Type News: Zapfed

November is running along full-tilt. Let’s try to keep up!

Heed the call of Stephen Coles when he says … “You can burn all your Bookmans.” After four years in the glyph factory, Mark Simonson has released Bookmania — his personal take on the American Type Founder’s classic Bookman Oldstyle headliner. This is a Bookman’s Bookman, featuring five weights from light through black, each with matching italics and small caps. Hundreds of swashed characters, optional ligatures, stylistic alternates, lining and old style figures (both proportional and tabular), and plenty of other OpenType features fill out the wish list. As Mark states … “It’s the revival I always wished someone would do.” Well done, indeed.

There’s something in the Air. Could it be the nine weights, three widths, 81 fonts, and 76,707 glyphs found in Neil Summerour’s fresh sans superfamily? Absolutely. Created to unify the flavours of both English and German grotesques, this exhaustive collection of faces balances function, legibility, and personality.

Marseille-based Johan Mossé gives blackletter type an kick in the eszett with Guillemet, a streamlined gothic for Berlin’s Gestalten studio. Echoing the calligraphic contrast and aesthetic weight of a textura, the compact forms of Guillemet have been smoothed, shaped, and simplified for approachability.

Peter Biľak’s latest for Typotheque is an exuberant geometric gem by the name of Julien. This unicase display family is constructed with turn-of-the-century Avant Garde sensibilities and architecturally-inspired forms. With over a thousand glyphs in each of the six styles and a dose of Tal Leming’s OpenType “pseudo-randomisation” magic, Julien is made for mixing and matching. Take a few minutes to enjoy the short video specimen and Peter’s “the making of” post as well.

According to designers Chester Jenkins and Jeremy Mickel, Aero was “… drawn from memories of Antique Olive.” Specifically, they were inspired by the heavy “Nord” weight of Roger Excoffon’s seminal sans. Pushing those classic shapes in a contemporary direction, they ended up with a nine weight range that includes some truly flavourful italics.

Lighthearted, with a definite flourish. That’s a pretty good description of this friendly, connected script from Rena and Ryan Martinson’s Yellow Design Studio. The monoline and gently modulated bold weights of Melany Lane have a natural, ink on paper quality. The package comes complete with a surprising number of contextual alternates, swashy options, unconnected forms, calligraphic ornaments, as well as a set of matching background patterns.

Dharma Type’s Tsunekawa Ryoichi and Wordshape’s Ian Lynam have just finished collaborating on Onick — a dense, geometric display face with a curious lineage. Extrapolated from a ’70s-era Onitsuka Tiger ski boot logo, Onick’s heavy set characters and thinly-sliced counters are a fresh — and appropriate — nod to the past. For additional background on the history and process of creating this free font, refer to Mr Lynam’s Catalog Heritage: A Typeface Is Born.

While we’re revisiting the seventies, let’s poke around FontShop’s replacement for that cranky, old pi font we all love to hate. Erler Dingbats provides a consistent, Unicode-savvy set of updated icons and symbols designed by Johannes Erler and Henning Skibbe. And it’s free. So go forth and spread the good word (and some better looking glyphs.)

Finishing up our freebie trifecta is Tyler Finck’s signpainterly face for The League of Moveable Type. Knewave comes solid and outline in a quick brushlike style — feeling a bit like Balloon’s ornery, open source cousin.

And now, the news:

That’s for this week’s Type News. Next week: a very special issue, wherein I confront my tryptophan habit.

Thanks to Grant Hutchinson for tracking down some amazing type!

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