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About a month ago I was interviewed by Jeffery Zeldman, from A List Apart, on my early experiences in the type industry. When the interview veered to the topic of web fonts, much to my excitement, I spilled too big an idea. Excitement because we at Font Bureau were beginning to formulate an early proposal for an additional table in our fonts. We’ve now sharpened that to a simpler proposal than what I was discussing with Mr. Zeldman. And of course we are excited because this table, in concert with CSS’s long neglected @fontface recommendation, will bring all ...
Talking Type with Rolf Rehe
A shepherd with no favorite sheep
“The American type designer David Berlow is the creator of ITC Franklin, which we use in this issue of Design Journal. This is another in a series of interviews with type designers, focusing on how they approach their work.”
The Society for News Design’s Quarterly Journal
No. 108 & 109, Fall/Winter 2009
Download PDF of the interview (4MB)
Real Fonts on the Web: An Interview with The Font Bureau’s David Berlow
by Jeffrey Zeldman, David Berlow
April 21, 2009
“Is there life after Georgia? We ask David Berlow, co-founder of The Font Bureau, Inc, and the first TrueType type designer, how type designers and web designers can work together to resolve licensing and technology issues that stand between us and real fonts on the web.”
This past weekend, May 1st through the 3rd, we gathered for our annual offsite meeting -- a chance for the whole FB team to get together in one location. Once again this year, the tribe descended on Martha’s Vineyard, home to our peerless leaders, both David and Sam (for a little while longer, anyway).
The gathering consists of FB staff, consultants & “extended family,” and wise counsel (i.e., Matthew Carter ;-). It’s a once-a-year opportunity to get everyone together in the same place at the same time -- a time for a little reflection and a little projection: reviewing sales figures, discussing trends and opportunities, sharing recent accomplishments, and forging ...
May 5, 2009
Zócalo, Benton Modern Display, ITC Franklin, and Rocky were all selected in Typographica’s Favorite Typefaces of 2008. In the words of Nick Sherman “...it’s significant that the ever-increasing quality in type design these days — dubbed by some as the new “golden age” of type — has caused this year’s list to supersede previous lists in many ways.”
Dyana Weissman was also invited to review Lakeside by Mark Simonson.
Above is a close-up of some hand lettering from a recent project. It is nice to get away from the computer once in a while!
In typography, it’s a commonly held belief that a typeface should do its job quietly, in the background. The reader’s attention is for the content of the story, not the form. Type does affect the text’s tone of voice, but usually in subtle ways.
In comics, the relationship between form and content is different. Cartoonist Walt Kelly pioneered the use of different lettering styles to represent his characters’ personalities and accents in his amazing newspaper strip, Pogo. Often the word balloon’s contents were as elaborate and expressive as the funny animals who uttered them.
Pogo Possum ...
Residents of the eastern coast of the United States, where Font Bureau is located, are being warned to stay inside today because of a blizzard. I am going out to play. But for those of you still here and looking for typographic fun, here are 2 links.
José Ramón Penela has made a very good spanish translation of my article about the em. Go here to hone your linguistic and typographic knowledge all at once.
Also, there is a new interview by Jan Middendorp with me at myfonts.
For me, making typefaces is usually a tedious process: draw, revise, repeat. I often need to step away for some hours, days, or years, and let them incubate on my desk until I can determine what the next step is.
But once in a while something will hatch, fully formed, from my head. My typeface Eggwhite was like that. I was trying to doodle my way out of an endless meeting when it happened. I could see exactly how the typeface would look. I just had to draw it before I forgot.
Since the year 2000, when Eggwhite was released ...