I Love Typography

Sunday Type: Ale Paul type

In the Beginning

Welcome to this week’s roundup of what’s hot in type. Before I get started, I’m thinking of renaming Sunday Type to something like This Week in Type (a nod to my favourite tech show, This Week in Tech, perhaps). Work commitments sometimes make it difficult to publish every week on a Sunday, so I’m trying to come up with a title that is not day-specific. Perhaps you have some of your own suggestions?

Let’s start with some beautiful lettering in the form of versals or initial capitals. I’m a big fan of them, and Pascal’s article demonstrates how they can be achieved using a little CSS (if only initial capitals were as easy on the web as they are in InDesign).

versals, initial caps

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an enormous raised cap here, but here’s an initial cap that beats them all:

the doves bible

Beat that. You can read more about the five-volume Doves Bible, from The Doves Press in Simon Loxley’s Type—the secret history of letters, chapter seven.

In response to several questions on the topic, I’ve started writing an article entitled Why Type Matters. There are, of course two answers to this question; the first concerned with aesthetics; the second philosophical  in nature. Keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Last week I mentioned the birthday of Adrian Frutiger. This week it’s the turn of Alejandro Paul, the creator of beautiful scripts like Feel.

feel script

I hear he’s approximately 21. Aren’t we all. Be sure to check out his Flickr photos too; he often posts work in progress.

Next is a typographic tribute to the animals lost in space research from 1949 to 1990.

orbit oblique exhibition

The exhibits comprise a number of Medical Xray Light Units, each telling its own story.

A great Flickr group showcasing the designs of Müller–Brockmann, Bos, Crouwel et al.

mark blamire

Via AisleOne.

This poster by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is pretty clever:


Via boingboing.

And some more inspirational calligraphy from abduzeedo:

inspirational calligraphy

Does anyone know how the above reads?

Lynda Thain is collecting data on text preferences for the web. If you’d like to help out, then head on over and submit your preferences.

text preferences

I’ll let you know when the results are published. Not sure how—or if—this will be helpful, but perhaps the results will highlight some trend.

The following is an interesting experiment with letters constructed and reconstructed using pieces of Morris Fuller Benton’ Stymie typeface. The whole thing is screen-printed:


A collaboration between Facing Desks’ Julie Cloutier and Alex Petty, and Claire Nereim.

As my last article was all about the Moderns or Didones, then it’s quite fitting that this calendar from Newfangled should feature one:

desktop calendar

I guess we should have a monthly iLT calendar. I’ll do one for July. Anyone else? I also like this new desktop wallpaper designed and submitted by Julia Kaestle.

julia desktop wallpaper

I posted about this one on Twitter, and received a very positive response. More wallpapers here.

For the children, or the child in you, here are some lovely wood blocks from notNeutral:

notneutral woodblocks

Old type specimen books don’t come cheap, so it’s nice when we can at least view and read them online. Here’s a Goudy specimen book on the Fountain Type web site.

goudy specimen

Do actually read it if you have time. Courtesy of the Bruhn Collection.

Thanks to George for this iLT tribute:

iLT cubescape

You can even create your own CubeScape.

Sunday Type Links

The Hope Poster

Akatre experimental type. Thanks, Vivien.

The non-typographer’s guide to practical typeface selection.  Thanks, Vivien.

Happy Typographic Holidays—H&FJ.

FounDesign—some nice found type.

Quite literally hand-written type.

New Type

Parry and Parry Grotesque from OurType, and designed by Artur Schmal. 

parry and parry grotesque

A lovely sans and serif pairing.

Today’s Type

Scala Sans from Martin Majoor. I’ve mentioned it before, but here he is again.

scala sans

This paired with Scala is just gorgeous.

Coming Up

A typeface review from Mr Sowersby. In addition to having made some wonderful contributions to this blog, he has done the same for type with Newzald (I love it), National and Feijoa. The week after that we have another interview, with the designer of another of my favourite serifs of recent time. And, of course, the crossword—with a big prize, I hope. I’ve also started writing a series of articles on some of my favourite type foundries—the people behind them, their types and much more.

Have an exceptional week.


  1. What an honor to make it into the Sunday Type.
    Love the blog! Another great read.


  2. George
    My pleasure. Thanks for taking the time to create it. Is there a wallpaper on the horizon? ;)

  3. Great post once again, and nice idea about the calendars & wallpapers! The calendars will be on my desktop for sure!
    I´ll try to sent you one of my own… (perhaps with a Portuguese typeface I’m thinking to buy)

  4. Hey! Thank you very much for your Bday wishes. Specially from your cool site.

  5. Great compilation! I always love seeing what’s going to be featured in the Sunday Type. Keep up the awesome work!

  6. I think “This Week In Type” is an excellent title.

    That biblical “I” cap is the best thing ever.

  7. Another great Sunday (Monday) read ;)

    How about:
    Weekly Fix
    Weekly Love
    Weekend Type (Gives you a little more room)

    Weekly fix is my favorite considering anyone who reads this site is a typoholic ;)

  8. Wow, I really like that Scala Sans. Nice new wallpaper too. Es freut mich sehr, eine deutsche Grafik zu sehen. Thanks John for all the nuggets of knowledge and inspiration.


  9. L.E.

    Better read the Bible and take it seriously, not just admire it…

  10. This is all just beautiful, really inspiring. Oh, John, I would love to see more Swiss Type (like Blanka posters) here on iLT (my Helvetica-woodblock experiment is just driving me crazy, I’m seeing grids everywhere!)

  11. The arabic calligraphy reads in bold from right to left “nagham” as in musci or melody. The rest of the letters are only used for decoration :)

    Great reading this, can’t wait for more :)

  12. A fantastic gathering of type treats if there ever was one. Thanks again John!

    By the way, I like the name This Week in Type. I too, listen to TWiT when I get a chance, and the name is definitely fitting.

    Now, I’ll have to make a month calendar. :)

  13. I look forward to having some hard data from that text preferences site to argue my case for thinner content areas from people who have full-screen monitors and insist that their long paragraphs of text ought to take up the entire width of their huge monitor so that “no space is wasted”.

    I’m also interested to see how it compares to the Elements for Typographic Style’s prescriptions such as….

    “Anything from 45 to 75 characters is widely regarded as a satisfactory length of line for a single-column page set in a serifed text face in a text size. The 66-character line (counting both letters and spaces) is widely regarded as ideal. For multiple column work, a better average is 40 to 50 characters.”

    Great update as always. It’s just unfortunate that some of the cool stuff I see and learn about here every week is sometimes pretty hard to tackle in CSS… ;)

  14. The Arabic calligraphy is absolutely stunning. That long initial drop cap is great, though it would be rather hard to apply such a technique on a blog post, especially the long one.

    John, I really like how you embellished the RSS feed count and re-styled the fonts list on the right—matches perfectly with the way you style image captions here.

    I like “This Week In Type”, though it sounds a bit too dry, too news-like.
    How about: “Type Love of the Week”?

    Edit: hey, I see you’ve installed the new version of AJAX Edit comments already. I should update it on my blog as well.

  15. I’ll go ahead and suggest “Type Any Day”, but I don’t think it stands much of a chance against “This week in Type”.

  16. Keep the name Sunday Type. It’s in the Google already, it’s in our heads already, and it’s a nice quirk that it doesn’t necessarily come out on Sunday.

    Makes a good story for the young whipper-snapper readers in 30 years.

  17. Cornelis

    I think the Arabic text actually does have an extra adjective at the end: “الحن”. El Hun. Which would be a little strange, because that means ‘not paying attention’. Any better guesses?

  18. Another great list here, John! And thanks for mentioning the Newfangled wallpaper. I agree with Jeff Werner on keeping the name, but if you do change it, I think “iLTweekly” or something would fit well as it relates to this site.

    Btw, I’ll make a wallpaper for iLT anytime.

  19. Ooh! I’m going to send that versal styling for the Web straight to my husband. I really want to have that on my new blog design (you have stopped by to see it, right, John?). I guess my problem is that I want it as kind of a ghost behind the first paragraph… trying to be creative with my typography here, but I’m not sure it’s working very well :(

    The new desktop from Julia Kaestle made me smile. I don’t know why. It’s just very cute.

    Hmm… a new name for Sunday Type. I’ll have to mull that one over a bit. There’s gotta be a witty way to work in some type terms in there…

  20. …I don’t know if you will like it:

    “that typo of week” or “that type of week” sounds quite good.

    I don’t know if the wordplay is fun for you… (I’m Italian…)


  21. Yeah i just noticed the other arabic word, maybe its “allahn” or “اللحن” as in also melody.

  22. arabic caligraphy always looks just so beatuiful this is an excellent type too

  23. I really love your work in this website!
    It’s fully complete!
    It’s my first time here… I was looking for typography items and i found this site so interesting!

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!


  24. Another excellent issue, as always.

    I like the name ‘Sunday Type’. Like Jeff said it’s already indexed in Google, it’s quirky that it’s sometimes late (damn Jeff said everything I was going to say), and from reading your stream of tweets right before you publish it I can imagine you hyped up on coffee pulling your hair out trying to finish it!

    ‘Starting Sunday type…. cutting it close…. looks like another late one…. Monday type here I come… day two of Sunday type…’

  25. Hey, you have a really great design resource maintained here! keep up with the good work. Do you think you can make a collection of all the header images you produced for each post?

  26. miha

    Another great post, the old type specimen book is very interesting. It is clear that you put a lot of work in your posts, John. It’s probably hard to publish them every Sunday (in my case, Monday :-)) You shouldn’t hurry to catch every Sunday…posts in the middle of the week (posts type of Sunday type) would also be OK. But in that case I wouldn’t know when to expect them, and I would probably check my feed reader every hour, or your homepage (making unnecessary traffic, maybe even resulting in DoS attack, if I would check it every minute :))

    Rudolf Lai, you can find headers on John’s Flickr headers page.

  27. John
    Sadly I m 36 now, but young anyway!

  28. Great Stuff, keep up the good work George.

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