CJWHO ™ (Bas Princen Valley, China, 2007 by deSingel.) #amazing #landscape #photography #architecture #china #valley #view

Designspiration

CJWHO ™ (Bas Princen Valley, China, 2007 by deSingel.) amazing #landscape #photography #architecture #china #valley #view

Orange Composites 2007, Signalnoise « matmacquarrie.ca #white #signalnoise #orange #composites #james #skull

Designspiration

Orange Composites 2007, Signalnoise « matmacquarrie.ca #white #signalnoise #orange #composites #james #skull

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Ice Ice Typeface

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I’ll admit it: snow-covered typography is a guilty pleasure, and one I get to enjoy throughout the year. Summertime icicle fonts are never hard to find, once soft-serve ice cream trucks establish strategic flanking positions on either side of our office. And in the winter, their appearance on the sides of HVAC trucks heralds the return of seasonal boiler problems, a cherished part of the winter experience in New York.

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Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 4

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Every design studio has at least one of Edward Tufte’s books.

Welcome!

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Our OpenType program has drawn on the experience of every one of our designers , ensuring that the fonts available from H&Co in 2007 are unquestionably our best ever. The New Font Pages. We’ve completely reconceived the way our fonts are shown online. Hardcore type fanatics might enjoy reading our expanded font family descriptions, and those hoping to make the most of their fonts can explore the font feature pages that illustrate what’s inside each package from H&Co.

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The One Ill Building

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

When I first saw the banner unfurled on Sixth Avenue, I figured The One Ill Building was a Beastie Boys’ foray into urban planning. Long overdue, if you ask me: if Jade Jagger can be an architect’s muse , why not the King Ad-Rock?) If not a real estate development, then surely theoneillbuilding.com was promoting a documentary about sick building syndrome, narrated by, say, Al Gore. Turns out it’s neither. So what is The One Ill Building?

Reconstructing Harry

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

One of the best things about the type community is the way in which attitudes seem to transcend its generations. It’s heartening to be at a professional event, and see that the exciting new idea that’s being embraced by art school undergrads is also received with equal enthusiasm by, say, Max Kisman, Wim Crouwel, and Adrian Frutiger.

The Timeless Typography of Harper’s Bazaar

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

ASME has announced its winners for Best Cover of 2007 , and we’re thrilled to see that of the six covers that feature typography, five are clients of H&Co. But especially gratifying is the 2007 award for Best Fashion Cover, which went to Harper’s Bazaar: it was Bazaar who commissioned our HTF Didot typeface in 1992, and fifteen years later, they’re still winning awards with it.

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Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 2

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

A few weeks ago, I posted some scans of nineteenth-century wood types by William Page, from the rare specimen book Wm. Page & Co. Wood Type of 1872. The designers at the Cary Graphic Arts Press (Rochester Institute of Technology) apparently share my love of Page's colorful woodtypes, for their lovely Wood Type Notecards reproduce some pages from the exceedingly rare Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. of 1874.

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 8

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The arrival of a new year means it’s time for a new Pentagram Calendar. We’ll forever be partial to the 2006 edition, for which Pentagram commissioned us to design twelve new fonts of numbers ; we subsequently added three additional styles, anticipating of course the post-revolutionary 15-month calendar under which all earthlings will unite in observance of Hoefluary. Reminder: font licenses must be paid in full by Tribute Day, Hoefluary 15.).

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Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 9

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

A visit to Shorpy inevitably lasts the rest of the day. This tremendous archive of hundred-year-old photos has much to recommend it to anyone interested in period typography: the optimistic lettering of the New Deal is well represented, and there’s an excellent cross-section of sidewalk Americana as well; entertainingly, the whole collection is leavened by an undercurrent of quiet menace that I find delightfully surreal.

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 6

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I’ve yet to meet a designer that didn’t have a thing for cartography. In any medium (to this day, maps are printed, engraved, drawn and painted) cartographers have to be excellent and inventive typographers, and mapmaking has given typography some of its most interesting styles. Some of the more exotic letters we’ve drawn certainly owe something to mapmaking, in this case the engraved maps of the very fertile Age of Enlightenment.

A Living Fossil on the 1 Line

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Passing fancies in lettering often vanish without a trace, and no style has died a harder death than Art Nouveau. Even in its heyday, the style’s contributions to typography were slight: there were never many Art Nouveau typefaces, and the few eccentrics that have survived may owe something to a resurgence in the sixties, when their smoky and vegetal forms found favor among the psychedelic set.

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An Early Snowtype

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The snow-themed alphabets below all belong to the world of lettering rather than typography, but typefounders have made their share of snow-covered fonts as well. Some of these go back quite a bit further than I imagined, as I learned this afternoon: at lunch, Tobias mentioned offhandedly that he remembered being surprised to see a snow-covered typeface in a specimen book from Weimar Germany.

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Helvetica for the Holidays

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Christmas is about more than just eggnog and carols and sitting by the tree. It’s about having to explain to your family yet again what exactly it is that you do for a living, and suffering through comparisons with your cousin who’s “also into computers.”

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Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 10

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Harry Beck’s map of the London Underground is one of those seminal information graphics that has come to define an entire category. It must be as widely recognized as Mendeleev’s design for the periodic table of the elements; it’s surely been as influential, and as widely imitated and spoofed. What makes both diagrams significant is that they bravely dispense with information traditionally thought to be crucial.

Rocky Mountain Type High (.9186 inch)

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

A quick invitation for everyone who’s coming to Denver this weekend for Next: the AIGA Design Conference : Jonathan Hoefler will be speaking on Friday at 2:15, discussing how recent changes in the profession have brought about what might be the end of historical typography, and what this means for designers going forward. (He’ll He’ll also be offering a rare sneak preview of some projects that will debut in 2008.)

More Type Tour Photos

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

John Kwo posted this Flickr set with some beautifully crisp photos from the type tour. Don’t miss some of the great inscriptional lettering to be found on lower Manhattan’s municipal buildings, including these spirited NH and TT ligatures. Over at Villatype , Joe Shouldice has assembled some instructive comments to accompany his photos. Points for relating why signpainters’ dropshadows point left instead of right, and defining the term “gaspipe lettering.”

Fonts in Space

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Our erstwhile language researcher and font developer Luke Joyner (not pictured) files this dispatch from the campus of the University of Chicago: A recent late-show at U. Chicago’s Doc Films was Plan 10 from Outer Space, a stinker of a B-movie that’s somehow unrelated to Plan 9 from Outer Space, Ed Wood’s better-known cult classic.

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You talkin’ to me?

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Thankfully this was published after my cab ride back from the airport, after AIGA Denver: “Whatever design changes befall the yellow taxi, in my mind they’ll forever have checker striping, double headlights, and a rate card posted on the front doors that’s quirkily lettered and reckoned in fractions of a mile. But then, I also believe that ‘The Train to the Plane’ is still in operation, because its noisome jingle has never stopped playing in my head.)”

Time Traveler?

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Except in the most conservative of settings, there’s nothing unusual about freely mixing serifs and sans serifs in text. This technique might still be unexpected in a novel, or in the main text of a newspaper, but otherwise it’s a familiar device that designers have employed for decades. This image could be a piece of printed ephemera from the thirties — a legal notice on a train ticket, perhaps, or a gummed label from an appliance box.

Oakleaf: Glyphs Gone Wild

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

This weekend, 107 news outlets around the world picked up this AP story about the custom typeface we designed for one of our favorite organizations, The Nature Conservancy. “What it looked like,” writes journalist Erin McClam, “was not so much an alphabet but a masquerade ball for 26 capital letters that had arrived early, stayed late and gotten into the good liquor.”

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THOSE LITTLE MOMENTS OF FREEDOM

Illustration Art

My eye is always drawn to those little places in a picture where the artist takes the liberty to play with abstract design. Sometimes you'll find artists indulging themselves when they depict folds , or water. Often you find them sneaking it in when they portray hair. In this Joe De Mers picture (which I borrowed from Leif Peng's excellent Today's Inspiration blog) contrast De Mers' tight, disciplined treatment of the face and hands with his wild treatment of the hair.

DRAWING THE LINE

Illustration Art

Viewer warning: to illustrate our continuing discussion on censorship, art and pornography, this post contains a few images that are more explicit than usual. None of them qualify as "hard core." All of them are readily available to our children, so I figure you should be capable of dealing for a few minutes with what they are seeing. A number of you seem to share my view that government censorship of art is unacceptable.

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Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 7

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

It’s hard to begrudge the polish and flexibility of a good pixel, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the earlier technologies. Mechanical and electronic displays with fixed images were somehow knowable in a way that screens are not, lending a palpable something to the things they inhabited. Has train travel been the same since the disappearance of the thip-thip-thipping flap display ?

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 5

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

If there’s one thing that says Gotham Fabulous, it’s rhodium-plated silver with a hit of CZ. Sara found these Initial Pendant Necklaces online, each offering 0.2 carats of genuine cubic zirconium in a tarnish-free setting. A full alphabet’s available, though sadly no ampersand, otherwise the whole H&Co posse would be rolling in style. A classier alternative is this stunning diamond necklace by Irina Block. But either option requires a primo backup gift. —JH

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Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 3

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Much nattering takes place on this blog about the distinction between lettering (letterforms rendered for a particular situation) and fonts (sets of type designed for reproduction.) Edible lettering is an ancient tradition , but edible fonts may be something new: our designer Sara Soskolne discovered this marvelous set of Movable Type in Chocolate , created by Sandra Kübler and Christine Voshage.

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Aesthetic Apparatus Explained

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I started a typeface called Feldspar some years ago, which I’ve yet to complete. After eight years, most such projects would have lost their inertia, but this one’s moving steadily along, driven by a single, fervid dream: I am determined to one day see it in the hands of Dan and Mike at Aesthetic Apparatus. Aesthetic Apparatus is one of those studios we love to see using our fonts.

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More Wintry Gotham

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Over at Saks Fifth Avenue , they’ve decked out their signature Gotham Medium in snowy finery for winter. The snowflake treatment is a nice counterpoint to the icicled Gotham below , conveying luxe rather than hypothermia; in any case, it’s the second seasonally-themed Gotham I’ve encountered this week. Any others? —JH

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Holiday Gifts for Typophiles

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

An office full of type designers is already a dangerous a breeding ground for the highly contagious chronic arrowmania , but H&Co alumnus Kevin Dresser has taken things to the next level with the DresserJohnson Arrow Ring. A chic adaptation of one of the duo’s great icons (their logo for Brooklyn Bunny is a cheerful highlight in modern logodom) the Arrow Ring makes possible marvelous moments of unwitting self-annotation such as this.

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Mrs. Gray and the Mystery of the Grecian Italic

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

“Grecians” are slab serif typefaces in which curves are replaced by bevelled corners. The fashion for octagonal letters took off in the 1840s (the style may have begun with an American wood type, produced by Johnson & Smith in 1841), and by the end of the decade there were all manner of Grecians on the market: narrow ones, squat ones, light ones, ones with contrasting thicks and thins, and ones without.

I, Calligrapher

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Robots have long been useful in completing challenging or hazardous tasks: dismantling explosives, assembling automobiles, winning chess tournaments, etc. Robotlab in Karlsruhe, Germany, is training them for another purpose: calligraphy. Above, an articulated limb renders the Luther Bible in a primitive but serviceable version of the schwabacher script. This innovation can’t come a moment to soon.

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Fonts on Television

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Thanks to a few well-traveled blogs, this clip has been getting some traffic lately: it’s a segment about typeface design that ran on CBS Sunday Morning last summer, featuring us. Correspondent Russ Mitchell spent some time at our offices, and speaking with Steve Heller, to introduce non-designers to the strange world of font design. Now that the clip is easily freeze-framed, a few designers have written to ask about the fonts themselves.

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BOO!

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The “Pompadour” typeface, from the 1837 specimen of the Tarbé foundry. Happy Halloween

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But Wait, There’s More:

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

It’s too good

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Love Letters from Plum Press

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

You can always tell when a typeface designer is involved. Some unseen force summoned me across the room to this beautiful set of greeting cards, resplendent in rich stochastic color, and bearing a wonderful assortment of letterforms. The choice of typeface for the letter K was enough to identify their designer as a connoisseur: it’s Sapphire, a rare and underestimated typeface by none other than Hermann Zapf (1953), and one of my personal favorites.

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Grecian Fonts: A Miscellany

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I thought I’d bid farewell to H&Co Greek Week with a glimpse inside some of our library’s more exotic type specimens. After the jump, some stellar Grecian typefaces which have yet to be properly revived, and the type specimen books in which they’re showcased so well.

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Ode on a Grecian Kern

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Greek Week Continues! Like all good New Yorkers, we know how to respond to unattended packages: with deep dread and unbridled panic. Yet despite our daily diet of Orwellian public service announcements , a devil-may-care attitude moved someone at our office to immediately open the unmarked brown paper parcel that was left outside our door (candy!), inside which were these: a pair of fired clay sculptures in the shape of — what else?

Greek Week Continues

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Right on the heels of yesterday’s post about Grecian italics comes this, a reminder that Swing University is back in session. Swing U , a production of Jazz at Lincoln Center, is a terrific series of courses directed by jazz authority Phil Schaap. Design Director Bobby Martin Jr.

My Big Fat Grecian Lettering

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Greek Week Continues! Making good on his standing promise to rid the world of enamel signs, and warehouse them in the office for our personal amusement, Tobias came across this little bit of heaven in a local antique shop. The full image features a stalwart gent in lederhosen hoisting a beer stein, but for typophiles, this is where all the action is: cousin to the Grecian italic, it’s a (1) faceted (2) chromatic (3) blackletter that would have made a nice auxiliary to our Knox typeface.

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