I Love Typography

Chelsea, darling

The move to my new host, Fused Network, went very smoothly. As iLT has been expanding pretty rapidly, a server with a little more oomph was required. If you’re looking for great hosting and fantastic support, then try Fused. David, the main man at Fused is something of a server superstar.

Chelsea Darling was the winner of my first twitter-type prize. Chelsea won a copy of Simon Loxley’s The Secret History of Letters. I’ve decided to do this every week. So, from now on, I’ll pick a random follower and send you some type-related goodies. And, no, Chelsea Darling is not a character from AbFab — it’s her real name.

OK, let’s kick off this week’s the week in type with something I really want need. The Helvetica Moleskine:

moleskine helvetica

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Projected type

Welcome to this week’s the week in type. Thanks to all those who commented on David’s great On diacritics article. Upon seeing Greg Meadows’ photos from the boneyard in last week’s the week in type, Matthew sent me some of his own:

boneyard lettering

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On diacritics

The globalisation of the type market and rising interest in multi-lingual typeface design is a source of great optimism among many typographers. Yet despite the proliferation of these beautiful new typefaces, many still do not support some European languages, let alone cater for African and Asian languages. In fact, contrary to the claims of advertisements, the offering is, in respect to language support, quite limited.

The aim of this article is to explain the fundamentals behind the use and design of Latin diacritical marks (accents) and help typographers make informed choices regarding their use. Design considerations are illustrated mostly with Central-European diacritics for the following reasons: a) they are generally less familiar to Western typographers. To quote Czech type designer Tomáš Brousil: “For Western typographers our accents are as strange as, for example, the Arabic script.” That they are seen as merely an add-on to the familiar Latin alphabet often leads to severely underestimating their importance; b) they are fairly familiar to the author; c) Central European, and the Czech language in particular, made one of the earliest uses of diacritics with Latin script (the substitution of diacritics for the use of digraphs was proposed by Jan Hus in his De Ortographia Bohemica in 1412).

arabic vocalization

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Greener type

Notice anything different? iLT has gone green. In addition I have a new masthead. For more than a year, one of my all-time favourite typefaces has graced the head of these pages; but it’s time for a change. I had given some thought to a complete redesign, but then I asked myself, why? So, I’ve chosen not to redesign just for the sake of it. Instead, I’ve made some relatively minor changes, including the menu at the very top, tweaks to the sidebar, and swapping out the red for a little green. Now who can name the typeface?

OK, on with the show. Let’s start out with some more green. This lovely poster from ColorCubic:

quid est veritas by colorcubic

And this even more impressive piece:
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Inconspicuous vertical metrics

Five?

There are generally taken to be five vertical measures of note in type design (from bottom to top): descender, baseline, midline*, caps-height, and ascender.

Vertical Measures in Minion

But if you delve into the minutiae of font design, you soon discover that there are a slew of important vertical metrics that aren’t much talked about. In this article, I will take a look at several of these metrics, and how they are used in font design.
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To a typetastic new year

A belated Happy New Year to all. It’s that back-to-work time for everyone. Feeling inspired? I’m hoping that 2009 will pass by a little slower than 2008. Here’s iLT’s first post of 2009. Enjoy!

You may have wished for one of these at Christmas. The leather ‘type bag’ from Assouline. If you have a spare $450, it’s not too late:

assouline type bag

Via typornography.
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Reminga bold italic

A very brief post about a typeface from a type designer I’m particularly fond of. FF Reminga from Xavier Dupré is a great little text face with a sumptuous calligraphic italic. FontFont is offering the Bold Italic completely free of charge for a limited time. So, be sure to take it for a spin. And, be sure to check out some of Xavier’s other types.

reminga bold italic free from FontFont

Download Reminga Bold Italic. Be sure to let me know if you use it. Would love to see.

Thanks to Ivo for the heads up!

My favourite typefaces of 2008

This year has been a great year for type, with many new releases. Some of them are exceptional. Following is a list of my personal favourites of the past year. This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are, in fact, many others deserving of accolades.

Compendium

Difficult to imagine a best-of list with no showing from Ale Paul. This one is no exception. Ale released several great faces in 2008, but my favourite has to be Compendium. A fluid, beautifully crafted script, made all the more wonderful with a large helping of OpenType wizardry:

compendium by ale paul

I wonder what Ale Paul has in store for 2009. I’ll be sure keep you up to date.
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the week in type — Zócalo

Fast closing in on 2009. I can’t believe it. What happened to 2008? The very lucky winner of the Seb Lester poster is mentioned toward the end of this post. Thanks to everyone who entered. This week’s the week in type is a big one, so make sure you’re sitting comfortably. Enjoy.

A beautiful new letterpress poster from Cameron Moll. I’ve ordered one:

cameron-moll-letterpress

cameron-moll

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The Type Directors Club

For over 60 years the Type Directors Club has been the leading international organisation whose sole purpose is to support and promote excellence in typography wherever it’s found. The club was founded in 1946 by some of graphic design’s legendary pioneers, the TDC’s earliest membership included Aaron Burns, Freeman Craw, Louis Dorfsman, Gene Federico, Edward M. Gottschall, Herb Lubalin, Bradbury Thompson, and Hermann Zapf.

tdc

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An interview with Seb Lester

Type designer and typographic illustrator Seb Lester is truly passionate about letterforms. His recent limited edition posters have been a huge success. His typefaces are used by the likes of Dell, Intel, The New York Times, The Sunday Times, and GQ Magazine, to name but a few. Seb kindly took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to be interviewed by iLT.

How did you get started designing type?

I was doing a foundation course in Birmingham in the UK in 1992. I stumbled across a book, ‘The Graphic Language of Neville Brody’, in the college library. That man really has got a lot to answer for because I became obsessed with type and typography. I later studied Graphic Design at Central St Martins in London where I got some help digitising my first fonts in FontStudio from a tutor there.

soho gothic sketches

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Free fonts from FontFont

I was going to save these until the next the week in type, but why keep people waiting. In the world of free fonts there are numerous lemons; however, these from the FontFont library are of exceptional quality. I’m pretty sure these will only be available for a limited time, so grab them while you can.

Packed to bursting with OpenType features is FF Nuvo OT. The medium weight is free. Designed by Siegfried Rückel:

free font ff nuvo from fontfont

FF Chambers Sans OT. The Medium Italic is free to download. Designed by Verena Gerlach:

chamber sans medium italic

By all means download and use these fonts, but don’t redistribute them. They’re free to download, but they’re not freeware. Enjoy!

See you very soon for the week in type.


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