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.

Advertisements

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.

1_HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_COVER_full product_optimised2 2_HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_BACL_COVER_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUABLIN_TYPOGRAPHER_WEBSITE_BANNER_page header_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_1_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_2_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_3_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_4_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_5_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_6_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_7_full product_optimised2 HERB_LUBALIN_TYPOGRAPHER_8_full product_optimised2

 

“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.

 

Alphabets of Wood.

alphabetswood_fullI’ll admit it, I’m a type junkie. I have been for a long time, and there is no 12 step program to cure me of this affliction. It’s part of being a graphic designer, and someone who has spent the better part of his adult life playing with, using and building with typography to create something new and unique.

This morning when I was out on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum website (yes there is a museum dedicated to wood typography) I came across a book for sale that will be going into my reference stack asap.

alphabetswood_detail01

“Alphabets of Wood. Luigi Melchiori and the history of Italian wood type” is the most recent addition to the latest wave of books dedicated to the history of wood type used in printing presses before digital, and before metal type became the standards of the day. It is also the first book to seriously look at the historical and cultural significance of Italian wood type manufacturers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“This book sprung from an encounter with the life and work of Luigi Melchiori, a skilled craftman who lived and worked during the late ninteenth and early twentieth centuries in Crespano del Grappa – a small community at the foothills of the Alps in the Veneto Region. It is a tribute to a maker of alphabets of wood. The authors, James Clough and Chiara Scattolin, develop a private and professional artist’s profile, the history of the wood type and its progressive use in typography. The archive “Luigi Melchiori” is part of Tipoteca Italiana’s collections.”

 

alphabets-of-wood_04

 

alphabets-of-wood_06

Ryman Eco, The Worlds Most Beautiful Sustainable Font.

 has produced a wonderful little interview with Monotype’s Dan Rhatigan on the worlds most eco friendly typeface, “Ryman Eco”. In the three and a half minute short film Rhatigan talks about not only the intricacy of type design, but the larger picture of how inkjet printers impact the environment. The film reveals how this beautiful, and delicate typeface was designed to reduce inkjet, and laser toner use by 33%.  We all use computer printers on a regular basis, yet very few of us think about the issues Rhatigan brings up. I love how the film focuses on more than the font itself, and how it delves into the design thinking, the design problem solving that reaches beyond just these letter forms.

Flowing Dimensional Type from Pawel Nolbert

“Atypical Typography” from Warsaw based artist and designer Pawel Nolbert, is a series of posters that explore the form, rhythm, and flow of letter forms. The posters are a created from sculptural elements  that are figurative illustrations designed to capture the expressive nature of writing.  Each of the elements were built from artistic, painterly gestures that were formed, then photographed to create the final B1 sized print at 8100 x 8100 pixels at 300DPI. What a great look. Frankly I’d like to have one of the original sculptures used to make the final image. Nolbert’s impressive client list includes Google, Adobe, Sony, Nike, Chrysler, Nepresso, and more. There are more examples of his work at the link above.

4

8

a

b

e

o

p

splat