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typography

Freudian Font Is Based on Sigmund’s Scrawl

freud writing

Sometimes a font is just a font, except when it is based on the handwriting of Sigmund Freud. Harald Geisler turned his fascination with the famed psychoanalyst’s century-old letters into an elegant typeface. “It made me smile to imagine a person writing his or her shrink a letter set in Freud’s handwriting,” says the typopgrapher, who studied original documents in the archives of Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna and Freud Museum London to develop four alphabets that are interchanged at random. Don’t be surprised if the elegant letters show up in your dreams.

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Swiss Spritz! Helvetica the Perfume ‘Smells Like Nothing’

helvetica

Now that the literal feasting of Thanksgiving is over, the retail gluttony can begin. We have a feeling that you’re eschewing “doorbuster deals” in favor of web-surfing your way to elegant gifts (that don’t require resorting to fisticuffs or even leaving your home), but what do you get for the design-minded person who has everything? The answer, of course, is nothing—in the form of Helvetica the Perfume.

Technically, it is two ounces of distilled water, but to the typographically savvy, it is the olfactory equivalent of Max Miedlinger and Eduard Hoffmann‘s sans-serif marvel: pure, modern, neutral, and profoundly Swiss. Decanted into a glass bottle labeled in 24-karat gold Helevtica Bold and tucked into a letterpressed box, the limited-edition fragrance is yours for $62 from Guts & Glory.
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SVA Students Celebrate Halloween with Typographic Twist

sva pumpkins
(Photos: Cindy Davis)

As you put the finishing touches on your Zapf Dingbat Halloween costume (spooky!), feast your candy-craving eyes on the passel of pumpkins created by students at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Designer and faculty member Irina Lee, herself an SVA alum, gathered the group for a pumpkin-carving session with a typographic twist, from personal monograms and elaborate drop caps to the classic “BOO,” accented with the New York skyline.

sva pumpkins 2
(Photos from left: Maxwell Beucler, Elfe Marschall)

Hamilton Wood Type Museum Teams with Erik Spiekermann to Go Hard in New Home

hamilton
Strong and Silent Types. The new crew at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum stands in front of a vintage photo of their predecessors.

hard_typefaceWisconsin’s Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum–the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production, and printing of wood type–recently moved into a new home in Two Rivers, and the race is on to reopening day. Helping to inaugurate the new space will be the museum’s annual Wayzgoose type conference, which gets underway November 8. Among the special guest speakers this year is the fontastic Erik Spiekermann, for whom a typographic tribute is in the works: Hamilton will be cutting the Spiekermann-designed font, “HARD” (pictured above), at the conference. “I’m excited to see Hamilton cut this font using traditional methods,” says Spiekermann. “With Hamilton’s vintage pantographs and former type-cutting employees, this will be a chance to see history in the remaking.”
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Wallpaper* Rolls out Redesign with New Tagline, Custom Typefaces

The September issues are beginning to roll in, and Wallpaper* is celebrating the month that Candy Pratts Price describes as “the January in fashion” with a top-to-bottom redesign across its print and digital platforms. The layouts have “a new, fresh, sophisticated, modern elegance” according to editor-in-chief Tony Chambers, and the pages, now printed on higher-quality stock, are sprinkled with custom typefaces (type families “Portrait” and “Darby,” pictured above and designed by Berton Hasebe and Dan Milne, respectively) from Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz of Commercial Type. The magazine also has a new tagline–”The stuff that refines you”–and an overhauled iPad edition, reimagined by Nicolas Roope of Poke London and Marc Kremers, which ensures that the September features, on topics such as “the fashion world’s top ten go-to architects” (we’re looking at you, Pedro), the bags-to-riches story of Loewe, and Paul Smith, look just as vibrant on the screen as on the page.

Sign Painters Documentary Continues Screening Tour

Once upon a time, creating signage involved more than Microsoft Word, 72-point Comic Sans, and an inkjet printer. Everything from storefronts to street signs were hand-lettered—with brush and paint. But all is not lost. Even as staid (and quick-and-dirty DIY) signage proliferates, there’s a revival afoot in traditional sign painting. Dedicated practitioners get their close-up in Faythe Levine and Sam Macon‘s Sign Painters, published last fall by Princeton Architectural Press. But with a subject as scintillating as hand-lettered signage, why stop at a book? The anecdotal history of the craft and stories of sign painters working in cities throughout the United States comes to the big screen in a documentary that is now making the rounds (next up: screenings in Orlando, New York, and Seattle). The trailer is bound to inspire you to drop that die-cut vinyl lettering:

TypeEd Offers Type Classes for the Masses

Poor typeface selection, butchered executions of proper glyph handling, the ridiculous setting of justified copy: these are just some of the typographic tragedies that TypeEd aims to banish from the planet. “We exist to protect and serve the letterform, typesetting against the villains of bad design,” say Michael Stinson and Rachel Elnar, who founded the Los Angeles-based program of typography and typesetting courses last year in their design studio, Ramp Creative+Design. “Our mission is to educate designers, students, and practitioners on the fundamental skills of typography.” Among their latest offerings is “In the Loop,” a six-hour script letterform workshop taught by veteran creative director Leah Faust. We asked Stinson, a veteran designer/art director and TypeEd’s lead instructor, to tell us more about “typesetting for the jetsetting” and couldn’t resist the ‘ol desert island fonts question—read on for his top three typefaces.

What led you to create TypeEd?
Rachel went back to teach in the Cal State University system after an elevan-year hiatus, and noticed that with the overflow of computer-based classes into college curriculums, design fundamentals like typography were pushed to the wayside. So, she brought me in as guest speaker to give her interactive class a few typography tips. After seeing the enthusiasm, we eventually we decided to start an education program in our design studio.

What will “In the Loop” workshop participants learn?
In The Loop is an exploration of script-making and letterform crafting. The workshop will cover the history of iconic script signage in Los Angeles, and discuss how to make a script memorable and effective. Attendees will learn about the aspects of readability, angle, stroke variation, and how to translate scripts to digital form.

What is your greatest design pet peeve?
My greatest design pet peeve is the absence of thinking in design. When a designer chooses elements because of personal preference instead of being informed by research, history or concept, I feel that they’ve really missed a great opportunity. Designing without thinking is pure lack of consideration for the reader.
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Quote of Note | Jonathan Foyle on Fonts


Fontastic graffiti, stencilled on a wall in Guelph, Ontario.

“The plague of Times New Roman is the unspoken disease of our age….[S]urprisingly, given a visual training, some architects have fallen victim to the plague. Times New Roman is often incised into new buildings in major cities, unrelated to the essence of their architectural character. Before the TNR outbreak, beautiful signage was normal, whether a take on a classic of architectural typography, or a font pushing the progressive zeitgeist of the building style. Those were the old times. Now a 1930s newspaper font is a default setting for monumental inscription. It’s one that we must switch off.”

-Jonathan Foyle, CEO of World Monuments Fund Britain, in the Financial Times

DIY Deco: Gatsby Monogram Maker

F. Scott Fitzgerald suggested that it was the profusion of Gatsby‘s beautiful shirts that brought tears to the gray eyes of Daisy Buchanan, but we suspect it wasn’t so much the “stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange” but those “monograms of Indian blue” that really got her. Put your own stamp on Gatsby’s glam “JG” with this Monogram Maker app from Warner Bros., the studio behind Baz Luhrmann‘s supersaturated film version of the classic novel. Simply select a pair of shiny letters and a desired shape and then download your new personal logo for use in a range of digital formats.

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Peter Saville on Creating ‘PUNK’ Show Logo for Metropolitan Museum


The gleaming logo, spotlit on the exhibition’s title wall. At right, the cover of the exhibition catalogue, which includes prefaces by Richard Hell and John Lydon.

When it comes to punk, the graphics tend to get gritty–all ragey handwriting fonts and distressed stenciling–but while a hit of GO-RILLA or Kra Kra is sufficient to evoke a Sex Pistols state of mind or a Ramones-era DIY kerning moment, it doesn’t quite capture the sartorial chasm of “chaos to couture.” Enter Peter Saville, who created the exhibition logo for the “PUNK” exhibition organized by the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He used lettering by Paul Barnes to evoke the “coup d’état in youth culture” that was punk. “There has been very little liaison with the Met and the photograph on your site is the first time we have seen the logo actually in use,” Saville tells us. “The logo employs an irreverent use of 18th-century typefaces (by Fournier) in keeping with Nick Knight‘s briefing for the design of the show, which was Versailles on the eve of the French Revolution.”

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