I Love Typography

Welcome to I Love Typography

I collect samples of ‘type’ wherever I go, usually recording it with a photograph. The simple aim of this blog is to record and share those findings, and to get your typographic juices flowing.

I intend to broaden this site’s scope in time; ideally, I’d love to make it all things type, with numerous resources, biographies of typographers, a glossary of typography terms, and … lots of other very useful, entertaining and, well, interesting stuff.

If things on this page look a little awry, then that’s because I’m still building the site. Should be ready for general consumption by the end of August 2007.

In the meantime, if you have any comments or suggestions, then let me know. Would be great to hear from you.


Can you name this typeface? The one used to set “40”. Hint: it’s a Japanese road sign.

  1. I’m going to guess Avant Garde. The 0’s in your sign and the font specimen I’m looking at are identical, both kind of squared off at the top and bottom, though the 4 on your sign is a little thinner, but maybe it’s just the angle. Am I right? Do I win a prize??

    (hehe, the Captcha word was font… was that intentional?)

  2. johno

    I’m impressed. I’m pretty sure it’s Avant Garde Gothic Medium. You certainly do deserve a prize (I’ll have to think of something).
    Yes, the captcha words are all type-related (let’s hope spam-bots can’t read that;) ).

  3. Love this blog, and the layout is very interesting!

  4. Sven

    Great Idea for a blog, looking forward to more great post! The web needs to get excited about typography.

  5. John, I never said how much I love the style of this blog. I am really admiring the way you did the date and the number of comments for each post on the home page. It’s genius! I’ve never seen it that way before and I think most people would’ve just used an image. Yours is pure CSS. Amazing! And beautiful :)

    Were you greatly inspired by Miguel Ripoll? How long did it take you to develop this theme? Where did you draw your ideas from?

  6. This is FF Din

  7. johno

    Thank you.

    Thank you. Yes, let’s hope we can spread a little more enthusiasm about typography.

    You made my day. I think the curly brackets were “inspired” by Miguel Ripoll’s web sites. When I started on this site’s design, I had intended to design something freer, something a little less restrained, but it just didn’t happen.

    The design really didn’t take very long. I had the initial idea in a cafe and sketched the design along with some notes for content. However, there are many details I wish to change…so not finished yet.

    It’s not FF Din. The zero is similar, but all the FF Din fonts have open fours. The 4 in the sample above is closed.

  8. With the majority of ‘blog - like - communities’ I’ve found really focusing on the web 2.0 trend , css and web standards - its nice to see one about the little things that really matter!

  9. johno

    I appreciate your feedback. I look forward to seeing you here again.

  10. Subscribed to your feed — this looks and feels very interesting!

  11. Julian
    Thank you. Almost up to 1000 subscriptions thus far. I’m thrilled that people are still interested in typography. Many thanks for your subscription.

  12. You’re welcome. Thank you very much for the comment on my current post!

    It doesn’t surprise me so much that people are interested in typography — design is more important every day and I think typography is a good deal of design (though most people probably aren’t aware of this).

  13. 1,000 subscribers??? Are you serious? Have you been promoting at all? If not, then you must have some friends in some very high places that are promoting for you! WOW! Congrats, John. That’s an amazing accomplishment!

    P.S. I know you’re still working on the design, but when you get a chance can you add a Recent Posts widget to the sidebar? I find that very helpful when surfing a blog.

  14. Lauren
    I’m more surprised than anyone. I’ve done nothing to promote it, but it has scores of incoming links and has been featured on several of those Gallery sites and dozens of blogs (some of them very popular ones).

    The Redsil blog has been up much longer, but only has half as many subscribers. To be honest I only anticipated a handful of readers. It’s a very pleasant surprise that there’s so much enthusiasm for typography.

    I’m now writing like crazy. I have lots of ideas for posts, just need more time.

    I shall add “Recent Posts”—yes, it’s very useful to have, and very frustrating when it’s not there. Thanks for the reminder. Just shout if there’s something else you think might improve the site.

  15. Well I’m truly happy for you John! I can’t wait to read all you have to share about typography. And I hope I’ll always hold a special place among your thousands of subscribers because I was the first commentator :D

  16. Avant Garde looks similar, but my guess is Pennsylvania Bold. How about if you enable images in comments? :)

    Perspective of photo (almost) corrected:

    Perspective edited, space added and cropped:

    Pennsylvania Bold Example:

    Avant Garde Gothic Example:

  17. Hmmmm, your right, it’s avant garde gothic medium. I had to look at linotype again, and yeah, looks more like it now. Weird. The 4 looks a bit taller on the sign, think that’s what made me think it is Pennsilvania.

    Damnit :p

  18. Manuel
    I fixed the images for you. You should be able to add images with the regular html tags: img src=….

    That’s impressive. It makes this blog worth all the effort when people comment, and your comment is certainly worthy of note. I really appreciate it. Pennsylvania Regular certainly looks very close. However, I took a close look at the original high-res photo (in hindsight, I should have posted a link to that) and noticed this (Pennsylvania Regular at about 388pt (left); original photo (right):

    Pennsylvania  Regular vs Avant Garde Gothic Medium

    Note the lack of a curve at the top of the counter (perhaps that’s just the photo) and—more significantly—the extension of the cross bar beyond the stem.

    Here’s a better angle and high-res photo.

  19. ichiro

    The font used in Japanese road signs is “ナールD” — pronounced as [när dē].
    ナールD is a commercial Japanese font developed in 1973 by Sha-Ken Co., Ltd., and it’s been used in Japanese road signs since then.

  20. Ichiro
    That’s Great! Thanks very much! I’d never heard of Naru-D.

    There’s an entry in Wikipedia (Japanese only), where in the last paragraph it says that Naru-D is used on Japanese traffic signs.


    Since you named the font, I was able to find out that it was designed by Hiroshi Nakamura (I think).

    Unfortunately, I cannot find examples of the numerals, and neither can I find Naru-D for download. Anyone out there have it?

  21. Ichiro

    I’m glad I could help you.

    I forgot to mention that ナールD is a font for phototypesetting, and not available as a “digital font” (a computer font file).

    I guess the only way to get the outline data (in .eps format) is to place an order at a local Sha-Ken agency, because somehow Sha-Ken does not have a web site.

  22. Ichiro

    That’s why I couldn’t find it! I’m surprised they don’t have a web site. Perhaps I could visit them, or take a step-ladder and some tracing paper out onto the road this evening. Not sure how I’d explain that one, if the police drove by.
    Thanks again for solving the mystery. You deserve a medal, or at least an iLT T-Shirt!

  23. Welcome to the neighborhood.

    As a book layout artist I’ve learned to be content with the types my clients have chosen. I even have my favorites from what’s been presented to me. As a book designer, however, I’ve only realized of late that selecting the exact right typeface for a book can sometimes be like having an itch I can’t scratch.

    I think it started when I somewhat innocently—just wondered in print, really—asked: What’s the first font comes to mind for body text each time you begin a book design project; and do you usually stick with that choice or say something like, “Yes, I really like that font, but it’s time to work with something else”? That was question number 3 in my Four (Sometimes Multi-Part) Questions for Book Designers.

    I got a number of expected answers and some surprising ones. (Anybody who designs books and hasn’t taken part should still feel free to follow my link and take part in the survey.) Lately—I look the survey over periodically—it’s gotten me to starting to explore just what it would take to begin to design some type of my own. And to thinking about what I would want in my ideal text body type.

    So your blog is, for me, a most welcome addition to the -osphere.

  24. Stephen
    Thank you. You raise some thought-provoking questions. I will be returning to your site for further updates. Perhaps you would like to be a guest author on iLT. Type/book design is certainly something I’d like to cover.

  25. Yes, I think I’d like to guest-blog on I Love Typography. Why don’t you gather some thoughts on what you’d like me to write about—sort of like an assigning me an article. That would make it very interesting for me, as—on my own blog—I tend to allow myself a little more flexibility, during the course of a posting, to meander away from where I start out. Focusing on the topic you ask me about would be a little different, a little more traditional than I normally let myself get away with. I think I’d like that.

    I’d also like to invite any of your readers who may be interested to take a gander at my blog. And, specifically, if there’s anyone reading who is a practicing book designer, please participate in my survey Four (Sometimes Multi-Part) Questions for Book Designers.

  1. Clipping Paths 10—Aug 25, 2007

next post: Helmut Schmid

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