Type News: Beyond Good and eval()
There’s a method to our madness this week. Let’s immediately go to this week’s new type:
If there’s one thing we’re always happy to see, it’s a crop of fresh slab serifs. This week we have a few of them to share, starting with one that we somehow missed back in December. Brix Slab is a meticulous and extensive new family from HvD Fonts. Designers Hannes von Döhren and Livius Dietzel have produced 24 styles of finessed, readable text faces covering six weights in both regular and condensed widths. Five variations of numerals, true small caps, a tasteful selection of alternates, stylistic arrows, and broad language support are all part of the package.
Whereas Brix Slab has a draughtsman-like quality in its unbudging serifs and notches, Jeremy Mickel’s Shift has display (type)written all over it. Playing on its name, Shift progresses through a range of changing, expressive qualities. The flared and tapered terminals, exaggerated serifs, and curvaceous italics set off a progression of typographic personalities as the weights transition from the lighter, typewriter-ish faces to the beefier, Egyptian-fueled styles of the bold and black.
Andreas Stötzner describes his addictively cross-genre Rosenbaum as “an eclectic merger of didone stroke pattern and contrast, uncial letterforms, and blackletter appearance.” That’s a lot of reference material to stuff into a single design, but it’s pulled off masterfully. The two styles combine into a contemporarily calligraphic, poetically organic, and “tarted up” display face that includes decorated capitals, an assortment of ornamental add-ons, and historical forms.
The first of two new faces from the good folks at Canada Type is Wonder Brush, a compact display script straight from the sign painter’s shop. Loosely based on Friedrich Poppl’s Poppl Stretto from the late 60s, this maleable script has been designed to “take intense abuse and still look natural.” Stretch it, slant it, set it in all caps … it doesn’t care … and yet somehow still looks decent. We’re not sure that we’d subject any font to that level of mistreatment, but you might want to give it a kick.
Huzzah! Another slab! Canada Type’s second release is the heavy duty Spade. The hard and soft variations of this masculine Egyptian are built from the baseline up to add heft to those headlines. It’s tightly spaced and packed with a bucketload of biform and stylistic alternates.
Anuthin Wongsunkakon, Pongtorn Hiranpruek, and their Bangkok-based Cadson Demak design agency have been creating custom typefaces for nearly a decade. A couple of years ago, they split off their type development into its own “boutique” foundry, the unsurprisingly named Cadson Demak Distribution. The latest fruit of their labor is New Son Gothic, a sparse and mechanical seven weight sans.
Had we waited on sharing that new type until after the big — no, massive — news from this week, we’d probably lose you. There’s only so much one can process at a time, right? Just promise to come back here for the news after this first, epic, item. We might have to wait days, but rest assured we’re not going anywhere.
Because we’re equally transfixed with “Our Favorite Typefaces of 2011,” by Stephen Coles and friends. After a two-year hiatus from sharing some favorite typefaces from the previous year, Typographica more than makes up for this absence by covering, in loving detail, fifty (that’s right, 50) incredible typefaces from the past year. Overloaded yet? We recommend taking it in small chunks and giving yourself frequent breaks. It lasts longer that way. If you’re looking for a place to start, Jason Santa Maria shares five of his favorites. Well done, everyone!
Are you still with us? Well, you’re in luck, because we can suck a bunch of your time away with the rest of this week’s news. Maybe freshen up a bit first by reading some narratives in Emoji. Once you’ve worked out the kinks, let’s loop through a bunch of great stuff:
- Ralph Herrmann has updated his catalog of rare type specimens at the Open Library. He also has an interesting infographic on the development of major outline font formats.
- Typecast is still in beta and rolling out a metric ton of new features. You might just want to sign up.
- I love playing with
line-height. And now you can learn more than you’d ever want to know about this CSS property, through a three-part series from MyFonts: “We need to talk about line-height,” “The problem with line-height,” and “Line height options in the kitbuilder.”
- While we’re on a webfont kick, Monotype and Google are collaborating to reduce webfont file sizes.
- Jon Hicks has more to say about icon fonts.
- Typekit now has curated webfont lists that might help you find the face that launched a thousand ships.
- There’s not a Doctor Faustus among them, but these are still some impressive playbills.
- Tim Brown is collecting a reference of “core concepts” related to responsive typography.
- Jan Middendorp interviews Daniel Hernández in the latest issue of Creative Characters.
- Last week we reported on Matthew Butterick’s calling out Brad Bird for his use of Verdana. But! It didn’t end there.
- Adobe is sponsoring OpenType development workshops in India this March.
- Meanwhile, March 14-15 marks “Variations of a typographer,” a conference in Birmingham, UK.
- If you’re in Seattle a month earlier, Jean François Porchez is speaking on February 15.
- March 2-4 kicks off TDC Non-Latin Weekends — beginning with Cyrillic.
- Paul Shaw reviews Stephen Banham’s Characters.
- Sean McCabe would like to help you learn more about lettering.
- This handy stencil can make more than every letter in the alphabet.
- Please welcome Novo Typo, a new foundry based in Amsterdam.
- Process Type Foundry is collecting type designers’ work spaces on Pinterest.
- It’s getting close to annual report season. Here’s “Not Quite an Annual Report” from FontFont.
- Michael Rosen has a lot to say about the apostrophe.
- Anna Raff made an ampersand bird.
- Finish this feast of type and type-related news with a few gelatin letters. Tasty!
That’s it for this week, with hopefully few syntax errors. With any luck we’ll be far enough through that amazing mass of goodness at Typographica to bring you the news again next week. [Wait, what? — Ed.] No, really: see you next week!
Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for bringing us sound and fury, signifying something, i.e., this week’s new type!
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