Typografriday: Lost World Fairs

The observant among you may have noticed that the type here at the ‘Agree is a little different. We’re dipping our toe in elegant typography using typekit, and we’re pleased as punch about it. If you don’t know much about using good type on the web yet, but want your site to look good (like ours does we hope, or like my brother’s blog which inspired us to take the plunge, or like thedieline) we definitely recommend it.

If you want to figure out how to make your site look unbelievably good, you should definitely head over to Jason Santa Maria’s site. He not only puts together some of the best examples of good web type, but he’s one of the clearest voices on explaining the new tools and finally, not coincidentally, one of the primary developers of those tools, including Typekit and the WOFF format.

His latest blog entry is a detailed behind-the-scenes of the making of the most fantastic typographic things on the web yet. Lost World’s Fairs. This was made to promote IE9′s support of WOFF (just when most of us were about seven years into considering IE dead). Santa Maria’s Moon one shows live type on a slant, shifted baselines and slant within a text box, overlapping text, text behind alpha masked objects and other things you thought the web couldn’t do. Naz Hamid‘s El Dorado has lovely overlapping transparent type, shifted letter by letter. (Yeah that’s all live css type… Crazy right?) And Frank T Chimero‘s Atlantis one is particularly awesome, combining excellent use of extended slab Hellenic and Simonson’s Avenir-contender Proxima Nova plus extended scrolling-as-narrative movement a la the best webcomic I can remember, When I am King.

Anyway don’t delay: go look at the Lost World’s Fairs right now. And if you’re curious for more, all of the contributors wrote about the experience: Jason, Frank, Naz, Trent, and Dave

Typografriday: Calligraffiti

We’ve mentioned Niels “Shoe” Meulman before, but in case you hadn’t looked closer at his Calligraffiti pieces, I wanted to show a few more. I’m not generally even a big fan of graffiti (and nazis and ed hardy have both seriously threatened my love for fraktur) but his hybrid of a loose blackletter and the drips and attitude of grafitti is inspired and beautiful.

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Oh and he makes fancy big silk Unruly scarves too, with lovely color combinations and hidden subversive texts (e.g. “Society Fools,” shown on the model). I’m tempted to buy one but maybe just because it comes with a signed copy of his book.

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Although he is fierce at defending his turf, Shoe isn’t the only writer at this intersection. I’ve recently discovered Luca Barcellona, whose lettering work is fantastic, and all the better when he mixes it up with spraypaint on a wall. Here’s a flickr set full of crossover work with his “Rebel Ink” crew.

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Oh and, happy typografriday!

TypograFriday: 8 Faces

Happy TypograFriday! It’s been a few weeks, type fans, but the type world went and moved on without us. In case you missed its debut a month back, there’s a new typophile magazine in the world. 8 Faces is a project of British designer Elliot Jay Stocks, and it’s a very approachable magazine for people obsessed with letterforms. The 1000 copy print run sold out in two hours, but there is a PDF edition available too.

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The magazine is primarily long interview/profile pieces with luminaries in different subsections of the type world such as veteran designer Erik Spiekermann, superhot letterer Jessica Hische, webtype expert Jason Santa Maria, and quality freefont pioneer Jos Buivenga. Earls asks good questions, and they give interesting responses.

For as timeless (or even classical) an art form as type design is, there is a recurring discussion of the very interesting times we are in, in terms of webtype formats, technologies, pricing models and so on. One needn’t be a total typophile to appreciate it; it’s probably the clearest resource I have seen for where the present and future of webtype.

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And the title of the magazine comes from a spread that ends each interview, where the designer answers the eternal question: if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life, which would you choose? I love hearing people’s answers to these sorts of questions (and if you do too may I suggest Types Best Remembered/Forgotten? And because we aren’t holding our breath for Earls to profile us, we’ve preemptively answered the question for ourselves.

  • Kirsten: I use the same five almost all the time… Futura, Avenir, Helvetica, Century Gothic, Cursive Handwriting
  • Jessica: Some obvious. Some cheesy. Some very similar to others. Some I really like, but haven’t yet had the pleasure of using. Futura (obviously), Avenir, Clarendon, Century Schoolbook, Cooper Black (that’s right, I said it), Mrs. Eaves, Rockwell, Neutra
  • Owen: Sentinel (I was going to say Clarendon, but the folks in 8 Faces #1 convinced me that Sentinel supercedes it now), Neutraface, Knockout, Omnes Pro, Futura, Freight (love the versatility of the whole family but even if it was just Freight Micro it might make it onto the list anyway), Bodoni, AGaramond
  • Samantha: Estilo Text, Vendetta, Neutraface, Clarendon/Sentinel, Futura, Garamond, Omnes Pro, GarageGothic (good thing we’re married)

There will be a second issue in a longer print run before Christmas, themed “You.”

Nathan Godding-Flickr Mondays!

Happy Monday!

Nathan Godding has a pretty nice collection of old stamps!
Check out more of his stamp collections here.

brandi strickland-flickr mondays!

Happy Monday! Brandi Strickland, a multi-media artist, and also one of the two people behind “the paper whistle” site has some really lovely collage pieces that I’m really enjoying. Hope you do too!

Check out Brandi’s flickr site here.
Personal site here.
Company site here.

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TypograFriday: Sagmeister

We went to see Stefan Sagmeister talk at the Levi’s Workshop last week — sort of amazing, really, that one of the most famous designers in the world spoke to an audience of maybe 200, for free. For those who are unfamiliar with our profession’s enfant terrible, he’s a smart and humorous designer with a refreshingly honest standpoint.

What you may not know is that after seven years of running his studio, he took a full year off for inspiration and exploration, and intends to do this every seven years. He justifies this decision admirably well, and as he is prone to saying, Having guts always works out for me.

He showed slides of a few of the projects from his second one, from which he recently returned, from Bali. His first, where he stayed in New York, he considers mostly a failure. And yet, a page from a diary from that first year headed Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far has provided him the content for dozens of high-profile projects for a variety of clients over the last several years (plus a very-cleverly designed book and community-participatory website).

Some of the entries are thought-provoking like koans, like Jenny Holzer truisms. Others are shockingly banal, at least when you’re expecting Holzer-level thinking. But the typographic settings of them (often made with collaborators such as Marian Bantjes) are always interesting.

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Oh in case you’re wondering: this Absolut ad isn’t Sagmeister but a complete (if well-executed) ripoff of his style.

Coralie Bickford-Smith

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You’ve most likely seen Coralie Bickford-Smith’s lovely Penguin clothbound classics. And while they are beautiful, I think Ms. Bickford-Smith has outdone herself with the new covers for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books. Spend some time at her site looking around at some more of her work; she has a real knack for creating covers that work really well in a series and are desirable art objects individually. Hers are the sort of book covers that make you want to own the book regardless of the content.

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dutch books-flickr mondays!

So sorry for the tardy posting…things are a bit hectic at work. I’m really enjoying this collection of Dutch books, posted by lliazd. Enjoy, and hope everyone is having a good Monday!

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Project Thirty-Three

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Project 33 is an amazing collection of vintage album covers whose design relies solely on graphic shapes. Some of them are really awesome.

The seemingly infinite number of vintage record jackets that convey their message with simple shapes like circles and dots never cease to amaze and amuse me. Project Thirty-Three is my personal collection and shrine to these expressive shapes along with their slightly less jovial but equally effective cousins; squares, rectangles and triangles, and the designers that make them come to life on album covers. Other categories include arrows, lines, abstract shapes, instruments and typography-only. Check back soon as I’ll be adding covers regularly!   –David


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If you’re looking for more fabulous album art, check out David’s other site Stereo Stack for an amazing, and growing, collection of vintage LP stereo banners.

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lieke romeijn-flickr mondays!

Beautiful photographs by 19-year old photographer, Lieke Romeijn. I’m always a sucker for sun-drenched photographs!

Lieke’s flickr site here.
Website here.

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