Sunday type: crossword type

Fraktur Mon Amour

Before I begin, I’d like to thank all those who helped me fix a problem with some of my posts not displaying. Special thanks to Travis and also to Michael over at WP Candy. And all on Twitter. If you haven’t used Twitter, then I recommend it.

Let’s get started with Brand Tags, a simple, great idea from Noah Brier. Look at the brand and enter the first word that comes into your head. The collective results are displayed as a tag cloud:

brand tags

The tag cloud—the use of hierarchy in typography (but be careful with line-spacing). I wonder if you can name the brand from the above tag cloud? In fact there is a backward version of the ‘game’ here.

Next is something for fans of Blackletter. If you’re one, then you won’t want to live without this:

fraktur mon amour

You can find out more on the FontBlog and here. Also a little information (in English) on Typophile. Via Vogelwarte (Twitter).

A wonderful little article by Jonathan Hoefler on the ampersand.

H&FJ on the ampersand

And while we’re on the topic, here’s my kind of plate:

ampersand plate


Some nice work from experimenta in New Zealand:


An interesting series of 14 crypograms from Pentagram. Here’s number five:

decipher by Pentagram

Drain Type from Jessica Tresser:

drain type by Jessica Tresser

And I love this Letraset collage from Able Parris:

Letraset collage


A Flickr group on Fancy Diacritics:

fancy diacritics

There are some general standards for the design and placement of diacritical marks. The examples in this Flickr group are sometimes quite outlandish. For more on Diacritics see here.

Type Design

David Earls has written a wonderful piece on Building type for under $300.

designing type for under 300 dollars

Above is a screen-grab from the Inkscape application. This is part one, so keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment. In fact, there are so many great articles from typographer.org, that I suggest you subscribe.

Great article on the making of Centro Pro. What started out as a relatively small project, turned into a super-family:

the making of centro pro

Thanks to Jon.

Hindi Rinny is a wonderful blog all about South Asian type and typography:

south asian type

Via TypeOff. There’s also a good Flickr pool on Indic Scripts.

Sunday Type Links

Typographic Humour—Letters to LoveLiza

Typisc rebranded and relaunced as The Subtype Foundry.

Roger Black on Type Radio.

12 Free hand-drawn fonts from fudge graphics.

The Dire State of Book Design—Typophile forum

Event: TypeTogether exhibition in Rosario, Argentina; May 21, 2008

Spice up Your Rails with regexp—see ligatures section.

InDesign Font Conflicts

Type History: a great series of articles by Jean Françcois Porchez.

Autopsy plugin for FontLab

Free Fonts

Three free fonts from Subtype:

free subtype fonts

Cora Basic (free for a limited time, so hurry):

cora basic. free font

Skritch from Haiku Monkey:

skritch free font

Remember to check the license that comes with the font.

A brief note on Kerning

There appears to be some confusion about what Kerning is. Oftentimes, people complain about text and remark, for example, that “the kerning there is awful”. I think it’s down to confusing Kerning with plain-old letter spacing. Kerning is concerned with the spacing between pairs of letters (not only letters, of course). So most often, if you see letters set a little tight or loose, then it’s more than likely the letter-spacing is the issue. Most good fonts are kerned well. However, no type designer can possibly kern every possible combination of glyphs, so in some instances (and when using type at large point-sizes), kerning may be the issue.

kerning and letterspacing

Sometimes poor letter-spacing can be attributed to “optical kerning”. In the Adobe suite of applications, one has the option to set text with optical or metrics kerning. The optical method pretty much ignores the kerning that’s built into the font (that determined by the type designer); metrics pulls the information about kerning from the font’s ‘kerning table’. So, most of the time it’s poor letter spacing, rather than poor kerning. Hope that helps. See also: iLT investigates Type Torture.

If you find your own examples of bad letter spacing, then why not post it to Joey’s Appalling Letter Spacing Flickr Group. You don’t usually need to look far. Your newspaper is a good place to start.

Competition Winners

Last week I held a competition to identify the types used on the cover of Dot Font: talking about type. Two winners were chosen at random. They are Eben Keun and Jongseong Park. And the types used are all from Joshua Darden’s brilliant  Freight family.

freight family

Type Crossword Competition

This week I’ve composed a typography-theme crossword. The crossword is on this page (enter the solutions and click submit); there’s also an image of the crossword that you can download and print, solve, and mail to me—if you’re an analogue kind of person ;)


The prize is the wonderful Haptic typeface family worth $475. Click here to play.

Today’s Type

Phoenica from preussTYPE. I particularly like the hairline weights.


Coming Up

An interview with a Swedish type designer, the final part in the eXtreme Type terms series, and too much more to list here.

And Finally…

Don’t forget to play The Rather Difficult Font Game. Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, have a wonderful week.

previous: 15 Great Examples of Web Typography

next: Então Você Quer Criar uma Fonte. Parte 1


Typeface Categories