I Love Typography

Sunday Type: stern type

Metal Digital

First, I’d like to thank Matthew Buchanan for helping me with coding for my comments. Thanks too to everyone who commented on the Type Camp feature. I think there are places left. If you’re interested, or have questions, then mail Shelley—info[at]typecamp.org.

A lovely photo from a talented photographer:

lucky may flickr

I really like how the lettering aligns with the roof of the building in the background. I wonder who can name the typeface used to set “gallery”.

Here’s another great image from FormFiftyFive. Be sure to check out their site. Some good and interesting work to be found there:


And some playful type from SyntheticAutomatic. Time to dust off those Connect 4 boxes:



H&FJ’s entry on Print’s Type and Form cover, and the marvel of 3-D printing:

kinetic letters from Print mag

And be sure to read Different Strokes available online from Print. The article on the making of the August Print cover is read-worthy too. While reading that article I came across Responsive Type. I’d forgotten about this project. I haven’t heard anything about it for ages. Does anyone know if the project is still alive?

responsive type

I really like the concept behind Responsive Type:

[Responsive Type] allows the font to respond to scale, at small point sizes simplifying its form to give greater legibility, then responding to the display nature of fonts at large point sizes by increasing in complexity.

Ever wondered which typefaces your favourite designers claim as their favourites? Create /Reject asked them, and then published a nice little book, with proceeds going to UNICEF:


You have your type t-shirt, even your type scarf, so here’s a Make Do And Mend type bag to match:

make do and mend bag from Banka

Available from Blanka, all bags are screen printed on canvas. All designs limited to 250 pieces.

Sunday Links

Crazy House Motto Flickr

Nikola Djurek’s Glagolitic font—H&FJ

The Golden Age of Chrome—Mark Simonson

Panose Type Classification

Google Code: Hyphenator—via Jon Tan (twitter)

Evolution of the International Typographic Style: Print to Web

The Amazing World of Marian Bantjes

Swede type

A great type site for Swedish-speaking readers. Introducing Typografism.se:

typografism Swedish type sit

Laser-etched type

Thanks to George Wiscombe and his geenius blog, I found these wonderful laser-etched ornaments and type:

refillseven laser-etched type

They even have some laser-etched skateboard decks (not that I’ll be needing one of those. My skateboarding days were short-lived and painful).

I really like this poster:


I found it via FFFFound, but can’t track down the designer. Anyone?

P22 Stern

I received something rather special in the post the other day. A lovely specimen for the soon-to-be-released Stern. What’s particularly interesting about this release is that, along with the digital font, a metal version will be released simultaneously.

stern from p22

Stern was designed by the immensely multi-talented Jim Rimmer (Rimmer Type Foundry), and will be available from P22 from July 18th. Add it in your diaries. Another very pleasant surprise was discovering an actual piece of metal type (16pt). I got a k, and immediately did a smoke proof.

stern from p22

Talking of upcoming events (like the release of Stern), I’ve decided to add an events page to iLT. So, if you have a type-related event—an exhibition, or you’d like to pre-announce the release of a new font, then let me know, and I’ll add it. No charge of course.

Need some help choosing or matching typefaces? Robert Wakeman has just launched his new web site

robert wakeman, type director

A post on Aisle One introduced me to the work of Caroline Fabès. I particularly like her Times New Ramon 12 (yes, Times New Ramon, not Roman). If I understand the process, then I think she first “pixelates” Times New Roman 12 pt, then measures the number of pixels in the cross-section and plots them. She does this in all four directions for Times New Ramon up, down, left, and right, respectively.

caroline fabes' Times New Ramon 12 based on Times New Roman

I really enjoy this kind of experimentation and blurring the boudaries between art and type. One of my own simple experiments was this stacked type, which just centers and stacks all the lowercase letters from one typeface, one weight to create a kind of type signature:

stacked type type signatures

On the left Garamond; on the right is Archer.

And if you’re looking for a nice July desktop calendar, then look no further than Able’s Newfangled:

newfangled july desktop calendar

And what better way to enjoy your next meal, than on these gorgeous plates from zand2ohs:

tableware from zand2ohs, via Design Sponge

Via Grace’s wonderful Design Sponge.

You’ll need some cutlery too. Here is the ultimate type-lover’s tableware from Kathryn Hinton:

kathryn hinton tableware

Via Swiss Miss.

Sunday’s type

The beautifully drawn Cosmiqua from type designer and Linotype’s Type Director, Akira Kobayashi. Inspired by advertising design from the 1950s:

cosmiqua com from Akira Kobayashi

 Now there’s someone I’d love to interview for iLT.

Coming up

After iLT’s interview with Nadine Chahine, I received a number of mails asking whether I could write an article on Arabic calligraphy. As I know so little about it (and don’t practice it), I’m certainly not qualified to do so. Fortunately an iLT reader is, and she has contributed a wonderful piece on the topic. I’ll be publishing either that or the Letterpress piece mid-week. Any preferences? Type Tips will be back next week. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about that article on Why Type Matters; coming soon, but it’s going to be a long one!

Hope you enjoyed your Sunday Type. Have a great week.

Today’s masthead is set in Amalia Pro italic and black italic—designed by Nikola Djurek.


  1. The flyer looks like the work of Dutch illustrator Piet Parra.

  2. Alex
    Thanks very much. It certainly does looks like it’s his work.

  3. Type experimentation is fun. I love the stacked type idea! Makes me want to try some things myself, the only question is what to do?, heh.

    And Times New Ramon, very neat — now I want to see Times New Ramen! Noodle style! Not sure how you’d do it though, but I can see some possibilities.

    And oh, if I only had my own 3D printer, those things are amazing.

  4. Hamish
    Yes, it is fun. 3-D stacked type could be interesting with your super-PhotoShop skills. Times New Ramen—love it!

  5. if you ever need an interpreter for an interview with Mr Kobayashi, I’d be happy to help. I am a professional translator and interpreter for Japanese and English.

  6. Awesome, as always!

    My preference for the mid week article would be letterpress, though I’m sure both articles are up to the excellent standard we now come to expect! Thanks Johno.

  7. Sadly, Robert Wakeman is going to need all the extra referrals he can get from sites like this, because I saw no actual text on his site. Just images. Makes for a sad day - no mobile browsing, no search engine indexing, no copy/paste. Looking through the source, I think I saw ONE page with an alt tag specified for some body content.

    Tsk tsk tsk. Sure, you don’t have the typefaces easily accessible through pure HTML/CSS, but I’d rather make a few sacrifices (or make use of Flash) as opposed to image-based websites that will be severely hampered in the SEO department.


  8. I love creative type experimentation… some things you see other designers do seem so obvious and you’re like “why didn’t I think of that?!” Lol.

    Your post just gave me an idea.. I’m going to create my own typography inspired tote bag to carry groceries in (i’m a huge “green” freak!). =P

  9. momotaro
    Thanks for your offer.

    Thanks. Noted, sir.

    I agree, the site is awful, and the navigation is dreadful; like the concept/service; pity about the web site. You’re right, a little sIFR, some better markup (not than I’m one to talk), and a clear and consistent navigation system would make for a much, much better site.

  10. Katy
    Great idea. Be sure to show me when you do!

  11. FV

    Pretty sure “gallery” is Meridien (in fact, I’d put money on it if not for Frutiger Serif :). I’ve just finished Bernard Cornwell’s The Pale Horseman—set entirely in Meridien—and was pleasantly reminded of how well it works for body copy.

  12. The PRINT magazine cover looks pretty much exactly like what you’d get if you outlined a font, exported it with stroke, and then used Bryce3D to create a new landscape object based on a topographical map which you then imported the font image for. Change the elevation values of the font, rotate, set your lighting, surface texture and erosion and voila. Then you can throw it in front of something in Photoshop as they did here, or build it into an actual landscape. Not at all new tech, I did this perhaps 13 years ago for my home page on the Victoria Freenet. But still cool none the less. : )

  13. I read the article on how they made it and it sounds like they went to quite a bit of trouble to pull it off. The more interesting part to me in that article is the discussion about the creativity and who makes the tools these days. That part was a good read - thank you for the link.

  14. For those whose who want to know what typefaces designers love but are finding the UNICEF book too, yknow, totally sold-out for their tastes may I recommend “Types Best Remembered,” which features a half-page mini-essay by each designer on their favorite type. Plus as a bonus flip it upside-down and it becomes “Types Best Forgotten,” which is maybe even better.

    If I recall, Helvetica, Cooper Black and Lydian featured on both lists.

  15. Sorry but no, it’s not Parra, it does look like Parra but it’s not!
    It’s Grems… http://gremsakasupermicro.free.fr/

    You can read his name of the poster, though.

  16. That little link to my Flickr almost had me bouncing off the walls!
    Thanks very much, great post as always.


  17. Nice post once again!
    I absolutely loved the 3D type (gotta get my self one of those printers), the laser etched ornaments (should get one of those laser etching machines) and the experiments with type!

    About the first image I think it’s definitely Meridien, and as for the mid week post i would gladly appreciate any of the options! Perhaps the Arabic calligraphy would be best, since i had a little workshop on that subject that I’m very into it.

  18. Thanks for the link, Johno!

    I’d be interested in an article on Arabic calligraphy. Btw, the recent changes to the site are looking great. Well done.


  19. Si

    Wasn’t the Stern press release embargoed until July 18? A spoiler? Or did P22 okay pre-announcing?

  20. The tableware by Kathryn Hinton is very appealing to me. I like the one that says “FORK” the best, but her other work, like the melting silverware, is very nice as well.

  21. Thanks for the mention/link!

    Nice content as usual – I think I’ll be ordering one of those, um, man-bags from Blanka.



  22. Thanks Johno! I’m about halfway through the featured issue of PRINT. I came across an article today called “Good Type Gone Bad”. It asked typeface designers if they’ve noticed their work being used in good and bad ways. What I found interesting was the specific guidelines most type designers claimed their typefaces were created for. I thought it was nice to hear designers give depth to their creations.


  23. MJS

    I think the letters on the top picture are always nicely aligned with the building in the background, no matter from which angle you picture them…

  24. Stern looks very cool. I haven’t purchased any new fonts for a while, maybe it’s time…

    (I also haven’t stolen any either, just been using the same ones. My wording above seems to imply shady actions!)

  25. Anyone know what the circus-esque typeface is on the Typografism.se link? I need it in my life.

  26. The Times New Ramon project has some nice practical uses. Gives you a very nice reference to definitively compare the weighting of different letters i.e. exactly how top heavy one letter is to another.

    Probably not a real practical use, but I thought it was neat.

    —- Martin

  27. FV
    Yes, I think Meridien too. Not Frutiger Serif (though they are almost identical) simply because the sign predates the release of Frutiger Serif, and you’ll notice a small difference in the serifs of the “y”:

    David greenwell
    Yes, interesting (as mentioned in the article) that they should create something in 3-D, then print it in 2.

    Thanks. You have a link?

    Thanks for the clarification and the link.

    Joanne Dodd
    Hope you didn’t sustain any injuries. I’ll warn you next time :)

    Yes, you’re right. See my response to FV above.

    You’re welcome. Thanks. Still lots I’d like to change—just a time thing. Oh, and I’ve just noticed that the leave a comments box is narrower than the comments—yet another thing to change.

    Me? Spoil?

    I like the melting cutlery too. Would have mentioned it but for it not being quite type related.

    Wear it with pride and a man-bag it is:)

    Where did you see that Good Type Gone Bad article? Would like to read it.

    Will you be buying the metal too? I didn’t for a second imagine that you’d been involved in anything as shady as font piracy. Let me know if you do buy a license and get to use it.

    Left my answer on your blog. I’m guessing it’s more than one face. For something similar and very nice indeed, try Linotype’s Madame—now available in OpenType which makes it much more fun to use.

    Martin McNickle
    I agree, these kinds of projects reveal something more about type. I’ve long had the intention of building an app that measures the colour of type, simply by measuring the surface area of all the characters on a page, and then plotting the results somehow.

  28. Johno, it’s tempting, that’s for sure. I’d love to get enough specimens to do a handmade “letterpressed” business card, or something of that nature.

    By the way, this comment form is very slick.

  29. Si

    >Me? Spoil?

    I hate to be scooped on a story ;-)

    But when a press releases says “for public release July 18th” I kind of feel obligated to respect that?

  30. Good stuff this week. I really want to pick up one of those “Fifty Designers’ Current Favorite Typefaces” books.

  31. StephenP

    I think the poster was designed by the Dutch Illustrator/designer Parra

  32. DavidR

    Saw a great exhibition of Arabic calligraphy at the Alcazar in Sevilla a couple of months ago.
    Don’t know if it’s still running, but worth a visit anyway for the architecture and gardens.

  33. Here you go Johno,
    Good Type Gone Bad


  34. How do I unsubscribe from these comments?!

    The subscription manager link at the bottom of each comment is useless, or obscure in function.

  35. “I’ve long had the intention of building an app that measures the colour of type, simply by measuring the surface area of all the characters on a page, and then plotting the results somehow.”

    The scheme you propose wouldn’t be terribly difficult to do actually. I’ve done a good bit on computer vision before so maybe if I have a spare hour or two I can knock something up. If you’re interested in seeing the results, or want to input a bit more into how it would work, just email me.

    — Martin

  36. David
    Thank you. Would love to see it if you do.

    Am trying to find some details of that exhibition.

    Thanks for the link!

    Apologies. You’re the second person to mention having difficulty unsubscribing from comments. When there are numerous comments, it can be a little overwhelming. I’ll try to fix the problem. In the meantime, I’ve unsubscribed you from the comments. Once again, sorry for inconvenience.

    Sounds fantastic. I’ll mail you soon.

  37. Enea

    The typeface used to set “gallery” in Luckymay’s photo is Meridien, designed by Frutiger.

  38. Enea

    Sorry, didn’t saw the other messages…

  39. Enea
    No problem. Pleased you got involved. And congratulations on correctly identifying it.

  40. Thanks for the mention of FormFiftyFive! Credit for the domino image needs to go to the legendary Chris Gray (www.weshallsee.co.uk)

    ILT ;)

  1. Amys Welt—Jul 31, 2008

previous post: Type Camp 2008

next post: Arabic calligraphy as a typographic exercise

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