I Love Typography

Sunday Type: matrix type

Not Starring Keanu Reaves

Welcome to iLT’s 100th post. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions and who read and commented on my interview with Jos Buivenga. Also, thanks to Jos for being such a good sport, and taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the man from exljbris.

First, a rather nice combination—food and type. And what a name! I introduce to you (deep breath) the gastorotypographicalassemblage:


Thanks to Lauren for the link.

Name that typeface

Sander over at segd is running a competition. For the chance to win a laser-etched name plate, worth over 150 Euros, just name this typeface:

segd: name the typeface

The competition finishes on April 23, so hurry. [update: winners announced here.]

Sunday Links

Give Me an “A”! That’s It, Just an “A”!
Christoffer Hald, Grapic Design, Typography
The Brooklyn Bookbinder
34th Williams A. Dwiggins Lecture
Eurostile Next—Eurostile gets a facelift.
Excellent Book Covers and Paperbacks—SM

Stephen Fry & the Gutenburg Press

A wonderful documentary video from the BBC. Stephen Fry travels to France and Germany on the trail of Johannes Gutenberg, and sets about reconstructing a replica of Gutenburg’s first press. This is a must-see program. Owing to contractural restrictions, it’s not available outside of the UK; however, I see that it’s available on Youtube. More like this BBC, please. And more Stephen Fry.

Typeface of the Month

Seb Lester shoud have reason to celebrate. His new sans Soho Gothic is stunning. And with more weights than you can shake a stick at, it’s a very versatile beast indeed. From the elegant hairline to the sumptuous black italic (see this article’s masthead), it’s beautifully crafted.

soho gothic

Soho Gothic is a beautiful accompaniment to Seb’s slab serif Soho (9 weights and 5 widths!). If you’d like to have a little Soho Gothic on your desktop, then download iLT’s Soho Gothic wallpaper.


Some lovely work from The Brooklyn Bookbinder. Beautiful bookbinding and letterpress:

brooklyn bookbinder

Font Game update

Kari’s Font Game has proven incredibly popular, so much so that at times his server is puffing clouds of smoke. Kari and I have been talking about moving the game over to iLT. The game will remain Kari’s baby, but we’ll have a page on iLT devoted to it. Nothing set in stone as we’re still testing it. I’ll keep you up-to-date. In the meantime, you can still play it here.

If you have ideas for new things you’d like to see on iLT, then let me know. I’d love to see more reader-contributed content. It is, after all, your site.

Enter the Matrix

I’ve been reading the Linotype Matrix magazine. It’s brilliant. Great article from the likes of John D. Berry, Jan Middenthorp, and even an article on the history of Helvetica from Walter Greisner, the former CEO of Stempel AG. I especially enjoyed Claudio Rocha’s piece on the Plantin-Moretusmuseum.

linotype matrix

Linotype describes it as a typographical journal published from time to time. You can get copies from the Linotype web site. I’m surprised Linotype hasn’t made more of a fuss about this magazine. If you love type, you’ll love it.

linotype matrix

I wonder if there’s anyone reading this who’s old enough to remember the original Matrix by John and Rose Randle? I’ll ask Linotype about permission to republish the odd article from Matrix right here on iLT.

And the winner is…

Last Sunday I offered a copy of The Complete Manual of Typography to someone who could name the typeface used in the masthead, in addition to naming one other typeface designed by the same man.

template gothic by Barry Deck

The answer of course is Template Gothic (bold) designed by Barry Deck. Arbirary is another typeface designed by Mr Deck. Anyone old enough to remember Emigre magazine, would most likely have recognised the typeface immediately. Out of 136 correct entries (thank you), Ricky Irvine’s name came out of the hat. A copy of the book is on its way. Ricky has a great web site called Dressed in Value.

However, of all the competition entries, my favorite was from a young lady who practically wrote a novella outlining her search for the name behind the typeface. Ultimately her answer (Le Monde Livre) was wrong because she was attempting to name the typeface used in the default header (on the home page). I’m tempted to send a consolation prize. Well, as it’s iLT’s 100th post, then I’ll send her a copy of Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type—if you’re reading this, then please claim your prize.

Next Sunday, I’ll run another competition, so keep your eyes peeled.

Today’s Type

Lily Wang, a lovely script from Ryoichi Tsunekawa:

lily wang by Ryoichi Tsunekawa

Thank you

I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s working hard translating iLT articles. I’m a little behind in posting them to the site, but they’re coming soon. If you’re interested in translating articles for iLT, then do let me know before you begin work, so that you don’t duplicate.

Coming Up

An interview with Nadine Chahine, an article from Sander Baumann on type in use, and much, much more. Oh, and iLT has given birth. A mini-site is in production. I hope to launch it next Sunday. And if you haven’t already guessed, yes, it’s all about type.

Have a great week!

  1. Font Game update update

    The game was visited just under 100 000 times last week and the server had to serve 4,4 million pages to the users in a short period of time. Despite the brutal caning, the machine held up most of the time.

    I’m now talking with (at least) two of the major foundries for possibilities to significantly expand the scope of the game. That would also mean that you’d get a different game every single time you played as well as a nice collection of font samples to browse. And all of that in your iPhone, too.

  2. John, thank you for mentioning my type contest! Much appreciated! Have a great week and congrats on the 100th post at iLT!

  3. Mostafa

    Can’t wait for the interview with Nadine Chahine. I hope there will be a lot about designing Arabic types. There isn’t so much information about Arabic typography out there.

    And, as always, it was a pleasure reading iLT.

  4. Congrats! 100th post!

    I can’t believe I’ve been here since the days of searching for the Japanese road sign face.

    I’m sure this site will continue to be successful and you know I’ll be reading ;)

    Cheers Johno! Here’s one to you *cracks open an Asahi

  5. I’m really loving the Soho Gothic typeface. By the way, congratulations on your 100th post!

  6. Your sunday postings are always great… And… The consolation prize… great too…

    Regards and have a nice week

  7. A very well deserved congratulations from me, John. 100 posts of this quality is a great achievement. Here’s to the next milestone – 1,000 posts. ;)

  8. miha

    Congratulations for 100th post, and also for becoming first link on google for search “typography” (I think last week you were still second :P) This is a clear sign that if you are passionate about what you do, you will succeed:)

    BTW, my favorite posts from last months are On Choosing Type and Newzald: From Moleskine to Market, although other posts are also great!

    Keep up doing excellent work!

  9. Another wonderfull post and already the 100th. Congrats Johno and iLT!

  10. Jongseong Park

    The 100th post already? Time to give up my silent lurker status and say congratulations!

    I must say, I’m looking forward to the Nadine Chahine interview as well. She was one of my guesses when you said you’d be interviewing a female type designer. Hooray for non-latin type designers!

  11. That gastropod food assemblage is -neat-. Ahem. Novella. *digs hole in ground* Emailed you a’ready, blushing like a guppy in a bucket of red paint. Thank you!

    Soho Gothic is -goooooorgeous- and so is Lily Wang. Congratulations on 100 wonderful posts and may there be another 100 even more fantastic ones!


  12. Great work mate. The Gutenberg Press videos look awesome. I’ve bookmarked them for future viewing. (Also going to look for the full video so I can put it on my iPod)

    Also, loving Soho Gothic. Thanks for the Wallpaper!

    Kari Pätilä
    The font game is such a nifty idea. I’ve also tried it on my iPod Touch and it works great! Thanks for the fun.

    And congratulations John! Here’s to another 100!

  13. Hotmetal


    I love this site, and it features some lovely faces. The wallpapers are always a treat too. I eagerly downloaded the SOHO Gothic wallpaper to my Mac, only to discover that the word “typography” has been mis-spelt “typogpraphy”! Alas, now I will be forced to change it for one of your other fine wallpapers, or risk my reputation in the studio as the eagle-eyed proof-reading typo nut!

    Congrats on the 100th post, and keep up the good work! (And the proof-reading!)


  14. Hi there, im a big fan of the site, and i’d like to translate some articles to spanish.

    Greetings from Mexico.

  15. Wow 100th post already. iLT is growing up so fast (tear) :)
    Yet again another amazing Sunday Type. Really cool video on the printing press, and always thanks for all the cool links. Hey John, not sure if you mentioned this in another post but are you still doing that Type Nuts site?

  16. Kari
    great news on the font game. Thanks for the update.

    You’re welcome. Let me know if you run another.

    Nadine’s own blog has numerous links to some great resources on designing Arabic type.

    Goodness, the Japanese road sign! That feels like an age ago. Do you remember how you found the site? You must have been one of its first readers. And a campai to you too.

    Thanks, Matt. You too, have a great week.

    Thank you. 1,000! How many are you on now?

    I didn’t know I’d jumped to first. Just checked and in second place today. Thanks to all of you who read and subscribe for that. Interesting to see your favorite posts.

    Thank you, and all the best with your type endeavors.

    Yes, hard to believe it’s 100. Perhaps an article on Korean type?

    You’re welcome. I enjoyed your mail, and I’m impressed by your perseverance. Did you send me your postl address, so that I can send you the book?

    I enjoyed the Gutenburg video too. I only wish they made more of it.

    What can I say? Would like to say that it was an intentional misspelling for dramatic effect. However, it was a simple typo—and on my 100th post too. Now fixed. Thanks.

    Please send me a mail (perhaps you did already?) Thanks very much for the offer. I appreciate it.

    Yes, the Type Nuts site is still unfinished. Having a few problems with it—time is another thing I need more of. Thanks for contributing again!

  17. Search engine with “typography blog”! I can’t remember what came up first, but you were up there and it was the first one I clicked. I think the Japanese road sign post really caught me and kept me. I was happy to see it turn out so well.


  18. miha

    Hm, I checked once again on google for search “typography”, and your blog was the first link – but only when I was signed in… it seems that I read iLT a lot, and Big Brother knows that:)

  19. I just broke the 300 mark with my articles on davidairey.com. Yet to reach 30 on logodesignlove.com.

    They grow so fast though, don’t they? Soon they’ll be leaving the nest and having babies.

  20. Cody
    I’ve been trying to get hold of one of those road signs ever since.

    That’s very interesting that results are skewed by being signed in. I’ll check it myself.

    They certainly do grow quickly. I guess logodesignlove.com is the son/daughter of davidairey.com. Hope she’s doing well.

  21. ah, it is so nice to follow on your chat about your “babies”, John and David ;-) Your passion and love for your blogs definitely shows up in your work.
    Johno, congrats with the centurion post. By the time you reach the 1000 mark I’m sure you’ll get another reader here - my daughter ;-)

    wow, I’m glad that the font game was such a success, hopefully Kari is working hard on adding more random fonts to the list ;-)

    that Lily Wang script is very lovely indeed, looks like it was inscribed with a feather and ink like in old days.

    consolation prize - it is so Johno-like. I hope you’ll never change, I mean it.
    Can’t wait for the interview with Nadine.

  22. She is doing well, thanks. 2,000 subscribers since launching earlier this year, which I’m delighted about.

    Maybe your website will spawn a typography love child, and he’ll form a relationship with my little girl.

    Hmmm. I think that’s enough of my strange thoughts.

  23. haha, you guys are something ;-)
    Maybe your kids should come over to Inspiration Bit and get inspired by each other and fall in love ;-)

  24. @David: Hmm, I can see logotypelove.com doing well! Perhaps cover corporate typeface choices as well as those used directly in the logos, and you’re onto a winner (or at least, a subsection of logodesignlove).

    @Johno & the other article writers: congratulations on the 100th post, you’ve done such a fantastic job with this site!

  25. Thanks John! I did indeed email you my postal address, it should be floating around somewhere; if not, let me know and I’ll send it again. (Cyberspace has been hungry lately.)


  26. Leigh

    Hmm, is it just me or are you using some of that ampersand CSS you talked about in the last Sunday Type?
    Loved the documentary! Quite fascinating!

  27. Hey! You`ve gotten tons of congratulations on your 100th post, So I`ll go ahead and just thank you for leaving 100 posts for me to rumage over in delightful expectancy, as all that I`ve read since I discovered your blog a few weeks ago has been delicious. My craving for the font-related has found a great provider, and is inspiring me to produce, produce and PRODUCE… as soon as I finish my grad project.

    Anyway, also wanted to let you know I’d be hapy to help you translate, I lived in Manhattan for a couple of years, and have donde comissioned work in the past.

    English - Spanish
    Spanish - English

    Colombia says Hi.

  28. Congrats, John!! And I see iLT is still growing :D I still remember the days that we were marveling at your 3,000 subscriber mark. Now look at you! Here’s to your next 100 posts and many more subscribers, because we all should love typography.

    oh hey, nifty wood type installation there in the first photo ;) Wonder which marvelous reader sent that spiffy specimen to you…

  29. darwinDEE

    I absolutely loved the Stephen Fry documentary, when some one says “Johannes Gutenberg invented the modern printing press” it’s quite easy to picture someone magicking one from thin air, but this thing really was a life’s work. I think the point that hammered this home to me was the estimate that the creation of the template character set (about 270 characters i think) probably took the best part of a year. A whole year of meticulous filing and shaping, makes me realise how good we have it. Now whenever i get frustrated or bored, scanning page after page in indesign applying styles and weeding out double spaces and incorrect dashes, i’ll think of Gutenberg filing those little backwards characters and think myself lucky!

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