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History by Typotheque
On the same day that the latest font catalogue from Netherlands foundry Typotheque arrives in the post, I discover the exciting news that they’re about to launch their own Web Font service. As far as I’m aware, this is the first foundry to setup their own web distribution – rather than using a 3rd party such as Typekit. It feels like the flood gates of web fonts are suddenly about to open!
What also peaked my interest, was the incredible piece of work that is Typotheque’s History.
Based on a skeleton of Roman inscriptional capitals, History includes ’21 layers inspired by the evolution of typography’. These layers are designed to be combined, which means that you build up your own style of typeface using layers of serifs, swashes and other decorations. It can be a chunky slab serif, or a light sans with delicate swashes, while maintaing the same strong typographic base:
Youworkforthem have released a free version of their handset Skute Pro font, that’s crying out to be used on a record cover (such as they are these days).
A.M. Cassandre produced the typeface Bifur for Peignot in 1929. Bifur broke from rigid typographic forms by combining Art Deco principles of obsessive geometry with the line and stroke of letter forms. Skute picks up Cassandre’s spirit and carries it onward in YWFT hand set fashion. And we are happy to give it out to you. Yep, that’s right, we’re giving Skute to you for your own personal use! Should you need to use Skute for a commercial project or want more letters, buy the enhanced Pro version, Skute Pro.
Change of Face
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a chance to do some housekeeping on Hicksdesign. Implementing Matthew Tretter’s genius new approach to Vertical Centering, updating the portfolio and improving images like tree footer on this page (that were a bit too slapped together initially). I’ve also been considering a redesign, which I’ve since abandoned, but elements from that are sneaking in. There’s still a lot I want to do, but I’ve had a couple of emails asking about the change in corporate typeface, so I thought I explain that.
For a while now, I’ve been unsatisfied with my use of Chalet Paris 1970, the curvular font used previously on Hicksdesign. Instead, I’d been looking for something that would be unashamedly ‘British’ in feel, without relying on Gill Sans. I purchased the DF Ministry family to use as a body face in all my documents, but still felt I needed a stronger identity for headings and the logo.
In the end, I went with ‘London Underground’ by P22. It’s a faithful reproduction of Edward Johnston’s original typeface, developed in 1916, rather than the ‘New Johnston’ redesign conducted in the late 70s. It retains the character of the original, which I felt was lost a little in the later redesign. While there were a few sans-serif faces back in 1916, they were rare, and the I still find it hard to imagine that such a radical typeface was created during WWI.
I’d always lumped this typeface along with Gill Sans, for being ‘too obvious’ a choice, but I’ve changed my mind, and I’m really happy with it!