I Love Typography

Sunday Type: book type

At the Press of a Button

Thanks to those who read and commented on Ben’s Letterpress from Scratch article. There appears to be something of a resurgent interest in letterpress. In fact, getting started is not particularly expensive. If you’re looking for more information on getting started, then be sure to take a look at the British Letterpress site, and the Briar Press Forums; and if you’re looking for equipment (metal type and the like), then even Ebay is a good place to start. If you know of local resources, or you’re a letterpresser, then be sure to let me know, and perhaps I can then create a letterpress resources page.

When Chris DiNicolas sent me a link to this photo, at first I thought, nice photo, but perhaps he’s sent it to the wrong person. Then I looked again:

It’s from the cover of Funki Porcini’s album Fast Asleep (I’ll need to Google them). Larger version here.

A wonderful video featuring a Linotype machine and the entire book-making process, ca. 1947. It’s well worth watching the entire video:

Via the brilliant underconsideration. And if you’re interested in seeing a little more of a Linotype in action, then watch this:

YouTube Preview Image

And if that isn’t enough to sate your appetite for Linotype, then see the Wikipedia entry, where you can also download the Linotype “manual”.

If you’re wondering what happend at TypeCon 2008, then take a look at Grant Hutchinson’s Flickr set. Anyone else have photos / experiences they’d like to share. Did you attend?

Field Tested Books

Today I received, all the way from Chicago, my copy of Coudal’s Field Tested Books book, and screen-printed poster. Highly recommended. The book is set in Electra (a Transitional style face—think Baskerville; relatively high contrast). Works well in this book. The sans used for headings / subheads is Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk; not one of my personal favourites, but it does contrast well enough with Electra to do its job.

field tested books book

Also kudos to Coudal for actually including “A Note on the Type”. I really wish more publishers would do this. Oh, and it’s a really great read too. One of my favourites is Eric Spitznagel on Orwell’s Animal Farm. It’s limited edition, so hurry if you want to get a copy.

Origami Type

Designed by Robert Lang for Wired Magazine:

There’s also this great video on the making of the above piece:

Tried unsuccessfully to find more of this kind of thing. Anyone know of any origami or origami-inspired type or lettering? Many thanks to Mark Schenk.

And there’s even a nice type going by the name of Origami Std. Designed by Carl Crossgrove:

Some simply lovely letterpressed cards from Deb Pang Davis:

Sunday Links

‘Grammar’ Cheat Sheet—from retinart

NiceType blog

Cast brass matrices made for Pierre Didot—TypeFoundry

Keep Calm Gallery site redesign—via Swiss Miss

We All Love Typography

15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music & Apparel Industry

Inflatable Letters

FontShop July Newsletter

MyFonts Rising Stars (and MyFonts.com will be redesigned. About time!)

Setting Up a Baseline Grid—Aisleone

Stianed Glass Type—Lorraine Design

New Type

Village has three new releases. The rounded sans Router by Jeremy Mickel:

Orenga by Jordi Embodas:

Three new weights and two new dot variants (thin dot and bold dot) for Christian Schwartz’s Stag, Stag V2:

Remember that Village is pretty unique in offering the Taste Test,

If you purchase a single weight (or more) of any typeface we offer, then return later to buy a family set, we will credit you the amount of the original sale.


Some wonderful lettering from Linzie Hunter, the woman behind spam lettering (spam subject lines turned into beautiful hand lettering). Thought I’d mentioned her before, but I hadn’t, so here she is:

She’s also author of the Secret Weapon Postcard Book, to be published in November.

New poster prints from Si Scott:

Thanks to Keith Symonds.

Some nice spreads from Australian Hammer & Tong:

Thanks, Luke.

Great cartoon from Arístides Esteban Hernández Guerrero (ARES):

The Spoilers print from Oliver Moss, and available at Threadless:

oliver moss spoilers poster

Via How Blog | NotCot

Nice work by Abi Huynh:

Via WhyWeRock

Designer Daily always finds some great lettering and type. Love this Tacos and Obama wall from Chicago Type:


A new magazine and and an interview with Erik Spiekermann. An interesting interview, where Spiekermann talks about his joy of designing numbers.

And, no, that’s not him on the cover. Relaible sources tell me professor Spiekermann is in fact only 39 years old.

Figures are actually my favorite part of type design.—Spiekermann

In my own experiments in type design, I concur. I’m having most difficulty with the numerals. It’s easy if you copy or modify those from an existing font; but try to draw them from scratch—not at all easy. Mine look like they’ve been involved in (two) traffic accidents.

I was a little disappointed to read one of the negative comments on the interview. I don’t see myself as a Spiekermann fanboy (though he was setting and designing type when most of us were still in diapers), but the guy has given a lot to type, including some damn fine typefaces; and for that he’s deserving of at least some respect.

FFFFound pick of the week

I was unable to track down the author of this piece. Anyone?. Thanks to Benjamin Fritz who tells me it’s from Pablo Alfieri. Since learning that, I’ve discovered this piece too:

Flickr pick of the week

Snap and Tumble Letterpress:


They also have a blog.

I’m a fan of Roel Wouters’ (aka Xelor) work:

Roel is in fact the brother of Job Wouters. You may remember the video lettering piece of Job Wouters and his son Gradus:

Sunday Type: napkin type was one of the most popular ever Sunday Types. A number of readers sent in their own type doodles. Here are a couple from Tobias Goth in Stockholm:

If you have some you’d like to send, then just mail them to jboardley@gmail.com.

They needn’t have to look like this:

Thanks Richard Roche.

And let’s get the letterpress resources started with a good Brooklyn-based one:

Moontree Letterpress
55 Washington Street, Suite 608
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-422-0449 / info[@]moontreearts.com

Now it’s your turn.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Rajpurohit’s winning t-shirt design for Typohile. Emily at Punchcut reminds me that it’s only available through August 15th. So, if you want one, hurry.

Today’s Type

I mentioned Ludwig Übele’s Marat here some weeks ago (in fact, I liked the lowercase a so much, I stuck one to my front door). Here is his latest type, Mokka:

Mokka is available in regular, bold and italic, and is accompanied by small caps. You can read more about it in the MyFonts July newsletter.

And if you think that Ludwig only draws serifed types, then take a look at his Helsinki, based on old Finnish traffic signage:

And finally…

Who can name the type used in today’s header? Clue: it’s mentioned above. Thanks for reading, subscribing, sending links, emails; and thanks for all your great comments. Have a sublime week.


  1. y

    (that album cover says Fast Asleep, not Fall Asleep)

  2. y
    Thanks. Fixed now.

  3. I just fell in deep love with Helsinki. Kinda reminds me of the font used for most of the shirts i got from Printliberation.com. Massive ST this week John, and so early! Not eating all day seems to pay off for you :D

  4. Doodle type is my favourite kind! I just did some last night in the middle of a creative funk…


  5. j2

    (funki porcini’s a him, not a them, and he IS awesome - I was excited to see this here, even though I’ve only seen THIS album as a tiny thumbnail on Ninjatune, and I didn’t notice it until now!) Hey look at this, parenthesis probably aren’t that necessary if there’s nothing outside of them.

  6. Manuel
    I haven’t forgotten about your t-shirt :) I’m off to eat something now.

    It’s lovely. I’m just looking at your prints on Red Bubble now…

    Thanks. I guess I’ll have to listen to him now.

  7. Hey Johno! Thanks for the link, it’s great to see a link to my little site right here on ILT!

    Also, thanks for putting up a link to Moontree.. Just this last weekend, I picked up a Heidelberg Windmill platen just like theirs, and I’ve been on the lookout for other people using the same, or a similar, machine. Some great timing! And the origami type is just lovely also

  8. Wow, this was a big one. I’m loving all the links to the different letterpressers!

  9. John,

    Thanks so much for the mention. It’s always so nice and flattering to be a part of ILT.

    I love all the treasures you find around the world.

    Happy week!

  10. Thanks for the mention, Johno! What a great way to end the weekend. :D

  11. Header looks like Electra Bold or Electra Bold Display…I’m leaning towards the latter.

    I am liking Helsinki, and love the funky chunky “a” from Mokka.

  12. Scott Gericke


    Great post, as usual, and topic all around.

    I enjoy your site tremendously.

    Here’s a great resource for those who want to make a letterpress at home (or office). My brother-in-law made one in no time. Apologies if this has already been mentioned. From the Dec 07/Jan 08 issue of ReadyMade magazine, but I found a link here: http://readymade.com/project/press_kit/

    I’d be curious to here from others who have made one and good luck to those who attempt to do so.

  13. Scott: My last spring break was spent making one based in part on those ReadyMade plans. The top crossbeam cracked during the first test impressions. I used a 6 ton bottle jack, I think a 4 ton jack would have been plenty.

  14. I gotta say that this is one of the best posts that I’ve seen in awhile. Well laid out and well articulated… this was a fun read :)

  15. I agree with Bankers, a wonderful (and long) sunday type!
    Yeah, I think the “i love” is in Electra Cursive Display, and “typography” in Electra Bold Display.

  16. Kari Pätilä

    The Helsinki traffic sign is news to me, which is kind of sad because all we have now are these. Some of the hospital signs (not pictured) have kerning so bad they make me want to check in immediately.

  17. Lovely post Johno,

    I like that photo of the Heidelberg Press, that metal cover reminds me of a muscle car valve cover, really neat. That press got me thinking, I’m going to Germany in September/October (München/Nürnberg Area); got any recommendations on studios or printing shops to visit? Any other members have any suggestions? Cheers.


  18. Thanks for the plug John, it’s an honour to have snapandtumble mentioned on ilovetypography.

  19. Jan van Bochum

    Not to nitpick or anything, but Spiekermann is not 39… or that was a joke and I really didn’t get it. According to wikipedia he’s 61.

    Anyway, nice article again, lots of interesting things. Thanks!

  20. Here’s a very cool cut out card alphabet poster http://flickr.com/photos/atomicshed/2692512416/

  21. I’m sure you’ve mentioned Linzie Hunter before, John! I know I’ve seen her stuff previously.

    Hahaha, ooh, I love the Spoilt poster! I didn’t know all of them, but most appeal to my geek sense of humor.

    And thanks for the link to Aisle One on setting up a flexible baseline. That kind of stuff is interesting to me. I need to get back to reading Bringhurst as he’s full of this kind of goodness.

    It’s wonderful that you are featuring more and more letterpress stuff. Good timing!

  22. Leigh

    Wow, I completely missed the Electra Cursive Display. That happens late at night…

  23. Wow so much to look at this week. Very good stuff John. I’m loving Jeremy Mickel’s new typeface, and thanks for all the inspiration links you’ve provided. Oh and the typeface that’s on your front door is Marat :)

  24. I love the spoilers print, it is freakin’ amazing.

  25. Emme

    Yes, yes. A great post. One of the best meta posts you’ve had. Thank you.

  26. Greatest typo blog ever!!

    As usual great findings, keep up the great work, it’s really a dose of inspiring stuff.

    thanks for sharing all these!
    ale - flickr.com/ale_dg

  27. Alex
    Sounds great. Be sure to let me know how you get on with your new baby.

    Electra it is. That’s good enough for me. And yes, it’s cursive display plus bold. The bold display is only different in the fitting, I think—quite a bit tighter; and too tight for me.

    Thanks for that link. Hadn’t seen that DIY press before. I’d also be interested in hearing from others who have made their own.

    Also correctly identified as Electra. See above response to Justin.

    I think they’d have been better off sticking with the old ones. I’d like to see those hospital signs, if my heart can withstand it.

    Can’t think of any off the top of my head. Might be worth posting your request on Typophile.

    Yes, it was tongue in cheek—really a reference to the man’s apparent eternal youth. Thanks for your comment.

    Thanks for that link. Off to take a look now.

    The Ad Mad
    Thanks for the Flickr link, and for your kind words.

  28. Reading the Sunday Type is a joy! Some really nice pictures, really… Personally I’m in love with letterpress stuff and type posters :P (oh, and I find the Mokka font just beautiful!)

    Keep up the (needless to say) awesome work, John!

  29. Fantastic collection. I think Sunday Type is just getting better and better.

    I’ve been away on vacation for a little while, so I’m just catching up. Thanks for the excellent collection of goodness, as usual, John.

    The spoilers print is particularly nice. Good thing I either knew all of them, or didn’t recognize the source. Hehe.

    That first CD cover is indeed, quite nice, I almost didn’t see it at first either.

  30. Andre
    Good to see you here again. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

    Noticed from your tweets that you were vacationing. Hope you were able to relax.

  31. Tobias

    Another fine 35’ video (made in 1960) concerning the Linotype machine, which describes IN DETAIL the function of that device, is to be found on the ccc-server. A short excursus to Teletypesetting is also included.
    > http://chaosradio.ccc.de/ctv122.html

    Direct link to the media-file.
    > http://chaosradio.ccc.de/media/video/typesetting.mp4

  32. Tobias
    That’s a wonderful video, and one I hadn’t seen before. Many thanks for posting the link.

  33. big thanks for the hole article.. some very nice links..

  34. Heya, I think you’re crediting ISO50 with the cover to the Funki Porcini album. It’s actually by Kevin Foakes (Strictly Kev) who is the art director at Ninja Tune and the main man behind the DJ Food project.

  35. Garo
    Thanks for that. I’ve fixed it now.

  1. Design Bump—Jul 28, 2008
  2. Featured on iLT—Aug 2, 2008

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