Font 007 Neue Fonts
It’s good to introduce non-human forces, be they mechanical or natural, in order to invigorate or question existing creative processes. Rob Meek page 28
I need restrictions to be creative; it’s when I have restrictions that I can perform my ‘art’. jean françois porchez page 9
Making the Rules
∂e mainstream accessibility of the computer has publicly lowered the accepted general standards and value of good design, while professionally it has considerably magnified the designer’s abilities. When you have tensions like these at play in any field, the result is usually mixed, but a li‡le more good than bad. alejandro paul page 10
Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical. sol lewitt page 14
Rule Makers / Rule Breakers
Breaking the Rules
FontStruct: Built with Bricks
fter a long day of scanning web pages and deleting junk email, I might sit back and soak in the latest entertainment news from Hollywood or reflect on national opinion with the chatter of pundits and their eternal polls that never seem to get the story right. I like to think that it’s my obligation to the media industrial complex to absorb as much information as possible or risk, like excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a dangerous buildup of ones and zeros. Things sure have changed in the last decade. When I think about the trajectory of our contemporary society, with all the tools and applications we use to publish, move, and manage information, I’m immediately reminded of Henry David Thoreau. I can picture him sitting outside his small cabin, quietly meditating on the breakneck speed of social and economic progress as the last rays of the day sparkle across Walden Pond. Like us, Thoreau was experiencing a profound shift. His, defined by rapid industrial expansion and a final push across the frontier; ours, by the release of the latest smart phone or praise for the next big viral video. But unlike Thoreau, who saw a need to retreat from the rules and systems that were quickly reshaping his world, we’ve embraced ours as solutions to organize physical and electronic space or to fulfill a personal identity within the gathering storm of the data we face every day.
Where Thoreau wasn’t impressed with change, writing that, “There is an incessant flow of novelty into the world and yet we tolerate incredible dullness,” curator and art critic Glen Helfand finds inspiration. Recognizing ours as an age of convergence, Helfand focuses this issue of Font on the work of a wide cross section of artists and designers who are “making the rules” by channeling that incessant flow through filters and toward the creation of generative art. He convinces us that processing information is not only a reflection of our time but a celebratory act that can result in beautiful thoughtprovoking images and objects. We also focus on six additional projects that feature graphic designers and typographers who are “breaking the rules” by using generative concepts to map ideas, from individual letters to complex narratives. Finally, we toot our own horn for FontStruct, a new online portal for building and sharing fonts that’s been getting plenty of blog buzz. If it’s true that everything has its proper place, then we can rest assured that Thoreau found his at Walden and those extra ones and zeros (and all that they represent) have found a comfortable home in Font magazine. To get started, here are a few simple rules: read, share, and recycle. Amos Klausner Editor
fonts used brisa™ parisine plus™ ff pitu™ ff scribble™ ff trixie ® fonts used throughout ff meta ® ff meta serif
e u e N s t n o F
← Ed Benguiat’s revival of the classic Bookman is now available in OpenType. itc Bookman differs from previous renderings, with improved readability, a real italic, and a suite of fanciful alternates and swashes which are now more accessible thanks to the new format. Check out ITC Bookman Std on FontShop.com for a preview of the OT extras.
↑ Business needn’t be banal. Fresh type can make the difference. Take, for instance, P22 Imperial Script, a new take on formal copperplate scripts. Thanks to its extra large lowercase, it is unhampered by the legibility issues of its predecessors. OurType’s Parry also borrows from the past, acknowledging but softening its Victorian roots. Think of it as a contemporary Clarendon, with the welcome addition of italics, small caps, text figures, and a complementary sans serif family.
fstop illustrated concepts collection
A favourite book of Mr. farles Washington Mevik 12
El ingenioso hidalgo Don qixote de la Mancha
aka Donkey Joté
But only in selected regions of Östeveie ↑ Rugged and angular, Rubén Fontana’s award-winning Andralis™ ND is unlike any traditional text serif, yet it reads beautifully. The complete text family is complemented by a bevy of unconventional ligatures.
↑ Based on Edward Johnston’s 1916 type design for the London Underground, P22 Underground Pro is both a historical homage and an expansive font system for modern-day use. A large set of alternate forms lets the user replicate the flavor of the original subway signage or create something truly twenty-first century. This sans powerhouse includes six weights with broad language support for Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic.
Play → Director’s Commentary Off On Scene Selection Bonus Features Language Options Theatrical Trailer
← Jumping straight from the titles of a classic film, the OpenTypeempowered Kinescope is meticulously crafted with automated alternates to keep it flowing smoothly. Meanwhile, fp Dancer infuses a modern text typeface with the fluidity of hand lettering. Along with its serifed companion, the family has everything needed to set professional type: small caps, fractions, case-sensitive forms, and a full set of figures.
e u e N s t n Fo With small slabs and blunted rounds, Soho is grounded in a contemporary look that reflects modern technological sensibilities. The 40-member family of nine weights and five widths weighs in at over 32,668 glyphs, versatile enough for almost any task – from a corporate identity to a complete magazine design. ↓
Pain at the pump Le pain et la pompe Le pain & la pomme Les pommes frites angie sans tm
( Sortie parisine tm
a fontshop exclusive
yme Jean François Porchez is a national typographic icon in his native France, where his typefaces grace everything from the signage of the Paris Métro to the internationally renowned French daily newspaper Le Monde. FontShop is honored to be the exclusive reseller of Porchez Typofonderie, a collection that represents the finest in contemporary type design. There is something here for every purpose, be it a chic rebranding or an authoritative publication design.
Wishing on a
Chateaux G∆te∆ux Liquoric∑ Ωuiπ de Sa≠ola Ga∂ric Upset parisine plus tm
a fontshop exclusive
sarSky ambroise tm
D’Artagnan et Dumbarse le monde tm
a fontshop exclusive
The Scarlet Pimpernel’s
souﬄ´ e addicion proved to be his
dénouement apolline tm
a fontshop exclusive
Porchez’s Angie Sans is an incised roman with a humanistic touch. It works well with its companion in the FontFont library, FF Angie®. Created for mass transit signage in Paris, Parisine is a Frutiger for the new century. Parisine Plus is its more playful sister. There are hundreds of Bodoni revivals, but none is quite like Ambroise. Available in three widths, Ambroise includes Firmin Didot’s original forms of ‘g’, ‘k’, and ‘y’, along with a corps of alternates. For Le Monde, Porchez created a face that shares the ‘color’ of the old standby Times New Roman, but is much more open and readable. The comprehensive Le Monde system consists of Journal for text sizes, Livre for headlines, and Sans and Courrier for the trimmings.
Roasted Gallic Flavour amorinda tm
Teriyaki Ribs cuisine tm
Sweet Potato brisa tm
Spanish for type of the South, the Sudtipos name proudly displays its Argentinian heritage. The foundry, based in Buenos Aires, is setting the standard for a region that has become a hotbed for new type design. Founder Alejandro Paul draws his own type and
works with fellow Argentine artists like Diego Giaccone and Angel Koziupa, whose lettering skills help create script fonts that dance on the page, defying the limitations of conventional digital type. The latest Sudtipos releases feature bountiful ligatures, swashes, and
contextual alternates that allow the type to do justice to its freehand pen and brush origins. See more at FontShop.com, where the advanced character set viewer offers a complete overview of all these extra characters and the OpenType features that invoke them.
Mı Pueblo Taqueria sudestada tm
Tierra del Fuego plumero tm
Ossie & Ricky milk script tm
Tis Pity She’s a . . . herencia tm
Is she really going out wıth him? argenta tm
la portenia tm
Cracking Quackerz bree tm
Belarus, Belarus, will you do the fandango? cora tm
Kafka Zátopek Dvořák
Navrátilová Trained at the University of Reading, classmates Veronika Burian and José Scaglione put their world-class education to real-world use in the creation of TypeTogether. Their global perspective (hailing from the Czech Republic and Argentina, respectively) has yielded highly original typefaces, from spirited sans serifs like Bree and Ronnia to steady contemporary workhorses like Cora and Karmina. Like those of any Reading grad, each of their fonts is studiously researched and expertly crafted.
Meritorious economy combined with
And 4,852 rather splendid numerals, too karmina tm
Julio Cortázar wears flares
sometimes rayuela tm
El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan
Another Reading grad, Alejandro Lo Celso has parlayed his education into a series of roving international student workshops. His PampaType creations, meanwhile, positively drip with academic rigor. Rayuela, for example, plays with notions of rhythm, yet remains one of the few serif text faces that is both informal and eminently readable. Borges was born out of a love for the clean economical style of writer Jorge Luis Borges. Quimera displays Lo Celso’s deep admiration for the great French designer Roger Excoffon, adopting the unusual horizontal stress of Antique Olive.
Garden Forking Moments of Poetic Delicacy borges tm
@ Estudio U+O quimera tm
Druk Diggler fishmonger tm
Magnum Opus Day-O Komm, Mr. Spiekermann, tally me banana
��������������� teimer tm
Czech designer Tomáš Brousil is a relative newcomer to the font world, but is already making waves and winning awards for his refined contemporary typefaces. From versatile utilitarian families like Teimer and Katarine to compact headliners like Fishmonger and Atrament, Brousil has a knack for filling the empty spaces in a modern designer’s type palette. Gloriola is a sans serif that hits the sweet spot between cool sterility and lively warmth. Purista is a thoughtful twenty-first-century nod to early twentieth-century geometric grotesques like Eurostile and Bank Gothic. Brousil knows how to have a good time, too: BistroScript pays homage to a sign painter’s playful strokes, while 1980s throwback Corpulent puts on as much as weight as legible type possibly can.
�� Praha Brno Plzeň �� atrament tm
Czechs I know you got & balances
Seoul purista tm
→ Velvet Underground ↑ Revolution Square ← Masarykovo Nádraží gloriola tm
A cake, long in shape, but short in duration bistroscript tm
Systems rule our world. They are structural mechanisms that, when they function, make order out of chaos — and we all know there’s plenty of that floating around. Systems get us out of the house in the morning, they channel communication, and they (hopefully) lead to a functional culture. The systems department runs the office, giving us parameters and password protocol. In general, though, systems seem to connote automation and a lack of flexibility. But rules, they say, are made to be broken, and systems, when they’re generative, often lead to wonderfully creative output: generative art. Befitting the topic and its vastness, this article is structured by a set by Glen Helfand of parameters with somewhat elastic edges. To survey generative in art is to activate a large and unruly machine that sparks more ideas than can be contained within the space allotted to this article. Hence, this piece is structured by a simple set of parameters: five generative systems, presented somewhat chronological, the creative process tracking closely to our technological prowess, three hundred words (or so) each, artists and projects as illustrations. »»»»»»
Making the Rules
fonts used ff balance™ ff scribble™
1 above Installed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cubes (1974) explores the complexity of construction.
Systems of response: chance strategies and conceptual frameworks eradicate the artist’s hand and delegate actions. Beginning in the 1950s, avant-garde composer John Cage employed chance as his signature music-making system. He used the I Ching, an ancient text used to divine order and change, to structure music and determine notes. In 1961, Cage plotted celestial maps on a musical staff and created the composition Atlas Eclipticalis. Such works sound amazing even if you never hear them. He termed some “compositions indeterminate of performance,” meaning they’d always sound different when played live. They’re so satisfying, though, because there is so much to the means of creating them. Did they write themselves? Cage, you could say, wrote the software code in the form of scores. Those sometimes rumpled papers are fascinating objects, matrices meticulously plotted with whatever system Cage employed. Whatever turned up on a random cast of those I Ching tiles resulted in input for music and sometimes as drawings or prints. Order out of chaos is a beautiful thing. History imposes certain kinds of structure; it creates art movements when one group of artists responds to its forebears. Cage’s
seemingly impersonal approach couldn’t be more opposite in feel to abstract expressionism, the dominant emotive force during his formative years. In his work, the artist’s hand is essentially given over to systems. Conceptual art of the 1960s taught us that it’s the idea that counts. Sol LeWitt wrote in his Sentences on Conceptual Art: “#10. Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.” The axiom freed something up and allowed plenty to happen — conceptually and physically. The titles of his pieces were like Cage’s scores: “Wall Drawing #65. Lines not short, not straight, crossing and touching, drawn at random, using four colors, uniformly dispersed with maximum density, covering the entire surface of the wall.” It was first installed in 1971, but if you owned it, you could start it at home that night. Close your eyes and you can imagine lines dancing in your head, in hues of your choosing.
2 Visitors relax as a selection of Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings shifts across the projection screen.
The artist Roxy Paine proves that machines can become engines of creativity with the robotic Erosion Machine created in 2005.
To define the pattern of erosion on this limestone block, the artist translates crime statistics into a set of robotic arm movements.
Factory systems are capable of endless production. (Turn them on and they work.) To generate is to produce. The term is taken ambivalently in the arts as it suggests factories, and those can be rather impersonal. Andy Warhol, however, had his Factory, which had something to do with a hands-free response to those bossy aforementioned abstract expressionists — or so art historians say. His assembly line resulted in some great paintings, but the machinery in his factory was mostly manual. Fast-forward to 2006, when Brian Eno released 77 Million Paintings — a computer program that endlessly shifts pattern and color in layers. You can buy it on dvd and unleash paintings on your home theater system — forever. Eno made sound in a similar way. His Generative Music 1 (1996) employed a software program, the Zen-ishly titled SSEYO Koan, which continuously produces short ambient compositions from 200 pre-selected sounds. Eno picked them and let the computer dole them out. You don’t see the apparatus in those works, but Roxy Paine’s Painting Manufacture Unit, Erosion Machine, and SCUMAK (Auto Sculpture Maker), 1999–2005, are perhaps more about the matte metal machinery than they are about the resulting pictures and objects. Each uses randomizing computer code to generate slight shifts, surprising turns, and variation in the application of pressure. The automated SCUMAK makes gooey-looking extruded plastic sculptures that resemble vibrant plastic blobs of pulled taffy. They’re made slowly, with as much care as a machine can muster, but the resulting objects aren’t exactly comely. It is a commentary to be sure — art production! — and Dutch artist Wim Delvoye took it to the next visceral level with his Cloaca factory works, which have been appearing in ever-upgraded versions, since 2000. They’re elaborate Rube-Goldberg-in-a-lab contraptions that artificially — with chemicals and tubes — recreate bodily functions. Insert a gourmet meal at one end and, a few hours later, it will deliver a processed object that looks and smells a lot like what we all generate with regularity.
Danica Phelps originally used stripes to represent money she personally spent or earned. Today, you can order one of her paintings and pay by the stripe. At 15¢ per slice, this painting, 20,000 stripes, would cost $3,000.
The artist is an information filter, creating structure out of free-floating information (so we don’t have to). There are strategies we implement in daily life, those little things: morning rituals, TV viewing habits, and the like. We need that order when possibilities of choice have been multiplied immensely. Can the I Ching help choose cable channels? Artists who use themselves to filter and create structure from reams of banal information do us all a favor — they reveal how free-floating input can actually add up to something. Danica Phelps gained notice in 2001 for loopy graphite drawings of her daily activities and financial transactions. If she drew the ice cream cone she ate that day, she’d note who she ate it with and how much it cost. Below the drawings, she added red or green hatch marks, based on income or expenses, each mark representing a dollar. The sales of her work became part of this system, which evolved into ever more elaborate schemes and increasingly larger conglomerations of lines. Her manner of translating impersonal data into something dazzling reached an apex with the many marks resulting from two real estate transactions. Interestingly enough, her most recent work is about eradicating the self by creating a madeto-order Stripe Factory. “The stripes have become unmoored from my personal data,” she writes, “and instead, represent only their own production.” If Phelps brakes for dollars, Lee Walton has given up his body to sporting events. Acknowledging both meanings of the word ‘score,’ he devised a pre-determined set of actions triggered by particular occurrences on the baseball field. For Opening Day: Giants vs. Marlins (2001), Walton would run across the street and scale a mailbox or other street fixtures as dictated by live radio coverage of the game. His rather graceful drawings serve as records or scores of the game, with curved lines perhaps representing a base hit. Imposing limitations on himself served as another organizing element. He played a round of golf, one shot a day (it took him five months), and vowed, after September 15, 2006, to never enter New York’s Union Square again. That’s one way of getting somewhere new.
4 above While the Red Sox were beating the Angels in Game Three of the 2004 American League Division Series, Lee Walton was creating his own box score.
Art engines are exhibition-making machines. Curators generate art shows, but if they were once behind-the-scenes characters in the contemporary art world, many have moved to the foreground. Their exhibition-making means have become increasingly systematic. After all, there’s more and more art being produced, and perhaps it makes good sense for the decisions to be more transparent. You could call some recent approaches ‘curatorial engines,’ as they are parameters or concepts that allow shows to move themselves. A curator working this way takes risks — or firmly believes in the system they’ve devised — as you never quite know what you’ll get. Jens Hoffman has employed this approach in shows such as Artists’ Favourites, a 2004 project at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, for which he invited 39 artists to select a beloved artwork by someone other than themselves. Another example is Hoffman’s Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions at San Francisco’s Wattis Institute, a series of small showcases that unfold in alphabetical order in a vitrine shaped like the U.S.
That physical structure echoes web architecture as a site where artwork can aggregate. It does so, with a wry wink, on Learning To Love You More, a website by artists Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July. It offers visitor participants a selection of assignments (68 of them at this writing) that can be completed and posted online. “Like a recipe, meditation practice, or familiar song, the prescriptive nature of these assignments is intended to guide people towards their own experience,” the organizers say. Your charge, should you choose to accept it, would be to do something like “34. Make a protest sign and protest,” or “10. Make a flier of your day.” The artists/curators set up the system and offer a collaborative curatorial site. Since its launch in 2002, the artwork has been rolling in. ltlym even winks at its own generative properties; see “44. Make a ‘ltlym assignment’.”
Using patterns and keywords found in the text of spam email, Alex Dragulescu filters his data through three-dimensional modeling tools to create something that is definitely not junk.
right Mark Napier’s newest project, Spire, uses software to show what happens when the hard structures of old industrial power collide with the soft structures of ascendant new media.
Every member of the audience, every point on the map becomes a part of a mutable picture. Web 2.0, according to the user-created info source Wikipedia, is described as technology “that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users.” It’s a utopian vision that offers lots of latitude to artists. So it’s hardly a surprise that digital media that responds to and organizes online data would be such artistfriendly territory and such a valuable tool to generate collaboration in the real world. It’s about barn-building with information feeds, regardless of how useful the source material might initially appear. Junk email, for example, is transformed into virtual structures in Alex Dragulescu’s Spam Architecture project. The buildings may not exactly bear weight, but they do provide an inspirational concept of informational recycling. That’s something Mark Napier does with various projects at potatoland.org, like the classic Digital Landfill, which allows you to create a kind of compost with your unwanted emails, or the more recent Black and White, which creates kinetic drawings as it ‘reads’ CNN.com. The blur between art and information handling is a particularly exciting generative space. Digg.com is “a place where people can collectively determine the value of content” by posting stories and tracking their traction. It gets more interesting with Digg Labs, a kind of hipster cousin working in the burgeoning field of data visualization. Here that content is tracked and organized live — stacked in bar graphs, color-coded based on popularity, and organized around a circle. Sometimes PacMan-like pixels drop like rain to indicate hits on an online posting as they happen. Martin Wattenberg’s Many Eyes website similarly offers a platform where anyone can upload, visualize (in a vast range of styles and shades), and discuss data — say, the shift in gas prices, or top concerns of college freshmen. The elastic nature of information becomes almost heartening. Little is cut and dried, save for the notion that the possibilities are endless.
Systems will become increasingly basic tools. It’s a fact that we’re living in the information age. It means that the ways that we create and share information will become more sophisticated — the barrage of input will be channeled through sleeker systems. These developments can’t help but continue to inspire artists, who have always responded to the ideas and material of their time. The system continues. pp
Breakingďż˝ theďż˝rules Graphic designers and typographers use new rules and new tools to develop work that pushes the boundaries of communication graphics.
Poetry on the Road For all its assumed freedoms, poetry has remained a bastion of strict rules that, perhaps ironically, govern the creation of some of our global culture’s most ethereal and elegant verbal constructs. Rhythmic structure in the form of meter, like the popular iambic pentameter, or Japanese haiku with its rigid count of five, seven, and five again, are examples of how sound is organized to influence meaning and emotion. So it’s only fitting that, each year since 2002, graphic designer Boris Müller has used his own mathematical structures to reorganize poems into a visual identity for Poetry on the Road, an international literature festival held in Bremen, Germany. In 2006, Müller assigned a number to every letter in the alphabet so that, added together, each word in a poem had a specific value. He then graphed each poem by word in numerical order as points along a circular path. Simple rings were applied around each point to denote how many words within a poem shared that specific cumulative value, thicker rings representing more common word counts. Softly curving lines add a graceful, dare we say even poetic, element and connect each word in the order they were originally written by the poet. The result is a swirling and dynamic visualization that considers the artistic entropy of a purely inventive enterprise while also recognizing how invisible structures can be made visible.
fonts used ff airport™ ff tisa™
504 hours How are you feeling right now? That’s the question graphic designer Cinthia Wen asked herself every hour for 21 days. The answer (far left) is an astounding peek into a designer’s diary and a roller-coaster ride across 504 hours of emotional ups and downs. Wen translated the results, her personal reflections, into a poster where each day is broken into a simple bar graph. Over 90 different colors are used to represent the varying shades of 13 different emotions ranging from peaceful to exhausted to agitated. Moving through a day in the life, Wen’s visual guide tracks activities like sleep, work, relaxation, and entertainment. She punctuates these with line work that announces random bouts of revelation, panic, or intoxication. Taken alone, any one bar is the abstraction of daily ritual. Together, these 21 days are a colorful reminder. As we continue to layer routines and expectations upon ourselves, these limitations can quickly define our mental stability and quite possibly the sum of our personality in the long run. The designer notes how she relishes the project’s dual purpose, as a visual representation of time and an analytical representation of emotion. But it’s the unfolding of these days and weeks as a journal for critical self-assessment and discovery that will keep us counting the hours.
noplace Imagine building out your utopian vision. Is it physical: an ecologically perfect Earth or a worker’s paradise with true equality? Is it transcendent: a state of enlightenment like the rapture or nirvana? In the past, personal wishes and desires were often just that – personal. Today, the all-encompassing flow of digital information is routinely typed and tagged into categories of interest and subsequently mapped and ranked as ever-new insights into our collective identities and ideologies. Artist and architect Marek Walczak exploits our penchant for structure over chaos and mines an increasingly deep vein of collective thought to build a picture of analogous and divergent views of paradise in a project he calls noplace. Using live feeds from the internet, Walczak collects text tags from images and sounds and stockpiles them in a database. A tag sequencer looks for and finds relationships among these and streams them to a series of projectors. Each projector has a cluster of visual data that interprets the tags to create a random but distinct narrative on the paradise theme. The results, architecturally-inspired collages, are a compelling commentary on the development of hybrid physical and information spaces. Currently, Walczak has pre-selected just eight different sets of visual data, each representing a different collective interpretation of a utopian vision. However, he will soon launch a live tool on Tate Britain’s website that will let everyone build their perfect world.
Seelenlose Automaten For Seelenlose Automaten, a recursive multimedia project that loosely translates as “Soulless Machine,” designers Benedikt Groß and Patric Schmidt found inspiration in the work of Hungarian biologist Aristid Lindenmayer. Lindenmayer’s research on algae growth patterns and complex branching structures in plants forms the basis for our understanding of self similarity. Groß, responsible for their machine’s visual elements, populated his environment with an increasingly complicated nest of abstract branches, buds, and birds. Using his experience as an intern with the Frankfurt-based multidisciplinary digital design studio Meso, Groß powered his project with a multimedia design tool called vvvv. It’s a relatively new and increasingly popular piece of software that designers are adapting for the visualization of complex, collaborative, or real time media environments. Schmidt created a simple music track composed of 27 distinct sounds, including sonar peeps, snare and bass drums, high-hat cymbals, and even something he calls a dinosaur scream. Together, they came up with the comprehensive rules that connect each sound to a specific action within the graphical environment. To add interest, a second layer of context-sensitive rules count instances and trigger more arcane activity when select sounds reach predetermined target numbers. Instead of a traditional time-based animation, vvvv allows the designers to send MIDI control messages simultaneously to both the sound and image generators. The result is a lively machine with more than the standard bells and whistles.
The Dutch are known for equal measures of logic and wit. It was a little of both that encouraged settlers and farmers to beat David Kin back the sea and reclaim a series of tracts across the countryside. Staying above water required mapping a cooperative system: a grid of dams, dikes, locks, and pumps etched onto the land. By staying true to the Ruari Alber Kapr rules that govern water management, DutchMcLean Erik van Blokland & Just van Rossum society flourished. Over centuries, systems and the data they organize have become hardwired into the nation’s collective identity. These traits guide Typopath 1.0, an analog generative project created by Joris Peter Saville Maltha and Daniel Gross of design studio Catalogtree. The two met and hatched the idea for Typopath 1.0 at Werkplaats studio dumbar Typografie, a graduate program in Arnhem conceived and supervised by designers Gerrit Noo Karel Martens and Armand Mevis. Martens, Mevis, and a third designer, Wigger Bierma, were asked to rate 200 typographers whose work spans 500 years. In the eyes of Maltha and Gross, the results represent a “mental map” of the thinking that helped define Jost Hochuli and still drive the Werkplaats. To translate into a detailed road Jamie Piet Schreuders subjective responses Reid map, the designers conceived a set of simple rules, using convergent and divergent opinion as a starting point to generate colorful twists and turns that offer a truly unique perspective on design history.
an Hans-Rudolph Lutz
Gerard Unger Walter Nikkels
H. R. Bosshard
Rudy van der Lans wild plakken nes pas plier
Lex Reitsma Fred Smeijers
Tessa v.d. Waals
Ontwerp / Design Daniel Gross / Joris Maltha / www.catalogtree.net / Arnhem 2002
Henryk Tomaszewski Adrian Frutiger
Harry N. Siermann
Sem Hartz Josef-Müller Brockmann
B Richard Paul Lohse Saul Bass
Otto Treumann Vordemberge Gildewart
David Kindersley Imre Reiner Dan Friedman
Erik van Blokland & Just van Rossum
Willem Sandberg Dick Elffers
Peter Saville Anton Stankowski
studio dumbar Bruno Monguzzi
Jan van Krimpen Hans Peter Willberg Milton Glaser
Tibor Kalman Hans-Rudolph Lutz
Jost Hochuli Jamie Reid
D Max Kisman Ruedi Baur
Sjoerd de Roos
Wolfgang Weingart Swip Stolk
H. R. Bosshard
Rudy van der Lans
nes pas plier
John Heartfield Piet Zwart
Jan van Toorn
Pierre Bernard Robert Nakata
Hans Peter Willberg
Erik Spiekermann Stanley Morison
Lex Reitsma Tessa v.d. Waals
LEGENDA / LEGEND
Irma Boom Morris Fuller Benton
Max Caflisch David Carson A.M. Cassandre Piet Cossee Wim Crouwel
[C5] [C1] [D6] [B6] [A3]
Jaap Drupsteen studio dumbar
elektrosmog Dick Elffers Paul Elliman experimental jetset
[H4] [C7] [F3] [H4]
Edward Fella Quentin Fiore Alan Fletcher Dan Friedman Anthony Froshaug Adrian Frutiger fuel
[B1] [A3] [C3] [C1] [B6] [B3] [F3]
Piet Gerards Mieke Gerritsen Vordemberge Gildewart Bob Gill Eric Gill Milton Glaser golden masters goodwill Frederic Goudy grappa blotto gtf
[C1] [C1] [C7] [D4] [F5] [D4] [H5] [H5] [F5] [F4] [H5]
hard werken Sem Hartz Michael Harvey John Heartfield Jost Hochuli
[E4] [B6] [E3] [E5] [D2]
Edward Johnston Charles Jongejans
ael Harvey I
Pierre Bernard K
[H5] [E1] [F4] [B5] [G4] [C3] [B3] [D1] [I5] [E4] [G3] [C7] [B2]
Moholy Nagy Robert Nakata nes pas plier Walter Nikkels Gerrit Noordzij north
[F5] [E1] [E1] [D3] [C3] [I5]
octavo Ootje Oxenaar
Paul Rand Jamie Reid Imre Reiner Lex Reitsma Paul Renner Bruce Rogers Sjoerd De Roos Emil Ruder
[C4] [D3] [C6] [E2] [D5] [D5] [D4] [B3]
Helmut Salden Willem Sandberg Peter Saville Paula Scher Piet Schreuders Jurriaan Schrofer Paul Schuitema Kurt Schwitters Harry N. Sierman Oliver Simon Fred Smeijers Erik Spiekermann Anton Stankowski Swip Stolk
[C6] [C6] [C2] [E2] [D2] [C4] [D7] [E6] [B5] [D5] [E2] [E2] [C5] [D4]
Henryk Tomaszewski tomato Jan van Toorn Otto Treumann Jan Tschichold
[B4] [G4] [E4] [B6] [C6]
Henry v.d. Velde Alexander Verberne Jan Vermeulen
[G4] [B4] [C5]
Tibor Kalman Albert Kapr Mart Kempers Gerard Kiljan David Kindersley Robin Kinross Max Kisman Jan van Krimpen
[D1] [C3] [B5] [E7] [C3] [D1] [D1] [D6]
Rudy van der Lans Suzanna Licko
[E3] [D3] [G4] [D7] [A4] [E2] [D5] [I5] [H4]
Hermann Zapf Piet Zwart
F AM = Armand Mevis KM = Karel Martens WB = Wigger Bierma
belang voor het vak importance to the profession
Bruce Mau Edward Johnston
KM + WB
Emil Rudolf Weiss
persoonlijk belang personal intrest
G drie personen three persons
Sjoerd de Roos
Paul Renner two persons
Cornel Windlin experimental jetset
75b elektrosmog m&m Jop van Bennekom golden masters
mooren & vd velden
Josef Albers John Heartfield
Jan van Toorn
W Tessa vd Waals Wolfgang Weingart Emil Rudolf Weiss H.N. Werkman Pieter Wetselaar wild plakken Hans Peter Willberg Roger Willems Cornel Windlin Z
Frederic Goudy Henry v.d. Velde
P. Scott Makela
Moholy Nagy grappa blotto Paul Elliman
M m&m Martin Majoor P. Scott Makela Hans Mardersteig Bruce Mau Ruari McLean Max Miedinger Bruno Monguzzi mooren & vd velden Stanley Morison Roelof Mulder Bruno Munari Josef Müller-Brockmann
[E3] [B6] [D2] [E5] [D4] [H4] [F4] [E4] [C5] [C2] [A4] [F3] [E3] [A4] [B3] [E2] [H4] [H4]
[E5] [B5] [A3] [D1]
Jonathan Barnbrook Saul Bass Ruedi Baur Herbert Bayer Anthon Beeke Jop van Bennekom Morris Fuller Benton Pierre Bernard Max Bill van Blokland / van Rossum Jan Bons Irma Boom Hans Rudolf Bosshard Chris Brand Pieter Brattinga Neville Brody bureau Thomas Buxó
El Lissitzky Richard Paul Lohse Herb Lubalin Hans-Rudolph Lutz
[H4] [H4] [D5] [E5] [G4]
2x4 75b Otl Aicher Josef Albers ontwerper Akzidenz
INDEX / INDEX
Stanley Morison 3
Meek FM With the fifth version of his typographic synthesizer, Rob Meek hit a high note when he unveiled the aptly named Meek FM at the music-themed 2007 TYPO Berlin design conference. In collaboration with Frank Müller (the FM in Meek FM), Meek integrates letterform modulation and sound generation in a hardware package that’s a welcome nod to Robert Moog and the invention of the modular synthesizer. Playing the device requires a computer and the attractively retro Meek FM control panel. Select a letter from one of several predetermined typefaces and a cursor will flicker along its outline like an imaginary pen. The synthesizer constantly redraws the letter and replays its sound like some old sci-fi tape loop. Depending on how one chooses to play the synthesizer, rows of dials and buttons let typographers mutate letter characteristics and invent new letterforms (which can then be saved and used), while musicians can dial up new sounds based on language. Since Meek FM isn’t easy to work in any highly controlled way, play is the operative word. But that’s just as well, the inventor says. “It’s good to introduce nonhuman forces, be they mechanical or natural, in order to invigorate or question existing creative processes. A machine can literally produce what human imagination by definition cannot – the unimaginable.” pp
The New FontFonts ff Clantm Italic Łukasz dziedzic
r&sOs.sÍtd ff Nettotm daniel utz
And so it gøes on ff Maxtm 4 morten olsen
Dampfbahn Furka-Bergstrecke DFB
ff Chamberstm Sans verena gerlach
Ô Comptoir des Marchands ff Nettotm daniel utz
Cavallino Rampan ff Enzotm tobias kvant
Torre pendente di ff Tisatm mitja miklavčič
ff Quadraat® Sans Bold Italic fred smeijers
Fai ’Twas a frisky fish,
Nicht on your nelly, guv’ ff Unittm Rounded erik spiekermann & christian schwartz
ahedron ff Cubetm jan maack
Aesthetic nte Fulfiłłment ff Daxlinetm Italic hans reichel
ff Pitutm Łukasz dziedzic
Pisa (Leaning Power of Tisa)
ir Play à vous ff Utilitytm lukas schneider
methinks a haddock ff Nuvotm siegfried rückel
Boot loader ff Milotm 3 mike abbink
characteristics ff Polymorphtm stefanie schwarz
ǽ ffj ģ Ə ĵ → ∂ Ħ
ff Meta® Serif erik spiekermann, christian schwartz, & kris sowersby
FF Meta Headline Compressed FF Meta Headline Condensed FF Meta Headline FF Meta Hairline FF Meta Condensed & Italic FF Meta Correspondence & Italic ff Meta & Italic introducing → ff Meta Serif & Italic
Throughout the 1990s, Erik Spiekermann made several attempts at designing a companion for his original ff Meta, arguably one of the most ubiquitous fonts of the past two decades. Colleagues had often asked which serif face would best fit with Meta, and after years of recommending a variety of suitable faces, Spiekermann realized that he should just make his own serif companion.
Eẋtęŉđëd Meta tąme måŧé ţεάm mĚĀŢ 32
a “The whole Meta system is supposed 4 to solve separate typographic @ problems while keeping a family ¶ resemblance. This is not a family ſ of identical triplets, but sisters and • brothers or even nieces and nephews.” Erik Spiekermann € ů The OpenType version of ff Meta While the serif design can stand Serif offers book, medium, bold, on its own in a wide range of → and black weights, each including applications, the extra benefit is italics, Small Caps, alternate numeral its close relationship to the original ⅝ styles – proportional, tabular, lining, ff Meta, its sans serif sister. The two oldstyle – extra ligatures, case-sensitive families can be mixed in the same line, punctuation, and a range of arrows and and one can be used to accentuate the ß other symbols. (The Pro version also other. Using both on the same page supports Eastern European languages.) adds variety and meaning to a text. Q ű
Now available in OpenType
T r T i rT x ir i xi remix ei e
ff Atma™ ot FF Bastille™ Display OT * FF BeoSans® Hard OT * FF BeoSans® Soft OT FF Beowolf® OT FF Cartonnage™ OT hEª FF Celeste® OT ff Celeste® Sans OT FF Clair™ OT ff Cli©ord™ Pro FF Dax® Pro FF Dax® Italic Pro FF Dax® Condensed Pro ff Dax® Wide Pro ff Eureka® Pro ff Eureka® Sans Pro ff Eureka® Sans Condensed Pro FF Eureka® Mono Pro FF Eureka® Mono Condensed Pro ff Fago™ Pro ff Fago™ Condensed Pro ff Fago™ Extended Pro FF Gothic™ Min FF Jambono™ Pro FF Legato™ OT FF Magda® Clean OT FF Meta® Condensed Italic Pro ff Page™ Sans OT ff Page™ Serif OT ff Parable™ OT ff Plus™ Pro FF Pop™ Min FF Profile® Pro ff Sari™ Pro FF Schmalhans® Pro ff Signa™ Condensed Pro ff Signa™ Condensed Italic Pro ff Signa™ Extended Pro ff Signa™ Extended Italic Pro FF Soupbone® OT FF Strada™ OT FF Strada™ Italic OT FF Strada™ Condensed OT FF Strada™ Condensed Italic OT FF Super Grotesk™ OT FF Tag Team™ Min FF Tartine Script™ Pro FF TradeMarker™ OT FF Transit ® OT *FF Trixie® Pro FF Zine™ OT FF Zwo™ Pro FF Zwo™ Correspondence Pro
FF Trixie: __________ Based on the 1991 Trixie outlines, the new version adds OpenType features and extended language support (in Pro fonts).
ff Trixie® & Trixie HD erik van blokland
FF Trixie Rough: ________________ Extra detail maintains Trixie’s trademark rough inky texture at larger sizes.
��������������������������� ��Old is new: FF Trixie takes OpenType to the limit with broad langua�e support, extensive layout features, thousands of alternate glyphs... and some silliness too. ���������������������������
FF Trixie HD: _____________ Hyper-realistic on the big screen or in print, the new Trixie boasts seven alternates per character, each with its own weight and rough detailing. OpenType features switch the alternates around to simulate typewriter type in a way never before seen in digital typography.
*Remastered with new characters and improved accessibility fontshop.com
FontStruct has swept across the blogosphere. Stephen Coles chats with its creator and Chief Brickmeister Rob Meek.
Built With Bricks o, what exactly is this FontStruct thing? FontStruct is a free online platform for creating and sharing modular grid-based fonts which FontShop International launched in early April 2008. Where did the idea come from? In many ways, the starting point was really the Meek fm (also see page 28), which was my first contribution to the world of grid-based design tools, and initially appeared in 2000. I was relatively new to the world of graphic design, having just switched from the programming to the design department at the agency where I was working. I was completely ignorant of the world of typography, but soon became fascinated by it, and wanted to design a font; a grid-based modular font seemed like an easy way in. How did the project come about? I started laying out shapes in Freehand. My lack of experience led to a lot of hesitancy in making creative choices. I kept changing my mind about the forms I wanted to use – should they be spaced out or flush next to each other, that kind of thing. At some point, I moved from Freehand to Flash so that I could automate changes, and gradually built a tool to cater to my indecision. That’s where the Meek fm came from.
font used ff nuvo ™ fontstructions used blocparty texture tuscan radar
There were also a number of comparable projects under development at about the same time – evidence of a broader interest in grid-based design tools. Really? Who was behind them? Michael Gianfreda, Lorenz “Lopetz” Gianfreda, and Kaspar Lüthi at Büro Destruct were working on BDD (Büro Destruct Designer) between 1999 and 2003. A tribute to Swiss design of the 1960s, it’s certainly a classic of the genre, encouraging the user to make a virtue of limitation. Strict adherence to a grid, a simple point and click interface, and a selection of simple geometric shapes to choose from were its key ingredients. The ability to export creations in a usable format was also an important feature. Another inspirational piece of Swiss work was Lineto’s Lego Font Creator (circa 1999), by Urs Lehni, Rafael Koch, and Jürg Lehni. This was more explicitly a type builder, but was again based on principles of grid-constrained construction using a palette of predefined shapes. Fast-forward to 2005, and there was BitFontMaker from Japan. (I actually only became aware of this after I first pitched FontStruct to FontShop in May 2006.) It shares many characteristics with FontStruct: one hundred percent online; a simple intuitive interface for grid-based font creation; a gallery; and downloadable TrueType fonts.
I think FontStruct offers a lot more than BitFontMaker, but it’s very well executed nonetheless. So there’s definitely a clear precedent for grid-based design tools, and a tradition of designers trying to create their own more specialized tools. Perhaps it’s also partly a reaction to the complex interfaces offered by the likes of Fontlab and Adobe. Yes, it’s good to have – or at least imagine – alternatives, whether they are more specialized tools or simply tools which defamiliarize the creative process. How does the Meek fm differ from FontStruct? The Meek fm is about tweaking an existing design; I wanted to do something that was about constructing grid-based typefaces from scratch. Also the Meek fm, and, to a certain extent, the other projects I’ve referenced, are more toys than tools. There’s an emphasis on playfulness rather than earnest practical production. The output is of limited quality and practical value. I wanted to make something that could really stand up as a useful tool to enable modular type design. I saw the opportunity, particularly when approaching FontShop with the idea, to create an online font-sharing community around a modular font editor; a kind of mini-Flickr for fonts, if you will. Font design really lends itself to the online environment. The file sizes are small, and the relatively simple systematic nature of the data make the creation of an online font design tool much more straightforward than an image, video, or music editor. I’d wanted to pursue the project for quite some time and had initially imagined an offline application. However, as Web 2.0 apps continued to get more sophisticated and powerful, I felt a sudden panic that someone else was bound to do this and realized that I needed a partner with clout, with typographic expertise. . . Enter FontShop. Yes. It’s been a great match as far as I’m concerned. I’ve effectively been paid for what I wanted to do in my spare time anyway, with no compromising of the original idea. FontShop had an immediate understanding of the potential for an online font-building and sharing platform. I think it’s quite brave and forward-thinking for a font vendor to give people the chance to make their own fonts for free. FontShop’s vision for FontStruct really focused on developing a community site rather than a pure font editor. Sharing, rating, and discussion capabilities are all right there in the browser.
It feels unique having the creation and editing together with the community features. I don’t think there are many online applications which integrate both. It’s as if people were actually recording music in MySpace or taking pictures in Flickr. There’s a very close relationship between the creation and exchange with others. Absolutely. Ask even the most seasoned expert and they’ll more than likely say they’re still learning. That’s probably what keeps so many people so interested in drawing and redrawing the alphabet over and over again. You’re always learning and your context is always changing. Indeed. My main goal when creating the interface was to keep it accessible for beginners but also powerful enough to interest seasoned typographers. I wanted to remove everything that would inhibit a novice. You start with a very simple metaphor – drawing on a grid of squared graph paper – and you don’t have to bother with any specialist terminology or concepts. More advanced features are available from menus and with keyboard shortcuts. The first two months have borne out your vision and FontShop’s foresight. FontStruct has been unexpectedly popular, resulting in some very high quality work and tremendous diversity. Hey, we even got a mention in The New York Times! So, what’s next? We have a lot of ideas, many of them from the user community, and we’re adding features steadily. The highest priority at the moment is fixing minor bugs and annoyances, and adding some control over horizontal metrics so people can define how their letters are spaced. We also want to bolster the community features, such as incorporating proper user homepages. Are you concerned that free FontStructions devalue commercial type and might harm FontShop’s business? Quite the opposite, actually. FontStruct is fun and easy partly because it is very limited. I think it nurtures not only the pleasures of type design but also an understanding of how much work is involved in making a font and why ‘real’ fonts cost money. FontStructions have too many limitations (everything has to be based on a grid, there’s no kerning, no hinting, no OpenType features, and so forth) to be any real threat to FontShop’s retail sales. pp
give the tires a kick for yourself at www.fontstruct.com
Unique “FontStruct shows how easy it is to play around with type, and how difficult it is to make real type.”
COUGH up or thE budgie GETs It
clockwise, from top Featured FontStructions include Epiorque Joined, SlabStruct Too, Ransom Note, Tight, Bolt, Texture (shown within the FontStructor), and Tristeak Ribbon.
149 9th Street, Suite 302 San Francisco, ca 94103 1 888 ff fonts toll-free 1 415 252 1003 local www.fontshop.com
editors Amos Klausner Stephen Coles design & art direction Conor Mangat www.mangatelier.com fontshop san francisco Michael Pieracci contributing writer Glen Helfand www.stretcher.org contributing editor Tamye Riggs www.typelife.com spiritus rector Erik Spiekermann www.spiekermann.com
Font is published by FontShop
Cover Outputs from Meek fm, courtesy of Rob Meek
Typeface sketch courtesy of Tomáš Brousil, Suitcase Type Foundry
2/3 Other images credited below
Neue fonts 4–8 Images © their creators www.fstopimages.com Object photography courtesy of the LiveSurface® Layered Image Library™ www.livesurface.com
Making the Rules 14 Sol LeWitt: Incomplete Open Cubes, 1974 Painted wood structure, gelatin silver prints, and drawings on paper 12" × 120" × 216" (30.48 cm × 304.8 cm × 548.64 cm) San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Emily L. Carroll and Thomas Weisel, Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Susan and Robert Green, Evelyn Haas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Eve and Harvey Masonek, Elaine McKeon, the Modern Art Council, Phyllis and Stuart G. Moldaw, Christine and Michael Murray, Danielle and Brooks Walker Jr., and Phyllis Wattis. © Estate of Sol LeWitt /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 15 Brian Eno: 77 Million Paintings
printing Paragraphics, San Rafael, ca www.paragraphicsinc.com
© Scott Beale and laughingsquid.com 15 Roxy Paine: Erosion Machine, 2005 Stainless steel, rubber, felt, glass, galvanized steel, silicon carbide, electronics, dust collector, reclaimer, robot, and air
Fonts used ff Balance™ and ff Scribble™ FF Balance marked the beginning of FontFont designer Evert Bloemsma’s decade-long exploration into readability. Its peculiar horizontal stress and four weights of equal widths put it in a class of its own. FF Scribble is inspired by the era of pre-digital composition and an ironic play on the design truth that sketches are often more pleasing than the computer-processed final.
Breaking the Rules 21 Boris Müller: Poetry on the Road, 2002–2008 Images courtesy of the artist 22 Cinthia Wen: 504 Hours, 2003 Image courtesy of the artist 23 Marek Walczak: Noplace, 2007 Images courtesy of the artist 24 Benedikt Groß: Seelenlose Automaten, 2007 Images courtesy of the artist 26 Catalogtree: Typopath 1.0, 2002 Image courtesy of the artists 28 Rob Meek: Meek FM, 2007 Images courtesy of the artist Fonts used ff Airport™ and ff Tisa™ FF Airport is the Lineto studio’s tribute to the charm of LCD displays, freight waybills, and boarding passes. The FF Gateway™ fonts are based on the electronic display systems at Tegel and Schönefeld airports in Berlin. For FF Tisa, Slovenian designer Mitja Miklavcic set out to create a more subtle and dynamic slab serif. He succeeded, earning the Type Directors Club’s Certificate of Excellence in Type Design for 2007.
11'5" × 21' × 11'5" © Roxy Paine, image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York
Over 30 years’ fine printing experience, combined with the newest eco-friendly technologies. Proud to be a certified Green Business and the first FSC-certified printer in the San Francisco Bay Area.
15 Roxy Paine: Erosion Machine Stone #3 (Crime Statistics), 2006 Limestone 10" × 32" × 19" © Roxy Paine, image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York 16 Danica Phelps: Stripe Factory Sample for Sister (20,000 stripes), 2007 Watercolor, gouache, and pencil on cut paper mounted to wood panel
Cert no. SCS-COC-00781
built with bricks Font used ff Nuvo™ During a stay in Paris, the elegance and extravagance of French magazines inspired Siegfried Rückel to create a typeface of his own. The result isn’t nearly as ostentatious as his muses, yet is sublimely usable for editorial design in its own right. FF Nuvo has a soft calligraphic touch with a set of alternates that offer stylistic versatility.
20" × 15" Image courtesy of Sister, Los Angeles 17 Lee Walton: Angels vs Boston – 3 Game Series, April 22, 23, 24, 2008 Ink and paint on paper
Printed with VOC-free UV and 100% vegetable-based inks.
24" × 54" Image courtesy of Lee Walton and Kraushaar Galleries 18 Alex Dragulescu: Spam Architecture Series Images courtesy of the artist
© 2008 fsi FontShop International. All rights reserved. All trademarks named herein remain the property of their respective owners. The views expressed herein are solely the opinions of their respective contributors, and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of fsi. The contents of this publication may not be repurposed or duplicated without express prior written permission.
19 Mark Napier: Spire, 2007 Image courtesy of the artist
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FontShop 149 9th Street, Suite 302 San Francisco, ca 94103 1 888 ff fonts toll-free 1 415 252 1003 local www.fontshop.com
FontShop's latest edition of Font mag explores generative content and features some of our latest and greatest type.