Part 1: The snare of authenticity
How much should a revival of a typeface look like the original? Well, just as with performing an old song—an analogy Matthew Carter has made—there is something you have to like in the original in order want to revive it. And you can’t depart from the original too much, or you lose the charm of the old song that appealed to you in the first place. But if it is too much like the old versions, it might be stale and dated, irrelevant. So what do you keep and what do you change? And change in what way? That’s the challenge every revivalist faces.
Just after the war (I don’t recall when exactly, but perhaps it was in the early days of QuarkXPress), I do recall trying to find good templates for magazines and newspapers. I found none — at least I found none that didn’t resemble something put together by the office Janitor who did the company newsletters in MS Word during his lunch-break.
Though some have been critical, the templates on offer look better than the average magazine or newspaper. Moreover, a well designed template is a good way for less experienced designers to get started, and a great way to become better acquainted with InDesign.
One commenter writes, What a huge setback for designers and magazine makers. Bunkum! Is a template (and remember they can be customized) always the solution? Of course not. They are targeted at a market that needs them. And as for those who complain that all magazines and newspapers will begin to look alike — they already do!
Good designers will continue to design great magazines and newspapers. These templates are another option — one aimed not at the entire market, but at a thin cross-sectional slice.
And better Roger Black than the janitor.
The good news is that Elliot Jay Stocks has published 8 Faces, a print title for typography enthusiasts. The other good news is that its limited run of 1,000 copies sold out in just a few hours. That leads us to the bad news: you won’t be able to get a copy, in print at least. However, you can download a full PDF version of the magazine.
Interviews and articles — the entire magazine devoted to typography. Issue two will be published at the end of the year, so be prepared.
These Eames House Blocks look great. Another hit from House Industries:
Child not included (I guess).