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I Love Typography

I Love Typography

On Choosing Type

First Principles

Typography is not a science. Typography is an art. There are those who’d like to ‘scientificize’; those who believe that a large enough sample of data will somehow elicit good typography. However, this sausage-machine mentality will only ever produce sausages. That typography and choosing type is not a science trammeled by axioms and rules is a cause to rejoice.

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Arise Sir Erik Spiekermann

And About Time Too

Finally, Professor Erik Spiekermann has received the recognition he deserves. The information architect and ‘father of fonts’ has become a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on the diplomatic list for services to the global development of type.

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Sunday Type: farnham type

It’s a big one, captain

Loosen your belts because this one’s a big one. Not sure where to start, so why not start with a receding hairline. Well, that’s the name of Christopher’s blog; and why do I mention it? Because he’s written a good little piece entitled Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes.

First, something for the children, or for the child in you: Action Type, type gone 3D:

Looking for engraved stationery? engravedstationery.org is a great place to start.

Thanks to Jon Tan (via Twitter)

Love these designs by Toko (discovered the talented TOKO via aisleone)

For some Found Type inspiration, take a look at Joseph Robertson’s Flickr Type Set.

We’ve had letterpress on old maps. Here’s some type on old Damask wallpaper:

via swissmiss

And some more letter-blocks—slab serifs, please:

And another interesting image from the same site. Can you spot the type? This one has given me some ideas!

Some heavy-weight inspiration. This is my type of Elephant. Elephantype, if you like:

Typesites review of AIGA DC’s Are You a Virgin? site.

Next up is an excellent piece on Typewriter Typefaces. I’m sure there are many more yet to be digitized; would be a shame to lose them:

Roundup Type

Open Source Cynicism
A critical review of Eric Gill’s An Essay on Typography—Paul Rand
In Your Face—featuring 256TM.
OpenType Icons—via Manuel.
typofont—Swedish type blog from Magnus. Like the header (perhaps because it’s set in one of my very favorite typefaces)
forensic typography—from H&FJ

Karly’s Expressive Type (update)

Last week I mentioned the type exercise that Karly set herself. Looks as though she inspired others to have a go. Here are two of them: Vlad (like his take on the word ‘magic’—with the omitted ‘a’); and Matt Jewell (with a very lonely ‘o’. Perhaps I’ll work with Karly to set a type exercise every couple of weeks. What do you think? And what would you think if there were prizes involved?


A great free PDF magazine that you may not have come across before is Letterspace, the newsletter of the Typpe Designers Club. It’s a darn good read.

I particularly enjoyed Cyrus Highsmith’s article Do we need more fonts? from the winter 2008 issue (PDF link at the bottom of that page).

Today’s Type

Zanzibar, yet another lovely script from Mark Simonson:

Two from Umbrella Type. The first, a curvy sans, Sans Original

the second, a scratchy handwriting-inspired script called On the Line

and Farnham by Christian Schwartz, the new face of the redesigned Creative Review. I just got my copy through the mail, and it looks gorgeous. Farnham is an excellent choice and comes in four million weights and styles (42, actually):

Coming up

Several interviews, part four of the Type Terms/Type History series; part three of Paul Dean’s eXtreme type; iLT’s second-quarter 15 Great Examples of Web Typography; and an article on Selecting Open Source Fonts. Oh, and the first iLT t-shirts will be available soon. Initially, there will be three designs to choose from. An opportunity to get some type on your chests before summer.

Have a great Sunday. See you all in April.

eXtreme Type Terminology

Part 2: Anatomy of a Letterform—by Paul Dean

I was killing time and pain at a nearby bar called The Ear, so named because the two ribs of the ‘B’ in the neon sign that read ‘Bar’ had burned out years ago. So had most of the patrons.”—Kinky Friedman, Blast From the Past, 1998.

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Sunday Type: bright type

The Eagle Has Landed

Welcome to another Sunday Type. I’ve now moved, have unpacked most boxes and even have a connection to the Internet. Time to celebrate with a Shandy. Thanks to everyone who has mailed me this past couple of weeks. I’m a little behind in answering mails, so please bear with me.

I was recently looking for some top-quality type photos to illustrate an article, and came across some very nice ones from the type junkie on Flickr:

metal type

Type Junkie also has a nice type blog; and I’m really tempted to buy this Mixed Keys photo:

mixed keys typojunkie

Next is a tip for Mac Leopard users that I wasn’t aware of until I read about it on H&FJ—the space-bar preview; never thought of using it for anything other than images.


Via allmyliesarewishes.com.

Always great to see readers of iLT experimenting with type. Karly set herself an exercise from Designing With Type. Read more about it on Karly’s blog:

type exercises

How about doing your own using the above four words, lost, charge, bright, and bloom.

Another excellent piece on the TypeFoundry blog, on the construction of brass matrices for big type—struck with steel punches or cast?

brass matrices

It’s a follow-up to Big brass matrices: a mystery resolved? If you’re not quite sure what matrices are, then Wikipedia has a brief article describing them.

And for children of typenuts everywhere:


Thanks, Lauren.

Next, an amazing popup book. The v/w is among my favorites, for its simplicity. How about you?

Thanks, Alec.

Sunday Type Links

The Typesetter forum
Asciify: ASCII art library
TypeCon2008: Punkt
Wordpress Theme Upstart Blogger Underscore
Ealing typeface, designed by Michael Parson—via How Blog
Safari 3.1, now with web fonts—Aestheticrew (and WebKit too, of course)
Kinematic typography roundup
Typography Day—Bombay
Graffiti – Graphic Design Developed From Older Cultures
60 Brilliant Typefaces For Corporate Design

Today’s Types

Calgary from Umbrella Type:


The rounded sans serif, Propane:


and Museo from Jos Buivenga, in 5 weights; three are free:

museo typeface

Coming Up

An interview with a female type designer. I’ll leave you guessing. More Extreme Type Terminology from Paul Dean, an article on Choosing Type, typeface reviews, and lots more.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

eXtreme Type Terminology

Part 1: The Detection of Types—by Paul Dean

The detection of types is one of the most elementary branches of knowledge to the special expert in crime.–The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1902.

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Sunday Type: monday type

First, I must apologies that today’s Sunday Type is closer to a Monday Type. I have now moved and am surrounded by numerous half-open boxes, and I have to wait until March 21 until I get connected. What an odd feeling it is not be connected to the Internet. Anyway, I’ve found an Internet Café close by, so I’ll survive until I get connected at home. Oddly enough, I appear to have lost several boxes during the move, and my heart missed a beat when I thought that I’d forgotten my FontBook. Anyway, that’s quite enough of moving mishaps. Here’s Sunday Type:

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Newzald: From Moleskine to Market

By Kris Sowersby

In this article I will attempt to illustrate my design process—from typeface concept to a marketable font. Not many folks are willing to write about this. Perhaps they find it boring, irrelevant or just a little bit personal. I suspect it is a mix of all the above.

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Sunday Type: illegible type

cn u rd mi?

Welcome to another Sunday Type. It’s time to forget about work, kick off your shoes, sit back and feel some type lovin’. What’s all this about illegible type? Isn’t type meant to be read? On the whole, yes; but sometimes it’s interesting to see how far we can stretch type before it breaks. At what stage does type become unreadable or illegible. For that reason, I like this experiment from James Elsey:

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The Best Type of 2007

And the nominations are…

I had planned on publishing Typographic Detail for the Web, but Typographica has just released its annual Our Favorite Typefaces. It’s always an inspiring list, and a precursor of some of the fine things to come. Interestingly they’ve renamed it. Formerly it had been Best Fonts which is not wholly inaccurate (as the typefaces in the list are comprised of fonts); however, as Typographica’s editor writes,

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Sunday Type: the sound of type

Nine O Type

Yet another week flies by. My birthday passed without any disastrous incidents; I’ve just about finished packing, and now it’s time for type. Today we have quite a feast, so loosen your belts, sit back and enjoy.

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A guide to Web typography

The Basics

Typography for the Web has come a long way since Tim Berners-Lee flipped the switch in 1991. Back in the days of IE 1.0, good web typography was something of an oxymoron. Today things are different. Not only do we have browsers that support images (gasp!), but we have the opportunity to make our web pages come to life through great typography.

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