I Love Typography

Yes, we kern

I had intended to publish my review of Theo’s The Typographic Desk Reference today. I’ll publish that next week. And, I missed out on April Fool’s. I had so many ideas, from the new and free Adobe fonts with embedded ad glyphs (the humour’s in the execution!) to the … well, I’ll save that for next year. In the meantime, here’s plenty to keep you busy. Everything from new typefaces, interviews to … well, you’ll see. A little later than usual owing to days and nights spent on a soon-to-be-launched type-related site that I’m pretty excited about, and hoping will inspire.

OK, let’s get started with some seriously gorgeous book covers from Louise Fili Ltd:

louise fili ltd books

louise fili ltd

Where type meets art. The Dreamweaver from Nina Jua Klein:

nina jua klein, the dreamweaver

New fonts & typefaces

FF Seria Arabic by Pascal Zoghbi:

ff seria arabic

Good to see that FF Milo and FF Balance have been exapanded to support more languages. Nothing more frustrting than finding the right type, only to discover it doesn’t support the languages you’re setting in. For more, see the April FontShop newsletter.

Updates to Typonine’s Tempera Biblio:

tempera biblio from Typonine

A new microsite devoted to FF Dingbats:

ff dingbats microsite

Some beautiful spread and covers from IL magazine:


The typeface is Christian Schwartz Publico. Be sure to take a look at the other wonderful spreads and covers on Flickr.

Love these pieces from Stefano Lionetti’s Portfolio on Behance:

yes we kern

Set with Seb Lester’s wonderful Soho. Great display face.

Some wonderful letterpress minature books:

letterpress minature books

Architecture meets typography in these clever Ikea ads:


Typographic bling, anyone? From Amsterdam-based tjep:

typographic bling

Like this packaging concept from Hattomonkey studio:

hattomonkey milk packaging

No counters, please. Drop poster from Jonathan Looman, AKA Lowman:

jonathan looman (lowman)

Type-related videos

Intro for Web09 from John Ballinger:

Thanks @bboybri.

Love this kind of experimentation. Shadow type. Pretty complex to actually set this up:

Learn more about the project here. Thanks, Max.

Next, a promotional video for James Puckett’s Black Monday, demonstrating the wonders of OpenType:

A forceful political message through the medium of kinetic type:

Thanks to @marcocardenas.

The making of a letterpress poster:

Via Inspire Me. And it was the discovery of Inpsire Me, that led me to this lettering by illustrator Daren Newman:

daren newman illustrator

There are also many other videos from Robothon 2009, especially useful for type designers. There’s even a video on the joys of kern table overflow issues — fascinating.

And from video to audio. Type Radio interviews type designer Kris Sowersby at TypeShed11 in Wellingtonon. Do be sure to check out all the other interviews there. Should keep you entertained and informed for weeks to come.

I mentioned the brilliant Book Cover Archive some time ago. There’s now another great book cover resource in Faceout Books. This is one of the gems I discovered there:

faceout books, design by helen crawford

Cover design by the very talented Helen Crawford.

Like this rather elegant use of H&FJ’s Gotham in this identity piece for Cruet & Whisk. Designed by Allison Newhouse:

allison newhouse

Tobias Frere-Jones presented this stunning enamel sign to Wim Crouwel, winner of the 2009 Gerrit Noordzij Prize:

tobias frere jones

It features numerous styles of Gotham. Jonathan Hoelfler writes that the sign features 64 of the 66 styles of Gotham. I wonder who can name the two styles that are omitted! Thanks to H&FJ for permission to use the above photo.

Johnson Banks was comissioned to turn crop circles into lettering. For Quaker Oats:

johnson banks for quaker oats

Came across this on one of my favourite type blogs, Ministry of Type:

cooper union typography

If you haven’t already subscribed to Ministry of Type, then do. The Cooper Typography blog, from which the above image (Alfred Mahlau) was sourced is another to add to your feed reader.

Type links

Keyboards for typographers
Arial is everywhere
A natural history of the @ sign
The Palatino story
Metrics Machine 4 (video)
Smoking type
Love, romance, and a little controversy?
The Alphabet: A Dramatic Reading
26 symbols
Downloadable font formats for the Web
The most beautiful alphabet?
Wood type collection for sale (373 fonts +)
White space — how to get it right
Letterpress Things — equipment & resources
Interview with Font Bureau’s Dyana Weissman

On a lighter note

Looking for a theme for your next party. Follow Anne Ditmeyer’s lead, and make it a type-themed birthday party:

typography-themed birthday

And if you’re wondering what to do for entertainment at such a party, then why not steal some sheep with Erik Spiekermann.

Gems from the archives

Fred Smeijers on legibility
I hate ITC Garamond

Featured faces

Bohemia available through Linotype:

bohemia typeface

From a great serif to a great sans: Apertura, a rounded geometric by Christian Robertson of BetaType:

apertura, rounded geometric sans by christian robertson

A great PDF specimen too.

Since my interview with RBtL, I received several emails about Comenius, a crisp and lovely text face from Hermann Zapf. Someone asked where they can find a good example of Comenius in use. One of the best examples is to be found in Type & Typography: Highlights from Matrix — The Review for Printers & Bibliophiles. Besides looking beautiful set in Comenius, the handsomely bound book is a wonderful read.

Perhaps MyFonts wins the April 1st prize with its Interview with Eric Gill. It is, however, worth reading! Both funny and informative.

And finally …

Apologies if you have mailed me recently, and I haven’t replied. Each week, the number of mails I receive through iLT is growing. Be assured, I read everyone, but it’s now impossible to answer them all. I will be creating an FAQ page; perhaps that will help.

Thanks for reading, and have a great, great week.


  1. great as usual john. thanks!

  2. tsvetkoff

    Great job, really!

    I especially liked the posters (“Once upon a type” :] ) and this with the crop circle typography.

    Have a good day

  3. Nice idea “Yes, we kern!”

  4. haraya

    Thanks for inspiring us as often as possible. :D

  5. I’m a massive fan of Gotham at the moment & the Cruet & Whisk Identity implementation is excellent also loved the intro to Web 09 - brilliant ideas!

    Cracking post, cheers!

  6. Those Robothon videos are wonderful. Wish I had been there.

  7. Alec

    Those Robothon videos are wonderful.

    I’m afraid there’s no cure for you :)

  8. Thanks for the Robothon videos… great stuff!

  9. Matt

    You’ve been included in the Web Trend Map!! Go check it out, nice article as well.


  10. Torbjørn Vik Lunde

    Another great This Week in Type. :)

    The Palatino story was espescially interesting. For us who’s grown up after the digital age it’s nice to get some history.

  11. Matt
    I was surprised and pleased to see iLT on the map. I’ve reserved a poster.

    Thanks. Some more type history.

  12. How did I miss you on the map? Nicely done!

    Feeling anxious about the soon-to-be-launched type-related site. I’ve been thinking about the query you had me working on, but can’t quite put my finger on what it is you’re doing with it… Here’s hoping you’ll have two sites on the map next year.

  13. Kari
    Can’t believe I didn’t tell you the secret URL. I’ve mailed you re that :) The search is working beautifully, BTW. Thanks again.

  14. so excited to see my typography bday party in the roundup :)

    thanks, john!


  15. Henning

    thanks for the link to the Dingbats microsite, john.

    just wanted to point out, FF Dingbats has not only gotten a new microsite, but has been overhauled completely in itself. loads of new signs and symbols, all old glyphs have been redone and much more. therefore it also has a new name: FF Dingbats 2.0

  16. great round up as usual, very inspiring!

  17. Michael

    Having been an ardent reader for six months I feel rather petty for making my first or second comment about a typo, but you’ve written “only to discover it doesn’t support the languages YOUR setting in.”

    Everything else about this site is always so beautifully written and laid out that it jumped off the page at me like it had been set in bright red Comic Sans.

    Love the site - a truly amazing resource and an obvious labour of love.

  18. I’ll have to check my email. By the way, this is the first time I can use the famous quote from Donald Knuth: “Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it”.

  19. Henning
    You’re absolutely right of course. I should have also mentioned the free font sampler.

    Thank you. Fixed now.

  20. Andrew Matthews

    Great work, always an inspiration, FF Dingbats is my favorite of the post. :-)

  21. Great site…genius!

  22. Thanks for posting our letterpress video. And great site! (Which is now in my blogroll.) Keep up the great work. Cheers!


  23. I really like the video intros, they are all awesome and have a great sense of play and design.

    I am most intrigued by the fire one, actually I am going to watch the fire part again. Sweet setting a paper logo on fire and reversing it, what a great idea.I have had a concept like that in my mind for my brain child http://www.insphyre.com and intros to our videos.

    I also liked the itty bitty finger books, what a good idea.

    Thank you for the inspiration and keep it coming!

    -Anthony Proulx

  24. Michael,
    New to the whole blogging thing… but not to typography. 20+ years in the mix and we’ve come a long way. Great blog!

  25. great! thanks!

  26. What a great-looking poster, and typeface. Soho is really sexy and sturdy. Hahaha. And FF Dingbats 2.0 is loads of fun. :)

    Thanks for the great post, keep it coming!

  27. Nice and interesting piece… Lovely typography. Thanks for the read :)

  28. Hi,

    I to really like the cover from Louise Fili Ltd. It seems so strange know that only 35 years ago I would watch my father setting type for his Heidelberg Platen as though there was nothing to it. I suppose the fact that it was expensive to produce graphic symbols meant that the type had to be the design.

    Where have all these skills gone?

  29. Awesome wordplay on the Title!! The article too is absolutely up’glypht’ting! Not a single line, anyone would be able to ‘counter’! The work displayed here shows some real ‘spine’!!! ‘Font’astic collection. Completely my ‘type’

  30. Soho is indeed a great looking font. Major props for that.

    Also the Dreamweaver is a VERY original piece of design. WOW. I love it when people go a step further to somehow implement something new and different and pushing the envelope.

    That Luebeck design is somewhat nostalgic for me since I visited the city of Luebeck some 2 years ago. Beautiful city with some great architecture.

  31. What an amazing post. Especially the Gotham print has captured my heart.

  32. christina

    this typography site is amazing!

    I’m selling a new TDC 21 Annual if anyone is interested. Out of print and hard to find! I have an extra one and need to find it a good home.
    click here for the link

  33. The Louis Fili books looks awesome! I really like that look, as a web designer I have to work with a limited toolbox of fonts, stopping by here is a breath of fresh air for my sanity!!

    Great Post!


  34. this is a great inspirational post on kearning. Typography at its best. Thank you for sharing!

  35. “A forceful political message through the medium of kinetic type” is really outstanding, I don’t mean content, but the way of this project is created. Mixing 2D graphic with fire and blows is great idea for design.

  36. when is the book review coming out? i can’t wait for it. Any plans of making this a daily blog John? Pretty Please!

  37. correction of the above:

    Gotham is such a nice font, typography can be so effective, love the site!!

  38. Jelmar

    Nice, good to see ILT on the web trend map! :)

    (btw, how does one include those myflickr/mytwitter bages in the comments?)

  39. Jelmar
    Just sign-up to ILT, and you’ll see the option to add Flickr, Twitter, & FaceBook.

  40. Jelmar

    Thanks, good stuff. :)

  41. Some site!

    Ideas and things to try for everyone.


    Keith D

  1. Yes, We Kern.—Apr 5, 2009
  2. Фoto-inbox—Apr 24, 2009

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