005 FONTSHOP 149 9th Street, Ste 302 San Francisco California 94103 USA 1 888 ff fonts toll-free 1 415 252 1003 local www.FontShop.com Font 005 04 Legibility letters are the hard-working stiffs of our media-based economy. They quietly go about their business, rarely complain, and almost never stray out of line. Organizing is what they’re all about. After countless years of first talking and then walking, you’d have expected them to form a brotherhood, a union, or at least a political action committee. But since there’s no lobbyist in sight, eager to advance their cause, we must remember that, in their many shapes and sizes, letters are the unsung heroes of the everyday. If you can read this, then they’re on the job. But what happens when a letter gets hammered on an all-night bender, loses a descender in a freak industrial accident, or, even worse, forgets to take its daily anti-alias pills and starts hallucinating? Words collapse, meaning becomes distorted, and messages fall prey to multiple interpretations. That’s what went down three decades ago when teenagers battled it out on the streets of New York City – not with knives or guns, but with letters. Rocking to the beat, “b-boys” made the break world famous, and graffiti became the city’s cultural calling card. Things got ill – and ill-legible. 04 swatches 08 feature: Ill Legible 16 22 Graffiti artist daim concentrates on four simple letters to push personal and visual boundaries in his highly stylized threedimensional writing. More than a name, daim is a tool for experimenting with and exploring form, identity, and space as illustrated in this piece created in Buenos Aires during a 2001 “Graffiti World Tour.” For this issue of Font, our fifth, we focus on legibility. Graphic designer and writer Ian Lynam takes us for a ride on a throwback tour of graffiti and graf culture. He updates the historic scene with the latest innovations and cross-fertilizations, reminding us that graffiti artists still have the write stuff. Illustrator and jill-of-all-trades Marian Bantjes contributes once again to Font with a lighthearted look at the Latin alphabet that begs the question: should our 26 industrious friends hit the showers for a little freshening up? 08 16 8UHC Font continues its role as an exploratory vehicle for letterforms, a superb resource for designers, and a great hangover remedy. We hope that you will enjoy this issue – we sure had fun putting it together. 22 Amos Klausner 30 Editor Fonts and images – steal our concepts or mix your own Traveling the paths of urban pioneers with Ian Lynam new fonts The greatest of the latest 32 foundry spotlight Type-Ø-Tones, MVB Fonts, Fountain, and OurType 30 featured distractions 32 critique Mayor Ed Koch called it vandalism; graffiti artists called it art, and, in one of the strangest turns, letters became the lifeblood of a forgotten urban class. They tagged their way across all five boroughs, going “all-city” with unconventional letter variations that meant little to the public and everything to these new kings and queens of New York. Get lost finding new type Marian Bantjes reviews the alphabet fontshop.com 03 ƒstop 128.011 Elsner+Flake Odin R T Y ™ ® image foundry font ƒstop 010.002 Monotype® zeitgeist ™ image foundry font ƒstop 115.021 Bitstream image foundry 25 43 97 font ƒstop 104.021 Elsner+Flake Carousel image ™ Oranda font ™ foundry ® Bitstream ® foundry font ƒstop 116.002 image S23211 $350 Aphasia Three-button front. Two flap pockets and chest pockets. Feltlined collar. Dry clean. image Pinstripe suit Jacket ® S23987 $80 foundry 100% French silk, hand sewn with fine grade interlining. Dry clean. ™ CHAMBOURG EVENING tie font S23445 $145 Boustifaille Subtle cotton texture. Back yoke with two pleats. Machine wash. 6tsp 34lbs 55oz 71¢ 92% ƒstop 115.002 Verona shirt Through The P Trees A Inscription™ ITC ® this page foundry Font Bureau® Relay® ™ foundry font Julia Script Elsner+Flake ® PARLAY ƒstop 076.003 image ƒstop 049.033 Monotype Imaging font Fairfield ™ Linotype® Quirinus foundry font foundry FontFont Roice ® ™ ™ Basic modern shapes are combined here to to create a stunning and even tranquil element to open any surface type. ™ foundry font font Elsner+Flake Tokay ® foundry font ® ƒstop 068.030 image ƒstop 121.031 image ƒstop 078.007 image DaY work PLAY I N MARC G AT HO H 8 L TICKE LER SALE TS ON NOW image Brooks’ interes in the mating rituals of worms stems from an early obsession in all things soil-based. From this passion grew a more academic discovery into those creatures whom soil is first and foremost their only home. Traveling the Paths of Urban Pioneers by Ian Lynam Graffiti is as old as history itself, evident even at Lascaux, where mystic visions of heaven and earth made their way from hand to wall. The first published accounts of graffiti – pathological studies on prisoners, their tattoos, and marks made on the walls of prison cells – appeared in the 1800s. These early inquiries linked graffiti to theories on criminality and the mental state of murderers, thieves, and other lowlifes – associations that still feed larger social fears. G.H. Luquet’s seminal 1910 textbook on graffiti featured illustrated examples he found in European toilet stalls and army barracks, and focused on obscene imagery, including male and female genitalia, urinating stick figures, and the indisputably classic penis-nose caricature. Legendary provocateur Marcel Duchamp was the first artist to participate in the act of graffiti when, in 1919, he drew a pencil moustache and thin beard on a reproduction of the Mona Lisa and titled it L.H.O.O.Q. The letters, when read in French, reveal the inside joke, “She’s got a hot ass.” Duchamp’s act of defacement instantly upgraded graffiti to a viable reactionary activity, a critical force for commentary, and – in the case of Duchamp, whose own sexuality was rather ambivalent – an avenue for personal expression. Graffiti proliferated both in the United States and Europe, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that it developed into a distinct, self-aware subculture with roots in the urban centers of New York and Philadelphia. Faced with a political and social dynamic that exploited family, friends, and entire communities, restless teenagers turned to graffiti as a way of bringing attention back to a forgotten class. Not trained as artists, or even highly educated, they forced their messages into the public consciousness using the only tool they could Photographer Martha Cooper captured the evolution of New York City’s graffiti and hip-hop subcultures through the lens of her camera. Her iconic images portray the youth, vitality, and curiosity of pioneering artists in a rapidly expanding and complex society. comfortably exploit – the alphabet. of self-definition in cities that The earliest activists in this renais- were impersonal and undefined. sance called themselves writers. Initially, quantity and having Unlike the obvious political slogan- your work seen (or “getting up”) eering or gang-related proto-graffiti, was the driving engine for the graf these writers communicated with community. But ubiquity became a tags – simple, highly personalized problem – subway cars were filling messages born out of a need for up with tags so fast that space was some measure of recognition. at a premium. Conversely, this was One of the earliest writers, lee 163, an important boost. With limited remembers, “Shit was deep. You opportunity, graffiti artists began had Vietnam and all types of pro- thinking about the best use for tests, the Black Panthers, the Young the uncompromised surfaces they Lords, racism and hatred at a peak, found. Writers learned to modify and brothers and others fighting their tags, creating idiosyncratic inequality and dying trying to put marks infused with creativity and a stop to it. The odds were against character that stood out among you. You can’t be unaffected by all the growing visual clutter. of that.” Unknowingly, the work of lee 163 and others bridged a Regardless of its underlying social widening gap between the haves message, the public continued to and the have-nots, and redefined see graffiti not as an effect, but as our understanding of letterforms as the cause of social ills, and it was to a tool for mass communication. be fought at every turn. Penalties for offenders were quickly increased 10 Font 005 Tags began appearing in crowded and barbed wire fences erected urban projects and throughout around train yards. For pioneering high-traffic public transit systems. writers, the act of vandalism and Hand lettered with permanent its inherent rush were not enough markers, they became omnipresent, to sustain their enthusiasm and filling the inside walls of subway participation. Older now, they had cars in a dense tapestry of ink. On the responsibilities that come with the outside, spray paint covered age. Within a few years, many of the cars from top to bottom. It was rebirth writers dropped out of the authentic and expressive; an act scene. It was – and remained – a These tags, both historic (dondi and taki 183) and contemporary (twist, cope, and rime), show how calligraphic variation allows writers to create personal identities that are shared throughout the urban landscape. june 19, 2005 – aim, scrag, aluma, prize kids’ game, and there was no dearth of young talent. that, in only 30 years, original styles have morphed and New blood only increased tensions in the graffiti commu- multiplied into a global kaleidoscope. That speed, along nity, pitting speed against style; the first was necessary with the anonymity that must go hand in hand with for completing the more elaborate throw-ups and pieces vandalizing private property, has left us with a rather (short for masterpieces) without getting caught, with the undefined history of modern graffiti. While there may latter becoming increasingly important as innovators still be disagreement about who was the first to “bomb” continued to manipulate letters as a vehicle for peer rec- a New York City subway train or the first to burn a wild ognition and self-aggrandizement. With no commercial style piece (where letters are linked in a complicated application for their craft, writers, either as individuals and hypnotic network of decorative, experimental or as part of a writing crew, established and participated calligraphy), the power of image, the need for identity, in non-violent competition more akin to professional and the lure of the street continue to feed a robust writing sports than knife fights, where getting up was the culture. As we collectively ease into a new millennium, perfect mix of artistry and bravado. graffiti artists can be grouped into one of three categories. Purists (or “archaists”) uphold the traditions of graffiti july 10, 2005 – aider, drama, pues, stak This became the motivating force for stylistic innova- by perpetuating styles at the foundation of the move- tion, spilling over into the related street cultures of ment. Pragmatists search out opportunities to extend hip-hop and, eventually, rap music, which featured dj, their art and craft into mainstream consumer culture, b-boy dance, and freestyle battles. The original emotions and the avant-garde looks for new ways to bend letters of dispossession that fueled the graf culture were the and the rules. As expected, the avant-garde has done same ones that launched these additional art-based the most to propel graffiti beyond writing to include subsets. That the language and visual cues of graffiti influences from advertising, graphic design, architec- were adopted, maybe even co-opted, by hip-hop is no ture, and illustration. This, in turn, has opened new surprise. But unlike writers, who had no way to make a doors for pragmatists and given justification to purists. living from their work, hip-hop artists, with a vocation july 16, 2005 – zeros, awake Historian and photographer Cassidy Curtis documents the effect time has on popular graffiti surfaces at Graffiti Archaeology, an interactive website dedicated to capturing constant change. These images show the transformation of a single wall in a San Francisco neighborhood. rooted in music and dance, found ample opportunity to Letters are still at the core of writing, but as information- merchandise and export their product. Entertainment saturated societies merge and homogenize, graf culture companies mined resource-rich inner cities, repackaged has been forced to widen its self-defined boundaries. what they found, and promoted their product from coast The rise of technology, mass marketing, and global to coast. Before anyone knew what had happened, thou- consumerism in the 1990s obliged writers and other artists sands of b-boy and b-girl clones were doing windmills, interested in the street to begin culture jamming – freezes, and six steps. The widespread acceptance and reflecting and reacting against a constant barrage of success of hip-hop reversed a hundred years of negative advertising images. Using posters, stickers, and stencils, attitudes toward sidewalk and subway delinquents. they reformulated their messages for ever more modern Artists like Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and, to some cities whose continued visual and constructed gentrifi- extent, Jean Michel Basquiat, adopted stylistic in- cation assaulted the remaining pockets of viable urban novations made fashionable by graffiti and their work wilderness. swoon, the master of cut-paper posters, became immensely popular. Films like Wild Style hit the commented on this loss. “We are thirsting for wilderness. big screen, featuring crossover artists like Grandmaster I believe that in seeking it, our generation creates Flash and the Rock Steady Crew, while the graffiti docu- wilderness for itself. Our walls become screeching mentary Style Wars connected with pbs viewers as the jungles; rapacious conversations, life, death, birth and definitive chronicle of the emergent hip-hop culture. decay are written aloud all around us.” In fulfilling her role as a street artist, swoon, along with hundreds like 12 Font 005 For writers, the built-in rivalries, which still exist today, her, continues to challenge and change long accepted accelerated graffiti growth patterns to such an extent views on advertising, art in public places, and the use fontshop.com 13 and reuse of urban space. Marketing executives and cool hunters, in an ironic twist, are taking advantage of the popular acceptance of culture jamming and street art as illustrated by Sony’s recent psp advertising campaign – a campaign that was publicly ridiculed by the graffiti community and, perhaps, secretly appreciated by the public. Today, the new frontier for writers still convinced that letters make words, that words are symbols, and that symbols carry meaning, is the open space made possible in the electrosphere, the indeterminate landscape of computer-generated possibility. Odd for a culture built on something as antediluvian as letters, but building (and the inverse act of destroying) is exactly what’s happening. With computer-aided drafting software, writers have started shaping letters in the same way Together with the Dutch architecture firm Maurer United Architects, writer zedz rethinks street furniture with this unconventional design. that architects create form. The term “deconstruction,” coined by French philosopher and literary critic Jacques Printed, cut, and pasted: an emotional piece by New York City-based graffiti artist swoon. Derrida in the 1960s, postulated that writing, text, and architecture and typography when they commissioned few years later, bombing subway cars would come to language could move beyond the single layer of meaning Maurer United Architects and Dutch graffiti artist zedz an abrupt end with the introduction of graffiti-proof imbued by its author to represent multiple layers that to connect their stark, functional campus to Eindhoven’s Teflon® coatings. With that, the meteoric rise of graffiti are constantly shifting. Deconstructive architecture is urban core. Agreeing that cultural authenticity was key, slowed (some would even argue that it reversed course), similar, defined by its unpredictability, fragmentation, architect and writer transformed the tag zedz from di- but the subculture never stopped. Bought and sold, it and dislocation. As controlled chaos, deconstructive mensional typography into large-scale street furniture. has moved away from urban centers, further evolving architecture questions, contradicts, and even under- If the Eindhoven project seems devoid of personality and beyond the white-hot spotlight of vandalism and assimi- mines tradition, rationality, and, more importantly, craft (considered crucial by some), then a Swiss engineer lating ascendant cultures like skate- and snowboarding. authority. By deconstructing typography and lettering, and designer working in Zurich have created a scary The word itself, graffiti, conjures up new meaning, just today’s tech-savvy writers such as joker, delta, and daim hybrid of technology and graffiti in Hektor, a portable as Derrida might have prophesied. As social experience, are in an exciting position. They straddle the deconstruc- wall-mounted graffiti printer. With no writer required, it remains authentic, visible, and tangible in the messag- tive world of Derrida, who questioned meaning, and motors and cables holding a spray can follow precise es left for us throughout the city, suburbs, and exburbs. that of architects like Lebbeus Woods, Thom Mayne, and vector graphics paths provided by remote from a nearby As global culture, it is computer-generated and virtual – Zaha Hadid, who question form. The result is a hybrid laptop computer. Pipslab, an art collective in Amsterdam, the grist of video games and marketeers. Washed of all its “typogritecture,” where letters are organized, reorganized, has done away with spray paint altogether. Attaching historic and contemporary associations, both good and and sculpted in three-dimensional space without the light bulbs to spray cans, the collective uses multiple bad, we are reminded that graffiti has always been, and surface constraints forced upon writers who rely on cameras and long exposures to photograph the physical remains, a means for insurgent voices to speak and the city and street. This isn’t to say that writers are no act of tagging. The results are colorful and energetic, yet a way for letters to do all the talking. longer dependent on traditional letterforms – they are. completely ethereal. By revealing the elemental core of letter formation, artists obsessed with breaking them apart pay reverence to When Style Wars was released back in 1982, no one could WEB EXTRA What is your experience with graffiti? Join the online time-tested forms while simultaneously keeping them have foreseen the changes in store for graffiti. Old school discussion and read an extended interview with style master fresh and lively. writers like seen, case, and iz the wiz were confident rime at FontShop.com/Font005 that writing would thrive despite the best efforts of the delta shows off his tag using Pipslab’s Lumasol graffiti process. 14 Font 005 Recently, the Eindhoven University of Technology in Metropolitan Transit Authority. At the time, they had The Netherlands explored the relationship between reason to be optimistic. No one imagined that only a fontshop.com 15 John Hampsey: Paranoidic Last night ☾ I was (= to my new ♫ when it started to O)". That’s when I saw a wee ;D=I sitting out on the ledge. I ♥ birds and I could Prime ☠ Rent tell it needed [+]. After I brought the bird inside to dry off, I 6-6 that there was twine wrapped around its feet. “Oh, no!” I ..(_). I quickly grabbed ✂ and set the wee bird free. It looked at me and 8-) and then flew away. Although I was quite :`-( to see the bird leave, I still have my <e)<, Oliver, ff Karo™ by martin l’allier S T N O F T N to keep me company. ff PicLig™ by CHRISTINA ScHULTZ E H T O F NEW SILENT VOICES When asked if the world wouldn’t be a better place if everyone spoke the same language, anthropologist Wade Davis replied, “Terrific idea. Let’s make that universal language Yoruba, or Lakota, or Cantonese.” ff Kievit™ 3 by michael abbink ct ► ct discretionary ligatures 1/8 ► ⅛ fractions 8 9 9u 9ug U8 6ihn 3tdc ff Headz™ by florian zietz H20H2O ► scientific inferiors abc ► ••• ornaments In Conversation with Dean Lee ff Megano™ by xavier dupré k ► k swashes 832 ► 832 lining figures 0IDV 9ugv 8UH 2 2r 8UHC 2rf 4Rn 5EfN 7ugx 2rfb WEB EXTRA Read more about how to use ff Headz at FontShop.com/Font005 UNLEASH TYPOGRAPHIC POWER WITH OPENTYPE® Type designers and type users worldwide have embraced the cross-platform OpenType® format, which offers advanced typographic features and extended language support. Four of the most well-known FontFont® designs are now available in OpenType: ff Dax,® ff DIN,® ff Meta,® and ff Scala.® Other OpenType FontFonts in this release include ff Eddie,™ ff Nexus,™ and the newly published designs, ff Karo,™ ff Megano,™ ff Headz,™ and ff PicLig.™ fontshop.com 17 fontshop.com ƒstop 116.043 Neue Fonts Vista™ Sans Emigre® FontShop’s latest batch includes Gábor Kóthay’s eye-grabbing Incognito, two unique sans serifs in Bryant and Vista, and Frieze – a set of four dotted alphabets destined to play a starring role in projects both retro and ultramodern. See more from these faces online, and keep abreast of new releases by joining our email list at [email protected] Filling the Bowl with Green Soup mind-boggling brilliance persuaded me Incognito™ Small Caps <H e t S Terra Incognita™ Regular T Q Y R I [email protected] > ƒstop 054.016 Club-21® Incognito™ Meridies, Occidens, Oriens, Septentrio Frieze™ Bewildered With the Dubious Hog ƒstop 059.027 In the June Petticoat Parade Process Type Foundry® Years ago, Hungarian designer Gábor Kóthay discovered a rare book containing historic maps and various cartographic symbols. Inspired by the meticulous lettering and its elegant frills, he set upon a typographic – and topographic – journey to create Incognito and Terra Incognita (“unknown land”). This full set of fonts includes regular and small caps styles, and five italics with varying swash caps for recreating the handmade feel of antique documents. Asking for a Kind Favor Bryant™ 2 incognito ™ terra incognita ™ The ignominious inability to overcome Onxyia introduced a small stir amidst the throng of the leaderless Idealists Incognito™ Italic FONT Incognito™ foundry Fountain® image ƒstop 048.028 He started to turn the pages very slowly, his hands trembling with each turn. It was the end of a long strange journey for him on the outside and on the inside. The knowledge of who he was became overwhelmingly conclusive. The book he held had his lost answer. He now knew the truth. Incognito™ Regular fontshop.com 19 Hughes, Barnbrook, Spiekermann in London The FontFeed: Nourish Your Creativity Say Hello to FontShop We don’t just sell type, we live for it. The outlet for this obsession is The FontFeed – a frequent update of what’s new at FontShop and around the world of design and typography. Visit several times a week to ogle the web’s most font resellers are little more than bits and bytes. not us. here, we present the flesh and blood of fontshop san francisco. meet more members of the family in future issues of font. jeff sinclair Do phone trees tick you off? When you call or email FontShop, you won’t get a mindless robot – you’ll get Jeff. While he can’t shoot lasers or talk in a mechanical voice, he can help get your fonts in working order. Mac,® Windows,® ps, tt, or ot – Jeff knows ’em all like the back of his very human hand. In his off time, this Scottish lad dons a kilt and samples from every sandwich shop in the Bay Area. Larry, our resident sys admin, is the guy we call when our computers aren’t behaving (usually the Windows boxes, of course). He’s also deemed the office Coupon Boy. Want 50% off Epson® printer cartridges? A free lunch? Larry’s your man. He shoots a mean turnaround jumpshot, too. mike schawel Did you get the roi tbl from the tbs organics? Neither did we. But that’s cool – Mike’s on top of it. Not only can he complete full sentences using only articles and acronyms, our website visionary is also proficient in gourmet cooking, Zen breathing, and choraked faad haang. the bathroom wall This haiku is just one example of the brilliant writing that graces FontShop’s Office Literacy Project. Should you ever visit our hq in the heart of San Francisco’s soma district, you, too, can share in the pleasure of poetry. contact fontshop Call 1 888 ff fonts toll-free within the usa 1 415 252 1003 local 1 415 252 1331 fax [email protected] www.FontShop.com 20 Font 005 In Use: FF DIN for The Onion, In Use: Neo Sans for Intel, The FontShop 2006 Calendar Tip: The Worn/Weathered/Stamped Look Th Faces Behind the Faces, New FontFonts and Free FF Meta Pro, In Use: FF Liant for Weleda, FontHunt2005 NY Winners, I AMsterdam in Avenir, PingMag Interviews Erik Spiekermann, Tip: The Worn/Weathered/Stamped Look, An Interview with Zuzana Licko, Jeffery Keedy: Thoughts on Designing Type, David Berlow: The Making of California, Peterpaul Kloosterman, Tip: GIF Your Type Right, The Typotheque Gallery of Fonts in Use, Bold Formal Scripts, Is Not Magazine Loves Unhttp://www.fontshop.com/fontfeed larry li large photo, top: Mike. large photo, bottom: words of wisdom at FontShop SF. small photos, clockwise, from top left: Stephen, Jeff, Alex, Ivan, Ana, Larry, and Michael. best in typographic design, pick up helpful hints on working with fonts, and discover some of our favorite underrated typefaces. The FontFeed is food for your creative brain. fonts used: ff Nexus Sans,™ ff Atma™ 6409 7238 monumental declaration (74²)× 3dance & Type-Ø-Tones giant whale leaving us to wonder just what kind of things it was saying wilma ™ \\\\ \\\\ \ lounge Black-Caped Matadors memimas ™ items may be subject EXPRESS ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ Maximum Capacity matricia ™ the archetypal villAIn Pavilion the cavalier adventures of max & his lucky stick frankie ™ jelly-roll blues dancer mayayo ™ townsend court wilma ™ Based on the simple geometry of old wood type, Wilma consists of 19 layerable fonts. Use a suitcase full of inlines, outlines, shadows, and patterns to create multifaceted headlines with depth and charm. memimas ™ The designers of Martha Stewart Baby found this gentle script perfect for the magazine’s logo. The caps work well on their own, too, lending a handwritten quality to any line of copy. matricia ™ Three technostalgic monospaced fonts (dotted, square, and double-row) take us back to the days of noisy printers and gridded electric displays. frankie ™ Solid ink can be boring. Simulate distressed or stamped type with Frankie (wide) or Frankie Dos (condensed), two heavy headliners eroded to perfection. mayayo ™ Enric Jardí must have had a blast using paper and scissors to create this bouncy typeface; Mayayo has “festive” written all over it. Celebrate with solid, inline, and polka-dotted variants. tschicholina ™ Jan Tschichold’s 1929 experimentation with unicase inspired this namesake typeface. There’s no upper- or lowercase – just basic, beautiful geometric forms. tschicholina ™ on legibility “Why don’t we call for a worldwide agreement about type? Let’s choose one (at least for the next 20 years). We read best what we read most – stop designing new typefaces.” – Laura Meseguer TYOHOSHGH09WHNJESGJ4I0SMF00DF3K AWJFI9RUTIJKFJ[3O55KSKOJEOTI4HSKE FLIP3U968BNSNVAURPWU609IHIQHHTJJ YUOIPSETI03JPJOJG9TUAPOX[MRGPQ[4I fontshop.com 23 tightrope walker seeks sad clown leon C gets H A map R O T E R mvb fonts Exposed & Weathered The Shipman’s Tale the association of foreign titleholders MVB verdigris ® Van Bronkhorst’s goal was to create a legible text face in the Garamond tradition with good typographic color (density). Mission accomplished! MVB Verdigris is sturdy and appealing – it’s the ultimate workhorse serif. MVB verdigris® bletchly MVB magnesium® grime MVB magnesium® grime Need to emulate grubby industrial signage? Throw in some Grime. You’ve got instant muck, and you didn’t even have to break a sweat. MVB sirenne ® We’re huge fans of the serifed hand lettering found on antique maps. MVB Sirenne brings that feeling to the digital world with a full set of weights, small caps, and swashy italics, with separate cuts for small and large settings. Visit FontShop.com to see its antiquarian elegance. on legibility “One can draw letters that can be readily identified, but they might be awful, ugly-but-identifiable letters, and not readable when combined as text.” – mark van Bronkhorst persephone Semantic Progression Two-Penny Act nce upon a time, in a small cubicle far away there worked a man named Jed. Now, this Jed was not your ordinary run-of-the-mill reclusive cube guy. He was Punica Granatum Mollusks and Crustaceans more of your Chatty Kathy variety, inviting any and all co-workers into the most minute details of his, well, sordid lifestyle. This then meant that MVB grenadine ® A geometric sans gets a shot of jolly. There’s just enough spring in its step to transform ho-hum to ha-ha! MVB sirenne® MVB grenadine® fontshop.com 25 e had a father that drank heavily from his jug of red wine that was his companion at any dinner. Regardless of when nished his meal, or anyone for that matter, it was the unspoken rule that one never left the table until excused. This ystem worked just fine, and everyone went along with it from day one. But as a stranger, it was a tough lesson to lear nd an even tougher one to swallow. I found myself at Caesar’s table on my first visit to Smith River. We had arrived in he afternoon, just before sundown. Caesar came out to greet us and I was immediately taken by his kind eyes and war mbrace. He showed us to our room and made a comment about sleeping together before the wedding. With a wink, h miled at me and shut the door behind him. George and I sat in the room unpacking a few items and removing our sh e looked at me and said he was thankful that I had agreed to the long trip. It meant a lot to him, and I could tell by t ook on his face the truth behind this feeling. We headed out towards the kitchen only to be stopped in the living roo ee the view out Caesar’s window at the beautiful redwoods on the hill. There was finally some new growth coming ba n after years of lumbering in the area. He told us that Smith River was once a vibrant lumbering community and that O Near the Harbor h Old Amsterdam fountain g Duke in Bur gundy Rosencrantz E Sa¬ r on & Car damom F zanzibar™ Porziuncola JAlizarin Crimson lisboa sans,™ LISBOA™ T improved flavor ) Saucy Squeezability mayo,™ ketchupa,™ mustardo™ on legibility “How does one make type legible? Open it zanzibar ™ Gábor Kóthay’s creation represents the convergence of three cultures – European, African, and Moorish. Encounter exotic trade and historical diversity through its baroque swashes, calligraphic flourishes, Arabic handwriting, and botanical ornaments. LISBOA SANS ™ LISBOA ™ Two text faces by Portugual’s Ricardo Santos reflect the warmth of the Iberian peninsula. Lisboa has curled stroke endings, while Lisboa Sans does not. Each comes with a full complement of weights and italics. Complementary dings and patterns round out the set. mayo ™ ketchupa ™ mustardo ™ This delightful set serves up two soft, interchangeable sans fonts and a typeface/dingbat combo with charming snap-on borders, banners, and arrows. delicato ™ After years of experimentation with display fonts, Stefan Hattenbach switched gears to create a functional text face. Italian for “delicious,” Delicato is a savory fusion of the classic and the modern. up. Bring in more air. Optimize spacing to create even ‘word images,’ because that’s how we read text – each word as an image.” – Peter Bruhn gourmet Momentary Lapse chocolate truffles second sophistic She leaned her chair back in kind of a sate of thoughtful grace delicato™ fontshop.com 27 roses in the song titles and then lyrics, make for a good, but not great compilation. We were then torn about who to see that night. Unfortunately we had to miss the set about Illinois, but we did catch a few songs about Michigan last month. The picks for this week follow in the eighties tradition so prevalent right now, leaving us to wonder if a new sound will emerge in the months ahead. You have to wonder if the sound is similar, if not identical to that of Jack Jackson, or even The Tenderloins. As a Kentucky band, they know the foundation of strong sounds and continue to tap the beat on the high hats. But the real strength is in the produc- steps out to meet the mass in every ourtype knipoog zou CUTTLEBONE Thread Count case an awkward his read as in to Allergen Barrier Fabric Mattress Wash in a machine at the water temperature listed above. The machine should be half filled. Spin for one minute. Avoid tumble drying garments that you particularly cherish fresco sans,™ fresco ™ Peter Verheul likens his Versa to other strong humanist designs like Optima and Albertus, but it’s so much fresher than those old standbys. Like Fresco, the family includes sans, serif, and condensed variations. do read nowadays can be so diverse that I have hardly any hope for the general legibility tests and their conclusions as we knew them from a few decades ago.” – Fred Smeijers cold cuts & soda spicy beef jerky peanuts, beer, ice Quarterly reports show a gain in overall spending in four major markets led by the boost in holiday sales. This will, no doubt, improve the economic outlook or the next fiscal year. Forecasts are now predicting an upswing in the small The Fresco family is large and versatile enough to represent any sort of writing, from white-collar corporate reports to button-down magazine copy. Each typeface (sans, serif, and condensed versions) comes in four weights with all the figs, itals, and caps you need to set well-dressed text. versa ™ on legibility “The circumstances in which people can and (890) fresco ™ sans fresco ™ Public Service Storm warnings rang out early Sunday morning versa™ amaryllis long-lasting brilliance in five colors sansa™ Featuring the unique tastes of Brazilian cuisine DA TABELA sansa ™ Fred Smeijers set out to simplify the basic sans form without sacrificing its character, and Sansa was born. Its three weights come in two widths, with italics to boot. monitor ™ Set clean legible type, onscreen or off. Weights range from a delicate thin to a commanding extra black. fresco ™ script The OurType fellows are known for their serious text faces, but this loose script proves they can play, too. Fresco Script recalls both the sign painter’s brush and classical italics while retaining a handwritten flavor. monitor ™ Frederick Farms 100% certified organic cage-free chicken eggs fresco script ™ WEB EXTRA Read more of Smeijers’ thoughts on legibility at FontShop.com/Font005 fontshop.com 29 fontshop.com Featured Distractions Time to start work? Staring at a blank page? Every job presents an opportunity to discover type – whether it’s new or just new to you. Get sidetracked by some of our favorites from the FontShop vaults. Reap the benefits of employing useful faces that rarely get used. Hawthorne Kindergarten Legionnaire BACKseatDRIVER Mr Bloomington Nickel Arcade Oats & Honey greENbean Ski Gothic™ monotype imaging ® Coptek™ itc ® Paddington™ elsner+flake ® ff Clifford™ fontfont ® 30 Font 005 Kursivschrift™ linotype ® Industrial Gothic™ monotype imaging ® Solaris™ elsner+flake ® ff Folk™ fontfont ® fontshop.com 31 That alphabet. It’s been around a long time, and I, for one, have some complaints. Don’t you think it’s time for a redesign? I mean, the thing’s not exactly “fresh” anymore, is it? A lot of time has passed since this thing was so-called “intelligently designed” in the age before we even knew there was such a thing as design. But we know more now, and I think this fusty old thing could use a little modern-day tinkering. It looks like two different people designed this pair of letterforms (and they weren’t talking to each other). The capital A has a good iconic structure: three strokes and you’re done. I like the way they lean together to form that stable triangular shape, with both feet planted firmly on the ground and the whole structure reinforced by the crossbar. It’s very strong. The lowercase a is just, uh… kind of stupid; a graphic non sequitur. But the typographic form of the a has beautiful curves and allows for a lot of variation within the shape. It’s feminine and extremely sexy, but sometimes the bowl causes problems. It has so little space to fit into – half of the x-height. This is inconsistent with the other letters in the alphabet, and seems a bit out of place. Neither is working as a partner for that strong capital – I simply can’t imagine what they were thinking. Unsupervised junior designers! In my humble opinion, this is just lazy design. A curve and a smaller curve. What’s with that? Think outside of the circle. This is a very nice pair. Whoever did this was really thinking about the relationship between the upper- and lowercase. I like the way the capital B can have some variation in the proportions from top to bottom. It has muscle; it has fat. Obviously designed by a man, the ball and stick of the lowercase b is simple and, appropriately, half of the cap B. Talk about male and female! The buxom, pregnant cap mated with the excitable lowercase. B-b-b-beautiful. These may look like they don’t belong together, but I think they’re actually pretty good. The cap E has such good structure and balance, and, in a way, the lowercase e has that same structure, only rounded. One is based on a rectangle, the other on a circle. There’s a concept behind this. The eye of the lowercase e has some of the same problems as the a, due to that half-x-height thing. Would the cap E look better with another vertical line down the right? I think that maybe it would – it’s something to think about. Another one from the scrap yard of design: the lowercase d is just a ripoff of the b, and it really bothers me the way the cap D is flipped horizontally. It’s like someone wanted to emulate the Bb but just didn’t get it. This is not an ode, it’s a poor derivative. fontshop.com 33 Of all letterforms, the lowercase f is one of my favorites. I love the hook of the ascender, and the crossbar gives it that extra little oomph. But the cap F, while obviously related to the lowercase f, is too close to the E. If the E had an extra stroke, then the F would stand out more. Still, it seems clumsy and top-heavy. I can see what they were trying to do with the angular version of the lowercase, but I just don’t think it’s working. The capital I without the crossbars at the top and bottom is either the laziest piece of design in history or an elegant stroke of modernism. With the crossbars, it’s just clunky and awkward. The lowercase i is kind of cute with that little dot, I suppose, but I’m not really buying it. This one never should have made it out of the comp stage. Here we have two really great letterforms that just don’t match! Perhaps they were designed by the same people who did the Aaa? Despite my problems with the C, I think the shape is expanded upon in an inventive way in the G. Drawing an open lowercase g is one of the great pleasures in life (that beautiful curved descender!). However, the typographic form (g), while quirky and amusing, is a baroque excess of unusual hooks and parts. It’s incredibly difficult to remember exactly what goes where. All in all, it’s a litter of adorable mutts. I honestly think that a different designer saw the i and improved on it with the lowercase j. Where the i is boring and slightly weird, the addition of a swooping, curved descender turns it into a thing of beauty. The dot is now somehow emphatic rather than silly. This one nailed it. The capital J was probably done afterward, borrowing the hook from the lowercase. But the top is problematic – without the crossbar, it looks unbalanced; with it, it looks clunky. This is a design problem worthy of more thought. Like the A, the capital H is really strong. It has the same three parts as the A, and is clearly the work of the same designer. I like the balance of the open spaces at the top and bottom. The lowercase h, however, isn’t doing anything for me. It looks weak and sort of half finished. I imagine it being the desperate result of a long night without ideas. It’s the “I just gotta make this deadline” solution. 34 Font 005 Someone had fun with this one, and I like the results. An excellent pair, both the upper- and lowercase have character and – dare I say it? – attitude! These letterforms are very unique and balanced without resorting to the cliché of curves, and the flexibility of the joining of strokes allows for endless writing fun. It’s really excellent design. What the fuck is that? No two worse letterforms exist than these duds – I mean, come on. Two lines and a line? Who designed this, some old fart completely worn out and bereft of ideas? The design rationale must’ve been one helluva snow job. The capital L has that gaping, awkward open space, and the lowercase… it’s a line! And it looks like a cap I or a 1, for God’s sake. This is what happens when Modernism is allowed to run rampant. I’m so glad that I don’t have any of these in my name. Speaking of my name, check these out – these are two sweet letterforms. Is it any wonder that a line of ms denotes “yummy”? Mmmmm. The cap M is unique and strong, and balanced and open in a way that doesn’t interfere with other letterforms. The lowercase echoes the sturdiness of the cap, with a firm footing on the ground, but adds those two rolling curves. They echo and embrace each other in well-deserved mutual admiration. Yay! My name begins with M! Well, it’s half the m, and only half as nice. I do like the asymmetric diagonal, though – it causes some directional problems when you’re learning to write, but it grows on you. The lowercase n is far less interesting. It looks lonely, missing its other half. The Nns are amputees – fully capable of functioning, but just a little bit sad. I don’t know about this. At least they’re not just straight lines, but they are, um… just circles. There is beauty and perfection in a circle, but these are so self-enclosed, so unexpansive. I think they need something else, like maybe a tail or something (see Q). The lowercase p is really nice, especially when you let the descender get really long. But this whole ball-and-stick thing… c’mon, guys, get over it! Given a choice, I prefer the p to the b, but the b did it first. That cap P, though, is just totally not working! Like a tiny girl with huge breasts, it’s so top-heavy that it looks like it’s going to fall over! This whole letterform needs rethinking. All that the O needed was a little something, and here it is in the capital Q. One of my all-time favorite letterforms, the Q takes all the beauty and simplicity of a circle and builds on it with the ever-variable and expressive tail – it’s surely the chocolate cake of any type design. Too bad this letter is so seldom used. The lowercase q, though… I’m not fooled by that extra bit at the bottom of the descender – this is another ball-and-stick! (The last one, I hope!) This is no match for its elegant capital. fontshop.com 35 This is another pair in which the cap and lowercase have nothing in common and must surely have been designed by different people. The cap is by a genius; the lowercase, by a nincompoop. The capital R takes the best from the B and the K and successfully merges them together. When the leg is not sitting solidly, firmly on the baseline, it is allowed to swoop down and become a tail – a form that I particularly admire. There is love in the R. The lowercase r, on the other hand, is weak, imbalanced, stubby, and awkward. It’s an accursed thing that hangs around like a sick mongrel cur, drooling unpleasantly over all the other letterforms. This was a great idea, but somewhat lacking in the execution… or rather, it’s just really difficult to maintain a good standard. With all their potential for elegance, both the upper- and lowercase are hard to reproduce as anything other than clumsy and unbalanced by anyone other than a trained expert. Try it – make a good S for me… it’s hard! In the right hands, it’s a sophisticated character, but horribly open to abuse. It’s certainly not something that should be entrusted to children. I also think the lowercase could benefit from a descender of some kind. 36 Font 005 After what I said about the L, you might expect me to come down hard on the T. But where the capital L lacks balance, the T has it, in spades. With its two arms, I find it welcoming and protective. Move the arms down and shorten them, and you’ve got a nice pair there! The lowercase , minus the hook, is a little bit Christian for my liking, although I do respect its simplicity. The hook gives it an interesting character, and I like it, despite its being a tad rocky. My first impression of this was that it was an obscenely lazy design, rocky, and derivative of the already poor Cc. However, after my initial outrage, I came to appreciate the anchoring aspect of the two straight sides of the U, and, especially, the firm little balanced foot of the lowercase u. Suddenly, I am drawn to their tongue-like nature, to the crystal goblet of the form. I have a special fondness for the cap V, but it does make me nervous. On the one hand, it’s so unstable, balancing on that point like a cheeky upside-down A. On the other hand, it has a certain confident pride. With its arms raised equally above the nadir, it manages to instill a trust that it will not actually fall over, despite the precariousness of the situation. And it’s just a nice form. Maybe I’m partial to triangles. The shrunken lowercase v obviously gets my scorn – it’s like telling a good story twice in a row. The exuberance of the V translates twofold to the W. But where the V teeters, the W stands solid. The W has the symmetry and pleasing balance of the M without being a directly inverted version of same. I like it when the strokes cross in the middle, too. But is it because we are nearing the end of the alphabet that we see this endless repetition of shrunken lowercase forms? Do I hear, “Fuck it, we’re nearly done, let’s just get this job outta here.”? Did Paul Rand design this? Is it not perfect? Do you know why illiterates sign their name with an X? Because it’s perfect, that’s why. Two strokes which give the illusion of four. Xxxxx, you know I love you. This is quite possibly the best pair in the alphabet. Each on its own is good – the uppercase Y being based, obviously, on a tree; the lowercase, on a rooted bush, with that most elegant of all descenders. But look at them together! Were they not made for each other? This is design that thinks and understands relationships. I would guess it to be the later work of the designer of the Bb and the Mm. And last, but certainly not least, the Z – with a final flourish, a sword slash (yes, I know!), a signature of completion. The Z has both action and balance – the zeal of a project at its end! Alas, with the lowercase z, the alphabet goes out with a bang and a whimper. Written, designed, and illustrated by Marian Bantjes © 2006. Originally published on the weblog Speak Up in August 2005. This article has been reformatted for paper. FontShop takes no responsibility for content. Text and drawings are the opinion and personal expression of Marian Bantjes. Letters of complaint and outrage should be sent to [email protected] Body text is set in New Century Schoolbook™ by Morris Fuller Benton, c. 1923, with FontFont’s ff Zwo™ by Jörg Hemker, 2002. Both are available from FontShop.com, natch. fontshop.com 37 500 tnoF ytilibigeL Font is published by FontShop in San Francisco editors Amos Klausner Stephen Coles design Punchcut / www.punchcut.com punchcut staff Joe Pemberton Jen Wheatley Panasik Zara Evens Josh Bunting Jennifer Serota fontshop staff Michael Pieracci Wesley Wong contributing writers Marian Bantjes / www.quatrifolio.com Ian Lynam / www.ianlynam.com contributing editor Tamye Riggs / www.typelife.com hand lettering: cover, feature article EGO image credits front and back covers and inside covers: ©DAIM / www.daimgallery.com Page 08: ©Martha Cooper Page 12: ©Cassidy Curtis, Graffiti Archaeology / www.grafarc.org Page 14 (top): ©Cassidy Curtis, Graffiti Archaeology / www.grafarc.org Page 14 (bottom): ©Keez Duyves, Remco Verveer, and DELTA / www.pipslab.nl Page 15: ©ZEDZ and Maurer United Architects / www.zedz.org / www.maurer.nl Pages 03–07 and 18–19: © their creators; available at fstop / www.fstopimages.com FONT 005 printing Dome Printing, Sacramento / www.domeprinting.com headlines ff Nexus™ Sans Pro body ff Nexus™ Sans Pro ff Nexus™ Serif Pro captions ff Nexus™ Sans Pro SWATCHES tags ff Nexus™ Sans Pro details ITC Berranger Hand™ FEATURE ARTICLE headlines ff Quadraat™ Sans body ff Avance™ captions ff Quadraat™ Sans Dome Printing is Just Right. We’re large enough to have the experience, equipment, and expertise necessary for state-of-the-art quality printing, but still small enough to offer one-on-one, personalized customer service. Visit us on the web at DOMEprinting.com FontShop 149 9th Street, Ste 302 San Francisco, CA 94103 1 888 ff fonts toll-free 1 415 252 1003 local www.FontShop.com © 2006 fsi FontShop International. All rights reserved. All trademarks named herein remain the property of their respective owners. The views expressed herein are solely the opinions of their respective contributors, and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of fsi. The contents of this publication may not be repurposed or duplicated without express prior written permission. Essays and illustrations copyright © 2006 by their respective authors.
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