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:

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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