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ARTICLES BY

PETER BILAK CAMERON CHAPMAN

tobias PAULA frere— SCHER jones 1


4 Escola Superior de Estudos Industriais e de Gestรฃo Design Grรกfico e Publicidade | 2ยบ Ano Projecto Revista Hiper-Moderna de Design Unidade Curricular Design Grรกfico I | Informรกtica II Docentes Ana Rita Coelho | Marta Fernandes | Jorge Marques Discente Tiago Nogueira | 9120181 Ano Lectivo 2013/2014 Segundo Semestre | 7 de Maio de 2014


Typestry is all about type. It’s an ongoing, ever-changing face of what’s new and what’s good in the typographical world. We’re not about the perfect font. We’re a showcase of all the wonderful things type has to offer. We’re about helping you find your perfect one. Typestry’s image is also shifting from issue to issue. This week’s issue features Gotham for body text (on several weights) and Glaser Becker Stencil and Neutra Display Titling for headlines.

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Each issue has it’s own primary font

About us KNOW YOUR WHAT IS TYPE TYPOGRAPHY? FONT OF PAULA SCHER THE WEEK MULTINATIONAL TOBIAS TYPEFACE FRERE-JONES

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of the appearance of the printed page’. Other dictionaries, such as Collins English Dictionary from 2004 define the typography as ‘the art, craft or process of composing type and printing from it’. Understood this way, no typography was made before mid-15 century, as it is strictly linked to the invention of the printing type. Understood this way, digitally created letters that appear on an electronic screen also escapes this definition.

What do we mean by the term typography? Before starting any discussion it is useful to clarify the terminology and definition of the word. This is a first from the regular columns that Peter Bilak writes for online version of the Swedish magazine CAP & Design. Before starting any discussion or argument it is useful to define the terminology and to make sure that the words which are used are generally understood. Typography is a craft has been practiced since the Gutenberg’s invention of the movable type. According to the latest Encyclopedia Britannica core definition of typography is that ‘typography is concerned with the determination

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That is of course problem of definitions, which are not as flexible as the activities which they define. In the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, where I teach part time, most useful definition of typography comes from the long term teacher Gerrit Noordzij, saying that ‘typography is writing with prefabricated letters’. Unlike the dictionary definitions, this one is deliberately avoiding connecting typography to any specific medium, as they tend to change, yet the discipline continues evolving. Noordzij’s definition also implies a complete distinction from lettering, handwriting or graffiti, which are also concerned with creating lettershapes, but don’t offer a repeatable system of setting these letters. Digital technologies stimulated unprecedented possibilities which


blur even most open definitions of typography. If repetition of shapes was the central concept of typography, many designers are working in ways that challenge this concept. OpenType fonts can include random features, which can simulate unpredictable behavior of handwriting, or simply present seemingly incoherent library shapes. For the past year, I’ve been working with dancers from Netherlands Dance Theatre in The Hague on creating a tool which translates text into simple choreographies. User types a word in a typesetting-like application which plays back this word as an uninterrupted dance sequence where dancer’s body temporarily makes positions recognizable as letters.

In other disciplines, such debate is in fact a sign of new self-consciousness. Novelist Milan Kundera argues that a contemporary novel is no longer defined as a fictional narrative in prose, but can include various forms of writing: poetry, short-story, or interview. Kundera’s books include parts which are philosophical, political, comical, while still being firmly part of a novel. The ability to absorb these various forms is Kundera’s definition of novel. Similarly, larger understanding of typography, which is no longer defined by technology, but evolves with it, may open this discipline to new create endeavors.

Is this typography? Project like this, as many others using existing digital possibilities seems not much worried about it, but use typographic principles to create autonomous work which cross boundaries of various disciplines. It seems that typography itself matured into a new creative discipline in which majority of typographers work in a way which is guided by historical understanding of the word, yet there is room for experimentation which explores the boundaries of the profession.

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KNO YO U T Y P A Crash Course in Typography: The Basics of Type By Cameron Chapman

Typography could be considered the most important part of any design. It’s definitely among the most important elements of any design project. And yet it’s often the part of a design that’s left for last, or barely considered at all. Designers are often intimidated by typography, which can result in bland typographical design or a designer always using one or two “reliable” typefaces in their designs.

TYPEFACES VS. FONTS: DIFFERENCE?

A lot of people use the terms “typeface” and “font” interchangeably. But they’re two very distinct things. Before we get started talking about typography, let’s get our terms straight.

If you’re intimidated by typography, or even just aren’t quite sure where to start, then read on. We’ll break down typographic theory and practice, starting with the basics (so that everyone starts on the same page).

In this part, we’ll talk about the basics of typographic theory, including the different kinds of typefaces (and how typefaces and fonts differ), as well as the basic anatomy of a typeface. And each part will also offer more resources for delving deeper into typography.

CAPS HEIGHT

When most of us talk about “fonts”, we’re really talking about typefaces, or type families (which are groups of typefaces with related designs).

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BODY CLEARENCE

A typeface is a set of typographical symbols and characters. It’s the letters, numbers, and other characters that let us put words on paper (or screen). A font, on the other hand, is traditionally defined as a complete character set within a typeface, often of a particular size and style. Fonts are also specific computer files that contain all the characters and glyphs within a typeface.

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CLASSIFYING TYPE: SERIFS There are a number of different ways to classify typefaces and type families. The most common classifications are by technical style: serif, sans-serif, script, display, and so on. Typefaces are also classified by other technical specifications, such as proportional vs. monospaced, or by more fluid and interpretational definitions, such as the mood they create.

Serif typefaces are called “serifs� in reference to the small lines that are attached to the main strokes of characters within the face. Serif typefaces are most often used for body copy in print documents, as well as for both body text and headlines online. The readability of serifs online has been debated, and some designers prefer not to use serifs for large blocks of copy. Within the serif classification, there are many sub-types. Old Style serifs (also called humanist) are the oldest typefaces in this classification, dating back to the mid 1400s. The main characteristic of old style characters is their diagonal stress (the thinnest parts of the letters appear on the angled strokes, rather than the vertical or horizontal ones). Typefaces in this category include Adobe Jenson, Centaur, and Goudy Old Style.

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Transitional serifs date back to the mid 1700s, and are generally the most common serif typefaces. Times New Roman and Baskerville are both transitional serifs, as are Caslon, Georgia, and Bookman. The differences between thick and thin strokes in transitional typefaces are more pronounced than they are in old style serifs, but less so than in modern serifs.

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Modern serifs, which include typefaces like Didot and Bodoni, have a much more pronounced contrast between thin and thick lines, and have have a vertical stress and minimal brackets. They date back to the late 1700s. The final main type of serif typeface is the slab serif. Slab serifs have little to no contrast between thick and thin lines, and have thick, rectangular serifs, and sometimes have fixed widths. The underlying characters hapes often more closely resemble sans serif fonts.

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“The formation of this typeface is excellent. The designer could have used straight lines in this font, but what works so well is the curvilinear structure of the overall typeface. I think it works so well because it is big and bold.” Jgeorge | Creative Beacon “The 20 Best New Free Fonts 2014”

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FONT OF THE WEEK

ABCDEFG HIJKLMNOPQR STUVWXYZ abcdefghijklm nopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789 !@£$%ˆ&*() Hallo Sans Bold | Regular | Light

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PAULA SCHER by Andy Butler | designboom

Paula Scher is an american graphic designer and illustrator who is a principal at Pentagram. Scher kicked off the 2013 Design Indaba conferences in Cape Town, South Africa, and designboom spoke to her about her practice, and the worst piece of advice she has ever been given.

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Please could you tell us about your background and how you came to do the work you do now? I was an illustration major at Tyler School of Art. I really didn’t draw well, but I learned to illustrate with type. I began designing for the music business in the 1970 when i got out of school and was senior art director at CBS records (now Sony) when I was 26. I was responsible for the design and production of about 150 albums (12 x12 format) a year. I learned how to work in every style and became obsessed with period typography. A lot of the work was later referred to as ‘postmodernism’ but I didn’t know what that was at the time I did the work. I was merely experimenting with early modernist typography. I can trace almost every project I work on back to the music business. So much of my work is for theater or dance or other forms of popular culture. Even when I am designing identities for corporations, I seem to operate through the lens of the entertainment industry. What were your first significant projects? A series of album covers for the best of jazz where I experimented with russian constructivism. The in-store posters were the best part of the series. I also still like my poster for Elvis Costello. Another would be a series of jazz albums that relied of large scale objects for Bob James (Tappan Zee Records) and a number of intricate typographic albums.

What made you decide to join Pentagram rather than work independently? After CBS records, I was partners with my friend from college, Terry Koppel – we worked together for seven years under the name ‘Koppel and Scher’. Terry Koppel was a magazine designer and in 1989 there was a recession and he didn’t get anymore magazines to design so he took a staff job, while i continued on my own. I realized that as a woman alone in business I wasn’t likely to get large scale projects and that the work I was already getting was probably be what I would continue to get. When Pentagram invited me to join I knew it was an amazing opportunity. I would have never been able to work on the broad diverse types of projects I have been fortunate enough to work on without the reputation and structure of Pentagram behind it. What is the attraction of designing identities for you? Identities are the beginning of everything. They are how something is recognized and understood. What could be better than that? Given your experience, are you able to finalize a logo or identity much quicker than before? The process takes varying amounts of time depending on the various individuals involved. It doesn’t matter how long something takes. All that matters is how the end user perceives the design.

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What mistakes or ‘traps’ should a young designer avoid when working on an identity system? Understand what the client does. Understand the audience. Be able to explain why you designed something a certain way and be prepared to inspire your client to a level beyond their expectations. What drew you to working on wayfinding and environmental design programmes? By the year 2000, most interesting design had become digital. I like physical things more than designs that live on screens. Environmental graphic design was a way to design in the real world, not the virtual one. Do you think it’s important for a graphic designer to be able to draw? It’s important for a graphic designer to be able to see. It’s also important to be able to make a sketch of what you see. What are your thoughts on specialization vs generalization? Specialization is narrow, generalization is broad. A generalist gets to try more things. Besides design, what are you passionate about? I paint very complicated large scale maps. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? ‘Illustrate with type’ from my teacher at Tyler, Stanislaw Zagorski. What is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given? Fortunately, I forgot it.

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TOBIA FRER –JON An interview from 2002 with the Font Bureau designer Tobias Frere-Jones, the creator of Gotham, Interstate and Garage Gothic to name just a few.

by Dmitri Siegel

A native New Yorker, Frere-Jones’s work is as connected to his hometown as the name of his latest design. In fact, he has undertaken the task of ‘documenting anything extant and noteworthy’ in Manhattan. Gotham was inspired by a variety of unassuming, often derelict signs originally carved, painted, rendered in neon, and cast in steel or bronze on the facades of buildings throughout New York. It took an intimate knowledge of the city to see the formal and historical connections between these varied letterforms, but also a humble respect for metropolitan history to focus on such an unglamorous aspect of New York. By focusing on the mundane – even decrepit – corners of his environment with Gotham, Frere-Jones has created a typeface that carries with it the disorienting bustle of a walk in the city – the sense of being engulfed by a history that remains just out of reach.

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At what point in the process did the inspiration for Gotham assert itself? Do you study the source material only initially or is it a constant resource? It was always close by, and required a lot of (literal) legwork as we moved through the character set. We were pretty well informed about the caps, needed to search around to understand the figures, and went searching (in vain, ultimately) for lowercase sources. This was the start of the photo excursions that I make almost every weekend now. Why did you choose to focus on such a blue-collar form of New York lettering? I suppose there’s a hidden personal agenda in the design, to preserve those pieces of New York that could be wiped out before they’re appreciated. Having grown up here, I was always fond of the ‘old’ (or just older) New York and its lettering. After watching one of the most distinctive features of the city being destroyed last fall, it seemed more urgent to protect the original ‘character’ of the city, both in the sense of letters and personality. After collecting material for Gotham, I set myself the task of walking every last block of Manhattan with a camera, and recording anything extant and noteworthy.


AS RE— NES How did the process of designing Gotham relate to some of the other projects HTF has done related to New York City? The projects for Grand Central and Lever House had what we sometimes call a ‘forensic’ aspect, in that they called for the reconstruction of something lost, or the completion of something partial. In these cases, we used historical photos and records to suss out the original motives we’d need to follow. (Not unlike those serial killer profilers, but without all the, you know, killing and stuff.) Jonathan’s work for the Guggenheim and for Radio City certainly started with existing forms, but weren’t quite as obligated to them, as their new application had to go well past the original. The typefaces for The Wall Street Journal and The Whitney Museum

were outright new constructions, but both meant to acknowledge what had existed before them. Were you interested in designing Gotham for use in building signage? Though it wasn’t part of any brief from the client or ourselves, I always figured that the finished typeface could come back full circle to signage. While it’s not as blatant as Bell Gothic and other designs, Gotham builds its esthetic directly out of the pressures of its environment. (Incidentally, designer William Addison Dwiggins was a master at turning the necessary into the desirable, though his circumstances were quite different – faces like Caledonia become only more impressive when you know what he was up against.)

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GOTHAM THIN gotham thin GOTHAM THIN ITALIC gotham thin italic GOTHAM EXTRA LIGHT gotham extra light GOTHAM EXTRA LIGHT ITALIC gotham extra light italic GOTHAM LIGHT gotham light GOTHAM LIGHT ITALIC gotham light italic GOTHAM BOOK gotham book GOTHAM BOOK ITALIC gotham book italic GOTHAM MEDIUM gotham medium GOTHAM MEDIUM ITALIC gotham medium italic GOTHAM BOLD gotham bold GOTHAM BOLD ITALIC gotham bold italic GOTHAM BLACK gotham black GOTHAM BLACK ITALIC gotham black italic GOTHAM ULTRA gotham ultra GOTHAM ULTRA ITALIC gotham ultra italic

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890*&$@#%!?(){}[] AN AMERICAN VERNACULAR

GOTHAM What piece of music most closely resembles the process of type design? Yow. Hm. While I’m not sure I could pick out a single piece, I think most anything by Autechre would come pretty close, as those guys seem to work on very large and very small scales simultaneously. And even their most startling and disorienting pieces sound deliberate and carefully planned. I could also have an unfair bias, as I listen to them quite often while drawing. How does designing a typeface that is self-initiated differ from designing one that is commissioned? Two of the designs that I’m most pleased with – Whitney and Gotham – wouldn’t have happened if somebody hadn’t asked for them. Those parts of the spectrum – the humanist and the geometric – had already been thoroughly staked out and developed by past designers. I didn’t think that anything new could have been found there, but luckily for me (and the client),

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Garage Gothic in action (© Font Bureau)

I was mistaken. The best custom jobs will push me to take on a problem that I hadn’t considered before, or to reexamine what I had regarded as the final word for a given motif. How would you approach creating a typeface based on typography and graphic design of the recent past – say the mid-1990’s? Given how quickly Interstate gained currency with designers, I’m really not sure how I’d handle that. My first thought is that it would be like trying to call myself on the telephone: ‘What? How come I always get a busy signal? Who could I possibly be talking to?’. What sort of creative or research projects do you work on outside of type design? Music (or sound, generally) is definitely the largest activity aside from design. It gets sidelined by work now and then, but I like to stay close to that way of thinking.


What is the absolute worst use you could think of for Gotham, and what kind of sick pleasure would you take in seeing it used just that way? With Gotham’s origin – and my own stubborn opinions – I think that anywhere in the suburban sprawl would be the worst place for it: advertising for featureless subdivisions, the specials board at the Exit 23 Dairy Queen, bumper stickers that say ‘I [heart] my SUV’ and so on. INTERSTATE

AVAILABLE FROM FONT BUREAU AND ITS DISTRIBUTORS

TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS BOLD

State trooper did not take kindly to my creative driving style

SPEEDING LIGHT CONDENSED

HAIRLINE ITALIC

Rush hour drivers becoming ever more fr∫ntic

CONSTRUCTION AHEAD REGULAR

BLACK CONDENSED

Work crews playing catch with gobs of hot asphalt

BRIGHT TRAIL OF SPARKS LIGHT

Route 59 Closed BOLD CONDENSED

EXTRA BLACK COMPRESSED

IN RAGE AND FRUSTRATION, I THREW MY KEYS INTO THE RIVER REGULAR ITALIC

THEN I NOTICED I WAS MILES FROM HOME

Eastbound EXTRA LIGHT COMPRESSED

REGULAR CONDENSED

Visiting the drive-thru psychotherapist ULTRA BLACK

APPARENTLY I SUFFER FROM AN OEDIPAL STICK SHIFT

Frere-Jones is perhaps best known as the designer of Interstate, another sans serif typeface with industrial roots. First released in 1994, Interstate was based loosely on the font family Highway Gothic, used by the United States Federal Highway Administration for road signs. Despite the specificity of its origins, Interstate was embraced universally by graphic designers and has been used on most everything, including the 2000 U.S. Census. It is the most prominent result of the designer’s continuing interest in what he calls working class lettering. This interest began while he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design where he designed the typeface Garage Gothic based on the typography of parking garage tickets. After graduating, FrereJones joined the digital type-foundry Font Bureau who had already released Garage Gothic. There he designed typefaces in every style, but continued his exploration of vernacular lettering with Interstate and another typeface, Pilsner, based on a French beer label. With these typefaces Frere-Jones preserves the humble letters that inspire them and creates type that resonates with life outside of typography and graphic design.

BOLD COMPRESSED

Familiarity is the foundation of(© legibility, this sans serif a strong edge as one of the most legible Interstate specimen Font lending Bureau) faces. Interstate is based on the signage alphabets of the United States Federal Highway Administration, alphabets that we read every day as we drive. Tobias Frere-Jones designed Interstate in 1993–94 and, with the assistance of Cyrus Highsmith, has expanded it into a plethora of enticing text and display styles; fb 1993–99 32 STYLES: HAIRLINE, THIN, EXTRA LIGHT, LIGHT, REGULAR, BOLD, BLACK, AND ULTRA BLACK, ALL IN COMPRESSED, CONDENSED, AND NORMAL WIDTHS, WITH ITALICS FOR NORMAL WIDTH

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A team of designers have created a font based on national flags by breaking them down into basic shapes. With the various rules and commandments of typography, creativity and imagination still reigns supreme when it comes to producing an inspiring new font. Using the world flags in a way we’ve never seen before, this multinational font plays on geometric patterns to showcase something really rather beautiful.

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“When you set up a new hub to work with the rest of the world, it kind of makes sense to install a multinational team to do so”, explains designer Luis Fabra. “Not just a local setup running a global account, but a team that has got a clue about the world out there. We invented a design tool to brand this team, and to communicate our mindset and vision - the world’s first multinational typeface.” Created by Fabra and Leong Darren Abriel, this font is both creative and unique, proving that you can produce something new out of an inspiration that has been used plenty of times before. Is this going to be the world’s first multinational font?


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Typestry Magazine  

Typestry is all about type. It’s an ongoing, ever-changing face of what’s new and what’s good in the typographical world. We’re not about th...

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