DETAILS (A TAXONOMY FOR BEGINNERS)

Illustration Art

Here's how it goes: There are details that hum and details that sing. There are details that accumulate like silt when the artist isn't paying enough attention, and smother the picture.

2009 70

Teens, Typography, and Tim Gunn

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

“Designers…” I knew I wanted to work with type by the time I turned eleven. Back then, my curiosity about letter-making could only be satisfied in oblique and solitary ways, most of which involved borrowed sheets of Presstype, and goofing off with the family typewriter.

2009 52

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A Treasury of Wood Type Online

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

The Hamilton Manufacturing Co. traces its roots back to the very first wood types made in the United States.

2009 61

Typography at the Cooper-Hewitt

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 6:30–8:30pm. Continuing its celebration of the tenth anniversary of the National Design Awards, The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is offering a wealth of excellent programming this season.

2009 52

“Curved, Pointy, and Nervous-Looking Types”

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

It is 1953, and you are a graduate student at the Yale University School of Art.

2009 52

John Downer at The Propagandist

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Twenty years ago, John Downer and I were introduced by a mutual friend. He’d introduced us as “type designers,” a flattering description of my professional achievements to date (I was a recent refugee from graphic design), and a somewhat elliptic summary of John’s credentials.

2009 52

Typography Without Ink

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

This weekend, I replaced a DVD player that finally conked out after eleven years.

2009 52

AUDUBON AND THE VEILED LADY

Illustration Art

John Audubon (1785 - 1851) lived in the wilderness during the early years of the United States. He camped and hunted along the frontier as he studied birds for his illustrated masterpiece, The Birds of America.

2009 67

Titles & End Credits

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Changing fashions in movie titles are one of the richest veins in typography’s fossil record.

2009 52

Things We Love

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This morning’s post by the always-fertile Grain Edit reminds me that I’ve wanted to write something in appreciation of Mark Weaver. As with so many things I like, Weaver’s work is difficult to classify: design? illustration?

2009 52

ARTISTS AT WAR: GILBERT BUNDY

Illustration Art

Gilbert Bundy (1911-1955) painted with a light and elegant brush. Look at the graceful way he handles the bouquet of flowers on the table: or the foliage and chandelier in the background: Bundy gained fame as a cartoonist in the pages of Esquire magazine in the 1930s.

2009 63

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part 24

Illustration Art

What is it? A slashing tempest? A rugged granite cliff? A rolling river? The tail plumage from a firebird? Nah, it's just the way Robert Fawcett draws the face of his friend Al Dorne: This intense little portrait (approximately 4 inches tall) is a virtuoso performance by a master draftsman.

2009 60

Down Mexico Way

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An enchanting bit of Gotham seen en route to ATypI Mexico: timbered lettering, on the storefront for Guru, a gallery and design emporium in Cuauhtémoc owned by graphic designer Quique Ollervides. Thanks for sharing this, Nick! —JH

2009 52

Tobias Frere-Jones: An Exhibit at the Royal Academy of Art

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This Friday, the prize passes to the next recipient, an occasion marked by two festivities: Wim Crouwel will receive the 2009 prize, and the Royal Academy will open an exhibit of Tobias’s work.

2009 52

To the Best of Our Knowledge

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Since you’ll be at home tomorrow anyway, hopped up on leftover miniature chocolate bars that you couldn’t pawn off on discerning neighborhood kids, tune in to Wisconsin Public Radio to hear To the Best of Our Knowledge: tomorrow’s program will be about fonts.

2009 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 17

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

I wonder what sort of psychological profile one could draw from my favorite childhood possessions. I neither played nor followed football, but clung to my NFL lunchbox that showed all the team helmets with their different insignia.

2009 52

Uptown App, for iPhones

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Manhattan’s urban grid is a vaunted model of simplicity, a rectilinear plan of numbered streets intersecting numbered avenues.

2009 52

The Gerrit Noordzij Prize, Part 2: Incoming

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It’s especially daunting when its subject is a living colleague, as was the case last Friday when our own Tobias Frere-Jones presented an award of his own design to Wim Crouwel , winner of the 2009 Gerrit Noordzij Prize. (In

2009 52

SACRED WRITINGS

Illustration Art

Some artists try to honor sacred texts by translating the holy words into pictures. The result is not intended to be read like a conventional book, but rather experienced as visual art.

2009 56

PASSING THE TORCH

Illustration Art

The illustrations of William A. Smith capture the mood of his era. I especially like the gritty, urban paintings he did in the 1940s and 1950s which have a tough, noir feeling.

2009 52

These Aren’t The Fifty States You’re Looking For

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In Fast Company , Ellen Lupton writes: The graphic designer Michael Bierut, a partner working in the New York office of the firm Pentagram, designed a 21-foot sign for the new U.S.-Canada Canada border crossing at Massena, New York.

2009 52

Sham Rock

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I have for exactly one year been waiting to open up the monumental copy of Ornamented Types of L.

2009 52

“Someone Found a Letter You Drew Me, On the Radio…”

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This afternoon, typography joins the ranks of the wonderfully obscure on Please Explain, my favorite segment of the Leonard Lopate Show : Steven Heller and I will be on hand to discuss, if not actually explain, typography. If you’re in the New York area, join us around 1:20pm EST at WNYC-FM 93.9 or AM 820, or follow the podcast at wnyc.org. —JH

2009 40

Made With H&Co

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

An optometrist’s business card, the packaging for a rubber band gun, a basketball court, a scented candle, the concrete signage markers for subtropical hiking trails: these are just a few of the marvelous projects for which designers have chosen fonts from Hoefler&Co They’re sharing their work over on our Facebook photo page , where more than 3,000 fans are currently perusing the collection.

2009 40

New Fonts: A Graphic Designer’s Perspective

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Most graphic designers choose the fonts that best fit their projects. Brian Hennings does the opposite: he chooses the projects that best fit the fonts. A resident designer at Hoefler&Co, Brian shares with me the responsibility of creating all of the sample art you’ll find on this site.

2009 52

Sure, I Guess That’s My Final Answer

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Monday, November 9, 2009, 6:30–8:30pm. I have a friend, an editor at a renowned university press, who is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the English language.

2009 52

Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 16

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

“Modern Gaspipe” is the charming taxonomic name for this kind of letterform. We’ve explored the style in our Tungsten type family — itself a fine holiday gift, ahem.

2009 52

G Thing

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An Acropolis Italic sighting is a rare event, so even at 48 pixels I couldn’t help but notice that George Garrastegui used the font’s letter G in his Twitter icon.

2009 52

The Gerrit Noordzij Prize, Part 1: Outgoing

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Wim Crouwel will receive the 2009 Gerrit Noordzij Prize on Friday, when we’ll have the first photographs of the award that Tobias designed for him. One charming aspect of the Gerrit Noordzij Prize is the design of the award itself.

2009 52

A Type Tablet

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

When Abi Huynh sent me this image, I thought at first that it was a website graphic in the prevailing style: a digital rendering of high-gloss black acrylic, against a reflective white surface, in that “web 2.0” ” style that will not go away. But no!

2009 52

Fonts in Time and Space

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By the way, that tiny screen grab below — which even fixed in time is so charmingly reminiscent of that CBS cafeteria designed by Lou Dorfsman — is but part of a captivating typographic video designed by Gretel.

2009 52

Inside the H&Co Drawing Office

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

A View of the Drawing-Office of Hoefler&Co, Manufacturers of Phonograms & Allophones. Special Designs & Estimates Submitted on Enquiry. Write: H. & & Co., Houston-Street, New York. Just kidding. Thanks, Eric Baker, for the photo! —JH

2009 52

Ask H&Co: Fonts for Financials

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Annual reports offer designers a marvelous opportunity to strut their stuff.

2009 52

What Was Next

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Most of the talks that we’ve given are lost to the sands of time, but this afternoon I was happy to discover that one of our favorite presentations lives on.

2009 52

Don’t Believe the Type!

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We will, we will Rockwell. Rock the Caslon. I Meta Girl. ITC Clearly Now. Tempted by the Frutiger ’nother. Weiss Do Fools Fall in Love? Rockwell Amadeus. Dax The Way (uh huh, uh huh) I Like It. Please Mistral Postman. If I Could Turn Back Times. Gill Sans in a Coma. Get Down Onyx.

2009 52

Guggenheim Redux

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

For one quarter of its lifetime, the Guggenheim Museum has enjoyed the use of a signature typeface created by H&Co. The project originally commissioned by Abbott Miller , a sans serif in six styles called Guggenheim, has since grown into a family of thirty styles, now known as Verlag.

2009 52

Breaking News!

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We’re resisting the temptation to go against last year’s declaration that April Fools’ Day website goofs are inherently unfunny , so it pleases me to instead have an genuine update regarding someone else’s typographic silliness.

2009 52

Laminitis, or English As She Is Drawn

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Some would argue for Bleak House, others Middlemarch. The Great Gatsby has its proponents as well, along with Lolita and Heart of Darkness. But for me, it is none of these: there is a clear winner in the category, a single book that is the finest work of literature written in the English language.

2009 52

Wearable Rococo

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Look up and you’ll see the floriated, ornamented, shaded letters of our logo (l. gravura tuscana), as well as an italic cousin used for the News, Notes & Observations nameplate.

2009 52

House of Flying Reference Marks

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Last spring, when answering a reader’s question about our favorite characters to draw, I got to spend some time with some of our beloveds: the ¶ and ß that rarely see the light of day, as well as H&Co’s middle name, & It took great self-control not to spill the beans about another pair of favorites, the dagger and double dagger, for already waiting in the wings were my favorite daggers to ever come out of H&Co.

2009 47

Introducing Tungsten

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

A few years ago, we started wondering if there was a way to make a flat-sided sans serif that was disarming instead of brutish, one that employed confidence and subtlety instead of just raw testosterone. It was an unusual design brief for ourselves, completely without visual cues and trading in cultural associations instead: “more Steve McQueen than Steven Seagal,” reads one note; “whiskey highball, not a martini” suggests another.

2009 40

Mortal Enemy of the Hyphen

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Above, the full name of the Philadelphian typesetter who was otherwise known as “Wolfe+585,” or less mercifully, “Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Sr.” ” to his friends. Could there have been many? —JH

2009 40

Introducing Sentinel

Fonts by Hoefler&Co.

Is any typeface more in-the-know than a Clarendon? These smart looking slab serifs have the timeless style of a charcoal gray suit, or a well-chosen pair of horn-rimmed glasses: they’re approachable, welcoming, and effortlessly persuasive. Yet they’re tough to use — out of the question for setting text — because they lack italics.

2009 40