I Love Typography

Sunday type: ampersand type

It Must Be Slanted

Before we get started, I’d just like to announce that on Wednesday I’ll be publishing the long-awaited interview with Jos Buivenga, the man behind type foundry exljbris. Thanks to everyone for their questions for Jos submissions. Is it really Sunday again? Well, it had better be, because today we have a jam-packed-to-bursting roundup of type news, free fonts and lots more.

Let’s start with some nice type treatments in this video, Le Passage:

How well do you know your type?

Think you are pretty good at identifying typefaces? Well, why not test your super-type-identification powers with Kari’s The Rather Difficult Font Game. Kari tells me that he has plans to expand the scope of the game. In the meantime, there are 34 typefaces to identify. Good luck and enjoy:

the rather difficult font game

I do think that this kind of game is more than fun. In attempting to identify type, our sensitivity to type—and our ability to see what distinguishes one typeface from another—is heightened; it’s akin to cultivating a nose for wine. [iLT related: Type Identification]


Two great posters from Words are Pictures:

words are pictures

Via the wonderfully named, Death by Kerning.

A self-‘printing’ calendar from the very talented Oscar Diaz:

oscar diaz self-painting calendar

Via Cati Vaucelle’s Architectradure.

Some beautifully decorated initials in this Tokyo Tsukiji type specimen from a collection at St Bride Library, London.

Decorated Initials from the Tokyo Tsukiji Foundry. St Bride Library, London

Photo credit: ultrasparky. And thanks to Alec for the find.

As a subscriber to Dan Reynolds’ TypeOff blog, I was pleased to read that Slanted magazine is now shipping internationally.

slanted magazine now shipping internationally

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Issue 5 is now AUSVERKAUFT! (sold out). However, be sure to check back for the next issue. If you do want a copy, then get in there quickly before issue 6 is also ausverkauft. If it makes you feel any worse, my copy of #5 is in the post.


Last Sunday I featured the magnificent Fontstruct, a very easy to use web app for creating typefaces. Here’s Descanso Typewriter by iLT reader, Grayson Scherer:

descano typewriter by Grayson Scherer

Free fonts

First is a very legible screen typeface for small sizes called Silkscreen (regular and bold):

silkscreen pixel font free!

Thanks to Jos for the link.
Rany Outline from Haiku Monkey foundry. I tried using this in sIFR, and it worked surprisingly well.

rany outline free font

Of course you can embed it as a web font too−that goes for most of the free fonts (if you’re not sure, check the license).

Need a good comic-strip font? Look no further than DigitalStrip. You can download for Win or Mac. Free for non-profit use; see license for further information).

New faces

Le Monde Courrier PTF. Gorgeous!

le monde courrier ptf

With all the extras that you’d expect from a quality typeface—OpenType features, good Small Caps, Oldstyle figures, Tabular figures, etc. Be sure to print the PDF. The above shot doesn’t really do it justice. See it in print, and it really is something else.

Next is something fun. Sniplash was originally released as a sinlge weight in 2004. Now it’s also available in bold and light. Takes its cue from cartoons and comics of the ’60s and ’70s:

sniplash from P22 (3 styles)

And then there’s Showcard Stunt from House Industries:

showcard stunt from House

Styling ampersands (&)

Ever wondered how some sites set ampersands (&) in a different typeface? Well, with the typogrify plugin it’s easy. In the typogrify admin, just check the “style ampersands” box, then write a little CSS:

{ font-family: ‘Hoefler Text’, ‘Palatino Linotype’, ‘Baskerville’, serif;
font-style: italic; }

typogrify plugin and styling ampersands (&)

Name those ampersands. My favorite is Hoefler Text italic.

Type links

63 Grunge fonts
Behind the scenes of exquisite web typography #3
Zeichenpress cards—Swiss Miss
Adventures in Kerning, Part II—H&FJ
If Beavis and Butthead were typographers—fontblog
Logos in a font (free)—thanks to Julian Schrader
101 Typography Resources—via David Airey
City type—via aisleone
Inkthis FACELIFT event—Leicester, UK
Where are the Web 2.0 fonts?—thanks, Dave
Upside-down text with Javascript—Ajaxian
Graphic Design by Elsa Chaves—whywerock
MyFonts newsletter starring Museo and Bree
An interview with Cyrus Highsmith of the Font Bureau—Typographica
Erik Spiekermann’s Stainless Steel Numbers—I want them!
Video Interview with Roger Black on Celebrity Fonts—via Typofonderie


There’s a copy of James Felici’s The Complete Manual of Typography up for grabs. Here’s what you need to do to have a chance of winning it:

name the typeface used in today’s header; and name one other typeface by its designer.

Send your answers to me at this address: m{AT}ilovetypography.com, preferably with “Sunday Type” in the subject line. I will ship it anywhere. The last competition winner was Christian in Chile, who won a copy of Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style for his FontBook in a Movie entry.

Today’s Types

Something distressed: Jaguarundi from TypeTrust:


Something script: Kugelhopf from JukeBox Type:


Something for text: Walburn:


Beautifully drawn italic!

Coming up

On Wednesday I’ll publish the interview with Jos. You’ll get the opportunity to ‘talk’ to Jos through the comments, if there are additional questions you’d like to ask him.
Typeface reviews by Kris Sowersby and Dan Reynolds, an interview with Nadhine Chahine, and the next episode of 15 great Examples of Web Typography.

Thanks to everyone who reads. Have a stupendously fantastic Sunday.



  1. I believe the typeface in the header is *****, I was looking at it for the redesign of my blog earlier this week!

    The designer is *****, who also created *****.

    Nice find on the wordpress plugin, I’ve been manually adding non-breaking spaces to prevent widows, now I can be lazy and let WordPress do it for me. :D

  2. Kyle
    You were right, Kyle. Your name’s in the hat. I’ve obfuscated your answers for obvious reasons ;) Thanks for your entry.

  3. Oops, totally missed the email submission. Sorry Johno.

    Now I look as though I curse a storm for my ignorance. :P

  4. Le Monde Courrier is gorgeous!
    I’m glad I’ve been reading up on type, otherwise I wouldn’t be immortalised in the The Rather Difficult Font Game — stoked, 28 right.
    Let’s hope the internet doesn’t become filled with inharmonious ampersands!

  5. Ahh, never mind the above, Johno’s fixed it. Could you remove my above post, Johno? I can’t seem to edit it for some reason. Ta!

  6. The font game was fun, I got 27 on my first try. It was a nice ego boost for me.

  7. Awesome!

    Great typography in that video, and lots of beer, haha.

    And don’t you just love Ampersands? Such a beautiful character. Nice round up you have there, though I can’t name too many of them. (Without falling back to Photoshop, of course)

    Also, looking forward to Jos’s interview!

    Thanks again for another great Sunday Type, John.

  8. Kyle
    No problem. I’ve done the same myself.

    Good score. I’m impressed. Yes, Le Monde Courrier PTF is; but then so is just about everything from Porchez.

    Done! Thanks.

    That’s good going. I got one wrong the first time (thankfully it wasn’t Comic Sans!) ;)

    You’re welcome. Hope that redesign is going well.

  9. Loved the font test, though if I can score better than 30 something’s too easy! (Font identification, shame on me, isn’t a strong suit of mine.) Love all the new fonts you’ve highligheted, especially Sniplash and Walburn.

    On a vaguely related note… Has anyone here read Chip Kidd’s latest book? (The Learners.) It’s fiction, but there are lots of interesting tidbits in it about typography and design in general.

  10. “Is it really Sunday again?” - this is the same question I’ve been asking. I still have to catch up with your last week’s Sunday Type, and here you are with so many type gems that my family life and business are at stake ;-)

    I was indeed wondering how some sites replace the ampersand with a more elegant one - thanks for the heads up with the Typogrify plugin. I too liked ampersand in “Hoefler Text” before I found out what type was it. However, I have a question - is Hoefler Text was adopted as another web-safe font? It was designed for Apple computers so it should be available on most Macs, but how about Windows/Linux?

    Ok, off to play Name the Font game. I know I’ll fail it miserably, but hopefully after some practice I’ll be able to quickly identify all the fonts you’re quizzing us about here ;-)

    oh, and thanks a lot for you links to my articles this and the previous week.

  11. Ta, Johno.

    How can anyone not love a good ampersand? On the ID front: the second is Palatino, the middle’s Hoefler Text Italic – quite a unique one, that! – and the last is Baskerville Italic, can’t place the rest off-hand. The Ministry of Type had an article extolling the virtues of a pretty ampersand, too:

    What about the ugliest ones? My vote would be for Trebuchet MS, it’s a popular choice as a heading font on the web so I see its unsightly ‘Et’ quite frequently and it always annoys me. (I do like the typeface overall, but think the ampersand spoils it somewhat.)

    That type ID game was fun, though I think my score was due to a process of elimination along with a good dose of luck rather than actual skill!

  12. Alec, I haven’t read The Learners yet, but have you seen the video on YouTube with Chip Kidd presenting this book? Is the book itself written with humour as well? ;-)

  13. inspirationbit
    Well, it’s definitely got humor in it, but overall the book is rather dark.

  14. Asparouh

    29 on The Rather Difficult Font Game. Not bad for a first attempt.

    About the ampersands, I remember the quite impressive ampersand collection over here. Quite inspirational BTW.

    Can’t wait for the next part of “15 great Examples…”.

  15. As always, excellent reading, John. I tell you, if it wasn’t for iLT and a few other blogs, I’d have no fun reading for my breaks when I’m working to get books out. Unfortunately, the more I read on iLT, the longer my list of types to buy keeps getting; and, without the capital to invest, goes unfulfilled.

    The font game was a real blow to my ego. After 15 years of book design and production work, I got only 27 of them. I think I’m entering that stage where I may have forgotten more than some have learned yet. But I should count myself lucky to have found another thing to add to my arsenal of exercise to keep the old brain nimble.

    Is that quiz a one-shot, or does it change randomly each time one submits to it? I’ll have to go back and check.

    Keep up the good work, John, I need the eggs.

  16. Kari Pätilä

    The game is random, which can either make it too easy or too difficult at this point. The only problem is that there’s only the 34 fonts in total at the moment, but I’m at least doubling that during the week. There’ll still be 34 questions, but it will be even more random then.

  17. i’ve just discovered ilovetypography and i’m pretty sure my mind is blown. so many excellent links! so many gorgeous images! thanks for putting so much heart into this website. i’ll definitely be back.

  18. …I want the Felici, I so do, but I now feel like a total dweeboramous - no idea at all! But! There is research. There is going to be research tonight! (Oh who am I kidding, I’m likely to get it wrong but I’ll give it a shot anyway!)

    Thank you SO much for the link to the comic book fonts! I have been looking for some good ones to illustrate one or two random little weird pieces.

    I am gradually learning a bit more about typography as I plough through this site, and some other self-study stuff I’m working on. This is a good thing. Except that the first day I discovered the site and went through it, the next day I was due to type up and print out a list of events for my workplace to put up on the bulletin board - and I wound up going, “…This looks bad, OH GOOD LORD NO this size looks terrible, NO the numbers on this are nowhere clear enough - wait, kerning - screw kerning, I haven’t time to do it, as long as this is clear and legible…” Two hours later, I discovered with horror that Times New Roman no longer looks remotely decent when bolded now I look at it, and that I have Many Issues with the numerals of Imperator, that Bitstream Vera Serif looks rather nice with a bigger size of Times New Roman…and that I’m slightly insane.

    The schedule did turn out rather nicely in the end though for an initial foray into the deep waters of Type and Font.

    All this to say, this is a dangerous (but beautifully knowlegeable) website to stumble upon. I’m loving it, but I don’t think my friends are going to when I start pointing out typographical cardinal sins in the books they read…


  19. That was a lot of great stuff today. I have taken the type test and did fare quite well: this means it mustn’t be that difficult!

    About the font, about which you say “…Takes its cue from cartoons and comics of the ’60s and ’70s” I’m sure I’ve seen lettering like it in the title cards of The Pink Panther Show, The Roadrunner and other series. You can see loads of these title cards here: http://dfe.goldenagecartoons.com/

  20. Never saw Slanted at my local newspaper stand, which is weird since it is published in Germany (afaik) and that they have a pretty good collection of design mags already. But i just called ’em and ordered it, thanks for the headsup John! Am so exited now to get my hands onto another mag, print is still always nicer to look at.

    Graphic 12 is another great one, you have to check it out if you haven’t heard about it yet. And check out Lodown as well (partially written in German though).

    + thanks for pointing us to Kugelhopf and Le Monde Courrier, just beautiful! As well looking forward to the interview with Jos!

  21. Manuel
    Slanted isn’t one of those “regular” magazines, like form or PAGE; you can’t get it a the news stand. You have to follow their blog or the German typorati blogosphere, and order it while you can.

    Also, issues of the magazine are also often given away for free at the TYPO Berlin conference every May and the Frankfurt Book Fair every October. So if you are in the neighborhood during one of those events, don’t miss out!

  22. Calderone

    Hey… first of all: great site.
    Q: Does anyone know what font is used in the Artois animation ?

  23. hussein

    yessss! i scored 33 points out of 34 :) that was pretty easy.. :D

  24. Calderone

    26 points for Gryffindor

    right on the average :-(
    But i was pretty fast :-)

  25. Thanks for the links. I really like the game!

  26. Kari Pätilä

    The game seems to be quite popular… Since this Sunday type was posted I’ve had over 8000 unique visitors.

    Still, the server seems to be able to manage, even though it feels a bit sluggish every now and then.

  27. @Dan Reynolds: Page and Graphic 12 are (weirdly enough) regulars at my local news stand though.

    Berlin is so far away for me (living on an island) and i don’t like cities anyways, so no go. But thanks for the info!

  28. Hmmm. A paltry 25 points on The Rather Difficult Font Game. Thanks for the heads up on the Typogrify plugin, and for the fun post John.

  29. Thanks for linking to my collection of typography resources.

  30. Sunday Type seems to be getting better and better. Thanks for all the cool stuff John :)

  31. Cesar Kohl

    I know this is not the right place to ask this, but can anyone say what type is that?


    I just can’t say! I’m getting crazy!

  32. Cesar: hmm, looks like Avant Garde Bold but for the round dot on the ‘i’, so I’m not sure.

    Best place to ask is over at the Typophile ID forums, you’re almost certain to get the right answer there:

  33. Cesar Kohl

    Thank you! I just asked them!

    btw, nice website!

  34. Glad to help, Cesar, and thanks for the kind comment!

  35. Scherer

    thanks for featuring my fontstruct!

  36. Thank you for this great list with much more great ideas.


  37. Bit slow catching up with your posts, but I’m glad I haven’t given up. Loved this one! The font game is great! I got 17 first try… pretty happy with that since it’s only in the last few months I’ve really started to recognise the nuances of some fonts.

    Ink and water don’t mix and the calendar are also extremely cool. Downloaded Silkscreen… nice *little* font.


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