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Ricardo: A Tale of Two Worlds

David Ricardo (1772–1823) was a versatile man. A stock trader, politician and, most importantly, an economist. He is considered the first of the classical economists, thus symbolizing the transition from mercantilism to capitalism. While...Show More Summary

Of Branded Voices and Funny Hats: A Closer Look at Youtube Sans

When I saw YouTube’s new proprietary typeface recently, I couldn’t help but post an exasperated little rant on Twitter. I’m not particularly proud of my comments, which weren’t as constructive as they could have been?—?but I’ve been surprised at the echo they received, especially against the backdrop of scant online critical discussion of YouTube’s effort. […]

The First Cookbook

Recipes are as old as eating and recorded recipes date back to the invention of writing, with the most ancient examples from Mesopotamia, written in Akkadian cuneiform and dating to about 1750 BC. From late Imperial Rome, a collection...Show More Summary

On the Nature of Things

FIRST EDITIONS It has been estimated that prior to the European invention of typographic printing in the mid-fifteenth century, some ten million manuscripts were produced. During the incunabula (c. 1450–1500), some 30,000 editions were printed in as many as thirteen million copies. Show More Summary

Warm Animal Blood: Dwiggins’s Mark on Contemporary Type Design

“Take that Fell type.1 That’s got a quality that I’d like to get into a face?—?a kind of warm, human, personal quality?—?full of warm animal blood. How are you going to get that kind of feeling into a type that looks like a power-lathe? We are still human, you know. And if you don’t get […]

The Evolution of Chromatic Type

Color fonts or chromatic type are not new. The first production types appeared in the 1840s reaching a peak of precision and complexity a few decades later as efficiencies in printing enabled greater creative freedom. In 1874 William H. Show More Summary


In my experience, life presents a fascinating series of opportunities, decisions and challenges, each of which impact us in different ways. Pushing and pulling us in various directions, and introducing new opportunities, decisions and challenges along the way. Show More Summary


The concept behind Thesaurus goes back to 2014, when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree in visual communications at the Haute École d’Art et Design, Geneva. My final project, ‘Genèva’, was to be a type family inspired by the city of Geneva itself, an attempt to answer the question ‘If Geneva were a typeface, what […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Visit the ILT store Thesaurus

The Evolution of Metro & Its Reimagination as Metro Nova

Left: W. A. Dwiggins at work in Hingham, Massachusetts, circa 1939. Photo by Randall W. Abbott. Center: Linotype matrices for 18pt Metrolite & Metroblack No. 2. Photo by Tobias Frere-Jones. Right: Fictional in-use sample from Metro Nova specimen, 2013. Show More Summary

Variable Fonts: the Future of (Web) Type

I love typography, but I love the web even more. So when news broke of OpenType 1.8 and the type community erupted with excitement, I immediately tried to figure out what variable fonts would mean for web developers. Quick wins JohnShow More Summary

The Prints and the Pauper

In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg entered into an agreement with one Johann Fust, a Mainzer goldsmith and guildsman, to borrow a staggering 800 Rheingulden at 6 percent interest. Gutenberg’s sales pitch must have been convincing, for Fust would later testify that he himself had borrowed money in order to fund the loan. Show More Summary


Graphic designers occasionally feel the need to incorporate a handwritten look into their work. These days, the first thing many of them do is look for a font to do the job, when what they really need is actual hand­writing. That’s why I usually redirect these folks to lettering artists, not typefaces. Show More Summary

BC Mikser

Monospaced fonts aren’t meant to be pretty. They’re a hack, invented to accommodate the fixed advance widths of early typewriters. Later, monospaced fonts made it easier for primitive CRT monitors to display text as rows of uniform modules,...Show More Summary

Making Fonts: Proza Libre

When I started the development of Proza, I didn’t want to deal with the limitations of a low-resolution rasterizer. As a result, Proza is completely stuffed with diagonal and curved lines, and tiny details that help to bring the texture alive in print, but that are something of a nightmare for a low-resolution rasterizer. Show More Summary

Typewriter?/?Typeface: The Legacy of the Writing Machine in Type Design

Typewriter typeface: once referred to the typeface used for writing in a personal printing machine || Currently used to define the appear­ance of faces that remind us of those that were used in typewriters. We all know what “typewriter” and “typeface” mean as separate concepts, so there’s no need to define them. Show More Summary

Making Grifo

???Grifo, the Portuguese word for griffin, a mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. We can imagine how threatening this creature might appear, and would probably want to stay well clear of its sharp claws and beak. Grifo the typeface also has sharp serifs and terminals. […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Visit the ILT store Making Grifo

Rejecting Infill-ism and Waterfalls of Mediocrity

Two recent interviews touch on a perceived degradation of quality and originality in type design. “It has become a lot easier to come up with a design that looks acceptable at first sight. But this does not mean that new things are automatically genuine or authentic. Show More Summary

The First Roman Fonts

The Renaissance affected change in every sphere of life, but perhaps one of its most enduring legacies are the letterforms it bequeathed to us. But their heritage reaches far beyond the Italian Renaissance to antiquity. In ancient Rome,...Show More Summary

New Lands in Arabic Type

Greta Arabic is the counterpart of the Greta Sans type system. This text is a reflection on the journey of creating and developing the first Arabic type system of this scale. It starts with Greta Sans. A type system conceived by Peter Bilak and designed together with Nikola Djurek. Show More Summary

Brim Narrow – making a chromatic typeface

Brim Narrow is chromatic typeface. It has eight type styles, designed to stack together. Combining particular styles and assigning each a color produces a huge variety of visual effects. While producing Brim, I met a number of technical challenges and discovered some fascinating quirks that are peculiar to chromatic type. Show More Summary

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