True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

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True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby redwinter101 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:45 am

What a fabulous way to start my Sunday - this article from Simon Garfield in The Observer about both the history of fonts and typefaces and the current design trends, rules and constraints:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/oct/17/type-letters-typefaces-simon-garfield

I freely admit to being a font geek (I'm one of those sad souls who cannot/will not read documents in particular fonts) and found this fascinating.

BTW, the Trajan typeface referenced throughout is the Moonlight font (Trajan Pro).

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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby wpgrace » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:40 pm

:giggle: I have a very dear friend-- or another one besides you, Red-- who is also a total font junkie.
She can pore over that stuff for hours.

I find it interesting, but I cannot pick out fonts for printed projects. It just all makes me dizzy.
So I always give any of those chores to her.
Even when she's not working on the project with me... she's my "consultant."
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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby nutmegger911 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:53 pm

That was truly delightful.
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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby HotMicks » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:49 pm

Hi, my name is HotMicks and I too suffer from Typomania! :giggle: (and btw, the "giggle" font is probably American Typewriter, Times New Roman or some such font :roll: :P )

Anyway, loved the read, Red. Thanks. I spend so much time deliberating font choices for my job, it's ridiculous. I was lucky to have once worked with an art director who was excellent with type (she had previously worked for a book publisher designing book jackets) and I learned a lot from her. Last spring, I had to come up with a whole new brand and I think the designer and I spent two days just looking for, and narrowing the choices, of what font to use. It is an art form. You have to think of every possible use in the future - something I learned the hard way when we once picked a font that worked well for display pieces, but we couldn't get it anywhere near legible when we then had to put it on a 2" button. :blushing: Yesterday I had to design a logo for an email campaign we're starting tomorrow and I think I spent an hour trying to choose fonts that would help convey strength, urgency, hope and the fact that it's about the upcoming election. Here, you can be my betas ( :laugh: )... what do you think? Did I get that across? Lemme know before tomorrow, 'kay? :snicker:

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Anyway, I can't believe that chick got fired over that (and glad she won on appeal). Most of the terminology and history of the fonts was stuff I already knew because of my occupation, but the paragraphs about the designers at the bottom were fascinating. First, now I know why I never liked gill sans (and here I always thought it was because of that dopey "swoop" curve underneath the dot on the "i"... but ewwwww, what was with that guy?!?). And the Hammersmith Bridge story just totally cracked me up. Wonder if anyone ever found any of those pieces.

I have actually seen the old "wood" racks for fonts (and the metal font blocks). One of the printers we used to use had preserved their "foundry" and it was amazing to see how labor-intensive that process was. Of course, when I very first got into this line of work, we still had to "compose" the type on typesetting equipment (very expensive equipment, I might add) and print out galleys, which were printed on special - also expensive - slick paper. (Because we are a non-profit, we're a little behind the times in terms of adopting new technology.) We only had four fonts then, because they were so expensive to buy for the compositor. It's also one of the reasons I hate gill sans - it was the one they used the most and I just got tired of looking at it. But I'm glad I had that experience, because with each change being so costly, it taught me to be extra careful about proofing and changing my mind about the wording.

One of my favorite art exhibits at SFMOMA (our modern art museum) is The Art of Design. The exhibit contains type design, signage design, icon design and other types of graphic design. There's a huge section on Scandinavian graphic design, which I love. Anyway, enough Typomania for today! :roll:
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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby LadyAilith » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:03 am

Hi! My name is Ailith and I am a font geek and I also suffer from Typomania. I get this wee thrill inside if I can name the font used for whatever sign I happen to be looking at.

Thanks for sharing the article Red!
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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby redwinter101 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:19 am

Group hug for the font geeks.

(We need a button - in the appropriate font, of course.)

HotMicks, I love what you've done with your logo. :clapping:

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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby jmc » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:02 pm

Thanks for the link. I'm a fan of fonts, too. :thumbs:

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Re: True to type: fonts, typefaces, design

Postby allegrita » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:04 pm

Proud font geek here... :wave: that was a really interesting article, Red! I'm a bit of a Bookman and Garamond fan... yeah, I'm a bit of a serif-lover. But Helvetica is a beautiful font.

And HotMicks, I love your change sign. :thumbs:
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