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: 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.”

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