Why would anyone in his or her right mind start a type foundry now? Well, to begin with, it’s often said that it’s a good idea to start a business in a recession. However, the type marketplace has gotten very crowded—there are more foundries and distributors of type in all sizes right now than at any previous time. Even the pre-machine setting peak of typefounding in the 19th century had a smaller number of foundries by many orders of magnitude. Notwithstanding all of the small foundries, a handful of large distributors dominate the general market, leaving the rest of us scrambling to find ever-shrinking niches. Why not just climb onboard with one of the big players and leave the business side to people who know what they’re doing? Would that be too easy?
Lots of new type-related goodies from House Industries. I want this ampersand pillow:
Another new web fonts service from fonts.com (Monotype Imaging):
You’ll need to request a beta invite. I haven’t had the opportunity to test it yet. Let me know if you do.
Wish I could make this. A lettering-themed walking tour of Midtown East of Fifth Avenue with Paul Shaw.
A great new podcast from 5by5. Dan Benjamin & Jeffrey Zeldman talk to Ethan Dunham & Jeffrey Veen about web fonts.
MOVABLE TYPE: perhaps nowadays few will know the exact meaning of these two words, but until the middle of the twentieth century a letter was a small piece of lead, and to use it for printing you literally had to move it around, by hand. In the 20th century big machines like the Monotype, equipped with keyboard, were used for typesetting; but until 1900 all type was set by typesetters, by hand. This simple object: a piece of lead with a letter on top, formed the central part of Gutenberg’s invention, back in the middle of the 15th century.
Though I have the utmost respect for Massimo Vignelli, and am a fan of his work, his we use too many typefaces is just plain wrong. It’s by no means the first time Vignelli has voiced these views. If you have no idea what I’m writing about, then watch this video:
Dan Reynolds’ review of Bibliothèque Typographique’s
first book, José Mendoza y Almeida