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.
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.
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.
One of the features that I’m particularly fond of (Kari’s handiwork) is the search by colour.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
I always write this introductory paragraph last. As I’ve been working on this post all day, my eyes are now burning, and I’m flagging; so, let’s just get started. Loosen your belts — this is a big one.
It has been predicted that Apple will have sold 45 million iPhones by the end of 2009. And that’s before it hits China. There aren’t hundreds of type-related apps for the iPhone, but here are few; and a few type-related tips too. (Helvetica Moleskine give-away details at the end).
Recently released, MyFonts’ What The Font for iPhone is a terrific little app. The biggest barrier is not MyFonts’ image recognition technology (which has proven itself online), but the dreadfully inadequate iPhone camera. However, despite that it does a pretty good job. Just ensure that the lighting is good.