Sunday Type: garbage type

roman, italic, rotalic

August marks iLT’s first birthday, and I’d like to ask you all for suggestions on how we might celebrate. I have begun organising some prizes, so if you can think of a competition or whatever, then let me know in the comments below. Don’t be shy.

I’ve recently begun heading this post with a lovely photo of found type. Let’s stick with that. Here’s one from Simon Pascal Klein:

simon pascal klein

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Anivers — birth of a typeface

by Jos Buivenga

When I was asked by Smashing Magazine (SM) in 2007 if I could release a free font to celebrate their first anniversary I first thought that the release of Museo could very well be that font. However, it was nowhere near ready and, not wishing to rush things, I started to play around with some sharp elements I liked to see if something could grow out of it.

Anivers, the beginning

Still far too constructed of course, but the sharp elements did offer nice connections which I decided to keep and transpose to other characters as a key feature of Anivers.

Anivers, the beginning

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Sunday Type: vintage type

Last week we led with a beautiful found type photo from David John Earls. This week we lead with another stunning photo from Adam Polselli. It just happens to be one of my favourite cars too. Anyone have a spare one languishing in their garage?

adam polselli vintage car logos

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A Brief History of Type—Part 5

Slab Serif / Egyptian

Welcome to the early 1800s and the birth of the Slab Serif, otherwise known as Egyptian, Square Serif, Mechanical or Mécanes. What’s with the name Egyptian? Upon Napoleon’s return from a three year Egyptian expedition and publication in 1809 of Description de l’Égypt, Egypt was all the rage, and it appears that type founders simply used a term that was on everyone’s lips, a term that was in vogue. The nomenclature has absolutely nothing to do with Egyptian Hieroglyph Slab Serifs—because there’s no such thing.

egyptian or slab-serif

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Sunday Type: paragraph type

An exceptionally hectic week meant foregoing the usual mid-week post. Hopefully back to normal now, and I can finish the next instalment of the Type History series, Why Type Matters, and more. OK, sit back, relax and enjoy. First up is some beautifully photographed found type. Richard Roche has scoured the Web for the very best found type photos. This stunning shot was taken by David John Earls:

found type

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Sunday Type: typesetting type

Questionable Type

First, thanks to Kris Sowersby for his wonderful review of FF Balance. It certainly had me looking at that particular type in a fresh light. Today, we have quite a hefty Sunday Type, so let’s get started. A couple of weeks ago I posted an illustration of ten asterisks. Today, we have the humble question mark.

question marks

No one is quite sure how the present form came to be. Some believe that It originated from the Latin abbreviation for question, Qo, where the Q was written above the o. Continue reading this article

Typeface Review: FF Balance

By Kris Sowersby

The late  Evert Bloemsma created four of the most original, hard-working and forward-thinking typefaces in the history of type design. In order of creation, these are  FF Balance (1993),  FF Cocon (1998/2001),  FF Avance (2000), and  FF Legato (2004), all released under the FontFont label. As good as they all are, I shall be concentrating on his first. 

FF Balance 4 weights

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Sunday Type: Ale Paul type

In the Beginning

Welcome to this week’s roundup of what’s hot in type. Before I get started, I’m thinking of renaming Sunday Type to something like This Week in Type (a nod to my favourite tech show, This Week in Tech, perhaps). Work commitments sometimes make it difficult to publish every week on a Sunday, so I’m trying to come up with a title that is not day-specific. Perhaps you have some of your own suggestions?

Let’s start with some beautiful lettering in the form of versals or initial capitals. I’m a big fan of them, and Pascal’s article demonstrates how they can be achieved using a little CSS (if only initial capitals were as easy on the web as they are in InDesign).

versals, initial caps

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A Brief History of Type

Part Four: Modern (Didone)

In the previous installment of this series, we took a closer look at Transitional style typefaces, so-called because they mark a transition from the former Old Style types—epitomized by Baskerville—and the subject of today’s brief history, the Moderns, also known as Didone (the terms Modern and Didone are used synonymously throughout this article).

Baskerville’s types, compared with their Old Style (or Garalde) predecessors, are marked by high contrast between thick and thin strokes, so much so that one commentator declared Baskerville was “blinding the nation.” The Moderns or Didones take this contrast to further extremes (just about as far as one can take them).

The first Modern typeface is attributed to Frenchman Firmin Didot (son of François-Ambroise Didot), and first graced the printed page in 1784. His types were soon followed by the archetypal Didone from Bodoni. The Italian type designer, punchcutter and printer Giambattista Bodoni (what a great name! [1740-1813]) drew his influence from the Romains du Roi (with its flat, unbracketed serifs) and the types of John Baskerville (high contrast), for whom he showed great admiration.

Bodoni Manuale Tipografico

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Sunday Type

Adrian Frutiger turned 80 this week. I’m sure you’d like to join me in wishing him many happy returns. In fact LinoType has a page where you can leave him birthday greetings. I’d like to begin by thanking Stefan for the wonderful interview, and thank all those who read and commented. I’ll be sure to let you know when Stefan releases his next typeface. Perhaps we can have him introduce it to us.  If there’s someone you’d like to see interviewed by iLT, then let me know.

If you like ampersands, then I guess you might like The Ampersand, a web site devoted to…wait for it…

ampersad ampe

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