I Love Typography

Sunday Type: vintage type

Last week we led with a beautiful found type photo from David John Earls. This week we lead with another stunning photo from Adam Polselli. It just happens to be one of my favourite cars too. Anyone have a spare one languishing in their garage?

adam polselli vintage car logos

Via Sean blanc.

Parachute Fonts has built a great library of type, so it’s no surprise that they should start picking up some silverware. Parachute’s Centro Pro super-family was awarded best original typeface. How about this for a trophy:

centro pro from parachute wins European design award for best original typeface

Congratulations to Parachute and to Centro Pro’s designer Panos Vassiliou. It’s a beautiful family. Be sure to check out Parachute’s Flickr too:


For type fans who are also Poker fans (me), then how could you live without P22’s second edition of the hugely popular type-inspired playing cards.

playing cards p22

Every card features a different font. $10 or free if you spend over $100. Thanks to Diane Zerr.

The Countdown font:

countdown font

Click on the big G to see a list of fonts from Megi Zumstein & Claudio Barandun. Via swissmiss.

A tag-cloud or word-cloud generator from Jonathan Feinberg with numerous options to play around with:

wordle dot net

Thanks David Dickey.

Free Things

FontBooklet One from FontShop is a rather nice looking specimen. Includes FF Maiola, Whitman, FF MetaSerif, and friends.

fontbooklet 1

To sign up to receive a copy of FontBooklet, please create an account on FontShop.com. Be sure to tick the box “Sign me up for font catalogs”. If you already have an account on FontShop.com, double check your “Subscription” settings in “My Account”. (thanks to Stephen Coles for the clarification.)

PSDTuts had another great tutorial demonstrating how to achieve that glowing text effect. Lauren, over at Creative Curio turned the whole process into a PhotoShop Action that you can download and play with.

light writer photoshop action

Sunday Links

Block Quotes & Pull Quotes—SM

Dream Type—make your own message

Kerning & OpenType Features in FF3—thanks Manuel.

The Pattern Foundry—an archive of decorative patterns

Excerpts from Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type

Web site of Marian Bantjes—the designer of Restraint


An Alphabet Of Chairs

TypeCon 2008—early bird registration extended through June 24

Roger Black Studio—Flickr

Arial, the most legible ‘font’ in the world—haha

Quotation Marks: non-English usage. Via Jens Meiert on Twitter.

The beautiful Symphony in Red:

YouTube Preview Image

Via Leila Singleton.

Next, a lovely marriage of poetry and experimental typography from poet Derek Beaulieu:

poet derek beaulieu

The above illustrations are from Chains, published by Paper Kite Press.

With chains, derek beaulieu once again turns his attention to how “language regards itself, stalks itself, begins, slowly, to eat itself” (Canadian Literature) in a series of graceful abstractions made entirely from antiquated dry-transfer lettering. In chains, letters gather in elegant arrangements, architectural constructions and sinews of meaning.

Would love to see some screen-printed posters of Derek’s work.

I mentioned Daily Type a while back. Here’s a reminder.

daily type

And for Russian readers, there’s typoholic.ru, the brainchild of Valery Golyzhenkov and Ilya Ruderman (Ilya is one of the founders of Daily Type). And Ilya’s Flickr is here.

Found this lovely spread while browsing Flickr:

tutu22 Flickr

And some lovely Flickr found type:

food tutu22

Some very interesting experiments with letter forms from Christine Cerniglia, while taking one of Kristy Pennino’s classes:

christine cerniglia

and this example from a former student in the same class:

reina castellanos

Does anyone out there know Kristy Pennino? She certainly sounds very interesting.

I guess it’s not quite the time of year for it, but here’s something you might want to buy for this coming winter:

uppercase scarf

Laser-cut scarf in microfiber suede from littlefactory.com. Via typographer.org. And if you need yet another type-themed t-shirt to match your scarf (or the other way round), then be sure to enter Typophile’s t-shirt competition.

andi emery

This entry from Andrea Emery, and set in FF Meta made me smile.

I mentioned Milton Glaser’s I Love NY logo in the fifth instalment of my Type History series. Found this nice little interview with the great man here.

A giant Grotesque poster from Xavier Encinas:

grotesque poster by Xavier Encinas

Be sure to check out his Flickr Photo Stream too.

A wonderful ad from Sancho BBDO agency in Columbia. Graphic design by Andrés Montes:

magnet ad by Andrés Montes

I would have included a link to the Sancho BBDO agency, but it resizes the browser window and throws popups all over the place—pity. Thanks, Vivien.

A bit of fun from the Ink Finger Store—the Baseline Ladies, including Sister Baskerville and Ms Helvetica Neue.

baseline ladies

Designs by Matt Sutter. Thanks to Peter van Impelen.

Type Tips

Today’s Type Tip is from Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style, where he suggests using the roman or upright version of parentheses and square brackets, even if the text itself is set in italic.

italic brackets and parentheses

In my own experience this has proven a good general rule. However, it is typeface-dependent. Some types come with parentheses and square brackets that slope less than the italic letters, and sometimes just look better than the roman or upright versions. If you do choose to follow this type tip, then you’ll often find that you’ll need to tighten up the spacing between the upright bracket or parenthesis and the letter that follows it (the parts highlighted in red above). For the Web, the above practice may create more problems than it solves. Try it—which one looks best?

Crossword 2 Winner

Thanks to the dozens who sent in their solutions to iLT’s second crossword competition. I think this one was pretty difficult, so in future I’ll try to set an alternative concise version. Of all the correct entries, Zacahry (Zacahry who? I don’t know) was drawn at random and wins a license for Stefan Hattenbach’s rather lovely Anziano.

Here’s the solution:

ilt typography crossword vol. 2 solution

I did permit two possible solutions to 4-down—both border and margin were deemed correct solutions. And here’s a taste of the prize:

Anziano from Stefan Hattenbach

A big thanks to Stefan for offering this great prize.

Today’s Type

FF Parango from the hugely talented itinerant type designer Xavier Dupré:

ff parango

Coming Up

An article on letterpress, an interview, and a piece about the making of a recently released font. Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

Font Credits:
Type Tips set in Neil Summerour’s Epic;
Masthead set in FF Parango regular italic.


  1. David

    The Ladies of the Baseline seem to be a little bit inspired by these beauties: http://epica-awards.com/pages/results/2006/winners/results2006-cat30.html

  2. David, thanks. Yes, I’ve seen numerous incarnations of these. I like that those in the article are available as posters. The ones you point to are very well done, indeed.

  3. Thanks Johno,

    Parango looks lovely. I aways look forward to this every Monday when I go into work. It’s a good way to spend the first “work” hour of the day. :) Keep it up!


  4. Psst, a typo: Marian Bantjes

    The car type gallery is very inspiring! If you like that sort of thing, don’t miss cartype.com, run (or at least initiated) by Carlos Segura (t26)

  5. I am perversely flattered to have my “FOOD” photo featured on this fine blog, John, thank you. Yet another symptom of Design Disease, perhaps?

  6. What a great way to start off Monday. Thanks, John.
    If you happen to find two spare Karmann Ghias in someone’s garage, would you please save one for me? Love the colour, the logotype, the style.

    hmm, I’ve seen that magical symphony in Red somewhere before, thought it was on iLT, but then perhaps somewhere else, in any case it’s amazing!

    I’ve added dailyType and Typoholic.ru to the list of my bookmarks, thanks. Interesting sites. Not crazy though about the choice of type in typoholic.ru, it’s okay in a larger size, but very eye-straining in small sizes.

    Congrats to the crossword winner. One day I’ll make time for solving iLT crosswords, perhaps the next one.

  7. Gotta say that i love those found type fotos!
    I’m thinking on starting a collection of my own.

    Nice post by the way!

  8. I love your blog, and I also love the Karman Ghia. I’ve put together a collection of urban typeface (mostly vintage) from Buenos Aires, you can see it here.

  9. MP
    Thanks for your kind words. Happy that you’re enjoying it.

    Thanks for pointing out the type. Fixed.
    I think I mentioned cartype last month (perhaps the month before). I first read about it in Creative Review.

    And I’m honoured to be able to include it. Be sure to keep me updated—on your medical condition, and the found type.

    Ah, you noticed. Yes, I did mention it some time ago. I rediscovered it, and still liked it so much, that I couldn’t resist. I thought you might appreciate the Russian-language site. Are you teaching your daughter Russian, BTW? And thanks for the links, Vivien.

    Be sure to let me know if you do!

    Thank you. Thanks for the link too. Love that pink and blue fantastique photo.

  10. Sugoi~!

    Thanks for this, John — another great post. I’ve already requested a Font Booklet, though on second glance I’m not sure if I used the right email address. Seems like contact info depends on your location. Well, I’ll just have to wait and hope ;)

    Also, congrats to Zachary on winning the crossword!

  11. Andrew

    John, that crossword was much more difficult than the last, would you consider pointing to a few reference sites to help guide us in finding answers?

    I’m noticing that depending on where I look, I find several possible answers, and even in some instances it’s semantics that separates the right from the wrong (such as 22a Umlaut… diacritic vs diaeresis). Which wikipedia lists as a diacritic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umlaut_(diacritic).

    Sorry, I feel like I’m nit-picking. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to create these crosswords. I do enjoy doing them and appreciate you putting the time in to make them.

  12. That Karmann badge is lovely! It looks like it should be rendered in 70’s airbrush with palm trees reflected in the paintwork.

  13. Regarding setting brackets in roman when the text is italic, I did that here (check out the sidebar) and am happy with it. It would be better if I could kern them a bit (the “l” in “all” is a wee too close to the paren, in particular), but overall I think this looks nicer than setting the brackets in italic. It’s probably easier to accomplish on the web with lowercase letters than with capitals, as the latter are more likely to need significant kerning.

  14. erica

    thanks for a deliciously hard crossword puzzle—i learned a lot from solving it. oh, but 29 down: guillmets threw me off. i’ve only seen it spelled “guillemets”…

  15. Oh no! My comment got lost in a 500 error :( I’ll see if I can remember what I said…

    Thanks for the mention of the Photoshop action! I hope your readers enjoy.

    I like the typographic illustrations you show as a regular feature on Sunday Type. Christine Cerniglia “E” for Easter is cute!! And I agree that Kristy sounds like an interesting person. Interview worthy perhaps? Maybe she can give us some creative type exercises.

    The Type Tips are great! Keep them coming. They are much easier to digest than the novel by Bringhurst :}

    LOLed at the link to the study about Arial. Did you read the actual report on mlive.com?

  16. We all consider consider Kristy to be the “typography guru” over at Valencia. I’ll be posting another set of exercises real soon - this one will be on typographix syntax. Thanks for the feature!

  17. kristin

    ahh, marian bantjes is one of my favourites. :)

  18. You’re most welcome for the links, John. iLT for me is like the light bulb for the Pavlov’s dog — whenever I see type-related interesting things the light bulb in my brain flashes: “I should send it to John” ;)
    I actually came across two other things today before reading Sunday Type, and was about to send them to you, but fortunately read your S.Type and lo and behold you already mentioned them here — the word tag generator and those type-curved people ;)

    As for teaching Russian: yes, I try as much as I can; my daughter understands everything but mostly speaks English.

  19. Hamish
    I think you’re turning Japanese … I really think so….
    Stephen Coles from FontShop mailed me to clarify how one gets hold of a copy of FontBooklet 1. Basically create an account at FontShop (it’s free), then check your subscription settings.

    You’re right, it was pretty difficult. I think the solution is to have two crosswords. I think (as someone else suggested) that I need to compose the crossword a little better—more crossovers, and therefore fewer chances of multiple correct solutions.
    It’s not nit-picking at all. That’s exactly the kind of feedback that goes toward improving iLT, so thanks.

    Yes, rather than the photographer :)

    I think you’ve made it work. Something I do for the web is use a thin space ( ), especially when the opening parenthesis or bracket is followed by a letter with a descender, or the closing parenthesis or bracket is preceded by a letter with an ascender—the thin space often prevents collisions. Though the thin space should really be M/5 (one-fifth of an em wide), different fonts have different-width thin spaces; sometimes M/6 or even M/8. See also this A List Apart article.
    Notice that you have José Saramago in your sidebar; Blindness is my favourite novel of his.

    Yes, it threw you off because it’s incorrect. The correct spelling is indeed “guillemets”. Sorry. Congratulations on solving the entire crossword, despite that.

    Apologies for the 500 error. I’ve experienced the same error when commenting on WP blogs, but have never tracked down the cause. Thanks for your perseverance.
    I enjoyed playing with your PhotoShop action. I was hoping to use it to create a masthead for this post, but just didn’t have time.

    Then perhaps you could sweet-talk her into setting some exercises for iLT readers? Look forward to your next post.

    She’s one of the TypeCamp instructors too. More on TypeCamp coming up soon.

  20. “Arial, the most legible ‘font’ in the world” – there’s truly nothing else to add than “haha” :)

  21. Parachute’s Centro Pro is goregous family. Their always a litte playful with their bold which I really admire. And Parango’s italic is amazing too. More typefaces. Another great article. Cheers

  22. Zachary Scheuren

    It’s always great to see all the exciting stuff on Sunday Type, but it’s even better to see I won Anziano. I was planning to buy it at some point, but this way I have more to spend on typography books. Except that I just spent it all on typography books. :) One beautifully printed book I just bought is Robert Bringhurst’s The Solid Form of Language. Very nice.

    Funny you should mention the FontBooklet. The mailman brought my copy while I was reading this. And it has one of my favorite typefaces: Arnhem.

    Congratulations to everyone who did the crossword. There were definitely a couple things that threw me off, but it was fun and I look forward to the next one.

  23. John
    Thanks for the FontBooklet tip — I had an account already, so I just went in and checked the Print Catalog subscription, which I think should do it.

    And perhaps I am becoming Japanese, haha. It’s definitely a place I want to visit. :)

  24. Milton Glaser’s birthday is tomorrow, June 26, just like me! (My perfect gift: http://www.cosacnaify.com.br/loja/detalhes.asp?codigo_produto=1041&language=pt&showPromo=True , a gift box with Thinking with Type, Grid and The Elements of Typographic Style, all in Portuguese, for only $60!)

    Laser cutters rocks! I remember the modern-woodcut from that girl in a past Sunday Type… Oh, If I just had one, it would save me all that hand-cutting in Helwoodica, my experimental woodcut font… Thanks God it’s nearly ready.

    And thank you John for this blog!

  25. I’m with Lauren. The ‘type tips’ you publish are excellent, and I hope you keep them coming. I hope you’re doing well, John. Just spent a relaxing weekend in Amsterdam with my girlfriend. First time there, and what a beautiful city!

  26. Another great Sunday type. Really great stuff! I’m really going to have to browse around flickr more often. Daily type is a really cool site, very inspiring. Thanks John!

  27. Jeremy

    Great article John! My uncle is a Volkswagen repairman and re-seller of older used cars. He has many Beetles, Karmann Ghia, Buses and Things. You’d have to make quite a trip to find one though, as we live in Alabama. :)

  28. Denisse Briones

    I love Karman Ghia, my father used to drive me in his own when I was a baby!…. I believe that will be in my memory always.. Its very interesting to see how many people here like Karman Ghia.. why not to start a club?
    I love the pic!

  29. Wow. This site is a revelation.
    The tone, atmosphere, era, and infinitely subtle nuance can all be influenced by typography. I kind of knew this already (think everyone sort of does), but the endless juxtapositions really demonstrate it.

    Some of the fonts and colors suggest sunny days. Others suggest buildings, tomes, carnivals and meadows.
    My appreciation of typography is basic and undeveloped, no doubt, but as a lifelong lover of verse and classic literature, it is something I should refine.

    Found this site from a lead on ffffound.com and just browsed the heck out of it. :)

  30. Paul
    Welcome to iLT. Look forward to seeing you here again. Enjoy!

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