Type News: Decemonober
It’s a massive week — joy! yippee! — so let’s get right to it, shall we?
Translating the limited canvas of the bitmap font into a fully realized type family might seem like daunting task — but it can be done. FontShop’s Andreas Frohloff collaborated with Axel Bertram to develop FF Videtur — an adaptation of Bertram’s low resolution, television-optimized face from the 1980s. This four weight family features comfortable, low contrast forms, softened wedge serifs, and overall compactness.
Leo Koppelkamm’s delightfully loopy Blu is not your average chromatic typeface. Taking inspiration from “bicycle tires and paper streamers,” Koppelkamm created a dual-layered face laced with movement and dimensionality. To makes things easier on the end user (and the eye) Blu also comes equipped with a special InDesign plugin to help automate the layer-mating.
We’ve been keeping an eye on Russia’s Gaslight foundry for some time, mainly due to their unique twists on otherwise ordinary display type. Delgado is Roman Shchyukin’s take on a wispy, ball-terminal’d beauty. Loads of ligatures (both Latin and Cyrillic) add to the playful nature of this skinny, single weight face.
Yes, we’ll say it again … we’re simply suckers for stencils. As a die-cut companion to his compact Norberto, Jason Castle’s Norberto Stencil hits us right where we live with its svelte stature and sexy, Bodoni-esque bones. Bridges, and islands, and hairlines! Oh, my!
Not only did Norway’s Frode Bo Helland and Sindre Bremnes launch their brand new Monokrom foundry this past week, they also managed to stock the virtual shelves with a quintet of fresh typefaces. To start off the show and tell, Helland’s Vinter channels the aesthetics and mood of long Norwegian winters through a blend of calligraphic details and pure geometry.
Also by Helland, Aften Screen has been specially designed as a high performance face for low resolution situations. A simple, three style sans that’s friendly and readable, successfully blending humanist and grotesque traits. In Helland’s own words, “a text font that just plain works.”
Next on the line is Telefon — Sindre Bremnes’ three weight, “general purpose” geometric sans based on Georg Fredrik Fasting’s quaint lettering found on vintage school Norwegian telephone booths.
Another design by Bremnes is a text face that follows the beat of the “no straight lines” drummer. Satyr’s concave and convex shapes provide a cohesive — if not sculptural contrast — in a form intended for the smallest of sizes.
Faunus is the fifth and final Monokrome release — a headline-savvy companion to the more bookish Satyr. The tighter stance, finer details, and increased contrast of this single weight face frame Bremnes’ subtle variation on a similar serif’d theme.
Oakland’s own Jim Parkinson has unveiled a pair of display faces — his first new releases in several years. Named in pure Parkinson fashion, Hoosier Daddy is a 19th century-flavoured shaded slab with plenty of dimensional oomph.
Jim also cooks up a mean Meatball. This chubby showcard headliner starting out as a riff on the movie poster lettering for the mid-century Hepburn and Tracy vehicle, Bringing Up Baby. The limited caps-only assortment was adjusted, adapted, and extrapolated into a complete character set.
Go wide, young man. The Hamilton Wood Type Foundry has been on quite the resuscitative roll of late and HWT Roman Extended Lightface adds a striking face to their digital quiver. Acquired as part of Hamilton’s purchase of the Page Manufacturing Co. in the late 1800s, this delicately appointed “six-liner” has been brought up to speed with a properly internationalized character set, plus a handful of alternates and ligatures.
The dynamic typographic duo of Angel Koziupa and Alejandro Paul wrap up this voluminous week of type with Platinus Script. This lithe little number bridges calligraphic flair and mid-20th century commercial lettering with precise, graceful strokes and a lightly modulated baseline. Two weights — including a bold with deftly controlled contrast — have been filled to the brim with alternates and ligatures.
There are too many goodies for a long introduction, so I’ll only tell you about this one time when Grant … what? Oh, right. Here are some interesting and/or useful links:
- David Sudweeks shares some of the story behind Monokrom.
- Typespiration looks to be a great resource for pleasing web typography.
- While we’re on the topic of web typography, be sure to read Ben Brooks’ “The Design of a Site Meant to be Read.”
- Paul Shaw’s Blue Pencil returns, with three installments on Hermann Zapf: “About More Alphabets,” “What Our Lettering Needs,” and “Works and Typefaces.”
- The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has or will have at least one object of the day that will tickle your fancy.
- Erik Spiekermann interviews Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil for the inaugural Talking Types podcast.
- Sveriges Radio also has a type-related podcast, Typo.
- Nadine Chahine recounts her recent work for the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar.
- Monotype has rebranded.
- Ralf Herrmann shares some of the work of Jan Tschichold housed in the National Library in Leipzig.
- Speaking of Jan Tschichold, here are his Penguin composition rules.
- Harvard’s metaLAB has visualized the explosion of 15th-century printing.
- Alastair Johnston wants Helvetica to go away, and Indra Kupferschmid sets the record straight.
- Idan Gazit has some great advice about designing presentations.
- Steven Heller celebrates the work of Spain Rodriguez.
- An analog sign from simpler times reveals how complex things have always been.
- Geotypography is now a thing.
- So is this great typographic map of Brazil.
- See FF Kievit used for wayfinding.
- Will Schofield showcases vintage Japanese magazine covers.
- Hoefler & Frere-Jones typefaces: now with more flavor!
- Here’s one way to look at over 20 years of type design.
- Enjoy lovely signage and delicious baked goods as you learn “How to Visit a French Bakery.”
- Behold: the Monotype penguin.
- Check out Antithesis, “a 3D dance film and typeface.”
- Scott Boms makes an appeal for the Hamilton.
What’s up? This:
- Support the Hamilton by attending a holiday benefit print sale on December 15 at Chicago’s Center for Book and Paper Arts.
- There’s also a benefit for the Hamilton on December 15 at the Arm Letterpress in Brooklyn.
- Join Jessica Hische for the Letter Together workshop, January 28–29, in Berlin.
Spend your hard-earned money wisely — perhaps on something below:
- Get custom monogram stamps from LetterinBerlin.
- Products from Hard Graft make great gifts — and use well-considered typography.
- Grain Edit has a gift guide.
- So does Core77.
- I want this book.
And with that, we fade away — or whatever it is we do until next week.
Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for bravely baking us up a baker’s dozen of new typefaces!
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