Type News: Happy Birthday, Max!
Today would be Max Miedinger’s 100th birthday. So pour yourself some nog, put on your Santa hat, and kick back for this week’s news!
First: a big welcome to Fonts in Use, a new project from Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman. Fonts in Use is intended to be a resource for and critique of “real-world typography wherever it appears.” The first several installments are provocative and useful—as are the comments. Be sure to add this to your list of sites to frequent.
This wouldn’t be the winter holiday season without appropriate greeting cards, and Typekit has put together a lovely one, full of webfonts, snow, and good cheer.
In other webfont-related news, Adobe has released Caslon Pro, Jenson Pro, Warnock Pro, and Arno Pro as webfonts, available through Typekit. If free (high-quality) webfonts are more to your liking, you’ll be happy to know that the new Ubuntu font is now available through Google. And if none of those are to your liking, be sure to check out the latest and final entry in Tim Brown’s excellent series on type rendering for the Typekit blog, in which Tim points us to some webfonts that are designed to look good, even at smaller sizes.
With the abundance of type available for the web, choosing a font can sometimes feel overwhelming. The Kernest webfont service intends to alleviate some of that pressure through its new Konstellations offering, which seems to function as if it were a sommelier, except for type. If you’re more interested in getting your hands dirty with type selection and typography, Dan Mayer has put together a decent introduction. More interested in the why of typography? You should start with this lovely letter by Jessica Helfand. And if, for some reason, you find yourself gravitating toward the use of Comic Sans, Matt Dempsey has created an amusing and helpful rehabilitation program.
Speaking of abundance, let’s move on to this week’s new type.
A wonderful companion to its Latin sibling, Vesper Hebrew is the result of a collaboration between Rob Keller and Israeli type designer and artist Oded Ezer. Maintaining the subtle softness and unique stroke transitions of Vesper, it also happens to be the first Hebrew serif text family to span five weights.
After waiting a year in the wings, Andy Mangold has released Pompadour, a set of pleasantly plump vector numerals. Reminiscent of an upright version of François Boltana’s groovy Stilla, they’re licensed under Creative Commons and are completely free provided you “give props where props are due.” You’ve got yourself a deal, Andy.
A week without a new monospaced font is like a week without sunshine—at least around the Type News offices. Pieter van Rosmalen’s Nitti 2.0 is a five weight, grotesque-inspired family recently updated with full Cyrillic language support.
In the “one more slab serif” department we find something low contrast, and soft featured. Dan Rhatigan designed Copse during the first two weeks of December, building on the work already completed for his text face Gina. According to Dan, he “filed down all the delicate parts and rebuilt the details.” Copse is freely available through the Google Font Directory and from Font Squirrel.
Another typeface in Google’s growing collection is Eben Sorkin’s Merriweather. Designed as an easy reading webfont, this sharply detailed serif face will eventually be developed into a multi-weight, multilingual family. It’s also one of the only typefaces we’ve run across that has its very own Twitter account.
Mário Feliciano’s interest in historical Spanish typography led him to explore the work of 18th century type designer and punchcutter, Geronimo Gil. Over the course of ten years, Mário created the epic Geronimo, the latest from The Netherlands’ Enschedé Font Foundry. Geronimo is a beautiful—and arguably idiosyncratic—revival based on Gil’s handiwork, running the gamut from light to black.
In the description of his loopy Wonder Wall, designer Giuseppe Salerno readily admits that “Marian Bantjes totally inspired me to make this typeface.” With its wire-thin, modular precision and arabesque symmetry, Wonder Wall is both a decorative display typeface and a platform for intriguing pattern generation.
With all this great new type floating around, you may find yourself wanting to purchase some. For someone else’s take on that process, be sure to read the latest from Indra Kupferschmid, who discusses her own experience shopping for fonts.
Here are a few other items of interest:
- Frank Chimero traces the demiſe of the medial (a.k.a. “long”) s. Can it experience a renaiſsance? That would be senſational!
- If you’re looking for a bibliographer’s take on early typography, be sure to consider Joseph Dane’s just-published Out of Sorts: On Typography & Print Culture.
- In need of wood type? Consider using Virgin Wood Type.
- FontShop has released its list of the best fonts of 2010. There are winners in 27 (creatively-named) categories, and there’s not a dud in the bunch.
- Cameron Moll’s type-based posters are pretty well-known (and for good reason). But have you seen Keira Rathbone’s typewriter-based art?
- Paul Shaw and Alta Price will be leading a Legacy of Letters Tour, from June 29 until July 10, 2011. A tour of a different kind and location can be had by watching this typographic survey of London.
Finally, our condolences to the friends, family, and colleagues of Othmar Motter, who died on December 19.
We hope you have a restful and happy last week of the year. Feel free to share your good cheer in the comments!
Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for another lovely trip through this week’s new type.
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