I Love Typography

Sunday Type: Mel Gibson Type

The Serifless Roman

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Type. I hope that everyone had a good week. It’s been an especially busy week, with more than the usual number of emails through iLT. Kris Sowersby’s Why Bembo Sucks article was incredibly popular. There are some more great articles to come from Kris.

Let’s get started with a great new type from Carl Crossgrove. It’s a ‘modulated sans serif’ by the name of Beorcana (pronounced: byor-KON-ah):

the lovely Beorcana

For more information and a PDF sample, see Carl’s Beorcana web site. You can find out more about Carl and his typefaces on Terrestrial Design. Here’s one of my personal favourites, Origami:


Difficult to classify in conventional schemes, Beorcana could be described as a serifless roman, as it retains the proportions and contrast of Renaissance Roman typefaces. It could also be described as a modulated or calligraphic sans, as it has no proper serifs, just swellings and taperings. In that sense it is a hybrid…

iPhone wallpapers

Last week I mentioned some of the new Veer iPhone wallpapers. I’ve created some of my own. Ferl free to download them. And of course, you can submit your own.


Where art meets type

Everything You Thought We’d Forgotten is a series of text-based interactive works. Some very novel and interesting ideas:

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to Robert for the link.


Some time ago I wrote that I’m developing a type-related news web site. It’s nearing completion; mostly just the details of the design to iron out.


There are myriad type-related news items out there, and not space enough to mention them all here, as iLT is geared toward longer articles—so typenuts.com was born. You’ll be able to submit and vote for news items; I’m hoping that it will become a great resource and archive of type-related news. So long as the news is related to type, it will be in there, so new font releases, etc will be there too and you’ll be able to subscribe to all or to specific channels of your choice. I’ll let you all know when I launch.

Free Font

Recently I mentioned Stefan Hattenbach’s beautiful Anziano. I especially like the small caps, and you can now download them for free. But be warned: use them and you’ll fall in love with them.

Anziano SmallCaps

If you decide to buy it, there are numerous wonderfully drawn ornaments included. Here is a small taster:


And on a lighter note…

In the comments to my FontBook review, I paraphrased Mel Gibson’s words in BraveHeart. Hamish, kindly watched the entire movie again and took this screen grab:


In fact, I was so thoroughly impressed by Hamish’s work, that I thought I’d make a competition out of it. Here’s what you have to do:

Preferably choose a movie that most are familiar with (though it’s not obligatory), and find a role for FontBook. I can either choose a winner, or you can vote on them; your decision. I’m trying to work one into Casablanca. The winner will receive a copy of Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style. Just mail your entries to jboardley{at}gmail{dot}com, mentioning FontBook in the subject line.

Miscellaneous links

1. A PDF article on .net magazine: Better Web Typography.

2. Smashing Magazine’s incredible January Roundup with several type-related entries. I especially like the Better Ordered Lists item.

3. Some time ago, Emigre promised that as their stock of back issues sold out, they’d re-publish some of the content on their web site. I like this one: The Art of Type Founding.

Competition results

During my review of FontBook I asked if you could identify the three types I used in the header. 86 correct entries went into the hat and out came Miha, a design student from Slovenia. Miha wins a copy of Helmut Schmid’s Typography Today.

The winning answers: FF Meta Serif black italic; Officina bold, and Scala Sans regular. Thanks to everyone for their submissions. Interestingly no-one chose the correct weight for FF Meta Serif italic, but it’s difficult to tell when it’s reversed out (light on dark).

Coming up…

A great interview with the man behind the Porchez Typofonderie and designer of Le Monde, Sabon Next and Ambroise, Jean François Porchez; and some more great articles from Kris Sowersby. Alec Julien has also been working hard on a series of video tutorials. They’ll be posted soon; I think you’re going to like them.

And finally

Thanks to everyone for their continued support of iLT. We’ve now passed one million page views. It really is great to receive your emails and to read your comments. That reminds me: February 8th marks iLT’s six-month birthday—how time flies! Have a great Sunday, folks.


  1. I made my own discovery of Stefan Hattenbach’s Anziano whilst catching up on some FontShop newsletters a few weeks ago. As you say Johno, it’s certainly a beautiful type - what with showcasing the ornaments, I take it you have made your purchase?

    Oh, and I appreciate the little fanfare for Sunday Type’s header :-)

  2. Thomas
    That Anziano header will reappear some time in the future. I’ve now changed it for one set in Beorcana. I don’t have a license for Beorcana (sadly, I can’t buy every type I like, or I’d be penniless). And re Anziano: just a review license. Thanks for dropping by, Thomas.

  3. RogueJunkie

    Thanks for my Sunday fix, John!

    Colour in the header? Other than red? Have you gone mad?!

    I have some ideas for the FontBook cometition, so expect something different.I don’t know if I’m being too critical, but I think the “Typenuts” kerning is a bit tight in “Ty”. It might be just me. But I like it. Also loved the ornaments in Anziano (I’m REALLY going to have to charge you if I keep buying stuff I see here).

    Anyways, thanks for all the cool links and news; it should set me up until Wednesday!!

  4. Love the Iphone wallpaper!

    I’m giving away a copy of Helvetica the Movie if any of your readers are interested in entering.


  5. I’m loving Beorcana! I’ve been really into fonts similar to this one recently, and this is my favorite so far. Wish I had the money to buy fonts these days.

  6. miha

    huray, I am going to get a book, I can’t believe it:D Well, John, in case you still want to send it in Slovenia, I sent you a mail:)

    Comment on article: Beorcana is an excellent typeface, and it’s special too. Well, I’ve also noticed that you changed banner from Anziano to Beorcana - I just had to mention this:D

    As RogueJunkie said, this is my Sunday fix too - iLT2:)

    And looking forward how TypeNuts will look like.

  7. stupidlovesong

    it’s almost completely off, but could anyone help me to identify the typeface used on this cover:
    thanks in advance….

  8. Hello Johno,

    Thanks so much for spending a portion of your sunday on this post! I am a new subscriber and this link to download Anziano made my day.

  9. stupidlovesong - The font you’re looking for is Caslon Antique. In the future, use Typophile for font ID requests.

  10. I’m glad you’re turning the Mel Gibson joke into a contest, your way of re-phrasing it was priceless, looks forward to other typemoviegems ;-) Good luck with TypeNuts site. Is it going to have the white text on the black background?

  11. Haha, thanks for posting it John! It was fun to make (and you gotta love Braveheart.)

    I encourage everyone to enter the contest, I can already see some other great possibilities.

    Thanks for reminding me of the iPhone wallpapers. I think I’ll make some. (Too bad I have no iPhone to test them on, hehe.)

  12. RogueJunkie
    >Have you gone mad!? Probably :)
    It was a tough call—a colour in the header. Next week: dancing monkeys ;) That ty might be a little tight; depends on your personal taste.
    Really looking forward to your FontBook competition entries.

    Pual Robinson
    Pleased you like the wallpaper. I’ll post some more when I get the chance.

    Congratulations. Your email made me laugh. I’ll post the book tomorrow. No doubt you’ll see an Anziano header when I get around to interviewing Stefan.

    Welcome to iLT. A pleasure to see you here and contributing.


    Vivien (inspirationbit)
    typemoviegems—now there’s an idea. Typenuts will only have the header reversed out. The body text will be dark on light.

    I don’t have an iPhone either, but I noticed that Gemma (in the comments to the iPhone wallpaper page) used it for her regular mobile phone. I’ve already received a few entries for the movie competition—impressive. Thanks, Hamish.

    Started putting together a Flickr set of headers/mastheads used on iLT.

  13. John
    Good to know, at least we can get some feedback then.

    And I look forward to seeing the contest entries. I never thought my little photo-manip would turn into this. :)

  14. For a free font, Anziano looks great. Already downloaded.

    Cheers Johno.

  15. Good stuff John! I’m glad you put that Everything You Thought We’d Forgotten video I showed you up on there. I hope everyone got a kick out of it like I did. If anyone wants more information on how the technology works check out http://www.nexttext.net/ and http://obxlabs.hexagram.ca/

    Looks like typenuts is underway, I cant wait! I’m sure it will grow in popularity just like iLT did. And the Mel Gibson thing is classic. I already got ideas for what I’m gonna do :) Good stuff!

  16. Lies! That’s not a screengrab of braveheart.

  17. Hamish
    Yes, you’ve started something there. Dying to show some of the entries I’ve received.

    Good to hear. I love the italic too.

    Thanks for the additional links. i’m off to take a look.

    You’re right, in fact; it’s actually a screen grab from the out-takes;)

  18. Just a quick word on the competition: your PhotoShop manipulations don’t have to be great—it’s the idea or the setting that counts.

  19. sharpstick

    3. Some time ago, Emigre promised that as their stock of back issues sold out, they’d re-publish some of the content on their web site. I like this one: The Art of Type Founding.

    I have the poster this was printed on hanging on my wall right now (Not Caslon). It takes me back to my student design days when I could only dream of being able to afford an Emigre font.

  20. I can’t wait to see the winner and the runners-up of this competition! Type and Mel Gibson in a kilt together in one image sure got me going, can’t wait to see what else you guys come up with!

    Great Sunday Type as usual, and I love those ornaments! Their refined grace makes my whole day.

  21. Some Q’s about the competition…

    When is the deadline?

    Are we voting on them or are you choosing them? I vote for a popular vote. Anyone else?

  22. Any chance those wallpapers work for WinMo phones?

  23. sharpstick
    I only wish I’d kept my copies of Emigre…ouch!

    I’ll announce a deadline on Sunday.

    Let me know which wallpaper(s) and size you need, and I’ll put one together for you.

  24. Andrew

    A little off topic this… but… a BIG congratulations to John for ilovetypography’s nomination as ‘Best Asian blog’ in this year’s Bloggies awards

    Maybe John is too modest to trumpet his nomination (I certainly can’t find mention of it anywhere on his site), but he is in incredible company rubbing shoulders with Engadget, Boing Boing, Gizmodo, Lifehacker and a number of other A-list blogs. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed John’s wonderful writing and sense of humour over the last three months and think his is a most deserving nomination.

    I’m off now to vote for ilovetypography (and for Vince La’s WebDesignersWall in the ‘Best designed weblog’ category) and hope a few other readers might join me in appreciation of John’s awesome efforts over the last six months.

    Best of luck John and congratulations again!

  25. hussein

    i’ve identified the fonts above.. but i didn’t knew that there where a competition is running.. :P

    guys.. i’m in love with this blog.. i’m ready to spend the rest of my life right here..

  26. Andrew
    Thanks for blowing the iLT trumpet. I guess I should vote too :)

    Welcome to iLT. Be sure to take food and water breaks.

  27. Andrew, Thanks for mentioning the Bloggies and where to go to vote. I had no idea about them, so this is one more person to vote for iLT who wouldn’t have otherwise!

    Hussein, Yeah, I think if it were possible to move into the iLT building, a lot of us would have done so already. The view from here is pretty sweet, and the neighbours are all awesome. Not to mention the fact that any words or digits in the building — including the numbers on the doors — are set in incredibly stylish type.

  28. TypoJunkie

    That was fun! I saw the same concept as a student project, but with more interesting buildings, which resembled the letters a little bit better. Although he just did the 26 uppercase letters.

  29. miha

    When can we move into iLT building? (and in which typeface is it? “i” has a very strange serif!)

    Andrew, thank you for mentioning bloggies awards. But I can understand John not to mention it by himself; it doesn’t matter how many awards will iLT receive, there will always be iLT typography fans, ready to start typographic revolution, burning all heretic books set in C**** Sans, removing all bad kerning etc etc!

    (ok, I admit it. I was reading iLT archives too much, resulting at such enthusiasm:)

  30. hussein


  31. “Beorcana” is four syllables, not three. The first two syllables are [ˌbiːor] in IPA.

  32. Shucks, I miss the free font. There is a new one there now. Is there a way to get that lovely Anziano font. Thanks! Becca

  33. Becca
    Not sure what you can do besides buying it. Perhaps an email to its designer, Stefan?

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