Matthew Carter

Hermann Zapf

The Art of Hermann Zapf

Making Faces

Making Faces is a documentary on the dying art of letterpress craftsmanship – featuring the Canadian graphic designer and letterpress printer Jim Rimmer, who passed away at the beginning of this year. The film was produced by P22 Type Foundry and more about the film and it’s indended release to DVD can be found here and here

Typeface – the documentary

A new documentary to be released at the end of this month looks at a workshop set up for retired craftsmen, artists and printers who come together to create modern designs with traditional techniques. It’s an insight into the past skills of hand crafted typefaces and printing techniques.

No news of the doco coming to Australia but I dare say it won’t be long. Keep an eye on their website

Typography rules, but remove the orphans and take out the widows

To designers type is beauty – we have such passion and high regard for their form and how they live together as a family, flowing from one sibling to another in harmony and respect. Typography should look effortless, easy on the eye, transport the reader from word to word which allows the mind to open and absorb the text as though it’s not there.

This beauty is not easy to achieve – it takes designers a lot of time on projects to fine tune – it requires attention to detail and a passion for perfection.

Publishing software has come a long way in the past 20 years and has helped the type designer carry out their task with far more accuracy and automation – but this software cannot be relied on as I feel it is still in its infancy and a lot more needs to be done.

I’ve had arguments with Adobe about InDesign’s poor mulit-line composing algorithm – it creates well balanced paragraphs but overlooks orphans (those stranded words or short lines at the end of paragraphs). There appears to be confusion about what constitutes good typography and some of the rules seem to be losing their strength.

So it refreshing that a designer from the USA has created a poster that lists many of the type rules – with an explanation of one of my favorite gripes – the orphans and widows. Check out his poster and download it at Evan Stremke’s website


Comic Sans, sure! very funny

The story of Comic Sans – the font we love to hate

Comic Sans from Sam and Anita on Vimeo.

Talking type

Last week I attended the Melbourne AGideas conference, the annual design inspiration event held in Melbourne where local designers and designers from around the world come to talk design. The event runs over 3 days and for those that can’t afford the time the Australian Graphics Design Association (AGDA) presents one of the speakers for it’s members to experience.

Tobias Frere-Jones, one half of the type designers Hoefler & Frere-Jones ( was the guest speaker for this year. True to the expected demure persona of a type designer who spends his time tweaking, finessing and fussing over the minute detail of type design, Tobias shuffled onto stage and immediately began talking type.

It’s lovely to see a type designer talk type – it feels liberating – how many of us designers have tried to talk type design to clients and friends to only see their eyes roll to the back of their heads – here we got to indulge in the passion that drives type designers and to discover where they draw their inspiration for the expression they put to their typefaces.

Tobias discussed the inspiration behind 2 of their typefaces – probably their most know and commercially successful sanserif typeface Gotham, initially designed for GQ magazine, and the slab serif typeface Archer, designed for the Martha Stewart Living magazine.



Here both Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones talk about Gotham – almost verbatim, though he did elaborate further in his speech!.


here they talk about Helvetica and thoughts on type design:

Urban typographic play

Stefan Sagmeister Urban Play

Stefan Sagmeister Urban Play

The renowned contemporary visual designer/artist Stephan Segmeister created this public art installation in an Amsterdam square – a typographic expression of a statement “Obsessions make my life worse and my work better” made up of 250,000 Euro coins covering 300 square meters, painstakingly put in place by a team of dedicated workers over a period of 8 days.

Find out what happened to the this public art once it was completed – 250,000 coins in a public space! not quite what was expected, find out here

Video of the works on day 5

ZD YouTube FLV Player

Dancing Helvetica

I was cruising around Vimeo and came across this lovely interaction of type and new wave motion editing, wanted to note it somewhere and thought I’d post it here – enjoy

Flickermood 2.0 from Sebastian Lange on Vimeo.

More fun examples at mynamewasgod

Typography leason #1

Spotted this video the other day – nicely done and gives an introduction into the finer details of typography with a bit of retro tongue-in-cheek.