TypograFriday: No Futura

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Paul Renner’s Futura is an amazing typeface, equally adept at playing 60s modernism as timelessly contemporary cool. Some have made iconic use of it: A. Volkswagen (an Erik Spiekermann variant), B. fave-director Wes Anderson (not just for titles but in-film signage), C. Barbara Kruger (bold italic), D. Draplin Design Co./Field Notes and E. Ikea… whoops, until now.

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Yes that’s right. Ikea just switched from their bold, iconic use of Futura to Verdana, and their stated reasoning reflects a very poor thought process. They want to use the same type for all countries, including Asian ones, and Verdana has Asian character sets. And yet: there’s tons of modern monoweight Asian character sets that would match Futura perfectly well. They want to match the web to print. Yes, that does get a bit tricky, but other companies have found workarounds, and besides haven’t these people read “Harrison Bergeron“? Handicapping your display signage by putting it in a web text face just so that everything can match, for shame! So Futura doesn’t have Asian characters: Verdana doesn’t have effin display weights, it’s made for onscreen legibility! Use it large (as Ikea is bound to do) and it looks plain goofy instead of awesome like big Futura. Will every piece of furniture be available only in websafe colors?

There’s a lot of outcry and discussion on this (see designer discussion on typophile, mostly nondesigner discussion on metafilter, a good visual post on idsgn, the online petition, sets on flickr, etc.) and our hope is they quickly reverse their decision. The CIO claims that their identity is not wrapped up in Futura, but we disagree. See this 1965 catalog for what we mean.

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The Pantone Rainbow

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Bates 141 designed this amazing 5,000 color, 8 meter long Pantone rainbow for Basheer Graphic Books in order to promote the Pantone color systems to art students; such a simple and elegant design solution.

Check out some more detail and process shots on flickr.

via thecoolist

Typografriday: playplayplayplay

It’s not new but people who aren’t type geeks may never have seen it. Quietly, unassumingly, and for years on and off, thirsttype founder Rick Valicenti, along with young designers Robb Irrgang and Satoru Nihei have been curating The Playground.canada goose mens jacket

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Mike Essl

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Andrea Tinnes

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Guang Yu

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Rick Valicenti

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Marian Bantjes

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Paula Scher

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Ed Fella

The interface/navigation is one of my favorites ever, and the concept simple. Each project’s designer makes an alphabet of 26 characters (or sometimes more; Paula Scher did like a dozen alphabets). The letters, some details about the alphabet and its designer, and in many cases a few designs using the type, are available to explore. Recent designs are available for download, though this is disabled after time. Type lovers: take some time to play.

Typografriday: Wood on the Web

There’s a finite amount of woodtype out there in the world; nobody’s making the stuff anymore and haven’t for a while. Not only was some of it never produced in quantity, but much was lost over time, discarded when the letterpress era seemed over, burned during the Dust Bowl or (most aggravatingly) made into knickknacks or sold one piece at a time at antique fairs. It also represents a distinct (and distinctly American) transitory moment in typography, where all number of styles were flourishing – condensed and extended, bold slabs and tuscans, rough sans, display faces of all sorts.

Luckily, in this information age, some typographic/historicalminded sorts have put together some fantastic resources to keep woodtypes from fading into the dustbin of memory.

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The Rob Roy Kelly American Type Collection digitized. What Harry Smith did for American Folk Music, Rob Roy Kelly did for woodtypes. His book is by all accounts the one to get, (sadly we have yet to pony up for a copy). His 150+ specimens, plus copious information about the manufacturers and history, are all archived and well-organized at this University of Texas site.

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Unicorn Graphics’ Wood Type Museum has scans of type specimen books, in their entirety, plus pictures of every piece of numerous full typefaces. Yes, the letters themselves. They seem interested in collecting and preserving more, so if you have drawers of woodtype lying about, you could do worse than to contact em to get it preserved digitally before selling it off piecemeal.

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: Sharp Curves

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Happy TypograFriday! [we were calling it Font-y Friday then went several weeks in a row featuring handlettering and typographic experiments and not fonts at all, so we’ve rebranded it. That said, this week it’s back to fonts.] Credits and writeup after the jump.

Continue reading TypograFriday: Sharp Curves

Tastes Change

For the past few days, this image has been circulating on many design blogs. In fact, when I first saw it I thought about posting it, but something seemed wrong. Well, Armin over at Brand New, has revised the chart and given us a very thorough look back at the changes in both logos—definitely worth checking out.

The revised chart does still come to a similar conclusion as the original chart—that Coke has stayed remarkably consistent as Pepsi has fidgeted to match the times—but it is pretty interesting to see the evolution.

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I am also kind of fond of this fun (albeit incongruous) one from 1890-1891, found in a pdf from Coke (via a commenter at Brand New).

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Jalouse

Thought I’d do a post on the French magazine, Jalouse. All I got to say is that the photography, layouts, and content are mesmerizing. I love it all. I hope print magazines are here to stay. I would be very upset to see all print go away.canada goose womens

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See more images after the jump.

Continue reading Jalouse

RAD!

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We have another new card in our Etsy shop. We’re pretty psyched about this card and had a lot of fun experimenting with the Gocco process inks. We think that the combination of process colors and xerox-y reticulation make this card perfect for the design geek, 80s punk, zinester, electroclasher or grandmother in your life.

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Etsy-Schmetsy: This is only a test

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Mmmm, overprintalicious. Credits and comments after the jump.

Continue reading Etsy-Schmetsy: This is only a test

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