I Love Typography

Karbon type

I’m struggling to keep up with all that’s new in type. Exciting times. Lots of great new releases, and some very novel and creative uses of type and lettering. Let’s jump straight in.

I am tempted to try something like this:

Futura vs Verdana IKEA Smackdown:
YouTube Preview Image

From RocketBoom. Via @DesignObserver.

Something a little more serious: a short profile of the wonderful Gerard Unger, the designer of one of my all-time favourites, Swift:

YouTube Preview Image

And talking of Swift, Linotype has just released an updated version. Originally designed by Gerard Unger in 1985, in the mid-90s he redrew all the fonts with PostScript outlines. Swift Neue LT Pro (or Neue Swift), its latest incarnation boasts an expanded character set, and OpenType features. Long overdue for such a great face:

swift neue lt pro typeface

And from Dutch type to Dutch ads of the 40s & 50s, in this great little Flick set from Henk van het Nederend:


Another great Flickr set — Typographics from Trip Print Press.

This Blue Flickr set, doesn’t comprise type-related imagery only; however, there are some great ones in there, including this sign:

copyright eyetwist

And this one from eyetwist’s signs+type set:


Like that 5.

Last week, I mentioned the release of Ale Paul’s latest script, Semilla. He’s teamed up with French photographer Stéphane Giber to bring us some wonderful specimens:

Semilla by Ale Paul

You can see the specimens on Behance, buy Semilla from Veer, and see more of Stéphane’s work on Flickr. — via @typegirl

Fell in love with this the moment I set eyes on it. The work of Matheus Barbosa:

Matheus Barbosa

Love these new business cards for Jos Buivenga’s exljbris foundry. Great idea, beautifully done:

Calluna cards


The work of Jeffrey Osborne:


Lettrage by Marin Van Uhm. Seventeen geometric shapes used to construct an alphabet:


Via texturism.

Carolyn Sewell’s Pedestrian ‘Typography’ Flickr collection. No typography in there, but some lovely lettering:

pedestrian typography

Lovely cover for Illusive — Contemporary Illustration Part 3, from Gestalten:


This brought to mind the Guardian newspaper’s 1977 April Fool’s about San Serriffe. This is the work of the Verona-based Happy Centro design studio:

happy centro from verona, Italy

Via Jacob Heftmann.

I wouldn’t mind a few copies of TYP (not to be confused with the Czech title TYPO):

typ czech avant-garde.

Anyone have a Flickr set of TYP spreads? I bet David Březina has a stack of them. — via @mmcgovern.

A fun Flash experiment from The Man in Blue. Bokeh Type:


Thanks to @haraya.

Can’t believe I haven’t featured Jonathan Barnbrook’s blog here before. Let’s fix that:

jonathan barnbrook blog

And here’s the latest from Jonathan’s Virus foundry, Hopeless Diamond:

hopeless diamond fonts

Which leads us on to a raft of other new releases:

New type

This stunning ornament typeface from Jonathan Perez. Meet Cadence:

cadence fonts by jonathan perez

You really must see the Cadence PDF specimen.

From DS Type, Finura:


Kris Sowersby is an exceptional type designer, so I’m very pleased to get a sneak peak at his upcoming sans, Karbon:

karbon by kris sowersby

The above scaled-down image doesn’t do it justice, so please visit Kris’ foundry site KLIM for a better view.
There’s also Karbon Slab Stencil, commissioned for Winegrowers of Ara via Parallax Design; though I’m no fan of stencil types.

Quatro available in Ultra Black and Ultra Black Italic. Like the italic k:


Interestingly, yet another to be spaced with Igino Marini’s iKern service.

Almost missed Alright Sans which was released in August. Drawn by Jackson Cavanaugh:

alright sans typeface

If you’re looking for a movie partner, a pal to watch a DVD with, then I suggest you do so with anyone but Mark Simonson. And if you do, then disable the pause button on your remote. Read The FontFeed’s post, Mark Simonson’s Changeling Stars In Star Trek to discover why.

star trek mark simonson

A free Restraint letterpress print for one person who can name the character Mark replaces in my dreadful PhotoShop rehash, plus the name of the typeface used in the caption “Boldly Going”. Don’t write your answers in the comments; instead tweet & append your answers as hashtags; e.g. #Stanley_Morrison #Proxima_Nova. I’ll choose a winner tomorrow.

New books

From Hyphen Press, Modern typography in Britain: graphic design, politics, and society (Typography papers 8):

Modern typography in Britain: graphic design, politics, and society (Typography papers 8)

From the Dept of Typography at Uni of Reading.

Type links

Creative Characters — an interview with Jos Buivenga
10 ‘letterpress’ type tutorials — 6 Revisions
A magazine called Elephant
Type Design CompetitionModern Cyrillic 2009
Free copy Letterform with October issue of Grafik:

grafik magazine

A great piece on the German MyFonts blog about the making of Tim Ahrens’ Facit:

facit typeface by Tim Ahrens

Surprised not to see more of Facit; it’s a pretty special sans. Google translate will give you the gist.

Ah! Chocolate & type:

milky way chocolate wrapper

I actually remember this chocolate — at that price.

Be sure to read CR Blog’s piece by Gavin Lucas, on Maker Difference: pop-up letterpress studio:


Two new type- and lettering-related sites. First, Friends of Type from Aaron Carambula & co.:

friends of type

Second, Type Goodness. Great little site; just a pity there are so many ad’s plastered everywhere:

type goodness

And a nicely redesigned TypoJungle:


The beautiful Daily Drop Daily from lettering artist, illustrator, and creator of Buttermilk, Jessica Hische:


Via @shiflett.


The Night of the Italians — Thursday, October 15, 2009.


What a line-up! On the panel: Louise Fili, Francesco Cavalli, Massimo Vignelli, & Matteo Bologna.

Free type

From the Open-Source foundry, The League of Moveable Type League Gothic:

league gothic free fonts

I’ll conclude with my WLT pick of the week. A still life photo from Trevor Dixon:


Thanks for reading, and enjoy what’s left of your weekend.

Header type: P22 Allyson Pro.


  1. Thanks for featuring Neue Swift this week! The “Swift Neue LT Pro” is just a bit of technical mumbo jumbo. Of course the typeface’s name is Neue Swift.

    The font files themselves are named otherwise… by putting Swift before Neue, the font appears alphabetically in the font menu under S, which is where it should be, right? Looking for it under N would be silly, I think. LT is there to indicate that the font file was produced by Linotype, and Pro means that it has a certain character set, namely—at a minimum—the glyphs defined by Linotype’s Pro character set. We also make fonts with other character sets (Std, Com, etc.), so sometimes a customer may need to differentiate between font variants. This is the case with Helvetica or Frutiger—but not, at the moment, Neue Swift.

    How about a link in your right-hand sidebar, for September Fonts or October Fonts, to Neue Swift?

    I really love the Dutch interview with Gerard. Even though I’ve met him many times over the last few years, and studied under him a bit at Reading, the interview was full of new insights for me into his career, his design process, and his world view.

  2. johno


    Thanks for the clarification. Neue Swift is indeed scheduled to star in the sidebar, in October. Are you working on anything of your own? A follow-up to Malabar?

  3. Well, my day job at Linotype doesn’t give me the kind of time to devote to new typeface design, like I had at Reading to design Malabar. I spend most of my time helping bring typefaces to market, like Libelle or Neue Swift. And also, Malabar isn’t even finished yet, since I will still finish and release the Devanagari! That said, I am working on some things that might seem the light of day, but I can’t talk about that on a public forum. It’ll be awhile before it is ready anyway.

  4. Anton

    I love ILT but I must say, it got too much at the same time this time. Update more often is my advice :)

  5. Victor Zuniga

    The font used in “Boldly Going” is Futura and the character’s name is *********?

  6. @Victor - did you read Johno’s request that the answers not be put in the comments?

    Great round up Johno, it’s gonna take me all week to get thorugh it! (but i like that!)

  7. Victor Zuniga

    damn… I didn’t read the whole thing… I just knew the answer and got a lit bit to excited :P

  8. Victor
    No problem. I’ve obfuscated your correct answer. But it’s not Futura. Actually, at that size, it’s a little unfair. Here’s a larger version:

  9. Thanks for the latest iLT bonk, Johno! :)

    I am in love with Jessica Hische’s work, and the Daily Drop Caps just pushed me over the edge. In a good way, I mean. Awesome.

    I am also drooling over that last WLT still life. The vintage typewriter would have done it on its own; add all the type elements to the composition, and I’m done for.


    Hope your weekend is great.

  10. Great post! 2p for a Milky Way chocolate bar… that’s nuts! How times have changed ;)

  11. Victor Zuniga

    Thanks Johno!

  12. Victor Zuniga

    By the way I already corrected the name of the font. I hope I get it right this time…

  13. Having FoT in this round-up made my weekend. Thank you and thanks for ILT.

  14. Hey! That firs Bicycle video is in Toronto xD

  15. Thanks Johno for the post!

  16. I like that video a lot. If I was a girl I’m sure I would say it was ‘cute’. But I’m not, so I won’t.

    It would make a good advertising stunt I think: type cycling through a city. All though saying that, here in London at the moment TopMan are employing tossers on scooters to drive around and honk their horns for attention. Proper annoying.

    But if something like this was done subtly, without screaming out for attention, it could be lovely.

  17. Rachel

    Great post. Nice to see a great roundup of what’s out there!

  18. Christopher A.

    It looks like Jos Buivenga forgot to kern. FO NT at least it looks like it.
    And i really want that metalic A on Trevor Dixon picture :)

  19. johno

    Christopher A.
    Nothing wrong with Jos’ spacing there. Perhaps it’s the perspective that’s giving you that impression.

    I like that metal A too; and the ampersand.

  20. Speaking of “San Serriffe” jokes, Donald Knuth (of TeX and Computer Modern fame) has stopped mailing out checks to folks who send in bug fixes or useful suggestions to his works (his bank doesn’t like all the uncashed checks), so he now posts balances online at the Bank of San Serriffe.

  21. Good post! Thanks for the link about San Serriffee - classic!

  22. I love the League of Moveable Type website. There are other great faces there also. Thanks for the link Johno.

  23. wow.. love your work… keep up!

  24. Although I agree that Verdana was a poor choice for IKEA that female just loves hearing herself talk making the movie unbearable. Less talk, more examples I say. >:3

  25. Hey! That firs Bicycle video is in Toronto xD

  26. Swift Neue looks very nice…but, a point. The “ft” in the specimen, that’s not actually the way that supposed to look, is it? It appears not to be a ligature, and the touching crossbars are making my brain vibrate.

    Hope I’m not coming across like Bitchy McWhiny here. Like I said, very nice otherwise, just seems odd to see that.

  27. Great typography round up lots of cool finds here!

  28. BP

    Swift is incredibly sexy, especially with the background colors…keep ‘em coming and thanks as always for all the cool stuff you keep us informed with!


  29. This is a great resource some really inspirational work here. I to really like the business card its amazing. Thanks you for sharing such a wonderful post.

  30. I could stare at this all day every day. Type is completely under appreciated by clients and most average-or-less designers.

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