2015: The Year of Emoji Diversity - The Unicode Consortium has released a technical report detailing a new method for handling the representation of multi-ethnic groups in emoji that may work its way into Unicode 8.0 [more inside]
"Although they have had remarkable longevity, the Trajan letterforms have not always been as hot as they are now. In fact, the last time they enjoyed such popularity was in the... first century." Includes Carol Twombly's recollection of designing the iconic modern typeface. (You've totally seen it.) [more inside]
"ON DARK evenings in late 1916, a frail 76-year-old man could often be seen shuffling furtively between The Dove, a pub in west London, and the green and gold turrets of Hammersmith Bridge. Passers-by paid no attention, for there was nothing about Thomas Cobden-Sanderson’s nightly walks to suggest that he was undertaking a peculiar and criminal act of destruction." The Economist's Christmas Edition tells the story of "the Fight Over the Doves": “No more graceful Roman letter has ever been cut and cast,” [more inside]
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she redesigned the new Yahoo! logo over a weekend.
Typehunting. A very long page of very well curated snippets of lettering and typography on packages from decades ago.
Beautiful set of photos from the Caslon type foundry in 1906. Bonus old-school typography pleasures: Remaking the Pictorial Webster's; Linotype: The Movie Trailer
The John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island is a 3 century old family business that primarily carves lettering in stone buildings and memorials using traditional designs, including the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Arlington. It is astounding to see the high quality of their work over time, from the documentary Final Marks (1979) to fonts designed for Adobe, to perhaps the greatest task: training those that will follow so they may lead.
FF Chartwell is a typeface for creating simple editable graphs and charts, designed by Travis Kochel. Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Watch the demo video. Buy a license.
The Comedy Carpet is an enormous public typographic artwork in Blackpool, England, for decades a waystation for every stand-up comedian and comedy troupe in the country. This giant expanse of typography – like a football field of flat concrete you can read and walk on – displays every punchline and catchphrase of 20th-century British comedy, up to and including the entire Monty Python “Parrot Sketch.” Designer Andy Altmann gives a talk (direct Vimeo version) describing the immense design, computation, and construction work that went into fitting all those letters together. [more inside]
Launched just last week, Calligraphica is the new Tumblr home for calligraphy and hand-drawn type. While you're at it, check out their sister site, Typeverything.
Generative Typografie - experimental programmatic type and infographics (demos and text auf Deutsch)
Typeface based on sculpture becomes motorized sculpture. The (European) typeface Jigsaw, “which was inspired by sculpture,” finds a use in typesetting the names of donors to a (U.S.) regional arts council. “A motorized disk contains approximately 2,000 names.... Pushing an initial letter on the control panel allows the viewer to find a particular name. The disk rotates and stops at the requested letter and displays all the names corresponding to the requested letter by backlighting them with white LEDs.” (Gallery; Vimeo video.) [more inside]
The Lost Type Co-op is a collaboration between Tyler Galpin and Riley Cran. It was founded with the intention of providing unique and quality fonts based on a pay-what-you-want model. All designers get 100% of the donations their font receives.
Flawed Typefaces. Paul Shaw, author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System and a writer with a sharp eye even by typography standards, dissects the one or two characters in each of nearly two dozen fonts that stick out like a sore serif. (Yes, the Gill Sans numeral 1 is in there.)
You might expect a jokey April 1 press release announcing Comic Sans Pro is yet another seasonal prank. Yet here it is, as little as $35 per face or $120 for the whole family.
The new Egyptian régime blows its chance to legitimately use the Papyrus font. The Egyptian president’s official site (for standardistas: HTML 3.2 with no language declared!) squanders a chance at typographic symbolism, Typophile explains: “Unfortunately, they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to legitimately use Papyrus and they blew it. Instead it’s Algerian.” (Type specimens: Papyrus; Algerian. Cf. Papyrus Watch [previously].)
The Museum of Modern Art announced this week it would induct 23 digital-era typefaces into its permanent collection (Times coverage). But what do the designers of these fonts look like? Pics or it didn’t happen: first set; second.
“I am sorry that, after all, the numerals on the doors at Downing Street are so beastly.” Why the 1 and 0 affixed to the door of the British prime minister’s residence, 10 Downing St., look the way they do.
Mefites love type foundries. Here are some more. Typeplus | Klim Type Foundry | Process Type Foundry | Typejockeys | Village | Darden Studio | Bold Monday | Hand Made Font | SMeltery | Reserves | righttype | OurType | Colophone Foundry
Canter’s Deli font comes full circle. Graphic designer makes actual typeface family out of casual script seen on sign for classic L.A. deli, Canter’s. (Wins award!) Youngest, hippest member of the family that owns the diner later independently Googles "Canter's Deli" + font, locates type designer, then hires him to custom-design a Canter’s “gourmet food truck.” “[W]hat was interesting to me was that this whole scenario could not have happened without the magic of the Internet and search engines.”
Fraktur mon amour: Ruud Linssen’s Book of War, Mortification and Love is a collection of “essays on voluntary suffering” that works as a specimen of the Fakir blackletter typeface issued by merry pranksters Underware. Bored already? Well, try this on for size: It’s “printed in the author’s blood.”
Typography of World Cup jerseys: In general, or just Italy’s. Or read an interview with Paul Barnes, who designed the faces for – yes – Italy and several other Puma-sponsored countries (Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Switzerland, Uruguay).
Not necessarily “naïve”; more like “vernacular.” Jules Vernacular posts dozens of photos of vernacular or unschooled signage on French buildings (in the site’s punning slogan, lettres œuvrières et incongruités typographiques). As ever, it’s amazing that this typography, most of it hand-drawn, hasn’t been wiped out by progress and regularized into Arial (or the Arial of 2010, Papyrus). [more inside]
John Mayer gets some really bitchin’ typography. House Industries (last MeFi mention: 1999!) designs a limited-edition tour poster for the crooner who constantly steals the show on TMZ. “[U]ntil they come up with a JPEG format that makes metallics shimmer like a Solid Gold dancer’s outfit, there just isn’t a substitute for physically walking around a serigraph and watching the light bouncing off metallic and fluorescent inks.” [more inside]
The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary. Although sadly not about font design or kerning, Nick Martens' exploration in the OED is still pretty interesting. [more inside]
What type are you? (password: character) Step into Pentagram's psychoanalyst's office, and let him diagnose your type. 'Researched over seven years with a team of 23 academics across Eastern Europe, ‘What Type Are You’ asks the four key character questions of our day, analyses your responses in exceptional detail and recommends one of 16 typefaces as a result. The recommendation is sometimes controversial but always unerringly true. Said one respondent, “At first I felt angry when I was told my type is Pistilli Roman but two weeks later, I was completely reconciled to it. Now I wonder why I ever thought I was a Gill Sans.”'
“I think sometimes that being overly type-sensitive is like an allergy,” : The New York Times on the perils of being a font nerd.
The Design Cubicle articles focus on design tips and resources on all subjects of design; ranging from print, web, logo, branding, advertising and marketing. Popular articles include 10 Common Typography Mistakes and understanding the importance of good type skills; and 12 Common Photoshop Mistakes and Malpractice. The strategies behind designing a successful and memorable logo involve a process which progresses through various stages of listening, research, development, feedback and changes. 11 Steps of a Successful Logo Design Process.
Stelae for 7/7. The London 7/7 Memorial consists of “52 pillars (or ‘stelae’), cast in rough textured stainless steel, each representing one of the victims” of the 2005 terrorist bombing attack. Typographer Phil Baines (profile) explains the development of the rough-hewn yet “British” typeface, based on “the 19th-century, untutored signmakers’ sansserif you see on buildings around the city,” that is moulded into the living steel.
Tart cards [NSFW] are the means by which many London prostitutes advertise their services. Step into almost any central London phone box and you can contemplate up to 80 cards inviting you to be tied, teased, spanked or massaged.... [Wallpaper Magazine] asked designers – from students to superstars – to find the tart hiding in every typeface and create their own graphic numbers.... all 450 cards can be viewed here. [NSFW] [more inside]
"I want our type to jump, scream, whisper and dance..." Ebon Heath and His Visual Poetry. "When I close my eyes I can see the words of great poets like Rakem or Tupac flying thru the air and dancing with the same physicality my body instinctually feels. My mobiles attempt to create a visual sense of rhythm and flow that is alive, not contained." This interview with Heath breaks down his Stereo.type and Purge projects. [more inside]
The Ministry of Type is a weblog about type, typography, lettering, calligraphy and other related things. The FontFeed, from the folks at FontShop, is a daily dispatch of recommended fonts, typography techniques, and inspirational examples of digital type at work in the real world. [more inside]
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]
Type is art. Take little pieces of letterforms and make something new.
Marian Bantjes, typographer, designer, and Layer Tennis competitor, received a 419 spam email and turned it into this print. [more inside]
Two blogposts from Smashing Magazine: Breathtaking Typographic Posters and Typography in Motion. Some notables: Retro Artist Feature, Linocut Print of London, It's the Outsideness Flavour of It, Zeitgeist, Hier Vorne, 80 of 500 Handdrawn Posters and music video for Ya no sé qué hacer conmigo by Uruguayan band Cuarteto de Nos.
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.
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.
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