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At the heart of calligraphy is the stroke that comes from the pen, the brush or whatever tool you choose to dip into the black ink and pull across the white page. Type design can of course be looked at through the lens of the calligraphic stroke. And it often is.
But what interests me is what makes typography and calligraphy different. In movable type, each character has a certain amount of letter space, and a fixed amount of line space, that belongs to it. In foundry type this is becomes the body, it’s a physical thing. In my ...
A common maxim among type designers is that drawing a typeface isn’t about drawing beautiful letters: drawing a typeface is about making beautiful words. A typeface is a collection of separate parts that have to work together in every possible combination to form unified words.
Words can be very different from each other. A word can be as short as a single letter, or a word can be incredibly long. A word can be all lowercase letters, or a word can be all uppercase letters. A word might be a combination of both upper and lowercase letters. A word ...
Elk Grove Village, IL — September 8, 2009 — Ascender Corporation, Carter & Cone and The Font Bureau, Inc. announced today that they are working on a project in conjunction with Microsoft to extend the Georgia and Verdana typeface families. This project began more than a year ago, and the first of the new typefaces are expected during the first quarter of 2010.
More details at Ascendercorp.com
July 15, 2009 - Boston
With 1994’s foundation of the World wide Web and the release of the first graphical web browsers, and until 2006, unique typographic identities on the web could only be attained by converting, or rendering, outline font data into graphics, and posting the graphic. Browser developers set the default fonts of their products to fonts found on the OS each browser was made for, and this combination of pre-rendered and OS-rendered default fonts was how web typography was done. The OS, though they can handle all the fonts required for any design purpose, have been counting ...
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 ...
The em is an important and basic thing in typography, but its definition can be quite tricky. If you ask a type designer, a typographer, and a software engineer to define the em, you will probably get three different answers. The answers will not necessarily contradict each other; they are just from different points of view.
the typographer’s em
Let’s start with probably the most common usage of the term ‘em’, what I will call the typographer’s em. You probably encountered it early on in your typographic education.
The typographer’s em, a horizontal space, is equal ...