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TYPE DESIGN · September 10, 2009

How We Read

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 ...

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SEEN AND NOTED · June 24, 2009


…from trucks, dumpsters, freight trains, and buildings across North America.

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SKETCHES, TYPE DESIGN · April 16, 2009

Hand lettering

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!

SKETCHES · April 1, 2009

from the sketchbook …

TYPE DESIGN · March 20, 2009

For Spring Hath Sprung the Cyclotron

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 ...

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NEWS, TYPE DESIGN · March 2, 2009

Snow day!

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.

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TYPE DESIGN · February 19, 2009

You Can’t Make an Umlaut…

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 ...

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NEWS · January 28, 2009

Font Specimens

Salve Regina Univeristy and the Rhode Island regional chapter of the AIGA have organized an exhibit called Font Specimens: A Collection of Fonts Provided by Font Bureau. I’ll also be giving a lecture at the university on Thursday, February 5.

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SKETCHES · January 6, 2009

a fine mess

Novia set with extreme negative leading by accident.

SKETCHES · December 18, 2008

I sing the letter electric