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The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway

The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway. Why is Helvetica used now, and when did the changeover occur? To answer those questions this essay explores several important histories: of the New York City subway system, transportation signage in the 1960s, Unimark International and, of course, Helvetica.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse on Nov 19, 2008 - 16 comments

You Betcha

This f*cking election. A babble tower.
posted by digaman on Nov 2, 2008 - 100 comments

clean type is godly type

We've seen it done before with Ms. Dewey (previously), but all the same, meet Max Kerning. He's also on Facebook and Twitter. He's a total shill (Sutcase Fusion 2) but still worth checking out. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on Oct 30, 2008 - 13 comments

Lou Dorfsman - CBS Imagemaker

Long-time CBS in-house designer Lou Dorfsman passed away this week. He did a lot of great work, but let's just focus on one part: His cafeteria wall at CBS, dubbed Gastrotypographicalassemblage. More about the wall. And an interview with Mr. Dorfsman about the wall.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Oct 26, 2008 - 14 comments

The Typography of Change

Vote for Hope [more inside]
posted by clearly on Oct 20, 2008 - 43 comments

The wrong fonts in ‘Mad Men’ (and sometimes the right ones)

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]
posted by joeclark on Oct 7, 2008 - 23 comments

Q.E.D. (quote, ellipsis, diacritic)

Typography for Laywers. A basic introduction to typography in a clean, well-organized (and still growing) site. [more inside]
posted by camcgee on Sep 26, 2008 - 96 comments

Typographunnies

Typographunnies
posted by chrismear on Sep 18, 2008 - 56 comments

The state of hipster typography

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]
posted by mediocre on Sep 5, 2008 - 61 comments

Empire Poster Thread.

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
posted by daHIFI on Aug 11, 2008 - 40 comments

Type is Art

Type is art. Take little pieces of letterforms and make something new.
posted by signal on Jul 18, 2008 - 10 comments

the quick brown fox

The handwriting of typographers.
posted by oneirodynia on Jul 10, 2008 - 21 comments

Law of the Letter

"Type designers know well that context, culture, and history shape the connotations of letterforms. . . . In fact, type plays a starring role in the making of nations." A short but interesting look at typography and political identity from Print magazine.
posted by camcgee on Jul 8, 2008 - 9 comments

The Employable Web Designer

The Employable Web Designer ― Andy Rutledge at Design View constructs a list of suggestions to help aspiring designers better craft their own preparedness and, if necessary, adjust their degree plans toward a more effective and responsive result in the web design field. (previously) [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 28, 2008 - 39 comments

419 spam received; put down, flipped, reversed.

Marian Bantjes, typographer, designer, and Layer Tennis competitor, received a 419 spam email and turned it into this print. [more inside]
posted by heeeraldo on Jun 27, 2008 - 8 comments

The revolution will be led by a 12-year-old girl

The Girl Effect.
posted by sveskemus on Jun 17, 2008 - 61 comments

¿How do you design a year?

The 2007 Feltron Annual Report . via
posted by signal on Jun 8, 2008 - 13 comments

The ampersand & more.

The ampersand has been the subject of typographic embroidery, has famously been used as a tattoo, displayed on plates, and has even been deep fried. There are dancing ones, printed ones, but unfortunately no Russian ones. How do you like your ampersand?
posted by msaleem on May 21, 2008 - 23 comments

Analog textual clocks

An analog textual clock - An analog textual clock
posted by cillit bang on May 16, 2008 - 24 comments

Non-sucky web typography

15 Great Examples of Web Typography. Because 95% of web design is about typography in the first place.
posted by signal on May 8, 2008 - 48 comments

Keyboard calligraphy

Keyboard calligraphy "To produce such a typeface, Müteferrika knew he had to analyze Arabic script. Calligraphers might learn to make the correctly shaped letter combinations by practice, without conscious application of tens of thousands of rules, but for machine reproduction of the script, deciphering those rules was exactly what was essential."
posted by dhruva on May 1, 2008 - 28 comments

Your own Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map ($299)

Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 NYC subway map is back Yours for the low, low price of 299 bucks for one copy of the limited edition of 500. (Previous MeFi comments on the famed design, which the New York MTA eventually shitcanned. [Via.])
posted by joeclark on Apr 24, 2008 - 30 comments

Typography posters and videos

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.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 22, 2008 - 7 comments

Following Gutenberg and rebuilding his original printing press

The BBC's Stephen Fry follows the trail of Johannes Gutenberg to France and Germany, and attempts to reconstruct a working replica of Gutenburg’s first press. (YouTube version)
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 21, 2008 - 27 comments

Sax Rohmer #1

The Mountain Goats' newest video is a dizzying, typographical romp. (SLYT)
posted by auralcoral on Apr 16, 2008 - 34 comments

Poland's Cultural Heritage in nifty flash site

"Commonwealth of Diverse Cultures: Poland's Heritage is an international educational exhibition which presents the history of tolerance and cohabitation of various ethnic groups in the territory of Polish-Lithuanian Commowealth and is addressed primarily to foreigners all around the world". This is achieved via a very beautiful flash site.
posted by peacay on Mar 25, 2008 - 11 comments

Typography + Motion = Kinematic Typography

Great Scenes from TV and Film, Told Using Only Typography (and Sound)
posted by spec80 on Mar 20, 2008 - 20 comments

Michael Bierut on typography

Michael Bierut Talks Typography with ‘The Atlantic’ "In a video interview with The Atlantic, Michael Beirut talks about typography, including Stanley Kubrick’s favorite font, the cover design of The Catcher in the Rye, and the link between phototypesetting and Free Love." (8 min) via
posted by vronsky on Mar 17, 2008 - 12 comments

Looking for some dumb quotes?

Apostrophe Atrophy highlights dumb quotes appearing in print, an unforgivable graphic design gaffe.
Just toggle the checkbox in InDesign/Quark already!
posted by porn in the woods on Mar 2, 2008 - 111 comments

Synaesthesia Ho!

The MeeK FM Typographic Synthesizer(tube.)
posted by geos on Feb 29, 2008 - 17 comments

He kissed me, he kissed me. Yecch.

The story behind Woody Allen's signature typeface (with screengrabs from each film). Via. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Jan 30, 2008 - 42 comments

Belles Lettres

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.
posted by youarenothere on Jan 9, 2008 - 21 comments

Fonts at the movies

Fonts at the movies. [more inside]
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Dec 14, 2007 - 21 comments

Blue Vertigo - resources for web design

Blue Vertigo | Web Design Resource Links
posted by Gyan on Nov 21, 2007 - 24 comments

Zigzag Zombie

Zigzag Zombie.

As part of the recent Dutch Design Week, students were instructed to produce an original typeset using thin, flat material (metal strips, tape, toilet paper, etc.) and then "pick one location, and create a large scale zigzag lettering and make passersby hallucinate."
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Nov 12, 2007 - 15 comments

A Website about Corporate Identity.

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)
posted by JBennett on Nov 7, 2007 - 11 comments

Stereotypography

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]
posted by litfit on Oct 21, 2007 - 54 comments

"He saw the type designer as a kind of public servant"

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.
posted by tepidmonkey on Oct 3, 2007 - 14 comments

Type in the Toronto Subway

Inscribed in the living tile: Type in the Toronto subway by Joe Clark [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Sep 16, 2007 - 62 comments

"Your brain knows the shape of the word."

How the new type standard for American road signage reduces halation and improves readability.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 11, 2007 - 47 comments

Blue Skies Smilin' At Me

Type The Sky: font project by a student at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
posted by fandango_matt on Aug 6, 2007 - 14 comments

TypoWiki

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)
posted by amberglow on May 29, 2007 - 14 comments

Lettermade

Lettermade This ongoing project, started in 1998, is aimed at documenting, appreciating, and recontextualizing vernacular letterforms and typography. (Design dorks rejoice!)
posted by ColdChef on May 7, 2007 - 7 comments

What Does Marsellus Wallace Look Like?

Say What Again [audio NSFW] Pulp Fiction dialogue done with motion typography. [via]
posted by kirkaracha on Feb 23, 2007 - 26 comments

Eric Gill

Eric Gill was a print-maker, sculptor, typographer and thinker [pdf]. An artist whose life has had quite a bit of drama associated with it. There is even a new society dedicated to parsing the impacts of his legacy.
posted by sciurus on Nov 14, 2006 - 18 comments

mandering

Mandership is mostly concerned with graphic and industrial design, interface engineering, typography, semiotics, and visualization, but it's more. Learn about how the Declaration of Independence wound up in the Ukraine (did it?) a short history of telephone numbers, book spines, and of course simplicity of design. From the same folks who brought you the Optimus keyboard. (previously)
posted by jessamyn on Aug 30, 2006 - 7 comments

Type, handwriting, and lettering

Type, handwriting, and lettering
posted by persona non grata on Aug 20, 2006 - 17 comments

Computational calligraphy

Caligraft - computational calligraphy.
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 19, 2006 - 14 comments

Type Righter

The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web. Robert Bringhurt's undisputed bible of typography until now has been limited to print design. This site, a work in progress, presents his principles one at a time, and explains how to follow them as a web designer using HTML and CSS.
posted by Robot Johnny on Mar 8, 2006 - 29 comments

Sub-Pixel Rendering

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.
posted by falconred on Feb 28, 2006 - 33 comments

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