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Building a global community of typographic practice

In 1928, Vincent Steer, the self-described “advertising typographer” behind the book Printing Design and Layout (1934), established the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) in the UK. Steer’s aim was “to bring together in friendship and mutual help, all those with a love of the printed word”. From these guild-like beginnings, the ISTD has evolved […]

Typography & Thyme: the first printed herbals

Since before agricultural civilization, humans have used plants for their special properties – to nourish and heal, to harm and to poison. The earliest written compilations of plants can be traced back to the second millennium BC, with early traditions in Egypt, Mesopotamia, China and India. Show More Summary

Endangered Alphabets

I started the Endangered Alphabets Project in 2010 when I discovered that about a third of the world’s 120-plus writing systems may become extinct within the next one or two generations. As you probably know, every culture has its own...Show More Summary

Inkwell: welcome to our universe

Informal is not an adjective that readily comes to mind in describing anything in the type catalogue of New York foundry, Hoefler & Co. From the highly formal sparkle of Renaissance inspired text romans like Requiem through its humanist...Show More Summary

Dunbar

Although a renaissance of geometric sans serifs has been underway for the past several years, two of the original classics experienced rebirth only recently. Kabel and Erbar-Grotesk have always been my favorite geometric faces?—?with a slight preference for the latter, a design by Jakob Erbar (1878–1935). Fortunately, the idea of an updated Erbar-Grotesk fell into […]

Confettis Braille

The Braille FAQ, featuring Confettis. 1.01 Why do we need another Braille font? If you’ve ever brought up the subject of fonts at a party, a couple of things’ve likely happened. First, you weren’t invited back. (Just kidding, fonts are the coolest.) Second, someone responded with “Aren’t there already enough fonts out there?” At which […]

Lubaline

Maximiliano Sproviero is a skilled young type designer specializing in script and display typefaces, some with a distinctly ’70s vibe. He has even done a pitch-perfect ’70s script typeface called Seventies. I started my design career back then. Herb Lubalin and his various collaborators dominated the New York design scene, and ITC dominated the type […]

Kufam

Kufam Arabic first grabbed my attention through its varied horizontal rhythm. While many contemporary interpretations of so-called Kufic tend to present prevailingly narrow letters, Kufam pleasantly alternates between narrow and wide letterforms. Show More Summary

TwoPlus

Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir told an interviewer not long ago that they think of themselves not as type designers, but as designers who make type. I understand wanting to avoid claiming for themselves skills they don’t have, and they probably want to keep their typographic work in its proper context in their larger practice. […]

Abelard

It was love at first sight. From the first few glances across the internet, I was immediately attracted to Abelard Light. Trim serifs contrast smartly with heavy ball terminals. In some of the thicker weights, this contrast is less noticeable, but the face’s neoclassical roots are still felt throughout its twelve weights. Abelard is Barbara […]

29LT Kaff

Typographic complexity is an essential ingredient for the development of a rich graphic design culture. The range of available Arabic fonts today does not provide designers with sufficient diversity in stylistic, proportional, and weight variations. Due to the absence of italics, caps, and small caps in the Arabic script, weight and proportional variations are crucial […]

Bickham Script Pro 3

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few years looking at the engraved copybooks of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century writing masters. My primary interest is the formal roman hand that developed during this time, but the roundhand script is everywhere in these books, and provides the graphical context for everything else. (We call it […]

Gintronic

You know what really sucks? Coding for hours only to realize you’re using a terrible monospace font that shoots lightning bolts of tension through your forehead. You know why that happens? Because designers and coders don’t understand what they need from each other, same as every other Internet Design Argument since 1996. Ha ha ha… […]

Di Mare

As a type designer who is currently landlocked in the middle of the United States, I have moments of envy when I scroll through Instagram and come across square after square of oceans. So it doesn’t surprise me that the typeface I decided to write about means “sea” in Italian. Di Mare is a three-font […]

Tsukushi Antique Gothic

Tsukushi is a family of Japanese typefaces that began with Mincho (the Japanese equivalent of Roman) in the early 2000s and now contains a variety of subfamilies, some of which you can find as macOS system fonts. In 2016, the designer Shigenobu Fujita added Tsukushi Antique Gothic S and L (small and large bodies, respectively). […]

Grifo

We are in a period in which media?—?both digital and print?—?is thriving, offering new opportunities for editorial typeface design. Helvetica/Futura and Bodoni/Didot?—?archetypal magazine faces?—?are increasingly challenged by numerous contenders, each aiming to redefine the notion of “Now”. Show More Summary

Scientia

I recently made an amazing discovery: the portfolio of Natalia Vasilyeva, whose latest typeface release, Scientia (PDF), calls for scientific work in more ways than one. She may not be widely known in the West, but Vasilyeva is an accomplished Russian type designer, book designer, and calligrapher hailing from Barnaul, a big city in Western […]

Totentanz

With every typeface he designs, Yoann Minet’s self-imposed mission is to question well-established design principles instead of deliberately breaking them. Prime examples of this ethos from the French designer’s portfolio include Ostia, the Traulha suite, and Stratos. Show More Summary

Bely

What first struck me about Roxane Gataud’s Bely is how it combines plain rectangular slabs on the bottoms of its letterforms with sharp triangular serifs on top. I would have assumed that this kind of stylistic mashup was best left to ’90s po-mo classics like Dead History, but somehow Gataud pulls it off in a […]

Nordvest

Among typefaces, there are the workhorses: humble, durable, with subtle senses of charm. And then there are the domestic pets: attention-grabbing, delicate, and meant to be cherished alone. Nordvest is neither. It’s a monster?—?a monster worth wrestling and taming. Show More Summary

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