“Designing Zapfino Arabic takes everything I ever learned about type design and then some… Have never, ever, worked on anything this challenging.” — Facebook status: Oct. 24, 2013
In my recent article on The First Book Printed in Italy, I introduce the first books printed by Sweynheym and Pannartz in the Subiaco monastery complex in the Sabine hills to the west of Rome from 1465.
On Twitter, in a great deal more than 140 characters, I received this enthusiastic barrage of Tweets:
Welcome to this month’s roundup of type-related info and entertainment. Today, we make Helvetica cookies, tumble for ligatures, uncover a longstanding typesetting mistake by the New York Times, ponder typefaces for cities, get reacquainted with ASCII art, prognosticate about responsive fonts of the future, get to know font designer Carlos Fabián Camargo Guerrero, talk about printed choreographic notation, visit New York City’s typographically rich tiled subway stations, and more.
Most will be familiar with the name Francesco Griffo, born in Bologna in 1450, and forever associated with the Venetian printer-publisher Aldus Manutius for whom he designed and cut roman, Greek, and the first italic fonts. Their partnership was an especially fruitful one and their collaboration at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries has influenced type design ever since. To this day, in Spain, the italic is known as the letra grifa after its namesake.
GT Sectra is a serif typeface combining the calligraphic influence of the broad nib pen with the sharpness of the scalpel. This sharpness defines its contemporary look.
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Welcome to this month’s roundup of type-related info and entertainment. Today, we delve into endangered alphabets, examine the best book covers of 2014, revisit Æsop’s fables, ponder automotive text interfaces, salivate over chocolate typography, greet the new Swedish national typeface, lament a famous neon sign, review Chip Kidd teaching kids about graphic design, and much much more.
Sweynheym and Pannartz are credited with introducing printing to Italy via their press at the monastery of Santa Scolastica at Subiaco, outside of Rome in 1465. They appear to have been relatively successful, even sending quite a number of their books to Rome itself. However, in 1467 they move their press to Rome, where by 1473 they were all but out of business. However, in addition to being Italy’s first typographers, they were the first to print a Latin Bible in roman type (ISTC: ib00535000; Type: 2:115R)
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Welcome to this month’s roundup of type-related info and entertainment. Today, we dip our toes into some controversial typographic decision making over at Apple; we talk about typography as a societal problem solver (or not); we discuss the evolution of emoji and the invention of the octothorpe; we show you type made out of hands, arms, buildings, lakes, and rivers; we check out Norway’s new passports; we look at Medieval ASCII art; and much more.
St. Catherine, bad feet, & the first italic
Whenever we think about the invention of the italic typeface we invariably think of the year 1501, when the italic type, commissioned by Aldus Manutius and cut by Griffo, was employed to set a new series of small pocket books, first published in 1501.
Although I’m always dealing with letters in my work, embarking on a type design project is rather the exception. My main occupation, ‘Lettering’, varies from commission to commission and projects tend to last for short periods of time with widely different outcomes. Type projects normally extend for a longer period of time and, from my perspective, are very enjoyable until the moment I get into the rough path of type production: months spent looking at boxes of black letter shapes, dealing with letter spacing and kerning pairs. It demands considerable motivation that, in my case, only arises from the personal belief that I have a very good idea.
It’s been a good couple of months for font releases. And there are many more than I could list here (and many more that I am, unfortunately, blissfully unaware of). I can hardly keep up. Anyway, here are eight typefaces (comprising a total 126 fonts) that caught my eye. I no longer do comments on ILT, so if you have something to say, then ping me on Twitter. And, if you so desire, append the hashtag #ILTFonts, so that I can find them. Enjoy:
Welcome to this month’s roundup of type-related info and entertainment. Today, we learn some important typographic pronunciations, figure out how to work with layered web fonts, watch Mark Simonson talk about offset lithography, revisit the 1970 New York City Transit Authority graphics standards manual, see what medieval scribes were doodling in the margins of their texts, read up on the printing trade in India, check out some fonts based on the handwriting of the homeless, see a typewriter modded to use Comic Sans, learn how to make graffiti using moss, and much, much more.