Type Design

Madita, a New Typeface from Animography.

If you work with After Effects, or you are a graphic designer you might be familiar with Animography, the company that produces animated typefaces that are fully customizable. I’ve been a fan of these guys for quite some time, and always love it when a new release comes out. In the past Animography has done a pretty straightforward promotion of the product, they show the typeface animating, and the variations that can be achieved with it. All of this is an effective demonstration of what they are trying to sell, but the promotional animation for Madita is a winner.

Animography Shows the typeface in use, but blends it with a catchy little story, some wonderful animation, and shows how the typeface can be used in a project before wrapping it up with a simple question, “Where can I get this typeface?”  The design and animation by Philip von Borries does a really nice job of showing Madita in use, and combined with the narration, the story hooks you and keeps you interested until the marketing punch at the end, which hopefully gets viewers interested in the font. Even if you aren’t a designer, or animator, the video is worth watching simply for the visuals and the nice little storyline.

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.”

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.