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Introducing Type Foundries Today & the Typographica Census

Each year, as I write a brief intro to our annual review of new type, I challenge myself to identify the prevailing trends. I try to think not just about what’s happening stylistically in terms of the work, but about the recent shifts in the field of type design itself. These pieces are informed by […]

The Proclamation of the Irish Republic: notes from Dublin

The image above shows a full-size facsimile of the original Proclamation (made from a scan of the copy at the Providence Public Library, Rhode Island, USA) propped against the stonework of one of the northern gateways to the yard of Dublin Castle, which was the centre of political administration in Ireland for many hundreds of years. Show More Summary

Lettres à jour: public stencil lettering in France

Last edited 13 September 2010 Almost since my first visit to France I have been delighted by the look of the improvised public notices that are made with stencils, pochoirs, or (to use a more old-fashioned term) lettres à jour – letters pierced in metal that let the daylight show through them. Show More Summary

The image of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic 1916

Last edited 10 August 2010In a lecture that he gave at Sligo in 1962 the Yeats scholar Edward Malins traced the poet’s shifting attitude in 1916 to the events that had taken place in Dublin in April, and his attempts during the months that followed to find words for his thoughts. Show More Summary

Garamond or Garamont?

This small engraving (47 by 28 mm) was included by Léonard Gaultier towards the end of the 16th century in his ‘Portraits of illustrious men who have flourished in France since the year 1500 until the present’. It is the only image we have of the maker of printing types whose name has been better known for longer than that of any other. Show More Summary

Eric Gill’s R: the Italian connection

Last edited 13 May 2010 The letter R in any of Gill’s types is unmistakeably his own: the tail springs from the relatively small upper bowl with a dynamic curve and then, straightening, continues at an angle to the base line below, which it meets with a flat terminal, sometimes enlivened (as in Perpetua and Joanna) with a hint at a serif. Show More Summary

Number Ten

This image, from the government web site, is designed to promote the idea that in Britain, notwithstanding its history of world-wide imperial power, for the last couple of hundred years the Prime Minister has lived in a modest but comfortable...Show More Summary

Recasting Caslon Old Face

The heading to the image above claims authentic historical origins for the type that is shown. Something like it was often used in presenting the Caslon ‘Old Face’ types to the customers of the typefounders H. W. Caslon & Co. The example...Show More Summary

The Trieste leaf: a Bodoni forgery?

Last edited 7 August 2010This leaf is from the facsimile edition of Giambattista Bodoni’s first comprehensive specimen of his own types, his Manuale tipografico dated 1788, printed by Giovanni Mardersteig at the Officina Bodoni, Verona,...Show More Summary

Cast brass matrices made for Pierre Didot

An earlier post (March 2008) described the big 16th-century letters that were acquired in the 18th century by Johannes Enschedé, and which were known to him, because they were supposedly derived from punches cut in brass, by the name Chalcographia. Show More Summary

Roman tragedy

A decade ago the great collection of Roman inscriptions at the Museo Nazionale in Rome, not far from the Termini railway station, was expertly reorganized. The inscriptions are now beautifully shown in a context that explains their purpose, and a very full guide is available, the work of Rosanna Friggeri, one of the organizers of the new display. Show More Summary

Tarte au citron

The script shown in this image is an interpretation of the anglaise, more fully the écriture anglaise, the script that was thus named in France after its model, the 18th-century English round hand.The forms of all styles of writing are influenced by the tool with which they are written and the medium that it employs. Show More Summary

Type bodies compared

Pica has survived as a familiar unit of measurement, although it is not what it was. (In digital terms it is 4.236 mm, or 12 points of 1/72 inch or 0.353 mm.) But what about Nonpareil, or Brevier, or Great Primer? Or Gros Parangon and...Show More Summary

Big brass matrices again: the Enschedé ‘Chalcographia’ type

In the post of 19 March 2007 it was suggested that existing brass matrices for big types could not have been struck with steel punches in so hard a hard metal as brass, but were probably reproductions cast in brass of strikes that had been made in lead with steel punches. Show More Summary

Goodbye The FontFeed, Hello FontShop News

You might have noticed from the lack of activity that The FontFeed has stopped publishing. I have moved over to join my writing partners on FontShop News, where we hope to achieve the ideals originally set out for The FontFeed.

Before I leave, how I got here in the first place

On August 31, 2008 I punched in the alarm code for the very last time when I left Magelaan, the communication agency I worked at for 13 years. I literally closed the door on a 17 year career of graphic design and communication and transitioned from a life as employee to becoming an independent. Show More Summary

Type Women Talk: Experiences with Sexism

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, women told me about their experiences with sexism in the type community, either in the workplace or at conferences. Objectification I took a workshop at a conference a couple years ago, where the instructor started his class by establishing parallelisms between his “beautiful” […]

Type Women Talk: Positive Forces

If the women I spoke with were candid about their experiences with sexism, they were equally intent on relaying their positive experiences in the type community?—?and on giving credit where credit is due. Zeynep Akay I would like to give a shout-out to Gerry Leonidas; his help, guidance, and wisdom have been invaluable in bringing […]

Women’s Voices in Type, On- and Offstage, Part Two

In Part One, I talked about the ineffectiveness of shame. We still need to talk about the causes of the problem so we can focus on solutions. As much as society affects us, everything we do affects society. If we lived in a truly equal society, it would mean everyone would compromise. Therefore the onus […]

Women’s Voices in Type, On- and Offstage

Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night. A few weeks ago, Lila Symons observed: “I just looked at the main conference schedule for @typecon and barely any women are speaking. Seriously, what’s up with that?!” What followed was a discussion on sexism in the industry. In 140-character increments, the conversation covered lots […]

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