Type News: Blatzletter
Let’s send the summer out in style. We’re in all white and raising cans of barley-pop as we report on this week’s new type, bad knockoffs, and plenty more news. Skål, y’all!
Philadelphia represent! Merge is a softly rounded sans by the Quaker City’s own Kosal Sen. Four weights of casual and unquestionably readable text faces that look great at headline sizes. Go ahead, give ’er a try — Merge Light is currently available free o’ charge through MyFonts and Philtype.
Brighton’s The Entente studio initially produced just a few cuts of Relative for a specific book project. Over the past year, their Colophon foundry developed a full range of weights and styles for this geometric multi-family, including fixed width and “faux-monospace” varieties.
It must be something in the water. After three new families graced their news page just over a month ago, Canada Type has trickled out another typographic trifecta. First on the list is King Tut, an extended, seven weight revitalization of a mid-19th century Egyptian Expanded. Of particular note are the lighter weights, which “expose the alphabet’s skeleton” while still providing a sturdy, wild west flavour.
Following on the heels of Recta, Semplicita Pro is Canada Type’s second Nebiolo revival in as many months. Whereas Recta was oft considered the “Italian Helvetica”, Alessandro Butti’s original Semplicità could be considered an “Italian Futura”. Certainly based on a geometry similar to Futura, this ten face sans also has its toes dipped in humanist and calligraphic streams.
The final font from Canada Type is sharp as a tack. Libertine is an severe, angular script based on the display lettering of Netherlands’ Martin Meijer. Packed with stylistic alternates, ligatures, and context-sensitive forms, it’s an example of how edgy, energetic — and yet completely controlled — a calligraphic face can be.
This week’s free webfont pick is Viktoriya Grabowska’s stylish and quirky Passero One. A simple and structured display sans with an intriguing personality and more than just a little bit of influence from the nibbed pen department.
California design crew Reserves bombards us with a multi-weight, military-style slab stencil. Solidly rectilinear, alternate-equipped, and bulletproofed — Defense even sports true italics, narrowed and modified to contrast with the immoveable upright styles.
Jason Mark Jones’ Skunkling is the result of an influential encounter with a mammal of similar name and the Design*Sponge Design Your Own Alphabet Contest. The inline style of this bouncy, Didone-ish display face reflects nature’s stripy stinker and provides plenty of letterforms to play with.
And now for the rest of this week’s news, nicely chilled and definitely not skunky:
- The Wood Type Revivial store is up. Get your high-quality digitized wood type! (And if you’re in the market for wood type webfonts, their faces are available from Typekit.)
- Check out this beautiful video account of the 15th-century book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.
- Tattoo artists and illustrators have designed new covers for six books in celebration of Penguin’s diamond anniversary.
- While we’re on the subject of books, Process Type has uncovered a beautiful specimen book from Berthold Type Foundry.
- Maciej Cegłowski shares why Arabic is terrific (as this shirt for ATypI can attest).
- Also from the world of Arabic script, be sure to peruse “Multiple Baselines,” interviews with people working with and designing for it.
- From the August issue of Print: Paul Shaw and Stephen Coles talk about Erik Spiekermann and birthday cakes.
- Seb Lester has a wonderful new print, “Peace.”
- Fresh on the web from 1955, learn what photosetting has done to the composing room.
- The third part of Blair Thomson’s interview with Emanuela Conidi is up on Typetoken.
- Grain Edit shows off the work of Andrew Woodhead.
- Linotype has an impressive new website design. They’re hiring, too.
- Welcome @AdobeType to Twitter! (To keep track of a bunch of foundries on Twitter, Ivo Gabrowitsch’s list is the most extensive.)
- Christopher Slye explores the significance of webfonts that use PostScript-outlines.
- Poem Script is one of our favorite typefaces so far this year. This showcase on Typography Served does nothing to change our minds!
- There’s a web typography meetup on September 13, in Evanston, Illinois.
- Making Faces is a great documentary about Jim Rimmer and the craft of, well, making typefaces. If you’re going to be in Prague, Berlin, Copenhagen, or Reykuavik during the first half of September, there are a few opportunities to screen the film.
- Simon Garfield wants you to know “What Your Font Is Secretly Telling the World About You.”
- Florian Hardwig reviews the dangers of mindlessly using poor knockoff typefaces. (We probably should’ve titled this edition “Blactzletter,” but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.)
- Finally: congratulations, apparently, to Helvetica Bold Oblique. Why are you and your siblings so popular?
That’s it for this week. Apologies in advance for the terrible rhyme near the start of the column. If you have any other grievances (or complements or news or whatever), please share them in the comments!
Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for bringing us this week’s new type, brewed from the finest mountain springs.
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