Type News: Past, Present, Quirky

Type designers, historians, and connoisseurs have been busy this week, so let’s get right to it.

Enough time has elapsed since TypeCon that we’re starting to see its impact, in particular its emphasis on webfonts. For a great recap, see Michael Dooley’s piece in Imprint, “The Future of Web Fonts Is Sooner than It Used to Be.” For a broader review of the happenings at TypeCon, start with Richard Rutter’s account. (If you’re feeling nostalgic, be sure to peruse the TypeCon Flickr group.)

Webfonts also take center stage on the most recent episode of The Big Web Show. Roger Black is interviewed by hosts Dan Benjamin and Jeffrey Zeldman and discusses the future of typography, publishing, and design on the web. And if you’re looking for a high quality sans-serif to use on the web but have a limited budget, you’re in luck: ParaType has released PT Sans for free use, and Dalton Maag has made the license for Aller free for up to 25 users.

But not everything this week is about the future; there’s knowledge to acquire and history to learn! Yves Peters interviews Grant Hutchinson and reviews “A Typographic Anatomy Lesson,” a lovely (limited edition) print from Ligature, Loop & Stem. On Typophile, Frank Blokland hypothesizes about the origin of the em-square, with some great insight from others in the comments. The history of print also appears in the mainstream media: Tom Scocca interviews Andrew Pettegree about Gutenberg’s work before the Bible and how print finally took hold, and The Korea Herald covers the recent discovery of metal type from the thirteenth century in Seoul.

More discoveries await us, faithful readers. Enjoy this bonanza of new and delightfully quirky typefaces:

Tangier

The Font Bureau has released Tangier by Richard Lipton, an energetic script with a variety of ascenders and descenders to help you achieve just the right mood.

Fan Script

If you’re looking for a typeface that evokes classic sports logos or hand-painted signs, look no farther than Alejandro Paul’s Fan Script. It should work equally well on jerseys or beer cans—perfect for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Ode

Martin Wenzel has released Ode, a departure from traditional blackletter and which feels as if it could be at home paired with Skolar or Auto (among others). For more detail about this font, visit I Love Typography, where Martin describes how he created Ode.

Geotica

Jos Buivenga continues to expand his typographic repertoire with Geotica, a font built primarily from “simple geometrical line elements.” Geotica feels peculiar and just right at the same time, a difficult feat to achieve.

Flora Mambo

P22 has released Flora Mambo, inspired by the work of illustrator Jim Flora. The font has been designed to allow you to achieve two-color type with minimal effort.

Finally, a few items for your calendars:

  • If you expect to be in Dublin September 8–12, make plans to attend ATypI 2010 as soon as possible.
  • Typekit has organized a couple meetups in Amsterdam (September 13) and New York City (September 14), open to anyone who is interested in web typography or beer (or both).
  • Are you feeling creative? Consider entering the Communication Arts Typography Competition. The deadline is September 10 (or if you’re willing to pay a $10 late fee, September 24).

With all of this week’s activity, it’s almost certain that we missed some big news. Let everyone know about it in the comments!

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