Penguin (RED)

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I always love seeing how designers interpret a simple set of design restrictions. For this redesign of eight classics from Penguin Classics in collaboration with (Red), a group of designers was asked to create covers using a quote from the text and a red band at the bottom. For the most part, I think the results are fantastic. I particularly like the ones where the design breaks out of the top of the cover and crosses into the red band. The books will be published in early May.

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Designers shown:
Therese Raquin — Jim Stoddart (Penguin Press art director)
The Secret Agent — Coralie Bickford-Smith (Penguin Press art department)
Dracula — Non-Format

via Creative Review

TypograFriday: Fonts of 2009

We’re a little late to the party here but the last month and a half has been a busy one. Here we are, weeks into 2010, finally getting around to bidding adieu to 2009’s year in type. Here’s some of our favorite typefaces released last year – please click through for larger more interactive samples:

mostranuevo
Mark Simonson’s Mostra was on my watchlist back when it was an all-caps display face a la AM Cassandre with a few weights and stylistic alternates. Mostra Nueva adds several more weights as well as lowercase, making it a useful contender that one can set shorter text in as well as display type. I often find retro letterforms like those curved-line “s” distracting or inappropriate: for me a type is profoundly better when it offers the standard forms as options as well.

lizapro
Underware makes our day with every release. Liza Pro, a lively upright brush script is perhaps their best yet. The caps version plays great with the script and the jauntiness of the whole thing is as right-on as House’s releases.

mreaves
Some people hated Mrs. Eaves, Licko’s mid-nineties Baskerville with a zillion ligatures. We really liked it, though over time it sort of faded from our hearts. However, Mr. Eaves, the sans companions, are fantastic: the “sans” form is like Gill but with fewer awkward spots (and more resolved heavy weights and italics) while the “modern” version changes out some details to become a warmer Futura. Both are well-proportioned and quite beautiful.

gothams
It’s funny to think of type as commerce, but on some level the idea of making narrow and condensed forms of Gotham is as clearly a good idea as making a sequel to a Hollywood blockbuster. Gotham has been used all over the place in the last few years, and extending its range by making more condensed versions will only heighten its ubiquity. The narrow in particular I think we’ll see a lot of in 2010.

catacumbo
While the standard forms of Catacumba Pro are interesting and charming in a decidedly pre-digital way, the floriateed/tuscaned display version really shines. It’s so expressive and unusual I have found myself stealing its forked tongue serifing for type in my sketchbook.

Eloquent
Although it was released in 2009, Eloquent is a revival of a late 60s ad typeface. Given the enduring contemporary trends (mostly in music/culture) for retro swash ITC and, say, Avant Garde Ligatures + the Si Scott et al maximalist hyperswashiness, it’s not surprising this would be revived in (or feel so at home in) 2009.

buttermilk
You know we love Jessica Hische. Buttermilk is only her first foray into commercial typemaking, but we hope not the last. She’s an ace with the letters, for sure.

trilby
We also love slab serifs and are always on the lookout for more really fine examples. We only sometimes love reversed stress type (Ben Shahn did some fantastic ones) – generally speaking they’re not fit for consumption outside of circusy/western posters. Where Trilby differs from the PT Barnums of the world however is that its stress proportion is subtle and very considered: the balance of form and counterform in the face are as beautiful as Caecilla or Clarendon.

vesper
This sample doesn’t do it justice. A very legible face with fantastic sharp curves and bracketed serifs, Vesper is like faves Vendetta and Freight Micro but with a more calligraphic basis.

hannah
Like the titles of Dr. Strangelove, and more current films like Where the Wild Things Are, Hannah is handlettering in a confident monoline. Charmingly, it comes in three degrees of compression, which mix and match to great effect.

libelle
2009 was the year I learned how to write pointed pen (copperplate) calligraphy. In the course of that class, I was surprised to see that, while there are dozens of digital models of the form, there are few that are anything but stiffly mechanistic. Libelle corrects that lack; with plenty of contextual alternates plus a very warm flowing line, it feels more like what I went into that class to learn than anything I have seen on a computer screen.

(texts from Time’s list of top 10 Animal Stories of 2009 except Libelle’s — dang LinoType doesn’t have a previewer)

My Tree and Me

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I have been weirdly into genealogy ever since I had to make a family tree in the sixth grade. And, as you may have noticed, we are pretty into information design. Give that, it is no surprise that I am really into Jen O’neill’s custom family trees from My Tree and Me. There are a number of custom designs available and a few DIY write-in versions as well. These would make a great present for new parents, or for yourself.
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via design*sponge

Negative Space

We’re firm believers that a logo needs to work equally well in black-and-white as it does in color. Logo Design Love has compiled an awesome selection of logos that work fantastically in one color and put their negative space to great use.guild-food-writers-logoogden-plumbing-logo
martin-newcombe-logowwf-logo-design

And while we’re on the topic of negative space, have you seen Noma Bar‘s work? He has a new book, so his illustrations have been floating around on a lot of blogs in the past few weeks, but for good reason. His work is just awesome.Noma-1
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Logo Credits:
TOP: Ogden Plumbing logo by Astuteo (left); Guild of Food Writers logo by 300million (right)
BOTTOM: Martin Newcombe Property Maintenance logo by buddy (left); WWF
By Sir Peter Scott, modified by Landor (right)

Good Design

idiots
We’ve posted some of Frank Chimero’s work in the past, but, his work is consistently pretty great and this print made me smile.

TypograFriday: Taschen’s Type 1

We’re type geeks for sure. But, then there are the Jonathan Hoeflers and Robert Lees of the world, who collect type sample books from centuries past and trade anecdotes about the quirkiness of the editions. Now, with Taschen’s help, we can aspire to join their elite level of type-geekery.

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Type. A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Vol. 1 reproduces over a thousand pages from type specimens 1628 – 1900 (volume 2 will cover 20th century specimens). And it comes not with a CD, but with an account code to download high res scans from the originals, not printing-rosette’d reproductions. They are fantastic. Oh and the book is gorgeously hefty, matte-paged, and printed with spot-gold accents.

More pictures and type-talk after the jump.

Continue reading TypograFriday: Taschen’s Type 1

Dois Tempos

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A while back we posted about the Vai Com Deus, the amazing typographic facade done by R2 Design in Portugal. Well, it looks like R2 has done it again, but this time it’s newspaper headlines set in Neutra Slab with the addition of photo-luminescent ink. I think prefer the white-on-white color scheme of Vai Com Deus, but Dois Tempos looks pretty rad too. View more images of Dois Tempos here, or go to Portugal and see it for yourself before January 31, 2010.

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Photos by Fernando Guerra

Continue reading Dois Tempos

Vai com Deus

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This Portuguese typographic facade is just amazing—I wish I had seen it in person; I think I love it. It was designed by R2 Design and won an Honor Award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD) and is one of the winners of the Type Directors Club’s TDC 55.

Here’s a little more about the project (from the SEGD site):

When an 18th century Portuguese chapel was reopened as an art gallery, the owners and R2 Design (Porto, Portugal) used its façade as the canvas for an artful typographic composition that recalls the building’s former use, but creates a new cultural venue.

With a tight budget and only two months to bring the project to fruition, R2 Design needed to draw visitors’ attention to the gallery, located down a small alleyway adjacent to several important historical buildings in Lisbon. They started by painting the yellow façade white and using it as the slate for idiomatic expressions that refer to God and that by force of repetition have crystallized in the Portuguese language.

The words were rendered at various depths and scales in Knockout type, chosen because it is a sans serif typeface that offers a wide range of sizes and expressions. The letters were built from Intasa MDF hydrofuge sheets, an environmentally friendly product recommended for moist environments. A thick paint made it possible to simulate the texture of the façade.

See a couple more lovely photos after the jump.

via The Refined.

Continue reading Vai com Deus

TypograFriday: Newish Sites for Type Lovers

There are tons of websites out there for type fans. Here are three that we’re pretty excited about.

FontStruct

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FontSruct
is a free online modular font creator from FontShop. I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with it yet, but from looking through the gallery, people have created some pretty impressive fonts.

Hype For Type

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Hype for Type
is a relatively new site featuring fonts by independent type designers — sort of like an independent MyFonts. Here is what they have to say about it:

HypeForType is a hotbed of typographic talent. An online type foundry with a difference. A labour of love for founder Alex Haigh. In fact all this and more. It’s for anyone who has a passion for well crafted type, and nothing short of the highest quality. It’s the realisation of a vision to create a type foundry showcasing the best in today’s typographic talent, as well providing a platform for keen eyed creatives to find and buy truly unique, hand-crafted fonts to complement their work. HypeForType has an impressive catalogue of exceptional typefaces created by independent designers available to buy.

Typekit

Typekit isn’t actually live yet, but you can keep up to date with their progess on their blog. Typekit just got funding (from people like the founders of twitter, flickr and wordpress) so they can continue with the development of their service. It sounds like it could be pretty awesome. In very basic terms Typekit is going to help designers to have more control over fonts they use on the web. Click here to read more about what Typekit will be.

Grain Edit’s Mid-century Modern Sticker, Label and Stamp Club

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I was just looking around on Grain Edit and found a rather old post about the Mid-century Modern Sticker, Label and Stamp Club. I figure since the images in the club are all from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, it it OK that I’m a little late on posting about this. It is an AWESOME collection of, as the name would suggest, stickers, stamps and labels. The collection is beautiful to look at, but could also serve as a great resource for inspiration.

The images above were submitted by Max Friedrich Hartmann.

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