented 80 Beautiful Typefaces for Professional Design [more inside]
Typematching: Can Mistral find love with Papyrus? Who cares? Scroll down to find out which of these 6 stereotypical fonts is your type...
"But...but... I can't be Comic Sans!!!"
"But...but... I can't be Comic Sans!!!"
The story behind Woody Allen's signature typeface (with screengrabs from each film). Via. [more inside]
Israeli designer Oded Ezer produces stunning works of experimental typography. He has been lauded for creating [PDF link]"...Hebrew characters that melt," but it is his more unconventional work that is truly breathtaking - made up of letters with vivacity and personality. He calls his gorgeously abstracted work "typo art," existing wholly neither in the space of art or typography, with hope that it might transcend language altogether. See his flickr stream for more sketches, works, and arresting typescapes.
A Website about Corporate Identity. A large archive of corporation logos with design credits, typeface identification (or, at least the typographic roots of the ID's.) and Pantone color information. Not at all complete, but it's a very nice start. Hopefully it will continue to expand. via: Grain Edit (design blog)
So You Want to Create a Font (Part 1, Part 2). For something with a less presumptive title, there’s this, this, this, this, this, or even this, Eric Gill’s An Essay on Typography.
Why is Lithos is so pervasive on the covers of books by African American authors? What does Hot Tamale, or Bagel, or Faux Chinese imply? Rob Giampietro and Jessica Helfand share ruminations on stereotypography.[3quarksdaily] [Design Observer] [Giampietro+Smith]
It’s easy to talk about Adrian Frutiger in the past tense, since his most influential fonts – Univers, Egyptienne, and the eponymous Frutiger – are all at least thirty years old. But he is still alive, and in the summer of 2006, as he was presented with the Society for Typographic Aficionados’ annual Typography Award, type designer Mark Simonson gave a presentation on how Frutiger [pdf, 18 MB] affected, and continues to affect, him and all others who benefit from good typography.
Fontfilter -- ever wondered what font a logo uses? Wonder no more. (site's in German but the chart is simple--there's also a reversed one, by font instead of by company)
Gems of Penmanship, Penman's Leisure Hour, Ninety-five Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, The Champion Method of Practical Business Writing and other Rare Books on Calligraphy and Penmanship from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lots of neat tidbits. [via mlarson.org]
An open letter to John Warnock. "Please consider releasing eight to twelve core fonts into the public domain. The amount of revenue lost from a small core set of fonts surely can’t have a significant impact on Adobe’s bottom line."
Hans Reichel (previously) is a man of many talents. His own site (flash/sound) is fun (often funny) and chock full of agreeably wacky sounds, but can take some time to navigate. Reichel hasn't made it easy for you if you happen to be in a hurry. You may well get stuck somewhere and just give up. That'd be a shame, though, cause you'd miss getting acquainted with the guitars he makes and plays. Or how he designs fonts. The mixing board shenanigans are not to be missed (once you get past those curious little fellows in the brown hats), plus you can sorta kinda play his daxophone yourself. And of course conduct your own little ensemble of meercats when one of them finally comes out of hiding and says "Hallo! Play with me".
How Sub-Pixel Rendering Works: a method of anti-aliasing, sub-pixel rendering (or ClearType as Microsoft calls it) exploits the fact that pixels on LCD screens are actually made up of three sub-pixels: red, blue, and green. By constructing fonts using the sub-pixels, the results are arguably smoother lines and easier-to-read type. Sadly (or happily) CRTs benefit little, if at all, from the technology.
The Pixel Plant offers 150 Pixel Fonts for between Free and 45 cents each.
Not My Type - An office and its occupants, made entirely of typographic characters, create a theatre of emotion. View the separate animations (Flash) 1, 2, 3 and 4. Also, visit an article on the work's concept development and storyboarding process. And there's more via Google.
Gothic fonts, aka Blackletter, aka Fraktur are often associated with Nazi propaganda these days. And indeed, at the beginning the Nazis encouraged their use...that is, until, in one of the most bizarre decrees of the Third Reich, Hitler declared them "non-German" and even "Jewish" and banned them with immediate effect. Funny thing is, Fraktur would take its vengeance on Hitler fans forty years later... (And before any typographic pedant points it out, yes, I know Fraktur is a subdivision of the Gothic/Blackletter family of fonts)
The Scourge of Arial. It has spread like a virus through the typographic landscape and illustrates the pervasiveness of Microsoft's influence in the world. Arial, however, has a rather dubious history and not much character. In fact, Arial is little more than a shameless impostor...
Illustrated Notes from Computer Science: Tom Murphy VII gets more bored in class than you. And thanks to his free fonts, your boredom can look just as snazzy. (Previous Tom7-related action here. This guy keeps busy. I blame the 80/20 rule.)
FontLeech: The Free Font Blog. Searching for free fonts (that don't suck) so you don't have to. Just launched the other day; might be worth watching for us broke designers.
BitFontMaker - Create, edit, and save your own truetype pixel font via this web app.
Back In Black, Bold, Semibold, Roman, and Light: Ever wanted to write your name in the font The Scorpions used? Or make your wedding announcements in the AC/DC font? Maybe you'd like to create nametags with the official Ozzy font? Here are all the rock fonts you'll ever need, all for free.
Forget Verdana, here’s sIFR: anti-aliased text in your browser in any font you like.
The next big thing? Just a kludge? Heard about it already?
The next big thing? Just a kludge? Heard about it already?
Cooper Black. A True Story. [flash]
Free the Olympukes. Fontshop, the 500-lb gorilla of type foundries, has released Jonathan Barnbrook's Olympukes dingbat font - which does a good job of reconciling the love/hate relationship many of us have with this most constructed of all sports events - for free. Barnbrook is the politically savage designer behind the Virus typefoundry, and is probably most well-known for collaborations with Damien Hirst and the typefaces Exocet and Mason (which was originally called Manson – and "intended to speak of the uncomfortable associations between elegance and violence" – but was renamed Mason in a fit of
pique marketing), which are sold through the fine folks at Emigre.
Just My Type. Sharpen your eye for letterforms by matching each close-up snapshot with the letter it came from, or test your eye for color with Color Me RGB, a couple of the interesting braincandy games from Scott Kim. (Also see his gallery of Inversions; I love "Figure", and the clickable tessellating alphabet.)
Naked body letters. Um... letters made out of naked bodies. Obviously not safe for work, but really more artsy and "nude" than even erotic. K, T and C are particularly nice, for example.
Are you a typoholic? It starts so innocently. One day you're mildly interested in the difference between display and text typefaces. Soon you can distinguish between teardrop and beak terminals. Suddenly you're annoying everyone in the movie theater by yelling out the names of all the fonts used in the credits. What's so scary is that you never saw it coming. You, my friend, are a type freak.
Identifont is an amazing, free, font identification tool. Ever seen some nice text in print or on the web, wanted to use it yourself, but couldn't work out what font they used? By answering a series of simple questions (Does the 'Q' tail cross the circle? What shape is the 'g'?), all presented with handy example pictures, Identifont can quickly identify the name of the font you're looking for.
Typophile : Indulge your inner Font Nerd. (check out the "Found Type Gallery")