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Feature Interviews Jon Contino and Louise Fili

MARCH 2016


CONTENTS FEATURE Jon Contino 6 Louise Fili 22 THROWBACK Just Do Type 20 Surf Type 36 CULTURE Arabic Typography 30 LIFE What Typeface Are You 29 TRENDS Best Book Covers 4 Mid-Century Modern 16 Graffiti is Art 13 Hand Lettering 26 King of Beers' New Look 40

LETTER FROM THE EDTIOR Why is typography important to our

Good typography creates hierarchy,

everyday life? Most people know

which makes clear to the viewer the

nothing about typography, even

differing levels of importance each bit

though they interact with it all day,

of information in the design holds. In

everyday. How can something so prev-

a design problem with a lot of infor-

alent in our everyday life, be so invisi-

mation, typography can make the

ble to so many people? And, if it seem-

information less intimidating and

ingly doesn’t matter to them, then

more easily digested.

why should it matter to designers?

Typography can also convey meaning

Design is a means to communicate

that transcends the literal content of

content and the most straightfor-

the design. Different typefaces and

ward and unambiguous way to com-

ways that type is combined can have

municate is through words and text.

very specific connotations. As a result,

As a result, typography is the most

designers can use typography in very

powerful tool that designers have at

clever ways to provide the type with

their fingertips. Typography deter-

additional meaning. However, this

mines legibility, creates hierarchy,

also means that typography can be

and communicates meaning.

misused and create an effect that

For most design, it is essential that the viewer be able to read text easily.

clashes heavily with content (think Comic Sans for everyday usage.)

The use of great typography is how

While not every viewer may con-

designers can maximize readability,

sciously realize that they are being

and as result communicate literal

influenced by typography, they abso-

content. Text that is too small, too

lutely are. And because of this, typog-

big, too tight, too loose, and so on,

raphy matters.

creates a barrier between the viewer and the information. Bad typography can severely hinder a viewer from understanding content.

Ellen Fabini Editor in Chief








2015 BEST BOOK COVERS 1. Voices in the Night Designed by: Janet Hansen 2. Almost Famous Women Designed by: Na Kim 3. The Capitalist Unconscious Designed by: Keetra Dean Dixon 4. The Dismantling Designed by: Zoe Norvell 5. Drinking in America Designed by: Rex Bonomelli



6. The Early Stories of Truman Capote Designed by: David Pearson 7. Etta and Otto and Russell and James Designed by: Gray318 8. How to Run a Government Designed by: Barnbrook

10. KL Designed by: Alex Merto 11. One Day in the Life of English Language Designed by: Chris Ferrante 12. Syriza Designed by: Jaimie Keenan


9. The Italians Designed by: Nicholas Misani

Source: Casual Optimist











Don't call this ADC Young Guns winner a "letterer"


he first week of ADC and Monotype‘s Typography Month has been cruis-

ing along, giving love to the type addicts and lettering geeks within the ADC community (we know there’s a lot of you!) Just like last year’s Photography Month and Illustration Month, ADC Typography Month features a daily Typography Spotlight, highlighting ADC Members and Young Guns who love working with words and letters. Some of the names are already famous within the design community, while others will be new for you to discover, but all of them are card-carrying ADC Members from around the world. The next designer to step into the Typography Spotlight definitely falls into the “already famous within the design community”: the ‘New Yawk’ alphastructaesthetitologist and ADC Young Guns 9 winner.

Source: ADC YOUNG GUNS. “Typography spotlight: Jon Contino.” ADC Global. 2015.



Where did your interest in typography

“alphabets” for pages and pages. Just me

begin? It’s generally not something

drawing letters in all different ways.

kids in kindergarten aspire to be. When did you discover that you could actually make a living out of it?

When I started working professionally

You laugh now, but in kindergarten, that

that it could be a career. It was a part

is exactly what I was doing. I had an

time job doing something I liked for cash.

intense obsession with sports branding

I don’t think it was until college when

and movie posters from before I even

I realized that all of my projects could

started any type of schooling, and would

gang up and become a yearly salary.

literally sit on the floor and draw monograms and logos all day. Come to think

at 14 years old, it still didn’t dawn on me

How much of your ability is self-

of it, I don’t know if I even knew how to

taught versus through schooling?

read or write yet, but I loved the shapes

Everything I know from a technical

and was constantly tracing and trying to copy things that grabbed my attention.

aspect is self-taught. My mother and grandmother had a big part in supplying

My mother and grandmother got me

the tools, buying me books, and taking

hooked on calligraphy at a really young

me to exhibits at a young age. Every-

age as well, so I just enjoyed draw-

thing after that was just the lack of con-

ing letters. I can even remember old

trol over my obsession with design.

sketchbooks that had various stylized 8

As for making a living, I’m not quite sure.


“Everything after that was just the lack of control over my obsession with design.” How would you best describe your style? How did you foster that style? Do you tend to lean towards one type

Walk us through your usual type design process.

Everything starts on paper first. I draw rough concepts in a sketchbook, I start fine-tuning on paper, and I finalize on paper. Once I’m happy with the work, I bring it into the computer to clean it up and digitize it. Sometimes it’s vector

of lettering?

and sometimes it’s not, but typically

I’ve always been kind of sloppy when

than anything else.

it comes to drawing anything. I’m not a tight, technical artist by any means.

this is more of the icing on the cake

What is your favorite ‘practical’ font,

I’ve always embraced the idea of raw

one for everyday use?

concept through art, but the designer in

The funny this is that I’ve been letter-

me is dedicated to organizing and compartmentalizing all of that stuff. One of my professors in college called my style “organized chaos” and I always thought that fit me well. When you actually look at my work it might not come across that way, but in my head that’s how I see it. Clean, minimal, Swiss-style design has always been a favorite of mine, so I just kind of put my spin on that. I do however love a good turn-of-the-century

ing everything for so long, that I kind of stopped using fonts for everyday use. When I designed the Standard Memorandum, I had to choose a font that I thought I could use every day and never get sick of, and that font is Columbia Titling by Typetanic Fonts. It’s the perfect amount of slab, history, and style all rolled into one insanely flexible typeface.

print ad though. I can’t deny that from

Do you have a favorite letter of the

seeping into my work.

alphabet when it comes to experiment-

“I hate the term ‘letterer.’ It might as

ing with design?

well be ‘letterererererer.’ I always

That’s a great question. My initial thought

thought it sounded lazy and awkward. I

is probably an uppercase R. There’s just

refuse to refer to myself with that term.”

so much you can do with it. It can get out of hand pretty quickly actually.





Who wins in a fight: serif or sans serif?

right? How is that any different?

Serif. Always. So much style, so

What other artistic passions

much class.

do you have? Where else do you find inspiration?

“Tell a story using pictures,

Anything that has to do with design

and to me, an illustrated

in general. I’ve been designing men’s

word is just as much a

clothes for years now. I’ve also started

picture as anything else.” The obvious difference between an illustrator and a letter or typographer is that the latter works mainly

getting into interior design with my wife and photography for her brand, Past Lives. Anything you can put a creative spin on is something I enjoy. At this point in my life, I learned that you

with words and letters. Name a

don’t have to apply different styles to

not-so-obvious difference between

different mediums just because you’re

the artforms, one that certainly

not proficient. I’ve become really com-

applies to you.

fortable with the type of artist I am

I honestly can’t tell the difference

and the style I gravitate towards, so

between my illustration and lettering work. I think I’m the guy that walks the line right down the middle. When I draw an object or I draw a letter, I’m approaching it in exactly the same fashion. To me, there is no difference between lettering and illustration because the processes and goals are exactly the same. Tell a story using pictures, and to me, an illustrated word is just as much a picture as anything else. There’s certainly another side to that argument, but from my point of view, it’s all one in the same. The second I try to separate it is the second I become

anything creative I put my hands on will generally have the same approach as something I letter or illustrate. Which professionals do you look up to the most in the typography/ lettering world?

Oh man, there are so many. Of course the Herb Lubalins and Doyald Youngs of the world are a no brainer, but I’ll spare everyone the history lesson and name a few contemporary artists instead. Kimou Meyer, Todd Radom, Michael Doret, Ken Barber, Andy Cruz, Aaron Horkey,Benny Gold and Parra.

someone else. I mean honestly, alphabets started as pictures of things anyway,



What is the most challenging thing about your career?

Keeping up with the pace I set for myself. I seem to be constantly ten steps ahead of myself in terms of what I’m thinking versus producing, so it’s a never ending struggle to try and reach an unreachable goal. Sometimes I just need to sleep and my desire to become better won’t let me. The work is easy, the mental exhaustion through self-competition is the hard part. At the end of the day, what do you love most about being a typographer or letterer?

This seems like as good a platform as any to say that I hate the term “letterer.” It might as well be “letterererererer.” I always thought it sounded lazy and awkward. I refuse to refer to myself with that term. I think “lettering artist” is acceptable, or my preference, “designer.” Anyway, I just love the fact that lettering is all about creating something custom. Like cabinet making or building a hot rod. You’re taking something that anyone in the world can buy off a conveyor belt and be perfectly happy with, but putting a unique spin on it so it exists for one purpose and one purpose only. The idea of customization is the beautiful part, and to be able to customize a word to enhance the emotion behind it is just an added bonus. Jon Contino • 12


“I think “lettering artist” is acceptable, or my preference, “designer.””



ny passerby in an urban cityscape has observed the colorful, provocative, illegal “eyesore” that is graffiti. Although many consider the spray-painted pieces a nui-

sance, graffiti has been gaining recognition from the art world more and more as a legitimate form of art. When most people think of graffiti, they imagine “tags,” or a stylized writing of a person’s name. While tags are probably the most popular forms, graffiti art is much more than that. It can mean a colorful mural with a message of diversity or a black and white stencil piece protesting police brutality. In each case, graffiti art makes a statement.



AESTHETICS George C. Stowers wrote that based on aesthetic criteria, graffiti has to be considered an art form. He makes a distinction between simple tags and more complicated pieces, stating that tags

ground, and the like to create these letters,” he writes. The artist’s intention is to produce a work of art, and that must be taken into account when considering street art’s legitimacy.

have little aesthetic appeal and proba-

Stowers explains that graffiti cannot be

bly should not be considered art. How-

disregarded because of its location and

ever, larger pieces require planning

illegality. The manner in which graffiti

and imagination and contain artistic

art is executed is the only obstacle it

elements like color and composition.

faces in being considered an art form.

Stowers provides the example of wild-


colors, fading, foreground and back-

style, or the calligraphic writing style


of interlocking letters typical of graf-

People are used to seeing graffiti art

fiti, to show the extent of artistic ele-

in public spaces, after all, that’s what

ments that are present in these works.

makes it graffiti. However, after years

“Wildstyle changes with each artist’s

of gaining recognition by the art com-

interpretation of the alphabet, but

munity, graffiti art has been shown

it also relies on the use of primary

in various galleries in New York and


London, and artists are often commissioned to do legal murals and other work for art shows.

A STYLE ALL ITS OWN Like all other artistic forms, graffiti has experienced movements or changes

One of the most famous graffiti artists,

in style. From the first tag scribbled

Banksy, has had his work shown in

on a subway train to the large, com-

galleries such as Sotheby’s in London.

plex mural on a billboard, the move-

Despite his anonymity, the British art-

ment has experienced change. The

ist has gained tremendous popularity.

tools and the means have changed as

Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and

well. Markers were traded in for spray

Brad Pitt have purchased his work for

paint, and stencils and stickers were

a hefty price.

introduced to make pieces easier to

Recognition by the art world and

execute in a hurry.

inclusion in galleries and auctions is

The messages have also evolved. Graf-

one way that graffiti art is legitimized

fiti has always been somewhat polit-

as “real” art. In addition, this expo-

ical, but it has come a long way from

sure has helped the graffiti movement

simply tagging one’s name to parody-

to become launched into the rest of

ing world leaders to make a statement.

the world.



MID-CENTURY MODERN An Ode to Charles and Ray Eames by House Industries


harles and Ray Eames did not

at the Library of Congress. We took

design a typeface. They did,

every opportunity to learn even more

however, leave a philosophical

through our nearly constant interac-

template for a font collection worthy

tion with the Eames family and Eames

of their name. Extensive research and

Office employees of past and present.

close correspondence with the Eames family clarified our mission to honor their aesthetic while maintaining the timeless relevance and functionality that characterizes their legacy.

Only then did we pick up our flexible pointed pens and begin to draw, employing a hint of nostalgia and a set of blinders (so as to ignore the typographic fads of the last three decades).

Before drawing a single letterform

The goal was to create practical text

we embarked on a journey that took

fonts in medium “workhorse� weights,

us far beyond the low-hanging fruit

then incorporate more playful traits

of published material and internet searches. Our process of building a foundation for Eames Century Modern started with breakfast meetings at the kitchen table of the Eames House and took us through in-depth tours of their studio and living space, visits to the archives of Herman Miller in Michigan and Vitra in Weil am Rhein, and quality time in a cramped carrel



at the heavy and thin extremes. On

Charles and Ray were always quick to

the light side of the spectrum we cre-

point out that good ideas are worth-

ated wiry thin strokes that show visi-

less without the willingness to execute

ble contrast at large sizes. An extreme

them in a way that they can have a

black weight with very little counter

broad appeal and become univer-

space and heavy bracketed serifs pro-

sally practical. A modern typeface

vides the dramatic anchor for the

needs to fulfill a wide range of design

family. The italic styles took on a life

challenges and user needs. Careful-

of their own with emphasized serifs,

ly-weighted small caps, nine differ-

graceful curves and dramatic nega-

ent figure styles, ligatures, contextual

tive shapes. Their rhythm, angle and

alternate forms and thousands of lines

playfulness offer a thoughtful tribute

of computer code form the molds from

to Ray’s writing samples and corre-

which a truly practical yet uncom-

spondence. The typeface incorporates

monly beautiful typeface is cast.

a wide selection of styles that reinforce the utilitarian, mirthful and beautiful tangents of the Eames oeuvre.









Nike Inc. was founded on May 30, 1971 and ever since then, they have made their mark in the advertising industry. Throughout the years, Nike’s marketing creatives have consistently made print ads that have fantastic typography and photography. Nike design isn’t subtle: it is strong, bold, and dynamic. Their typeface choices successfully evoke these words without being obvious about it. This advertising collection consists of print ads from the 1970s to the present.





Louise Fili designs with unmatched grace and elegant craftsmanship, unifying old and new to create contemporary forms in typography.


ili, who grew up in an Ital-

on the day I happened to walk in the

ian-American household in

door.’ Being in an atmosphere where

New Jersey, remembers carv-

type was paramount had a transforma-

ing letterforms into the wall above her

tive effect on the development of her

bed at age three or four: Even then,

voice and style.

she simply loved making letters. In high school, she taught herself calligraphy with a Speedball guide and an Osmiroid pen. She enrolled at Skidmore College to study studio art, but discovered graphic design instead. Presciently, her senior project was a hand-lettered Italian cookbook.

Fili joined Random House as art director for Pantheon in 1978. When her quiet cover design for Marguerite Duras’ The Lover helped make the book a runaway best seller in 1984, she was granted carte blanche. She designed nearly 2,000 book jackets, proving again and again that design

In the 1970s, Fili left Skidmore for

doesn’t have to shout to be noticed.

New York City and completed her

Paula Scher recalls, ‘I wondered who

final semester at the School of Visual

this terrific art director was who was

Arts (now SVA). It was during a free-

designing all the book jackets with

lance assignment with Knopf that she

exquisite typography at Pantheon and

first discovered her love of designing

winning so many awards. I was so

books. At 25, she was hired as a senior

impressed, and I competed with her.

designer by Herb Lubalin, if only

Then I really met her in 1982… She

because, as Fili modestly remembers

became my friend and has been so

it, ‘someone had been given notice

ever since.’

Source: Danzico, Elizabeth, “Lousie Fili,” AIGA, March 1, 2014





Steven Heller, design historian, writer and Fili’s now-husband and collaborator, says, ‘I noticed Louise’s work long before we met. In fact, it was the work that prompted me to write her, and later meet her. What I saw in the work was a distinctive flair. It had bits of the past, but entirely reinterpreted.…

“More important, in a sea of book jackets and covers… her designs stood out for their precision, humanity and aesthetic joy.” The two have since co-authored more than a dozen books, including Italian Art Deco and Shadow Type. Fili opened her own studio in 1989, focusing on restaurant identity, food-related logos and packaging. There weren’t many female-run studios then, and she knew it could be problematic if she named the studio after herself. But she decided to send a clear message: ‘If you have a problem with my being female, then I don’t want you as a client.’ Louise Fili Ltd has since redesigned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, designed an iconic ‘Love’ stamp and created legendary identities for New York City

eateries including Pearl Oyster Bar, the Mermaid Inn and Artisanal. She has received medals from the Art Directors Club and the Society of Illustrators, as well as three James Beard Award nominations. In 2004, she was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Today she teaches in graduate and undergraduate programs at SVA and at the school’s masters workshop in Rome. When asked how she’s been able to master so many new fields, Fili says, ‘No matter how much you may love your profession, you have to be ready for change.’ As students of this graceful master of craft, we can’t wait to see what’s next.”






Artist: Big Meas


here’s so many different artists that do some incredible lettering, and one thing they

all have in common, is that the basic shapes and forms of the letters are present, and that they’ve taken that and made it their own, and I think that’s one thing that makes your lettering go from, “ok” to “Pretty damn good.” A few important things about script [hand-lettering]; Consistency— Make sure all your letters are the same weight, unless you’re going for a completely different look, [other than traditional tattoo script] but even then, they should be at least in proportion to one another. Same angle— I usually use a rough guideline to make sure all of the letters are on roughly the same angle. No need to get a protractor or a set of calipers to measure it, usually if it’s visually pleasing, you’re good. I’ve mentioned that if it’s visually pleasing, you’re on you’re way. Draw it a few times, a few hundred times, whatever it takes, just make it look right. Right to you and right to the customer, which is pretty import-

Artist: Aaron Lam

ant since they’re the ones that will be wearing it forever. Also, ask yourself if you would be happy with that if you walked in for a tattoo and the artist showed you that drawing!!! And if the answer is anything but “yes” then re-draw it, not even “maybe” or “sort of ” or “kinda looks ok”… Nope. Not ISSUE ONE


Artist: Big Meas

Artist: Big Meas

good enough. They’re paying for it, and it’s your job. Take some pride in what you’re doing and treat this lettering with the same attention that you would a large tattoo. Trust me, if the customer is happy with some lettering, they’ll definitely be coming back for their next tattoo, and more than likely will be sending people your way. I’ve also mentioned treating lettering the same as you would a “normal” tattoo. Draw the lettering. Draw it the same way you would draw a rose or panther or whatever. If your handwriting sucks, that’s definitely one way to get around that, is to draw those letters. And this applies to not only script, but with every font. Yeah, it’s easy to trace it, and most of the



time, it usually works out just fine, but with script, you need to have some sort of flow to it. And you probably won’t achieve that with just tracing it.



6. If you could instantly master one instrument, what would it be? A. Piano B. Guitar C. Drums D. Singer

1. What would you choose for breakfast?

7. What’s your favorite color?

A. A Warm Croissant with Tea

A. Lavender

B. Eggs, Bacon, and Toast

B. Turquoise

C. Eggs Benedict

C. Indigo

D. Black Coffee

D. Red

2. If you could only bring 1 item on a plane, what would it be?

8. Where is your dream vacation destination?

A. Journal

A. Paris

B. Your phone

B. Australia

C. Headphones

C. Taiwan

D. A snack and a neck pillow

D. New York

3. Pick your favorite song: A. Hello by Adele

9. What genre of music can you usually be found listening to?

B. Blank Space by Taylor Swift

A. Jazz

C. Hotline Bling by Drake

B. Country

D. Me Myself & I by G-Eazy

C. Alternative

4. Where do you fall in your family’s birth order?

D. Classic Rock 10. What type of dog would you adopt?

A. Only child

A. I’m more of a cat person

B. Middle

B. A yellow lab

C. Youngest

C. A rescue from a shelter

D. Oldest

D. A Great Dane

5. How often do you swear?

11. What is your favorite fruit?

A. Never

A. Raspberry

B. Sometimes

B. Tangerine

C. Often, but I can control myself

C. Avocado

D. Rarely

D. Apple Results on the next page29> ISSUE ONE


Mostly A's: You are Didot! You have a sophisticated elegance to you. Mostly B's: You are Avenir! Your friendly smile radiates positivity which makes you extremely fun to be around. Mostly C's: You are Futura! You are extremely cool with an edgy style. Mostly D's: You are Clarendon! You are a natural born leader who emits confidence wherever you go!




he Arabic and Latin alphabet are two of the most widely used alphabets around the world. Though they stem from the same origin (the Phoenician alphabet), they differ

considerably, visually as well as typographically. All typography originates from handwritten script. The dissimilarity in visual appearance between Latin and Arabic handwritten script has dramatically inuenced the course of their typographic development. The most basic unit of the written text in the Latin script is the letter, whereas in Arabic, the basic unit is the word. As a type designer, it is imperative to go beyond the proportions of each individual letter, taking into consideration the shape variations per letter, and the connections of letters to one another. Artist: Yazan Halwani



ARABIC TYPE ANATOMY AND TYPOGRAPHIC TERMS The following typographic demonstrations compare the anatomy of Arabic type to that of Latin type. The diagrams show a contemporary Naskh / Sans Serif typeface, called “29LT Kaff ” that comes in eight (8) weights designed by Pascal Zoghbi and Ian Party (SwissTypefaces). It was published in the Spring of 2015 at which time it became part of 29Letters commercial fonts library. Latin type conventionally sits on a baseline, with five main vertical levels of reference: baseline, x-height, ascender, descender, and caps-height. By contrast, Arabic type is less constrained, with more invisible typographic levels at the type designer’s disposal. A humanistic typeface inspired by the cursive Naskh scripts, such as this one, may make use of up to twelve imaginary typographic levels, whereas a typeface based on a geometric Kufic script may require only four or five levels. This means that it is essential for Arabic type designers to possess expert knowledge of Arabic calligraphic styles and systems in order to be creative and to translate the calligraphic rules into typographic guidelines for their typefaces. For each of the cursive Arabic calligraphic styles (Naskh, Thuluth,



Diwani, etc.), the proportions of the letters are governed by several systems—dot, circle and similarity— which act as guides for Arabic type designers. There is no one set of typographic levels in Arabic type anatomy as there is in Latin type anatomy. Type designers decide on the number of levels needed for the typeface they are designing, and according to the calligraphic style that the typeface is based on. Instead of one mean-line—in Latin typefaces, the x-height—there may be several: tooth-, loop-, and eye-heights. Instead of a single ascender, there may be two, called the ‘Sky’. In place

of a single descender, there may be two or three, called the ‘Earth’. In between the previously mentioned guidelines, there are two further invisible lines that define the baseline’s position and thickness.

THE VARIATIONS OF SHAPES PER LETTER The Arabic letters are connected to each other in order to form words. This system of word units is totally rooted in the calligraphic writing tradition. The words are not only separated by clear word spaces, but often end with swashes that may run under the following word. This

Source: Arabic Typography (3.2.1 Distinction between Arabic and English Letterforms; 3.2.2 The Basic Proportions of Individual Letters; 3.2.3 The Variations of Shapes per Letter) by Huda AbiFares



Artist: Yazan Halwani



characteristic feature helps in clearly identifying individual words within a sentence. This method of writing has led to shape variations per letter, whereby one letter may have up to four shapes depending on its position within a word and its relation and connection to the letters following and/or preceding it. Unlike the Latin script, the connections between letters are not strictly horizontal nor do all the letters sit on the same baseline; some letter connections are done vertically where letters are stacked on top of each other, creating a series of sloping multileveled baselines. Arabic has a strong linear

letters that are homogeneous in their

direction that gives the script its even

stroke weight and proportions, letters

flowing reading trajectory.

with smooth connections that harmoni-

In the cursive calligraphic styles,

ously suggest a clear reading direction.

these geometric proportions are loose

Like all type design, letters are con-

guidelines, leaving the final decision

structed with a balance between their

on the shape and proportion of each

individuality and similarity in shape.

letter to the optical adjustment and

Individual in order to facilitate their

taste of the individual calligrapher.

recognition, and similar in order to

These principles of geometric pro-

facilitate reading by blending nicely

portions and measurements are not

with the other letters within a text.

sufficient nor absolutely conditional

The Arabic alphabet is also based on

for designing an Arabic typeface. In

that principle where letters are con-

Morocco, for example, the traditional

structed out of a rather limited num-

way of learning Arabic calligraphy is

ber of different shapes that combine

not based on strict measurements but

differently to form the individual

rather on the copying of good exist-

letters. These amount to a total of 14

ing texts until the apprentice learns

parts in the cursive styles.

to master his art. The aim is to create

Source: “Arabic Type Anatomy and Typographic Terms” by Pascal Zoghbi




From the start of surf culture in the 50’s with the film Gidget, to The Endless Summer, to more recent films and images, typography in surf culture has taken on many characteristics. It has followed trends such as mid century simplicity in the 50’s and 60’s, and mass production in the 2000’s. In surf culture, typography has seen trends which make it unique to each century, from 1950 to present.

1950’s 1950’s surf culture was born with its first mainstream exposure in the movie Gidget. Surfing then becomes an exciting and fun form for the youth rebellion to invest themselves. The typography during this decade reflects the excitement and “newness” of the sport.



1960’s 1960’s surf typography is still wild and free, much like the culture. Loose hand lettering takes hold on the scene and features scattered formations and uneven or random baselines.

1970’s 1970’s surf typography refinements slowly take hold as commercialism is brought into the sport with the emergence of the shortboard. Australian influence in the sport becomes a major factor with the growing popularity of the Rip Curl brand in the United States.



1980’s Typography utilized in Surf culture during the 1980’s is known most for its use of bright neon colors. In packaging, apparel, or branding; neon magentas, greens and blues are prevalent. There is also an inclination towards edgy, sharply angled hand lettering, such as in the Zinka logotype.

1990’s During the 1990’s typography in surf culture was more impacted by the growing surf industry, and capitalist endeavors. Publications such as Surfer magazine led trends, as did brands such as Quicksilver, Santa Cruz, Rip Curl, etc.



2000/2010’s Surf culture boomed in the 2000’s and

campaigns, paired with interesting

2010’s and has become a multi-billion

type treatments, to attract to a newer,

dollar global industry. There is a lot

younger, visually driven audience.

more surf typography seen in the past

Magazines, including Surfer, Tran-

couple decades due to the exponential

sworld Surf, Stab Magazine, What You,

increase of surf branding, advertising,

and Surfing Magazine began capitaliz-

and editorial. With the rise of Inter-

ing on imagery of famous surfers and

net, social media, and overall interest

producing material that portrayed a

in the sport, surf companies started

highly idealized, dreamy lifestyle. The

investing serious time and money into

majority of the type treatments seen in

the industry. Top apparel and equip-

these contemporary materials gener-

ment brands, including Quicksilver,

ally serve one purpose—to compliment

RVCA, Roxy, Billabong, Rip Curl, and

the surf imagery and photography.

DaKine, to name a few, began generating highly visual, photo based





KING OF BEERS' NEW LOOK A Review of Budweiser's Rebranding

The can redesigns had gotten a fairly

As has been the case with most big

decent reception in 2011 and, in a

brands, Budweiser has stripped back

way, it aimed for some of the same

all unnecessary decorations and fin-

goals as does the new one, but it still

ishes off of the logo. In this case, the

suffered from too much designing.

process reveals an elegant and classic

The new can establishes consistency

script word mark that looks far bet-

with Bud Light by having the seal and

ter than it has in decades. The letters

legend tightly cropped on the top of

look so crisp and curvaceous with

the can and in this can it might even

the “B” now standing out beautifully

look better than it did for Bud Light

instead of being jammed into the bow

(which already looked hot). The logo

tie shape, which also looks remarkably

spans wide beyond the visible edges

good as a single-line stroke. From here,

of the can, which is really rare as I’m

things just get better.

sure most can-clients want everything to be visible inside the can. The logo has so much space that you could put a bunch of those Clydesdale horses to pasture around it. The “King of Beers” tag line has changed from the overused Bank Gothic to something custom and glorious. The combination of elements, the spacing, the muted colors, it’s all just absolutely great.

Source: Brand New and CNN Money



All the typographic details were done by Toronto based Typographer Ian Brignell. Brignell even create a typeface for Budweiser known as Bud Bold. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the owner of Budweiser and Bud Light, said that sales of its two top beers have continued to fall “in the low single digits” in the United States in the second quarter -- despite a ton of marketing for both brands. But it’s not all bad news for the company. Overall sales were up in the quarter despite the struggles in the U.S., problems in Europe and tough comparisons in Brazil following last year’s World Cup tournament. With 2016 rolling in and bringing with it a new branding overhaul to rival designs of the growing micro brewery movement, Budweiser is drawing on a new, younger crowd while trying to maintain true to its “hard way” crafted beer and established clientele.



Designed by Sirena Myint March 2016

338.01 Type Zine 2016 by Sirena Myint