Please Read: Typophile (TEMP)

Jared Benson's picture

Change is hard.

But the Flash home page had to go. We all knew it was way past its prime.

This temporary Typophile theme you're seeing now puts us back at our roots, in a way. Since 2000, Typophile has been a vibrant community focused around these very forums. It's a community built around a love for the craft of typography and design, and these forums have been home to hundreds of thousands of conversations around type.

Don't worry, this is not the new permanent look for Typophile. It's merely a temporary state while we tighten up a new look for Typophile. Removing the Flash is the first big necessary step toward correcting a number of other bugs (file upload, anyone?) that have been plaguing us. Rather than take the site down while we get things squared away, we opted to keep it up so you can talk type while we're heads-down on the new Typophile.

Yes, we know the theme is not perfect. Go easy, make constructive suggestions and we'll make CSS tweaks as we go.

Most of all, get involved!

Renko's picture

Please do implement webfonts. It’s boring to watch websafe fonts here.

Renko's picture

And please don’t mix up the archives, so that we can search for older threads.

Renko's picture

Picture upload isn’t working: I just see code like this

but not the image.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

I’d like to see the red clour retained in the branding. Isn’t it a kind of iconic element already?
And: what about altnating headers? [ – Typophile – – – – – – ] in different type, each week. You could grant the place to interesting people (honour) or sell it (income).

Ah, the ›insert image‹ has vanished now completely, at last ;-)

riccard0's picture

Please no webfonts for text (someone's still on XP here).
Text on replies and especially in textareas could do a bit bigger.
Good thing that now Google search retains the search term from "regular" search.

riccard0's picture

Oh, and "TEMP" looks fuzzy.
And something classier (and possibly spelled out in its entirety) would be nice.

thierry blancpain's picture

+ Hide the subforums somehow. The overview is quite unusable with all the tiny subforums littered in between.
+ Up the size of text in the post form, it's way too small.

blank's picture

So nice to see Typophile get an update! I wonder—what brought this on?

joeclark's picture

Yes, I believe you have a large database of filed bugs.

charles ellertson's picture

Now remember, this is from a print guy, so apologies in advance...

Can there be a way to allow entering any Unicode character, & selecting, just temporarily, a font that will display it to all? The people with XP will see nothing I suppose, but always having to use a picture is hard on some of us.

And yes, the forum menu is pretty rough now, but you knew that...

hrant's picture

Glad to see the care is still there.


vanblokland's picture

A filter would be nice.

Nick Shinn's picture

Please make the background white.

apankrat's picture

There's nothing more permanent than something temporary.


Frode Bo Helland's picture

To put this in perspective for new users: Typophile has been around a while, and the last few years the number of bugs have grown steadily while Punchcut have seemingly "forgot" all about running and maintaining the site. The lack of moderating coupled with the recent type hype have resulted in a lot of spam, a lot of"do my homework" traffic and a lot of derailed conversations. Many of the true professionals have left Typophile, which is apparent in the critique forum where amateurs voice their opinion loudy, no-one sets them straight and newcomers follow blindly. As a result, Typeboard -- the small seed of what may become a new and better forum (?) -- was launched just a few days ago.

And now this new initative from Typophile. Should we understand this as a response to the competition? Have the financial situation suddenly changed? Who will be in charge? Do you have a serious plan now?

dezcom's picture

one small step...

joeclark's picture

Since this particular subforum is apparently using WordPress (notwithstanding the /node in the URL), note that one element that is finally available is BLOCKQUOTE.

Also, I guess it is now OK to talk about Typophile’s deficiencies. Basically it never was before.

hrant's picture

Well, it was never not OK. In fact some people seem to
feel things have been too hands-off here. But I certainly
agree that Typophile has suffered "technical neglect".
On the other hand since I personally focus on content
I didn't mind that too much myself; the only thing that
has been annoying to me is the periodic deluges of spam.*
That said, of course it would be great if things (like the
posting of images/PDFs) worked better.

* And I guess you were right that captchas aren't secure.


Bendy's picture

I'm in agreement with Frode. This site used to be really buzzing with interesting professional interactions. With no moderators (removing spam is not moderation), this site has become a place for egos to misbehave. I also see considerably fewer women participating these days. The recent antagonistic threads will only put off new members — a lot of the Reading people I talk to now are completely put off visiting the site at all, despite knowing there's a vast amount of useful content here — and will make sponsors very unlikely to be interested in supporting the site.

I'm not switching to TypeBoard, as I strongly disagree with the principle of excluding people with different ideas; closing your ears to others doesn't validate your opinions. Following on from what Nina said over on TypeBoard, it's really not about who has worked in this industry for longest, it's about treating each other with humility, listening and encouraging the sparks of collaboration that lead to fresh thinking.

Thank goodness something's happening here finally. I'd hate to see this site simply get archived. Good luck to Punchcut in sorting it all out.

5star's picture

Good stuff Jared! Need any help moderating just let me know.

I personally would like to see a forum (with indexed names) dedicated to type designer's and their work. They show some visuals and linkages to where their stuff could be purchased. I know The Blog could handle that, but it is only a fleeting announcement/record.

And where can I buy some merch?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Thanks Bendy. I'd also like to second Nina's opinion. I've posted a link to the Typeboard discussion above.

blank's picture

I'm not switching to TypeBoard, as I strongly disagree with the principle of excluding people with different ideas…

Nobody is being excluded for having different ideas. They’re being excluded for being habitually disruptive. “listening and encouraging the sparks of collaboration” is much easier when Hrant is not stirring up arguments and then emailing inactive forum members in an attempt to further fan the flames.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Hrant, you are complaining about deluges?
I fail to believe what I read.

Bendy's picture

There's no obligation to let Hrant's posts disrupt anything, or even to listen to him at all, and it's insane to contribute to an argument with him if you don't want to listen.

dezcom's picture

What bothers me most about the drifting of Typophile in to "Typonotsomuch" is the content. Sure, there was always some "what is your favorite" and "do my homework for me" threads, but today, it is rare to see a thread with content that you actually wanted to read. I am not talking about the reality TV pisßing matches that were too plentiful for me. I am talking about real discussions that used to happen. There was plenty of good material in "Build" but now it looks more like "foreclosure" than build.
It seems as though everyone in the industry from the most renowned type designer or executive to the young, beaming-with- zeal, ernest neophyte was posting here. Now, it seems as though many of these people have either been annoyed enough to leave or got just plain fed up with the nothingness and just moved on.
I also have concerns about hints of possible censorship but will not go into detail here because it would be unfair to all parties.
Yes, the spam protection is sorely lacking, the upload of files is maddening, the Flash screw-ups are annoying, but. The main thing is that content and meaningful dialogue have diminished markedly. Is this a case of Typophile just running its course and achieving entropy or is it something that can be fixed? I don't know. There was a good run there for several years. Was that just by chance or were we all doing something different then?
Nowadays, the hosts don't even show up for the party. What has caused the circle of stalwart and gifted forum moderators to fade into the distance? Typophile used to be a fine Espresso made by real people and now it is yesterday's Instant Sanka reheated by automation.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

> I strongly disagree with the principle of excluding people with different ideas

I’d say this is not what the initiators of Typeboard intend to achieve: excluding people of different ideas. I am rather under the impression that they try to establish a certain standard of communication and behaviour. Which aim I can’t blame at first hand, though delicate it may seem. I’m a bit sceptic but rather curious about that model. There’s no reason to talk in hostility against it.
There are problems on this site we all know about, for a rather long time. Now someone tries to get over it, well, respect. There may be an alternative or not. There may evolve competition or not. However, things will not remain in status quo forever. “Change is hard” - oh yes.

The whole business gives me to think about “community–communication–common sense”.
Maybe, a club is a kind of community too. If some people like to go clubbing, why shouldn’t they? They’re unlikely to harm others by this.

William Berkson's picture

On Chris's comment. I think a few things have happened. One is that a lot of typographic discussion has moved to twitter. The other is that because there are now circles associated with Reading and KABK, and it seems like they are interacting in other ways. KABK are taking up a lot of 'new blood' who would have enlivened typophile, but they are now using twitter a lot. How to be welcoming to new designers, and how to relate to twitter are things worth thinking about, to keep Typophile vital. I love Typophile. It has its ups and downs, but I think the changed educational situation and social media situation is worth thinking about.

dezcom's picture

Twitter is not really a discussion place, though. The question is, what caused the migration to Twitter, Facebook, etc.? Yes, there are now other options but they each have their drawbacks. Competition works when the competitors offer a better solution. Twitter is not a better solution, it is a different path. Twitter works best when you already know the others you interact with so it is more closed circle. Typophile used to be an open circle with fuzzy borders that was somehow inviting. Something may have happened to put the "don't bother" signs up at all perimeter points?

hrant's picture

> emailing inactive forum members in
> an attempt to further fan the flames.

What are you talking about?

> I fail to believe what I read.

I was referring to spam, like about leather bags...

And one person's deluge might be another's trickle.
To me such differences are not something anybody
should want to control.

Just because we disagree about the role of chirography in
type does not make either you or me a bad person; it does
not even mean that either one of us needs to change how
often they post, or how fervently they express themselves.


It should be obvious I know that I can be antagonistic, and sometimes
I do regret what I write, but: I don't censor myself because you can't
solve a problem by hiding it; and often I'm basically trying to defend
myself against personal attacks that boil over from disagreements that
involve the craft, or the nature of Typophile itself. For better or worse,
I only get emotional when it comes to true friends and close family, and
I don't see Typophile as a sort of social grounds for people to either
prove themselves or leave in a fit. To me, it's about content.

That said, this might be a good opportunity to bring
up something that's been in play for over 9 years:
Tellingly, in all these years only one person has taken it
up - although there might be some more shortly, which
I don't mind - it's part and parcel of somebody like me
getting so much out of such an incredible place.

As an aside, in May of 2004 I willingly left Typo-L, essentially to prove
that I wasn't the real problem. I just checked: there were ~250 posts in
the month before I left (~20 were mine); in February of 2012, 13 posts.

So I'd rather not keep talking about this (at least not in this
thread). I can't stop others from talking about it, but I won't.


dezcom's picture

Hrant, it is not about you. A healthy organism can withstand some disagreement. I hate to see this become a finger pointing venue. That might be all of our problems. The easiest thing to do is point at someone else to shield blame from ourself. Finger pointing is only helpful when it is self-directed. Making this a rehash of mutual urination gets us nowhere.

kentlew's picture

> One is that a lot of typographic discussion has moved to twitter.

Hmm. I am not on Twitter, but I would not have thought that it made a suitable environment for real discussion.

> Is this a case of Typophile just running its course and achieving entropy

Call me a cynic, or perhaps a fatalist, but I wonder if this isn’t perhaps the case. Nothing lasts forever; and in my experience, ten years for this sort of thing is about par for the course. I’ve seen my share of similar communities/gatherings come and go in my lifetime.

I, too, miss the old days — the heyday of Typophile — and I would welcome them back again. But I also recognize that I am not the same as I was then. My interest is not piqued by as many topics, and I find myself less interested or willing to spend the time I once did in earnest discussion, explanation, or debate.

Perhaps it is the greater proportion of inanity or the cyclic rehash of the perennial topics.

On the other hand, who knows? Perhaps the cycle has hit bottom and quality will rise again. Perhaps even just this meta conversation will turn a tide.

hrant's picture

> "TEMP" looks fuzzy.

Would you guys like it in Mana? :-)


5star's picture

It's easy to lose perspective of how awesome this forum is when you've constantly participated over a long period of time. But, what keeps things fresh are the young bloods and vibrant debates.

I was a moderator of a chess community - and believe me guys like Hrant pale in comparison to ego driven competitive chess players (no offense Hrant) - what we did is a slow sterilization and began to ignore the new bloods ever active noob questions. Sooner rather than later we ended up with whole chunks of blocked IPs, a sterile aging environment, no new bloods, and after almost a decade of coolio discussions it dyed.

Typophile can always be fresh - if you want it to be. Dynamic, heated, and dissenting view points can always give colour to an environment. New bloods questions are a sign that this forum matters.

To me, Life is a vibrant dirty journey ...questioning your purpose is always beneficial.

imho of course

Jens Kutilek's picture

I think the new design is an improvement already :)

Some more wishes that I would have:

  • Links are still nearly undiscernible. Give them an underline, or a colour that stands out more (what about the old red colour?).
  • That the type is much bigger in the first post than in the following posts is irritating me. In a discussion, the first post is nearly never the most important one. The size difference creates an hierarchy of importance that shouldn't be there. I find the first size too big and the second one too small, so something in between would be nice. But don't make the text columns wider when increasing the font size, they are nearly too wide already and could benefit from more line-spacing.
  • I'm one of the – apparently – few who occasionally read TP on my mobile phone. The column layout really wastes a lot of space on a mobile screen. Also the avatars next to the text column make the text too small if zoomed in to a level so that you can still see who said what.
  • The font size in the comment text input is also too small, and the use of a proportional typeface is unusual.
Nick Shinn's picture

Chris, interesting.
I have participated with the other old farts in discussions about the science of readability, and not so much about web fonts.
Neither of which I find particularly interesting.
Don’t get me start on Google fonts.
Business, technics, science, ethics—all these are aspects of typography and font production and I do have some interest in them.
Now can we please talk about art and design?

hrant's picture

Because there are so many new threads each day,
we need ways to customize browsing/bookmarking.
For example personally I would like to save time
not looking at the ID Board, but the only way is to
laboriously click on every other board. Also, I have
to resort to putting a visible "hook" into threads I'd
like to follow without immediately (or ever) posting,
which is not ideal.


Jared Benson's picture

Please, let's keep this conversation here focused on how we can band together toward a revitalized Typophile - and not devolve into a Hrant-centric thread.

joeclark's picture

Please, let's keep this conversation here focused on how we can band together toward a revitalized Typophile [–] and not devolve into a Hrant-centric thread.

In other words, let’s not talk about Typophile’s near-invisble owners and their years of neglect, or the fact that “changes” are being made within and without Typophile in very large part to minimize the harm Hrant causes. (Hrant causes a lot of harm.)

I filed a bug years ago on a method to handle discussions like these.

joeclark's picture

apankrat, Hrant, Dunwich Type, Kent Lew, Andreas Stötzner: Start using BLOCKQUOTE, not half-assed italicization and E-mail quoting.

Mark Simonson's picture

One of my favorite features is the "recent posts" page (the "tracker"), which shows all active discussions, most recent at the top. But I wish it was customizable, so I could filter out topic areas I'm not all that interested in.

Also, what's the deal with the "type" column on the left of the topic listings? It uselessly says "forum topic" in most cases.

5star's picture

Typophile merchandise.

hrant's picture


What does that do exactly?

Mark, I myself use the tracker exclusively. When time is tight
I limit myself to my own tracker, and when time allows I simply
broaden it to all threads (I'd just like to exclude the ID area).


William Berkson's picture

There is a surprising amount of professional sharing on Twitter. But I agree it's not as informative as a typophile discussion.
It's clear that significant type people want to take discussions off typophile. FontLab people have participated in the build thread all along, but authors of new software seem to prefer their own forums only. And I know for a fact that gifted designers just avoid Typophile because of the pointless rudeness that happens pretty regularly.

Other social media are definitely competition. I think that in principle Typophile has an edge on these, but I think the new edition needs to respond to the competition. Should there be an optional link or tie in to twitter posts?

I think addressing the rudeness issue would help a lot. An 'abusive comment' button, with an admin available within few hours of when it is pushed, would help. And it should be pushable not just by the person attacked.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

If you want stuff to grow and prosper, pruning once in a while is necessary. Maybe in the case of Typophile a bit more is needed, e.g. getting rid of the Type ID-Forum (spin that off to another site), tightening up the registration process (with only registered users allowed to contribute), getting some personalizable filtering in place, and a couple of things that have been suggested years ago by users.

On the other hand, from personal experience I know that sites and forums can come to an end, and that the natural way of things is that a void will always be filled. Could be that Typophile has fulfilled its purpose and the new kids in town are going to usurp it. Hence: Sic gloria transit mundi…

(The type in this box is so small that I had to zoom in four times!)

hrant's picture

I mostly agree with you. But I don't think being gifted and
being rude are mutually exclusive. To me anybody -talent
or no- who can handle aspects of an environment that are
unpleasant to him will derive more benefit from it, and will
allow others to learn more from him as well.

For better or worse somebody who's good at one thing (like
making display type) isn't necessarily good at another (like
tolerating offense). People who refuse to realize their own
limitations often expect unreasonable levels of compromise
from others.


david h's picture

> Other social media are definitely competition.....

Bill Gates was right. Is right. Content is king!

riccard0's picture

note that one element that is finally available is BLOCKQUOTE

Joe, it had been available since 2010:

Chris Dean's picture

I quite like the “New” addition on the comments, and I understand we aren’t even close to a final design, but trendy grey text instead of black? Really? I seriously hope that one is already on the chopping block. Deliberately choosing to lower the contrast on the text would probably be an instant deal breaker for someone with poor vision (like me). Has anyone even seen the “edit” button (rhetorical question)? I could cite that APA style into the middle of next week. #grumpyoldman

Most importantly however, “But the Flash home page had to go.”

T H A N K Y O U ! Can I get an “Amen!”

(can’t seem to double space between those two words, but you get the point)

Andreas Stötzner's picture

I think an option to individually highlight or block contributions by selected fellows would appeal to many of us.

Theunis de Jong's picture

I had no actual complaints about the former design (apart from the Flash homepage, unaccessible from my iPad), but nevertheless I think it's great to give it a complete overhaul and a totally new look.

But I agree with what has been mentioned above: the staggered 'contents' is not as clear as the previous 5-part one. Now it will take people forever to locate the Type ID board! Maybe Jared could solve that eternal problem by putting it on top; after all the "regulars" know to post their general discussion topics in the forum called "General Discussion", wherever it may be located.

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