TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part 3

Because you demanded it: the third and final section of me talking about blackletter incessantly! I hereby promise a moratorium until at least January! In this section, finally, 10 great contemporary experimental hybrids that incorporate elements from this traditional calligraphic form with roman shapes to awesome effect.

factory
fakir
blackhaus
aeronaut
adhesivenrseven
bastard
keks
metalista
gothicgothic
brea

Credits and commentary after the jump.
Continue reading TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part 3

TypograFriday: Fraktur, part 2

Last typografriday I shared with you my obsession for blackletter type; this week I promised I’d give you some context. Not that long ago, I was someone, much like most of you, who associated blackletter’s heavy strokes and barbed finials with Nazis, gangs, metal bands, rap and newspaper mastheads. How did I get from from there to here? I’ll share some of my path. But after the jump.

frakt_monamor

Continue reading TypograFriday: Fraktur, part 2

TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part One

So, I’ve been obsessed with blackletter type for years, and putting off blogging about it for who knows how many TypograFridays. Before I start in on, “what exactly is fraktur/blackletter”— that’ll be part two! — I thought I’d show you a few of the projects I have used it on recently as a means of showing how obsessed I’ve become (click here if you can’t wait until next week to find out a little more history).

frakt_dbofrakt_dbo2

It started when, for a book arts class in 2007, I made a short book about blackletter, sort of a rambling discursive monologue about its contemporary use and non-use: blaming the Third Reich for why Gutenberg’s beautiful type has now been reduced to being used only for certificates and death metal, setting some of On the Road in it, analyzing its form (“arrows pointing heavenward and to the ground at once. Its dark strokes are heavy but because of its stilletto heels it still manages to float,” &c.), discussing contemporary attempts at revival, recounting my nervousness that I’ll land on an FBI watchlist when I looked for the verboten Nazi fraktur/roman hybrid ‘jackbook grotesques’ online, and so forth.

frakt_purpcardfrakt_redcard
This year, I’ve hand-drawn blackletter for three projects: it’s apparently my new favorite thing. Most recently, our newest Christmas card uses hand-drawn blackletter that fuses heavy metal pointiness and spurs with classic fraktur shapes and interweaves it with a black scroll studded with lettering for something which leans slightly more toward dangerous than traditional. It may be my favorite card yet; we’re really happy with this one.

Continue reading TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part One

TypograFriday: Meet Mr. Eaves

MrEavesA

We’re pretty excited about Emigre’s latest font release, Mr. Eaves — designed by Zuzana Licko to be the sans serif companion to her super popular Mrs. Eaves. It comes in a “sans” and a “modern” — the former like a warmer, quirkier Gill Sans and the latter geometricizing out some of the humanism (double-storey “a” and “g,” tailed “l”) and approaching Avenir or Neutra Text. They both have delicious italics, small caps and a heavy weight which has no correspondence in Mrs. Eaves (and which one hopes will help displace the frankly hideous Gill Sans Ultra Bold).

MrEavesDMrEavesC

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TypograFriday: Si Scott

Si Scott is an illustrator/designer who has a distinctive (and widely imitated) explosive organic growth line style. Since exploding on the scene a few years back, he’s been all over the place. Here’s a few somewhat lesser-seen examples of his type work. If his work is new to you, please do yourself a favor and look at the rest.

si_set

si_future

si_mask

si_nike

Most of his typographic work uses bold sans serif type interspersed with fluid growth. All of it is done by hand with pen and ink!

Five more after the jump.

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TypograFriday: We need restraint

We have a problem with prints. Too many, not enough walls, and we keep seeing and buying more that we like. We have tried being more discerning: saying “no” to handlettering genius Ray Fenwick at Tiny Showcase this week was tough for instance.

typo_print

Then Johno, typeblogger extraordinaire, comissioned a reasonably-priced limited edition letterpress “Typography” print set in Restraint by Marian Bantjes. I mean seriously how many words in that sentence aren’t fantastic? “In” and “a?” The print is gorgeous, the best use of Restraint we’ve seen yet (its interesting usage agreement keeps you from seeing it just anywhere). And over at the site of the printer, Typoretum, you can see pictures of the magnesum printing plate (so much prettier than photopolymer).

typo_magnesiumplate

typo_printing

Here’s the Ray Fenwick print that we “showed restraint” and didn’t buy this week. Love the text.

typo_fenwick

And here’s the print I covet most of all, by Studio on Fire for the College of Visual Arts. Houston, we have a problem.

typo_visual

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

B oy, do we love Jessica Hische. Our copy of her gorgeous alphabet print is being matted right now at Cheap Pete’s. We’re excited for her that she is setting off on her own and leaving Louise Fili, but equally psyched that Cardon Webb (of Cardon Copy) is filling her shoes.

C reative and prolific, Ms. Hische’s newest side venture is the sort of thing that we definitely support. Daily Drop Cap not only features a beautiful letter every day, but also the html to make it a drop cap and the creative commons license on how to use it. So, don’t be surprised if occasionally our posts start getting all Book of Kells on ya.

A

nd,  it is a brand new project — she’s only up to “C”— so you can pretty much be the first on your block to use it. Yes, this last paragraph was just an excuse to use the “A” — I promise we’ll never use three drop caps in a post again. That’s just gaudy, people.

TypograFriday: Effin’ copperplate

Effin-BDAY_black_3

We’re happy to announce our second ever birthday card is now available in our Etsy shop. It’s Gocco-printed in bronze and light blue ink on black duplex paper (white on the inside) or chipboard or special limited quantity on pale aqua and reads Happy Effin’ Birthday.

Effin-BDAY_chipboard_1Effin-BDAY_black_detail

The message and ornaments are hand-lettered in a Victorian-era style of calligraphy called copperplate. I spent much of the summer learning it, and now know it well enough to make very pretty letters — heck, I’m nearly ready for the marathon challenge of addressing wedding invitations. But, I wrote this about halfway through the class — we wanted it to have of imperfections and downright mistakes so that your birthday recipient won’t squint at it and say, “oh is that Kuenstler Script?”

More information on copperplate, the class I took and some fonts after the jump.
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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.

president
edelweissslinkhardt

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.

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Dois Tempos

Dois-Tempos_1

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.

Dois-Tempos_2

Photos by Fernando Guerra

Continue reading Dois Tempos

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