You’re reading all articles tagged 'typography'
The original Batman movie and TV series with Adam West was superb. Not only a glorious technicolour 60s camp fest, with classic scenes such as “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb”, but everything had labels.
BIG obvious labels.
“Lets try the Anti-Crime Computer” one of the characters would say, and there, in its large labelled glory was the very device. The over-obviousness of it all made me chuckle a lot, which the children would take as meaning “I love big signs, and that includes road signs”.
Now, there is the Tumblr blog Bat Labels which has set the task of collecting all of these together. There are many great examples, but surely the “Death Bee Hive Trip Wire” is one of the best…
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.
Harry Potter and the Order of Typography
After seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix my lasting impression of the film was the gorgeous attention to detail to type style. From Daily Prophets to Weasly products, the loving care with which typefaces where chosen or drawn is to be praised. Rather than fall back on clichéd serif faces, chunky, slightly distressed, sans-serifs and slab serifs are used to give the film a unique feel. So when the DVD finally arrived last week, I couldn’t wait to take some screengrabs:
(If the slideshow doesn’t appear, you view the Original set on Flickr)
I’m not 100%, but I reckon that they’re using a mixture of Champion Gothic (sans-serif) and Ziggurat (serif), both by Hoefler and Frere Jones
Also, thanks the Kottke for pointing me to this article on Design Observer, also talking about the Harry Potter visuals.
Branding with Arial
Many before me have expressed their feelings about Arial, and I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing how it’s a badly made derivative of Helvetica and Grotesque. You all know that to use Arial in print, means that you may as well go the whole hog and use Comic Sans.
However, over the last 4 years I have come across too many ‘branding guidelines’ where the company’s typeface specified has been Arial. Not by CEO’s or administration staff, but by the “creatives” that the company hired! In some cases, it’s been respected, supposedly experienced branding specialists.
There can be only one reason for this, Arial’s ubiquity is seen as an advantage. Why pay for a new typeface, when everyone has got a copy?! No need to install either! It amazes me that designers make such decisions, but it has happened more time than I’d like to remember.
Aside from the usual arguments, my main reasons for not using Arial in company branding are:
- Its ubiquity is its downfall. Its bloody everywhere. Go to the bother of creating print material using Arial, and it will look like something your dad printed out from his PC. (For some charities, this is a positive boon though. If it looks as if you’re spending too much money on the magazine, regular givers will take their money elsewhere! Seriously.)
- With no proper italics, the oblique version of the font has to be slanted. Not a a true italic, as this article shows. Even uglier!
- As a web font is where Arial works best, not in print, and certainly not as the chuffin’ branding.
So how do we turn this around? For some clients (Charities spring to mind immediately) cost is the major factor. We need a well designed typeface family, containing the 4 basics – Roman to Bold Oblique, thats very economical to buy in either small or large quantities. Do you have any suggestions that fit the bill?
A list of typography things
- I love shopping for type, and have just started a de.licio.us tag for typeIwanttobuy, a kind of Amazon wishlist. As you can see – they’re mostly from Veer. The experience of browsing, previewing and puchasing type from Veer is the best I’ve found anywhere, its a joy to use. The fact that you can preview your own text, and download a gif image (with no watermarks) is so much more usable than the normal flash-based font preview utilities.
- There are many ‘font finder’ type utilities on the interweb, but one I’ve recently discovered – Fontshop’s Type Navigator – is definitely worth a try.
- I recently gave the new improved-for-Tiger Apple Font Book at spin, and went through hell. I love the simple, ordered interface of the app, but it really caused suffering with my font menus. Typefaces that should’ve been disabled were showing up, and it was as slow as molasses. I went back to Suitcase X1, and all was well with the world once more – especially in my Adobe apps with fonts being auto-activated.
- The day I organised my fonts by foundry and added each foundry folder to Suitcase was time well spent. I don’t get out much.
- Welcome to the new type foundry Village, with the beautiful face Omnes by Joshua Darden, creator of the popular Freight Family. Expect to see this adorning freshly designed sites soon.
Happy Birthday Erik!
I see in my handy Typophile iCal subscription, that today is Erik Spiekermann’s birthday. Amongst many others, Erik is famous for giving the world that sophisticated beauty that is Meta! Cheers Erik!