Sunday Type: Feel Type

Sayonara 2007

Welcome to the last Sunday Type of 2007. It has certainly been an interesting year. I recently received an email from a reader pointing out that the links to my archives, prior to August 2007 are missing. Well, of course, that’s because iLT didn’t come into existence until that month; it certainly feels as though we’ve been here a lot longer than that.

A little audiovisual stimulation to get us started. I really like these new 30-second spot commercials for British Airways.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to typeforyou.org for the link

How would you like your Garamond, Ma’am?

A really quite wonderful article, Garamond vs Garamond—physiologie d’un caractère typographique, by Peter Gabor, taking a closer look at the different flavours of Garamond. No doubt there are many Garamond fans among you; but which one? Adobe’s Garamond, Simoncini, Stempel, ITC?

Garamond

Barney has very kindly taken the time to translate the entire article into English: Garamond v Garamond—Physiology of a Typeface. Thank you, Barney). I can’t describe how impressed I am with this article—it’s beautifully written too. Reading this was the highlight of my week—not sure what that reveals about me and my life. Anyway, I wonder what Claude Garamond would make of these? And what about the other Garamonds that don’t bear the name?

Garamond's many flavours

Many thanks to the eagle-eyed Manuel Martensen for sending me the link.

I also like this cover from the PDF magazine, Blanket. Some interesting text treatments inside too. I don’t like that drop-shadow under the text on the cover, but overall…nice.

blanket.jpg

You can download the PDF from fontanel. The Aqua Issue set in Teardrop, with Canstop used for titling—both freebies from Dafont. Neither font is a masterpiece of type design, but they are fun, and they work well in this context.

In my interview with type designer Neil Summerour, he mentioned the work of Alejandro Paul. You may have spotted Alejandro in the comments to that article. Well, I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned his web site before, so here it is: sudtipos.com. And here’s a little taste of his rather gorgeous Feel Script,

feel-script.png

There’s also a short piece on Erik Spiekermann’s blog that I like. Always interesting to know how type designers feel about the use and abuse of their typefaces. The article is called Dublin Type.

iLT in 2008

I have a number of type-related plans for 2008. First is a news site that’s like Digg but just for type-related news; if it ain’t type, then it’s not news. Not sure what to call the site yet. The working title is type nuts (type-related news). I thought it would be nice to have all the type-related news in one place; and also a good way to further promote all things type. It would also be interesting to see which kind of news items are most popular. So, if you publish a type-related article, or you come across something that gets your typographic juices flowing, then you can submit it to typenuts.

typenuts1.png

The site will go live some time in January. Also, I haven’t forgotten the typography wiki; I’m in the process of starting the design from scratch again—it will be very simple to look at, and hopefully very simple to find your way around. More on that later.

wiki950.gif

I’d really welcome any comments and suggestions you may have—especially on the typenuts news site. Just leave a comment below or send me a mail. I’ll also be redesigning this site a little to make it more easily navigable.

Coming soon (2008!)

Next up we have another 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography. I think I’ll make this a regular feature (publishing a list every quarter, then a review of the best of the best at the close of each year.). If you missed the first one, you can find it here.

And if you haven’t already played with TypeFlash, then….

And finally…

I would love to hear your feedback on iLT in 2007. Do you have a favourite article? Is there something you’d like to see more of in 2008? A huge thank you to all those who have contributed to iLT. And an extra big (100pt) thank you to Alec Julien for his three articles—So You Want to Create a Font, parts one and two and his Joules Font Case Study; to Julie Elman for her The apostrophe doesn’t swing both ways; to Cody Curley for his review of The Logo, Font and Lettering Bible; to Dan Reynolds for his review of Counterpunch; and to Kris Sowersby and Neil Summerour for being such great interviewees. If I listed everyone, it would start to sound like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar acceptance speech, so I’ll just say thank you! I hope that you all have a very happy, productive, creative and typographically exquisite New Year! See you in 2008.


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  1. Hi! Been lurking here since August and wanted to thank you for iLT!
    I’m very interested in the Typography Wiki and typenuts, looking forward to seeing them.
    As a total typographic newcomer your articles on “Typography Terms” are interesting and I would really love to see more along those lines, I also enjoyed reading the “So You Want to Create a Font” series by Alect Julien, though I’m still struggling with my first typeface. :)
    Then it’s always interesting to when you pick some designers brain!
    All in all, you’re doing a fantastic job and I’m looking forward to a new year filled with typographic knowledge.
    New year wishes from Reykjavík!

  2. Oooh, I like that Garamond comparison! I knew there were differences in the ones produced by all the foundries, but it’s helpful to see them illustrated. I don’t know a lick of French, but there are pictures :) I think I like the Garamond ITC the best. It seems to have the most character (ha, no pun intended).

    I like the idea of publishing 15 top picks for good web typography (perhaps this can also include CSS articles on achieving good web type?). Looking forward to those!!

    Favorite articles from 2007: the ones on the different classifications of type and the interviews with type designers.

    Can’t wait for more iLT!! The wiki will be a great resource. Speaking of which… I need to contribute a points/picas seed for you… hrmm… (hunting for time…)

  3. This site has been a great resource for learning more about typography so I’m looking forward to seeing how your new projects progress. They seem like they’ll be great resources as well.

    Happy And Healthy New Year Everybody!

  4. Ómar
    I’m pleased you’ve been such a loyal lurker; and even happier that you’ve commented. Hope that 2008 is good for you and for Reykjavík. Any other readers out there from Reykjavík?

    Lauren
    Thanks for your input. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, but you wrote iLT’s 2000th comment; quite a coincidence since you were also the first person ever to leave a comment. The Google translate does a pretty good job of translating that article. It’s given me an idea for a future post(s); just about all the major foundries have their versions of all the ‘classics’—it might be interesting to compare them, in much the same way as Peter compared the different revivals of Garamond.

    Chris
    I think you’ve been around since the beginning too. Thanks again for your support. A great 2008 to you too.

  5. Congrats iLT for the runaway success and popularity in ‘07! The enthusiasm of all the readers and the hard work of you, Johno, means iLT just gets better and better and better… :) Looking forward to ‘08.

    About Alejandro Paul’s work: I checked out his site from your link and went “Oooh!” out loud (which seems to be a frequent reaction of mine to type stuff). I love pretty much all of the typefaces, and I love being able to just move the mouse over a name and see what it looks like. The “Mousse Script” looks thick as pudding, almost edible. Well done, Alejandro!

    As for picking a favorite article from the year, well, being a type-neophyte, I’d have to say I most enjoyed the ones that teach me stuff, as in Who Shot The Serif, et al. But all the articles are quite enjoyable.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  6. Leah

    The “Mousse” script looks thick as pudding…

    That one just made it into my 2007 memorable quotations. Thanks for all your lurking and comments in 2007.

  7. Cheers and happy new year to everyone here at the greatest website in the known universe!

  8. Wow, that Feel Script is stunning! A typography news aggregator is a fabulous idea, Johno. I don’t think there is anything like a del.icio.us/Digg/Reddit for typography out there right now, but it does sound hard to execute on. From what I’ve read, Digg and Reddit were full blown startups.

  9. As far as feedback goes: I’m not a designer, and have never paid attention to type other than in choosing them for the occasional flyer. Regardless of these things I’ve been following this blog and with great enjoyment ever since I subscribed to it a few weeks ago.

    The interviews are just the right length and ask good questions, and of course, the Sunday Type turns me on to cool things going on in typography.

    Highlight of my time reading iLT so far: After reading last week’s interview with Kris Sowersby (“cheeky Bembo!” still elicits a smile) I realized that the book I was reading (Miranda July’s “No one belongs here more than you”) was set in Bembo. At that point the world came together in a tiny point at the tip of my nose and exploded. It felt like like I was a nuclear Rudolph!

    Thanks for igniting me! Happy New Year.

  10. You are aware of Simon Daniels’ Typography News:

    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/links/default.aspx

    And the Typophile news aggregator:

    http://typophile.com/news

    right?

    And the now pretty extensive Typophile Typowiki:

    http://typophile.com/typowiki ?

  11. Ouch, some time I dont comment… but what made my week is to see a “1” in bold after “i love typography” in my rss feeder :)

    John that article about Garamond is great! Thanks for sharing it. This is about one of first things that puzzled me when I’m starting to be interested in type: “What, one more Garamond? uhh ‘Sabon’ is a Garamond too??? What is the difference?!?!?”

    This is what make typography a fabulous and beautiful think for me, the little “big” details…

    Long live iLT and a happy 2008 for you all!

    PS. I showed my Kinescope to some of my friends and all I got is ‘Uhh, nice… a font’, like when a show to some of my friends a
    Schwarzschild metric… I need new hobbys… ^__^

  12. John, cool! I didn’t know I was the 2000th commentor. Hehe. I should win a book! Oh! I already have! *grin* So when are those iLT t-shirts coming out? BTW, I downloaded the white wallpaper Zachary designed, the one where the iLT type is not reversed (it appears reversed though). And I looked into taking an intro to letterpress class, but it’s going to be well over $400 (USD) and I would miss 2 out of the 10 classes because I’m out of town :( Maybe next time…

    I would love to see those font comparisons you write up; your take on type is a major reason why I read this blog :) I’ll have to try out the Google translator on that page. The illustrations where good, but I bet the article itself is even more informative! As always, thank you for sharing and enlightening us on the world of type!

    P.S. Buffet Script soooo looks like it was inspired by the Clifton’s Cafeteria logo! To get a good look at it (the site is pretty horrible) go to HTML site > History > Vintage Post Cards and look at the green one. Similar, no?

  13. Oh, I love this article on Garamond — I didn’t know there were so many variations. (And I’m glad my français isn’t so bad). Thanks for the link!

    I’m looking forward to 2008. And I wish the best to you John!

  14. Alec
    Smile-inducing hyperbole :) Thanks.

    Jeff
    Type Nuts is also a fully blown startup—the only difference is that it’s starting capital is $10. The basic framework is completed. It’s certainly not an easy task, but I’ll take a shot at it :)

    Oleg
    Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.

    At that point the world came together in a tiny point at the tip of my nose and exploded. It felt like like I was a nuclear Rudolph!

    This one is another for my memorable quotations. Thanks for being part of the ‘ignition’.

    William
    Yes, I’m aware of those three wonderful resources, and many more. However, I do think that there’s room for another site dedicated to type-related news, just as there are numerous other-news news web sites. A different approach might also reach—I hope—an even wider audience.

    kazuo
    Our resident physicist is back!

    what made my week is to see a “1” in bold after “i love typography” in my rss feeder…

    That’s really nice to hear. I now have the Wikipedia article on the Schwarzschild Metric bookmarked to read.

    Schwarzschild Metric

    Lauren
    I’ll take a look at the logo and let you know what I think. I really like Candy Script—that and Mark Simmonson’s Kinescope are among some of my favourite scripts.

    Hamish
    Thanks for your numerous contributions, the wonderful typogrigy plugin and those gorgeous wallpapers.

  15. John, with iLT you’ve managed to achieve something that hasn’t been achieved by anyone in blogging before you, and I doubt that anyone would ever be able to do after you. This is the only blog that never talks about monetizing yet it grows and becomes more successful, loved and respected faster than all the Top 100 blogs on Technorati altogether. The best thing that happened because of you and your blog is the best and most passionate audience of this site, its loyal fans who are proud to belong to the club of TypeNuts, a.k.a. iLT.

    As for the feedback - I enjoyed all the articles on your blog, I would love to see more articles about Web typography, the lists of 15 Best Web typography sites would be very appreciated. Also, I was wondering if you could interview some female Type designers? Otherwise it looks like it’s strictly men-only-club of type designers out there. I’m not trying to be a feminist here, but I did some research and discovered many talented female type designers, and it made me wonder why are they not promoted as much as men, and why there are not as many female type designers after all?

    I love your idea about the digg-like TypeNut site - I’m always delighted to read your Sunday Type articles, so I look forward to more daily TypeNews out there. Good luck to you in all your endeavours. Keep up the great work with this blog, and keep inspiring us with all things type.

    Happy New year to you and every TypeNut reading iLT! Let your TypeLove never extinct and let it stay as contagious for others to fall in love with type and of course, iLT :-)

  16. Hyperbole?!? My statement was purely objective. (I’ll have you know that I took an aesthetics class once, so I’m practically an expert on this sort of thing.)

    I can’t wait for the roll-out of the wiki and the typenuts site, both of which I’ve had the privilege to get a sneak peek at. Aesthetically-objective verdict: Awesome. It’s cool what you can do with $10, sometimes.

  17. I wish to you a great year and congratulations for this professional blog about type. I love all the articles, the interviews and the workshop. You write nicely and cleary. It’s a real treasure this blog, for all type-in-love people!

    Keep coming!
    Rogers

  18. Oh no, not another Typography Wiki :(

    For years, Typophile has been trying to harness the the community to create a great wiki resource. Actually, the lion’s share of the work on the wiki has been shouldered by fellow moderator Paul Hunt. I love online diversity, but some resources are best pulled together. I think we need two or three or who knows how many Typophile-like sites, but do we need two Wikipedia.org’s, for instance? I’m afraid an iLT wiki would dillute efforts for the Typophile Wiki. That would be very sad :( and here is one more sad emoticon, for good measure :(

    Another wiki I visit often is the German-language Typografie.info TypoWiki. I don’t think that this competes with the Typophile Wiki so much, since all of its entries are in German.

  19. I’m not all gloom and doom, Johno, your link to that Garamon article for instance has made my afternoon ;-) Happy new year everyone!

  20. Barney

    That article was fantastic. So much so that I did next to no productive work today and translated it into English instead:

    http://barneycarroll.com/garamond.htm

    Anglophonic readers: seriously recommended (all links missing by the way, sorry).

  21. No discussion of the various Garamonds would be complete without a reference to the delicious I hate ITC Garamond thread on Design Observer. See especially Jonathan Hoefler’s comment.

  22. Vivien
    Speechless. Where’s that blushing ‘emoticon’ when I need it? Thank you.

    Alec
    Now that’s a very agreeable ‘aesthetically-objective verdict’ :)

    Dan
    I started typing a response to your ‘do we need another wiki’, but it soon became inordinately long. The world is full of duplicates and of overlapping information; we have myriad newspapers and books. I have dozens of type-related books, magazines and journals. Why not just one type book for each area of typography? Because I like (as I’m sure you do) to hear different voices. I also have numerous dictionaries, and I consult numerous encyclopaedias when doing any serious research. The publication of a new type book (any book, for that matter) in no way dilutes extant material. Some of us read The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian; others read the red tops or so-called tabloids; others still, read them all. Ah, you see what I mean by the potential for this response to be overly long. Suffice to say, I do not see the Wiki as competing with any other; in much the same way as I do not see this blog competing with others. It’s a big bus, and there’s always room for one more.

    On this one, I’m just following my instinct (I could be wrong), but it just feels like something I want and need to do.

    Pleased you enjoyed the Garamond article. It made my day too. Today I wrote the first draft of a review of Unger’s While You’re Reading. Love this book. O, and BTW, you win the most sad-face ‘emoticons’ used in a comment prize. Not sure what I’ll send you; I’ll think of something.

    Rogers
    Thank you. I’ll certainly keep ‘em coming.

    Barney
    You’re a star. Really appreciate that. I’m sure many other readers will too. I’ll put a link to it in the article.

    William
    Yes, a great link. We’re certainly left in no doubt as to Jonathan Hoefler’s opinion of ITC Garamond. Interesting page on the Garamonds in While You’re Reading where Unger quotes an exchange on the different versions of Garamond,

    As long as you don’t start talking about that smooth, feeble, ITC. with its amputated ascenders and descenders.—page 141

    And Steven Heller’s comment made me smile:

    Forgive me for changing the the subject, but if George W. Bush were a typeface, he’d be ITC Garamond.

    And Erik Spiekermann’s:

    ITC Garamond looks like a typeface with bell bottoms. All the proportions are wrong – when it bends down, you can see its butt cheeks.

    I’ll never again be able to look at ITC Garamond while eating.

    Well, it is now 2008 in Japan, so a truly Happy New Year to you all.

    Note: apologies for the multiple Unger quotes; I’m having something of an Unger day.

  23. iLT has been an amazing resource for me and I’m sure it has inspired many people to start designing their own typefaces. I’m not sure how I discovered iLT, but I haven’t missed a post since your very first.

    Can’t wait to see TypeNuts and the TypeWiki and lots more posts! I can’t get enough. It’s a shame that there’s only a couple posts a week when I wouldn’t mind reading a couple each day. (But I know you have a life outside iLT)

    Keep them coming and I promise I’ll show some love and send you a donation soon. Your good work can’t go unrewarded.

  24. Johno,
    I’m glad you liked my description of Mousse Script! :) Also, I’m glad that so many readers wrote to say how much we prize this website. It’s good to have year-end reviews/compliments. You deserve them.

    Vivien,
    I’m with you on wanting to see interviews or features on female type designers. Oh and, being a feminist ain’t a bad thing. ;) But I know what you mean — we’re not burning our bras here, it’s just fair to represent the female portion of the type design community. I’m sure Johno just hasn’t gotten around to it yet. :)

    Oleg,
    Loved your “nuclear Rudolph” image! :) It was great, and made me smile.

    Everyone,
    I was in the middle of reading the piece on Design Observer about ITC Garamond, when I came across this quote, which made me laugh out loud and cringe, simultaneously. Thought I’d share this scatological joke, which falls into the category of “Now That’s a Put-Down!”

    The most distinctive element of the typeface is its enormous lower-case x-height. In theory this improves its legibility, but only in the same way that dog poop’s creamy consistency in theory should make it more edible.

  25. Your stylesheet isn’t loading.

  26. I was going to quote Michael Beirut on Garamond ITC, but Leah beat me to it. One of my favourite type quotes.

    Thanks for a lot of info & fun since August. Happy New Year!

  27. Johno
    All right, point taken. Good luck with the wiki. I’m sure that we will all enjoy using it.

  28. Leigh

    But isn’t the name “Typenuts” already used for the iLT comic strip?

  29. Leigh
    You’re not supposed to notice that ;)
    I’m open to suggestions.

  30. Happy New Year Johno, and everyone else out there!

    I’ve been looking forward to 2008, and now that I read what’s coming up here on iLT, I’m even more excited!

    Good luck!

  31. I’ll start off with a big…
    明けましておめでとう!
    今年もiLT頑張ろう!(笑)

    Wow, I finally gathered some time together over this New Years holiday to get back into the comments. I’ve been a little allover the place with the new job and friends visiting Tokyo.

    What a great year for typography. There have been some great additions of the stupid amount of fonts out there and personally on top of the achievements comes iLT. Even though we are only half a year into the site, there has been so much information spread around the site that it’s becoming hard not to notice this monster.

    I’m sure 2008 will prove to be even more successful and informative.

    Best of luck with everything Johno and, as always, feel free to ask for anything… as long as it’s not sexual favors, I don’t swing ;)

    Happy New Year everyone!

  32. Dan’s initial reaction to a new wiki was right on. Of course there should be multiple venues for information — be it books, newspapers, websites, etc. But a wiki is a very different medium. Its sources are varied by its very nature. Sigh. Well, you know my thoughts on this topic already. I just think your efforts would be better spent on this fine blog and elsewhere.

    Congrats on an impressive 2007 and here’s to iLT’s future.

  33. The occasional but strong negative reaction to the very idea of another typography wiki is very interesting to me, and, frankly, says to me that you’re probably doing the right thing, Johno. If it were a useless, benign task, nobody would care, right? I for one embrace the iLT wiki and wish it well. And if it’s unnecessary or redundant, it will just fade into obscurity; if it’s unique and interesting, it will thrive. Let’s be supportive and see what happens.

    One thing I will note is that the licensing behind the iLT wiki and the Typophile wiki are different, and the iLT licensing is a pretty good reason to get behind the iLT wiki.

  34. Barney

    Right on.

    Typophile’s wiki is more of a dictionary than an encyclopaedia as far as I see it, and is a bit too skinned-on to the Typophile.com frame — in that the subject copy is often the smallest and least attended-to element. I’d be very excited to see the development of iLT wiki, taking into account the lively but sober contribution of the community in these blog comments.

    Looking forward to what you have in store for us in 2008 Johno. Would like to give more critical feedback, but I’m just happy to read. Plow on!

    PS: I translated the article into English, from French. Little typo in your edit. ;)

  35. Barney
    Well spotted. Translating from French to French would be…interesting ;)
    Thanks again.

  36. I agree with Stephen on the typowiki. I think it is in the nature of a wiki that it is best to have one.

    First, it is collaborative, with the more voices the better. There is no one editorial voice—as you can have with news. You enhance the quality of entries by including and encouraging everyone and anyone with knowledge of the subject to create and revise the entries.

    Second, a wiki is designed to have a huge number of topics, so the access to them in a single place helps both creators and readers.

    So I think it is great to have a variety of news outlets, with different viewpoints but not a variety of wikis. The variety is already in the format.

    You could argue also that we also don’t need anything beyond the wikipedia itself. The only advantage of a typowiki is that on Typophile you have a lot of regular visitors on that topic, so you have a chance to recruit them for entries. I notice that the Wikipedia articles on type topics regularly cite the Typowiki articles.

  37. nomes

    Keep up the good work.

  38. Stephen & William
    Thank you for your input. I shall certainly consider what you’ve written before making a final decision. Thanks again for your support of iLT.

  39. Interesting to see this article from the controversial Peter Gabor translated into English. This article like may of his articles is not very good. He simply mix up basics as usual, Garamond versus Jannon. This usual mistake shouldn’t be possible today by someone who call himself, an erudit, just because of the Beatrice Warde article dating back from more than 80 years now.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Warde

    More than that, this person generally never publish on his blog, comments who don’t agree with his view. Wrong attitude.

    ***

    Good luck with iLT for 2008!! :)

  40. Barney

    Gabor’s article certainly doesn’t contain any remarkable insight or any unique observations, but it’s a good case of methodical analysis to remind the lazier among us.

    Did you notice any glaring errors in the French article, Jean-Francois? Technical translations are intimidating.

  41. Jean François
    Thanks for that insight. I didn’t realise he was quite so controversial.
    Thanks too for the Beatrice Warde link.

    Hope that you and Porchez typofonderie have a successful 2008!

  42. Wow I didn’t know that there where that many Garamonds. I really like the Typenuts news idea. I don’t think you could ever get to much type information in your system. I’m also excited for the new wiki, 2008 is off to an awesome start :) Good Stuff!

  43. Being very new to your site, this is my favourite post so far! Sounds like you’ve had some great articles in 2007 and are doing some good things in 2008. I will subscribe to keep up with it all!
    Cheers.

  44. kristarella
    Thanks, and welcome to iLT. I think we met over at Lauren’s blog. I look forward to seeing you here again.

  45. Thanks! Yes, we did.

  46. Being very new to your site, this is my favourite post so far! Sounds like you’ve had some great articles in 2007 and are doing some good things in 2008. I will subscribe to keep up with it all! Cheers.

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