TYPO-Berlin

From May 19–21, FontShop hosted its 16th annual TYPO-Berlin conference. Over 1,600 guests were in attendance. This year’s conference theme was “Shift,” and the subtext of many of the presentations dealt with how to bring one’s design work to the next level, whether that is the next level of your own personal development, or to new brands of media. With so many graphic designers in one place, it is no wonder that several type foundries and publishers chose this event to launch new products. Many of these items have already been discussed on Twitter or on other blogs, such as in last week’s weekly Typedia report. Nevertheless, the following recap should still be of interest to I Love Typography readers.

Klim Type Foundry

New Zealand’s Kris Sowersby (also an I Love Typography contributor) used his Thursday evening lecture to announce the release of his two newest type families: Calibre and Metric.


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All kinds of type

The last five months have been pretty intense. Creating a 164-page magazine from scratch is an enormous project and, looking back, I’m happy that I was naïve enough to think it could be done. Along with Carolyn Wood and Working Format we think we’ve created something very special indeed.

I’d also like to thank MailChimp for their generous support. Now that the first issue of Codex magazine is on its way to the printer, I can take a breather (a few days until work resumes on issue #2), and list here some of the type-related things that have been catching my eye. Yes, it has been a while, but here is the week — perhaps the month — in type.

I already have too many pictures and posters, but couldn’t resist buying this one (the one on the right):


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Engaging contextuality

There are many OpenType features that can be built into a font, but Contextual Alternates is something special.

Swash characters, ligatures, small caps and figure variants are all very well, but they merely duplicate cleverness that was available prior to digital type. The Contextual Alternates feature however, in which the choice of glyph alternate for a particular character is set automatically with reference to an adjacent character, enables new possibilities for the type designer. Consider it as ‘smart fonts’, because the appearance of typography is determined not by the person laying out a page, but by a font’s response to the particular words that comprise the text.
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Through Thick and Thin

Ever since I started to draw type, one of the challenges that has intrigued me the most is figuring out how letters carry their weight. Arranging thicks and thins and determining the contrast between them is crucial in assembling the systems of shapes that form a type design.

Historically, a letter’s thicks and thins emerged from the writing or drawing implement used to make it. The angle, direction, and pressure of a pen or brush can produce seemingly endless models of thick and thin in calligraphy and lettering. We sometimes carry these ideas over to typography, thinking of typographic letters in terms of imaginary mark-making tools. In type, the conventional definitions of stress and contrast are focused on the idea of stroke, telling us where a line swells to its thickest point, and how thick it actually gets.
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iType

Before I dive into this week’s the week in type, I’d like to tell you a little more about Codex, the journal of typography. First, I’d like to introduce the Codex team: the Editor in Chief, Carolyn Wood and Assistant Editor, Allen Tan. It’s a joy to work with them — a mixture of many late nights and hard work with laughter and occasional obsessive-compulsive behavior. It is without a doubt the most incredible, most rewarding project I’ve ever worked on. Working Format in Canada is designing the magazine, and the latest proofs I saw are wonderful. The supporting cast includes H&FJ’s Knockout and Commercial Type’s Lyon, gracing 144 full-color pages. The magazine measures about 8″ by 11″, (approx A4).
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MOMA on the money

Hope you enjoy this week’s week in type. To kick things off, lets all give a warm hand to the makers and bakers of the fonts that made it into MOMA’s permanent collection. Particularly happy yo see Barry Deck’s Template Gothic in there — one of my all-time favorite quirky display types.

Be sure to read Jonathan Hoefler’s thoughts over at the exceptional Kottke. H&FJ see four of their types added to the collection: HTF Didot, Gotham, Mercury and Retina.

New types

The lovely new Carter Sans from Matthew Carter. Available from Linotype:

Looks especially good in all-caps settings.
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Sayonara 2010

Two thousand and ten has been something of a blur, but it’s been a good year. It’s been another good year for type design and typography, with some great new work, and some wonderful new type designs. So, to ease you into 2011, and the wonders that await, I present to you the week in type.

New Type

Ardoise from Jean François Porchez. Wonderful:


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Codex type

Perhaps you thought ‘The Week in Type’ was dead. Well, this post marks its resurrection. It won’t be weekly just yet, but from 2011 it will be: a weekly roundup of new releases, type and lettering to inspire, type tips, videos, and lots, lots more. If you haven’t yet subscribed to ILT, then do so now — that way, you’ll never miss a thing. So, ladies and gentleman, without further ado, I present The Week in Type. Enjoy.
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Kickstart Linotype

Doug Wilson has just opened a Kickstarter project to raise funding for Linotype, the movie. Here’s the new trailer:

You can help by donating big or small via Kickstarter.

Doug is also writing about the Linotype machine and his movie for issue one of Codex. All very exciting stuff.

‘Dreams’, ‘Stars’ & ‘So Much To Do’

I released three new limited edition prints today, ‘Dreams’, ‘Stars’, and ‘So Much To Do’. I’ll show all three prints in this article, but for practical purposes I’ll focus primarily on ‘Dreams’, one of my most ambitious prints to date. What follows is an outline of what I wanted to achieve, the lettering styles I developed, and why I produced it.

I guess it’s because of my design background that I always write a brief for myself before I start a print — a distillation of everything I want the print to say and do. I always try to aim as high as possible. Shoot for the stars and you might hit the ceiling, as they say.
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