I Love Typography

This Week in Fonts

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This Week in Fonts is a new weekly roundup of new font releases, curated by Sean Mitchell.

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Crafting Type

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I don’t know what it is about type design recently. I could swear that five years ago there wasn’t even half as much interest as there is today! But somehow, it has become hip and interesting to a lot more people than before. Perhaps this reflects the growing democratization of type design, as newer practitioners are increasingly diverse by almost any measure of that term. When I started in the field, it seemed that it was 95%+ white males from North America and Western Europe. That is so totally not true any more! I think what is happening is that young designers can see diversity in their type design role models, and are appropriately encouraged by the existence and amazing type design skills of people from all over the world, including women and people of color.

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Lettering versus Calligraphy

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Despite the frequently ill-defined line between Lettering and Calligraphy, they have always been separate disciplines. Lettering vs Calligraphy, a new project from Berliners Martina Flor and Giuseppe Salerno, seeks to bring together both the craft of drawing letters and the art of writing, but at the same time emphasize and celebrate their differences.

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A Firm Turn Toward the Objective: Josef Müller-Brockmann 1948–1981

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In February of 1989, I had the pleasure of meeting Josef Müller-Brockmann. I was a young, wide-eyed student of 21 years studying at Arizona State University. With great fortune, a professor of mine had heard that Müller-Brockmann was going to be in the country and asked him to add a stop in Tempe, Arizona. The program director for the design department at ASU at the time was the famous Rob Roy Kelly, known for putting together successful design programs, many of which became blueprints for other design schools. Because of Müller-Brockmann’s interest in design education, he accepted the invitation.

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Codex Editorial Board

Beginning with Codex 3, we are pleased to announce that the journal will have an editorial board comprised of eminent figures in the fields of graphic design and typography, type design, type and printing history, and typographic education. The members, whose biographies are listed below, represent a cross-section of the letterphile world. They are a diverse lot, in terms of age, gender and geography, but also in their aesthetic stances. We expect their advice and involvement with Codex will make for a richer publication in the future.
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TDC type-design competition 2012

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The Type Directors Club in New York City has been holding an annual competition for the best in typography (that is, the use of type in graphic design) since the 1950s. In 1997, James Montalbano and Paul Shaw founded TDC2, a second competition that dealt specifically with the design of typefaces. Together, they chaired the first two TDC2 competitions, and they have remained closely involved with it ever since.

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The Voice of all the Gods

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Today I’ve released two limited edition prints along with some originals. The prints are based on words penned by William Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas.

‘The Voice of all the Gods’ is a quote from Shakespeare’s ‘Loves Labours Lost.’ The first time I read the passage in which this phrase occurs I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. The words are extraordinarily rich, and I wanted my visual interpretation to reflect this. The main source of inspiration for the letterforms comes from the 18th century, but I’ve tried to rework or re-imagine them in the spirit of our time. Above all, I wanted my interpretation of Shakespeare’s words to capture their shimmering beauty and harmony.

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Hipster Hummingbirds

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Let’s start with some fantastic news: Issue #2 of Codex magazine is now available for pre-order. What’s more, you can now purchase a subscription. The second issue is rather special — A new Editor in Chief (Paul Shaw), a complete redesign (Linda Florio), more pages, more of the very, very best content. Spread the word.
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Beauty and Ugliness in Type design

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Peter Biľak on the process of designing his newly released Karloff typeface, demonstrating just how closely related beauty and ugliness are. Karloff explores the idea of irreconcilable differences — how two extremes could be combined into a coherent whole.

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The Complete Engraver

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When it comes to the Gilded Age, the canon of design history teaches of broadside posters and the Kelmscott press. Wood type and artistic printing have attracted a following and are fighting their way in. Further outside the canon lies a neglected facet of design woven into society, personal lives and business — engraved stationery. The Complete Engraver introduces engraving as a subject worthy of the canon, and is an approachable, interesting, and compelling read.
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Condensed Typeface Design Program

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The Condensed Typeface Design Program at the Cooper Union is a five-week-long studio course that at first glance, simply teaches the basics and traditions of typeface design. In reality, it was an amazing and intense summer spent with passionate people immersed in the world of type. During the 12-hour days (with breaks!) we studied type history, calligraphy, different drawing techniques, and learned the process of designing and digitizing a font. Most of the program time was spent on a final project in which each of us created an industry-standard OpenType font.

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Space: The Initial Frontier

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I have long admired Cyrus Highsmith, both for his type design (Benton Sans, Prensa, Zócalo, & many besides) and his wonderfully unique style of illustration and lettering. In his debut book, Inside Paragraphs: typographic fundamentals, he brings both of these talents to bear on a single topic, the paragraph. The book might alternatively have been titled ‘Space: the initial frontier’ for its principal focus is what goes on inside — not a book, not a page, but — a single paragraph of text — and as what goes on inside is mostly space, white space, or negative space, it is the ideal starting point for an introduction to the craft of setting type, to typography.
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