I Love Typography

Typoholism. An Addict’s Tale

typoholism
noun.
A disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on type, leading to physical and psychological harm and impaired social and vocational functioning. Also called typographical abuse, font dependence.

You awake in a cold sweat, your hands trembling, your body stiff, eyes bloodshot; you need your fix. In every town, in every city there’s one; you may pass her in the street and not even notice; it may be your neighbour, your son, your husband, your wife, your dog (don’t be silly [ed.]).

Yesterday, I interviewed a recovering addict. Robert from California wishes to remain anonymous, so we’ll call him Brian from Birmingham.

iLT:

So, tell us how your addiction started?

Brian:

As a kid, my mother gave me those plastic letters, you know the ones with magnets that you put on the refrigerator. It all started innocently enough, just making up words like cat and dog, then one day I rearranged the letters, and there it was, staring at me, goading me really, “font”; it was my typographic epiphany, you could say.

iLT:

How did your habit grow?

Brian:

I used to meet the FontShop guy in the alley on fourth and Main, behind Benny’s Burgers; I gave him the dough and he handed over a floppy disc. Of course, things are different now. I can feed my addiction online.

Of course, Brian is not alone, and it appears that Typoholism is on the increase. If you’re concerned about family or friends or, for that matter, yourself, then here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

01 While your neighbour’s kids are playing Fatman 3 — Return of the Cybertronic Mutant Warrior from Hades, your children play this:

Wii Love Typography

02 Early-stage symptom: you stop actually reading type, and ask yourself, “What typeface is that?”;

03 You think The Hounds of the Baskerville is a book about fonts;

04 You seriously consider naming your children after typefaces (Georgia, Lucida, etc); that’s bad enough. However, if you actually do name your children after typefaces, then your condition is most likely terminal;

05 You email me asking if the I Love Typography T-shirt is available set in another typeface;

06 You have type-themed dreams. I once dreamt that I had a “g” tattooed on my arm (it was Optima, I think);

07 You buy things because the type on the packaging is nice. I’m guilty of this one: I recently bought a ham and egg sandwich (I hate this filling), simply because the packaging was set in Clarendon, and in a rather nice green, to boot;

08 Your neighbour’s child’s homework looks like the sample on the left. Your child’s homework is on the right:

Homework

09 You play typography-themed I Spy with your children. I Spy with my little eye, a typeface beginning with…

10 You use your typographic knowledge in chat-up lines (more on that in a future article).

Of course, the best way to get to grips with your addiction is to share your experiences (in the comments below). And, subscribing to iLT will ensure that you don’t miss out on future therapy.

Coming up next is the bout you’ve all been waiting for: In the blue corner, Helvetica; in the red corner, Arial. Let the carnage begin. Oh, and there will be a fun little tool for comparing fonts, and discovering what makes them unique.

15 Excellent examples of Web typography

In part one, 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography, I showcased 15 web sites that make excellent use of type. To avoid this article being inordinately long, I’m going to focus on the first site in the list, namely A List Apart. To take all 15 examples to pieces would be rather pointless, because most of what’s good about them is shared.

A List Apart

The job of web typography is not to simply mimic that of print. First, the web is a different medium with different strengths and weaknesses. Attempting to faithfully reproduce print typography is a rather pointless exercise. The printed page is rigid; we have no control over the size of the type and of the page; on-line the user has more power, more influence; she can resize the page (browser window), and even alter the default font size; add to the mix, different browsers with different rendering capabilities, differing resolutions and screen sizes, and we soon realise that the web page and the printed page make different demands.

However, despite these differences, the elements of good typography are shared across these two mediums. In a future article we’ll look at this topic in more detail; today however, we have something different on our hands, so, without further ado let’s take this list apart. Don your overalls, put on those latex gloves, and with that rather awful (List Apart) pun behind us, let me reintroduce you to A List Apart.

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Continue reading this article

I Love Typography is Moving

to a new server
Today, I had planned to post the second part of 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography. The first part, was such a success that it crashed my dedicated server. A combination of the Digg and Zeldman effect, took down the site within a few hours of posting the article. Apologies to those who had difficulty accessing the site.

iLT on Digg

This is how my server was made to look during the Digg-Zeldman effect.

The Digg-Zeldman Effect

To prevent this kind of thing happening again, I Love Typography is moving to a new server — one that will withstand just about anything you can throw at it, and the kitchen sink. The move is well-planned, but you never know what might go wrong (with me involved). In theory, the downtime should be around five minutes. I will also take the opportunity to upgrade to WordPress 2.3. However, I’m taking no chances, so I will post the second part on Thursday. If everything goes smoothly, you can congratulate me; if everything goes terribly wrong, you can blame Brian.

So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to seek your feedback. I’d like to know what you like or dislike about the site; should the articles be longer or shorter? Is the text a comfortable reading size? Do you have suggestions for articles? How about posting frequency? Is two posts a week enough, or perhaps a single post each week, that’s more in-depth, with the odd newsy or fontsy (new word!) article in between.

Here are some of the things I have planned for future iLT articles:

01 A closer look at an individual typeface or font; it’s distinguishing features, a little about its history and its designer, where it can be used well; other typeface it goes well with.

02 A series of articles on how to make fonts. How to get started, free software for font creation, with a guest post from a type designer;

03 Book reviews;

04 More type terminology articles like Who Shot the Serif?, The Return of the Serif, and Decline and Fall of the Ligature.

05 More typographic humour and cartoons;

06 Video Podcasts. I would love to do this, but what do you think? I’d really appreciate feedback on this one — especially if you have any ideas for specific podcast topics.

07 And lots of other incredibly interesting stuff, that I’ve yet to think of.

ilt readers are great
Thanks to everyone who shared and Dugg 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography, and a big thank you to all you subscribers and commentators. You are all stars.

See you Thursday for 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography — Under the Bonnet. Wish me luck and keep everything crossed for the server move!

And, if you want to ensure you don’t miss out on future articles, you can with a mere click, subscribe completely free of charge to I Love Typography.

johno
iLT

Baskerville, John

Type Founder & Printer (1706-1775)

Type founder, printer, stone cutter and lacquer ware professional. In 1750 he set up a printing business, but it took him until 1757 to produce his first book. However, during those seven years he was an impressive innovator, not only in the construction of the printing press but even in the inks and papers he prepared.

John BaskervilleAmong Baskerville’s most noted works are Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, Book of Common Prayer, and his Bible of 1763 — generally considered to be his finest achievement. As Cambridge University owned the patent to that Bible version and the Prayer Books, they stipulated that Baskerville should actually take his printing presses to Cambridge to print them.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that Baskerville finally won the attention he had always merited. The American classical typographer Bruce Rogers (designer of the Centaur typeface, among others) was in large part behind the modern revival of Baskerville’s typefaces. Now, dozens of type foundries have their own versions and derivatives.

Benjamen Franklin (who already had a successful printing business) was an admirer of Baskerville (they met in Birmingham in 1758), and returned to the US with Baskervilles’s work, popularising it through its adoption as one of the standard typefaces employed in federal government publishing.

Baskerville Typeface:

It is classified as transitional. As a matter of fact, with its generous proportions, the Baskerville appears not very different from its predecessors. But the difference between fine and bold strokes is more marked, the lower-case serifs are almost horizontal and the emphasis on the stroke widths is almost vertical. — Source

baskerville-sample1.gif

Sample: Baskerville Old Face

g glyph baskerville old face

g glyph from Baskerville Old Face

 

baskerville-print-sample.jpgbaskerville-bible.jpg

Samples of Baskerville’s early work (click for larger image).

Links

Baskerville font family on MyFonts.

Bibliography

Offline:

Pardoe, F E, John Baskerville of Birmingham: Letter-Founder and Printer (London, 1975)

Online:

Birmingham’s tribute to John Baskerville

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15 excellent examples of Web typography

I have spent the last month searching, stumbling, noting, bookmarking and analysing in a quest to find 15 Excellent examples of Web Typography. I’ve chosen them because they make excellent use of type. Some of the examples mimic the typography of print, while others actually leverage web technology, smart CSS and delicious HTML to make their pages not only aesthetically pleasing, but legible, user-friendly and easily navigable.

In a few days, I will be taking an in-depth look at all these sites, delving into their grids, sifting through their CSS and dissecting their HTML, to discover what makes them tick — and what makes them excellent examples of typography for the Web.

Prepare yourself a drink, sip, sit back, scroll, click and — above all else — enjoy.

01: A List Apart for people who make websites

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02: Shaun Inmanprofessional designer and developer

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03: FontShopas its name suggests

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04: Jesús Rodríguez Velasco blog of UC Berkeley professor

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05: BearSkinRug Shop professional illustrator, Kevin Cornell

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06: Design View Andy Rutledge, design strategist

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07: Rikcat IndustriesRik Catlow, design director

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08: Quipsologiesnews and creative morsels

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09: Design Snipsweb design showcase

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10: Red Interactive Agency web marketing and development

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11: The Big Noob developed by and for…noobs

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12: Design Can Change climate change

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13: Process Type Foundry they make type

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14: Finch interactive and graphic design agency

sd-finch.jpg

15: SR28 Simon Reynolds, web designer and illustrator

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Don’t forget to check back here for the second part, “15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography — a closer look.” It’s going to be dirty work, so your overalls, and be prepared to get your hands dirty, as we take these sites to pieces, look at grids, layout, and some very neat CSS tricks to improve your web typography.

What do you think of these examples? Are there others that you feel deserve a mention?

To ensure you don’t miss out on Part II, join the other +2000 TypeNuts and subscribe to I Love Typography today.

Read the second part, 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography — Under the Bonnet.

ILT Investigates: type torture

Warning: readers may find some of the images in this article disturbing.

It was 2am when the call came in over the radio. Italic rain lashed down against the wind shield, liquefying the neon sign’s reflection. Clarendon looks good in Neon, but perhaps…

The radio interrupted my thoughts, bearing a voice that had woven itself through distant thunder…

“We’ve got a BK over on Lucida Avenue, opposite the Emigre Foundry. This one’s ugly, real ugly….”

By the time I arrived at the crime scene, the rain had subsided. I’d been on the force 25 years, but nothing had quite prepared me for this:

kerning

A week later, after an anonymous tip off, we brought in a guy for questioning. David Terrence Paine had a string of previous convictions. He was one sick puppy; got his kicks out of this kind of thing.

Yes, “BK” or Bad Kerning can be found everywhere. But before we get into bad kerning, let’s remind ourselves of what kerning is.

Sometimes there appears to be some confusion over what kerning actually is; it’s sometimes confused with tracking. So this is what kerning is:

av-kerning1.gifKerning refers to the spacing between pairs of characters or glyphs.

So, for example “A v”: the upper-case “A” is bottom-heavy, while the lower-case “v” is top-heavy; kerning can be used to reduce the space between this letter combination to make it look better and to improve readability.

Kerning should not be confused with tracking which is about the letter-spacing between a series of characters in a line, paragraph, or block of text.

In tech-speak, Kerning is “pair-wise adjustment of horizontal glyph metrics.”

For those of you interested in the etymology of the word “kern”, there’s an interesting discussion over at Typophile on the subject — it starts out as a discussion about parallels between kerning and life; but if you scroll down, you’ll learn something of the origins of “kerning”.

In the screen shot below you can see some of the kerning pairs on the right (this screen shot is taken from FontLab Pro, one of the applications you can use to design type):

FontLab Pro Kerning Pairs

Note that for the “AY” pair — highlighted in blue — the value is much lower (-64) than, say, for the “Ac” pair; because basically the “A” is bottom-heavy, while the “Y” is top-heavy, so they need to be brought closer together.

Well, we could talk all week about kerning, but we’ll save it for another day (“the excitement is killing me”, I hear you say). In fact you never have to look far for examples of poor letter spacing. This is from today’s National Newspaper:

poor kerning

Can you spot it?

In a future article we will revisit this topic, and look at the difference between metric and optical kerning; and, why it’s sometimes necessary to get our hands dirty and manually adjust kerning. We’ll also look at kerning for the Web (is it possible?), and alternatives to kerning pairs.

In the meantime, can you think of letter combinations that might require extra space (a positive kerning value)?

And finally, a TypeNuts cartoon, only I’ve omitted the captions. Perhaps you can come up with something better than mine:

typenuts typographical cartoon

Ensure you don’t miss out on the next article by subscribing to I Love Typography.

fresh Faces, fine Fonts: Montag

A New Rounded Sans Serif in Town

Today we’re going to take a brief look at a new face on the block, namely Montag. I’ve just purchased this one, and I love it. In my excitement, I must be careful not to overuse it.

Montag is one of the latest typefaces from Jeremy Dooley of the Insigne Type Foundry. This is a very modern, fresh-looking, rounded san-serif, that has even been described as “gloopy”. It’s available in six flavours, and is already in MyFonts Bestsellers list; an impressive achievement for a newcomer.

Montag is an extended, rounded sans-serif. In many ways it can be seen as a more conservative, extended version of Chennai. As with Chennai, it includes simplified versions of many characters for titling or when a more futuristic appearance is called for. Choose Montag whenever you need a distinctive sans serif.–Jeremy Dooley

montag-sample.gif

Take a closer look at Montag Regular with the new iLT Font Carousel. Hop on and enjoy the ride:


I’ve heard a few people refer to this typeface as fun, but I don’t see it that way—perhaps that’s the usual cliché for rounded sans-serif faces. I think it looks clean and professional, and would even work well for identity. The first font that came to mind when I saw Montag, was VAGRounded Light, one of the Volkswagen fonts. I’m not suggesting that they are so similar in construction (though they have those rounded terminals in common), but they do “speak with the same accent”, they “smell” the same.

If you wish to become more intimate with the fonts you use, here’s a suggestion; well, something that I do when I buy a new font: print out samples, or even individual letters at large point sizes, then stick them on the wall—anywhere will do; that way you can contemplate them in the bathroom, muse over them while working, and you’ll come to have a greater appreciation for the font—it’s really about becoming friends with the font, allowing the font to “gain our trust”.

As a side effect to the above experiment, you will also find that you can easily identify this font when you see it in use elsewhere. And, although this is unlikely to make you any friends (“Brenda, look! That’s Montag!”), it will teach you something about the context in which your new font should be used.

Jeremy has kindly provided these sample pages for you to get a taste of Montag:

Montag promo page (pdf)

Montag promo book (pdf)

So, what do you think of Montag? Would you use it? If so, where and when?

Coming within the next 48 hours:
iLT Investigates: Type Torture and TypeNuts (perhaps the world’s only Typography Cartoon Strip, perhaps, maybe—I’ll check…).

To stay up-to-date, why not subscribe to I Love Typography with a mere click of your mouse.

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Decline and fall of the ligature

If the ligature could speak, it might well ask, why does nobody love me? Well, let’s put the record straight, but before we do — just in case you’re wondering, what the hell’s a ligature, let’s take a brief look.

ligature-doctor1.jpg

First, the typographic ligature should not be confused with the ligature of medicine; in medicine, a ligature is “a filament or thread used to tie something, like a blood vessel to prevent it from bleeding.” Interestingly. ligatures are also used in the treatment of Haemorrhoids. Confusing the two could result in serious injury or, at the very least mild discomfort. Who would have thought a health warning was necessary in an article on typography. OK, so now that that’s clear, let’s get a little more intimate with the ligature:

ligatures.gif

These are the most common ligatures, ff, fl, fi, ffi and ffl. A ligature is not simply two letters arbitrarily glued together. The two letters are crafted into a single letter (technically speaking a single glyph). Certain letter combinations are simply crying out for ligatures.

f plus i ligature in Adobe CaslonLet’s take, for example the combination of “f + i”: the letter “f” in both its lower-case and upper-case forms is top heavy; look at that overhang! In the example to your left, notice how the overhang of the “f” overlaps the “i” dot (tittle). Combining the “f” and “i” into a single glyph makes the “f” look that much more stable. It’s not going to fall over, because it’s using the “i” as a crutch. The overhang of the “f” (the terminal) also doubles as the dot of the “i”. You could say that ligatures are natural letter-friends.

fi-garamond-ligature.jpgWith the invention of Metal Movable Type in the 15th century, ligatures flourished and were a great time saver when setting type. For example, instead of having to set an “f” and an “i”, a single ligature block could be used instead. That may not seem like a great time saver, but when you’re setting an entire book 0f 40,000 words in movable type, then it could certainly make a difference.

For those of you interested in the origin (etymology) of the word “ligature”, it comes from the Latin ligatus, which basically means to tie or bind. And when you look at the above examples, you can see that ligatures are letters that have been bound or tied together (how happy they are about that, I have no idea).

So, the next time you’re reading, be sure to look out for ligatures.

The Decline of the Ligature

So whatever happened to the ligature? Well, to cut a long story short, the modern-era of printing, the typewriter and Desk Top Publishing (DTP) were all nails in the ligature’s coffin. Richard Wendorf, in a 2005 lecture The Secret Life of Type, even suggests that the death of the ligature was brought about by a desire to reduce the number of type pieces, and was also influenced by the popular publisher John Bell (1745-1831), who abandoned ligatures; and is also said to be responsible for the death of the long S.

Interesting type fact!
The most common ligature is the “&” (ampersand). This was originally a combination of the letters “e” and “t”, et, the Latin for “and”. However, the ampersand is generally no longer considered to be a ligature — but that’s how it started out.

The examples we looked at above are some of the most common ligatures; however, it’s possible to make a ligature from just about any letter combination. In fact there are entire ligature typefaces out there. Here’s an example of Mrs Eaves Just Ligatures, designed by Zuzana Licko of the Emigre Foundry:

just-ligatures-mrs-eaves.gif

Well, I’m sure we could write a whole book on ligatures alone; however, something tells me that it might not be a best-seller. In future articles we might take a closer look at the ligature, its history, and how and when they should be employed; and, even their use on the Web.

And, if you think that no-one loves the ligature, then take any book or magazine out of your bookcase, open it up, and look for “fi”! Now what do you think of ligatures?

If you missed earlier articles in the Type Terminology series, you can catch up here:
Who Shot the Serif
The Return of the Serif

Coming soon:
More TypeNuts and Typoholism: Facing your addiction.

Quien mató al serif?

Una de las razones por las cuales empezé ‘Amo a la Tipografía’ fue porque sentí que simplemente no se ha dicho suficiente sobre el tema. Por segundo, y más significativo, siempre hallaba dificil localizar rapidamente recursos tipográficos. El proposito de este blog es ser uno de esos ‘recursos’, una tienda todo en uno, sobre todo de tipografía, de la terminología a nuevos tipos de letras , de ejemplos inspiracionales tipos de letras para escojer el mejor fuente para un trabajo, ya sea en o fuera de línea.

Bodoni,  solo hay  lugar  para un Serif en este pueblo.

Entonces para no quitarles el tiempo, hechemosle un vistazo a la clasificación de la terminología de tipos de letras. Ahora, antes de que mis y aliteraciones te manden corriendo, dejenme decirles que no hay nada que temer. Pero para que debería de importarles la terminología de los tipos de letras? Acaso en realidad importa si no reconozco mis ascendentes y serifs de mis descendentes y espinas.

Bueno, lo que descubrirás, es que aprender sólo un poco sobre terminología te ayudará a tener una apreciación más amplia sobre los tipos de letras; también te ayudará a identificar diferentes tipos de letras y fuentes , y eso te ayudará a hacer mejores y más informadas elecciones sobre las fuentes que usas. Oh, y por último, aprenderás lo que los fish scales y serifs tienen en común.

Hoy nos intimidaremos con el serif (aprenderás mas sobre sus amigos en futuras posteadas sobre Términos de Tipografía):

Términos Tipográficos

Uno de los términos de tipo de letras con el que la mayoría estan familiarizados es el “Serif” y se distingue facilmente de los Sheriffs-Jhon Wayne ha matado unos cuantos sheriffs; y desde el fondo de mis conocimientos, él nunca ha matado un serif. Los serifs son casi siempre pequeños, pero son rudos.

Antes de escribir esto, le mande unas preguntas sobre la terminologia de los tipos de letras a amigos que saben un poco sobre el tema. La mayor cantidad de respuestas la tuvo la pregunta “¿Que es un Serif?” con algo como “son los pedacitos enrollados al final de una letra”. Y aunque no leerías algo asi en un libro acerca de tipografía, las respuestas son casi correctas ( excepto por que los serifs no siempre estan enrollados).

¿Entonces por qué la palabra “serif “? Estabién, comunmente se dice que el origen del serif puede ser de la antigua Roma. Antes de que una inscripción sea tallada en una piedra, las letras se pintaban primero. Cualquiera que haya tratado de pintar letras, sabrá que uno es un poco más grande al final de la brochada. Entonces los talladores de piedra tallarían las letras tranquilamente con los pedazos enrollados en los finales de las pinceladas – de esto nació el serif.

Como sea, parece que nadie sabe sobre la etimología de la palabra ‘serif’; algunos dicen que viene de la palabra danesa schreef, que significa ‘escribío’ o ‘escrito’, mientras que algunos recursos revelaban que “sanserif” actualmente quiere decir sin serif ( cosa que nos lleva a la pregunta , de donde se originó sanserif?).

Interesantemente, el equivalente significado en japones de uruco que significa escamas de pescado, y en chino, el termino trasladado literalmente al ingles, sale como “forma con/hecho con pies”. En chino es para mí el más descriptivo. Entonces si uno te dice que le “des pies”, sabras que te estan pidiendo un fuente de serif. Pero si alguien grita, “no tiene pies!”, entonces creo que buscan Helvetica.

El typoWiki define serif asi:

Un serif es una dobladura al final de una letra.

y Wikipedia asi:

detalles no-estructurados al final de algunas de las brochadas que hacen a las letras y simbolos.

Hay numerosas especies de serif. Los dos tipos más importantes son Adnate y Abrupt (estos dos se subdividen en muchos grupos que veremos en el futuro). El serif Adnate es mas orgánico. Noten como los serifs unen las astas con una curva; en cambio el Abrupt serif-como su nombre lo dice-es cuadrado y más rígido; el Slab Serif es un buen ejemplo de un Abrupt Serif. No es rudo; es sólo cuadrado.

times-std.png

A slab serif is an example of an abrupt serif. This font is called Xenia OT

En futuros articulos le hecharemos un vistazo cercano a lo que es:

Serifs, de o fuera de moda;

Serif o Sanserif-cuál usaría?

Buenos tipos de Serif para la web y la impreción.

Bueno eso es todo por hoy en serifs. Actualmente, hay mucho mas que decir, pero le dare un descanso a tu barra de desplazamiento. En futuras posteadas veremos más Terminología Tipografíca. Eventualmente, estas series seran editadas y publicadas como un PDF descargable “e-type-book” asique está atento a la segunda Parte subscribiendote.

Aprendiste algo?
Traducción por: Patrick Mondolis

(read this article in English)

Typenuts, The Funny Side of Typography

First, a big thank you to all of you loyal iLT readers and subscribers. Perhaps I should change this site’s name to welovetypography.com, or Ilovetypographyandyoudotoo.com. Anyway….

Well, many have commented that they enjoy a little humour with their typography, so let me introduce you to TypeNuts, the new iLT comic strip. This is my first attempt at a comic strip; well, it’s not really a “strip” as such; anyway, I hope you enjoy them.

So without further ado, TypeNuts Part One:

typenuts21.jpg

Stay tuned for the next part in the Type Terminology Series. If you haven’t read parts one and two yet, then:

Here’s Part 1: Who Shot the Serif;
and here’s Part 2: The Return of the Serif.

And just to whet your appetite, here’s what’s to come next year:

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Until next time, Happy “typing”.

johno

The Return of the Serif

Part Two
In part one, Who Shot the Serif?, we learned among other things that serifs — like milkshakes — come in many flavours: The main two flavours are Adnate and Abrupt; with Adnate serifs generally being more organic; Abrupt Serifs on the other hand are usually squarer, bigger, chunkier (the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the font world).

serif-family-tree1.gif

Today we’re going to take a brief look at the Serif family tree. And if we’re going to use the family tree “metaphor”, then lets stretch it a little. So without further ado, let me introduce to you (drum-roll…) Mr Abrupt Serif and his wife, Mrs Adnate Serif.

In an exclusive interview (they turned down a lucrative offer from FontShop), I was able to gain some insights into the private lives of the Serif family.

The following is an excerpt from the interview (speaking from their home in Serifsville, Georgia).

ilT:

Could you tell the iLT readers a little about the Serif family heritage?

Mr AS:

On my side of the family I’m most proud of my son Slab Serif. (My wife and others often call him Egyptian). Slab Serif’s children include Clarendon, a fine young lady. Most would agree that she and her siblings—Xenia, Geometric Slab Serif, and Rosewood—are very artistic, very decorative. Rosewood has starred in numerous Westerns; he’s a bold, strong character, who was once very popular in advertising. On my wife’s side…

geometric-slabserif-712.png

rosewood-regular.png

Mrs AS [interrupts]:

…yes, my side of the family is certainly more refined, perhaps I could go so far as to say, more natural, more organic. For example, my Baskerville (a fine young man, a real perfectionist from the Transitional Serif family) when born (I think it was about 1754), was considered anorexic, with his razor-thin serifs; however, he’s stood the test of time, and his contrast makes him easily legible.

baskerville-regular.png

baskerville-italic.png

ILT:

What about Old Style? Where does she fit in?

Mrs AS:

Well, some call her Old Style; I prefer to call her Humanist. Her great-great grandfather was the 16th Century typographer Claude Garamond. Humanist owes a lot to the calligraphic style of writing. Here’s a picture of Sabon, one of Humanist’s children. She looks as though she’s been designed with a wide-nib ink pen, doesn’t she?

sabon.png

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A big thank you to Mr and Mrs Serif. They have a busy schedule, what with books magazines, poster campaigns, and their recent popularity on the Web. We didn’t really look at Modern Serifs (e.g. Bodoni and Didona) and Latin Serifs (e.g. Quant Antiqua). Can you think of more examples?

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A full transcript of the interview will be available in the “Who Shot the Serif?” e-book, an edited and expanded compilation of all the Type Terminology articles.

To ensure you don’t miss out on the next in this series, subscribe to I Love Typography today.

Coming up

Typoholism: The Disease, The symptoms;
The Typographic Dating Game; and much, much more…

Have you enjoyed our examination of the serif?

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Typography Kills!

Shock, surprise, awe. Just some of the emotions I’ve experienced since launching I Love Typography. I never imagined that there would be such a positive response to a blog about typography.

Thousands of visitor from all around the globe, numerous comments and several hundred emails expressing thanks, or requesting further information and requests for interviews; and, even emails asking my opinion on the choice of a particular font for a design project. So to all of you readers and subscribers, I would like to say (in 76 point, Template Gothic Regular):

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iLT even made it into Smashing Magazine’s 45 Excellent blog designs, which was a pleasant surprise. However, praise for the success of this blog must go to you, yes YOU the reader. Your comments really add value to this blog, listing additional resources, opinions and even the results of your own research. In doing so, you are not only contributors but, in effect, co-authors of iLT.

Killer Typography

If you’ve read Who Shot the Serif?, you would have learned that type can be tough, but who would have thought that typography kills:

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Interestingly, because this story is syndicated, I found the same typo (or should that be “topo”?) repeated on at least eight other news web sites. The above one is taken from United Press International.

Upcoming…

I’m researching the next article in the series of Type Terminology. I’ve decided to post one main article each week, with some smaller snippets of typography news, views and yes, even typographic humour (yes, that really isn’t an oxymoron) in between. I’ve also composed a typography crossword. The quickest correct entry will win a new copy of David Carson’s most recent book, Trek — shipped straight to your door, wherever you are (unless you’re reading this from the Mir Space Station, in which case delivery might be a little tricky).

Once again, thank you to everyone who stopped by to read, and another big thank you to everyone who has commented and subscribed — you’ve inspired me.

Apologies to those who have sent emails that I haven’t yet responded to. I’m working on it. I will do my very best to answer all the emails you send, but sometimes my day job (this blog makes no money) means that I can’t always respond to mails as promptly as I’d like to.

In the meantime, I should like to remind everyone to get involved in the Type You Like project. Simply send in images of…well, type you like. There really aren’t any rules — perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the font used on your shampoo bottle, or there’s a street sign that caught your eye…pretty much anything. You can upload your image quickly and painlessly on the Type You Like submissions page, or you can just as simply email it to m@ilovetypography.com.

All entries will be included on a rather large iLT poster, and they’ll also be featured right here on iLT. Thanks to the almost 100 people who have already submitted their images and photos. And last but not least, a big thank you to Lauren over at Creative Curio for her comments, suggestions and support. You’re a star.

To make sure you don’t miss out, you can subscribe to iLT.

Until the next time, Happy “Typing”.

Johno
iLT


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