Serif

Guest's picture

ID, Please?

bowfinpw's picture

I can't find anything to match it. I wonder if this is hand-drawn?

- Mike Yanega

pattyfab's picture

Where is it from?

hrant's picture

Maybe the largest cut of Hoefler's Didot?

BTW Jackie, I noticed you're in LA, so I'd like to bring to your attention a typeface design evening course on offer at ArtCenter (Pasadena), which I've run twice in the past, and will be offered again in the Spring. I also noticed you really like fat, high-contrast fonts. :-) So maybe you can make your own super fat, super elegant typeface!

hhp

dezcom's picture

Don't try to reverse that out of a photo!

ChrisL

jackieki's picture

hrant, I go to Art Center. what class is this?

hrant's picture

Ah!

It's called "Introduction to Typeface Design", and it runs one evening a week for 14 weeks, three hours per session. The next time it will be offered is in the Spring. Here's a thread from a previous incarnation:
http://typophile.com/node/30444

Feel free to email me for an eventual reminder: hpapazian at gmail dot com

hhp

typerror's picture

"the motivation for creating new fonts, the difference between lettermaking disciplines (e.g. calligraphy, lettering) and type design"

There is no difference. It is a continuum Hrant. When will you understand that?

If you are going to offer this course then you have to come at it from an unbiased position, otherwise you are doing your students a disservice.

Michael

hrant's picture

> you have to come at it from an unbiased position

Not humanly possible.

Which is not at all to say that I think "continuum" -in the strict, and
useful, sense of the word- is a valid idea here. I discover, contemplate,
and try to teach about differences, which is what makes life worth living.

And FYI, the main feedback I've gotten from my students is "wow, I had
no idea type design is so complex!" This is exactly what I love to hear,
something I would not hear if I simply told them how to make type the
way I like to make it. I'm not a monkey trainer, I'm a... scary gate opener.

hhp

typerror's picture

"Not humanly possible." Letters are human manifestations. Absolutely possible from one who does not have an agenda! Therein lies the crux!

The fact that you cannot view the continuum as valid proves my point. The pen, in all it manifestations, is the source of letters. Because you have some aversion to the pen, brush and chisel says more about your inability to fit in. That is fine. Go off and do your little thing! Impress us all with your genius. Is it here yet or do we have to wait decades?

As to the feedback, that and 3 bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, been there done that.

"I’m a... scary gate opener." You flatter yourself.

Michael

typerror's picture

Hey Hrant... why don't you and I teach a class together. That would be painfully fun, but truly eyeopening to the students.

Promise I will leave the guns, brass knuckles and knife at home here in Virginia : )

I am only a two time felon! Learned calligraphy in jail. I Photoshopped the bars out of my picture.

Michael

typerror's picture

P.s. could that image be a photo of an amber/rubylith or a tired old PMT? Just a thought.

Michael

hrant's picture

> The pen, in all it manifestations, is the source of letters.

Hogwash.

But don't worry, you and your ilk get generous coverage in my course.

hhp

typerror's picture

"Hogwash"

Then where in the hell do you think letters came from?

This should be interesting!

Michael

typerror's picture

Oh wait... they must have come from Transformers. My son plays with those. Who would have thought! Imagine digital in 234 AD!

So then the source, of letters, O enlightened one? I cannot even think of a retort to that dumass assertion.

Edit: No, you have shown your ignorance. To make a statement like that shows your true lack of knowledge. I am stunned that they would even let you teach a class. Oh, wait, he knows his way around FontLab. Absolutely qualified... pass him on!

Michael

Rob O. Font's picture

I too believe it is (the pen in none of it's manifestations), for a Didot to be used in Vogue by JH, circa 1995.

Cheers!

Nick Job's picture

> The pen, in all its manifestations, is the source of letters.

That's like saying the source of music is the (insert whichever musical instrument came first). The source of anything 'creative' is surely the mind: we're just imitating God (made in his image). The tool that was first used to produce it is merely coincidental. It doesn't have to inform how things are now best done, or how they will be done better tomorrow using different tools. I guess someone wrote with his/her finger in the dust of the ground prior to any pen being made. According to your logic, it could be argued that the source of letters is some Neanderthal's hand with or without a rock in it.

If I have understood you correctly, I think you would also say that the 'source' of domestic lighting is fire. However, today's best and brightest lights today have nothing to do with fire. Hrant may or may not be the Thomas Edison of typography (only time will tell - it's said that it took Edison more than a thousand attempts before he got a bulb that worked). I admire Hrant for wanting to break new ground, that takes character and resolve, it's what enterprise is all about. I would be very wary of being the person who witnessed Edison's penultimate light bulb experiment and branded him a complete waste of time and space.

I'm not sure why you push your pen argument so aggressively. Does it matter that much where letters came from? If so, why, please help me understand? Have you ever thought, even for a moment, there may be better ways of making letters than with your pens?

Hrant, please show us what you've got so far. I and probably more than a few other are intrigued.

Sorry I haven't got a clue about that big A but DB may have nailed it!

dezcom's picture

The tool is merely the extension of the mind and the interface between thought of form and rendition of form. I see no advantage in discarding any past or future tool or way of working if it helps you get the desired result. Condemning or ridiculing someone else's way of working is a waste of time. None of us knows what will shape the next good result in type forms. Use whatever you can or want to but there is no need to control what others may use.

Make type, not noise.

ChrisL

typerror's picture

Double post... sorry

Michael

typerror's picture

ChrisL
Typed, edited and retyped for almost an hour (before you chimed in) with an honest and thoughtful response and lost it... so "no more noise" other than the fact that I am here for the same reason as everyone else, letters.

Nick
Sorry if you mistake my passion for aggression. I earn my living with pens, brushes etc. as well as FontLab and Fontographer. Don't ever see separating myself from our calligraphic heritage. Variety is the spice of life.

Sorry Hrant. Yep, I started it, but the fact that you referred to me as "your ilk" shows that you are not as accepting as you want everybody else to be.

Back to the ink!

Michael

hrant's picture

> please show us what you’ve got so far.

If I had something valuable, maybe I wouldn't show it! :-)
Mostly what I've had worth sharing so far are ideas.
Some day it will click for me, and then watch out.

But for those who need to see actual examples, we do have something so far: Legato. Chirofanatics like Michael (they are legion) need to study it and understand why it's so special, and why that casts doubt on their regressive, self-validating ideology.

hhp

Nick Job's picture

Sorry Michael, I pressed 'Post' too quickly. You stick fast to your heritage; I wish you well. Not everyone likes the heritage (even if some think that everyone is in some measure indebted to it). If Hrant thinks something else is out there, I'm going to encourage his endeavour just in case he's right.

Chris, I think you're right and I'm sorry for being noisy.

typerror's picture

I rest my case!

Edit: (I was referring to Hrant's beautiful, respectful and conciliatory response, not your note Nick)

Michael

dezcom's picture

Nick,
The point is that everyone is right within themselves as long as they let their own means drive them to valuable ends. People can be wrong to not see others as having value as well.

ChrisL

hrant's picture

Chirography certainly isn't devoid of value.
But it just as certainly impedes progress.

Some people prefer to celebrate, others prefer to improve.

hhp

cumlivski's picture

Nick Job: The modern lightning has much to do with the fire. The energy comes from the combustion of coal/gas/petrol in the power station, or from the nuclear reaction, which is almost the same. Sorry for being so pedant, but the relationship of pen, brush and computer is similar. The pen/brush isn't obligatory, but you have to mind it.

Nick Job's picture

> The point is that everyone is right within themselves as long as they let their own means drive them to valuable ends.

Chris: I love your peaceable approach but who decides what are 'valuable ends'? In my opinion some very bad men have fully justified their ends as valuable 'within themselves' and been objectively very WRONG.

That said, Hrant may turn out to be justified that what he is concerned with is very valuable, indeed more valuable than supposedly informative handwritten forms; who is to say what people will say of him in 500 years' time and good luck to him?

I admire anyone who can draw a beautiful form with a pen. I admire Hrant because of his enterprise and boundary-pushing. If Thomas Edison walked into a bar, most of us would want to buy him a drink. Even if Hrant never has a breakthrough like that, one can't criticise him for his ennui with the pen. The guy is restless, eager to innovate and just got bored with it all, that's all. OK so maybe he's a little churlish to keep saying, "Michael, I'm bored with the very thing that you cherish."

Cumlivski: I can light a bulb by riding a bicycle: No fire involved unless I was cycling away from a fire, then it may even burn brighter!

Typedog's picture

It is formulated in our minds then exerted through our tools, Its human effort.

typerror's picture

The funny thing is that if Hrant and I sat down, and after the crowd cleared from the initial exchange, he and I would surprise everyone with how much we agree on!

He and I, well, at least me, tend to isolate as a result of our fervency. Can you feel the love : )

Michael

hrant's picture

Nick, thanks for the [overly] kind words.

> he and I would surprise everyone with how much we agree on!

Most of all me. :-/
It's not that I'm closed to new ideas, it's that I've thought about this topic -and sparred about it with the best- for years. In me, the illogic of chirography has overpowered its carnal appeal.

hhp

dezcom's picture

"who decides what are ’valuable ends’?"

The folks who use the type that is generated from the work decide and some may decide badly in our eyes. As is usual with human endeavor, there are many failures for every success. Hrant can find no logic in a calligraphic tooled basis so he need not waste his time bothering with it. Perhaps Michael sees it the opposite way so he will continue to work as he chooses. Luckily, we are dealing with type here and not nuclear weapons so there is no great threat to humanity either way. We need not agree on how we work or on what is a good outcome. Humans have argued for centuries. When all the dust has cleared, we can have our passions, our beliefs, and our opinions. We don't get to judge our own work anyway. We just put it out for others to use.

ChrisL

typerror's picture

"It’s not that I’m closed to new ideas"

Nor am I to old : ) That, hopefully, will get a giggle.

I don't know that I particularly appreciate the the revival of archaic forms. Take for example the proliferation of Uncial forms. (I am so tired of calligraphic forms that are regurgitated without an eye on contemporary design.) Most, to me, seem like wasted effort. I haven't seen a good one, Uncial, in decades. I love Lange's Solemnis, but it was a hybrid, a contemporary adaptation. Whether it is "chirographic (calligraphic, pretty please Hrant, just for me)" or not, it was cutting edge way back when. Sort of what you are alluding to, not quite, but the same spirit.

If you read between the lines above Hrant you will see you and I are not so different. O hell... you don't even have to read between the lines.

Michael

cumlivski's picture

Nick Job: But there's still the oxidation in it, in the dynamo, accumulator, whatever. Rests of the fire in the modern time. The logic is that it works like the rules of statics. Your are building the bottom and then you add the appearence. We don't have to pretend, that the sans serifs are constructed after the rules of calligraphy. But still you see inside these ephemere bones of a pen.

typerror's picture

"Your are building the bottom and then you add the appearence."

Jan... us outcasts call it dressing the bones!

Michael

hrant's picture

> I don’t know that I particularly appreciate
> the the revival of archaic forms.

Chirography is what's archaic.

> But still you see inside these ephemere bones of a pen.

Too often people see what they want to see. Even in Legato, a font
designed by a devoted anti-chirographer, some people see the pen.
The illusion is a succubus, and some of you remain under her spell.

hhp

typerror's picture

I tried Hrant. Gave you a bag full of candy and you spit in it.

Now who is the malcontent? Done!

Michael

hrant's picture

I'm sorry if you thought I'm here to fawn.
Plus Halloween was almost a month ago,
and I'm not even wearing a costume.

hhp

Graham McArthur's picture

>> The pen, in all it manifestations, is the source of letters.

>Hogwash.

Well, how about that?
Hogwash, well I never would have guessed it. Many thanks for the enlightenment, I have always thought that our alphabet evolved through handwriting. I stand corrected, thank you.
However I am perplexed to understand how this new alphabet will be constructed and what it will look like? Will I be able to read it?
It will be hard to learn to read and understand at first, but I am willing to try, so lets see these new letter forms that are not written and have no heritage to the pen or its manifestations.
I suppose that Adobe will be dropping it's pen tool as well?
Hrant, Nick, what new tools are you guys using to replace pens, pencils & their electronic equivalents?
Also what are you replacing the current latin lettering system with?
I really want to know as I am trying hard to understand your ideas and theory that as yet seems impossible for me to visualize. An example will help greatly because I can't visualize ABC..abc... etc that do not pay homage to the pen. The pen may not be the starting point for todays young type designers, but the letters they are making leave no doubt as to the pens heritage, no matter how much they hate the idea.
Enough talk, lets see these ideas and theories in practice.

hrant's picture

Graham, if the ideas are not creating even an iota of doubt, all examples will do is give you a bigger shovel to make your trench deeper. I have seen this time and again, for example with evaluations of Legato. You will see what you want to see, deepening the illusion and wasting both your time and mine, creating more resentment.

hhp

Graham McArthur's picture

Hrant, I think our situations are reversed.

hrant's picture

Yes, I'm sure you're right. Goodbye.

hhp

typerror's picture

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit!

P.s. Hrant, you don't seem to shy from creating resentment!

Michael

Typedog's picture

Artist or Con-artist?

hrant's picture

Artist?! Now that's mean.

hhp

Nick Job's picture

Save the hostilities for never.

> Hrant, Nick, what new tools are you guys using to replace pens, pencils & their electronic equivalents?

Tools are and always have been improving all the time. It's interesting that you see a computer as an equivalent to the pen. I'm not even sure when a pen became a pen and stopped being a stick.

First, maybe I'm being naive when I say this but, the fact that certain letters are certain shapes is, for me at least, nothing more than an 'accident'. You can see this by the way two (phonetic) written languages with similar sounds may have completely unrelated shapes to describe them, e.g. Hebrew and Latin.

Next, I think therefore that the skeleton of an individual letter (I'm not talking about stress or serifs or angularity or anything else) is arbitrary; that is to say, it ought not to make a difference if it had been initially described with a stick, with a pen or with another (equally) effective method of leaving a mark on another material.

It logically does not follow to say that the best method of designing a character must be driven by what someone's pen (or stick) did hundreds and thousands of years ago on a sheet of wax/papyrus/paper/a tree/a cave wall or whatever. That would be like saying to an aeroplane designer, don't forget that one of the first methods of crossing a large expanse of water involved carving out the trunk of a non-porous tree (forgive me if my nautical history is hazy). Technology is continually evolving. Don't try to tell me that Boeing think that several logs tied together with twine is even remotely useful when designing the next generation of hyper-efficient airliner.

An A is A-shaped. That the 'pen' was responsible for the skeletal shape itself is like attributing the content of this post to the 'personal computer'. On one level, of course, it's perfectly true but not very meaningful.

So answer me this, which came first; writing or the pen?

Hrant, don't go! Surely not even you are saying that an A can be a different shape from an A. That's what an A is!

cumlivski's picture

Nick Job: I agree with you. Of course the medium is changing. Of course, that an A should not be A-shaped. But then, sudddenly, it takes some time to get, that it is an A. That`s the risk of experiment and up-to-date fashion.

marcox's picture

If the original poster is still around, and looking for a commercially available serif face with the extreme weight contrast of the original sample, consider Freight Big.

http://www.dardenstudio.com/typefaces/freight_big

Jan's picture

All of that in a thread about a Modern Style ‘A’.
Yeah, you need a pen to draw it by hand.
Otherwise you would’t know what to do with the ruler.

hrant's picture

Nick, I haven't left; Graham -and Michael- have left for me.

> the skeleton of an individual letter ... is arbitrary

In fact, there is no skeleton! The reason for this is simple: when it comes to the purpose of type (not necesarily the same thing as why a given person makes type), which is to be read, we don't read the black bodies, we read the contrast between black and white. A tool that marks the black imposes a dysfunctional design constraint: a relationship between the two sides of the black; the relationship should be only between the black and the white - we must design the border, not the body. This is true even if one is "minding the white" when making the black; the pointless constraint remains, no matter how hard we try. In the worst case -like a font made directly from calligraphy- it becomes a master-slave situation; in the best case it's still an unequal marriage, thus non-ideal.

The shedding of the illusional "skeleton" concept is the key that lets type be more than merely where it came from - which btw is not just the pen, but a host of other marking methods, some much older than the pen. The pen is simply what has come to look prettiest to the greatest number of people, becoming crushingly mainstream, and thus elevated to a mythical stature, holding us back. We are worshiping a corpse.

Somebody who refuses to see this (which is not the same thing as making non-chirographic fonts - I myself am still stuck on the black!) is generally simply afraid of what it implies about his body of work, or maybe of what it implies about his adored teachers.

hhp

Nick Job's picture

Hrant, are you seriously suggesting that the traditional, received form of, for example, a letter A, is based on the remainder of the white space once it's been 'adulterated' by black? I always thought it was to do with 3 straight lines, to a greater or lesser degree. (I am open to being persuaded otherwise, by the way.) I'm not sure I warm to my methods of construction (whether or not they were influenced by the pen) being described as illusional (delusional?) but I do like your willingness to get out of the box that you perceive and to challenge the way people think if you sincerely think they've been hoodwinked, as long as it's not because you just don't like people, which is how it sometimes comes across to me at least.

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