TypograFriday: Ruzicka Revisited

ruzicka2

Alright typophiles, are you familiar with Rudolph Ruzicka? His handlettered folio Studies in Type Design? No? Not yet?

Jesse Ragan, Type Designer and friend of the Experts (Samantha and I went to RISD with him), is here to change all that. He’s reviving some of Ruzicka’s type studies (with the blessing of his estate) that have never been made into type at all: not metal, photoset or digital. While I was not familar with Ruzicka in the same way I am with Zapf, Gill, Berthold or dozens of other letterer/typographers, his letters are pretty stunning; I am excited at Jesse’s undertaking.

Even if you’re not a fan of the calligraphically-derived serif as we are, you should check this out: he’s keeping a blog about his process, which is thoughtful and gets delightfully deep into the work. The most recent post for instance, which he wrote for a column for Grafik magazine, is a longish piece largely about reconciling a single character, an elegant double-storey lowercase “g.” It’s a great mix of openness about the challenges of the process and meditatively ressurecting and conversing with the absent Ruzicka through the close interpretation of his letters.

ruzicka3

For those of us who think ilt‘s pedagogical essays are too few and far between, who miss not just typographi.ca but linesandsplines, or who have ever looked for Spiekermann’s other book, there’s something new for your rss feed.

The temptation to clothe the twenty-six leaden soldiers in new array is irresistible. This is the only apology offered for suggesting still further additions to the seemingly infinite variety of existent typefaces.

-R.R. Studies in Type Design

All images courtesy Ruzicka Revisited.

RISDelightful

We’ve just wrapped up our last holiday sale of the year, whew! It was the RISD Alumni sale, which has somewhat of a different crowd (and vendors) than our usual craft fair. A snippet of dialogue overheard in the morning: “What’s RISD?” / “It’s the Rhode Island School of Design, the best art school in the country” / “Oh… Like, the street!” Non-SF readers please note that Rhode Island is a street in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. SF readers, please note that it also is a state. Oh and that’s where the best art school in the country is, y’all.

Here’s some of our fellow alumni who were there with stellar work.

risd_hirokorisd_piebird

hk designs | Hiroko Kurihara
I got Sam one of her scarves a few years back: for every one of her items purchased she donates a polarfleece blanket to the homeless, which is a fantastically inspiring programs. Also, the felted wool scarves/blankets etc are superb and beautiful.

Pie Bird Press | Hannah Berman
We’re not in the habit of talking up other cardmakers but Hannah’s cards are really pretty special. You may have seen her work at Paper Source, on etsy (where you didn’t believe it could really be letterpress) or in magazines. Most letterpress work shies away from this sort of ink coverage, but she has giant swaths of bold color down.

risd_hillarybirdrisd_sarah

Hillary Bird
While we’re on other cardmakers… we’re proud to welcome Ms. Bird, whose indie-quirky sensibilities and hybrid of analog and digital techniques makes charmingly cute cards and prints.

Sarah Richardson Jewelry
Sarah’s had a ton of really beautiful jewelry, but her pod series in sterling silver is gorgeous (look for Sam to be sportin’ one soon), and she was super friendly with advice for us on making a living from our art.

risd_liamngrisd_mediums

Lian Ng for PubliQue
His lasercut PopMats are so elegant and clever it’s hard to imagine throwing the fête that would be their match; this year there were votive holders as well that fold into a really interesting shape.

Mediums to Masses | Sarah Hirneisen
Sarah makes screenprinted glass jewelry, dishes and coasters under the name Mediums to Masses. But she’s definitely a consummate artist: not content to just have a successful product line, she’s produced a lot of thoughtful installation and gallery pieces too.

risd_eieioaaron

Eieio | Jean Orlebeck
We saw Eieio papers first like 8 years ago at Flax. They are some of the most elegant modern giftwraps (and endpapers) around, and the original design from way back then remains fresh and charming.

Aaron Silverstein
I think the photo-guided laser-cut ornaments and votive holders he was selling (and selling out of) at the show were slightly different than these, which he designed for Roost, but no less beautiful. Poking around his website for images of them, I found a range of remarkable work that I would love to see (and own); a fantastically talented industrial designer with elegant lines and a special attunement to nature’s forms.

risd_jamescosbillrisd_oliblock

James Cogbill
James had tshirts of this painting based on Midwestern fields for sale that I totally was coveting. His thoughtful abstractions wouldn’t seem out of place on my favorite blog but does it float

Daniel Oakley | Oliblock
Oliblock: Like Lego Technics met Frank Gehry, magnetic and interlocking and awesome.

Shop Handmade this Holiday Season

Design des Troy will be selling at two craft sales this week. The first is the Handmade Ho Down on Thursday from 6-midnight at 1015 Folsom. The event is being sponsored by Etsy and the Museum of Craft and Folk Art (among others). Raffle and gift wrapping proceeds will benefit DrawBridge, an artistic program for homeless youth in the Bay Area. It sounds like it will be a pretty great event, plus there is a photobooth and drinks. Also, if you have any spare art supplies, you can donate them to DrawBridge at the door for a free gift!

hhd

The second, the RISD Alumni Holiday Arts & Crafts sale, is on Sunday from 9:30-5 at Fort Mason Building A (your immediate left as you enter the parking lot). If you’ve never shopped Fort Mason during the holidays, it’s pretty cool: there’s a bunch of other art and jewelry sales too, nice views, and Greens to Go for lunch.

If you can’t make either, or live far from San Francisco, all of our cards on Etsy have free domestic shipping through Monday! We have new stickers, tags and maybe our awesomest card ever that we’ll be listing later tonight (and will of course be available at the sale). Edit: The cards (our “Jolly Old Saint Roger/Yo Ho Ho Ho” design, which we just finished printing this afternoon) and gift stickers are up, yaay!

blackcard

The Nature Lab

Etsy’s blog, The Storque, posted a really lovely feature on the Nature Lab at RISD. In all honesty, parts of the Nature Lab freaked me out a little, and I didn’t end up spending a ton of time there. But, it is a remarkable, totally unique space and an amazing resource for the RISD community — watching the video definitely made me miss school. After you watch the tour of the lab and interview with the curator (above), click here to view the flickr set of images taken during the shoot.