Type News: Make the Text Bigger
This year has already gone past eleven. We have a veritable riot of news and new type.
We begin with wood type and books. At the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, you can learn the Fundamentals of Bookbinding on January 22. You can participate in or at least see the results of “Almost Extinct,” a project that attempts to preserve the art of printing from wood and metal type. Last week we noted the reprinting of Bodoni’s Manual of Typography. But why wait for it to arrive? The 1818 edition of his Manuale Tipografico is available online.
Jumping ahead about 200 years, this week saw the announcement of the forthcoming Smashing Book 2, which includes a chapter on web typography by Vivien Anayian. In researching the chapter, Anayian interviewed, among other luminaries, Yves Peters and Stephen Coles, whose interviews have been published on The FontFeed. In 2010 webfonts really took off, thanks not only to various services but also to designers willing to take a chance on a burgeoning technology, as Tim Brown reminds us in his forward-looking retrospective, “Web fonts via 2010.”
With the current abundance of webfonts, it would be nice to have a tool to speed one’s testing a variety of type within a design. How handy, then, that Matt Wiebe has updated his FontFriend bookmarklet for use with your own font lists. And you can use a jQuery plugin to make that text as big as you want.
The type world continues to expand. The Case & Point is a promising new site that focuses on custom type design and lettering. A good place to start is Abi Huynh’s interview of Ondrej Jób. Also new this week is Rosetta Type, a foundry that focuses on multi-script typography. The foundry’s “Typo Bites” are also worthwhile reading.
Let’s move on to the most customized part of the news, this week’s new type.
It’s not a foundry. It’s a “design brand.” Mike Jarboe’s Reserves has extended the fashion culture-influenced Sevigne with thin and stencil variations. This wispy, geometric display sans is packed to the lapels with unique ligatures and stylistic alternates.
A quartet of fresh “old” faces from Filmotype are now available through Veer. Filmotype Harmony, Hamlet, and Kingston are all chips off the 1950s casual script block, whereas Filmotype Fashion flexes some impressive extended sans muscle. If you’re not familiar with the backstory of the Filmotype collection, pick up a copy of Stuart Sandler’s Filmotype: By the Letter—An Illustrated History. It’s a fascinating account of the industry’s transition from phototype to digital.
What do you get when you mix 16th century Italian calligraphy with a modern, high-contrast serif? Something like Darlena, the latest release from Jess Latham’s Blue Vinyl Fonts. This single weight display face features swashy caps and some surprisingly tasty ligatures.
And now for something with a completely different pricing model. The League of Movable Type has released Fanwood, Barry Schwartz’s latest historical serif. As Stephen Coles points out, the face is quite obviously based on Fairfield by Rudolph Ruzicka, yet there’s no mention of these sources in the product description.
Curiouser and curiouser. The further you dive into Jackkrit Anantakul’s YWFT Wonderland, the more hand-drawn whimsy you uncover. Three variations of illustrated characters, two sets of matching dingbats—plus all 1,500 glyphs in EPS vector format if you decide to nab the entire package.
Are you feeling at all envious of these type designs but don’t feel qualified to craft your own? The Type Directors Club may have help for you: Matteo Bologna is leading a day-long workshop for 20 people on “Easy Font Design for Non-Type Designers.” To participate, you need a Mac with Adobe Illustrator and a copy of Glyphs. You might also find this recently-updated kerning test from Typefacts to be a useful thing to bring along.
Here are some other interesting items to occupy your ample spare time:
- Jean-François Porchez compares font prices from 1996 with prices in 2011.
- Craig Mod explores page layout on an infinite screen for A List Apart.
- Ilene Strizver interviews Vincent Connare about you-know-what.
- Joel Warner profiles Rick Griffith of MATTER, whose admonition against font theft is as perfect as it is coarse.
- Vote for your favorite sans-serif from an unfortunately limited set, with no option to write in your own.
- Far more worthy of your time, Ivo Gabrowitsch has curated his list of the best typefaces of 2010.
- Waste hours (days?) with Z-Type, a highly addictive new game (no need for Flash).
- Re-learn the Alphabet with this video from Alessandro Novelli.
- Videos of kinetic type might feel a bit tired, but there’s something mesmerizing (and inspiring) about “Make it Better,” by Climent Canal and Sebastián Baptista.
That’s the news for this week. Praise us, criticize us, let us know what we missed—all in the comments.
Grant Hutchinson thoroughly rocked this week’s new typefaces.
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