Buttermilk

hische1

We’ve been holding off on posting about Jessica Hische’s awesome lettering because we wanted to see if she would participate in our artist interview series (something that would be much more likely if we actually contacted her). But, with today’s release of her first font Buttermilk, we felt at least a brief mention was in order. It is available at MyFonts for $49 — definitely worth checking out.

TypograFriday: Mostra Nuova

mostranuevo

Type designer Mark Simonson’s 2001 Art Deco type Mostra has been in our sights for some time now, ever since we got a few weights with our Indie Fonts 2 book (probably the only type we’ve used from the book.) The classic elegance of a Futura, Nobel or Kabel but with far more deco/period display quirkiness: it looks fantastic and interesting from light to black. Now he’s expanded the family into Mostra Nuova, not only OpenTyping his bevy of alternates into single typefaces but adding a fashionable hairline thin weight and a lowercase (imagineered without too much help from his original Italian poster sources, which rarely had lowercase.)

Simonson was smart to revisit this type. Since his original release of Mostra, deco-bordering modern sans like Neutraface, Gotham and Chalet/Comprime have become amazingly successful. And on the other side of things, deco display faces are being created and revived all the time. Mostra was in danger of becoming the godfather of a typographic revival trend but not a relevant player in it: Mostra Nuova corrects that.

It’s still got those arch-modernist elegant-but-odd proportions throughout, so don’t expect it to overtake Neutraface or Gotham in omnipresence. But I’m super-glad that its been added to the modern sans options: I recently made a poster that used Neutraface 2 for its “posterness” but found it came off a little more cold or generic than I wished. Next time I’ll be spec’ing Mostra Nuova.

Myfonts’ Interview with Simonson here. My wishlist for a Mostra Ultra Nuova, preemptively: ahistorical ligatures a la Avant Garde, a more regularized text variant a la Neutraface 2, a layerable 2-color cut a la Bifur, a sketch/irregular form a la the German and Austrian posters of the same period – Lucian Bernhard et al.

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

hypefortype
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.

TypograFriday: Microcosm

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Every once in a while, a sample set presents itself which offers a fascinating glimpse into the trends and influences of the day. This flickr set of 35 posters for the Flight of the Concords 2009 North American tour is one such example.

The disparate designers of these posters had no unified design spec, though of course they had the same band/tv show/season of year to reference. And yet looked at as a whole, a shocking number come back to the same overall colorschemes (midtone blues, greens and tans, very few dark colors). And in terms of type trends, the set reflects a terrific microcosm of what’s going on in the world of “indie”-flavored typography right now: filled-counter letters are inexplicably still super-hot across many subcultures, lifting from the 70s is perfectly OK, and innocently irregular hand lettering conveys a sense of rakish charm second only to Bret and Jermaine themselves.

Credits for type collage (for each artist, the first link goes to an image of the full poster on flickr, and the second goes to their own site)
Row 1: Diana Sudyka (website), Eyenoise (website)
Row 2: Doublenaut (website), The Silent Giants (website)
Row 3: Nate Duval (website), Mike Davis of Burlesque Design (website)
Row 4: El Jefe Design (website), DKNG (website)
Row 5: Tyler Stout (website), Delicious Design League (website)

TypograFriday: Tuscans

friscoantiquedisplayrendezvousleking
figginstuscanlozamissionary
goldstandardoperahouse-1gringotuscan
de-louisvilleoldviccatacumba

Did you like the giant S from French Vogue Kirsten pointed out a few weeks ago? Us too!

This style of type is called Tuscan and it originated well before printing. Tuscans can be identified by bifurcation of the terminals — some have speculated that the bifurcation in the earliest examples may have been a typographic equivalent of the sign of the fish, an attempt to signify Christian faith in the letters themselves. Tuscans really hit their stride in the 19th century, during the age of handbills (each trying to outdo one another in typographic excess). This is when the form started mutating like crazy: the ends trifurcated, bulges or spikes erupted mid-stem, letters split into two, swashes and flourishes sprouted out.

Tuscans can be extended or condensed, rigid or expressive: some of the newer digital ones are hand-rendered. So versatile a type style, it’s a shame it’s rarely used contemporarily outside of circus- or western- themed work.

Credits & analysis, after the jump. Continue reading TypograFriday: Tuscans

Evelin Kasikov

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I first became aware of Evelin Kasikov last week when some of her work was featured on Black Eiffel. I was completely blown away and contacted her immediately to see if she was interested in being the first of our mini-interviews with artists, designers and crafters. Evelin graciously accepted. After reading her responses to our questions, I think I might love her work even more. I definitely recommend spending some time looking at her site and exploring some of the other pages of her beautiful books.

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printed_matter2

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Read the complete Q & A and see more work, after the jump.

Continue reading Evelin Kasikov

TypograFriday: Rubik’s Cube Font Generator

I thought this was so cool, it just begged to be a second Font-y Friday.

For the assignment, “Produce a visual representation for the word ‘Move’,” Jas Bhachu created a rubber stamp set that can be used in varying combinations to create type. I love the packaging and instruction booklet too.

I wish it were available to purchase, because I really wanted to buy one for Owen (he was always a huge fan of using the letterpress equivalent when setting metal type).

cube-in-package

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instructions_1

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poster

via Design Observer.

TypograFriday: Upright Scripts

Scripts, love ’em or hate ’em? Certainly a lot of them seem stuffy or old-fashioned, but, there are certain styles that still look fabulous after all these years. We’d like to look at one of our favorite subsets of script, the upright. Whether inspired by the Nineteenth-century French model or the mid-century modern craze for brush-written uprights, we can’t resist the charm of this style.

They are enjoying a recent resurgence in popularity, fueled largely by the efforts of superstar typographers Alejandro Paul and House Industries, both of whom have revived mid-century styles and made their own new faces. Here are thirteen of our favorites; credits after the jump.

upright__0001_Studio-Sable
upright__0002_Studio-Swing
upright__0000_Cocktail-Shaker
upright__0003_HouseLeagueNight
upright__0004_EdScript
upright__0005_TyoUpright
upright__0006_Glengary
upright__0007_Cartoleria
upright__0008_Pendulum
upright__0009_Fling

upright__0010_Mousse-Script
upright__0011_Alphaluxe
upright__0012_Peregroy
upright__0013_Uplink

Continue reading TypograFriday: Upright Scripts

TypograFriday: “Unchanged since 2002. Now completely new.”

In case this is the font-iest of blogs you read, let me be the first to break it to you that Typographica is back! Their opening salvo, a return of the “Oscars of type Design,” their Favorite Typefaces of the year feature (see also 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 entries), is terrific and their new layout marvelous.

This is one of a handful of blogs that were in my very first blog bookmarks folder, that inspired me since waaaay back in the day. I know I teased them for not updating (and url vagaries) in my eulogy of SpeakUp and now I feel like crap about it. But as Stephen Coles writes in his very read-worthy note about the relaunch [please note that his links in this passage constitute the A-list of type blogs/forums today! Bookmark’m!]

It wasn’t just that our attention was diverted — other type bloggers took the reins and did it better, more beautifully and comprehensively, with more brains, more fervor, and more expertise. And, of course, there’s really no reason to go anywhere else to discuss type with knowledgeable peers than Typophile.

The new typographica, then, is not trying to compete with its supercharged grandchildren as another type blog, but as a “vehicle for typeface recommendations and reviews.” I couldn’t be more excited. Four of our favorites from this year’s favorites list (other than Archer that we already established is next on our must-have list!) … after the jump.

Continue reading TypograFriday: “Unchanged since 2002. Now completely new.”

We’re past this now.

So the New York Times Magazine this week was The Green Issue. The articles are pretty good, and they’re online with what looks like a lot of other media. I am excited for instance about electric cars that swap batteries rather than refuel. The weekly profile is on Stewart Brand (Whole Earth Catalog, WELL, Clock of the Long Now), who is fascinating and inspiring. But here’s my gripe: Windsor?
avocado

For this issue, the magazine’s feature headlines are all set in this most un-current of types. I know that I am a type geek, but I bet you can see it too this time: these bulbous, deco-a-go-go letters signify the past as surely as tie-dyes with bell-bottoms. Look at the characters “2009”: it looks frickin’ ludicrous to see our current date clothed in this type. It looked old-fashioned the first time Woody Allen used it (he favors the condensed cut) and it’s only gotten more willfully apart-from-the-times in the dozen times he’s kept using it since. (It looked old-fashioned even in the 1970s; like so much of the vernacular type of the day it was stolen from the art movements from half a century ealier.)

The rationale seems to be because it was used for the Whole Earth Catalog, but that doesn’t fly with me. This indicates to me the reader that environmentalism is best thought of as a phase from the 70s. If you’re going to report on the state of the world right now, NYTM, please please don’t use the vernacular type of yesteryear. In fact unless you want to evoke the 70s best to just keep your ITC locked away.

Ok, rant over.

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