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SEEN AND NOTED · March 18, 2011

Review of the Documentary “Typeface”

“Letterpress is obsolete, that's what makes it valuable.” I wouldn’t call it obsolete, exactly—perhaps the person misspoke—but yes, it is very valuable. Even so, technology inevitably marches on. And without documentaries like Typeface spreading the word, people will not know to take time to appreciate this art form.

Much like wood type itself, this film is flawed…

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SEEN AND NOTED · November 2, 2010

2010 Election Typography

Obama is a central focus in this midterm election. Candidates associate themselves with the President or oppose him. So I would have thought the visual identity choices would reflect this relationship. Not so much.

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SEEN AND NOTED · June 9, 2010

Alumni After RISD XYZ

Rhode Island School of Design's new alumni magazine, RISD XYZ, just launched. The publication showcases the inspiring stories and accomplished work of RISD's alumni community. Chriswell Lappin of WellNow Design led the design, along with other contributing alumni, to give it not only a vibrant new look but also an exciting direction.

Best of all, much of the type is set in Antenna and Receiver, both designed by Cyrus Highsmith, a RISD alum himself (97 GD) and faculty member. The sans serif Antenna is the earlier design; Receiver is closely related, but with clear-cut slab serifs. His forthcoming ...

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SEEN AND NOTED · May 28, 2010

spell check

Thanks to my long career at Font Bureau, I can spell bureau with confidence. Now, thanks to the new slab serif version of Antenna, I can spell its name, Receiver with the same certainty. The e goes before the i ! Receiver isn’t published yet but you can check it out in RISD’s new alumni magazine, RISD XYZ.


SEEN AND NOTED · April 27, 2010

TV Guide: What’s Worth Watching

For those of us who keep tabs on magazine redesigns, What’s been Worth Watching the past few weeks is TV Guide itself.

The magazine unveiled a fresh redesign last week with a new palette of typefaces, including several from Font Bureau — Quiosco for text, Boomer Sans & Serif for a wide range of display.

The new design by Robert Newman, James Reyman, Kate Thompson and Katherine Dillon of DillonThompson features a brighter, bolder, cleaner look and a crisp ...

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SEEN AND NOTED, SKETCHES · April 14, 2010

the call

A couple of weeks ago, I caught a screening of The Call of Cthulhu at my friendly neighborhood public library. H.P. Lovecraft, the author of the original short story, is something of a local hero here in Providence.

I drew the above lettering in my sketchbook while waiting for the show to begin.

Although this film adaptation was done in 2006, it’s a silent movie that appears as if it were made closer to era when the story was first published in 1928. There is an attention to detail that any typophile could appreciate—no anachronistic fonts in this production, at least as far as I could see. Check out the titles in the trailer for a taste.


NEWS, SEEN AND NOTED · March 29, 2010

A Change of Fortune

Before-and-after comparison of new Fortune magazine logo

Last week Fortune magazine unveiled a bold new look, spearheaded by creative director John Korpics. To herald the new direction, Korpics commissioned Cyrus Highsmith to draw a new logo for the nameplate.

Now entering its 80th year, Fortune magazine has had an illustrious history, often noted for its journalism and photography. A new logo needed to be distinguished, to demonstrate boldness, and to signal success.

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SEEN AND NOTED · February 11, 2010

unholy sonnets


photo copyright 2010 Elias Roustom

EM Letterpress recently printed a beautiful book of poetry by Barton Levi St Armand with illustrations by Walter Feldman. The poems are set in the inimitable Dante with Relay for the headers.


SEEN AND NOTED · February 11, 2010

the night air


“In this edition we’re getting down among the serifs, fiddling about with fonts and dabbling in Qwerty as well as trying to make sense of the Myers Briggs test and where it’s usefully employed. How has the idea of the book and the mechanical printing press fared since Gutenberg’s great idea?”

Check out the sonic collage that is The Night Air podcast.


SEEN AND NOTED · January 22, 2010

ILT: Trilby Leads Off the List of 2009 Favorites

The month of January typically sees many “Best Of . . .” reflections on the year just past. John Boardley over at the I Love Typography blog has recently added his own personal Favourite Fonts of 2009 to the mix. Heading up his list is FB’s Trilby by David Jonathan Ross.

There’s no actual significance to the order, but we’re pleased to have landed a top spot anyway. And Trilby is in good company: It’s a wonderfully eclectic and tasteful gathering of fonts.

Read more by John Boardley.