I Love Typography

Read between the leading

I always write this introductory paragraph last. As I’ve been working on this post all day, my eyes are now burning, and I’m flagging; so, let’s just get started. Loosen your belts — this is a big one.

I’ll start with a beautiful photograph of a beautiful thing:

sealed by andy clymer

There’s not much that’s more inspiring than to see young people (I’m not that old) talking about design and type. Aaron Heth and Matt McInerney recently launched a great new podcast, Read Between the Leading. Intelligent and enthusiastic discussion; and, I think, if they keep at it, then this show will be big.


So whether you’re a student, or an old-timer like me, then subscribe to Read Between the Leading. They’re very open to suggestions, so leave them comments, or tweet @rbtlshow. The most recent podcast features an interview with Antonio Carusone (aisleone & the grid system), and they even have a prize for the best call-in. And, you can even subscribe via iTunes.


Another alternative to sIFR comes in the form of cufón a Flash-less text replacement generator. It’s all pretty clever using what is basically FontForge to create an SVG font:


However, I can’t stress this enough: check your EULA, your font license. It MUST permit Web embedding. The documentation is comprehensive, and the actual font generator allows you to select sub-classes of glyphs; e.g. only convert, say, uppercase; a great way to reduce file size.

Another sIFR alternative is FLIR (Face Lift Image Replacement), and there’s a comprehensive podcast tutorial on its implementation over at CSS Tricks.

Good use of sIFR and H&FJ’s lovely slab serif, Archer:

squared eye

Flickermood 2.0, type in motion, by Sebastian Lange:

Thanks, Matthew.


Love this cover for Uppercase magazine:

uppercasecover magazine

If you’d like to get involved with the magazine, then simply click on over.
Be sure to check out Uppercase’s Flickr too, with experiments like this:


Was rummaging through ISO50’s archives and came across the work of Jeff Carham. Can’t believe I’d never heard of him. Fantastic sign-writing:

jeff canham

Would love to get my hands on this (sold out) Exhibition catalogue from Blanka. 48 Posters:


Photo of the cover here.

Clever little Letter Boxes from The Design Office:


Via swissmiss.

The type pantry by Samir Zahran:

type pantry

Great poster from Mr and Mrs M (Tim & Tom Muller):

logans run

Via WhyWeRock.

Typographic tree sculptures by Gordon Young:

typographic trees

Thanks, Peter.

Web typography

TweetCC shows off some Palatino. Works pretty well at large sizes on screen. Though the letterspacing in the title is too tight (-2px). However, good use of text-shadow to give the white text that extra brilliance. A very fine looking site.


Seeing more Cambria (one of the new-ish typefaces to ship with Windows Vista) referenced in style sheets these days. For example TypeChart:


An interesting resource too. Allows you to compare type on screen, and then grab the resulting CSS. But what is it with Windows’ (not so) ClearType. It still looks dreadful when compared to Apple’s ATSUI:

apple atsui

windows cleartype

Thanks to Frank and Gabe for the Windows screen grabs. For more on this topic, see Jon Tan’s Display Type & the Raster Wars.


Compassion from Studio on Fire:


FF DIN now has its own micro-site:

ff din microsite

Type links

An interview with Khoi Vinh
Matthew Carter in Washington Post.
Tips on choosing type for text
Type quotes
Designing grid systems for Flash
Fonts for coding
FontShop’s February newsletter
Inspector Phinney — font detective
Unix font manager
Depression press Flickr
A font by any other name?
InDesign CS4 Smart Text Reflow screencast

A great interview with Font Bureau’s insanely talented Cyrus Highsmith.

cyrus highsmith interview

New releases

Glosa Display by Dino dos Santos, and available through TypeTrust.


Angel Script by Neil Summerour:


Fiasco by Frederico Antunes, and available through youworkforthem:


Bree Oblique by Cabinet, and available through Veer:

bree oblique

Featured faces

Lagarto from Kimera:


Soon available through FontShop.

Bodoni Script Pro from Parachute. Comes replete with 144 ornaments and 120 frame parts:

bodoni script pro from Parachute

bodoni script pro ornaments

Karmina & Karmina Sans, a fine serif/sans pairing from TypeTogether:

karmina and karmina sans

I’ve never purchased a Harry Potter title, but if they looked like this…


M.S. Corley’s wonderful reinterpretation of the HP covers, in the style of the beloved Penguin classics. Beautiful. In fact, these aren’t the first covers he’s redesigned. Here is my favourite:



I’ve recently started a ilovetypography FFFFound page, where 99% of the stuff I post is type-related. You might want to take a look.


The Type Directors Club is kindly offering a free copy of Typography 29, a fantastic tour de force of the year in type, and an inspiration to all.

tdc annual 29


To win a free copy, all you have to do is answer these two simple questions:

1 In what year was the Type Directors Club formed?
2 Name 3 recipients of the Type Directors Club Medal awarded for achievements in the art and craft of type and typography.

Send your answers to competitions@tdc.org. The deadline is Wednesday March 18th, 2009. A winner will be drawn from winning entries at the March TDC board meeting, Thursday 19th, 2009 by TDC President, Charles Nix. If you’re not the lucky winner, then I recommend you get hold of a copy. It’s a must have.

The second give-away is a copy of FontExplorer X Pro, the font management app:

font explorer x pro

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning a license, is simply append #font to a tweet. It might be a tweet about your favourite iLT post (but it needn’t be about iLT at all). I’ll announce a winner on Wednesday, March 4.

And finally…

Apologies to those who missed out on the Helvetica Moleskines. They all sold out in about 4 minutes! More are on the way.

I’m working on a number of iLT-related projects. Progress is slow (owing to work comittments, and too few hours in the day), but I’m quite excited about them, and hope to share more news about them soon.

Hope that’s enough to sate your typographic appetites for now at least. Thanks for reading, and ave a great week.


  1. I heard you talking about this one on twitter, and I have to admit it’s pretty freaking excellent. Amazing picture to start with, and I’m really digging the motion graphic “Flickermood 2.0”… but I think I have a soft spot for type in motion.

    Another great round up.

  2. I *love* the remade HP covers, such nice work.

  3. What a huge roundup! I was thinking that it would be nice if you went into more detail about the actual “web embedding” and the EULA.

    Loving it as always!

  4. Oh man, what an incredible roundup. A feast for the eyes! “Flickermood 2.0” was especially really great, and not only for the eyes, but for the ears too. Glosa Display is also looking really delicious. Many thanks for this brilliant summary!

  5. Lan Truong

    Like Kyle, I heard about this one on Twitter and couldn’t wait for it to go up. I love it! A lot of inspiration and great info, as always. The photo of the wax seal is gorgeous.

  6. Thanks, Kyle & James.

    You might want to listen to Font Licensing: A Debriefing. I think it’s scheduled for later today.

  7. The Letter Boxes are on display right now at the RISD Museum as part of the faculty show, in case anyone is in Providence and wants to play around with some (and also see a collection of great work).

  8. Noticed that there are many more visitors from twitter these days. So, if you use twitter, feel free to leave your @twitter-name along with your comments. Then I can find you.

  9. Totally agree with James De Angelis, the M.S. Corley poster are superb, it seems I simply love the back to basics use of Akizendz Grotesk. I noticed that the images that could be enlarged have a drop shadow corner, smooth detail, like it. Have a great week.

  10. Pedro Alberto

    That’s a great The Week in Type.
    Love specially the Lagarto typeface.

  11. Wow. This was wonderful, I’ll be looking at it all week.

  12. Lots of great things this week John. I really love that Uppercase magazine, and that letterpress is amazing. I also have been a RBtL listener since the beginning and really enjoy what they have to say. Again great stuff I know it’s going to take me awhile to take it all it. :)


  13. Well done on a great post. The work you obvioulsly put in was well worth it :-0 - Cheers!

  14. For more kinetic type along the lines of Flickermood 2.0, I’ve made a Vimeo channel called Nice Type, that collects the best from that site.

    Probably ironic that you point to Squared Eye’s use of Archer with sIFR, as Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ license agreement prevents dynamic online font embedding of any kind for all of H&FJ’s typefaces.

  15. johno, Anthony:

    First, thanks for linking to my podcast on font licensing! It is actually taking place next Saturday, March 7th. I hope to not disappoint (even more so now that you have probably dramatically increased the amount of listeners I’ll have :-) ) <— we need sometime address correct typographic usage of emoticons inside parenthesis. Bringhurst didn’t get around to that one…hehe.

    Great TWiT as always.

    Bob — http://twitter.com/bobmarchman

  16. Thanks for the gigantic post full of great stuff.
    The RBTL podcast appears to be great! I’m going to take a look at it right now!!!!

    By the way, finally got to publish my found type blog.
    You can take a look at it here!
    I’ll try to post new pictures every day!

    Have a great week!

  17. Great post… that book “48 Posters” you mentioned is incredible. The link you posted to its cover is actually the invite to the show. You can see the cover here:


  18. haraya

    I can’t even pick my favorite part of this post. Love Flickermood 2.0, TypeChart and Cambria, Penguin books, Jeff Carham, all those posters, and Cyrus Highsmith. ILT is always a great read to start my mid-day (or any part of my day) ^^ Thanks!

  19. nice harry potter cover, but i’d be pissed as hell if i had known one of the key plot elements whilst reading the story. so overall it’s pretty design, but not effective design.

  20. Tiffany

    Although the H&FJ standard license does not allow embedding, I was told Squared Eye has a license to use it so I’m guessing you can upgrade a standard license to include SIFR usage.

  21. @Tiffany Ah, I stand corrected, that’s probably it.

  22. I think that you can upgrade almost every font license to allow embedding. It’s more ore less just a question of money.

  23. Thank you,
    I rally love “Lagarto”. A few months ago I saw it beautifully used in “Rudo y Cursi” titlas and posters.

  24. @MatthewBuchanan & Tiffany,

    We do allow sIFR, without any additional cost, just pursuant to some basic security settings. More here:


    But I’m glad you both raised the issue of sIFR & licensing! It’s the missing piece of the puzzle.



  25. Jonathan
    Thanks for the clarification.

  26. Chloe

    This is an excellent week in type. Also, randomly, I did a post on the Harry Potter redesigns just a few days ago on my own blog:


  27. Thanks for clarifying, Jonathan. Your EULA page states that Flash Files must have static embedding and subsetting enabled, neither of which would work with sIFR, so perhaps this needs be revisited at some point to avoid potential confusion. It’s good to see there’s a specific exception for sIFR.

  28. Gulp. Nice post. You responded with a couple links (JonTan’s site primarily) with help for choosing font size units and line-height, for nice CSS declarations. This post answers even more completely.

    Much appreciated.


  29. A small technicality:

    Bree Oblique by Cabinet, and available through Veer

    Cabinet is merely a Veer label, Bree is more accurately by TypeTogether.

  30. Thank you for the mention of the use of Archer! So so much more to learn :)

  31. Excellent blog post. Congrats.

  32. Victor

    Don’t want to sound rude, but the way foundries seems to look at licensing is very funny. It’s like they’re inventing new forms to earn money, instead of giving people oportunity to use beautiful typography. Some foundries require that you buy two licenses, because they count the server as a device in a different location.

    I know some will argue that many work is required to design great fonts, but in a time that we daily hear the word share, this licenses seems antiquated. Thus, I believe embedding fonts won’t make people stop buying fonts in any way. There are many sources for piracy that require way less technical skills, for example.

    Just a thought. I don’t know that much about typography or licensing. I’m not an OpenSource defender here, in fact I pay for good software.

  33. Great TWiT. I’m drooling over that wax seal and the typographic trees. I want one of those trees in my office. The RBtL podcast seems like it has a lot of potential and I hope to see more from them. Thanks for the roundup.

  34. Si

    Re ClearType - the artifacts you and the other commentator are seeing relate to the “original” Windows XP flavor ClearType - whereas the Mac rendering (I don’t think people use ATSUI to refer to the rasterization) uses what we call “y-direction smoothing” - see page 14 of 2004’s “Now Read This” book on the ClearType Collection fonts. If you don’t have a copy I can send you one. Cheers, Si

  35. Tiffany


    Why shouldn’t foundries be able to choose their own price points and uses of their own fonts? The EULA is really a clue to how the foundries see their business. It’s a business model for the foundry. Some foundries se embedding for the web as an added benefit. Some foundries don’t.

  36. Inspiring calligraphy. And I love Squared Eye as well. Great use of Archer. I’ve had the feeling that Archer would almost always fit something that has vintage or washed pastel colors.

    Lovely poster too. I like the swirls. :)

    Parachute has many other excellent fonts aside from Bodoni Script Pro. Their Agora family is quite excellent.

    Also, Bree is by TypeTogether, so I was quite confused that Bree oblique would be by Cabinet. Heads up to Stephen for clarifying what Cabinet really is.

    Great post as usual. Thank you, and keep it up.

  37. I think that you can upgrade almost every font license to allow embedding. It’s more ore less just a question of money. :)

  38. Tiffany

    @Erkan That might be true for most foundries, but how much are you willing to pay for an upgrade? Let’s say the license is $39 USD for a single font. How much would you be willing to pay?

  39. Excellent blog post. Congrats.

  40. Your site is an inspiration and I have subscribed. Brilliant Letter boxes, I keep going back to them. I am researching typography for jewellery design and I included your post on my blog (hope this is o.k?).

  41. Wow, great post. I love the type trees and letter boxes. Beautiful finds, as always.

  42. Does anyone here know what font is being used for the logo of this site: http://www.tweetizen.com/ - i’m in LOVE with it, it’s not even funny!

  43. Josh

    Great post, as usual. Love that Karmina.

  44. Jacob
    Looks like Bree Bold.

  45. What a great post. Chock full of great stuff. Thank you.

  46. This is an awesomest post indeed. I quite like the selection of colour in the Uppercase one. :3

  47. thanks for the heads up on rbtl.
    now subscribed

  48. @Jacob: Yeah, i think is Bree, It was selected in the Latin American Biennial Tipos Latinos 2008.

    I also love the cover for Uppercase.

    Cool post!

  49. Suzanne

    The letterpress poster is beautiful.

    there’s a great exhibition on at the LCC at the moment, all the students and tutors work over the years… really good stuff.

  50. Suzanne

    Great post, love the book covers :)

  51. A lot of good stuff here. It’s inspiring.

    Thank you.

  52. Thanks for the sIFR alternatives. I’ll have to check them out.

    And what an inspiring round-up you’ve put together here! I could spend all day looking at it all.

  53. Really interesting webblog! Can i follow you in twitter?

  54. I must say that reading your blog gives me more inspiration than any other i have come accross, (including designshack!). That uppercase magazine cover is incredible! I will also be checking out the Din micro site. As Cristian says can I follow you on twitter?

    Many Thanks…

  55. I love what Studio/Fire did with that ‘Compassion’ piece.

    @ Tiffany: I think Victor doesn’t have a problem with foundries business model; he is simply saying the for the betterment of typography and those who passionately follow it maybe these things would be more effective if it were shared instead of nickeled-and-dimed to the public, not I that I necessarily feel that way.

  56. Matthew

    In a rush so apologies that I didn’t read all the comments (and therefore if someone has already raised this…) but I loved the spoof penguin covers for Harry Potter.

    Question: what is the font used on those covers?

  57. Really great inspirations.

    I love the Studio on Fire work, I have recently seen a few samples of their work and now I am a big fan. They do such amazing detail, its incredible.

    Anthony Proulx

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