Posts Tagged ‘typography’

Font-y Friday: Tuscans

June 6, 2009

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figginstuscanlozamissionary
goldstandardoperahouse-1gringotuscan
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Did you like the giant S from French Vogue Kirsten pointed out a few weeks ago? Us too!

This style of type is called Tuscan and it originated well before printing. Tuscans can be identified by bifurcation of the terminals — some have speculated that the bifurcation in the earliest examples may have been a typographic equivalent of the sign of the fish, an attempt to signify Christian faith in the letters themselves. Tuscans really hit their stride in the 19th century, during the age of handbills (each trying to outdo one another in typographic excess). This is when the form started mutating like crazy: the ends trifurcated, bulges or spikes erupted mid-stem, letters split into two, swashes and flourishes sprouted out.

Tuscans can be extended or condensed, rigid or expressive: some of the newer digital ones are hand-rendered. So versatile a type style, it’s a shame it’s rarely used contemporarily outside of circus- or western- themed work.

Credits & analysis, after the jump. (more…)

Evelin Kasikov

June 1, 2009

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I first became aware of Evelin Kasikov last week when some of her work was featured on Black Eiffel. I was completely blown away and contacted her immediately to see if she was interested in being the first of our mini-interviews with artists, designers and crafters. Evelin graciously accepted. After reading her responses to our questions, I think I might love her work even more. I definitely recommend spending some time looking at her site and exploring some of the other pages of her beautiful books.

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Read the complete Q & A and see more work, after the jump.

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Font-y Friday: Rubik’s Cube Font Generator

May 22, 2009

I thought this was so cool, it just begged to be a second Font-y Friday.

For the assignment, “Produce a visual representation for the word ‘Move’,” Jas Bhachu created a rubber stamp set that can be used in varying combinations to create type. I love the packaging and instruction booklet too.

I wish it were available to purchase, because I really wanted to buy one for Owen (he was always a huge fan of using the letterpress equivalent when setting metal type).

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via Design Observer

Font-y Friday: Upright Scripts

May 22, 2009

Scripts, love ’em or hate ’em? Certainly a lot of them seem stuffy or old-fashioned, but, there are certain styles that still look fabulous after all these years. We’d like to look at one of our favorite subsets of script, the upright. Whether inspired by the Nineteenth-century French model or the mid-century modern craze for brush-written uprights, we can’t resist the charm of this style.

They are enjoying a recent resurgence in popularity, fueled largely by the efforts of superstar typographers Alejandro Paul and House Industries, both of whom have revived mid-century styles and made their own new faces. Here are thirteen of our favorites; credits after the jump.

upright__0001_Studio-Sable
upright__0002_Studio-Swing
upright__0000_Cocktail-Shaker
upright__0003_HouseLeagueNight
upright__0004_EdScript
upright__0005_TyoUpright
upright__0006_Glengary
upright__0007_Cartoleria
upright__0008_Pendulum
upright__0009_Fling

upright__0010_Mousse-Script
upright__0011_Alphaluxe
upright__0012_Peregroy
upright__0013_Uplink

(more…)

Font-y Friday: “Unchanged since 2002. Now completely new.”

April 24, 2009

In case this is the font-iest of blogs you read, let me be the first to break it to you that Typographica is back! Their opening salvo, a return of the “Oscars of type Design,” their Favorite Typefaces of the year feature (see also 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 entries), is terrific and their new layout marvelous.

This is one of a handful of blogs that were in my very first blog bookmarks folder, that inspired me since waaaay back in the day. I know I teased them for not updating (and url vagaries) in my eulogy of SpeakUp and now I feel like crap about it. But as Stephen Coles writes in his very read-worthy note about the relaunch [please note that his links in this passage constitute the A-list of type blogs/forums today! Bookmark’m!]

It wasn’t just that our attention was diverted — other type bloggers took the reins and did it better, more beautifully and comprehensively, with more brains, more fervor, and more expertise. And, of course, there’s really no reason to go anywhere else to discuss type with knowledgeable peers than Typophile.

The new typographica, then, is not trying to compete with its supercharged grandchildren as another type blog, but as a “vehicle for typeface recommendations and reviews.” I couldn’t be more excited. Four of our favorites from this year’s favorites list (other than Archer that we already established is next on our must-have list!) … after the jump.

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We’re past this now.

April 22, 2009

So the New York Times Magazine this week was The Green Issue. The articles are pretty good, and they’re online with what looks like a lot of other media. I am excited for instance about electric cars that swap batteries rather than refuel. The weekly profile is on Stewart Brand (Whole Earth Catalog, WELL, Clock of the Long Now), who is fascinating and inspiring. But here’s my gripe: Windsor?
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For this issue, the magazine’s feature headlines are all set in this most un-current of types. I know that I am a type geek, but I bet you can see it too this time: these bulbous, deco-a-go-go letters signify the past as surely as tie-dyes with bell-bottoms. Look at the characters “2009”: it looks frickin’ ludicrous to see our current date clothed in this type. It looked old-fashioned the first time Woody Allen used it (he favors the condensed cut) and it’s only gotten more willfully apart-from-the-times in the dozen times he’s kept using it since. (It looked old-fashioned even in the 1970s; like so much of the vernacular type of the day it was stolen from the art movements from half a century ealier.)

The rationale seems to be because it was used for the Whole Earth Catalog, but that doesn’t fly with me. This indicates to me the reader that environmentalism is best thought of as a phase from the 70s. If you’re going to report on the state of the world right now, NYTM, please please don’t use the vernacular type of yesteryear. In fact unless you want to evoke the 70s best to just keep your ITC locked away.

Ok, rant over.

creative mapping

April 20, 2009

I love seeing the ways in which different artists approach the same theme. The four artists below use the boundaries of maps to create beautiful pieces of art all in distinct styles and media.

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I’ve been admiring these State Maps from Frank Chimero for a while — I first saw them at his shop at 1000 Markets where you can get prints of the individual states (in addition to selling at 1000 Markets, he also works as the interaction designer for the site). You can see see more of his work on his site and if you’d like to learn more about his work and process, there is an extensive interview over on Grain Edit.

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Great typographic City Neighborhood posters by Ork Posters; available both as posters and screenprints in a variety of colorways.

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The World

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Detail from Manhattan, 2007

middle-east
Middle East, 2007

paris
Paris
, 2007
I would love to see these amazing typographic map paintings by Paula Scher in person. I have a feeling that the images online don’t really do them justice — the level of detail looks unbelievable. View more maps at Paula Scher’s site and at the Maya Stendhal Gallery.

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I’ve become quite a fan of cut paper recently. Check out this beautiful map of Paris by Famille Summerbelle.
via black eiffel

Font-y Friday: fantastic clothing and accessory finds for type lovers

April 17, 2009

1_kern-rings1_epershand-necklace

2_ketchup-and-mustard2_baseline

3_helvwomsale409_213_futura-bold

4_swash-buckle4_kern-sweatshirt

troy-shirt-cropped15_green-type-shirt

Row 1:
This Kern ring set from plastique* was the inspiration for this week’s Font-y Friday. These rings are so geeky, but I think they are hysterical. They remind me of the Veer sweatshirt which I have always wanted, but still don’t have.

Owen bought me this Epershand Necklace from Isette during a fit of etsy shopping a few weeks ago. Each time I wear it, I get a ton of compliments on it. (In case you are wondering, ephersand is the Scots and Scotish English word for ampersand).

Row 2:
Lorem Ipsum “Ketchup and Mustard” shirt from The Select Series at Threadless.com. Almost any shirt with this classic greeked text phrase would be a hit with us, but this one is executed perfectly in streams of ketchup and mustard.

In a similar script, with a tagline that gets funnier with each line, there’s also the “My Baseline is lower than yours….much lower…” shirt from Workerman.

Row 3:
My appreciation of Helvetica has grown hugely since watching Helvetica. Show your love for this classic typeface by wearing this Helvetica Neue Descending tank from typography shop.

Futura Bold necklace from This is Star Jewelry. Owen says, “It’s one cmd-i away from being the perfect accessory to wear to a Barbara Kruger exhibit.”

Row 4:
The Swash Buckle and Kern Sweatshirt from veer.com; Veer has a bunch of great products for the discerning type nerd — these are just two of our favorites.

Row 5:
I bought Owen this Personalized Typography T-shirt from Enzyme Press for Christmas last year. It calls out the typographic terminology of your chosen word (baseline, counter, x-height etc) and you can choose from a variety of typefaces, shirt and ink colors.

Great screenprinted Typography shirt from stiksel. Owen bought a handkerchief from her the other day; it’s pretty fantastic too.

we love typography

April 15, 2009

we-love-typography

I probably should wait until Font-y Friday to post about this, but John Boardley and Kari Pätilä just launched we love typography, the companion site to John’s blog i love typography. As John says, “It’s like an FFFFound for type-related content, a type-themed delicio.us for the eyes.” So far, it looks pretty awesome.

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Font-y Friday: Contemporary Type Abundance

April 10, 2009

There’s been a trend in the last few years dubbed maximalism. We’re particular fans of how it manifests calligraphically and typographically. Here’s some of the finest, and six words about each:

Ray Fenwick
fenwick
Words and pictures both very good.

Marian Bantjes
bantjes
We have one; it’s laser-cut awesomeness.

Jessica Hische
jhirsche
This will be a tshirt soon.

Si Scott
siscott
Pen in hand, makes his mark.

Niels “Shoe” Meulman
shoe
calligraffiti inventor. Yep, how it sounds.

Seb Lester
seb1
Silver on black plike. Pretty rad.

Yulia Brodskaya
yulia
OMG that’s quilling? That’s insane yo.

Font-y Friday: Splendid Slabs

April 3, 2009

zapatarosewod archer_sampleclarendon freightapex girardthe_serif

Owen and I are big fans of slab serifs (and clarendons, for those who make the distinction) — they feel simultaneously classic and contemporary, and often feel fresher than a sans serif. Here are a few of our favorites; many of these typefaces are also available at MyFonts which we think is a great site.

Row 1:
Zapata
— An absurdly extended clarendon that is fun without looking too goofy.

Rosewood — I remember seeing Rosewood Fill (without the circusy outline) for the first time in 1998 and thinking it was awesome. Sadly, since then it has been used to death and we kind of avoid it.

Row 2:
Archer
— Archer is at the top of our fonts-we-want list. You can see it put to great use all over Martha Stewart’s brand. (It was initially commisioned of H&FJ for Martha Stewart Homes)

Clarendon Text — We bought this cut of Clarendon — which has been regularized a bit to make it work for text — for a book we designed about the Center for Land Use Interpretation‘s residency in Houston. The lovely brown highway signs that mark national parks are set in Clarendon (or were until recently) and it has a good “Texas look,” so it seemed a perfect fit.

Row 3:
Freight Micro — Previously on top of our fonts-we-want list; now on top of the fonts-we’ve-bought list. The angles on the italics are beautiful and unexpected — and basically just pretty frickin’ awesome.

Apex Serif — The slab serif of the Apex family (Apex Sans, Apex Serif and Apex New), it’s one of our old favorites. Until recently, we felt it was a secret from the world — I guess the party’s over now that Best Buy has started using Apex New on their signage, store circulars and website.

Row 4:
Girard Slab — The latest slab to draw our attention, it has lots of great ligatures and looks like it would be a lot of fun to work with.

The Serif — Luc de Groot’s superfamily Thesis outdoes all contenders in sheer volume; there’s the original sans, serif and mix, each in eight weights, small caps and italics. Since 2000 he’s contiuned with it, adding some new weights and a mono-spaced version. Quantity aside, The Serif is quite beautiful, and stays so from light to black.

Grain Edit/House Industries giveaway

April 1, 2009

girard-blocks

Grain Edit, one of my new favorite design blogs has teamed up with one of my favorite font shops, House Industries, for their latest giveaway. The prizes are objects from House’s new line of fonts and products based on the work of Alexander Girard. I’m really liking Girard Slab; it has some awesome ligatures.

I highly recommend heading over to Grain Edit before April 10th to enter.

Vintage paper sample

March 18, 2009

grainedit_woodtype

Three Potato Four is a great online shop that has a really cool, very well curated mix of design-y and vintage products. On their blog, I ran across this fantastic paper sample from 1966. I love the use of color and am pretty much always a fan of wood type.

Lacey Papercuts

March 17, 2009

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This cut paper typography by Hina Aoyama is some of the best art I’ve seen in a long time. I love how delicate and intricate her work is. To view more pieces, click here.

Via Uppercase

New at our Etsy shop: Mother’s Day Cards

March 17, 2009

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We’ve just added some new Mother’s Day card to our Etsy shop. We’ve been having a lot of fun with hand-drawn type lately, and while there is a lot going on on the card, but we are pretty happy with the results.

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Click here for a few other Mom’s Day appropriate cards.

Mother’s Day is May 10th (in the US and Canada, at least).

The latest diversion

March 12, 2009

A great way to waste time while honing your type skills:

Deep Font Challenge

via I Love Typography