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Category: typography (Page 4 of 4)

13 ways of looking at a typeface

perpetua gAt Designer Observer, Michael Bierut lists some of the factors that lead us to choose one typeface over another.


On a semi-related note, lately in boring meetings I find myself sketching lowercase g a lot. Usually there’s a little hook at the upper right of the upper ball. I’m still not quite sure what it’s for — maybe to lead the eye in its left-to-right journey across the page — but I love fiddling with its angle in relation to the connector between the upper and lower balls (which is often sort of similar to an open parens or angle bracket). That hook must be some vestigial element, right? If I was less lazy I would look it up.

Paint it Black

In the New York Review of Magazines (whatever that is), designer Roger Black “critiques” (makes a few random comments about) the typefaces of several magazines.

Unless I’m misreading him, he seems to associate Bembo with nineteenth-century typography, which seems odd. He thinks Caslon is bland (by coincidence, the article was written by Archie Bland). He thinks Hoefler is “over-informed” and compares it to trance music.

This is fun stuff to talk about, but is there anything actually useful here?

Gill Sans

examples of gill sans

examples of Gill Sans, an English institution, from Designer magazine

Ben Archer has an interesting article in Singapore’s Designer magazine Typotheque which he compares Eric Gill’s Gill Sans to its predecessor, the typeface designed for the London Underground by Eric Johnston. “To pick an argument with something that is akin to a typographic national monument might appear unwise; it is so very much ‘ours.'” he writes. “But it is a flawed masterpiece. How flawed? Well, monumentally flawed, in fact.”

Free Vista Fonts

If you have a Windows system but you aren’t running Vista you can still legally install the new Vista fonts (which will work fine without Vista) for free. They are packaged with Microsoft’s PowerPoint Viewer 2007. You can download the viewer here, and the fonts will be available on your system after you install it.

vista fonts

link: About Vista fonts, from PoyterOnline

Helvetica, the Poster

helvetic poster

The official Helvetica movie poster.


My fitful progress on The Typehead Chronicles continues with a page devoted to Galliard. I’m working now on a book about the art of the Mewar kingdom of Rajasthan in which I’m using Galliard. Soon I’ll start adding a few more visuals to my typeface pages.

galliard grooves

Galliard has, if anything, been overused since its introduction as a phototype face in 1978. But I haven’t used it much because the digital version has lacked old style figs and other elements I require (I guess there was a Carter & Cone version, but I don’t know anything about it). That’s changed now with the new, long-overdue ITC Pro version, which has a nice set of typographic features. (And it’s available in OpenType, which is the way to go, IMO.)


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