Type News: Caslon, Aktiv Grotesk, and Comic Sans, Oh My!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Type News,” a journey through recent typeface-related news.

The novelty of the present attempt, and some peculiarities in the execution of it, require that the reader should be addressed in a few words; first, to apprise him of what it is that he may expect to meet with in the volume before him, and, next, to bring him acquainted with the peculiarities of the above-mention’d. From what editions the several pieces were taken, is very faithfully related at the end of each piece; and the editor thinks he may with confidence affirm, that they are the first, and best, and …

At I Love Typography, William Berkson has begun a fascinating discussion about reviving Caslon, “the pursuit of authenticity,” and how previous versions of Caslon vary based upon their medium. You can see additional ways that Caslon’s type and various media interact in the Typefoundry blog’s account of the journey of Caslon’s Long Primer No. 1 from specimen sheet to bronze memorial.

In an attempt to eliminate the ubiquity of Helvetica in modern design, Bruno Maag has released Aktiv Grotesk. At the Ministry of Type, Aegir Hallmundur has an astute assessment of this new typeface.

Helvetica was not the only typeface under attack in recent weeks; perennial favorite Comic Sans continues to be mocked, even among sportswriters. Ascender has offered up additional fodder with updates to Comic Sans as a part of their new font pack.

If the names of certain typefaces or typographers feel like a pain to pronounce, consider this handy pronunciation guide on Typophile. Or perhaps you could create your own unpronounceable face after completing the new certificate program in typeface design at the Cooper Union; applications for the first program year are due August 31, 2010.

Other items of note include TypeCon2010: Babel, held August 17 – 22 in Los Angeles; the recent release of the documentary Typeface on iTunes, Amazon VOD and Netflix; and the WebFonts Working Group publishing the first draft of the WOFF File Format. (If the world of web typography is new to you, consider experimenting through the new FontFonter service.)

Finally, Elliot Jay Stocks announced the first issue of 8 Faces, “a new magazine for devotees of typography.” The print edition sold out in under two hours. If you missed out, don’t fret: you can still order a PDF copy, and he’s considering a second printing. No matter the format, it promises to be worth your while.

Did we miss anything important? Let us know in the comments!

  • 1. Stephen Coles’s avatar Stephen Coles Aug 04, 2010

    Speaking of Caslon reinterpretations, don’t miss the oft overlooked Replay designed by Stefan Hattenbach last year. The delicate Display weight is especially lovely.

  • 2. Erik Vorhes’s avatar Erik Vorhes Aug 05, 2010

    An update on the possibility that Elliot Jay Stocks would offer a second printing of 8 Faces #1: he has decided against it. But the PDF is available, and I can attest to its digital beauty.

    (And thanks for the link, Stephen. The more reinterpretations of Caslon, the better!)

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