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.)
“It was a computer-science problem, but it was also a big, crazy typography problem,” An algorithm for the names at the 9/11 memorial.
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.
We love typography. Don't try to deny it. We love it deconstructed. We love asking questions about it, and hearing people talk about it. We’ll even play games about it.
An essay in two parts on the pilcrow (¶) kicks off a new blog called Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation.
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].)
"I am someone who has never taken an art class in my life...I didn't think I had an artistic bone in my body and never thought of myself as creative." Neat book art made with folds and an exacto knife from Isaac Salazar, who, according to his Flickr bio, is an accountant in New Mexico. [Via boingboing and Core77] [more inside]
On the heels of the Comcast/NBC merger, NBCUniversal have unveiled their new logo. Astute viewers will note that there's something missing from it.
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.
Slate says putting more than one space between sentences is "totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong." Microsoft's Bill Hall agrees. LaTex does not. The American Psychological Association used to agree but has changed its mind. The exhaustive Wikipedia article on sentence spacing has a predictably prickly discussion page.
Visually sumptuous, Gurafiku is a collection of visual research pertaining to Japanese graphic design. Assembled by the designer abroad; Ryan Hageman. Some of the categories: Ukiyo-e | Illustration | Typography |Manga | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's |1990's. [more inside]
Considering Jonathan Coulton's lyric-writing, any text-based video of one of his songs is going to be good. But when graphic artist Jarrett Heather committed acts of "kinetic typography" to the ode to suburbia "Shop Vac", he made a SLYT that deserves multiple viewings.
“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.
When asked to join in a "let's persuade this supermarket chain to get rid of their 'five items or less' sign" I never join in. [more inside]
Typographic Maps. "These unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type."
The Design of Dungeons & Dragons: "When D&D 4th Edition came out in 2008, I was so pleased with the new rulebooks that I decided to write up the design of the various editions. Well, I ended up being too busy to do that. But upon seeing one of the even more impressive D&D Essentials books, I had to revive that project. Get ready for some intense nerdery."
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
It's 1962, and for a few glorious months the world stands still and looks (down, down, down) to Atlantis for the World's Fair. Perhaps you also missed the 1924 El Dorado World's Fair? And of course reserve your tickets today for the 2040 Moon World's Fair. (Experiments in Typography on the Web, via Waxy Links.)
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.”
Ampersand Food Groups by Dan Beckemeyer.
We see it every day on signs, billboards, packaging, in books and magazines; in fact, you are looking at it now — the Latin or Roman alphabet, the world’s most prolific, most widespread abc. Typography is a relatively recent invention, but to unearth the origins of alphabets, we will need to travel much farther back in time, to an era contemporaneous with the emergence of civilisation itself. The origins of abc.
Extracts of Local Distance combines fragments of existing architectural photography into multilayered shapes, so the resulting collages introduce a third abstract point of view alongside the original views of the architect and photographer. Joseph Egan is a student at Chelsea College of Art & Design, and he's been experimenting with anamorphic typography.
unseen hands: women printers, binders and book designers. an exhibition from the princeton university library.
Papyrus Watch exposes the most egregious uses of the played-out Papyrus font by graphic designers, businesses, and blockbuster Hollywood directors, among others. Does its widespread misuse mean that Papyrus is the new Comic Sans?
Siggi Eggertsson -- Illustration, Typography, Animation, Graphic Design. Some examples -- Cutthroat Capitalism, Berlin, Peter and the Wolf.
Cardon Copy takes the vernacular of self-distributed flyers and tear-offs... redesigning them, overpowering their message with a new visual language. [via]
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).
"The most complete and up-to-date illustrated Candy Teacher that is out on the market, with complete instructions in the manufacture of all the different classes of candy made for the wholesale and retail trade." (Charles Apell, 1921) [more inside]
Where music geekery and typographical geekery intersect: Rock That Font looks knowledgeably at the typography of notable album covers.
You're breakfast. From Parra of Rockwell. NSFW, unless your work consists of gorgeous hand-drawn typography and voluptuous bird women cavorting together.
All of the Photoshop Typography tutorials you will ever need. And if that simply isn't good enough. Here are the 100 best Photoshop tutorials of 2009.
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]
NSFWord: Effing Typeface.
London's transport system has a visual identity instantly recognised (and often imitated) around the world, of which a key part is Edward Johnston's typeface, originally designed for the London Underground. (Previously.) However, this may not be the case for much longer; the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has revealed plans to give all official London bodies a unified identity, based on that of the Visit London tourism campaign. There is already a Facebook group protesting the proposal.
"Hatch Show Print: We Print and Sell Posters." And the Nashville landmark, just down the street from the Ryman Auditorium, has been doing exactly that, with wood type and a gigantic Vandercook press, since 1879. Take a video and photo tour through the press, and read about how they do their work (with videos of the printmaking process). Manager Jim Sherraden's motto is “preservation through production”: all the equipment, all the wood type, everything, is still used regularly, even if it’s for a run as small as one print. [more inside]
Sean Freeman is a UK-based illustrator and designer specializing in typography. For example, this piece, collaborated with fellow illustrator Pomme Chan. Don't miss the archive, including a little fish.
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.
Type Design on the Radio. TTBOOK (previously) does an hour-long program about typography (podcast here, RM stream here). Segments include interviews with Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones of Gotham fame (they say their "Obama Font" worked best of those in the campaign; others agree), a Verdana-centric interview with Matthew Carter (he comments on the IKEA kerfluffle), and interview Kitty Burns Florey, author of Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting . [more inside]
The Daily Drop Cap is an ongoing project by typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische. Each day (or at least each WORK day), a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap will be posted for your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere.
So you think you can tell Arial from Helvetica? Take 20 logos that were originally designed in Helvetica, and redo them in Arial. Some people would call that blasphemy. Instead, call it a challenge: can you tell which is the original and which is the remake?
Read Between the Leading, is a podcast for those with a love of good design and typography hosted by two students from SCAD. Season two just started with an interview with brand designer, David Airey, previous episodes of RBtL include discussions on information visualization, the future of web design with Jason Santa Maria (previously), speculative work and why graphic design is serious business (previously). [more inside]