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What are Optotypes? Eye Charts in Focus

My graphic design students love to design posters using the classic eye chart composition, and they frequently ask “What typeface should I use for this?” Not having a definitive answer has always been frustrating, so I decided to investigate to find out what typeface is used on eye charts. Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Visit the ILT store What are Optotypes? Eye Charts in Focus

Unusual fifteenth-century fonts: part 2

Nowadays, with tens of thousands of fonts available, we are accustomed to a great variety of letterforms. But, of the approximately 1,000 cataloged fifteenth-century roman fonts, very few stand out as unusual. Most share the same fundamental attributes. Show More Summary

ILT 2015

Way back in 2007, while living in rural Japan, I created ILT. I remember its birth with supreme clarity. It began simply as a way to share what I found typographically interesting, and I never foresaw its popularity. Almost eight years on, more than 500 posts, eight moves, and four cats later, and ILT’s design […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. ILT 2015

The Last Word on Helvetica?

Perhaps this article should have ended at the question mark in its title. And by the end of it, you may well concur. However, in the meantime, and before I get started?—?and I promise this won’t take long?—?let me be clear, I am not, I repeat, not (in bold for emphasis) a Helvetica hater. Ostensibly, […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. The Last Word on Helvetica?

The Pattern Project

Basically, two things came together. First: I am fascinated by the mesmerizing richness of detail of medieval initials. And I admire the patience and drawing skills those medieval monks possessed – perhaps because I actually lack both. Show More Summary

Making Fonts: Essonnes

Like a tiny seed growing into a giant tree or a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis — type design isn’t! Forward steps, missteps, steps retraced — that is type design. Sometimes the development is natural and organic; at others it is perhaps more akin to working for a typographic Dr. Moreau. During the long process, […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Making Fonts: Essonnes

This Month in Typography

Welcome to this month’s roundup of type-related info and entertainment. Today, we dust off our LPs for typographic inspiration, listen to wise words from Milton Glaser, congratulate several award winners, hear from a bunch of type designers,...Show More Summary

Alphabets of Wood

A Review by David Wolske In his foreword to the 2010 Liber Apertus Press reissue of Rob Roy Kelly’s American Wood Type 1828–1900, David Shields wrote: Forty years on, Kelly’s seminal work remains a giant on whose shoulders we stand. He wrote American Wood Type because it needed to be written and in doing so […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Alphabets of Wood

Type Design Week

ISIA Urbino Type Design Week 2015with Fred Smeijers and Eric KindelPeriod: July 20–24, 2015Deadline: May 29 About the school ISIA Type Design Week is a one week intensive summer course in type design and lettering held at the ISIA – the High Institute for Applied Arts of Urbino. Since 2009 ISIA has been running a […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Type Design Week

Making Fonts: SINDELAR

By Stefan Willerstorfer “Finally I found what I have been looking for – this typeface suits the specific requirements of my project: balanced proportions, space saving and very legible in small sizes. Just the color is a bit too light – if I could only switch to a slightly darker grade …” Many of us […] Sponsored by Hoefler & Co. Making Fonts: SINDELAR

This Month in Typography

Welcome to this month’s roundup of type-related info and entertainment. Today, we examine the art and science of crafting fonts, wonder about the future of libraries in the digital age, discuss the future of graphic design, delve into...Show More Summary

Sexism & Fonts

“Mom, what’s a sexy lady?” My five-year-old son asked me this question the day Positype released its promotional site for Lust Hedonist. The Lust Series, a self-described “overly indulgent attempt to infuse wanton sensuality in a typeface,” features a variety of formal contrasts: sharp and curvy serifs, thin counters combined with thick bodies. It is […]

Print Imperfect: from N to Z

Over the past couple of years I have been researching and writing a book about the fifteenth-century German printer, Erhard Ratdolt. He printed over 200 titles during his career, and part of my work is to study the content and typography of as many of those editions as possible. Show More Summary

Dala Prisma

Just when we thought Dala Floda?–?Paul Barnes’ crisply contemporary humanist stencil of 2010?–?was an original and pretty crazy idea, here is a dazzling display variant that replaces Dala Floda’s solid forms with a set of tapering stripes. It’s so fresh and exciting it’s almost hard to believe it exists. Dala Prisma’s release was met by […]

Phoreus Cherokee

Four years ago, in a conference room filled with type enthusiasts, three representatives of the Cherokee Nation explained why the world still needs more fonts. Of their 316,000 members (the largest tribal nation in the USA), only 22,000 native Cherokee speakers remain, and only a handful of Cherokee fonts exist, most of poor quality. Users […]


Woodkit is a toy disguised as a typeface. And like any toy, it takes me back to my formative years. Woodkit’s Letterpress style, a mishmash of eccentric forms, takes me back to my college days when I first worked with wood type. Armed only with a haphazard mix of styles, incomplete alphabets, and damaged letters, […]

Audimat 3000

Jack Usine is behind many different websites, all of which testify to his incredible versatility?—?he is a graphic designer, an artist, a collector, an observer, and of course also a typeface designer. All of his work carries a very distinctive, unmistakeable style?—?it’s cool. Audimat 3000 is described by its creator as “DIN-like with French touch”. […]

TwoPoint, ThreePoint, FourPoint, and TenPoint

Since the release of FF ThreeSix in 2011, Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil have been busy digging more deeply into the world of parametric type design. The studio published an updated and greatly expanded version of (Muir’s old studio gig) 8vo’s Interact (1984) in 2013, along with three further experimental display fonts: Intersect, Panopticon, and […]


Let’s stick with tradition here and introduce our subject with a dictionary definition. I’m assuming that Pique is named for “a feeling of irritation or resentment.” Wait, no, that doesn’t work, except in the sense that I’m resentful I wasn’t the one who drew it. Nicole Dotin of Process Type did, and now we all […]

Essay Text

Essay Text is an anachronism and an antidote. It provides an excellent counter­argument to the speculative superfamilies that overwhelm specimens these days: it is unapologetic about doing a few things well (rather than many, in an above-average way at best). It also serves as a reminder that informed, controlled contrast in documents does not require […]

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