Sunday Type: pointy type

These last couple of weeks I’ve been dreaming of a life-remote control. It need not be particularly high-tech–I just need a big pause button. I’m moving apartments and packing like there’s no tomorrow. Anyway, I’m taking a break from boxes and gum tape, to talk type.

Let’s start by going back in time to the Linotype and Monotype typesetting machines. AceJet has some wonderful scans from The Book of Knowledge; love the “Can do the work of eight men” sub-head accompanying one of the Linotype illustrations. These days it would take eight men just to find the on button. If you ever find yourself complaining that your old laptop is a little on the bulky side, that it won’t fit into one of those fancy Manilla envelopes, then remember the Monotype machine and count your blessings.

monotype machine

From the old to the new: a new web site. At first glance you may mistake it for one of those all to common gallery/showcase sites. However, TypeSites is different in that it provides commentary and a critique of the sites it lists. Typesites is billed as a weekly look at sites that have great typographic design. Kyle has made a fine start. I guess he’s looking for contributors, so if you’d like to help out, let him know.


The next item is via H&FJ. Some weird and wonderful type from American sheet music (1850-1920), currently being exhibited online by Duke University.

lost and saved

A fascinating essay on the esszet (ß) ligature by none other than writer, curator and type historian James Mosley. Esszet or ß–not for the faint-hearted.

esszet or ß

Some experimental bi-directional letterforms from John Caserta. Thanks to Christian for the link.


This lovely video on the magic that is letterpress. Filmed at the even more magical FireFly Press.

Via How Design.Award-winning Newspaper Designs from Smashing Magazine. Love the left spread text wrap (around the light bulb) from the Danish Politiken newspaper.


Found these beautiful initials drawn by William Morris from the University of Florida Rare Books Collection. For those who’d like to know a little more about this fascinating and talented character, there’s a good chapter on Morris in Simon Loxley’s Type: the secret history of letters (chapter 7).

william morris initials

A great little tool for identifying Serif types. You answer a series of questions relating to the forms of the letters a, b, e, g, y, E, J, K, M, R, U, and W. I was surprised by the accuracy of the results. The ‘application’ searches a database of some 1575 serif families:

serif identification

Free Fonts

Some more free fonts from Smashing Magazine. Here’s Telegrafico an all-caps Geometric Sans (think Futura, Avant Garde, Gotham):

telegrafico free font

The font used for today’s header is Pointy. Designed by James Beardmore. It’s free for non-commercial use, and you can download Pointy here. It certainly made those boxes feel lighter.

pointy free for non-commercial use

Be sure to read the license! Planning to add many more free fonts downloadable from ILT.

Miscellaneous links

The latest incarnation of the popular FireFox browser (3.03b) boasts

New graphics and text rendering architectures in Gecko 1.9 provides rendering improvements in CSS, SVG as well as improved display of fonts with ligatures and complex scripts.–release notes.

Any techies out there who know how they’ve achieved this? Thanks to Dylan B. for first alerting me to this via Twitter. And I’ve just noticed this on the Village type foundry site:

If you purchase a single weight (or more) of any typeface we offer, then return later to buy a family set, we will credit you the amount of the original sale.

A great idea. I’ve been put off buying a single weight because I really wanted the whole family, but couldn’t quite afford it.An interesting Type Specimens Flickr Group.Lots of new iPhone wallpapers.

FontLab Video

Alec Julien’s second Fontlab Studio Video Tutorial on Kerning Classes:

Coming up

An article by US correspondent Alec Julien on small caps; the fourth part in our type terms/type history series (Modern/Didone), an ILT exclusive and lots, lots more.

Help! I need a hand…

I recently noticed that when hovering over links on this site, the hand cursor is not appearing. Well, it appears for a fraction of a second, then vanishes. Any CSS gurus out there who can point me towards a fix?

And finally

A bouncy script to put on smile on your face: Plumero from Umbrella Type, designed by Diego Giaccone and described as informal, fun and spontaneous; and it certainly is–to hell with the baseline:

Plumero script

Have a great Sunday!

previous: Typeface Review: Arnhem

next: Small Caps

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