New from ReType, Medusa is Ramiro Espinoza’s homage to one of the most renowned masters of Spanish calligraphy, Ramón Stirling, who was active in Barcelona during the 19th century. Not much is known about his life, and there is even some doubt as to his real name, but his Bellezas de la Caligrafía(Beauties of Calligraphy) is one of the most exquisite English roundhand manuals ever produced.
The starting-off point in the creation of the typeface was an analysis of the historical models of formal English handwriting and the ways in which those styles had been adapted to the typographic technologies of different eras.
Nowadays, the OpenType format affords the possibility of solving this problem. Instructions can be programmed into a font to automatically select the appropriate alternate glyphs as the user types. Despite the existence of this option, no one has yet published a copperplate typeface that is a faithful reflection of historical writing models, connecting “b”, “o”, “v” and “w” in the correct manner. Extra effort is required to program and design the many alternate character sequences necessary, and this has not been implemented by type foundries accustomed, as also are type users, to the familiar faux convention.
At ReType we decided to move in the opposite direction. We didn’t force the shape of hard-to-format letters into the service of technology, but rather resolved to press technology into the service of respecting the original graceful quality of those letters.
Medusa is much more than a mere digital transfer of Ramón Stirling’s model. Several of the original letters, such as “f”, “s” and “z,” whose appearance was somewhat weaker, have been replaced by designs based on Espinoza’s own accomplished pointed nib calligraphy.
In addition, numerous elements lacking in Stirling’s book have been added. The fantastically ornate capitals were redrawn in order to strike a greater balance and enhance the consistency of the set of letters as a whole. Several swashes and ligatures were also created from scratch, but with an unwavering respect for the formal rules of pointed pen calligraphy to ensure that theirductus was correct. Perhaps the most unusual feature of Medusa is its small caps, which have been carefully designed to produce an all-cap setting that is stylistically harmonious with the classic copperplate script, something which has up to now been missing from this genre of typeface.
Finally, we are offering a separate set of modular swashes that enable complex decorative headings and cartouches.
We are pleased to say that Medusa is a complete script system the unique features of which will lend elegance and sophistication to a wide variety of design projects.
A recent Thursday at 10:23 a.m.: In the basement of Arion Press, where they still print books the old-fashioned way, Lewis Mitchell slid open a box of parts used to change the font size on the Monotype casting machines he has maintained for 62 years.
“I thoroughly enjoy the sound of the machines turning, and seeing the type come out is a joy,” Mitchell said.
He can tell by the sound of the moving springs and levers if something is awry with his machines — a skill he said all good technicians should have. Four different owners have run the business since Mitchell walked through the doors at age 18, and he has had several opportunities to leave, including a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that he declined. Now 80, Mitchell can’t imagine retiring from the job he loves so much.
When Mitchell started making this kind of type, it was really the only way to print things, and now he doesn’t know how many books he’s helped print over the decades. There were once type-casting operations in most major U.S. cities, but now the practice is almost extinct. There are only two companies left in the world that cast type for printing presses, and Arion is by far the largest.
Mitchell has four grown children and nine grandchildren, but he calls the 20 type-casting machines his “babies.” “I treat them with kindness. I don’t use a hammer on them or an oversized screwdriver.” The first machine, which started the company during 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, is still its best machine — proof that Mitchell’s methods work. “My dad taught me from square one if you going to do something, you’re going to do it right or you don’t do it.”
By San Francisco Chronicle.
Damien Gautier is a designer from Paris, with his own atelier bureau205 together with Quentin Margat. Great fonts are available from the sister site editions205. They have recently released Maax, a typeface with 4 stylistic sets: standard, geometric, modern, grotesk.
Also from them, remember the Happy Typographic Families deck of cards?
Aria Pro is a beautiful typeface by Rui Abreu, available at Fountain.
In his own words:
The inspiration for this typeface came from the epigraph on a frame of a nineteenth century painting. I was fascinated by the peculiar capitals of the inscription. The high contrast, and the overall quirkiness, especially the tail of the R and the oblique stems on the M, was interesting.
I decided to draw a display font with high contrast and a vertical axis, in a reference to the transitional form. Still I wanted to capture the spirit of the original letters, which to me are so imbued with Romanticism. This approach allowed for some exuberance on the regular style, but also led to more calligraphic letterforms in the italic – in which “the flow of the curves” lead the way.
To add to this epigraphic nature there is a number of ornaments that accompany words accordingly to their uppercase or lowercase form. For versatility there’s also a good amount of ligatures, alternative glyphs, and a special set of ornamental numbers.
Typeface design: Rui Abreu
Movie trailer: Rui Abreu
Lovely work from Iñigo Jerez…
I think it´s great! I already loved the Neutraface, and I guess House Industries made a very nice job with this new “raising the bar” design.
Neutraface No. 2 is a completely reconceptualized, redrawn and re-engineered version of our venerable best-selling Neutraface collection. The new collection complements the original Neutraface by satisfying a broader range of typographic needs with stylistic nuances that express ideas clearly and accurately. Neutraface No. 2 also includes an inline version of the titling weight for eye-catching yet classic and timeless headlines.
Boldoni font is available at Myfonts and T26. I specially like the gray version.
Download the presentation PDF here.
The excelent PingMag has a great article on VEB Typoart, the official foundry of the German Democratic Republic.
The Typoart Freunde limited edition comes inside a nostalgic wooden ‘Freundschaftspaket’ [friendship package]!
Continue and read the entire article…
Boris Dworschak just told me has released his new font over at Die-Gestalten.
IkiruSerif is a contemporary Slab-Serif font family with enough esprit to make your graphic language teem with zest and power. Ikiru means “to live, to exist” in Japanese and the typeface comes in 10 weights including thin, light, medium, bold and their italic versions – all of which are designed from the thin version giving the typeface an elegant, sharp and discreet appearance and a forceful, concise look in the bold versions. The IkiruSerif font family is suitable for composing texts of various lengths – effective for a wide range of daily use. The thin version is especially designed for usage in big point sizes, for instance in posters or banners.
KLIM is a typographic design studio run by Kris Sowersby.
Presented here is Feijoa, a very elegant typeface, with lots of open type features (download PDF).
Feijoa is my first serious book typeface, representing four summer’s worth of bloody hard work. I wanted a feeling of softness in a typeface, to design a type that didn’t have all the sharp points and edges that can make digital type so stale and inhuman. The saying “a straight line is a dead line” was very inspirational, I initially took that rather seriously. However, it became apparent that this need not be taken literally, as many of the baseline curves became irrelevant at smaller sizes.
Available at Village.
Also take a look at his moleskine section, very inspiring.
Typotheque launched a new product: Fedra Arabic.
It takes into consideration the contemporary uses of Arabic type and offers a pragmatic solution for multilingual typesetting. The simplified forms of Arabic are stripped of all decoration while keeping the intrinsic structure of the Arabic writing system.
The typeface is available either as a separate Arabic font, or as part of the large Multiscript font package, which includes support for extended Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, and Arabic, with advanced typographic features.
The characteristics that were carried over to the design of the Arabic version are mainly the proportions of the Latin: the baseline, ascender and descender, which were kept identical. On the other hand, two middle heights were deﬁned, which are diﬀerent than the x-height of the Latin font. Rather than directly bringing shapes from Latin, it was mainly the character of the curves that has been adopted for the Arabic counterpart. In Fedra, the curves start fairly ﬂ at and begin to turn relatively late, which creates a particular tension of shapes. The contrast between the thick and thin is maintained. This has allowed for keeping the same color in both the Latin and the Arabic text. Of course many things are not possible to translate from Latin to Arabic directly, so oneto be very sensitive not to impose the Latin structure on Arabic. The Arabic version uses the proportions and formal attributes of Fedra, but not its individual shapes. Because of the Semitic roots, the angle of the contrast is inverted, and what was the thickest horizontal in Latin, becomes the thickest vertical in Arabic. The same is true of the thinnest strokes, it is again rotated 90 degrees.
Fedra Arabic was designed so it can be combined with either Fedra Serif or Sans, by carefully matching the typographic ‘colour’ of the typeface.