I Love Typography

Sunday Type: bright type

The Eagle Has Landed

Welcome to another Sunday Type. I’ve now moved, have unpacked most boxes and even have a connection to the Internet. Time to celebrate with a Shandy. Thanks to everyone who has mailed me this past couple of weeks. I’m a little behind in answering mails, so please bear with me.

I was recently looking for some top-quality type photos to illustrate an article, and came across some very nice ones from the type junkie on Flickr:

metal type

Type Junkie also has a nice type blog; and I’m really tempted to buy this Mixed Keys photo:

mixed keys typojunkie

Next is a tip for Mac Leopard users that I wasn’t aware of until I read about it on H&FJ—the space-bar preview; never thought of using it for anything other than images.


Via allmyliesarewishes.com.

Always great to see readers of iLT experimenting with type. Karly set herself an exercise from Designing With Type. Read more about it on Karly’s blog:

type exercises

How about doing your own using the above four words, lost, charge, bright, and bloom.

Another excellent piece on the TypeFoundry blog, on the construction of brass matrices for big type—struck with steel punches or cast?

brass matrices

It’s a follow-up to Big brass matrices: a mystery resolved? If you’re not quite sure what matrices are, then Wikipedia has a brief article describing them.

And for children of typenuts everywhere:


Thanks, Lauren.

Next, an amazing popup book. The v/w is among my favorites, for its simplicity. How about you?

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks, Alec.

Sunday Type Links

The Typesetter forum
Asciify: ASCII art library
TypeCon2008: Punkt
Wordpress Theme Upstart Blogger Underscore
Ealing typeface, designed by Michael Parson—via How Blog
Safari 3.1, now with web fonts—Aestheticrew (and WebKit too, of course)
Kinematic typography roundup
Typography Day—Bombay
Graffiti - Graphic Design Developed From Older Cultures
60 Brilliant Typefaces For Corporate Design

Today’s Types

Calgary from Umbrella Type:


The rounded sans serif, Propane:


and Museo from Jos Buivenga, in 5 weights; three are free:

museo typeface

Jos has kindly agreed to an interview. If you have questions you’d like to ask Jos, then leave them in the comments below, or mail me.

Coming Up

An interview with a female type designer. I’ll leave you guessing. More Extreme Type Terminology from Paul Dean, an article on Choosing Type, typeface reviews, and lots more.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.


  1. Good to hear you’re setteling John – the news on ttf-support in Safari is great news, hopefully it will spread across all browsers!

  2. Interesting links as always.

    One comment and one question.

    * That popup book is amazing. :)

    * Probably like most people, I don’t read the fine-print when buying stuff like typefaces. So I’m a little confused about the legality of using fonts I’ve purchased in the past with Safari’s new web-font options. Perhaps somebody here has some insight into this?

  3. Si

    Safari web fonts discussion at Typophile… http://typophile.com/node/43312

    Cheers, Si

  4. I genuinely love that book. It’s just so…fluent in the transitions and the actual letters themselves are very interesting.

    The lost, charge, bright, and bloom words are also very good, well done to Karly for those.

  5. Johno,

    Thank you for mentioning my project. I had fun doing it and would be interested in seeing what others might come up with.

    I also enjoyed that popup book. I agree the V W is very nice and I like the M for its orientation. I think I’ll get one for my coffee table.


    Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you liked them.

  6. Sure, it kind of sucks that we can only use “public domain” fonts which are ok to redistribute without the need to include a license file.

    But maybe, in the future, the foundries start to release fonts especially for the web-font-purpose, who knows. If your web font becomes the next big thing, it sure is some form of advertising for your foundry!

    I already see the new top navigations:
    Home, Commercial Fonts, Free Fonts, Web Fonts, Contact, FAQ

    But the situation got better, not worse, that is the most important bit in this news. We didn’t get to use all the fonts out there, but we do have more than the 15 or so web safe fonts we used to have (future wise, as it is all still limited to Safari/Webkit visitors).

  7. Katja Bak

    glad to hear you’re up and running at your new place. hope it proves to be as inspiring as the last one seemed to be.

    really loved that popup book. brilliant. 3d, textural, visual, illusion. construction is very interesting. trace paper to transform the P and O to R and Q. clever. neat at the same time as being delightfully detailed. also, beautiful flickr set from the type junkie. calgary and propane are very nice. not sure about the other though, it seems a little messy.

    i wish ILT was updated more often, it’s undeniably inspiring and motivating.

    edit: it seems more and more people are setting themselves exercises with type relating to the latest post. perhaps this could become a regular set thing? i’m likin’ it, i’m likin’ it…

    i’m new here, by the way. i’m 19 years old. in high school i took art and studio art and one year of visual communication. i took a year off to visit poland. now i attend a very highly regarded program called brighton bay art, design and photography program. it’s opened my eyes to design and to typography… which i’m now in love with. i’m learning all i can. i’ve always been interested… but now i’m serious.

  8. I thought the O P Q R page was pretty brilliant.

    Interesting discussion over at Typophile about the web font issue; thanks Si. Ultimately, I’m pessimistic on several fronts: for one thing, I imagine IE won’t adopt this technology; for another thing, I think the licensing here is going to take a lot to work out; and, finally, at heart I’m pessimisticabout typography on the web in general. But hopefully some optimists will prove me wrong!

  9. Rafael

    Hey John, I’d like to ask Jos how much time does it takes to desing a new font, and how much of the process is done by hand, without a computer.

  10. That pop up book was fun! I liked the music, too.

    Hehe, aren’t those word plush animals cute?? I saw that in the Target ad and thought of you, John :) Glad you liked

    Oh Katja had a great idea with those type exercises! Maybe some would even turn into some great iLT wallpapers!

    I hope to start coming back here much more regularly now that all of my March madness is over. I sure missed everyone!

    P.S. Questions for Jos: how do you find time to design such beautiful fonts?! What motivates you to release them for free? How did you get interested in type design? (Rafael’s questions are good too!)

  11. Great job John! And Happy Easter :)

    Love that popup book, that sort of paper-craft always impresses me.

    Also looking forward to the mysterious female interviewee. Hehe.

    Questions for Jos:
    What motivates you to give your fonts away for free?
    Have you ever seen your fonts used in a way that made you smile?

  12. @Alec: You said “I imagine IE won’t adopt this technology…”

    I was surprised as well when they announced that they won’t look back and will (despite their old tactic) release IE8 as their first true w3c standard compiliant browser.

    What i am saying is, i wouldn’t be too surprised if they “stick to the right path” from now on. The “stick to the standards”decision was a big as web font support in Safari/Webkit in my opinion.

    Besides, while we’re at adopting: IE was in fact the first browser out there that “adopted” this technology (starting at version 4). They just decided to use their own font format back then. The actual revolution now, is that Webkit/safari supports existing formats like True Type and Open Type.

    I am still an Apple fanboy though ;)

  13. haha, Hamish, we both want to know the answer to the “giving fonts away free” question ;)

  14. Oh my sweet sweet type lord. That pop-up book is stunning! I was thinking about doing one for my final project in school, then came to the harsh reality that I had no idea how to even begin and only 11 weeks to do it.

    I think the pop-up is something forgotten in design and shouldn’t be.

  15. Hi John,

    I know the chore that moving can be, my wife and I moved into our new home earlier this year and it was a nightmare! I still have boxes of random bits I can’t find the right spot for.

    Loved the Sunday Type as always, but I really wanted to say was that, I never thought much of Museo till I saw it in your header. When I first saw it I thought it was rather cute, but couldn’t imagine it being used really.. now that I see it being used and not just spoken about with a sample, I love it! Probably my faveorite header of yours yet, keep bringing on the type inspiration!

  16. wow, i loved that popup book? if anyone knows where it can be purchased, please let me know. I’m sure my daughter will love it as well.

    interview with a female type designer - hurrrah, finally! hmm… i wonder who that might be? Zuzana Licko? or Kris Holmes? or perhaps Carol Twombly? can’t wait to find out and read it.

    questions to Jos:
    - What is your source of inspiration when designing type?
    - Which type designer do you idolize?
    - In your opinion which typeface(s) got an undeservingly bad reputation (due to its abuse and overuse)?
    - What is your most favourite serif and sans-serif?

    P.S Johno, congrats with the internet access in the comfort of your new home, and thanks for mentioning Audee’s article on Graffiti.

  17. @inspirationbit

    It can be pre-ordered from Amazon (certainly on US and UK sites anyway. Search for ‘ABC 3D’ or check here)

  18. @Manuel — Well, MS did say “We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can.” But “most standards compliant way it can” is a bit weasely, don’t you think? Still, that is good to hear, and maybe they won’t screw things up.

    WEFT was both a cool idea (more fonts for the web!) and an awful idea (proprietary format). I’m not sure I’d count it as the same thing as Apple’s idea, but I take your point.

    I’m not an Apple fanboy, but MS leaves me scratching my head sometimes.

  19. Hi everyone.
    Indeed, where DO you get that book? It’s pure greatness. Loved it, thanks!

  20. Kourosh Ziabari

    Hello dear Johno!
    What is everything?
    I have a happy basket full of vernal flowers to present you with due respect because of this cheerful newly arrived spring.
    I am Kourosh, from Iran and recently acquainted with your blog after the recommandation of one Japanese friend of mine. Also I would like you to know that I am a Persian Typographist, too!
    If you want to know more about the ancient celebration of Spring in Iran (Nowruz), view the pictures of Persian girls dancing in honor of Nowruz and also learn about the traditional customs of Spring in Iran, take a look of my blog. I will be happy to have your idea!
    God bless

  21. The TypeJunkie Flickr is just fabulous! I’ll send you an email with questions for exljbris. Thanks and have a great Easter sunday.

  22. Some good stuff in this week’s Sunday Type. That Mac Leopard trick was pretty cool. A really nice way to preview all your fonts as a full screen slide show. Love that pop up, good stuff ! :)

  23. @Matt Jewell
    Thanks so much for the tip on popup book. I checked out amazon.ca and chapters.ca (Canadian alternative to Barnes&Nobles), and they both said: “Preorder Today! - Not Yet Released”, even amazon.co.uk doesn’t have it yet. So, I’ll wait. The price of this book is less than $20, definitely worth it, I thought it would be around $100.

  24. @inspirationbit
    Yeah I was pleasantly surprised with the price. £10 over here is good going, I was thinking more in the £50 ($100) range as you were.

    I’m just waiting until I order something from Amazon in the future so I can add it on for free super saver delivery. Bargain!

    The video says October 2008 at the end, so we may have a fair wait.

  25. Si

    @Alec - WEFT was both a cool idea (more fonts for the web!) and an awful idea (proprietary format).

    The EOT format and the “URL binding” (restricting a font object to specific web page) was an attempt to accommodate the OpenType spec’s definition of document embedding, in the hopes that font makers would allow their commercial fonts to be used with it. Its failure was, as you say, the proprietary nature of the format, leading to no cross-browser support, something that might change by submitting the format to the W3C.

    @Alec - I’m not sure I’d count it as the same thing as Apple’s idea, but I take your point.

    Apple’s idea (more accurately Hakon Lie’s Web font plan) has the benefit of starting out by only being applicable to public domain fonts, in the hopes the font making community can find a business model that will let them support it. So far, since we brought this to the community’s attention at TypeCon Boston in 2006, that model hasn’t emerged.

  26. @Cody, have you seen this pop-up book? There was a class at my school that used it (I didn’t take it)… sounded fun! There are tons of books on Amazon for making your own pop-ups. It would sure be an impressive end of term project! I think any tactile, out-of-the-computer design work is forgotten these days :(

  27. @John: Maybe Jos has something to say about the whole “web font license” problem we are facing (his idea is that his free fonts can be used as web fonts, but they shall be credited somewhere on the site).

  28. By the way, why is that stuffed dog spelled POG? ;)

  29. That book looks like a solid way to go about this kind of project! Yeah, I wish I had done it, but my graphic magazine turned out to my liking.

    I totally agree that any off computer class isn’t really taken advantage of, but I don’t blame students at all. I think that for the students to get into it, they have to know how this can be used in the future of their “Graphic Design” career. If they taught me pop-up techniques with letters, I would totally be into the project!! Instead they taught me how to draw a chair…

  30. It’s late, and I have an early class tomorrow… so why not work on some type? :D

    Never being able to resist typography, I gave it a shot.

    Hopefully the link works, it’s a little strange…


    Any comments are welcome.

  31. Wow Museo is a really reasonably priced typeface, ands it’s really nice. I have to pick it up :)

  32. I just saw that Museo is the #1 selling new font over at myfonts.com. Way to go, Jos!

  33. Geof,

    I enjoyed looking at your interpretations of the words. I especially like your take on bloom. Charge might be a little better if you finessed the kerning a little more. The space between the h and a looks bigger than the space between the a and r. Nice work though.

  34. I feel really honored to have been asked for on interview on iLT. Thanks to the questions you’ve all posted I can already prepare myself a bit :-)

    @ Manuel (Æstheticrew): The outcome of the discussion on my blog about web font licensing is that there must be a disclaimer/copyright notice in the CSS and the font(s) used have to be credited on an about (or similar) page. btw thanks for participating!

    @ Robert & Alex Charchar: Thank you for your generous comments on Museo.

    @ Alec: Thanks, I still can’t believe it and neither understand it. Maybe it’s the right font on the right place at the right time kind of thing…

  35. Thanks for the comment!

    I have been thinking of a better concept for charge all day, it’s a tough one. I liked the interaction between the bold E and ascender of the “b” in yours. My concept is pretty similar. I struggled trying to think of something better for charge.

    I’ll probably think of something better randomly right before falling asleep tonight. Always seems to happen that way.

  36. Geof,

    The interaction between the E and b is all credited to Johno actually. I originally solved the words in separate files and have one more word on my original blog post. Johno assembled them for the purpose of showing them here.

  37. Awesome popup book! Propane look interesting as well :-)

  38. Hi. I’ve been following the expressive words thread. If anyone’s interested, I’ve added another post to it: Read it if you like.

  39. Tor
    It will be interesting to see which way this goes. Ultimately, I think it’s a positive step though.

    Thanks. Re your second question, I think that’s answered below and in the typophile node. There was also some discussion about it on Typographica (I’ll dig out the link).

    Thanks for the Typophile link.

    It is a great book. Truly inspiring. Looks as though others have taken up Karly’s Epressive Words challenge. I’ll mention them all in next week’s Sunday Type.

    You’ve started something there.

    It’s a tough one. Guess we need to see broweser vendors and type designers/foundries working together. I don’t see any simple solution on the horizon, but you’re right, it’s a step in the right direction, I think. And I knew you’d mention that “pog” :)

    >i wish ILT was updated more often
    It’s tempting, but I’ll be sticking to two posts each week.
    I think that’s a great idea: making the exercises a regular thing. Perhaps we can have Karly set some of them. Karly’s Type! Great to see you here, Katja.

    That’s the crux, the licensing. Will be interwsting to see how—if ever—it’s ‘resolved’.

    Thanks for your Jos question.

    Thanks. Should have made some type-themed Easter Eggs…
    Thanks for you interview questions.

    Me too. That question will certainly be in the interview. Thanks for the popup book link, and for the Word Friends link too.

    That book is really well done. I’ll definitely be buying one.

    Always good to see a face in some sort of context. Pleased you like the header. Reminds me that I should have a “type in use” section somewhere.

    Thanks, Vivien. All will be revealed soon.
    Thanks for the interview questions. I guess ultimately it will be iLT reader interviewing Jos—which is great.

    Thanks. I think it’s going to be a popular title. I must contact the author.

    See Matt’s comment above. Thanks. Love your take on “magic”.

    Thanks, and a joyous spring to you too.

    Good to see you. Thanks for mailing me those questions. I have a huge backlog of email, so might take me a little while to respond to your message.

    Yes, I’ve been using that preview tip quite a bit these days.

    great that you’ve had a go at Karly’s exercise. I’ll mention it on next week’s Sunday Type.

    Questions coming your way soon. Thanks again.

    Thanks for dropping by and contributing.

  40. John
    You know — in response to Katja — I’m secretly working on a wp-humanCloning plugin for WordPress; guaranteed to double your post count! I’ll let you alpha test if you like.

  41. Hamish
    Count me in!
    Count me in!

  42. That pop-up book is going to sell like crazy! Such a cool book with such a simple idea.. Who would have thought about the ABC’s… Talk about a great way to inspire your toddler too!

  43. fc

    This is not my first time here, but I feel I should hang around a lot more .. there is so much to learn about type…

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