Type News: Hwæt-Out
Bring your shovel, a front passed through and unleashed something more than a flurry of activity this week. Help us dig out from a dozen new typefaces, webfont madness, and a literal (OK, not literally literal) news whiteout.
For webfont nerds, the big news this week is once again
@font-face. Ethan Dunham has uncovered a fiendishly simple syntax and updated Font Squirrel—including its wonderful generator—to take advantage of it. This comes just days after it seemed that Richard Fink’s Mo’ Bulletproofer syntax was poised to become the most browser-compatible approach. Ethan is still testing his implementation; please let him know if you run into any problems with it.
Lest your attention drift too far, let’s check out this huge mass of new type!
The prolific and illustrious Chank has strayed out of his comfortable typographic yard with Panefresco, a “custom font for teachers”. Built on the bones of the open source Titillium project, Panefresco adds proper italics and modifies the uprights into a clean, complete sans family. According to Mr Diesel, Panefresco is a “personal attempt to help unify the differences between handwritten and typographic letterforms […] not to teach kids a new handwriting style, but to instead to make typographic fonts more handwriting-inspired.” Nicely done.
The Lost Type Co-op was instigated by designers Riley Cran and Tyler Galpin to produce an all-caps, condensed sans typeface oozing with factory floor vernacular—in just 24 hours. Good on them. Although the sturdy looking Muncie could benefit from a bit of kerning and spacing love, they did manage to produce it in a day … and it is free.
Cortina isn’t a new design, but it has been out of circulation for several years. Rather than kick an old font to the curb, Joachim Müller-Lancé OpenType’d this unwaveringly angular display face with some new metrics, outline refinements, and class kerning. Interested in Cortina’s conceptual backchannel? The PDF specimen goes into some delightfully esoteric details.
Speaking of delightful, the first fresh face of the year from Sudtipos has arrived. Angel Koziupa gives a nod to mid-century advertising type with the upright Delight Script. As with all Koziupa designs that Alejandro Paul lays his mitts on, there’s a boatload of alternates accompanied by some savvy OpenType finesse.
Moving right along, we go from script to Clip. Taking obvious inspiration from the humble fastener, Ondrej Jób’s wonderfully loopy display face goes beyond simple homage to the office supply. We’re talking three weights, multiple discretionary ligatures and stylistic alternates, ornamental swash caps, old style figures, plus an assortment of scripty “wordbats”. We advise you to take Typographica’s advice and “dump your drawer full of paperclip fonts now.”
Apparently, it’s not possible to go more than a few days without a significant release from the folks over at Village. This week we were impressed by the tidiness of Lux Typographics’ Gustan, a flexible sans family covering eight weights from thin to extra black.
That’s a lot of fonts, but sometimes one is just enough. Plau is Rodrigo Saiani’s comfortable, single weight sans featuring soft-edged forms and generous letterspacing.
The distinct and unexpected flavour of Lindemann Sans is rooted in designer Chad Lindemann’s application of the golden ratio through the typeface. It’s a modern geometric sans built on an arguably different grid, packed with OpenType niceties.
Bold Monday and Mike Abbink have created Rock Serif and Rock Sans, a corporate superfamily for NBCUniversal. The serif is a fascinating mix of sans serif and Copperplate Gothic, and the sans feels like it would fit in comfortably at any point in the television age. Now, about that word mark…
James Puckett’s Lorimer was inspired by “inscriptions in the yard of New York’s historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery” … how positively poetic. A gothic sans with grotesque leanings, unexpected details, and a “curious K”.
Finishing off with a Bhang, Storm Type Foundry’s family of five brushlike display faces recalls the rustic, hand-lettered signage found in India. Want more Bhang for your buck? You can download and play with Bhang Strong for free.
As if twelve typefaces weren’t enough, here’s a heaping pile of news to go along with them:
- Quad Royal has uncovered symbols and spacing guides for Rail Alphabet.
- Watch Erik Spiekermann on “Putting Back the Face into Typography.”
- No longer “new” news but still a fascinating read: June Tsai profiles Chang Chieh-kuan, who is trying “to preserve the last complete set of standard Chinese character molds for lead type casting in the world.”
- Berthold, the home of Akzidenz-Grotesk, has a new website design.
- At Fonts in Use, Sam Berlow laments the ubiquity of Helvetica among major shopping brands. As usual with Fonts in Use, it’s worth lingering in the comments.
- For far less common text, you should consider Dana Tanamachi’s beautiful letters in chalk.
- Speaking of ephemeral lettering, NPR profiles Shinichi Maruyama, who uses liquid to write in mid-air.
- For letters of a more solid sort, check out the work of Michael Doret, featured on Grain Edit.
- Lucy Sisman profiles David Berlow for wwword.
- Fifty and Fifty is a growing collection of US state mottos, illustrated.
- Write in binary with RoboFont.
- BrailleBlaster is open-source Braille transcription software.
- Little Bit Heart has instituted “Font Friday,” and who are we to object? The first installment celebrates Alejandro Paul.
- Working with type is hard to do; Matteo Bologna can help. Check out “What You Should Never Do with Type and Why,” on February 7 at the Cooper Union.
- For more intensive instruction, you might be interested in the new five-week condensed program from Type@Cooper and taking place this summer. The application deadline is February 28.
Finally, Michael Ciancio laments the lack of special characters in English. Þis wouldn’t be such æn issue if ðe Latinists hadn’t interfered, yogh.
That’s the news for this week, or at least as far as we’ve been able to plow. Let us know what we missed in the comments.
The new type keeps coming, and Grant Hutchinson keeps digging out as beautifully as can be. Thanks for that!
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