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I Love Typography

I Love Typography

Genuine imitations

by Aegir Hallmundur

Every year The St Bride Foundation holds a lecture in memory of Justin Howes, a great typographer and historian who was instrumental in supporting the St Bride Printing Library. He re-established the firm of HW Caslon, published books, organised exhibitions, delivered lectures and worked with the Type Museum in Stockwell, finally moving to the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp before his death in 2005, aged 41.

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A short, intensive course in type design

By Dan Rhatigan

This July, the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading is offering a week-long, condensed version of the MA Typeface Design course it has been offering for the last ten years. It may only last 5 days, but it promises to give a small group of participants a chance to spend all of that time getting some insight and feedback from the core staff at Reading — Gerry Leonidas, Fiona Ross, and Gerard Unger — along with some brief sessions with a few more of us who work with the department.

reading uni type design. photo by dan reynolds

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In space, no one can hear you kern

The Week in Type

I will soon announce ILT’s gargantuan give-away. There are 40 prizes, from vouchers to buy type, and books, to posters and Helvetica Moleskines. As soon as ILT hits 40,000 RSS subscribers, I’ll run the competition. Basically, I’ll do it like this: 20 prizes for the best-submitted type tips; the remaining 20 prizes will be distributed randomly to those who follow me on Twitter. If you haven’t already subscribed, then all it takes is a mere click.

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Moyenage: Blackletter for a Modern Age


By Dan Gayle

If you’ve ever been to the Library of Congress and seen the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz, you will understand the sheer joy that one can find from looking at a page of quality-set blackletter.

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Show some restraint

Let’s get right down to business, and start with something really beautiful. Seb Lester, who I’ve mentioned on these pages before, recently released a new poster. The picture below really doesn’t do it justice. The silver print on gorgeous Plike paper is absolutely stunning:

flames by Seb lester

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The second coming

By Nick Sherman

If you’re a designer and haven’t already heard about Typographica‘s relaunched site and Favorite Typefaces of 2008 list, chances are you’ve been stranded on a desert island, far away from any relevant news sources. And even then, the list has received considerable attention beyond the usual design and typography blogs, getting mention in sources that wouldn’t usually have much to say about type.

Typographica, a star is reborn

With all that coverage already out there, what’s left to say that hasn’t already been mentioned? Stephen Coles has written and spoken about the history of Typographica and the reasons for its redesign; Joshua Lurie-Turell (Typographica’s founder) has bestowed his blessing on the new site; and countless other sources have heralded, congratulated, and approved via blogs and Twitter updates.

An element of Typographica that I think deserves to be noted—and indeed has contributed to the site’s fine reputation—is how it is purely about type for type’s sake… type for the joy of type. Consider the following, from a “font industry” point of view: Both Stephen Coles and Chris Hamamoto (the site’s editor and designer, respectively) are employees of FontShop (a major font distributor). Knowing that, one might assume that the content is biased accordingly, that the opinions expressed are not objective. However, Typographica’s vast archive is evidence to the contrary.

For instance, despite my own employment with MyFonts (another major font distributor), I was  honored with being invited to write the introduction to this year’s Favorite Typefaces list. Also note that Stephen has written fair commentary on numerous other topics in the past, despite a direct relation to his professional circumstances.

Historically the site’s contributors also come from every facet of the type world, presenting views from about as many “competitors” in one place as is possible. I use the term in quotation marks, because—regardless of politics—a mutual passion for typography in some shape or form will bring people together as the best of allies. Typographica embodies that spirit perfectly, where the only thing that matters in the end is the love of type.


Listen to Stephen on the RBtL podcast.

The Typographic Desk Reference

A Brief review

One can never have too many books about type and typography. One of the most recent additions to my own library is Theodore Rosendorf‘s The Typographic Desk Reference or, if you’re in a hurry, simply TDR.

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We love typography

I’ve been a little quiet here of late. Now you know why. I’ve been working days and nights on a new site, something I see as a natural extension to this one. Meet WLT — welovetypography.com, a collaboration between myself and Kari Pätilä. It has been great fun to create, and I really hope that it inspires.

welovetypography dot com

Rather than spend paragraphs explaining how and what it is, just take a look for yourselves. It’s like an FFFFound for type-related content, a type-themed delicious for the eyes.

One of the features that I’m particularly fond of (Kari’s handiwork) is the search by colour.

we love typography. search/filter by colour

You can learn more about the site on its about page, and more about its contributors on the, um, contributors page. They’ve been busy bookmarking some 1000 images and videos!

To share, just add #WLT to your tweet, and see what others are saying. Enjoy!

Other news

There’s now a more mobile-friendly version of ILT at m.ilovetypography.com. The clever people at mobify.me created it. It certainly loads incredibly quickly, and supports dozens of mobile devices. Would love to hear what you think.

I’ll now be back to posting more frequently here on iLT. Coming up is a packed-to-bursting the week in type, a book review, a wonderful essay from a great type designer, a couple of interviews, and lots more besides.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here! Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, or thinking of doing, have an exceptional week.

Yes, we kern

The Week in Type

I had intended to publish my review of Theo‘s The Typographic Desk Reference today. I’ll publish that next week. And, I missed out on April Fool‘s. I had so many ideas, from the new and free Adobe fonts with embedded ad glyphs (the humour’s in the execution!) to the … well, I’ll save that for next year. In the meantime, here’s plenty to keep you busy. Everything from new typefaces, interviews to … well, you’ll see. A little later than usual owing to days and nights spent on a soon-to-be-launched type-related site that I’m pretty excited about, and hoping will inspire.

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The first one’s the hardest

by Jeremy Mickel

I remember clearly the day I was waiting for the 6 train at 33rd Street and Park Avenue in New York. I had taken pictures of type on the street for some time, but there was something here that caught my eye. There was a plastic sign on a door with letters and numbers routed out of plastic, and I noticed a couple of characters in particular: the way the 8 curved back into itself, the charming tail of the a. And then I realized that the lowercase e’s were all different. This had been done by hand and therefore wasn’t an existing typeface. I knew then that I could actually make this into a font.

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Malabar type family released

Last week, Linotype released my newest typeface family, Malabar. With six fonts for the Latin script, Malabar is a sturdy oldstyle serif. Designed for extensive reading, Malabar was originally part of a larger design project conceived for Indian newspapers, and a Devanagari addition will be released at a later date. After that, who knows?

malabar typeface

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Watchmen watchtype

Later than usual, but it’s here. I’ve been devoting some considerable time to several ILT-related projects, so a little behind on posting here. I hope to tell you more about those projects in the near future; if I can get around the coding problems. OK, so let’s start with something fun:

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