eliason's blog

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Dictionary pangram

Amazing lexicon joke: sesquipedalophobia = the fear of very long words.

From the Daily Pangram.

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Another movie pangram

From my Daily Pangram blog.

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Cheese or font?

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Pangrammatic font-nerd joke

Jazz came to a bar & asked for liquor, but the guy explained: "We don't serve your type."

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Dripping hot, liquid wax over my face is a major buzzkill.

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Can you guess the movie?

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Daily Pangram hits 300

He gave a quizzical look when I justified my pangram blog fix.


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Wizard of Oz pangrams

Just finished "Wizard of Oz Week" at the Daily Pangram: http://dailypangram.blogspot.com/.

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Type talks at the Walker

I almost missed this: four upcoming talks about type and graphic design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Process Type Foundry, Minneapolis
Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:00 pm

David Reinfurt, New York
O-R-G and Dexter Sinister
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 7:00 pm

Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam
Marieke Stolk and Danny van den Dungen
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:00 pm

Ellen Lupton, Baltimore
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:00 pm

I'll be there.

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If you like TV and pangrams...

(and who doesn't?!) you may want to check my Daily Pangram website, where I have just wrapped up a special week of original pangrams about TV shows.

My Daily Pangram blog has recently posted its two hundredth original pangram.

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Season's greetings

Still working on my font but figured it's in good enough shape to feature on this year's holiday card. Here's the cover, posted with my wishes for joy and peace in 2009 for all you Typophiles.

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Researching by doing: our alphabet is plural

It's been stated here before, but it has really hit home to me with my experience of designing my first font: lowercase and uppercase are really two different animals; and figures are a third.

Historically they come from three different sources, so it shouldn't be a surprise. However, since our reading experience has always involved seeing them together, it's easy (as a reader) to overlook their different structures. But as a designer it's not: a solution for how to deal with lowercase has to be "translated" for caps, and then again for numbers. This feat of "translation" seems to me like one of the more challenging parts of type design.

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Researching by doing: contrast is nice

I've been working on my upright cursive sans, and have gotten some good feedback on my post on the Critique board.

This weekend I played around with FontLab's Interpolate tool and was struck by what some horizontal thickening using it did to my font. Before:


(This is rather unevenly applied - just a test to see what would happen.) I was struck by the appearance of the widened letters - rather handsome to my eyes. The dramatically increased contrast works well with the cursive-like loops and bumps, I think.

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Researching by doing: two experiments combined

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"Face the Nation" exhibition pics

I've uploaded some pictures of my "Face the Nation" exhibition, which recently completed its run at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Thanks to Ryan Loomis for taking the pics, and thanks to the Typophile community which was an invaluable source of advice, tips, and even loaned objects to help make the show a success.

Flickr set here.

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Researching by doing: oops

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Researching by doing: capital proportions

Found article on "the Geometry of Roman Lettering" (by Tom Perkins) that argues for geometry underpinning classical inscriptions. He goes through the alphabet, finding the rectangles that best fit the rubbings: A is based on a double Golden Rectangle, B is based on a root-five rectangle, C on a double root-five rectangle, etc.

I'm not convinced. (It seems that there's a geometric rectangle of one kind or another passably close to every letter size, so I suspect geometry arises after the fact to account for the proportions rather than dictating them in advance.) But I think I'll take Perkins' boxes as a starting point for the cap proportions for my font.

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Face the Nation panel in Minneapolis

Minnesota Typophiles are invited to a panel discussion on national identity and the history of type design on Tuesday, 16 September at 7pm. Grad students who took a seminar from me on type history and who helped do the research for the "Face the Nation" exhibition will be presenting on four different case studies from the show.

More info here.

See the exhibition soon - it closes on the 21st of September!

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Researching by doing: some sketches

^ early sketching of an "upright cursive"

^^ experiments with "low branching" letters (as described in this earlier blog entry).

^ comparing low-branching vs. looping (the sketch that started my thinking in this blog entry).

^^ more looping stems

^ some very crude figuring on stems of p. I realized that p and d work differently than b, q, r, n, etc., in that the doubled-up part of the stem is much longer, so it will call for a different but cohesive solution.

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Researching by doing: my invented design brief

I have invented a design brief for the font I am to design this fall. It is intended as a kind of composite of the characters, features, and applications of some of the prominent humanist sans faces of the 20th century, synopsized in this blog entry. So I am "commissioning" myself to come up with a font that fulfills these intentions:

a) - no serifs
b) - low or very low contrast (experienced as monoline or close to it)
c) - upright
d) - readable enough to be suitable for middling-length texts (e.g. captions, sidebars, pullquotes and other blurbs)
e) - workable in sizes 11-36 point

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