I Love Typography

Sunday type: napkin type

The Bestest Type

Welcome to another Sunday Type. Thanks to all those who sent in samples of their handwriting. I’ll gather them together and post them some time. If you haven’t sent in your handwriting sample, then you can still do so.

I’m sure most of you have at some time or another, with time to kill, scrawled or doodled something on a napkin. I certainly wouldn’t post mine here; in fact they’re not even worthy of a photograph. However, these are something you might like to aspire to:

napkin type

And if the above doesn’t make you envious enough, then how about this one:

napkin type

From the SHCH Graphics Group. Does anyone know anything else about this designer(s)? I think I’ll be buying more coffee to practice. And, I think I can feel a best lettering on a napkin competition coming on.

Vernacular Typography is a wonderful set of Polaroids from Douglas Wilson:

douglas wilson Vernacular Typography

Via jnack.

Bryan Collins’ Journal of Urban Typography:

Urban Typography. Street lettering

I regularly take a look at the magnificent Superest, but never thought to mention the incredible lettering until Aegir at Ministry of Type did so.

Superest is headed by the insanely talentd Kevin Cornell (the guy behind Bearskinrug and illustrator for A List Apart, among others), and Matt Sutter of Inkfinger (I mentioned his Typtopus t-shirt here recently).

The Superest

The bestest super-heroes you’re ever likely to lay eyes on. Matt also has a new t-shirt; a Stag (don’t ask me why) made solely of type:

stag t-shirt by matt sutter


Oftentimes, those freebie photos that the stock photo people give away are quite frankly rubbish. This one from iStock is an exception:

istock free type photo

I think you need an account to download it (it’s free), and you can download numerous versions up to 4288 × 2848 px. Thanks to Sye for letting me know about this one.

Some free ornaments from Briar Press that you can use for letterpress or whatever you want. Almost 600 free ones, in addition to tons of others for sale:

briar press free typographic ornaments

And a fun and lovely free font:

free font: aix darbotzcumi

Also used to set today’s masthead. I love it. Just remember to use it big! Not such a big fan of the name—something a little more memorable than AIx Darbotzcumi might help.

From free to recylcled: these recycled or re-appropriated metal letters available through Urban Outfitters are great. I think I might have a go at making some myself, though these aren’t expensive:

recycled letters

Thanks, Megan at How.

The work of the very talented Alison Carmichael:

Be sure to check out her web site. Via Design for Mankind.

Stern Pro from P22 is available as a digital font and as metal type. The metal type at just $80 is a steal. It’s on my shopping list:

stern metal type from P22

And a trailer for the new Making of Stern DVD here:

YouTube Preview Image

A very nice WordPress theme designed by the inimiatble Elliot Jay Stocks.

proud portfolio wordpress theme

Named the Proud Portfolio theme—with good reason too.

Some beautiful letterpress cards from Dolce Press:

dolce press letter press

Be sure to see the Dolce Press web site too.

dolce press

They sometimes have some presses and metal type for sale. This Kelsey Excelsior is up for grabs:

Kelsey Excelsior

Something tells me it might cost rather a lot to ship to Japan.

You may have already seen this video, but it’s new to me, so here it is:

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to Henrique.

This kind of experiment from Paula Torós is a great way to learn how to match type:

paula toros typographic experiments

And besides it’s always fun to experiemnt with layout and with mixing and matching type.

A gorgeous card designed by Holly Gressley of Rumors design collective, for Barmoeter:

holly gressley of Rumors

Love that “A”.

holly gressley of Rumors

Via Design Sponge.

A great little tool for making tiled backgrounds. Some great patterns that would make brilliant desktop wallpapers, or even backdrops for other type treatments. Let me know if you use them.

bg patterns


Via JosWeb.

Some nice identity work by Till Wiedeck:

till wiedeck

And some nice lettering by the same designer:

till wiedeck graphic designer

Sunday links

AltFontPrev—JavaScript bookmarklet lets you preview any site with the alternative fonts declared in its CSS , or one of your choosing.

Stop the proposed move into storage of the Type Archive.—thanks Elliot.

Vacation & LetterpressDesign Intellection

Free Fonts from LettError

An “a” of nailsfor the love of type

This Cartoon Wrote a Swear Word….—(warning: strong language). Thanks, Manuel.

What the $%&’#—H&FJ on grawlix.

Type Tips

type tips boldface and punctuation

When boldface is used to emphasize words, it is usually best to leave the punctuation in the background…. It is the words, not the punctuation, that merit emphasis….—Robert Bringhurst

New Type

Though I don’t quite share Dan Reynold’s enthusiasm for the swash caps (swash caps in a sans! Perhaps I’m just old-fashioned), Verena Gerlach’s FF Chambers Sans is stunning:

fonts: ff chamber sans

Now that’s a sans with real character. Perhaps those swash caps will grow on me. You can test it and buy it from FontFont.

Coming up next is that contributed piece on Letterpress. Apologies that I didn’t post last week as intended. My mixup. Have a great week!

  1. Nice post once again!

    Hum… a napkin design competition would be nice for the anniversary of ILT, or perhaps some other kind of design competitions. I would be glad to see the results that would come up.

    Thanks for the great links once again!

    P.S.: I never got to send you my handwriting (my scanner is not working ) i’ll send you a photo of it during this week.

  2. L.E.

    Read the Bible lately? Then get to it. Start with the Gospel of John.

  3. SHCH Graphics Group is a Ukrainian design team. You may also check their blog at http://shch.livejournal.com/. It’s written in Russian, though.

  4. Pedro
    Good to see you again. Yes, a competition for iLT’s birthday is a good idea. Look forward to seeing your handwriting specimen.

    I’ve warned you before. This is a typography blog. It is not a blog for theological discussion and exegesis; neither is it the place for preaching. Stop haranguing me about reading the Bible. I have read it numerous times. That’s four strikes—henceforth, I’m marking your comments as spam. I did give you ample warning.

    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.—Ecclesiastes 3:1

    Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἂν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς· οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται—Matthew 7:12. From Stephanus Textus Receptus (1550).

    Good to see you again. Yes, a competition for iLT’s birthday is a good idea. Look forward to seeing your handwriting specimen.

    Thanks very much for the link. I guess I’ll be using Google translate :)

  5. Thanks Johno,

    Lovely Sunday post as usual, it’s a good way to start off the work week. I absolutely love that background pattern site, I wonder if they’d be cool with me submitting some vector objects. I also saw those recycled letters at Urban Outfitters last week, pretty neat.


  6. MP
    I’m sure they’d be happy to receive more good vector illustrations that could be used for patterns. Were you tempted to buy any of those recycled letters?

  7. Unfortunately they didn’t have the “M” and “P” that I wanted to pick up, I guess they ran out :( I plan on stopping by there this weekend to see how often they get them in.


  8. MP
    I wonder why “M” and “P” ;) Wonder if they have “I”, “L” and “T”. I’m off to check.

  9. love the type tshirts!

  10. Niki
    That’s one of the great things about reading these comments; I get to discover so many new blogs—like yours. Love those Excel drawings you posted about.

  11. uh..what’t the font font used in the Emphasis Type tip? So pretty.

  12. Sara

    El video está fantástico!
    Loved it.

  13. hi johno, i’m glad the iStock link was useful… as soon as i saw it i thought of iLT!

    i always love reading this blog, it often distracts me from my work! but in a good way of course.

    thanks again for a great post!


  14. eben
    Yes, it’s beautiful. It’s Newzald (Book and Black weights in the illustration) from Kris Sowersby. I love this type. Worth every cent. If you buy it and don’t like it, I’ll give you your money back.

    Gracias. That’s the only Spanish I have :)

    Thanks for thinking of iLT. Great find. And good luck with Chomel. You’ve made a great start.

  15. Good stuff yet again. Those napkins are something else! I really liked Till Wiedeck’s work, especially a few of the typefaces he designed. Thanks for all the feebie links very good stuff. :)

  16. adrian

    you should just call this site sundaytype.com

  17. Thank you for these treasures you give us every week ^___^

  18. Hey John.. have to say the napkin type is beautiful!!

  19. MattiaC

    Stern Pro from P22… well I want it too… but… how is the right way to use it? I don’t know where to find mechanics and press… wel…

    let me see…

    your blog is unique : )

  20. Those napkins are something…every one I’ve tried doodling on (regardless of the type of pen or marker) has bled horribly and made an illegible (or barely legible) mess.

  21. Nice to see Doug’s Polaroids making the blog rounds: I went to school with him. If you like his flickr set, you might check out his site at: http://www.onpaperwings.com/

  22. Robert
    Thanks. I like the look of HM Walnut, but as far as I’m aware, he hasn’t published any fonts yet. Have just mailed him to check.

    I guess I should buy that domain now ;)

    My pleasure. It’s wonderful that there are so many talented people out there to draw inspiration from.

    Yes it is. I’m going to try some more myself. Best of luck with collectivehaus.

    The next post on getting started with Letterpress might point you in the right direction. Thanks for your kind words.

    I had the same problem; actually, the bleeding was only half my problem. I think I might try spraying the napkin with fixative—as a kind of primer. Unless anyone else has some napkin tips.

  23. LorraineDesign
    Thanks for the additional link to Doug’s site. Off to visit your blog now.

  24. I hope you like what you see!

  25. Those napkins are drop-dead gorgeous. Wow. And I love The Superest! I haven’t visited in a while, though, good reminder to check that out again.

    LETTERPRESS!!! YAY!! Thanks for the link to Briarpress on the free ornaments and decorations. I’ve been there before, but I never found that section. I mostly keep an eye out on the classifieds for local classes.

    How can Stern be only $80?? That is cheaper than many high quality digital fonts! Maybe I’ll see if the letterpress studio I’m studying at would be interested.

    Dolce Press. Sweet ;)

    What? The next post is on getting started with letterpress? Cool. I’m looking forward to that. Be sure to check out My Adventures in Letterpress Printing, too, John!

  26. The SHCH graphics group does amazing stuff. I found them on Behance a few months ago and I’m surprised they aren’t a household name among us nerds yet. My favorite thing by them is the word “Glamour” on toilet paper.

  27. Thanks for the link, John. I’m tres excited about the upcoming article on Letterpress!

  28. adrian

    i also forgot to mention that as a graphic design student this site is super sweet and helpful. good lookin out.

  29. Swash caps on a sans? Why, I never!

    Just kidding. That’s awesome. I love the ligatures too. Plus, that italic Greek Georgia in your annoyed and perfectly perfect response is beautiful as well.

  30. Colin

    It’s “Kevin Cornell” not Kornell :)

  31. Thanks for the nice Post. I really like some of the Typo-Artworks.

    The background designer is a very usefull tool.

  32. MJS

    What Greek font are you using there? It looks quite ugly - irregular for a start. Maybe a nice topic to do a new post about? Athenian and Attika spring to my mind, of old GreekKeys fame…

    About the napkins: I must confess that to me they look rather photoshopped.

  33. Lauren
    I really enjoyed reading about your first letterpress experience. Looking forward to the next instalment. Would be wonderful if you can get the studio to buy Stern. You could be one of the first to use it.

    Yes, that’s one of the best ones.

    Me too. I’ll publish it later today.

    Thanks for saying so.

    Thanks for pointing that out. Now corrected.

  34. Klaudius


    Another music video with some fonts in it.

  35. MJS
    Looks like the Greek from Times New Roman. Couldn’t be Georgia (which is declared first in the style sheet), because Georgia doesn’t include the full Greek character set. Pretty limited in the choice of so-called web-safe fonts with a full Greek character set. Your comment has got me thinking, though.

    I’m pretty sure those napkins are not ‘Photoshopped’, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks for the link.

  36. While we’re in the habit of posting youtube stuff, here’s an AMAZING type animation from Olivier Beaudoin called Typolution. Most of you have probably seen it.


  37. MP
    Thanks for those. I also have some type-related videos on this page (it’s not easy to find).

  38. Damon

    I did have the same thought about the napkins initially; that they’re comped. But on closer inspection I don’t think they are. If they’re not, as mentioned already, I’d love to know how on earth they were inked given than they’re drawn on something which is *designed* to spread the moisture out. (Not a ballpoint, which is the only pen I can think of dry enough to do the job).

    Maybe they’re old fashioned napkins, a bit like the shiny toilet paper we used to get in school which resolutely refused to absorb anything whatsoever!

  39. Damon
    I’m trying to find out about those napkins.
    Looks as though your school had the same toilet-paper supplier as mine. We used to use ours as tracing paper.

  40. Love love love this feature, as always. Great blog.

    Thanks for the mention! :)

  41. Thank you for great inspiration :-)

  42. John, btw, I showed Stern to my letterpress instructor and asked about the price. She said that it really isn’t a great price (normally should be about $50 USD, maybe a little more because of the rising costs of commodities, including lead) and that for any functioning shop, a California Job case holds about 30 sets. That seemed a little crazy to me—$2400 for a full set of one size—but she said that you wouldn’t be able to compose much (maybe a very simple greeting card) with only that one set. Too bad…

    Also more updates on my class and the restoration of the Vandercook SP15!

  43. Cool post.. I love the Napkin Type — pretty awesome!

  44. Oh my god… I love this post johno! <3
    Great work. :)

  45. Vernacular Typography’s Polaroid’s are more than awesome. He has some great ones in there. Must have spent quite a lot of money on all of the film. I’ve been trying to find a place to pick up cheap Polaroid 600 film, anyone know of any?

  46. atamosk

    hey i love this stuff you posted. also check out house industries.

  1. Design Bump—Jul 21, 2008

previous post: Sunday Type: incubator type

next post: Letterpress From Scratch

May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts January Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts december Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March 2011 Fonts February 2011 Fonts January 2011 Fonts December 2010 Fonts November 2010 Fonts October 2010 Fonts September 2010 Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February 2010 featured fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts