I Love Typography

Sunday Type: fruity type

Of Pens and Pears

First, thanks to everyone who read and commented on Alec’s great Small Caps article. It’s been incredibly popular. Sunday again, and I still haven’t finished packing! Well, let’s forget packing and start with something else that seems pretty popular these days: we’ve had potato type and chocolate type; even cupcake type; and now we have customized fruit type from the talented Sarah King:


I can’t imagine how long it must take to complete one of these.A special offer on one of my all-time favorite typefaces, Le Monde Livre PTF.

le monde livre PTF

from Porchez Typofonderie.

Free Fonts

Today’s free font is a rather good one; but hurry, because it won’t be available free forever. I mentioned the new FF Unit Rounded a coupe of weeks back. Now you can download the bold weight for free. (I also like the ‘ty’ discretionary ligature.)The second set of free fonts is based on toothpaste and tomato ketchup. Reminds me of the darling child who comes running to its mother excitedly proclaiming, Mummy, mummy, the toothpaste is as long as the sofa.

Tomatica free font from Autobahn

Gelvetica, Tomatica and Heldentica can be downloaded free from  Autobahn. Thanks to Alec for the link.And as the FireFly Letterpress video was so popular, here’s another little slice of letterpress in the form a lovely business card. You really don’t need anything fancy when you have letterpress—the impression of type on good paper/card is enough:

letterpress business card

From Deb Pang Davis of  Cococello Design.


They don’t have the prettiest looking web site, but they certainly have some great resources in the form of free downloadable pdf’s and jpegs on penmanship; and although calligraphy/penmanship is not strictly speaking typography, a sound understanding (not necessarily great penmanship) will teach us a great deal about letterforms.


The succinctly named The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting, has some great free resources. Via How Blog.

A Font We Can Believe In

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the typefaces used in the the ongoing US Presidential race. Barack Obama has voted for H&FJ’s Gotham:YouTube Preview ImageKeep an eye out for Gotham, the documentary.

It was born outside of type design—in some other world.—Tobias Frere-Jones on the lettering that inspired Gotham. 

Read more about it on the Helvetica film site.We all know that grids are good for the soul, but Antonio of Aisle One has created a limited edition screen print. And if you like your type without counters, you’ll be especially happy:

grids are good for the soul

The poster is a homage to Josef Müller-Brockmann’s seminal Grid Systems. Since its publication, no-one—in my opinion—has ever written so well on grid systems. This is THE book on grid systems. That reminds me, I have an article, Don’t be square—use a grid, still in draft; I’ll get it finished after my move and publish here.The poster is sold out, but I’m sure there are more to come.

On P22

The latest MyFonts newsletter has a great interview with husband and wife team, Richard Kegler and Carima El-Behairy, of  P22 type foundry. Back in 2004, P22 acquired Lanston (Frederic Goudy was art director of Lanston for almost three decades).

lanston monotype

Colon(ial) Isles

San Serriffe has been about for a while, but you may not have seen it. I think I’d rather live on the northern island, far away from Arial


I’m sure there’s room for even greater creativity here. If you’d like to create your own, then send it to me. Thanks to Felipe for reminding me of this one.And I like this rather fun use of type in the rebranding of Lush. Organic type for an ‘organic’ product.


Article in German only. Thanks to WhyWeRock.And now for a little irony. You may know of the excellent Umbrella type. Well now there’s a type umbrella. If you had one of these, you’d be praying for rain:

umbrella type umbrella

I’m sure most of them were sold to British typenuts.

Miscellaneous links

Keming defined (this link sent by more than 20 readers!)New alphabet iPhone wallpapersTypographic detail—date treatments for the webSafe Baby Handling tipsChocolate Telegrams (thanks, Vivien and others)Alan Kitching is coming to Belfast

Coming Up

I’m writing a series of three articles; a kind of introduction to practical typography. I’m hoping that it will be a good starting place, especially for those new to the site. There will also be a great contributed piece (in nine parts) on some of the basic elements of typography. I’m also writing a piece on the use of Small Caps. In the meantime, for those who’d like to read a little more on Small Caps, there’s a great Typophile node, Caps to Small Caps. Thanks to William Berkson for the link.Once I get settled in to my new apartment, I’ll get on and start screen-printing those t-shirts I promised. There will also be some limited edition screen-printed posters—simple designs on gorgeous archival paper.

Font of the day

Today’s font is a handwriting-inspired script from the above-mentioned P22, designed by Paul Hunt and Richard Kegler, and based on lettering on The Declaration of Independence. It’s called Declaration:

Declaration Pro from P22

Thanks to everyone who sent in links. Apologies that space doesn’t permit inclusion of them all. Back to packing for me. Have a great Sunday everyone.Don’t forget to subscribe to ilovetypography.com 


  1. Hello John,
    I highly appreciate the trackback to our article. I am a huge fan of your website and the mention of our blog is definitely a honor for me. To share the publicity: the original article was posted on the German typography blog Slanted: http://www.slanted.de/node/1663

    Keep up writing those great articles about typography!

  2. Benjamin
    My pleasure. Thanks for source link reminder, and for your kind words.

  3. Vrinda

    Hi John!
    I’ve been reading ur articles since last semester when I began to do some research on typography. And now, Sunday’s are just incomplete without the Sunday type! Thanks for the great articles! Its an absolute pleasure to read them!

  4. Keep an eye out for Gothic, the documentary.

    Whoops. I think you mean Gotham.

  5. Stephen
    Thanks. That’s what comes of posting at 4am :)

  6. John —

    Grazie mille (again) for the trackback and mention of Mike’s card. It’s an honor for the card to be featured in such great company…

    I’ve had my eye on that umbrella for quite some time… love it. Thanks for the reminder. I’m sure there are many more rainy days left here in the Pacific Northwest to use it.

    Good luck finishing up the packing!

  7. Vrinda
    And a pleasure to read your comment.

    Though I love the umbrella, I lose about three every year, so I’ll be sticking with those from the 100 yen shop :)

  8. The island of San Serriffe was a classic April Fools’ joke by the Guardian newspaper from way back in 1977. See the Museum of Hoaxes for the original illustration, unfortunately in low resolution, and Wikipedia for more information.

  9. “keming” hahahahahahaha!

  10. I just well in love with letterpress!

    What do I do now?

  11. Great stuff. I love the Fruit, gives a whole new meaning to tasty type!

    I’m also glad you mentioned Grid Systems. After hearing about it on Antonio’s site, I went and bought it almost right away. (Impulse buy, hehe) Though I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

    Oh and thinking about the Oscar’s tonight. I think there should be awards for typefaces in the same fashion… “And the award for best supporting sans-serif goes to…”.

    Here’s to another good week.

  12. John, how do you prepare your Sunday Type articles: do you collect links and then write about them all on Sat/Sun, or do you add daily to your Sunday Type draft? No matter how you do it, your Sunday Type is an amazing inspirational resource. Thanks so much.
    Love the umbrella (though I also lose them all the time), and that Lush re-branding.
    Good luck with the move

  13. ManxStef
    Thanks for the additional link and info.

    Well, if you have a rather large spare room, you could buy one :)

    You won’t regret purchasing Grid Systems. Just flicking through it, you might well get the impression that there’s not much to it; however, read it and you’ll soon learn why it’s the authoritative work on grid systems. Another good book is Making and Breaking the Grid—a very practical look at the grid, and another good reference.

    Like you Type Oscars idea; only wish you’d mentioned it earlier. Well, that’s one to think about for next year.

    I collect links throughout the week; some are kindly mailed to me by readers; the remainder I gather through my own browsing. I paste the links into text file, and write a couple of lines/ideas. However, I don’t actually write it up until Sunday—it just feels a little fresher for me that way. There’s a slim chance the my next Sunday Type will be written from my new apartment. Back to packing for me—almost finished.

  14. Ellie

    Mmmh… it’s healthy to have your weekly dose of Typography. Thanks for the interesting reads!

  15. I can’t get that pear off my mind… can you imagine how many times it takes to get it right??!! I can’t peel a label off a pear without breaking the skin.

  16. Ellie
    I don’t recall seeing you here before (or perhaps I’m just senile); anyway, welcome to iLT.

    I shall have to ask Sarah about the process. I wonder if Letraset lettering would work too…. Good luck with your pears :)

  17. TypoJunkie

    Another great Monday thanks to you John! (I think timezones prevent me from checking it on Sunday). Loved the fruity type too, but it’s a shame they will rot with time (it would make an interesting documenting project).

    Be sure to post pics of your new place! I just love seeing how creative people decorate their homes (flickr group?).


  18. Space isn’t really the problem, but where do I find one for sale :-/ I can see they exist in mini sizes too

  19. TypoJunkie
    Yes, I’ll post some photos on Flickr. The present one is here.

    British Letterpress is a good place to start. Don’t know of anything closer to you…

  20. Thank you Johno, seems they got a good guide in how to find the machines etc. - seems to be the right place.

    Just got this from a friend of mine, I think its kind of interesting to see how they used whitespace in the good old times


  21. Esben
    Great link. Still looking for that white space :)

  22. John, letraset would require pressing too hard… old fashioned rapidiograph pens (yes, i AM that old) would poke holes through the pear… it’s a riddle!
    Wondering where my groovy 2-sided letraset burnishing thingie is.

  23. Heidi
    What about a tattoo gun; or paint, a fine brush and a steady hand? That’s what came to mind first when I saw the pear; do agree that it’s somewhat of an enigma!

  24. Heidi
    I’d love to say that I’m too young to remember, but alas…I’m too old to forget.

    Perhaps she freezes them, or coats them with a lacquer or varnish? I’m off to buy some pears, pens and a2-sided Letraset burnishing thingy.

  25. ok, because the work & email isn’t piling up, & the kids don’t need to be fed, & there isn’t a human sized pile of laundry in my house, i thought i’d give the fruit mystery a little try….
    Black gel pen on shiny green apple: freehand. It wasn’t easy, but came out better than i thought. Hats off to Sarah King!!!


  26. Ooh! Sunday Type is soo good this week. Well, it’s good every week, really.

    First, that fruit! I’m joining the others in puzzling over the enigma, and I’d like to know how she does it. It’s also possible it’s some kind of transfer, like with letters, where you rub gently on the paper and it transfers onto the surface below. But it looks more like it was painted on. Huh!

    (Edit: I just read Heidi’s comment and saw her apple photo, so perhaps some of the mystery has been revealed! Well done, Heidi.)

    Second, I laughed out loud at the Baby Dos and Don’ts! It reminds me of airplane safety brochures (you know, the ones that show in pictures how to get out of a burning airplane), and how I always want to take one home with me, but then guilt sets in…

    Also, Lush — I’ve always loved their handwriting font that’s on all their products, and I may even like the rebranding even more!

    And what an umbrella… I’d be afraid of losing it, too, but maybe they can implant it with some kind of homing device? Hehe…

    Good luck moving, Johno! And all those articles you have planned sound exciting.

    Oh, and, the interlibrary loan system finally, after three months waiting, got Bringhurst’s “Elements” to my door, so I’m about to start reading it. I only have two weeks with it, though! I just wanted to share the joy. :) It’s thanks to you that I have it at all!

  27. What is the name of those funny ligature that both Le Monde Livre PTF and FF Unit Rounded have?

  28. You have such a LOVELY blog!!! :)

  29. How did I miss watching that letterpress video?! Oh so beautiful! It makes me almost cry, John! How can I be so in love with an inanimate object, particularly one I have never met? I want a letterpress.

  30. Heidi
    Sounds like you usually have your hands full. Great work on the apple.

    Bringhurst in your hands at last. Pity for only two weeks. Let me know your thoughts. Enjoy.

    Do you mean these:

    discretionary ligature

    If so, it’s a n historical or discretionary ligature; discretionary in contrast to standard ligatures like fi. In fact st in Unicode it’s U FB06. Here’s one: st

    Design for Mankind
    Welcome to iLT.

    Me too. Let’s go halves :)

  31. Esben
    Couldn’t resist one more st ligature. Here’s the bold italic from Le Monde Livre PTF:

    st ligature (discretionary) from Le Monde Livre PTF (bold italic)

    There’s also a little more about discretionary lig’s in this comment.

  32. Re: my evil apple experiment…
    No, Johno i did not eat it. Yet.
    I DID easily erase the last “a” with spit & tissue.
    When the black gel pen ink dried, it was extremely dull, so either Sarah uses a glossy black paint, OR she might varnish the whole thing after she finishes.
    I’m now wondering if she uses an old fashioned set of quill pens.
    Would love to see a video of her making one of these!

  33. My first thought about the pear was that she used a fine Sharpie.

  34. I know I’m a little late but great Sunday type. I can’t comprehend hold long it wold take to do one of them illustrated apples. Cool stuff though. Really good sunday type, thanks for the cool links again. :) Good Stuff!

  35. hey.. you missed an “S” on Dino dos Santos.

    :) Go Dino!

  36. Nuno
    You had me baffled there for a moment, as I didn’t mention Dino in this article; then I remembered I mentioned him in National News; and you’re right, I dropped the ‘s’. Thanks for pointing that out. Off to fix it now.

  37. @Johno

    Thanks for clearing it up Johno, I just took a look through Minion Pro and you are right! I just thought that they perhaps was used for some specific language :-[

    So many wonderful possibilities

    uhh! Unit Rounded have them too!

  38. Johno,

    Once I finish my two-week “fling” with Bringhurst, I will definitely let you know what I thought.

    So far? I think … I might be in love. :) But it’s just a fling!

  39. Leah
    You’re such a type tart ;) Be sure to read the latter section with brief reviews of good typefaces: it’s beautifully written, and there are some great examples of good type in there.

  40. “They don’t have the prettiest looking web site…”

    hey… I resemble that remark!! :o) Ok, ok, its a very amatuer website, but she’s still my baby.

    We’ve gotten quite a few hits/referrals from your site this past week, and I just want to say thanks for the mention.

    I’m a bit of a type & font nut myself, and your blog is exceptionally well done and a very interesting read. Nice work.

    Best regards,

    James Ivey
    IAMPETH Webmaster

  41. Johno,

    I, like James, resemble that remark! :) I think “type tart” describes me quite well.

  42. James
    >…but she’s still my baby.

    Yes, babies are not always the prettiest of creatures, but they are adorable, nonetheless. I’ll stop digging there.

    I’m pleased you got some visits from iLT readers. And I hope that those in the California area can make your 59th Annual Iampeth Convention, August 4-10, 2008. Thanks for dropping by, James.

    >I resemble that remark!

    Very good :)

  43. I had once stumbledupon your website and since then I’ve browsed your website for quite different contents. And I keep finding and stumbling it again and again. You have a great content. Keep up the good work.

    Best of luck.

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