Learning to Love letters!

I love letters. All kinds and types of letters: small, large, drawn, sketched, painted, rough, smooth, serif, sans serif, script, roman, italic, oblique, digitized, old and new, uppercase, lowercase, all materials and media, three dimensional… Yes, I love letters, except for those that are poorly or incorrectly proportioned. For those poor ugly letters, I feel […]

A Typographic Carousel

Ahhhhhh…! That wonderful aha moment when we see the spark in our students’ eyes—when they realize that typography reaches far beyond the font list under the type menu on the computer. The tricky part is getting to that aha moment! When students are learning about typography, is it far too easy for them to simply […]

Socialist TV Typeface Videtur Finally Freed

In the 1980s, the German Democratic Republic’s state television broadcasting service commissioned Axel Bertram to develop a custom typeface. The result was “Videtur,” a remarkably independent serif design that was intended to define the on-screen graphics of East German television for years to come. But by the beginning of the 1990s, the GDR no longer […]

Crafting Type

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 […]

Beauty and Ugliness in Type design

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.

Condensed Typeface Design Program

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 […]

The Week in Type

Closing your eyes to see, covering your ears to hear It has been a while since my last roundup, so buckle up. For those interested, I recently moved 4322.8 km (2686.06 miles) from my home in Japan to my new home in Vietnam. After nine wonderful years in Japan, it was time to move on. […]

An Interview with Stéphane Elbaz

Stéphane Elbaz is graphic and type designer working in New York and Paris. In 2009 he was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club of New York for his type family Geneo, recently published by Typofonderie. He is the first typeface designer from outside the foundry to be published […]

Krul & the untold history
of the ‘Amsterdamse Krulletter’

In a way, my research into the ‘Amsterdamse Krulletter’ (Amsterdam’s Curly Letter) began eight years ago as I was walking down the streets of what is possibly the city’s most beautiful district, the Jordaan. As every local knows, this area hosts quite a few of the old, traditional pubs that the locals call ‘bruin cafés’ […]

Novel Constructions

A sudden bolt of inspiration would makes for an enticing story of a typeface’s beginnings, one that would perhaps be helpful when marketing it. However, in reality, not all typefaces come into the world that way. Sometimes, as was the case for Novel, the idea slowly percolates. Even the somewhat unspectacular name I chose for this family […]

The design of a signage typeface

The story begins in 2006 with a trip down Route 66. Day in, day out, I looked at U.S. traffic signs that were either set in the old, somewhat clumsy “FHWA font series” or the new Clearview HWY typeface. Approaching the signs, I would often test myself: which typeface works best from a distance, and […]

Designing type systems

Peter Biľak I remember a conversation from back in my student days where my typophile friends and I debated what the ultimate typeface of the twentieth century was, a typeface that summed up all of the era’s advancements and knowledge into a coherent whole, one that would be a reference for years to come. Helvetica […]

Garçon Grotesque

Honesty in form is one of the major tenets of modernism. In other words, a design should accomplish a narrowly defined function in the simplest manner possible. This belief is extolled in many design disciplines, including typography. In 1931, Eric Gill wrote:

タイプデザイナー 岡野邦彦 Quintet書体インタビュー

by Taro Yumiba 2010年の九月から約一年間、オランダ、ハーグにある王立芸術アカデミー、通称KABKのTypemediaコースに留学されたタイプデザイナーの岡野邦彦さんに卒業制作で取り組まれた書体Quintetを中心にインタビューさせて頂いた。 どのようにしてタイポグラフィとタイプデザインに興味持ったのですか? 大学ではグラフィックデザインを専攻していました。ポスター制作などの課題が出た時に、使う文字を調べるために書体のカタログを見たりしてたのですが、なかなかイメージにぴったりと合うものがありませんでした。だったら自分で好みの書体を作ってしまおうと思ったのが始まりでした。 また運のいいことに、当時まだ高価だったMacintoshとFontographer3.1が大学の研究室にあったんです。Macintoshがまだそれほど普及していない頃で、誰も使い方がよく分からなかったのですが、これは面白そうだと思って手探りでフォントをつくり始めました。パソコンで文字を描くのに慣れるまで時間が掛かりましたが、初めて画面にフォントが出てきたときの興奮が忘れられなくて文字作りにのめり込みました。

An interview with Kunihiko Okano

By Taro Yumiba How and when did you become interested in typography & type design? At university I majored in graphic design. I used to leaf through typeface catalogs in search of letters to use in my poster design assignments. However, I could never find any typefaces that matched perfectly what I had in mind, so […]

An Interview with Verena Gerlach

By Ivo Gabrowitsch & Christoph Koeberlin After more than 10 years, Verena Gerlach has revised and extended her FF Karbid super family, an interpretation of German storefront lettering from the early 1900s. The new FF Karbid is a harmonized redesign of the original typeface. Rounder and less narrow letters lend the shapes more space and […]

The making of FF Tundra

by Ludwig Übele A line of text is like a silhouette on the horizon. Closer inspection reveals the detail, the trees, bushes, rocks; details that, though only vaguely perceivable from afar, create both rhythm and variation. The beauty of this landscape is born of both regularity and variety.

Engaging contextuality

BY NICK SHINN 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 […]

Through Thick and Thin

By David Jonathan Ross 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 […]

Reviving Caslon

by William Berkson Part 2: Readability, Affability, Authority [read part one] When their words are put into print, writers want the text to be inviting and welcoming, so that readers will read what they have written. And they also want the text to have an aura of credibility, so it will be taken seriously and […]

The making of Acorde

by Stefan Willerstorfer After five years of intensive work, my type family Acorde is finally on the market. It is a reliable workhorse for large, demanding design projects. The typeface’s name is derived from a corporate design typeface. However, Acorde is not only suitable for corporate design programmes but for information design and editorial design […]

Ode, a Fresh Start for a Broken Script

By Martin Wenzel When designing a typeface, I prefer to explore a construction principle rather than revive an existing typeface idea. These principles or writing models are based on the tools and techniques originally used. Understanding these workings are often a great source of inspiration for me. The starting point for my latest typeface Ode […]

Reviving Caslon

By William Berkson Part 1: the snare of authenticity How much should a revival of a typeface look like the original? Well, just as with performing an old song—an analogy Matthew Carter has made—there is something you have to like in the original in order want to revive it. And you can’t depart from the […]

Typeface Design

Type @ Cooper Starting in the fall of 2010, the Continuing Education Department of The Cooper Union, in conjunction with the Type Directors Club, offers a Certificate Program in Typeface Design. Very nice web design by Nick Sherman.

Two minutes with Akira Kobayashi

Linotype’s type director via Fonts.com

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