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Illustration Art

The last king of the Ashanti empire, Assantehene Agyeman Prempeh , was surrounded by victorious British troops clamoring for him to come out of his palace and surrender. The gods had abandoned Prempeh and all hope was gone.

2008 81

ARTISTS IN LOVE, part 15

Illustration Art

In 1886, Camille Claudel dictated a contract for her lover to sign.

2008 69

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Taxonomy Meets Typography

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Tina at Swissmiss turned me on to this lovely poster by Decoylab , which wouldn’t you know it makes lovely use of Gotham Extra Light.

2008 52

Letterror at the Graphic Design Museum

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

When we first met at the ATypI conference in 1989, Erik van Blokland, Just van Rossum and I were branded the “young turks” of typography, presumably because we were fifteen years younger than ATypI’s next-youngest member.

2008 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 15

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

If you’re an editorial designer, chances are that you’re familiar with the Society for News Design through its workshops, its excellent international conferences, and of course its annual.

2008 52

Change We Somehow Can’t Quite Believe In, Though We Just Can’t Put Our Finger On It

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Every four years, the month of November tenders an exciting opportunity for financial speculation, this year offering an almost practical alternative to your lending institution of choice (still solvent as of presstime) or your flameproof mattress.

2008 52

Type in Three Dimensions

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The August 2008 issue of Print has this arresting image on the cover. Taking a break from my top secret Independence Day project that combines typography and patriotism (more about this later ), I came across something marvelous that I had to share.

2008 52

Our Middle Name

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Last month’s posts about the ¶ and the ß prompted a flurry of e-mail inquiring about other special favorites in the character set. Matt McInerney guessed correctly that the ampersand is one for which we have special affection, and asked if there was anything else we could say about it. How could we not? Ampersand, after all, is H&Co’s middle name.

2008 60

Remembering Rauschenberg

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

If you draw a line from Shinro Ohtake to Joseph Cornell , and another from Ed Fella to William Harnett , you will find yourself at a monumental, unavoidable intersection. At this great pinnacle sits Robert Rauschenberg, who died yesterday at the age of 82. I would have liked to have known him.

2008 52

The World’s First Graphic Design Museum

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

On my first trip to Amsterdam in 1992, I spent a couple of hours having lunch at a pleasant café on Willemsparkweg.

2008 52

High Scores for Service and Style

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Whitney has six weights , each of which makes an appearance somewhere in the 2008 guide. With the arrival of a new year comes a new Zagat Survey , and with this year’s edition comes a special typographic surprise: a complete redesign using our Whitney family.

2008 52

His Name Was Almost Legion

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

James Mosley shared with me this striking photograph of some of the world’s oldest type-making material. These brass matrices, made by a Dutch punchcutter in 1508, are now in the collection of the Enschedé Museum in Haarlem.

2008 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 14

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Hot on the heels of my open question about artists and fives , I came across this marvelous photograph by Berenice Abbott featuring a pair of gorgeous fives in starring roles.

2008 52

Voting Irregularities Already!

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The donkey is universally recognized as the symbol of Democratic Party of the United States. Except inside voting booths in New York State, where affiliation with the Democratic party is marked by a five-pointed star.

2008 52

Atoms & Aldus

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Last week I mentioned the atomic pen , which scientists used to construct some awfully tiny letters one atom at a time.

2008 52

A Secret Universe in Your Desk Drawer

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

My weapon of choice is a Pilot Precise rollerball, but I keep a General’s Sketching Pencil below my monitor.

2008 52

The World’s Most Perfect Script

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Typographically, the Republic of Korea has much to celebrate.

2008 52

Finds from the NYPL

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Some lovelies from the New York Public Library. —JH. 819191. Petits Genres, a lithograph by J. Midolle, 1834-1835. 419695. Photographs of British Algae, Vol. A volume of cyanotypes by photographer Anna Atkins, 1843-53. 481256.

2008 52

Obnoxious Character Recognition

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

At the heart of the game of cat-and-mouse played by bloggers and spammers is Captcha , purveyor of those staticky demands to enter the code exactly as shown above.

2008 52

THE LANGUAGE OF FORMS

Illustration Art

I love this picture from an old reference book about birds. The anonymous artist could have presented the same basic information a thousand different ways, but he chose to emphasize the design.

2008 52

London Calling

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Just a quick note to let Londoners know that the Editorial Design Organization will be hosting an evening of editorial typography, featuring Janet Froelich of the New York Times Magazine, and Jonathan Hoefler of H&Co. Free to EDO members, £20 for non-members, £5 for students.

2008 52

The Oxford English Dictionary in Limerick Form

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Nineteen years of designing typefaces has amply proven H&Co’s Third Law, which states that for every act of exhaustive research, there is an equal and opposite act of total silliness.

2008 52

Change We Can Believe In

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Above, the new face of British currency, announced by the Royal Mint. The striking new designs, selected from an open competition that attracted four thousand entries, are the work of a 26-year old graphic designer named Matthew Dent. They are Mr. Dent’s first foray into currency design.

2008 52

What’s in a Font Name

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

For as long as fonts have had names, they’ve had bad names. Historical inaccuracies have been common for two hundred years: typefounders of the Industrial Revolution groped for historical labels to apply to newly-invented styles ( Egyptian , Gothic , etc.),

2008 52

Politics Without Gotham

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Not all political typography has to be set in Gotham (though it seems that way) — here for example are some calls to action by Shepherd Fairey that don’t use any Gotham at all. They use Knockout No.

2008 52

A Parisian Palimpsest

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

This one took me a minute. Gustave Peignot spent the last four decades of the nineteenth century acquiring small French typefoundries, which by 1899 were formally organized into the firm of G. Peignot & Fils.

2008 52

A Font Tip for Leopard Users

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

A nifty feature of Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) is Quick Look , a tool in the Finder that allows you to preview collections of files at a glance. Popular for images, Quick Look is useful for fonts as well, as it allows both styles and families to be examined without leaving the Finder.

2008 52

H&Co Crime-Fighting Division

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

It was not a dark, stormy night at the H&Co offices, and she was not a dame in a red dress who spelled trouble with a capital T. It was last Friday afternoon, and the caller was Bill Bastone, founder and editor of The Smoking Gun, with a question about forensic typography.

2008 52

Unicode Poetry Slam

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I feel certain that I’ve seen the logo for Fermata Festival on canvas totebags at the greenmarket, and that Fox Fraction is part of the Action 10 News Team.

2008 52

Large Hats & Small Caps

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Having begun the week with Senator Barack Obama’s typeface , it seemed appropriate to look back at the typography of campaigns past.

2008 52

Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Now appearing at Vanity Fair is a great exhibit of lobby cards from the collection of the late Leonard Schrader.

2008 52

All The News That’s Fit To Write

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The distance between handwriting and typography is at its greatest in the West.

2008 52

Fontogenic

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Veteran campaigners know that the best way to gain someone's vote is to be photographed holding their baby. It seems that the same goes for fonts: it’s hard to take a non-partisan stance when one of the candidates looks so good standing in front of your typeface.

2008 52

Two Fools

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I pretty much agree with Anil Dash on the topic of wacky April Fools’ jokes for websites, so instead I thought that today might be a good day to share a piece of genuine idiocy from the archives.

2008 52

LORADO TAFT'S FOUNTAIN OF TIME

Illustration Art

Artists always dream of creating works of permanence. Perhaps they hope that "timeless" art will help them live on past their death. Lorado Taft (1860-1936) was that kind of artist.

2008 75

Type Tour II

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

If you missed Tobias’s Typographic Walking Tour last September, and weren’t one of the 22 lucky callers to register for his 2008 encore performance , you’ve one more chance.

2008 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 11

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Picking up where we left off last year , we thought we’d round out 2008 with some holiday ideas for the recovering typophiliac in your life. I’m intrigued by Jen Bekman’s 20x200 , which every week produces small runs of small works on paper, at prices to match.

2008 52

Pilcrow & Capitulum

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

My last post made passing mention of the pleasures of designing the paragraph mark, prompting one reader to rightly ask, “how much fun can it really be to draw a backwards P ?” ” [ No more fun than it is to draw the rest of that font you’re using, matey. —Ed. ] It may not seem obvious, but the lowly paragraph mark really does offer ample opportunity for invention. Like most punctuation, the paragraph mark (or pilcrow ) has an exotic history.

2008 63

On the Death and 441-Year Life of the Pixel

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The struggle to adequately render letterforms on a pixel grid is a familiar one, and an ancient one as well: this bitmap alphabet is from La Vera Perfettione del Disegno di varie sorte di ricami, an embroidery guide by Giovanni Ostaus published in 1567.

2008 54

…and Non-Fontogenic…

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

2008 is clearly a year of unusual thinking in political circles, because none of these familiar approaches can explain the utterly confounding typographic dress chosen by Senators Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

2008 52

Typographic Gifts — for You.

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Our workshop, now elf-free due to labor regulations, has been hard at work on a couple of goodies that we’re looking forwarding to bringing you in January; watch this space. Until then, best wishes for the holidays and a happy new year — see you in 2009! —H&Co

2008 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 13

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The disappearance of wood type has something to do with the slow fade of letterpress from the world of commercial printing; it also has something to do with that dude at the flea market who sells hot-glued wood type sculptures on the weekends.

2008 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 12

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I liked samplers as a kid. In the fictional account of my life, I could trace this affection to my dear great-grandmother Abigail, who spent hours embroidering by candlelight (when she wasn’t busy repairing uniforms for returning Union soldiers.)

2008 52