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BEHIND THE SCENES · March 7, 2011

Minds for Typography

Several weeks ago, David Jonathan Ross and I spoke on a panel at the cherished Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. Following a screening of the documentary Helvetica, we talked about our experiences as typeface designers. The event was coordinated by GLIMPSE journal, a captivating, beautifully designed publication that examines the art and science of seeing.

We were privileged to share the stage with Dr. Matthew Schneps, Director of the Lab for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has been investigating the strengths that people with dyslexia have in processing visual information. His research about dyslexic readers being ...

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Mike Parker’s Story of Type: Plantin, de Sanlecque, & Le Bé

This eighth installment is as much about printers in the late 16th century as it is about the punchcutters. The Plantin-Moretus Museum, the famous printing house mentioned in earlier installments, finally comes to life with its founder, Christopher Plantin. The inventories from the Le Bé type foundry in Paris illuminate the two de Sanlecques, father and son, and shed light on other notables in type history, until we're finally led to the underpinnings of David Berlow’s Eldorado.

II. Old Style Roman and Italic Typefaces (continued)

Christopher Plantin (French, c. 1530-1589)

Plantin was not a designer but a publisher ...

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SKETCHES · February 17, 2011

A is for apple

To be continued…

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NEWS · January 28, 2011

wwword: Chasing Technology, an Interview with David Berlow

Lucy Sisman begins her interview with David Berlow for wwword, “At any given time there are a few people who can see into the future and anticipate what we will all need. David Berlow, type designer, is one of them.... While he is respected and innovative as a designer, his career has meant more than that: part creative technician, part techy genius, he has been instrumental in pioneering type design for a new medium.” Read more here.

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NEWS, TYPE DESIGN · January 27, 2011

Miller & Interstate in MoMA’s Collection

The Museum of Modern Art announced the acquisition of 23 new digital typefaces for its Architecture and Design Collection, including Font Bureau’s Miller by Matthew Carter and Interstate by Tobias Frere-Jones.

This acquisition is significant because generally graphic design has not figured prominently in the museum’s focus and has been historically limited to posters. Recognizing this, the museum set out to correct what was considered “a lacuna in the collection,” according to Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, and typefaces were identified among the new categories to be addressed. In fact, only one other ...

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PARKER TYPE HISTORY · January 24, 2011

Mike Parker’s Story of Type: Van den Keere

In this seventh installment the focus is on Hendrik van den Keere, the 16th-century Flemish punchcutter. Little could he have known that 400 years later a revival of his roman types would become the most widely used font for newspapers: Poynter Oldstyle, part of Font Bureau’s Readability Series.

II. Old Style Roman and Italic Typefaces (continued)

Hendrik van den Keere (Flemish, 1540/42–1580)

Also known as Henri du Tour, Van den Keere, like Robert Granjon, left forty sets of matrices in the Plantin-Moretus Museum. They center on a series of magnificent Flemish blackletter, the culmination of Gutenberg’s ...

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NEWS · January 18, 2011


If you can read that, you might enjoy this interview with me at Font Club.

NEWS, TYPE DESIGN, WEB FONTS · December 27, 2010

An Extraordinary Year

What an extraordinary year in type and typography. And I am certainly not likely to be alone in observing this. After a decade and a half of struggle, “web fonts” finally took off and ran smack dab into issues of rendering, metadata, and licensing, while also running right through various font formats and cross-platform output-equivalence issues without stopping for a chat.

Font designers, web programmers, server specialists, standards organizations, applications developers, and psychologists swelled the ranks of great people who are now focused on issues like: networked, multi-platform, dynamic typography and layout; auto-hinting for rasterization across operating systems; and my ...

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BEHIND THE SCENES, NEWS · December 22, 2010

Some New Dimension for Fortune

Earlier this year, Fortune magazine launched a new redesign featuring a new logo drawn by Cyrus Highsmith.

Just recently, Fortune’s creative director John Korpics came back to us to commission a special version of that logo to add some depth to the cover of Fortune’s annual investment issue. He was looking to capture some of the complexity and dimensionality of old banknotes, but without straying from the logo’s strong, contemporary look.

Cyrus had started some 3D sketches while designing the original logo, so I had a great place to jump off from. That meant I was left ...

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NEWS · December 21, 2010

Fonts In Use Launched!

Fonts In Use will catalog and examine real-world typography. From the editor: “So much of design critique is focused on graphics and photography. It’s time to shed light on the most basic element of communication: the type. At Fonts In Use we’ll catalog and examine real-world typography wherever it appears — branding, advertising, signage, packaging, publications, in print and online — with an emphasis on the typefaces used.” Read on...

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