I Love Typography

Tungsten type

Let’s begin with something tougher than steel from H&FJ. Meet the just-released Tungsten. [insert superlatives here]

Tungsten typeface from Hoefler & Frere-Jones

Would be great to see a few more weights added. She’s condensed without feeling cramped, and described by its makers as a

compact and sporty sans serif that’s disarming instead of pushy — not just loud, but persuasive.

Erik Spiekermann remarked on twitter, finally an answer to Compacta! Much needed. Absolutely! In my own work, I can see Tungsten singing alongside something like Logo Jnr Black. If only Tungsten had been drawn before the release of Kill Bill. I haven’t spent long with Tungsten, but I’m fast developing a crush. Buy it, use it, love it.

This wonderful video from Brent Barson for Typophile Film Fest 5:

Type attire

Veer is giving away a zip-up iconic Kern top (worth £69) until the end of October (offer not valid in the US), when you buy any image or typeface at veer.com.


I bought one of these from Ugmonk:


Great project from Autobahn for the Leidsche Rijn festival. I think I’m going to be shopping for huge slabs of polystyrene.



The making of a type sample:

Audible type

Make yourself a fresh coffee, put your feet up, then click play. Jonathan Hoefler and Steven Heller on The Leonard Lopate Show:

Type links

Ikea Verdanarama
Dmig2 published
CSS text-area
VFB-QuickLook Plugin
Rendering Fonts in Today’s Browsers
Inset type in PhotoShop
Fun With Vintage 70s and 80s Porn Logos
Mixing type
An interview with Jason Santa Maria (Typedia)
10 Common Typography Mistakes
Continuing Studies in Typography
Bulletproof @font-face implementation
Video & audio from the the 2007 ATypI conference in Brighton

Some nice letter- & type-rich letterpress posters from Cloudy Collection — featuring designs by the likes of Marian Bantjes and Nate Williams:

cloudy-collection letterpress posters

An interesting project from Isaac Weeber. The Depth of Typography:



September 29 Live Designcast: Fonts That Click: The Present and Future of Using Type on the Web, with Christian Schwartz.

The next Go Font Ur Self begins in October. See the site for specific dates and venues (Australia).

A pretty impressive sub-pixel typeface:

subpixel typeface

If you’re wondering how a font could possibly be sub-pixel, then just remember that each screen pixel comprises three subpixels (most often RGB).

What a team: Martin Majoor (FF Scala, FF Scala Sans, et al.) & Jos Buivenga (Museo and Calluna), working together on Questa, a ‘ballsy’ Didone:


New typefaces

Fertigo Pro Script from Jos Buivenga:


Vekta from Neil Summerour of TypeTrust. Three familes under one roof:

Vekta typeface families

Climbing up MyFonts’ list of Hot New Fonts is Sascha Timplan’s St Atmos:

st atmos font

Semilla from Ale Paul of Sudtipos:


Cordial Bloom and its layers of OpenType goodness:

cordial bloom

Be sure to watch the slideshow.

New from Fountain Type, drawn by Göran Söderström, is Heroine Pro.
Here’s the trailer (trailers for font releases — I like that):

YouTube Preview Image

Lovely, isn’t she:

Heroine Pro by Fountain Type

Bonesana from the publisher Gestalten:


There’s also a very nice interview with Bonesana’s designer, Matthieu Cortat.

Web typography

Typekit + Outras Fontes. Lovely:

outras fontes

The Fonts Web Trend Map. Find out who’s talking about type:


Ascender Corporation announces that Georgia & Verdana are to be extended. Note the Georgia small caps (about time too):


We love typography

Interesting to read Ellen Lupton’s Type Hunger piece for Print magazine, and thrilled to see she’s a WLT visitor. However, I’m a little surprised by her criticism that we (WLT contributors) are confusing lettering and type.

It’s just about impossible to pick a single image from even the most recent WLT posts; but I’m going for this little gem from @stewf. What a fantastic logotype:


Be sure to check out the the Chromeography Flickr pool.

Ok, I can’t resist. Here’s one more, found by Paul Hunt, designed by Martin Plonka:


A few words on grids

My radar is picking up an increase in grid-based design chatter. The recent release of Stéphane Curzi’s Baseline CSS framework is part of that chatter. There’s nothing wrong with grids (on-screen or on-paper); in fact they are the invisible skeletons to which most good designs cling. However, it’s all to easy to take the grid is god route, sometimes forcing elements to stick to the grid when they’re not happy doing so. I have no intention of turning these thoughts into an essay; it’s just that the eye, not the pixel needs to be the final arbiter of what’s right. A classic example (there are many) where the grid (in this instance the baseline grid) fails us, is in a line of text with an unusually high proportion of letterforms with descenders (or ascenders); with all that extra ink below the baseline (or x-height), the interlinear spacing will appear shorter. In this instance it’s prudent to add a little more interlinear spacing (or leading) to compensate. Grids are guides, not ‘dictators’. Just a thought.

And on a lighter note, a variation on a Müller-Brockmann theme. (That will give Antonio, over at AisleOne, nightmares). And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then Cheese or Font? might do it.

Type education

I’m trying to set aside a little time each week to contribute to Typedia. Why not do the same. Even if it’s just 5 minutes — a Typedia Thursday (or Tuesday [though the day needn’t be dictated by alliteration]). Just browse through the Good Deeds, and select one.


You don’t have to be an expert to contribute; but if you do contribute frequently, you’re sure, not only to educate others, but to educate yourself. You can follow the hashtag #good_deed_of_the_day via Twitter.

Work with Kari & Justin on the upcoming iPhone & iPod Touch FontGame is going really well (though it’s much more work than I’d anticipated). More news on that soon. In the meantime, here’s a little sneak peek:


There are still some of the Typographic Restraint letterpress prints available. Hurry while stocks last; it’s a signed & numbered, limited edition of 99. I’m also working with Stefan Hattenbach on an upcoming screen-print. You’re going to love it. Anyone recommend an exceptional screen-printer in Japan?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all your comments and emails. Apologies that I can’t respond to them all. Have a great, great weekend.


  1. As usual with utilitarian geometric type, I think I like Tungsten better in caps, but it’s nice all the same.

    Cheers for another good long read!

  2. Small correction, missing ‘h’ in the URL for ‘Dmig2 published’.

  3. Stoked for FontGame!

  4. I’m no guru, but I agree on your point about grids, Johno.

    When I grasped the concept, I thought it was the be all and end all.

    It isn’t.

    A good principle, but not a rule.

    As for Tungsten; par excellence, perhaps.

  5. Oh, by the way…

    I came across this the other day — Typography for Lawyers.

    I don’t think you’ve mentioned it. If you have, I must have missed it.

    Excellent site, and well worth a mention.

  6. Jane McGovern

    It would be nice if you all pulled your heads out of the sand and saw Tungsten for the dull piece of work that it actually is. I bet if it was a cheap one on MyFonts by some no-name designer you’d all breeze right past it.

  7. I can’t say that I like Tungsten, at all, in the slightest. In fact I think it looks fairly boring.

    Vekta, on the other hand… That is a beautiful font. If I had a load of spare money and was enough of a typography geek to be able to justify spending that much money on a *font* to myself, I’d get it.

  8. Gorgeous stuff.

    I wouldn’t have thought of making a Typography promo video!

  9. I normally stay away from condensed faces although Tungsten looks very useful and will be worth a test drive.

  10. I wonder if HFJ’s planning on expanding to Tungsten obliques or italics. Is anyone else getting lots of “jump to this image” text when switching images on their website?

  11. A great week-in-type! About to read through all these new tabs I just opened… or maybe not (it’s 4:13am, oh my).

    When I first saw Tungsten, it was very impressionable, and it looks like a fantastic deal for someone in need of that many weights. Though it’s really not unique at all; it’s almost a doppelganger of one of my current favorites, Heroic: http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/typetrust/heroic-condensed/ — not as brawny as Tungsten in some respects, but it works.

  12. Wonderful, as always, Johno. So much to be excited about it the world of type right now.

  13. So much interesting work to digest. Great work.

  14. Thanks for pulling all of this together. Heroine is lovely indeed!

  15. I completely agree with your thoughts on using the grid, and so did Müller-Brockmann, when he said “The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee.”

  16. Damn, that iPhone font game is looking awesome. Too bad I don’t have one. Scala looking great for the text.

  17. LOVE Tungsten!

    Thanks for the links Johno. I’ll have to sit for a while to go through them all.

    I noticed on the Events section that you missed Typ09 (http://www.atypi.org/04_Mexico). The ATypI 2009 Conference to be held in sunny (although right now it’s raining) Mexico City, smack in the middle of town. From October 26 until the 30th. Be sure to come down for some nice type talk, a couple of days of Workshops and lots of nice food.

  18. I love the trailer for Heroine, that’s a totally ingenious idea! Also, the vid by Brett Barson is completely inspirational, what a gem.

    Also, news of a fonts game for my iPhone fills me with joy..

  19. Victor Zuniga

    St Atmos is one my favorites!!!

  20. Beautifull, thank you so much.

    Dasha from Ecuador.

  21. Thanks Johno about the Semilla preview.

    I would love to invite everyone to see more about Semilla Type Specimen here http://bit.ly/tBefV

  22. Jane McGovern,

    My god. Tungsten has it’s place.


  23. I really like the Tungsten font. It is really powerful. Thanks for posting!

  24. Logo Bliss

    Some interesting points being made about Tungsten, I think it has its place…

  25. Gaz Shaw

    The darts fans will take this typeface to heart.

  26. Wonderful blog. Some people forget how important it is to choose the correct font when it comes to visuals. This has reminded me to keep myself up to date with today’s trends. Thanks again!

  27. What a great blog! Thanks!

  28. Great typeface. I posted a link to this page on my daily design blog.

  29. BP

    Very cool font and texture, thanks for all the work you do on this blog and all you do to make web design more interesting for us who care about it!

    - BP

  30. Tungsten is one of my favorites,they sound more metallic and solid

  31. Tungsten does look pretty great. Everything that H+FJ put out seems to be pretty amazing.

    Also, the dimensional type rocks!

  32. Eric Shew

    I love Tungsten. It’s very beautiful.

  33. The Tungsten font is great - so clean and precise.

  1. i love typography—Sep 19, 2009

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