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I just got back from this year’s TYPO Berlin, the international conference organized every year at Haus der Kulturen der Welt by FontShop. TYPO Berlin may be Europe’s largest graphic design conference, and its theme this year was change, perhaps because after 10 years, Erik Spiekermann had announced that this would be his last round as one of the organizers.
Unlike 2004, I spent this year working inside the Linotype Library’s stand in the lobby. My whole review should be read with a grain of salt, as I only took time off from speaking with customers to see three of the lectures.
The Typowiki has been live for 2 weeks and already there are hundreds of entries. Mostly I'm impressed, not just by the quantity, but with the quality and the direction it's moving. Looks like the future is going to be open source.
Some exemplary posts so far:
Looking forward to seeing this thing grow.
I'm just going to make a short posting here, and see how long it hangs around for.
I seem to have an ability to make disappearing Wiki posts, so this'll be interesting.
blog thy name is crap
diary for the masses
Today, James completed this totally amazing nameplate for a custom bass guitar. The mother of pearl shell is .060" thick and he used a jeweller's saw to cut the letters completely through the shell. Then the sawn out sections are filled with a mixture of epoxy and ebony dust.
The plate is to be installed on a fingerboard with a twelve inch radius, so the form will distort a little after shaping. On the next one, I'll correct the artwork to allow for this final step.
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than
outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-- Helen Keller
Top 10 Questions to Build a Better Understanding of the Boss. Courtesy of Fast Company
I've been thinking for a while about starting a project log (plog) charting my type sketches. No need now; I'll just post them here. Here's something I've been working on on the train. For now it's just the lower case.
I inadvertently posted the 1000th article on Typographica. I really didn't mean to, but still did. Just my luck...
Where are the goodies? :-D
A colleague of mine wants to use Blue Highway for a project.
So I've been putting some serious hours into Typophile these days. Even on the days where I get some 'real' work done at the office, I come home and hack away to the wee hours of the morning. Sad, sad, sad—but oh so fun. It sounds like most people are liking what they see so far. Of course there are still some serious gaps. Image uploads for comments for example, are still missing, and inline display of image attachments needs to be addressed. Right now the primary concern is some server performance issues. Now that we've made it through the initial trampling at launch, we've been able to make a few tweeks and optimizations to speed things up a little, but we've got a ways to go before the site is snappy and crisp like we like it.
Fast Company asks "What Motivates You?"Love or Fear?
What a bizarre question. I mean it makes complete sense, but how can you choose? I certainly can't. I'll admit that fear is part of my life. But I figure it is part of everyone's, isn't it?
While I have been known to enjoy vampires...I have no idea why...and the occasional whomp on the bad guys movie...especially when it is girls doing the whomping, think Lara Croft, Hero, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Charlie's Angels, Hero, Kill Bill...I don't enjoy gratuitous violence. That said, there is something about Happy Tree Friends that makes me laugh so hard it is dangerous to be drinking water at the same time. If you are anti-violence of the cartoon-cute-and-cuddly kind, you probably won't enjoy this.
Must Cook: Smoke Herring and Broccoli Parmentier
Apologies, you must scroll down the page to find it.
Must Learn: whitespace teaches us how to CSS
Yes, I know CSS is not a verb, but neither is Google.
Must Play: Colour Lovers
I'm addicted to type, but colo(u)r runs a close second. It is nice to see others have this problem.
Must See: .minh's photostream on flickr
I have been on the television news this weekend, on several Belgian channels. I was in photos in almost every Belgian newspaper, mostly in the Arts or Culture sections. One of these newspapers even published an online photo special, and you can send friggin' e-cards with me on it!
I have been planning to stay at Hotel Unter den Linden, quite nearby the conference location (and cheap), where I had a single room reserved.
The German design magazine form gives away free admission tickets to people who can answer specific trivia questions every year. This year, my girlfriend knew that that the logo of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, where the conference is held, was designed by Cornell Windlin. A few days ago, she won one of the free tickets!
The Hotel Unter den Linden though is booked-out: no double rooms available.
It is obvious that we have blogs about everything. As I drove into work this morning I decided that I'd indulge my love of lists. The idea being that I will give readers other links that I think need to be viewed, read, heard, purchased, licensed, quoted or otherwise.
This will be the 3rd, no scratch that, 4th place I now have the ability/opportunity to blog. But, will I manage to do it? We shall see.
So, you thought House Industries (ahem, Mister House Industries) was all grown up, having added the Neutraface and Benguiat families in recent years. Well, they just upped the ante with Paperback, a serious text face with optically sized masters, patterns, alternate figures, dingbats, et cetera. Everything you'd want if you're designing for, well a paperback, or maybe for newsprint.
You have been requesting a comparative review of Mercury and Farnham in Bald Condensed, and I am happy to announce I will be able to offer twice the fun. Hoefler & Frere-Jones' Mercury will be compared not only to Christian Schwartz's Farnham, but to Matthew Carter's Fenway -- the type family he designed as a replacement for Times Roman in Sports Illustrated -- and Erhard Kaiser's DTL Fleischmann as well. Funny thing is that DTL Fleischmann -- which is the odd one out as it is the most faithful (and quirky) digitisation -- unexpectedly has a new competitor in Mário Feliciano's as of yet unreleased Eudald. This is a Didone which is based on the work of Eudald Pradell, a Spanish imitator of Fleischmann. So five typefaces in total will contend for the coveted title of Most Totally Awesome Fleischmann Digitisation™.
I love Czech Type.. I do.. I do..
( I think I fell in love with the typographic quality of my northern, neighbouring country, as well.. :)
What is a blog without blogtent? Here's an attempt to post some real content on my new, super-spiffy Typophlog. I would post this on my own blog, but TypeOff is taking some time to build. And by the time it is finished this content will be even less newsworthy (it has already been a few weeks since the conference). I swear that this is the last thing that I will post about Beirut, though.
Below is the text of the paper that I presented. I will not be posting the images. Most of them can be seen in some form or another over at TypeOff anyway (if you snoop around long enough). I have a review of the conference over at Typographica. Here is the direct link.
I added entries for Edward Johnston, Stanley Morison, William Morris, Dard Hunter, Victor Hammer, Hermann Zapf, Hartley & Marks (link probably won't work due to a bug in the Typowiki parser), Robert Bringhurst, Elements of Typographic Style, and John Hudson (who will probably be bemused by what I chose to write about him). All of those are sketchy, to greater or lesser degrees, but you gotta start somewhere. I note without comment that a lot of you are writing about yourselves and your / your company's products. I thought some history might be nice to have as well, especially as a lot of this stuff isn't yet in the Wikipedia (although I suppose I should add some of this to that as well).
I went ahead and added a wiki entry for sans serif as well. Get in there and expand, edit, and clarify it; right now it's rife with my own personal opinions, which some of you are sure to find violently offensive. You get what you pay for!
In an effort to see what the wiki's like, I added entries for Rudolf Koch and schaftstiefelgrotesk types, as well as filling out the entry for blackletter. I have no doubt that others are going to want to rework what I did, as I mostly concentrated on the historical aspects of blackletter I find most interesting, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling.
Funnily enough, there's not yet a category in the wiki for typefaces.
I work here. It's a terrible website. I know. I take full blame. My bad. But it was 2001 and I was in love. We all do things we regret. I will soon have the opportunity to fix that mistake. We'll talk more about that as the project progresses.
But what I want to talk about right now is our logo. For that I take no responsibility. That is not my child.
Mistral? The only reason that font was used was because it installed with Microsoft Word. And why do the P and L swirl around in a surfboard shape? When the owner of the company designs the logo, there's little for me to do but hang my head in shame.
What started out as a set of nerdy, cryptic notes to myself is gradually evolving into a full-blown blog of its own. I called it "typography/typology", which was lame and boring and NOT AT ALL NECRO. Since I'm all about the darkness, you can now find it under its new name, Typomancy. I also gave it its own domain (it used to be stashed away as a mostly unpublicized subdirectory of my personal homepage (despite which Stephen and Dan and Luc Devroye, among others, managed to find it).
Why have my own blog when there's already Typographica, Typographer, and this fine blog? There isn't an ironclad reason, but part of it is that I'm still going to use Typomancy as a place to stash my private notes to myself. Another, better reason is that I'm more interested in the lower-level aspects of type design, specifically dealing with font formats and the politics thereof. Also, it's fun to have a place to do my own experimentation with nameplates and site designs and the like.