Wednesday, February 6

10E2114: Just My Type

"Typefaces are now 560 years old. So when a Brit called Matthew Carter constructed the now-ubiquitous Verdana on his computer in the 1990s, what could he possibly be doing to an A and a B that had never been done before? And how did a friend of his make the typeface Gotham, which eased Barack Obama into the Presidency? And what exactly makes a font presidential or American, or British, French German, Swiss or Jewish? These are arcane mysteries and it is the job of the book to get to the heart of them. But it begins with a cautionary tale, a story of what happens when a typeface gets out of control." [talking to you comic sans! ed.] - author, Simon Garfield
Reading this book at the moment; fascinating and quite funny actually. What is an interrobang? Get with it kids...  read and find out. Amazing how easily we are manipulated by a font. Or how economical typeface can be -see the story of the Edward Johnston's Johnston Sans credited as the first modern sans serif and thus precursor to... 


Pro printers and designers may know many of the stories and anecdotes already but a huge heads up for any small organisation. Also underscores the impact of local (Cambridge, MA) typeographer/legend Matthew Carter. 

5 comments:

OMIL said...

Definitely going onto my reading list.

You might like 'Typeface' http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1207998/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Set in the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Wisconsin, about how old techniques are inspiring new digital artists. There's some great intergenerational stuff in there. If you're interested but can't find I can send a copy.

Kevin Phillips said...

I very hearty second from me, a really fantastic book! I read it a little while ago, it humanizes and makes the story of type interesting and fun.

Allan said...

I have a friend who has an interrobang tattoo. Too bad they fell from favor as they can offer a nuanced ending to a sentence!?

Mutt said...

Glad you like the book -found it really fascinating and gave to Tophe for his 60th B Day -he said in his thank you it was the perfect pressie as usual . Mutt x

JKG said...

Catching nothing by the title, the next words that flashed through my mind were:

She gets around,
She's crafty
She's always down,
She's crafty
She's got a gripe
She's crafty
And she's ...