Type News: Origins

This week we learn where words come from, meet a slew of new typefaces, and crash a party.

Thanks to a tour de force from John Boardley, our usual typeface media—wood, metal, and digital type—need to take a backseat to the ancient tools of reeds and clay. In “The Origins of ABC: Where Does Our Alphabet Come From?” we witness the evolution of our modern Latin glyphs from their humble beginning as Cuneiform pictograms. Johno guides us through the millennia with expert care and enthusiasm, aided by his strong writing and visuals.

But you’re not here for the old stuff, right? You want to know what’s new! Fear not, there are plenty of new, shiny things to distract us.

Our familiar Latin letters continue to evolve, and the lovely ligatures of Livory, a new font by Hannes von Döhren & Livius F. Dietzel, are the latest example. Livory comes across as warm and inviting, and it should hold up equally well for use as a body and display text.

Another readable family comes from Ross Mills, of Tiro Typeworks. Huronia includes “many languages [that] have been ignored by the typographic community.” To that end Huronia supports the extended Latin alphabet, Greek, IPA, Cherokee, and Canadian Syllabics (for use with Inuktitut, Cree, and other North American languages).

If you’re looking for something that demands your attention, YouWorkForThem have added a number of fonts to their shop. You can see many of these new faces at Grain Edit.

Kyle Steed has released Clumsy, a quirky, whimsical font. It’s available for free, but you’re encouraged to reward his hard work with a donation. Your kindness will be rewarded, as Kyle hopes to raise enough money to purchase Fontographer, refine Clumsy, and release it in the OpenType format.

The number of tools for designing your own fonts is expanding, too. If you have access to an iPad, consider turning your handwriting into a font with iFontMaker, which received an update this week. If you’re more interested in the latest analog technology, prepare to get in line for the new Sharpie Liquid Pencil. This nature-defying item should arrive in stores in September.

This “Type News” couldn’t be complete without marking the 20th anniversary of the founding of FontShop. To celebrate, they’re putting 20 FontFont families on sale. Happy anniversary, FontShop!

That should do it for this week, unless we missed something. If we did, please tell us about it in the comments!

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