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Hiragana & Katakana: the voice of Japanese typefaces - YouTube
"Osamu Torinoumi, Reiko Hirai
ATypI 2016 • Warsaw, Poland
Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ASP

The Japanese language is unique in that its written form combines four different scripts concurrently: Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji (Chinese characters) and Latin. The huge character set and the complexity of the composite Japanese script make its explanation challenging, with the result that most explanation are either basic or partial. This presentation digs deeper. A comparison of the frequency of use of Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji and Latin character in a Japanese text shows the dominant role of Kana (Hiragana and Katakana). This means that Kana most influences the tone of a paragraph, and determines the characteristic of a typeface. In spite of this importance, Kana presents challenges to designers, as there are no defined alignments like those in other scripts. Within the singular guideline of a square which encloses the form, there is considerable variation of form. Osamu Torinoumi argues that the key to understanding Kana design rests in the history of the script, from its inception in the 8th century, to current digital forms. The importance in designing Kana is to consider the inherent shape, stroke and rhythm of each Kana letter. Translation and English presentation will be handled by Reiko Hirai from Monotype."
japanese  srg  hiragana  katakana  typography  osamutorinoumi  text  graphicdesign  kana  reikohirai  typefaces  fonts  languages 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
Listen Up, Look Sharp, Graphic Designers—Bauhaus Moving Image Proves Good Design Isn't Just About Communication | | Eye on Design
“As evidenced by a long-lost short film by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy”



“His sentiments around type and print are echoed across his vast output—painting, drawing, photography, collage, sculpture, film, theater, and writing—but one of its most fascinating distillations is in a recently rediscovered film, Tönendes ABC (ABC in Sound), from 1933. What the piece also conveys is a cheekier side to Moholy-Nagy’s practice, and a brazen approach to “appropriating” other people’s work.

ABC in Sound, a minutes-long experimental optical sound film was missing for more than 80 years, before being found at the BFI National Archive in London and identified as Moholy-Nagy’s for the first time by BFI curators. Its screening coincides with a wider László Moholy-Nagy London exhibition at Hauser & Wirth gallery, which is showing his 1930 film Ein Lichtspiel: Schwarz Weiss Grau (A Lightplay: Black White Grey); alongside works on paper, photographic pieces, and the mesmeric kinetic sculpture Light Prop for an Electric Stage (also 1930), which the aforementioned Lightplay documents in deliciously abstract modes.

The reason ABC in Sound remained undiscovered for so long is partially because, as it turns out, it’s not as original in concept as much of Moholy-Nagy’s other works. ABC in Sound existed, but not in isolated form, or credited to the artist: In 1936, the original nitrate for ABC in Sound was accidentally spliced to a copy of Oskar Fischinger’s Early Experiments in Hand Drawn Sound from 1931 by an archivist for a screening program at the London Film Society.”

[See also: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-abc-in-sound-1933-online

"Inspired by advances in sound recording and fascinated by the production of synthetic sound, Hungarian artist and Bauhaus professor László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) explored the idea of reverse-engineering an alphabet of sounds from the visual representation they produced by the grooves on gramophone discs. Taking this a step further, after the release of Rudolph Pfenninger’s Tönende Handschrift (Sounding Handwriting), he produced this film of ‘visual sounds’ which showed the image of the track that was passing through the sound head of the projector - so that the audience could directly compare the image with the sound that it made.

In later years Moholy-Nagy recalled that the soundtrack for Tönendes ABC “used all types of signs, symbols, even the letters of the alphabet, and my own finger prints. Each visual pattern on the sound track produced a sound which had the character of whistling and other noises. I had especially good results with the profiles of persons”. In this it differed from its companion piece, Oskar Fischinger’s Early Experiments in Hand Drawn Sound, which used purely abstract shapes in the same way; Moholy-Nagy even wittily uses the word ‘Handschfift’ printed onto his soundtrack. The films were shown together at the London Film Society on 10 December 1933 and the combined print donated to the newly formed BFI, where it was recently rediscovered.

Moholy-Nagy would have undoubtedly seen Fischinger’s film before he made his own. Fischinger’s many experiments with “ornamental animation in sound,” predated ABC in Sound. The films made by the pair are remarkably similar in concept, realization, and form (see screenshots from some of Fischinger’s experiments below): in each we hear synthetic sound, created by white patterns that appear visually along one side of the screen. The variations in the shapes of the lines generate the changes in the sounds—some of which seem quite beautiful, in a strange, non-human way; others more like bone-shaking blasts of a pneumatic drill; all—as was imperative for their creators—impossible to create using the conventional instruments of the time, or the human voice."]

[On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui_FU-KAZMM

"Missing for over 80 years, this experimental film by Bauhaus teacher and artist László Moholy-Nagy was found by BFI curators embedded in a reel of film that also contained Oskar Fischinger’s Early Experiments in Hand Drawn Sound.

László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) was a tenacious, restless creative who associated with various early twentieth century vanguard art movements. Teaching at the legendary Bauhaus school, which this year sees its centenary, his early optical sound films experimented with the formal properties of film and blurred the lines between sound and image and the act of hearing and seeing sound. Newly scanned at 4K, the restoration of ABC in Sound / Tönendes ABC will receive its world premiere at BFI Southbank on 18 June."]
film  sound  design  graphics  graphicdesign  play  tinkering  filmmaking  video  materials  type  typography  print  appropriation  audio  oskarfischinger  rudolphpfenninger  bauhaus  lászlómoholy-nagy  communication  classideas 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
Benton Sans - Wikipedia
“Benton Sans is a digital typeface family begun by Tobias Frere-Jones in 1995, and expanded by Cyrus Highsmith of Font Bureau. It was a reworked version of Benton Gothic developed for various corporate customers, under Frere-Jones’s guidance. In developing the typeface, Frere-Jones studied drawings of Morris Fuller Benton’s 1908 typeface News Gothic at the Smithsonian Institution. The typeface began as a proprietary type, initially titled MSL Gothic, for Martha Stewart Living magazine and the website for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. As Benton Gothic, there are 7 weights from Thin to Black and only 2 widths.”

[See also:
https://fonts.adobe.com/fonts/benton-sans ]

[via use here:
https://earthlysurvival.org/ ]
bentonsans  fonts  tobiasfrere-jones  cyrushighsmith  typography 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Typographic Matchmaking in the City 2.0 on Vimeo
"Typographic Matchmaking in the City 2.0
2010 (video 33min.)

Jan de Bruin Productions and the Khatt Foundation
. Shot on several locations in Amsterdam, Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Pingjum (Friesland), and Doha (Qatar), Typographic Matchmaking in the City : the Film follows the 5 teams of Dutch and Arab designers that participated in the project over a period of 18 months while they were traveling, working together, and presenting their work in progress to culturally and professionally diverse audiences. The film makes visible not only the design process, the struggles and challenges of the designers, but also addresses the larger topics of bringing two cultures into a dialogue through design. The personalities of the designers show through their collaborative process, discussions, interactions and the final design outcomes. The film gives a very humane and personal portrait of the process of creation and creativity. Edited by Ans Kanen."
typography  arabic  amsterdam  dubai  sharjah  pingjum  doha  qatar  design  graphicdesign  process  video 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Azer - Wael Morcos
"License available for purchase from 29LT Fonts

Azer in Arabic means friendly, ready to assist and lend a hand. This multilingual typeface combines simple lines with careful detailing to create a serious but approachable look. The Arabic is a Naskh / Kufi hybrid and retains a balance between calligraphic angular cuts and unadorned construction. The Latin is a humanist sans-serif with crisp cuts based on the broad nip pen calligraphic structure and contemporary outlines. The fonts include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Latin variants. Azer is available in five weights, ranging from a delicate thin ideal for refined headlines to a thick black perfect for chunky titles and in-text emphasis.

Where Arabic typefaces have a strong horizontal structure because of baseline letter connections, Latin typefaces have a vertical rhythm because of an upright stem structure present in most glyphs. To resolve this discrepancy, Azer Latin was drawn with conic shaped stems, inspired by the Arabic Alef glyph. The thirty-degree angle of the broad nib pen increases the horizontal stress of the Latin letters, which brings the overall color of the Latin text closer to the Arabic Text.

The Arabic and the Latin mirror each other's appearances much like fraternal twins with compatible attitudes. Azer Latin is earnest and sincere; Azer Arabic is direct and austere.

The Naskh calligraphic style of the Arabic variant is complemented by a calligraphic broad nip pen technique in the Latin, creating strong pen strokes: crisp broken cuts with open and fluid letter structure.
_
Designed with Pascal Zoghbi and Ian Party"
design  arabic  graphicdesign  typography  fonts  typefaces  pascalzoghbi  ianparty  waelmorcos 
april 2019 by robertogreco
En Route – Detail - Chantal Jahchan
"Reconsidering the Typographic and Linguistic Vernaculars of Modern Lebanon

En Route  explores what ‘modernity’ might mean for Lebanon, specifically through a typographic and linguistic lens. By presenting photos of vernacular typography and interviews with various Lebanese professionals, this book challenges readers—Middle Eastern and Western alike—to reconsider their notions of visual modernity.

* TDC Certificate of Typographic Excellence
* Graphis New Talent Annual: Honorable Mention

︎ Process blog
︎ Staff Pick: Fonts In Use
︎ It’s Nice That "
typography  arabic  deign  graphicdesign 
april 2019 by robertogreco
New York City Trees
"Katie Holten has created a New York City Tree Alphabet.

Each letter of the Latin alphabet is assigned a drawing of a tree from the NYC Parks Department’s existing native and non-native trees, as well as species that are to be planted as a result of the changing climate. For example, A = Ash.

Everyone is invited to download the free font, NYC Trees, and to write words, poems, messages, or love letters, in Trees. We’ll select some of these messages to plant with real trees around the city. JOIN US! *

The New York City Tree Alphabet is an alphabetical planting palette, allowing us to rewrite the urban landscape by planting messages around the city with real trees. What messages would you like to see planted?

Share your words, messages, screenshots with us. Please email: studio@katieholten.com

* JOIN US! In Spring 2019 we’ll begin planting messages with real trees around NYC.

Download the font here

Follow Katie Holten for more info: @katieholten

#nyctrees #nyctreestalk #nyctreealphabet"
trees  nyc  typography  typefaces  glyphs  icons  fonts  katieholden 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Introducing Operator | News, Notes & Observations | Hoefler & Co.
"A monospace typeface, a monospace-inspired typeface, and a short film about type design."
typography  terminal  fonts  coding  monospace  hoefler&co  typefaces  typewriters  2016  via:ayjay 
february 2019 by robertogreco
In-Depth Guide to the Best Free Fonts • Beautiful Web Type
"There are 35 featured typefaces, with new ones added continously. Below are the latest 10."
fonts  free  typography  design  graphicdesign 
february 2019 by robertogreco
MuirMcNeil's New Typeface Is As Fragmented and Malleable As Memory | | Eye on Design
"Name: Bisect
Designer: Natasha Lucas in collaboration with MuirMcNeil
Foundry: MuirMcNeil
Release Date: July 2018

Back Story: While still a student at the London College of Communication, graphic designer Natasha Lucas began designing Bisect as a part of a larger project based on Harold Pinter’s mid-career “memory plays.” In a memory play, a lead character narrates events drawn from memories that may or may not be factually accurate. Pinter’s Old Times (1971), No Man’s Land (1975), and Betrayal (1978) question how faulty memory and false perception lead us to harmful conclusions and personal betrayals.

Lucas developed the Bisect type system as a visual expression of the progressive fragmentation of language as it erodes through the selective, faulty nature of memory. At the same time, she wanted to create a coherent visual type system that would work across a range of print and digital media. She developed a subtly modulated grid for the construction of Bisect’s letterforms, governed by a playful exchange between separate segments. Subsequently, MuirMcNeil developed a full character set and cut Bisect in three versions.

Why’s it called Bisect? The word bisect means “to divide into two usually equal parts,” and this typeface does just that with its letterforms, carving each one into vertical and horizontal segments that register precisely with one another in layers to offer a wide range of visual possibilities.

What are its distinguishing characteristics? Bisect is a monospaced geometric type system, and all its letters occupy squares. The designer constructed the letterforms using a meticulous, subtle relationship of vertical, horizontal, and curved segments along with extremely tight letter spacing. The characters look as if they’re formed from Modernist ribbons, with well-deployed uses of negative space; the P, for instance, does not have a completed stroke for its spine and verges on the abstract, yet somehow maintains its integrity and legibility as a letter. Bisect is available in Opentype encoding for Macintosh.

What should I use it for? Just ask Paul McNeil, partner in the foundry bearing his name: “Big settings/strong settings/short settings/brand identity designs/posters/typographic animations/play/fun/exploration.”

What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? “We don’t. The notion of ‘font pairing’ brings us out in a rash—but Bisect contrasts well with just about anything,” says McNeil. Skin ailments aside, geometric sans serifs such as London are logical companions thanks to their visually obvious mathematical roots. "
fonts  typography  muirmcneil  2018  srg  language  natashalucas  memory  malleability  fragmentation  geometry 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Averia Serif Libre - Google Fonts
"Avería ("breakdown" or "mechanical damage" in Spanish - related to the root of the English word "average") is a Unicode typeface superfamily created from the average of all fonts on the computer of the creator, Dan Sayers. The process is described at iotic.com/averia. All metrics are the result of an averaging process. The included glyphs are those that existed in a majority of the source fonts.

The Averia Libre families of fonts are based on the average of all 725 fonts in the Google Web Fonts project, released under the SIL Open Font License, as of 9 Nov 2011.

Averia Serif Libre exists in 6 styles, and there are also the Averia Libre, Averia Sans Libre and Averia Gruesa Libre families.

For more information please visit the Avería page on the iotic website or send an email to Dan Sayers."
fonts  googlefonts  typography  free 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Wakamai Fondue
"Wakamai Fondue is a tool that answers the question “What can my font do?”

Drop a font on it, or click the circle to upload one, and Wakamai Fondue will tell you about the features in the font. It will also give you all the CSS needed to actually use these features in your web projects!

Everything is processed inside the browser—your font will not be sent to a server!

A big thank you to these amazing folks for their advice, encouragement and time:

Indra Kupferschmid, Bram Stein, Nick Sherman, David Jonathan Ross, Koen Kivits, Chen Hui Jing, Kenneth Normandy, Zach Leatherman, Mike “Pomax” Kamermans, John Hudson and Robin Rendle 💖

Made by Roel Nieskens/PixelAmbacht using Fontkit and Vue.js . The logo is set in Eckmannpsych from OH no Type Co. The rest of the site uses your default OS system font by... I don’t know. Drop it here and find out!"
fonts  typography  onlinetoolkit  webfonts  via:tealtan 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Chromeography
[via: https://buttondown.email/robinrendle/archive/2af7d428-6961-46be-b34b-966f8fe01290 ]

"In praise of the chrome logos and lettering affixed to vintage automobiles and electric appliances — those unsung metal emblems and badges that are overlooked, forgotten, damaged, lost to time or the dump."
typography  lettering  photography  cars  via:robinrendle  design 
january 2018 by robertogreco
🔠 Webfonts, web fonts, web-fonts
"Earlier this month Bram Stein published a book, along with the fine folks at A Book Apart, called The Webfont Handbook and it’s all about how browsers interpret our design choices when it comes to typography. Bram explores what fonts are and how they load, along with the unfamiliar CSS properties that we can use to control them.

You might not care one single iota about fonts or how browsers interact with them, and that’s totally okay, but I think this book is then interesting from two separate angles: web accessibility and good technical writing. First, on the topic of accessibility, one of my favorite sections of this book is where Bram writes about how webfonts can harm the user experience if we’re not careful. By loading too many fonts, for example, and thereby slowing the speed by which the website is requested:
Which matters most to you—conveying your message, or conveying your message in the correct font? In almost all cases, communicating your message matters most. The web is not—or at least shouldn’t be—only for the privileged. Young, affluent people with perfect eyesight using modern devices with high-resolution screens on fast network connections constitute a small fraction of internet users. Don’t forget about the rest.


Later in the book, Bram continues this argument further:
We need to start thinking of webfonts as progressive enhancement instead of expecting webfonts to be a resource that is always available. The baseline experience of your site has always been, and will always be, just plain HTML and CSS. Webfonts enhance that experience. In fact, there’s no guarantee that visitors to your site will see webfonts at all. The Opera Mini browser is used by hundreds of millions of people, and it does not support webfonts. Without you doing a thing, those users are already excluded from using the webfonts you specify.

That means there are two possibilities you should design for: when webfonts are not available, and when webfonts are available.


Accessibility and caring deeply about how webfonts impact the overall design of a website does not make us a gang of old type snobs, instead it makes us good citizens of the web. By thinking about those technical implications we show our care for everyone that visits our small island on the web, and not only the people that happen to look just like us. And every moment that we ignore web accessibility is one where the web becomes more difficult to approach and where we all become a little more isolated from one another.

The second important note that I took away from this book is that technical writing, and writing about code in general, is extraordinarily difficult. It’s tough to know what to teach and when. Not only that but it’s tricky to keep enough concentration and focus to go through each step meticulously so that someone else can follow along easily. This subject leads back to accessibility I suppose, but I can only think of a handful of people that are really good at this sort of technical writing and Bram is certainly one of them."
webdev  webfonts  fonts  html  css  accessibility  communication  robinrendle  bramstein  typography  web 
september 2017 by robertogreco
hello world | metaflop
"metaflop is an easy to use web application for modulating your own fonts. metaflop uses metafont, which allows you to easily customize a font within the given parameters and generate a large range of font families with very little effort.

with the modulator it is possible to use metafont without dealing with the programming language and coding by yourself, but simply by changing sliders or numeric values of the font parameter set. this enables you to focus on the visual output – adjusting the parameters of the typeface to your own taste. all the repetitive tasks are automated in the background.

the unique results can be downloaded as a webfont package for embedding on your homepage or an opentype postscript font (.otf) which can be used on any system in any application supporting otf.

various metafonts can be chosen from our type library. they all come along with a small showcase and a preset of type derivations.

metaflop is open source – you can find us on github, both for the source code of the platform and for all the fonts."

[See also:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metafont
http://www.servinglibrary.org/journal/1/a-note-on-the-type ]
via:caseygollan  design  typography  fonts  webfonts  metafont  webdev 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Ultimate Collection of Google Font Pairings (Displayed Beautifully with Classic Art) | Reliable
"How this post came to be

I have to be honest - I love the concept of Google fonts, but I find the execution to always be somewhat... lacking. I don't know. When compared to classics like Futura, Bodoni, Garamond - even Helvetica - they just fall short, and I rarely, if ever, end up using them.

Can you relate?

Again, I love the concept of Google font pairings: the fast download of cool fonts (and even cute fonts) from their high-speed library is great, and has brought far more unique, web friendly fonts and font pairs to the internet than ever before. They sort of broke us out of the standard web fonts and web safe fonts we were all chained down to a few years back of Arial and Verdana and even the Times New Roman font (remember those days? Can you believe they were just a few short years ago?).

But because of that feeling of something "lacking" - I've stayed away from Google fonts. Until now.

A while ago, my partner and co-founder of Reliable, David Tendrich, challenged me to do something about it.

"Make Google fonts work," he said.

And so that's how this post was born.

I wanted to create the best font pairings Google has to offer that even high-end agency designers would be tempted to use. I wanted to assemble Google font pairs that even I would have trouble turning down.

So I combed through Google's vast library and tested hundreds of font combinations, from their most famous and top fonts like the Roboto font, Railway font, Montserrat font, Lato font, Oswald font, Lobster font, and more, to more obscure, funky ones you may have never even seen before this post.

The wonderful Rijks collection

It was also about this time that I came across the Rijks Museum's online art collection. In short, it's a beautiful collection of both classical and modern art that is 100% royalty free and available for any use you'd like. (Can you say "aaaamazing?")

I took my favorite pieces from the Rijks collection and combined them with my Google font pairings to create a truly beautiful display of Google fonts that really work. We've also organized them by filters to help you find a font to fit that project you're working on right now. You'll find dozens of font pairings you can re-use time and time again for different clients and projects.

But that's not all!

I undertook one more challenge in this project: To express these font pairings through profound, time-tested quotes on design from world-renowned designers of all styles. So we have beauty in art, functionality in fonts, and wisdom in quotes.

If you too have had trouble finding great Google fonts and combinations, this might win you over to the Google Fonts Team like it won me over. Or maybe not! The beauty of design is that, at the end of the day, our own preferences and styles are what truly matter.

One last thing:

To help you find font pairings, we organized them in two ways: Style (Serif, Sans Serif, Both), and Mood (Any, Modern, Striking, Eccentric, Classic, Minimal, Neutral, Warm).

Here's a brief explanation of each of these moods:

Modern: Feels like it was made for the 21st century, and wouldn't make sense in any other period. Typically clean, more on the minimal side, and great for projects that require a more polished feel.

Striking: Impact. Boldness. Weight. These font pairs reach out and grab you and pull you into their message.

Eccentric: Quirky. Odd. Different. These fonts communicate uniqueness in various ways. Great for personal blogs, companies in a crowded marketplace that need to be set apart, and more.

Classic: These font combinations feel like they could have existed for generations. They're reminiscent of classic, time-tested and weathered fonts that last. Great for projects that need to project confidence, reliability, style.

Minimal: These minimal font pairings say so much, with a whisper. They almost try to blend into the background and get out of the way to help you more purely take in the message. Clean. Concise. Polished.

Neutral: Some brands are like the friendly local baker who greets everyone with a smile. Others are more professional, cerebral. These neutral fonts are more on the cerebral side - conveying professionalism and cleanliness above all else. Think Helvetica, but for Google fonts.

Warm: For brands who are the "friendly local baker," these fonts are for you. They convey heart, creativity, openness. They say, "Come talk to me, let's be friends." Great for brands that have that personal touch.

So there you have it!

Beautiful fonts and combinations from Google you can use to fuel your personal and client projects. They're completely web safe fonts, and due to their vast use worldwide, I think it's safe to say Google fonts are the new standard web fonts.

(By the way, we've made this entire collection of Google font pairings into a downloadable PDF that you can easily reference at any time. You should see a small yellow tab at the bottom of your screen - click that to download the post now!)

I hope displaying them on top of various colors, with various beautiful works of art behind them, helped you envision how they might work in your projects. That was one of my biggest goals in creating this post.

An important lesson

That's actually a lesson that was greatly reinforced in me throughout this Google font quest - that how fonts are used are just as important, if not more so, than the fonts themselves.

I think often Google fonts are strewn across designs that are lacking the fundamentals of good design. They're the cool, hip thing to use - and as a result, so many people us them. But design is a spectrum ranging from bad to great, and as bell curves go, few designs are truly great.

By simple math, most designs using Google fonts need improvement. Perhaps that's where my initial bias against Google fonts came from. Design is something I take so seriously, and am so passionate about, that when I see bad or lazy design, it hurts. From seeing so much sub-par design riddled with Google fonts, I associated Google fonts with sub-par design.

A new perspective

But undertaking this challenge to create this collection forced me to see Google fonts from a new perspective. Namely, it forced me to throw away my previous conceptions and see them anew. When I did, I simply viewed them like I would anything else in a design - as an asset to be used and manipulated to achieve an end-goal.

When I had no choice but to make them work, I viewed them as something that actually "could" work. And that's where the creativity and magic began.

That leads me to another important lesson I became re-acquainted with in this process - that when we think something won't work, it won't work. And when we truly think it can, we really can make it work.

Strategies for choosing font pairs

I also wanted to talk about some of the strategies behind these Google font combinations to help you create even more of your own. Because while I have 50 here, I'm certain there are dozens more waiting to be made.

If you'll notice, there's a pattern to nearly every pair: The headline is very bold and impactful, and then the body font is very light and airy. This contrast creates a nice tension and context for the fonts. It makes it very interesting as you scroll. Our eyes and brains desire constant change and flux and small contrasts like this deliver.

Another reason the body fonts are very light and airy is that they have to be palatable and legible to the eye over the course of a long piece of text. If I throw a bold, impactful font at you for more than 10 or so words - your eye will go crazy. It's like talking on the phone with someone who only screams.

When you go from a louder headline font to a body font, there's almost a feeling of relief. The headline was a nice, momentary burst of excitement - but then the eye is relieved to handle something easier and less demanding.

Serif & Sans

In addition, still in line with that concept of contrast, I often paired a serif headline with a sans serif body, or vise versa. Again, this just emphasizes contrast and keeps things interesting.

It also takes things a step further and shifts the feel. Serif fonts tend to feel more grounded, conservative and calm. Sans serif fonts tend to feel more modern, daring, progressive. By paring the two together, you get a great balance that's interesting to the mind and the eye.

Work with what you (don't) love

Finally, in line with the attitude shift I mentioned above, in going from "Google fonts don't work" to "Let's make them work" - I purposefully chose some fonts I simply thought I'd never like or want to use in any context. If I looked at a font and felt like it was a "heck no" - I felt compelled to give it a try.

This is so important for the creative process. Often, without even realizing it, we confine ourselves to our creative comfort zones, which slowly shrink over time. But when we step outside and try something we thought we'd never like - we often have our biggest breakthroughs."
font  typography  fonts  design  google  googlefonts  free  loulevit  2017  webdev  graphicdesign  via:lukeneff  webdesign 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Mexico 68 - 99% Invisible
"The clear iconography of the Metro system is a reminder of a complicated and sometimes terrible period in Mexico City’s history. It’s a simple design that invites you to explore the massive and complex metropolis. It is a graphic design system that assures that, if you get lost, no matter where you’re from, or what language you speak, you can find your way around, and see the city for yourself."

[See also: http://www.hermanmiller.com/why/talking-pictures.html ]
design  graphicdesign  1968  olympics  mexico  graphics  mexicocity  df  mexicodf  lancewyman  petermurdoch  opart  art  history  typography  luiscastañeda  color  mexico68  government  civics  metro  transportation  subways  worldcup  1970  tolisten 
june 2017 by robertogreco
How Fonts Are Fueling the Culture Wars – Backchannel
"Typography is undergoing a public renaissance. Typography usually strives to be invisible, but recently it’s become a mark of sophistication for readers to notice it and have an opinion.

Suddenly, people outside of the design profession seem to care about its many intricacies. Usually, this awareness focuses on execution. This year’s Oscars put visual hierarchy on the map. XKCD readers will never miss an opportunity to point out bad keming. And anyone on the internet can tell you, Comic Sans has become a joke.

But by focusing on the smaller gaffes, we’re missing the big picture. Typography is much bigger than a “gotcha” moment for the visually challenged. Typography can silently influence: It can signify dangerous ideas, normalize dictatorships, and sever broken nations. In some cases it may be a matter of life and death. And it can do this as powerfully as the words it depicts.

***

Why We’re Afraid of Blackletter

You’ve seen blackletter typography before. It’s dense, old-fashioned, and elaborate. It almost always feels like an anachronism. It looks like this:

[image]

But usually when you see it in popular culture, it looks more like this:

[image]

Or like this:

[image]

You probably know blackletter as the script of choice for bad guys, prison tattoos, and black metal album art—and you wouldn’t be wrong.

Blackletter looks esoteric and illegible now, but it started off as a normal pattern that people across Europe used every day for hundreds of years. It stayed that way until pretty recently. It reigned as the dominant typeface in the English-speaking world for several generations, and remains popular in parts of the Spanish-speaking world today.

Why don’t we use blackletter anymore? The answer is literally “Hitler.” Nazi leadership used Fraktur, an archetypal variety of blackletter, as their official typeface. They positioned it as a symbol of German national identity and denounced papers that printed with anything else.

As you might imagine, the typeface hasn’t aged well in the post-war period. In just a few years, blackletter went from ordinary to a widespread taboo—the same way the name “Adolf” and the toothbrush mustache have been all but eradicated.

The Nazis played a part in this. In 1941, the regime re-characterized Fraktur as Judenletter, “Jewish letters,” and systematically banned it from use. The long history of Jewish writers and printers had tainted the letterforms themselves, they argued, and it was time for Germany to move on. Historians speculate that the reversal had more to do with the logistics of occupying countries reliant on Latin typefaces, but the result was the same. No printed matter of any kind could use Fraktur, for German audiences or abroad. Even blackletter handwriting was banned from being taught in school.

Think about that: The government of one of the world’s great powers banned a typeface. That is the power of a symbol.

***

It’s Hard to Text in Arabic

We take it for granted that we can type any word with a keyboard, but really, you should check your anglophone privilege. In English, each letter stands on its own, while Arabic connects every letter in a word, allowing many letters to take on new shapes based on context. Arabic lends itself to lush and poetic calligraphy, but it doesn’t square with traditional European methods for making typefaces.

Much of the Arab world fell under Western colonial rule, and print communication remained a challenge. Rather than rethinking or expanding the conventions that had been designed around the Latin alphabet, the colonial powers changed Arabic. What we see in books and newspapers to this day is a ghost of Arabic script, reworked to use discrete letters that behave on a standard printing press.

It’s not surprising that colonial powers would pull their subjects closer to their center of gravity. But even today, many Arab countries struggle with that legacy. There are over 100,000 ways to format a word in English; the Arabic world only has about 100 clunky typefaces to support communication between half a billion people.

Rana Abou Rjeily, a contemporary Lebanese designer, is reclaiming Arabic typography. After studying design in the US and UK, she developed Mirsaal, an experimental typeface to bridge the gap between Arabic and Latin text.

Mirsaal looks for the right balance of western conventions to make Arabic work in a modern context. It uses simplified, distinct letterforms, but with the goal of making written Arabic more expressive and authentic.

This isn’t a purely symbolic exercise. The Middle East is dealing with political instability that stems from deep cultural divisions. It is not hard to imagine how a more robust written language might play some role in making a better future.

***

Piecing Together the Balkans

The Balkans are synonymous with fragmentation. The region has seen generations of violence, much spurred by the ethnic tensions within. Their typography reflects these divisions. The regional languages are a hodgepodge of typographic spheres: Latin, Blackletter, Cyrillic, and Arabic. Never mind the locally designed Glagolitic scripts.

Typography took on special meaning during the Cold War, as Latin and Cyrillic alphabets came to symbolize allegiance to global powers.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, typography continues to communicate political leanings, be they nostalgia for the Soviet era or alignment with the globalized West. Using the wrong typeface could get you in a lot of trouble.

In 2013, Croatian designers Nikola Djurek and Marija Juza created the East-West hybrid Balkan Sans. Balkan Sans uses the same glyphs to represent the equivalent letters in Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. In the words of its makers, it “… demystifies, depoliticizes, and reconciles them for the sake of education, tolerance, and, above all, communication.”

Croatian and Serbian are similar languages that could hardly look more different in their written forms. Balkan Sans makes them mutually intelligible, so that two neighbors might be able to correspond over email without thinking twice. They transformed typography from a barrier between nations into an olive branch.

***

The Culture War at Home

The US is not so different from the rest of the world when it comes to tribalism and conflicted identity. This has crystalized in last few months, and we’ve seen typography play a substantial role.

Hillary Clinton ran for president with a slick logo befitting a Fortune 100 company. It had detractors, but I think we’ll remember it fondly as a symbol of what could have been — clarity, professionalism, and restraint.

Donald Trump countered with a garish baseball cap that looked like it had been designed in a Google Doc by the man himself. This proved to be an effective way of selling Trump’s unique brand.

I’m not interested in whether Clinton or Trump had good logos. I’m interested in the different values they reveal. Clinton’s typography embodies the spirit of modernism and enlightenment values. It was designed to appeal to smart, progressive people who like visual puns. They appreciate the serendipity of an arrow that completes a lettermark while also symbolizing progress. In other words, coastal elites who like “design.”
Trump’s typography speaks with a more primal, and seemingly earnest voice. “Make America Great Again” symbolizes “Make America Great Again.” It tells everyone what team you’re on, and what you believe in. Period. It speaks to a distrust of “clean” corporate aesthetics and snobs who think they’re better than Times New Roman on a baseball cap. Its mere existence is a political statement.

The two typographies are mutually intelligible at first glance, but a lot gets lost in translation. We live in a divided country, split on typographic lines as cleanly as the Serbs and the Croats.

***

I’d Like to Leave You With a Mission:

The next time you go shopping, download an app or send an email, take a second to look at the typography in front of you. Don’t evaluate it. Don’t critique it. Just observe it. What does it say about you? What does it say about the world you live in?

The stakes are higher than you think. The next generation of fascists will not love geometric sans serifs as much as Mussolini did. They won’t be threatening journalists in blackletter.

The world is changing around us. We constantly debate and analyze the conflicts between the militaries, governments and cultures that surround us. But there’s a visual war that’s happening right in front of our eyes, undetected. Its power — to divide us or bring us together — hinges on our choice to pay attention."
typography  arabic  history  2017  benhersh  ranaabourjeily  mussolini  politics  donaldtrump  hillaryclinton  design  graphicdesign  division  croatia  serbia  mirsaal  colonialism  decolonization  text  texting  technology  blackletter  adolfhitler 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Type With Pride
"On 31 March, 2017, Gilbert Baker the creator of the iconic Rainbow Flag sadly passed away. Mr. Baker was both an LGBTQ activist and artist, and was known for helping friends create banners for protests and marches. To honor the memory of Gilbert Baker, NewFest and NYC Pride partnered with Fontself to create a free font inspired by the design language of the iconic Rainbow Flag, the font was named 'Gilbert' after Mr. Baker. A preview version of the font can be downloaded for free in the download section."
design  activism  typography  fonts  free 
april 2017 by robertogreco
The font that escaped the Nazis and landed on the moon - YouTube
"Futura is familiar. But its journey from avant-garde German type to hipster favorite is unusual — and it includes Nazis and the moon."
futura  history  typography  via:lukeneff  nazigermany  design  graphicdesign  fonts  nasa  paulrenner 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Typotheque: Greta Typeface System
[See also:
https://www.typotheque.com/books/greta_sans_specimen
https://www.typotheque.com/blog/icon_font_in_10_weights
https://vimeo.com/37311413 ]

"Greta Sans explores a multidimensional continuum of possibilities, going beyond the relationship between weight and width, dissolving the boundaries between display and text typefaces.

Greta Sans explores a multidimensional continuum of possibilities, going beyond the relationship between weight and width, dissolving the boundaries between display and text typefaces. It is a powerful toolbox capable of dealing with the most complex typographical situations.

Greta Sans comes in 10 weights which, combined with its four widths (Compressed, Condensed, Normal, Expanded), create a tremendous range of possibilities. Read more about the process in the Designing Type Systems article.

Continuous Optical sizes
Greta Sans is designed as a continuous optical size system. While the basic text styles (Regular) are spaced and optimised more loosely for use at small sizes, the surrounding extremes (Hairline, Black) are designed to be used as Display types, and therefore spaced and kerned tightly. The resulting spectrum then runs continuously from Display to Text to Display use.

Choosing Weights
Most widths of Greta Sans include 10 weights which give you precise control over the colour of the text. Choose adjacent weight to achieve an even colour Ⓑ, for example you can set body text in 12pt Light and notes in 7pt Regular. Skip weights if you are choosing style for the emphasis Ⓐ. In general, it is sufficient to adjust the weight by one degree, use SemiBold (and not Medium) to emphasise text set in Regular."
typography  fonts  typefaces  2012  greta 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Google Noto Fonts
"When text is rendered by a computer, sometimes characters are displayed as “tofu”. They are little boxes to indicate your device doesn’t have a font to display the text.

Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel. Noto is Google’s answer to tofu. The name noto is to convey the idea that Google’s goal is to see “no more tofu”. Noto has multiple styles and weights, and is freely available to all. The comprehensive set of fonts and tools used in our development is available in our GitHub repositories."
fonts  noto  google  typography  free 
november 2016 by robertogreco
OSP-foundry» Blog Archive » Crickx
[my favorite display font, the story = delightful, hard to believe I never bookmarked this before]

"OSP-Crickx is a digital reinterpretation of a set of adhesive letters.

The Publi Fluor shop was situated in the northern part of Brussels, Schaerbeek, and founded by the father of Madame Christelle Crickx who was a trained letter painter. In his day he is—it seems—the first to propose fluorescent colors for shopwindow signs. It proves so difficult to paint letters on site with that kind of unstable coating that he develops a technique based on vinyl that he fluo-colors and cuts by hand in the workplace, then sticks at clients shops. Around 1975, his health degrades quickly and his daughter is forced to step into the business.

[image]

Starting to cut letters with the rounded and skilled cardboard templates drawn by her father, Madame Crickx slowly morphs the shapes by analysing how typographic niceties confuse her non-trained clients and leads to bad letters placement. She progressively removes the optical compensation of rounded tops and bottoms, straightens sides, and attaches accents for less floating parts. Those moves add a very specific orientation to this otherwise quite common bold italic sans serif display typeface.

During about fifty years these craft lettres have spread across the windows of shopping streets, more and more, and after the closure of the shop in the early noughties, they seem to still hold their own to the assaults of vector vinyl cutting technology.

[image]

In 1996, Pierre Huyghebaert and Vincent Fortemps have just started to work for the cultural center les Halles de Schaerbeek. For a series of events linked to India, an interest to mix local and distant vernacular takes shape. Those letters spotted on Schaerbeek’s shopwindows years before seem to fit the job ideally. After a few wanderings in the streets nearby, the small lettershop at the bottom of the dull Avenue Rogier, shining with its fluo shapes, is finally spotted as the origin of these typographic waves… And the inside of the shop proves to be even more amazing.

First contacts with Madame Crickx follow, the first poster is typeset letter by letter, then Pierre Huyghebaert pays other visits and it becomes obvious that these letters deserve more than a one-time usage, as Madame Crickx’s work deserves more than simply buying some letters more. For the following Halles assignments, after a quick-and-dirty Fontographer vectorisation, the Crickx font is heavily used. This font is called the Crickx Rush in reference of the time constrains that characterize this kind of operation. When Jan Middendorp, then Editor of the Belgian fontshop magazine Druk, orders an article on the letters, it is the occasion for Pierre to try to investigate and understand better the process described herebefore. (Astonishingly, shortly before the magazine stops, a poll seems to have elected the article as one of the most favoured by the readers…).

[image]

When Madame Crickx follows the retirement of her postman husband, the studio Speculoos (where Pierre works) buys the whole stock of letters and dingbats and vinyle for a symbolic prize, stores it in their basement of Saint-Gilles but uses it for some of their funkiest windowshop displays. He ask Madame Crickx to cut lower-cases for her letters as with other accented and diacritics to cover more or less the Latin-1 codepage, by trying to give her just enough sample to distinguish the characters but not much to influence the way to draw them. As answers, she cut a completely new and fantasy set of letters (called the blobby in the pack)… After a discussion, she propose new lower-case, more in sync with the upper cases classical ones, but not sharing exactly the same low contrast. After years of sleeping on hard-drive and archives, in 2010, Ludi Loiseau and Antoine Begon uplift the work to redraw the outlines to produce a more complete and less trashy version (Regular), explore the non-italic more rare one (Droite Rush and Droite) and extend it with lower cases (SharkCut). Finally, the Crickx’s cabinet regains a better place at the new Constant Variable place, Rue Gallait 80, less than a kilometer far from the original shop place…

More :
– Pdf of the article in Dutch (translated by Jan Middendorp and French (original).
– Text by Femke Snelting

We are very happy to receive news from what you do or works you spot that use these fonts!
On est très heureux de recevoir des infos à propos de travaux que vous réalisez ou que vous remarquez qui utilisent ces fontes!"
osp-foundry  crickx  flip-flop  digital  fonts  typography  free  opensource  pierrehuyghebaert  vincentfortemps  christellecrickx  brussels  signs  signage  handmade  ludiloiseau  antoinebegon  janmiddendorp 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Input: Fonts for Code — System Font Replacement
"This special Input Sans font package was originally designed to replace the Helvetica-based system font on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Like Input, it is available free of charge for private and unpublished use."
mac  fonts  osx  typography  yosemite  via:litherland 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Ceiling as Site « Project H
"Given a great new studio and shop space, but with a generic and bland suspended tile ceiling, we challenged the students to consider the ceiling as a site for intervention. Dividing into groups based on the words: Studio H Design Build Transform, students mapped out text designs on the ceiling tiles, painted them, and reinstalled the tiles, transforming the studio space.

Objective: To develop the capacity for seeing, to develop and practice collaboration, to foster ownership through action

Best for: High school students, small groups

Concepts and Skills: Drawing, painting, concept development, typographic layout

Materials: Materials for drawing (large paper, markers, pens, pencils); spray paint and drop cloth; tape

Tools: computer and projector

Time: Minimum of one class period, can be expanded up to 3 class periods

Assignment:

Begin this assignment with the Text Graphics lecture. Divide into small groups (5 students or depending on word choice). With your group, determine the layout of the word and orientation and design of the letters. Carefully remove the ceiling tiles as required.

Each student chooses a letter from one of the words, and projects the letter, tracing it onto a ceiling tile. Students may choose a letter in any font (except Comic Sans, because we hate it). The letter may be of any size, may hang off the tile, but may not be a mirror image or manipulated in any way. With tape, mask off the area of the tile not to be painted and paint in the area of the letter.

Reinstall the ceiling tiles."
classideas  studioh  christinajenkins  typography  graphicdesign  sfsh 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Fighting Illiteracy With Typography by Yara Khoury Nammour (Works That Work magazine)
"The intriguingly beautiful calligraphic principles of Arabic script have long defied attempts to facilitate mass production by print technologies developed for Roman letters. Unified Arabic is one such attempt, and significant obstacles stand between it and widespread adoption.

In 1932, a Lebanese architect walked into a classroom at the American University of Beirut to fill in for a professor who taught basic Arabic typing skills. In an effort to welcome the class, he started typing ahlan wa sahlan (‘welcome’), but, finding it difficult to locate the right keys for the right variation of the letter heh, he mistakenly typed an initial heh form instead of a medial one. He noticed, however, that what he had typed was still perfectly legible. He suddenly realised that by reducing the number of letter variations, the problem of finding keys on the typewriter could be easily solved without affecting the legibility of the text. He decided then and there to work on unifying all the variations of the Arabic letters. The architect’s name was Nasri Khattar, and he called his project Unified Arabic.

Students of Arabic start by learning its basic, unconnected letter shapes, only to be confronted with a myriad of wildly differing variations. The letter meem, aside from its four basic shapes, has more than 30 ligature forms.

Unified Arabic (UA) is basically a set of 30 letterforms, one for each letter of the Arabic alphabet, plus hamza and lam alef, eliminating the variant forms that make reading and writing Arabic difficult for beginners. The Arabic writing system is based on flowing calligraphic forms that connect letters within words, and the letters vary in shape according to their position in the word. Most of its 28 letters have four varying shapes, initial, medial, final and isolated, but, with the addition of ligature forms (used when writing specific letter combinations) and vocalisation marks, a complete set of glyphs can easily reach up to 150 shapes, depending on the complexity of the script. This made typing Arabic immensely complicated, as the large number of Arabic letter variants was too large to fit on the 44 available keys but Khattar realised that matters could be greatly simplified by distilling the hundreds of variant shapes into their most characteristic forms.

Using a reductive design process, Khattar worked to discover these characteristic shapes. Hundreds of sketches reveal a struggle with the most basic forms on both the functional and aesthetic levels, while other sketches try to find solutions—ranging from the simple to the bizarre—for the dots and the vocalisation marks. Furthermore, the letters are designed to be representative of the streamlined spirit of Western civilisation: quick, mechanised and labour saving, similar to Latin type forms and proportions, which Khattar acknowledged as one of his inspirations.

But would typewriter manufacturers be interested enough to invest in the project? Remington Rand was the first to be approached, but the project quickly proved unrewarding, although one prototype Unified Arabic machine was actually produced. IBM, however, was quick to recognise UA’s socio-political implications, and so the journey began.

‘I am going to stake my reputation as a literacy man: I believe that, using this alphabet, the illiterate will learn in one-tenth the time that it now takes; and that means that probably ten times as many people will learn to read.’ — Frank Laubach

Unified Arabic was not the first attempt to adapt Arabic to mechanical printing processes. As early as the 15th century, printers had attempted to simulate the cursive forms using movable type, but their efforts to stay true to the script’s calligraphic nature resulted in type cases of up to 500 characters per font (roughly eight times the size of the Latin character set), making manual and mechanical typesetting a laborious task at odds with the demands of unit-based mass production.

By the end of the 19th century, the detrimental social and economic effects of the impracticality of printed Arabic were clear: throughout the Levant region (modern-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt) illiteracy was widespread, and books were scarce and expensive, available exclusively to the ruling class and clergy. However, after 400 years of stagnation under Ottoman rule in Syria and Lebanon, and influenced by French and English colonial rule in Egypt, the people of the region were gradually waking up to the distant thunder of the Industrial Revolution coming from the West, setting the stage for renewed efforts to facilitate reproduction of the Arabic printed word.

Spurred by a growing rate of literacy, inadequate supply of books and favourable political circumstances, several reform trials in the Arab region began, instigating a movement of cultural change closely linked to the printed word. This movement, a form of a revived Arab Renaissance, called for a literary cultural awakening, new religious interpretations, modernised political ideas and language reform, opening the door to a new visual interpretation of the Arabic letterforms. By the beginning of the 20th century, the time was ripe for rapid modernisation. Unified Arabic, whose core idea was simplification by eliminating the unnecessary, seemed perfectly matched to its time."
arabic  typography  middleeast  literacy  language  education  yatakhourynammour  unifiedarabic  typewriters  print  printability  masrikhattar  linguistics 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Salish – Saja Typeworks
"What do you call a circle that is wider than it is tall, has a flat or concave bottom, and is generally top-heavy? Did you guess “Ovoid”? Never heard of it? Don't worry, I hadn't either! The ovoid is an essential part of an art style called “Formline” that is used by native tribes all along the Pacific Northwest coastline ranging from Seattle in the south up to Alaska. In the book, “Learning by Designing”, Jim Gilbert and Karin Clark theorize that the unique shape of the Ovoid originated in the way a salmon egg looks when resting on a flat, dry surface.

Though I’d seen Formline art before, it wasn’t until I read Bill Holm’s seminal book “Northwest Coast Indian Art” that I examined the design language closely. That investigation resulted in this typeface, Salish."
aaronbell  fonts  typography  salish  design 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The Ever-Evolving Typographic Life of the Arabic Language - The New York Times
"This past summer the producers of the award-winning television series ‘‘Homeland’’ had a problem. Principal photography for the fifth season was planned for Berlin but critical scenes were set in a Syrian refugee camp. The set designers contracted three Arab street artists — Heba Amin, Caram Kapp and Don Karl (a.k.a. Stone) — to provide a touch of Middle Eastern authenticity to the Western European backgrounds by way of some generic Arabic graffiti. In the frenzied final days leading up to the filming, it seems no one bothered to check the work. Only after the fact did the artists reveal they had bombed what some call ‘‘the most bigoted show on television.’’ Their tags were indeed political, just not in the way their employers had intended: They provided critiques of the program itself, such as ‘‘ ‘Homeland’ is a joke, and it didn’t make us laugh,’’ and, more bluntly, ‘‘ ‘Homeland’ is racist.’’ The artists asserted that their subversion was possible because in the eyes of the Western crew, ‘‘Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East.’’

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that in this moment of extreme anti-cosmopolitanism, where every form of other — from whatever perspective that other is rendered — is subject to suspicion, the mere presence of foreign writing is enough to evoke menace. Indecipherable texts are often metonymies for unknowable threats and unintelligible ideologies. Think of countless summer blockbusters where crates or tanks or missiles emblazoned with unreadable Cyrillic or Chinese characters portend certain doom. We tend to feel safe in our familiar alphabets. In turn, they link us to powerful traditions and communities. The origins of the little serifs on the corners of the letters you are reading here stretch back through the centuries, beyond revolutions, technological and intellectual, to the chiseled inscriptions on the monuments of ancient Greece and Rome. (Renaissance type designers, reviving Roman letterforms, prized the inscriptions on Trajan’s Column as the most perfect model.) Like all design objects, letters too are inherently ideological.

If the Roman letter recalls the chisel, Arabic is borne of the brush. Arabic calligraphy links back to ancient scripture and the origins of Islam. The Koran was revealed to Muhammad in Arabic, and the distinctively fluid form of writing is intertwined with the religion and culture of more than a billion people worldwide. That a writing system as lyrical and visually poetic as Arabic has come to signify something insidious — at least to Western eyes — is not just a little ironic. It speaks to the limitations of a technology-driven global community.

While the first printing presses arrived in the Middle East within decades of Gutenberg’s prototype — the quintessential disruptive technology — Ottoman bureaucrats allegedly outlawed any printing of Arabic text, by penalty of death. The mechanization of sacred writing bordered on blasphemy or at least cultural capitulation. By the time the draconian restrictions against printing were allayed in the 18th century — at least for secular texts such as mathematics and medicine — typographers faced a new challenge: the inherent complexity of Arabic. With 29 letters, each with two or four different contextual shapes, and thousands of possible unique letterform combinations, calligraphic Arabic simply wouldn’t fit the limited matrices of Western machinery that, in the intervening centuries, had developed to accommodate a limited system of Roman upper- and lowercase letters.

For centuries, traditional Arabic calligraphers had steadfastly refused to apply their skills to the creation of movable type, so the calligraphic never became fully typographic in the way, say, the handwriting of Medieval monks was transformed into standardized letters used on printing presses. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that several versions of a simplified Arabic alphabet were developed in collaboration with local calligraphers — underwritten by Western tech giants like IBM and Linotype angling to open up new markets — to work efficiently within the restrictions of Roman-based systems. Simplified Arabic was wildly successful, and is still used throughout the world, but in pruning and standardizing the alphabet, most of the elegant gestures of hand-brushed script were necessarily filtered out. Within the last decade, however, a cadre of highly skilled, mostly Middle Eastern designers, many of them autodidacts retrofitting Roman-based digital font authoring tools, are creating a fully typographic Arabic: one that merges the dizzying eclecticism of original writing systems with contemporary font production.

Prominent among them is Huda Abi Fares. Born in Beirut, she studied graphic design at RISD and Yale in the 1980s at the height of the Swiss modern influence. In 2004, she started the nonprofit Khatt Foundation in Amsterdam as a way of addressing the problem of cross-cultural type design and building a community of like-minded Arabic typographers. Today, the Khatt website showcases the work of more than 1,700 designers around the world. She has also started a project, ‘‘Typographic Matchmaking,’’ which pairs Dutch and Arabic designers together. Two alumni, the Slovakian Peter Bilak from the Netherlands, a world-renowned designer of Roman alphabets, and a Lebanese designer, Kristyan Sarkis, have since established TPTQ Arabic, a new type foundry focusing on the development of high-quality unified Arabic/Roman font families designed for global digital distribution. Think of bilingual contexts, such as the concourse of an international airport or signs on a highway, where an aesthetic coherence between writing systems is essential.

These nascent efforts point to a global modernization that doesn’t come at the cost of cultural specificity or aesthetic homogenization, but synthesizes calligraphic traditions to create new forms. Type designers spend their lives deep in the minutiae of reading and the hidden visual codes that permeate the fabric of our language. There is no form of design that is less noticed or more prevalent: Type touches everyone. Perhaps, just perhaps, these young designers can find a way to cross whatever chasm is dividing us. The task is increasingly urgent. We literally cannot read each other."
arabic  2016  fonts  typography  letterforms  language  michaelrock  politics  hudaabifares  khattfoundation  peterbilak  kristyansarkis  tptqarabic  moveabletype  cyrillic  chinese 
march 2016 by robertogreco
GT Eesti Typeface by Grilli Type – Story Page – Swiss Font with Russian and Estonian Roots
"This is the story of the typeface GT Eesti, from its origins in Soviet Russia in 1940 to its rebirth in Switzerland 2016."
typography  fonts  via:tealtan  cyrillic  eesti  gteesti  russia  sovietunion  webdesign  webdev 
january 2016 by robertogreco
My Language, My Didot - Elushika Weerakoon / UX Pro, Designer, Type Nerd
[via: “TIL Sinhalese script got its curves because angular shapes damaged the palm leaves it was written on. http://cargocollective.com/elushika/My-Language-My-Didot … (ht @elushika)”
https://twitter.com/xuhulk/status/686305231999754240 ]

"I was once told that creating a typeface is similar to opening a can of worms: it is something that I shouldn't try unless I am an expert typographer. Despite these heedings, I knew I wanted to create a typeface.

Though I am a type nerd through and through, I am not quite a typographer. Perceived limitations aside, I decided to create a typeface in my native language, Sinhalese. Growing up in Sri Lanka, I remember noticing that the newspapers and books only had one style of typeface. Sans-serif or serif fonts were not used. The type was plain and consistent - which is fine - but I wanted to bring a level of inspiration and sophistication to the way Sinhalese is written."



"As Buddhism spread across the country, so did the writings. By the eighth century C.E., the writings became more developed and began to take on a shape similar to the present language. It was heavily influenced by Pallava Grantha (used in South India), well as the materials available to write on during that period. When the languages were written on stone, the shape of the letters was very angular with sharp edges. When palm leaves replaced stone as a writing surface, the shape of the letters took on a more circular form, because angular shapes damaged the leaf.1 Writings on palm leaves became widely popular, and books were transcribed on them. Buddhist manuscripts were copied and distributed among temples.

The Dutch East India Company captured the maritime colony of Ceylon from the Portuguese in 1656. During that time, the Dutch clergymen wanted to copy religious documents using palm leaves in the traditional methods of the island. After they realized this system was not working, a printing press was established in 1736 in the Fort of Colombo. The Dutch printed plakkaten, which were religious, educational and non-educational books in Sinhala and Dutch, between 1737 and 1796, until the British took over.4 The Sinhalese characters were wood cut by Gabriel Schade. 1"
sinhalese  writing  languages  history  letters  lettering  elushikaweerakoon  didot  typography  design 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Hypertext for all | A Working Library
"These rococo days of the web have been sadly lost to capricious corporate owners, and newer platforms almost seem to have recoiled from them. (I could write a whole other letter about the neutered minimalism common on a lot of platforms today, but I digress.) But I think that history is telling: in that, given a canvas on which to play, many people opted to express themselves with color and image, often spending much more effort there then on the words, and often in surprising ways.

So, I’ll ask again, is hypertext just the text? Are images, styles, video, fonts, and the like always subsidiary?

There’s an old saw about the web that says that when the web democratized publishing, everyone should have become a writer, but instead most of us became consumers. (Nevermind that email and SMS have most people writing more in a day than their Victorian ancestors wrote in their entire lives.) There’s more than a hint of disparagement and elitism in that saying: everyone should have taken up writing, which is obviously superior to reading or watching or (gasp!) consuming. And I worry that that same sentiment creeps in when we argue the supremacy of text over image on the web. Writing is an important and valuable skill, but so are many other things.

Here’s another way to think about it: over the past year, video after video has emerged showing cops shooting unarmed black people. Those videos have been shared on the web, and while they haven’t yet led to anything resembling justice for the victims, they have contributed to profound discussions around race, militarized police forces, guns, and more. They are not sufficient to bring about desperately needed social change—and there’s an argument to be made about whether they are at risk of becoming mere spectacle—but I think it would be hard to deny that they are an important element in the movement, that they have had a major impact.

You can describe what happens in each of those videos in words, but those words will never equal watching them. The words “Tamir Rice was shot two seconds after the police car pulled up” are wrenching, but not nearly as much as watching him fall to the ground as the car continues to roll. The words “Tamir Rice was twelve years old” are not as heart stoppable as seeing a photo of him. I am saying this as someone who believes in words, who spends more time with words than with pictures, who is more often moved by words than by images. But sometimes the power of an image dwarfs that of words. Even I have to admit that.

I worry that the push to keep the web defined to words, while pragmatic and reasonable in many ways, may also be used to decide what stories get told, and what stories are heard. Many more people are using their tiny computers to record video and audio and take pictures than are writing; as much as I may love writing, and as much as I know that transmitting writing via cables and air is a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than transmitting video, I’m not sure I can really stand here and say that the writing is—or should be—primary.

One of the design principles of the web is to pave the cowpaths: it looks to me like there are some new paths opening up, ones we may not have expected, ones that aren’t going to make many of our jobs easier. Maybe instead of putting up signs saying there are better paths elsewhere, it’s time we see where these ones take us."

[Noted here: https://twitter.com/rogre/status/683849479385001984 ]
mandybrown  2016  web  hypertext  maciejceglowski  geocities  myspace  webrococo  waybackmachine  pinboard  javascript  webdesign  webdev  images  multiliteracies  video  flash  zefrank  design  writing  text  words  language  listening  elitism  typography  tools  onlinetoolkit  democacy  activism  maciejcegłowski 
january 2016 by robertogreco
--ºVvVvV∆VvVvVº--
[alternate URL: http://normalfutu.re/esthetics-of-variability/presentation/ ]

"N O R M A L T Y P E is designed to be a display font with no fixed shape. Version 1 came out as a piece of parametric typography, but we thought it was important to introduce motion in our application as soon possible. Hence why now, it comes with the same parameters as in the previous version, but also a ‘step sequencer’ so you can create animation loops to then export as animated GIFs! On top of that, we added a few new parameters such as ‘connections’ between characters, more punctuation and also a small window for text editing.

N O R M A L T Y P E a été conçue comme une typographie sans aspect fixe. La Version 1 était déjà changeante grâce à sa conception paramétrique , mais nous avons pensé qu’il était capital d’offrir des options d’animation. C’est pourquoi, en plus des paramètres déjà présents dans la dernière mouture, un ‘séquenceur’ a été ajouté afin de pouvoir créer des boucles animées, exportables en GIF! En plus de cela, nous avons ajouté de nouveaux paramètres comme notamment la ‘connexion’ de caractères, plus de ponctuation et même une fenêtre d’édition de texte.

Download N O R M A L T Y P E v1.5.4"
typography  fonts  animation  motion  normaltype  normals 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Print is dead, but print’s skills aren’t » Nieman Journalism Lab
"“Trimming copy, optimizing graphics for smaller space, curating the day’s best content, and understanding the best typography to tell a story are as valuable when laying out print as when putting together a Snapchat Discover edition or tweet.”




"Print is dead. Long live print.

For more than 20 years, a chorus of “digital first” has risen in newsrooms like a warning: Those who do not hear its calls will perish at the same pace as dwindling print newspaper sales. But with the rise of mobile and apps has come a print renaissance. Forget about the paper, it’s about the skills that go into print.

Print experts who are nimble enough to pivot to mobile will see that their skills are invaluable as we move toward publishing in smaller and smaller spaces, meant for an audience on the go — the same as with newspapers, the original mobile media.

Trimming copy, optimizing graphics for smaller space, curating the day’s best content, and understanding the best typography to tell a story are as valuable when laying out print as when putting together a Snapchat Discover edition or tweet.

The advent of digital left editors with an endless expanse of space to fill on the vast World Wide Web 24 hours a day. Although that space has facilitated award-winning journalism, it has also meant the cluttered digital palette of competing video, visuals, and words.

What happens in a post-Internet world where publishers deliver their news on platforms and messaging apps that offer text and design constraints as a selling point? How many things are we asking a reader to read?

As we move toward the answers for publishing on that tiny screen in our pockets, we must look to the wisdom of our inky colleagues."
2015  carlazanoni  snapchat  snapchatdiscover  print  publishing  media  socialmedia  messaging  typography  design  graphidesign  layout 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Jacob’s Ladder of coding — Medium
"Anecdotes and questions about climbing up and down the ladder of abstraction: Atari, ARM, demoscene, education, creative coding, community, seeking lightness, enlightenment & strange languages"



"With only an hour or two of computer time a week, our learning and progress was largely down to intensive trial & error, daily homework and learning to code and debug with only pencil and paper, whilst trying to be the machine yourself: Playing every step through in our heads (and on paper) over and over until we were confident, the code did as we’d expect, yet, often still failing because of wrong intuitions. Learning this analytical thinking is essential to successful debugging, even today, specifically in languages / environments where no GUI debugger is available. In the late 90s, John Maeda did similar exercises at MIT Media Lab, with students role-playing different parts of a CPU or a whole computer executing a simple process. Later at college, my own CS prof too would often quote Alan Perlis:
“To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.” — Alan Perlis

Initially we’d only be using the machine largely to just verify our ideas prepared at home (spending the majority of the time typing in/correcting numbers from paper). Through this monastic style of working, we also learned the importance of having the right tools and balance of skills within the group and were responsible to create them ourselves in order to achieve our vision. This important lesson stayed with me throughout (maybe even became) my career so far… Most projects I worked on, especially in the past 15 years, almost exclusively relied on custom-made tooling, which was as much part of the final outcome as the main deliverable to clients. Often times it even was the main deliverable. On the other hand, I’ve also had to learn the hard way that being a largely self-sufficient generalist often is undesired in the modern workplace, which frequently still encourages narrow expertise above all else…

After a few months of convincing my parents to invest all of their saved up and invaluable West-german money to purchase a piece of “Power Without the Price” (a much beloved Atari 800XL) a year before the Wall came down in Berlin, I finally gained daily access to a computer, but was still in a similar situation as before: No more hard west money left to buy a tape nor disk drive from the Intershop, I wasn’t able to save any work (apart from creating paper copies) and so the Atari was largely kept switched on until November 10, 1989, the day after the Berlin Wall was opened and I could buy an XC-12 tape recorder. I too had to choose whether to go the usual route of working with the built-in BASIC language or stick with what I’d learned/taught myself so far, Assembly… In hindsight, am glad I chose the latter, since it proved to be far more useful and transportable knowledge, even today!"



"Lesson learned: Language skills, natural and coded ones, are gateways, opening paths not just for more expression, but also to paths in life.

As is the case today, so it was back then: People tend to organize around specific technological interests, languages and platforms and then stick with them for a long time, for better or worse. Over the years I’ve been part of many such tool-based communities (chronologically: Asm, C, TurboPascal, Director, JS, Flash, Java, Processing, Clojure) and have somewhat turned into a nomad, not being able to ever find a true home in most of them. This might sound judgemental and negative, but really isn’t meant to and these travels through the land of languages and toolkits has given me much food for thought. Having slowly climbed up the ladder of abstraction and spent many years both with low & high level languages, has shown me how much each side of the spectrum can inform and learn from the other (and they really should do more so!). It’s an experience I can highly recommend to anyone attempting to better understand these machines some of us are working with for many hours a day and which impact so much of all our lives. So am extremely grateful to all the kind souls & learning encountered on the way!"



"In the vastly larger open source creative computing demographic of today, the by far biggest groups are tight-knit communities around individual frameworks and languages. There is much these platforms have achieved in terms of output, increasing overall code literacy and turning thousands of people from mere computer users into authors. This is a feat not be underestimated and a Good Thing™! Yet my issue with this siloed general state of affairs is that, apart from a few notable exceptions (especially the more recent arrivals), there’s unfortunately a) not much cross-fertilizing with fundamentally different and/or new ideas in computing going on and b) over time only incremental progress is happening, business as usual, rather than a will to continuously challenge core assumptions among these largest communities about how we talk to machines and how we can do so better. I find it truly sad that many of these popular frameworks rely only on the same old imperative programming language family, philosophy and process, which has been pre-dominant and largely unchanged for the past 30+ years, and their communities also happily avoid or actively reject alternative solutions, which might require fundamental changes to their tools, but which actually could be more suitable and/or powerful to their aims and reach. Some of these platforms have become and act as institutions in their own right and as such also tend to espouse an inward looking approach & philosophy to further cement their status (as owners or pillars?) in their field. This often includes a no-skills-neccessary, we-cater-all-problems promise to their new users, with each community re-inventing the same old wheels in their own image along the way. It’s Not-Invented-Here on a community level: A reliance on insular support ecosystems, libraries & tooling is typical, reducing overall code re-use (at least between communities sharing the same underlying language) and increasing fragmentation. More often than not these platforms equate simplicity with ease (go watch Rich Hickey taking this argument eloquently apart!). The popular prioritization of no pre-requisite knowledge, super shallow learning curves and quick results eventually becomes the main obstacle to later achieve systemic changes, not just in these tools themselves, but also for (creative) coding as discipline at large. Bloatware emerges. Please do forgive if that all sounds harsh, but I simply do believe we can do better!

Every time I talk with others about this topic, I can’t help but think about Snow Crash’s idea of “Language is a virus”. I sometimes do wonder what makes us modern humans, especially those working with computing technology, so fundamentalist and brand-loyal to these often flawed platforms we happen to use? Is it really that we believe there’s no better way? Are we really always only pressed for time? Are we mostly content with Good Enough? Are we just doing what everyone else seems to be doing? Is it status anxiety, a feeling we have to use X to make a living? Are we afraid of unlearning? Is it that learning tech/coding is (still) too hard, too much of an effort, which can only be justified a few times per lifetime? For people who have been in the game long enough and maybe made a name for themselves in their community, is it pride, sentimentality or fear of becoming a complete beginner again? Is it maybe a sign that the way we teach computing and focus on concrete tools too early in order to obtain quick, unrealistically complex results, rather than fundamental (“boring”) knowledge, which is somewhat flawed? Is it our addiction to largely focus on things we can document/celebrate every minor learning step as an achievement in public? This is no stab at educators — much of this systemic behavior is driven by the sheer explosion of (too often similar) choices, demands made by students and policy makers. But I do think we should ask ourselves these questions more often."

[author's tweet: https://twitter.com/toxi/status/676578816572067840 ]
coding  via:tealtan  2015  abstraction  demoscene  education  creativecoding  math  mathematics  howwelearn  typography  design  dennocoil  alanperlis  johnmaeda  criticalthinking  analyticalthinking  basic  programming  assembly  hexcode  georgedyson  computing  computers  atari  amiga  commodore  sinclair  identity  opensource  insularity  simplicity  ease  language  languages  community  communities  processing  flexibility  unschooling  deschooling  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  understanding  bottomup  topdown  karstenschmidt 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Nuqta - Created by You, for You.
"The world’s first user-generated mobile museum of arabic calligraphy and typography. Created by you, for you."
arabic  typography  calligraphy  application  ios  iphone  ipad 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Tufte CSS
"Tufte CSS provides tools to style web articles using the ideas demonstrated by Edward Tufte’s books and handouts. Tufte’s style is known for its simplicity, extensive use of sidenotes, tight integration of graphics with text, and carefully chosen typography.

The idea was cribbed in whole from Tufte-LATEX and R Markdown’s Tufte Handout format. This page was in fact originally an adaptation of the Tufte Handout Example PDF. I give hearty thanks to all the people who have contributed to those projects.

If you see anything that Tufte CSS could improve, we welcome your contribution in the form of an issue or pull request on the GitHub project: tufte-css. Please note the contribution guidelines."
via:ayjay  css  design  html  typography  edwardtufte  webdev  webdesign 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Alphabettes
"Alphabettes is a showcase for work, commentary, and research on lettering, typography, and type design."
typography  type  lettering  design  graphicdesign 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Font ID
"Need to identify a typeface?
Post an image. Get answers from humans.
That’s it. Font ID."
fonts  design  typography  via:litherland  identification 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Dutch Profiles: Karel Martens on Vimeo
"Evoking meaning, rather than boldly presenting truth: this is the essence of typographer Karel Martens' work. To achieve this he likes to experiment with numbers, abstract figures and vivid colors.

During the seventies Karel Martens worked for SUN, a socialist publisher led by a group of highly motivated individuals. He succeeded in giving all their publications a very distinctive appearance.

Martens has been teaching throughout most of his career. Like for instance here at Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem."
karelmartens  video  design  typography  graphic  graphicdesign  color  colors  numbers  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  learning 
july 2015 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: those who think less of Dyslexics while claiming to love them...
"OK, if you've watched you will say that he is a Dyslexic, so how can he think less of Dyslexics? Well, its confusing. He's a Dyslexic but really he's a missionary. He is not doing research, he is taking a personal experience and selling it to all as a "personal (and universal) savior." It is not just that he gets the science wrong - though he is right about "thinking in pictures" for many, but he is far off at thinking its about a visual processing issue... but that's not the problem. For many dyslexics reversals and upside-down letters is no issue at all. In fact, no matter how you might describe the underlying issues of reading issues, you will find a scatter plot across any graph.

It is like the colonial subject in 1910 seeing his or her personal issues solved through an interaction with a priest or a minister and assuming that interaction is what the world needs. And at the heart of this is desired ignorance, it is ignorance built of desire not to understand people, to actually believe that people do not count if they are not just like you.

Honestly, at a younger age, I almost made similar mistakes. I found myself arguing for Times New Roman for text, and for WYNN as way of reading. But fortunately, I noticed this absurdity on third person I talked to. He liked Helvetica and Kurzweil 3000, and he wasn't wrong of course, he was different from me. The next person I spoke to found no font useful, no keyboard useful. The next wanted Garamond at a certain size in a certain color combination, though color - within boundaries - had little effect on me. She wasn't wrong, she was different.

So I didn't develop a system for dyslexics, I worked out a way of thinking about choice, because I did not want to rate people according to their distance in similarity from me. I called this idea Toolbelt Theory and I still like it, because I think it respects the people around me.

So in a lifetime of being a Dyslexic, in 20 years of researching Dyslexia, I have learned that there is no best font for this, no best reading method, no best technology choice, no best color combination, no best anything... not even for me across a week or even some days, and I've heard that variability matters for others too. So we need to learn to choose from a menu of what works, to set defaults in browsers but to have other choices, to have a range of technologies.

I choose between 4 fonts, none are designed to look like bubbles being held to the ground because - well - that's not my issue. The computers the students have in our schools come with WordTalk and Balabolka and to in-browser Text-To-Speech system, and there are bookmark links to many others. My computers usually have at least five systems for TTS, my phone has three. But I never, ever, expect any other Dyslexic to choose the same combination.

I have learned that my experience is not "data" because I do not think those different to be outliers or "Children of a Lesser God." So please stop saying what Dyslexics need. And start talking about what choices humans need."
irasocol  2014  dyslexia  dyslexie  fonts  toolbelttheory  reading  difference  typography 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Dyslexia
"Recreating the feeling of reading with Dyslexia"
dyslexia  typography  fonts  reading  danielbritton 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Redesigns TheAtlantic.com - The Atlantic
"We've redesigned TheAtlantic.com. What do you think?

From the beginning of the project, we've had the fundamental question in mind of what this site is—which is to say, both what it's become (as regular readers know, a lot's changed here over time) and what we want it to be. Is it the website of a magazine? Is it a news site? Is it, as James Franco possibly once suggested, a blog?

The answers, we recognized, are all in one way or another yes. But we figured we'd try a thought experiment: What if we described TheAtlantic.com as a direct, dynamic, digital extension of our core identity in journalism—as a real-time magazine?

That seemed to us both authentic and aspirational: an idea that captured what The Atlantic has been doing in new media for years and a framework that could bring the right focus to rebuilding TheAtlantic.com now.

So here's what we did:

We created a site that makes a new priority of visual presentation, that offers a cleaner reading experience across digital devices, and that gives us the flexibility we need, both in our articles and on our homepage, to join the speed and urgency of the web with the noise-cutting and impact that have always been central to The Atlantic's ambitions.

The new homepage is composed of full-width modules each representing either one big story or a constellation of connected stories. We can move these modules up or down the page, allowing us, among other freedoms, alternately to lead with the urgency of our news coverage or the impact of a big feature, according to the needs of the moment.

It also allows us to give full play to the same urgency and impact beyond the top of the page. As you return to the site, you'll find different homepage modules in different orders with different kinds of stories in different combinations. What you won't find, we hope, is the impression of diminishing importance as you scroll down.

Neither should you find yourself disoriented. So rather than placing stories arbitrarily adjacent to one another, we're using each of these modules to display a single story or a group of stories that are in some way related. This approach is inspired by the emergent logics of scrolling and swiping in mobile media: The vertical axis of the homepage represents a logic of exploration (scrolling); the horizontal axis, a logic of connection (swiping). A good magazine should, after all, help us keep our bearings.

Our new article pages are likewise more visually engaging and flexible. We're using larger images, and better image integration, with a fuller range of options for bigger feature stories, as well as more controlled templates for quicker hits, which we'll sometimes need as The Atlantic moves fast in trying to make sense of a rapidly changing world.

We've thought about the logics of exploration and connection on the article pages too: Next to our stories (horizontally), you'll find links to related articles; below the stories (vertically), you'll find links to normally unrelated articles, or for that matter photo essays or videos, currently popular on the site.

Maybe most conspicuously, across TheAtlantic.com, we've replaced our old nameplate and navigation bar with a simple new flag bearing our logo, options to subscribe or search the site, and an expandable menu. This treatment is influenced by the way the logo is set on our monthly covers; the minimalistic integration of the subscription, search, and navigation functions is based both on extensive user testing and our guiding dedication to keeping signals high, and noise low, around our brand and our work.

Oh, and the typefaces are new. Hawk-eyed readers will recognize the display and text fonts, both Lyon, as the same ones we use in print."
theatlantic  digital  2015  publications  magazines  news  jounalism  webdev  design  presentation  flexibility  typography  fonts  urgency  impact  reading  howweread  blogs  jjgould  webdesign 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Instagram’s Endangered Ephemera - The New Yorker
"The best accounts, like @graphilately, present a basic, steady stream of beautiful things, often against a neutral background. “I want it to be solely about the stamps—raising the profile of stamps and beauty in simple, modernist values,” Blair Thomson, the account’s creator, told me. “They’re about simple, graphic ideas conveyed through a highly visible yet tiny medium.” The husband-and-wife pair behind @purveyors_of_packaging present vintage boxes, bottles, and cans in the same vitrine-like format, making the reds, yellows, and blues really glow.

For some, Instagram has been an easy way to deal with personal collections. If you are the proud owner of thousands of vintage Valentines, embroidered tourist patches, or personalized book plates, digitizing them can feel overwhelming. The dailyness of Instagram—one photo, one day at a time—breaks the task down, and the endorphin boost of likes and followers keeps you rolling. A number of the collectors I spoke to originally included their ephemera in their personal feed, but spun the material off into a dedicated channel after a positive response. This also gave them a chance to polish their presentation. Bill Rose (@junktype) says, “Most of the objects in my feed are no bigger than a couple of inches wide. They are often so small that my phone has trouble focussing given the close range of my subject.” Charles Clarke (@matchbookdiaries) shoots his matchbooks against a white background. “I use the white background because it looks clean, and because you can scroll my profile page and it doesn’t look like there are any dividers between the photos. It looks like a big poster.”

These accounts also provide inspiration for working professionals and act as an early warning system for design revivals. Several of the ephemera accounts that I’ve spotted have turned out to be run by designers. Ara Devejian (@LetterGetter), a creative director, started his when he moved to Los Angeles’s superlatively-signed Theatre District. “Every day, I try to take a new route to work or wherever, especially going way out my way to discover new places on my bike or in the car, and in turn LetterGetter is the happy byproduct of that curiosity.” At first Devejian wanted to document typographic nightmares—the illegible, the mishandled—but, as with most Instagram accounts, things swung over to the positive. The platform’s users have such a strong preference for things that are pretty (however you define it) that it’s difficult to swim against the tide of posting “bests” rather than “worsts.” “@LetterGetter helps inform some of the typographic projects I work on,” Devejian said, “like the title card I designed for Gymkhana 7. The style of the photos is intentionally flat or sparse in order to see the letterforms as they were conceived.”"



"Business cards are probably next on the endangered list. In ten years, that drawer full of business cards could be Instagram gold. The Art Nouveau designer Hector Guimard’s business card, for example, part of the Cooper Hewitt collection, is beautifully out of date. But putting something on Instagram isn’t always the end result. These pieces can have different meaning in real life. “People have yelled at me—thinking I’m about to steal or break something—and then afterwards, realizing that I’m only taking pictures and admiring their car or whatever, tell me their life story,” Devejian says. “I’ve become painfully accustomed to just how fleeting signage is. It’s made me wonder whether I should become some sort of advocate for preservation, in attempt to postpone their inevitable disappearance.”"
instagram  culture  alexandralange  2015  design  businesscards  graphicdesign  graphics  photography  collections  inspiration  stamps  postagestamps  matchbooks  labels  clothinglabels  ephemera  everyday  objects  internet  socialmedia  packaging  typography  lettering  logos 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Comic Papyrus Font - FINALLY! ~ Sans Serif Fonts on Creative Market
"Move over Brangelina. And Bennifer. And Kimye, TomKat*, and Desilu. And sporks. And ligers. EVERYONE MOVE OVER! We're making room for the world's first genetically engineered superfont.

Presenting Comic Papyrus. You heard right — COMIC FREAKIN' PAPYRUS! Your two most favoritest fonts ever have FINALLY been smooshed together typographically, just as Darwin intended. Cross-bred. Cross-awesomified.

So stop wasting hours switching back and forth between your two old favorites, and just use your new favorite instead. Comic Papyrus combines the timeless rustic qualities from centuries past with the hilarious fun-loving wit of today's funny pages. It'll make you laugh (like a joke) and cry (like a mummy). Simultaneously!

How much would you be willing to pay for such a catharsis? Give me five bucks and I'll give you the last font you'll ever need."
humor  fonts  comicsans  papyrus  typography 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Butterick’s Practical Typography
"1. The ty­po­graphic qual­ity of your doc­u­ment is de­ter­mined largely by how the body text looks. Why? Be­cause there’s more body text than any­thing else. So start every project by mak­ing the body text look good, then worry about the rest.

In turn, the ap­pear­ance of the body text is de­ter­mined pri­mar­ily by these four ty­po­graphic choices:

2. point size is the size of the let­ters. In print, the most com­fort­able range for body text is 10–12 point. On the web, the range is 15–25 pix­els. Not every font ap­pears equally large at a given point size, so be pre­pared to ad­just as necessary.

3. line spac­ing is the ver­ti­cal dis­tance be­tween lines. It should be 120–145% of the point size. In word proces­sors, use the “Ex­act” line-spac­ing op­tion to achieve this. The de­fault sin­gle-line op­tion is too tight; the 1½-line op­tion is too loose. In CSS, use line-height.

4. line length is the hor­i­zon­tal width of the text block. Line length should be an av­er­age of 45–90 char­ac­ters per line (use your word-count func­tion) or 2–3 low­er­case al­pha­bets, like so:

abcde­fghijklmnopqrstu­vwxyz­abcde­fghijklmnopqrstu­vwxyz­abcd

In a printed doc­u­ment, this usu­ally means page mar­gins larger than the tra­di­tional one inch. On a web page, it usu­ally means not al­low­ing the text to flow to the edges of the browser window.

5. And fi­nally, font choice. The fastest, eas­i­est, and most vis­i­ble im­prove­ment you can make to your ty­pog­ra­phy is to ig­nore the fonts that came free with your com­puter (known as sys­tem fonts) and buy a pro­fes­sional font (like my fonts eq­uity and con­course, or oth­ers found in font rec­om­men­da­tions). A pro­fes­sional font gives you the ben­e­fit of a pro­fes­sional de­signer’s skills with­out hav­ing to hire one.

If that’s im­pos­si­ble, you can still make good ty­pog­ra­phy with sys­tem fonts. But choose wisely. And never choose times new ro­man or Ar­ial, as those fonts are fa­vored only by the ap­a­thetic and sloppy. Not by ty­pog­ra­phers. Not by you."

[Summary of key rules: http://practicaltypography.com/summary-of-key-rules.html
Foreword (by Erik Spiekermann): http://practicaltypography.com/foreword.html ]
typography  design  graphicdesign  howto  tutorials  fonts  matthewbut­t­er­ick 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Diacriticism
"This is a tool for abusing combining diacritical marks made by Niel McLaren. Source code."

[via: http://roomthily.tumblr.com/post/112666276437/diacriticism

"d̸̡͎̫͚ͬ̅ͭ̚͟í̟̲͒ͩ̓̒́͡͠a̷̴̙̓̾͂̑̂̽͘c̙͚͖̰͂͒̏͒̅̿r̛͍̳͍̪̖ͦ̽̈́̕i͏͓͙̯̰̭̂͑́͞ṭ̡̣̙͋́̓͑ͫ͘i̛͕̬ͤͣ̈́̆ͮ̐͘c͈̯̯͇̙̣ͣ̍́̅i̡̡̭̻͖̙͍ͦ͐̅s̭͚̲̰̄̆ͥ̆͌͋m̘̜̑͊̂͒́̾̏ͨ - abusing diacritics in a mildly lovecraftian way. lovecraftian in the way it is expressed on stackoverflow discussions of parsing html with regex and publicly shaming repos that don’t handle unicode terribly well."]
typography  unicode  diacritics  nielmclaren  html  regex 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Google Web Fonts Typographic Project
"There are over 650 Google Fonts available for free. But, pairing typefaces isn’t easy and many of those fonts don’t work for typical websites. Part of the 25x52 initiative, this collaborative, ongoing project offers inspiration for using Google’s font library.

All passages are from the Project Gutenberg transcript of Æsop’s Fables. All photographic images are from Unsplash.com."
design  fonts  typography  webdesign  googlefonts  google  webdev 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Typotheque: Neutral Typeface
"Aware that there is no such thing as total neutrality, this typeface explores how the absence of stylistic associations can help the reader to engage with the content of a text.

Neutral has been used for numerous projects from books, magazines to websites, and the feedback from these applications helped spur this release. Today, almost a decade after it was originally designed, we are proud to launch an upgraded version of Neutral — completely redrawn, freshly screen optimised, more neutral than ever."

[video: https://vimeo.com/86399448 ]
typography  design  graphicdesign  fonts  neutrality  2001  legiiblity  kaibernau 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Works That Work — Magazine of Unexpected Creativity
"Works That Work Works That Work is an international magazine for the curious mind, intending to surprise its readers with a rich mix of diverse subjects connected by the theme of unexpected creativity that improved our lives. We publish original, in-depth essays and stories on subjects connected with design, presenting projects that challenge and change the way you perceive them. Perhaps most importantly, we hope to publish articles that make great dinner stories to tell your friends."



[Distribution: https://worksthatwork.com/distribution/
and https://vimeo.com/59732766

"Works That Work wants to examine often ignored areas of design. In the spirit of this aim, we also intend to bypass traditional distribution networks which typically take the largest part of the cover price, as well as control where the publication will be sold and at what price. Instead we would like to deepen our relationships with our readers, and make them partners in this enterprise. We call this social distribution. Read also about our Readers’ club."]
design  inspiration  magazines  typography  everyday  via:anne  creativity  art  worksthatwork 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Frere-Jones Type
"Letters are scattered all over the living room floor. Not designs of my own, but toys for our son. Letters for sticking on refrigerator doors, fitting into puzzles, stamping in finger-paint, or floating in a bathtub. There’s even a bag of gummy letters in the kitchen.

They’re all made by different hands, and in varying materials. As far as I can tell, they don’t aspire to any explicit style, but only to present the alphabet with minimum distraction. But there’s more noise and confusion here than their makers may realize.

[image]
Q, I think

Most of these letters have rounded corners and terminals, which seems to be the prevalent style for toddlers. I think I understand the appeal: it’s fun and bouncy like a balloon, and you probably can’t poke yourself in the eye with it. Some letter sets got their intersections rounded as well, leaving them with a web-footed appearance.

[image]
Pretty sure this is a W

Unfortunately, the rounding-off and curving-in can weaken critical features of letterforms. So it’s an especially unfortunate thing to put in front of a child trying to learn the alphabet and gain confidence in knowing its shapes. It’s like making someone wear earplugs while they try to learn an instrument.

[image]
Undecided about being a B

We learn letterforms by their tendencies, like the importance of asymmetry in the capital ‘B’. As that left-to-right contrast is turned down for the sake of style (or ease of manufacture) the letter becomes less and less of a ‘B’ and more of an abstract lump.

[image]
K, more or less

The shape of a ‘K’ is all about diagonals and sharp intersections. Here, the manufacturer dispensed with the tight corners because the router apparently couldn’t handle it, and effectively skipped a letter of the alphabet.

[image]
I definitely know what that one is

As a type designer, I could hem and haw about the design of this ‘K’. The top leg looks a bit too light. The lower leg seems to taper towards its end rather than its join. Degrees of curvature at the terminals seem inconsistent. As a father, I’m just grateful that this actually looks (and acts) like a letter of the alphabet rather than a Rorschach test."
children  typography  alphabet  letters  2014  tobiasfrere-jones 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Fontspots: Eurostile | Typeset In The Future
"In addition to the film-specific typographic deconstructions on this site, I'm keeping track of all the times I spot classic sci-fi fonts in movies. What better way to start than with perennial sci-fi favorite, Eurostile?

Eurostile, and in particular its Bold Extended variant, has appeared in countless sci-fi settings over the years. It's got to the point where the very presence of Eurostile Bold Extended in an opening title card says FUTURE far more effectively than an expensive effects shot:

[image]

Indeed, Eurostile is such a quick way to establish a timeframe that whenever I see it in real life – which happens quite a lot in my adopted home of California – I assume I’ve been transported to some futuristic dystopia, where a local care center feels more like a sinister government facility for scientific experimentation:

[image]

Eurostile is most commonly seen in its Bold Extended form, but Regular, Bold, and Regular Extended sometimes crop up as well. I've captured (and tried to clarify) as many as possible below."
typography  film  scifi  sciencefiction  2014  via:senongo  eurostile  fonts  future  dystopia 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Lined & Unlined: New Black Face: Neuland and Lithos as Stereotypography
"The “Neuland Question” to which Jonathan Hoefler refers involves not just Neuland, a “display” typeface hand-carved in 1923 by Rudolf Koch (Plate 1), but also Lithos, another “display” typeface digitally created in 1989 by Carol Twombly (Plate 2). The Question can be put simply: How did these two typefaces come to signify Africans and African-Americans, regardless of how a designer uses them, and regardless of the purpose for which their creators originally intended them? The investigation of this question has four parts: first, an examination of the environments in which Koch and Twombly created the original typefaces; second, an examination of the graphic culture that surrounded African-Americans prior to the creation of Neuland through a close viewing of tobacco ephemera; third, an examination of the Art Deco (French Modern) style, the graphic culture most prevalent in the United States at the time of Neuland’s release; and finally, an examination of the ways designers use Neuland and Lithos today."
via:senongo  2004  blackface  typography  rudolfkoch  caroltwombly  jonathanhoefler  design  artdeco  frenchmodern  neuland  lithos  race  history  graphicdesign  fonts  typefaces 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Yusef Alahmad Art & Design
"Graphic designer from Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar), based in San Francisco, California.
Freelancer + Graphic Design MFA Candidate (Academy of Art University)."
graphicdesign  graphics  design  arabic  typography  yusefalahmad  art  sanfrancisco  saudiarabia 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Nuqta - Created by You, for You.
[See also: http://brownbook.me/virtual-calligraphy/

"A new mobile app is the world's first virtual library for Arabic typography and calligraphy
The world's first user-generated mobile museum of Arabic typography and calligraphy was launched earlier this year. Known as NUQTA, which loosely translates to 'dot', the mobile application invites users to instantly post images of Arabic from anywhere in the world, whether it be graffiti on the streets or a work of art in a museum."]
applications  ios  arabic  nuqta  iphone  typography 
october 2014 by robertogreco
seblester on Instagram
"Letterform art & design. Typefaces & logos, limited edition prints & original works."

[via: https://twitter.com/vuokko/status/519187564339941376 ]
letterforms  lettering  instagram  typography  logos  calligraphy  seblester  handlettering 
october 2014 by robertogreco
A Refutation of The Elements of Typographic Style — re:form — Medium
"& also something of a backdoor defense of creative freedom"

"It’s the typography reference book you’ve heard of. The one everyone recommends to everyone else. If you’re a student it’s probably at the top of your list of resources; if you’re a teacher, you probably put it there. If you’re not a designer but have ever asked the question “What font should I use?” the answer you’ll most likely get is “Look into Bringhurst.”



Experience teaches us that neither texts nor typefaces can be reduced to a single meaning because the context in which a typeface is used is always intruding on the effects that a typeface will produce. Designers do, of course, strive to find the typeface that feels right for a given text or project. But the forces pressing on that sense of feel flow only partly from the personality of the typeface. In addition to historical echoes, typefaces have quite immediate contemporary associations; projects exist in specific contexts (from the locality of a Pilates studio to the globality of the internet); non-designers such as authors, editors, and clients exert powerful influence — this is the reality of designing with type. The decision of what font to use is far more complex a process than ETS ever portrays or investigates, despite asserting that this very practice is the “beginning and end” of typography.

No typeface is an ever-fixed mark. This turns out to be incredibly freeing, as it opens up greater creative space for designers. In fact, working with type is a process, perhaps more than anything, of unlearning the historical bondage of a given typeface, of chipping off the ossified shell of past uses to find ways to make a type’s qualities resonant with and relevant to the current age. Otherwise typography is just a matter of historical plug-and-play. Where Bringhurst uses “discern,” the better word would actually be “control” to describe the designer’s art. It’s more common to speak of a designer’s control over type and the page than his or her obedience to historically determined features, mannerisms, or aesthetics. Designers are free to work with or against a type’s qualities at will, thus unfixing those very features that ETS would have us believe are historically set.



The position I’m framing is not old versus new — please don’t mistake my argument. It’s not traditional versus modern, Bembo versus Futura. Rather, at issue here is restriction versus potential: protect a specific set of choices versus open the field to the exploration of everything. My point is that it’s counterproductive, countercreative, to morally charge the art of working with type. We wouldn’t moralize cadmium red or C sharp major when teaching brush technique or the scales. To do so in typography stunts the full breadth of expression that designers need to draw upon. There is no method, T. S. Eliot said (of becoming a critic), but to be very intelligent. Take it from a Modernist. Take it from a poet. Use all the fonts. Use all the tools. Denying them is counterproductive to the exploration of new idioms and new aesthetics in the service of new eras and new histories."
typography  graphicdesign  2014  unlearning  sampotts  robertbringhurst  elementsoftypographicstyle 
september 2014 by robertogreco
MINUIT | Brian LaRossa
"MINUIT is an art-historical display face designed by Type-Brut Foundry in response to Marcel Broodthaers’ misprinted edition of Minuit, c. 1960. It features full sets of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, punctuation, and symbols. The MINUIT package contains an Opentype file, a specimen sheet, and a five seat copyleft license—it may be downloaded below. An enterprise license may be purchased at the current market value of Broodthaers’ Minuit."
fonts  typography  free  brianlarossa 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Nocturno | Typeface Review | Typographica
"With Nocturno, Djurek continues the questioning of classification and tradition undertaken with earlier designs like Brioni. The influences of pen and brush shine through here, and Nocturno’s personality is largely Oldstyle. But it also shuttles fluently between early inscriptional forms and subtle modern gestures.

True to its name, Nocturno tends toward darkness. Color accumulates at the mid- and baselines via broad shoulders and substantial sculpted serifs. This massing draws readers’ eyes along and lends Nocturno an overriding sense of horizontality and momentum, an effect reinforced by compact extenders. Quasi-elliptical tittles placed slightly off-center also do their part to pull text rightward. But the horizontality never feels overbearing; relief comes in the form of steeply sloped head serifs, echoed by jaunty outstrokes at the baseline.

In any event, reading is never simply about moving forward. Reading, if one thinks of it as a continual negotiation between recognizing discrete shapes and clustering those shapes into familiar word patterns, is equally about pausing — as much a “vertical” activity, it seems, as a “horizontal” one. Djurek emphasizes the autonomy of individual characters in part through attenuated arches and through what he calls “recurvate inside contours”. The only potential drawback of these gorgeous interior curves is that, combined with the Clydesdale feet of ‘h’, ‘m’, and ‘n’ in the text version, they make for cramped quarters on the insides of forms; the counters of these letters risk appearing closed when rend­ered at extremely small sizes in less than optimal conditions. Even the best typefaces require careful use.

Nocturno is not a lighthearted face; it is a rolling, sober, and sensual one. But for all their heavy roundness, the text styles feel crisp and precise, on paper as on screens, down to fairly small sizes. Medium contrast, generous x-height, slightly oblique stress, subtle curves combin­ed with modest angularity, moderately open apertures — all work together to encourage immersive reading.

The incisive display cuts are more than simply refined versions of their sturdy text counterparts. Nocturno Display is its own thing. It sheds massive, almost clunky concave slabs for pointy shards; the graceful tapering of the stems almost pushes the display version into flare serif territory. And, particularly in the display, the face’s overall heaviness is leavened by finely attenuated joining strokes, providing the sort of contrast often associated with modern types (and, of course, scripts). One can imagine the brighter display cuts working remarkably well for headlines in just about any context. In fact, at the very moment I was writing this, Stephen Coles licensed the webfonts to use for Typographica heds.

Perhaps it is no longer possible to call Djurek a new or up-and-coming designer, but he consistently innovates. That he is scrappy and independent seems undeniable. Shortly after founding Typonine, Djurek told John Boardley that his ambition was to create “a nice foundry (nothing big), where I will publish some of my fonts”. As the eight-year-old company enters maturity with no signs of slowing down, Djurek appears to have achieved his goal."
carenlitherland  typography  nocturno  fonts  typefaces  2014  nikoladjurek  brioni  stephencoles 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Pollen: the book is a program
"Pollen is a publishing system that helps authors create beautiful and functional web-based books. Pollen includes tools for writing, designing, programming, testing, and publishing.

I used Pollen to create my book Butterick’s Practical Typography. Sure, go take a look. Is it better than the last digital book you encountered? Yes it is. Would you like your book to look like that? If so, keep reading.

At the core of Pollen is an argument:

• First, that digital books should be the best books we’ve ever had. So far, they’re not even close.

• Second, that because digital books are software, an author shouldn’t think of a book as merely data. The book is a program.

• Third, that the way we make digital books better than their predecessors is by exploiting this programmability.

That’s what Pollen is for.

Not that you need to be a programmer to use Pollen. On the contrary, the Pollen language is markup-based, so you can write & edit text naturally. But when you want to automate repetitive tasks, add cross-references, or pull in data from other sources, you can access a full programming language from within the text.

That language is Racket. I chose Racket because while the idea for Pollen had been with me for several years, it simply wasn’t possible to build it with other languages. So if it’s unfamiliar to you, don’t panic. It was unfamiliar to me. Once you see what you can do with Pollen & Racket, you may be persuaded. I was.

Or, if you can find a better digital-publishing tool, use that. But I’m never going back to the way I used to work."

[via: http://jslr.tumblr.com/post/95991552051/at-the-core-of-pollen-is-an-argument-first ]
ebooks  epublishing  html  typography  matthewbutterick  pollen  digital  software 
august 2014 by robertogreco
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