When I first started my career in graphic design, inspiration came in the form of printed material to the mail box. Digital design was for the most part a foreign concept. Almost all work was done the old fashioned way, analog, and the internet wasn’t available. I used to wait anxiously for the next issue of Upper and Lower Case magazine to arrive so I could check out the latest trends in typography, graphic design, and get industry news. It was a go to source for many years, and probably still would be if it still existed. The articles were always interesting to read and the publication felt and read like a newspaper.
“U&lc will provide a panoramic window, a showcase for the world of graphic arts – a clearing house for the international exchange of ideas and information.”
U&lc began publishing in 1974 and for 26 years it was a faithful source of information and inspiration for it’s readers. Each issue was 25 to 30 pages in length, printed in black and white, tabloid size, and except for a few times, hit it hit your mailbox with complete regularity. Now thanks to fonts.com, every back issue will be made available in PDF format. All 26 years worth.
Every month fonts.com will publish an entire years worth of U&lc, and it will be available for download via the fonts.com blog. Now, with that said, be warned the files are a bit big. Not unmanageable, but large. Around 85 megabytes in size. fonts.com also says the files aren’t perfect, since they were created from scans of original materials. Some of the pages are sometimes faded, cracked or torn. There are over 9000 scanned pages for you to go through if you so desire. I plan to go get as many of these as I can. It was a timeless source of inspiration and information back in the day, and still will be.
I kind of love / hate the video below. I love the fact that the video tells you the correct way to pronounce a typeface name in its’ native language. I’m not so sure about the subtle arrogance of the narrator at the beginning. Anyway, if you have ever pondered how to pronounce the name of a typeface like Akzidenz Grotesk, any 23 others from Europe, the video below will show you they way. Once you know how, you can annoy all your designer friends by teaching them how to properly pronounce their names as well.
I found font love this morning. I was looking for a modern script that would have good readability in a video/motion design project I am working on, and I found Benson Script, designed by Kyle Wayne Benson. Available in 2 styles, six weights, and 3 contrast levels, Benson provides solid readability at all point sizes, and the informal quality will make it easy to animate.
I love that this font has a hand lettering quality to it while remaining clean crisp and legible, which is a must for something that will be moving and only be delivered on screen.
“Modernism’s desire to fit all elements within geometric constraints and adhere to strong verticals has spread throughout type design, but has had little to do with the frills and ornaments of script. Cutting a script down to its bare bones has is an offensive idea to many—almost seeming insulting to its genre. Benson Script bridges that genre gap between frill and function. As a matter of genre Benson Script errs on the side of modernism, and adds flair as a last resort.”
Over the last few years there has been a trend toward hand lettering styles with the chalkboard look reach a white hot furry in the last year or so. That look dovetails onto the sketchbook look that was so in design fashion a few years back, and in my opinion has jumped the shark. Maybe that is why I am drawn to a couple of new typefaces, one that is a redone classic from the 1930’s and another that is based on the Swiss International style.
Directors Gothic which is being offered by MyFonts was painstakingly developed from the original 1930s glass masters. The new digital set includes a full international character compliment, automatic fractionals, ordinals, and an impressively large assortment of alternate characters.
The original font was inspired by the Art Deco movement popular that had gained popularity toward the end of the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Directors Gothic was designed with an eye toward expanded utility for use in advertising headline and smart corporate materials. The redesigned font was created by Neil Summerour for Lettering Inc.
Over the last 4 years Swiss design firm Maximage has developed Programme which is based on the geometry produced by computer programming, and calligraphy. Programme is an innovative typeface that originated s two different versions, a more sophisticated softer form, and a more angular rougher version. Because the font is OpenType you are able to switch between versions and combine them into specific sets. Because Maximage designed the font with the computer in mind, the font is optimized for both display and text needs. I love the geometry of the letter forms here, and the combination of both styles adds just a bit of that retro 1980’s vibe that is starting to make some headway into design circles these days.