I Love Typography

Identify That Font

Ever seen a typeface (font) you like but couldn’t identify it? I once knew an Art Director who was able to identify just about any typeface I showed him. However, in recent years, even he responds with, I don’t have a clue.

So where to turn? Well, rather than publishing my Art Director friend’s email address here, I’ll introduce a few resources to get you started. Although none of the following resources is infallible, they will definitely give you a head start.

What The Font?!

MyFonts’ What The Font is perhaps the first place to turn to. As with most of the sites I list, here you can search by foundry, designer or name; however, that’s rarely very useful. If you know the designer or foundry, then it’s usually very easy to quickly identify the font. Where What The Font is particularly useful is that you can upload samples of your type, which it then attempts to identify within a matter of seconds. I had mixed results.

Step I: upload your sample. If the sample image has a lot of background noise or is low contrast, then spend a minute in PhotoShop, to lighten or remove the background and increase the contrast.

aaa.gif

Step II: ensure that What The Font has correctly identified the glyphs, then hit “search”:

picture-6.gif

Initially I uploaded this image, a thumbnail of the header image for this blog:

identify Georgia font

and What The Font suggested, among others, Magna T Light and Freight Text Book which, to be fair, are pretty similar to Georgia. However, when I uploaded a slightly larger version of the same image, it was identified correctly. So upload the largest sample you have (maximum image size is approx 360px wide).

If your sample isn’t identified, then you can submit it to the What The Font Forum, a place inhabited by type-nuts, who will often go out of their way to identify your typeface. This forum has a very high success rate!

Typophile

A community of … typophiles that has numerous other resources, blogs, typography-related news and even a typography Wiki. Though Typophile does not have an automated type identifier, it has a great forum of dedicated and friendly type-geeks.

Typophile

FontShop

Although, as its name suggests, you can shop for fonts, the content recently has expanded to include a good blog, a free magazine, and really up-to-the-minute typography news and views.

FontShop

Fontshop’s approach to font identification is a general to specific one; you first identify the general form of the characters (glyphs), and then answer increasingly more specific questions about their form. Again, this is not only a good tool for font identification, but for finding new typefaces for your projects.

Something else I can recommend from FontShop is the FontBook. Weighing in at 3kg, with 32,000 type samples, it’s more of a yellow monster of a book. However, if you’re really interested in type, then reserve a place in your bookcase. I’ll be offering one of these as a prize soon, so subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out.

fontbook_sample.jpg

Sample page from the FontBook.

[Update:] The FontBook is now available as an iPad app.

Another title that I can heartily recommend (not from FontShop) is Rookledge’s Classic International Typefinder, by Gordon Rookledge et. al. It includes a useful section of so-called Special Earmarks — a typeface’s or character’s most distinctive characteristics; very useful for identification.

rookledge type finder

Identifont

takes a different approach with relative success. I often use it for a slightly different purpose: finding similar typefaces to those I’ve used before. I like font x, but I want something a little more rough around the edges, or I want something with a double-storey “a” — that kind of thing.

Identifont has you answer a series of questions, like “Do the characters have serifs?” and “What shape are the serifs?”.

Identifont, typeface identification

After this process of elimination, Identifont makes suggestions based on your answers. I like that they always have a “not sure” option; depending on the quality of your sample, it may not always be possible to accurately answer the question posed.

Tracking down a font or typeface is not always easy. No-one knows how may typefaces there are, though some guesstimate in excess of 100,000.

If you spend a little time trying to identify fonts, then you’ll learn a lot about them in the process. You’ll also increase your “repertoire” and therefore make more informed choices about the fonts you choose for your next design project.

In future I’ll feature some fonts that are difficult to tell apart at first glance, and show you the elements that distinguish them. Are there typefaces that you find difficult to tell apart?

If you have your own tips, or stories you’d like to tell, then, scroll down and type away.

[Update:] Another great way to learn how to identify fonts is by playing the hugely popular FontGame for iPhone and iPad.

Type You Like Mobile

Ever see an example of Type You Like? A street sign, a strap-line on a billboard poster, the type on a book cover, or even the typeface on your toothpaste. Well, I’m a little obsessive in my photographing type and lettering, but I’d like to share that obsession; what’s more, I’d like you to get involved.

Every week (or month, depending on the volume of submission), I’ll be featuring Type You Like. Getting involved is simple. Here’s what you need to do:

When you see some type you like—wherever and in whatever form it takes — take a snap of it with your cell-phone (British readers, read “Mobile”) and send it to m@ilovetypography.com
It’s really that simple. If you wish to send some additional info with the photo (i.e. where it was taken, etc), then by all means do so; however, if you’re in a hurry, then just send the photo, no subject, no nothing, just a photo of the type you like.

If you include your Web site address, then your photo (when featured here) will link back to you. So don’t delay, add johno@ilovetypography.com to your phone’s address book, and shoot some type.

Here is one to get the proverbial ball rolling: The cover of “Typography Today”, delivered today (I couldn’t open the packaging fast enough!).

c.jpg

Smashing typography

The Smashing magazine blog is one of my design favourites. The articles are often great sources of inspiration; sometimes. 80 Beautiful Typefaces for Professional Design.

Let’s take a look at over 80 gorgeous typefaces for professional design, based upon suggestions from designers and web-developers all over the world.

The post — besides the examples (there are actually 85) — is just several paragraphs, but most of the examples are well chosen — there are few I would swap out of their list, though I am disappointed that Georgia is not in there. She would always be in my top ten.

neuzeit.gif

Do you have one that you feel should have made it into the list? Or, would you just like to wax lyrical about your favourites? Let me know. Moreover, if you have an image of typography that works for you, then submit it.

Helmut Schmid at ddd Osaka

The 155th ddd Gallery exhibition adds representative works by Helmut Schmid to the original exhibition, presenting a more comprehensive picture of his design. The exhibition entitled helmut schmid: design is attitude, will run from August 23 to September 26, 2007.

Schmid, now based in Osaka, Japan, studied under Emil Ruder in Basel in the 1960s, and has worked in the design industry for almost half a century.

onschmid01.jpgHelmut Schmid is a precise poetic designer.
In his typographic work, he has been perpetuating Emil Ruder’s legacy from the 1960s into the twenty-first century. Our goal is to shed light on that work and on this person….

In 2003, at the design department at the Fachhochschule Duesseldorf (University of Applied Sciences) in Germany we announced the course “schmid today: typography for advanced studies, design research for beginners.” Since then around 60 students have researched Helmut Schmid’s typographical works. They wrote him postcards regularly; they traveled to Osaka to visit and interview him, his fellow students, and friends. They researched on the Internet, in libraries, in secondhand book stores, among colleagues who were friends or acquaintances.

Fjodor Gejko was there from the beginning. He catalogued Schmid’s oeuvre. The result: two files with a total of around 900 pages. They are the foundation of the digital Schmid archive and the “design is attitude” book and exhibition. After Seoul, Basel, Duesseldorf, and Tokyo, the ddd Gallery invited the exhibition to Osaka.

Philipp Teufel & Victor Malsy.

ddd Exhibition web site.

I’m hoping to visit this exhibition. If I do, I’ll report back. I hope I get to meet him; perhaps I can even get an interview with the man — now that would be a coup!

Notes: Schmid was featured in the Idea Magazine [アイデア] (June, Issue 322)

Helmut Schmid

Helmut Schmid, born 1942 in Austria as a German citizen. Studies in Switzerland at the Basel School of Design under Emil Ruder, Kurt Hauert and Robert Buchler.

Later works in West Berlin and Stockholm (covers for Grafisk Revy). After Montreal (Ernst Roch Design) and Vancouver he works in Osaka for NIA (for Taiho Pharmaceutical and Sanyo). 1973–76 at ARE in Dusseldorf he designs publicity material for the German government and the chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt. 1976 election campaign symbol for the SPD. 1978 exhibition of his politypographien at the Print Gallery in Amsterdam. Independent designer in Osaka since 1981. Member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) since 1988.

His work includes visual identity programmes for IPSA Cosmetics, the flower boutique Masiyak, confectionery Ruban d’Or, German–Japanese dye-works HMK, and the German trades union IGBE. Product identities for Pocari Sweat, Fibe-Mini and Java Tea drinks for Otsuka; the Savon d’Or and HG series for Shiseido Fine Toiletry; and the logotypes Elixir, uv white and Evenese for Shiseido Cosmetics. An important design work is the bi-lingual packaging identity for medical products like Meptin, Mikelan, Acuatim for Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

typtoday.jpg

His syllabary face Katakana Eru, created during the years 1967 to 1970 with the purpose of achieving a harmonious relationship with the Latin alphabet, is today a trademark of his work. He is editor and designer of typography today (Seibundo Shinkosha, Tokyo 1980) and of a special issue of the Swiss TM (1973) on Japanese typography. 1983 lecture in Xian, China (typography, seen and read). His book design work includes the japan typography annual 1985, Takeo Desk Diary, and Hats for Jizo (Robundo, Tokyo 1988) with illustrations by nine-year old Nicole. He celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall with the publication 1989 11 09, typographic reflections 1. In preparation is Japan japanese, the book containing his series of articles which appeared in the Swiss Typographische Monatsblatter (1968–79).

Welcome to I Love Typography

I collect samples of ‘type’ wherever I go, usually recording it with a photograph. The simple aim of this blog is to record and share those findings, and to get your typographic juices flowing.

I intend to broaden this site’s scope in time; ideally, I’d love to make it all things type, with numerous resources, biographies of typographers, a glossary of typography terms, and … lots of other very useful, entertaining and, well, interesting stuff.

If things on this page look a little awry, then that’s because I’m still building the site. Should be ready for general consumption by the end of August 2007.

In the meantime, if you have any comments or suggestions, then let me know. Would be great to hear from you.

40.jpg

Can you name this typeface? The one used to set “40”. Hint: it’s a Japanese road sign.


Page 28 of 28« first22232425262728
October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts January Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts december Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March 2011 Fonts February 2011 Fonts January 2011 Fonts December 2010 Fonts November 2010 Fonts October 2010 Fonts September 2010 Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February 2010 featured fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts