Lettering

Herb Lubalin: Typographer

Well here is one more book to add to the design library list for the studio. Unit Editions has released a new book on design master Herb Lubalin with a focus on typography. If you don’t know who Lubalin was, or if you aren’t sure of what he is most famous for in terms of type, he designed Avant Garde Gothic, Serif Gothic and Lubalin Graph. Now before you bash Avant Garde, understand that when used correctly it has a precision, and coolness that exudes modern. The issue is, like so many typefaces that became a casualty of the desktop publishing boom of the late 80’s, it was over used, and used badly by so many designers. When used right, without every ligature thrown in, Avant Garde Gothic is a well tooled typeface with refined geometry and clarity.

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“Herb Lubalin claimed not to be a great typographer. ‘In fact,’ he said, ‘I’m terrible, because I don’t follow the rules.’ This new book proves the opposite. On every page it features Lubalin’s typographic genius (logos, layouts, lettering and typefaces), and places him at the forefront of 20th century typographic innovation. 

Herb Lubalin is, by today’s standards, a typographic master. Everything he did – working in collaboration with some of the giants of lettering and type – had the sparkle of genius. 

He even had names for what he did: he described it as ‘graphic expressionism’ or ‘conceptual typography’. Using his ability to adapt, merge and create new typographic forms, he was able to enhance and amplify meaning in ways that hadn’t been seen before. 

Having published two books celebrating the genius of Herb Lubalin as a graphic designer working in many spheres, this new volume concentrates solely on Lubalin’s typography.

It comes with new texts, new design, new photography, and lots of previously unpublished material – and with a price tag that makes it accessible to a wide audience.”

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Put Your Type in Motion.

Here is a little Friday afternoon time waster for you. A series of animated typographic treatments from Starov Evgeniy a student in St. Petersburg Russia. That’s right this is student work. This is a testament to how far we have come in the field of graphic design in the last 20 years. I couldn’t imagine creating 12 of these when I was in art school. It would have taken me an entire semester to illustrate and film a single one. Awesome work Starov.

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Every Issue of U&lc for Free.

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.

 

Gentleman Scholar Presents “Sprout 3D-scanning PC”. For HP.

As someone who is deeply rooted in graphic design, who’s career began with hand lettering before computers, and is insanely fascinated by video, storytelling, and motion graphics, the video below makes me all happy inside. Gentleman Scholar has produced a video for HP that is chocked full of killer typography, amazing shots, solid editing, and graphic design. The short spot is timed and paced so fluidly, with a soundtrack and voice over that help keep you focused on the visuals. Love, love, love this.

Oftentimes we find that our creativity is reduced to the footprint of our computer screens. But what happens when the digital and tactile work in tandem? Teaming up with 180LA, Gentleman Scholar explored this notion with piece below for HP’s new “Sprout 3D-scanning PC.” Using handcrafted vignettes that make up the spot, and presenting a new frontier in creativity: “where digital innovation meets tangible reality, a world in which imaginations take flight.”

“Cloths of Heaven”. Seb Lester’s Calligraphic Masterpiece.

There was a time not to long ago when people actually had good hand writing. Taught in primary school, practiced for hours, good penmanship was king. Slowly though, over the last twenty or so years it has begun to dissolve. Why write by hand? Why write in cursive? Why practice the art of creating letterforms by hand when you can type, touch or talk, and have your primary communication device correct your spelling on the fly. Don’t get me wrong I am not anti-technology. I am however in love with beautifully crafted hand lettering that demonstrates the craft of a dying art form. Thanks to people like lettering artist  the art form stays alive and well. Hopefully his work will encourage others to take up a pen and create with ink on paper.

Cloths of Heaven’ is Lester’s interpretation of “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”, by renowned Irish poet William Butler Yeats. The video shows the creation of a the master art for a serigraph poster, which was also translated into a limited edition embroidery piece via The London Embroidery Studio. The attention to detail, and the craftsmanship that went into this is outstanding. It is a continuation of his exploration of the theme of beauty in the context of letterform design, and the mastery of the calligraphic arts. Big hat tip to .

“Yeats’s poem references ‘embroidered cloths’ and ‘gold and silver threads’, so I wanted to try to make the screen print look like an exquisite and timelessly beautiful piece of highly ornamental needlework. I’ve drawn from Medieval, Renaissance and 18th-century sources but I have also tried to integrate personal, progressive and irreverent flourishing ideas. The result is a hybrid stylistic treatment that I think could only exist in the 21st century.”

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When You Have the Time, Create Something For Yourself.

Occasionally when I have a bit of downtime, I like to try and polish the design/art/lettering/software skills. This week has been rather slow on the work front, so yesterday I used the opportunity to flex my Illustrator muscle and create the image below. I know, it’s blatant self promotion but I don’t care. I rarely post any of my own work here, and frankly I think it turned out rather well. Everything but the background was created from scratch in Adobe Illustrator CS6. The background is vintage wallpaper that was color shifted in Photoshop.

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