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.

Let’s start with a new type. Many of you will know Kris Sowersby, the man behind Meta Serif, Feijoa and National. Last week I announced that National was one of the winners of TDC2 2008. Well, he just released a new serif typeface called Newzald, and something tells me it’s going to be a big hit.


Newzald is beautifully crafted, with exquisite attention to the finer details. It’s not easy to create a new serif face that looks fresh; and it’s only too easy to resort to little eccentricities and irrelevant details introduced simply for the sake of distinguishing it from the competition. Newzald hasn’t–and doesn’t need to. Kris describes Newzald as a decent, hardworking serif designed for the international editorial environment. If you’re looking for a fresh face that’s eminently readable, then I suggest you try Newzald. But don’t take my word for it; download the PDF specimen, print, and see for yourselves.

Next we have a beautiful film by filmmaker and musician Premjit Ramachandran on the Musalman, perhaps the last remaining handwritten newspaper in the world (click the video to start):

Thanks to Cody for bringing this to my attention; and thanks to Premjit for kindly allowing me to host the video. In fact, I was listening to Premjit’s music while typing this article.

A brief but good article on typography from the Middle-East, and the challenges of adapting latin type, like Palatino Arabic and Fruitger Arabic from Lebanese type designer Nadine Chahine.


For those interested in Arabic type design, then be sure to visit Pascal Zoghbi’s blog; and especially his Generating Arabic fonts post. Thanks to Designer Daily.

Dutch Type

As an unabashed fan of Dutch type, Dutch Type by Jan Middendorp is an absolute must-read. And joy of joys, you can read it for free online with Google Books. If you do enjoy it, then I suggest you try to get hold of the actual book.

Dutch Type by Jan Middendorp

Well-written, beautifully illustrated and…well, I suggest you read it. It appears to be out of print (though I can’t imagine why; however, you may be able to track down a second-hand copy somewhere).

Geisha Type

Next up is this beautiful spread for National Geographic Traveler magazine; designed by Deb Pang Davis (the then Associate Art Director). Copyright, National Geographic Traveler. Photography by NYC-based Justin Guariglia.


Love that enormous red versal (drop cap) complimenting the Geisha on her red lips and kimono.

The Sound of Type

Sonotype is an interesting concept: letters as sound. It’s described as a series of experimental typefaces that challenges the arbitrary relationship between verbal and visual communication.


Choose from several fonts and styles. There’s also a pdf on the site that reveals a little more about the project. My favourite is Rose Snotty. Why not create your own–your own unique voice-font!

FontLab Tutorial

Alec Julien has been hard at work with another video tutorial. This one is about creating automatic ligatures in FontLab.

If you missed the others, you can find them on iLT’s Vimeo page (www.vimeo.com/typography). If you’d like to make your own type-related video tutorial, then contact me with your idea.

New Foundry

Typonine is a great new type foundry founded by Nikola Djurek. Nikola is the designer behind OT Amalia (I love this typeface with a 1000pt ‘L’), DTL Porta, Fedra Display (exquisite) and the Greta (with Peter Bilak).


OpenType Specimens

Some inspiration in the form of some truly wonderful type specimens from Ralf Herrmann’s brilliant typography blog, OpenType.

type specimen

Ralf is founder of the German-language typographic community, typografie.info. Once on the site, click the links below the illustrations and you can leaf through the books. You can also see higher-res images on Ralf’s Type Specimens Flickr set.

A Font for Logicians

Alec Julien is working on a font for logic, set theory, and mathematics notation, called Geekium.


He’s using the Open Source Gentium as his starting point. If you’d like to learn more, or if you’d like to help out (the FontLab source file is available for download), then head on over to Alec’s Geekium page.

Other Recommended Links

Moving the Font Matrix forward. A great idea proposed by Richard Rutter.
On the terror of glyphs and the joy of reading from Dan Reynolds.
Grid and Column Designs from WebDesignerWall.
More food-inspired type from Suspect and Fugitive.
Type on the wall (thanks Sergio for the link).
Typocalypse–Wall from thisandagain.

And some incredible ‘ornamental type’ via BoingBoing.

ornamental type

Coming up

Owing to the popularity of ILT’s A Guide to Web Typography, there will be several more installments. We also have that 9-part contributed series to look forward to. Some more interviews to come, and lots more. If there’s someone you’d like to see interviewed on ILT, then let me know. I even had a go at making one of those “welcome to ILT, my name is…” videos; my friends said I need to smile when on camera. Not sure that the video is such a good idea, though a number have requested it.

Sunday’s Types

Volupia from Dino Dos Santos:


and Lukas Schneider’s sans serif FF Utility:

ff utility

Have a great Sunday.

previous: A guide to Web typography

next: The Best Type of 2007

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