Type fiction

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  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,400
    Rene Chalet was a (marketing) hoax. But transparent enough, once one got the joke!

    Mike Parker argued that Starling Burgess was the designer of Times, not Stanley Morison/Victor Lardent. So at least one of those attributions is fictional.
  • I can't believe nobody's mentioned the travel supplement for the island of San Seriffe. I can only find the first page (PDF) of seven, but it's worth a look anyway.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,112
    Thierry mentioned it a few comments back.
  • Hey !

    So, here's the little list i was working on. It's not complete at all, and might not work for every browers, but i'm having troubles with my computer those last days and I'll try to fix it next week !

    Type & fiction

    For now, the classification is very simple, maybe I'll go for another more complicated like the last one we described here, but again, only next week.
  • As thinking about fiction in the process of making font in more larger way, I was wondering if there were a lot of font familly not based on conventionnals variables (weight, italic, width, or optical size).

    I'm thinking for exemple about the Bell Centennial, with it's "Adresse", "SubCaption", "Name & Number" system.

    Or about Karloff whith it's familly based on the fact that one character is Ugly, one is Beautiful and the other is Neutral. 

    Or about Beowolf which is more and more destroyed depending on the version you chose.

    Ain't those things kind of type fictions ? Thinking about what parallels systems could be ?
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,400
    HISTORICAL FICTION

    Revivals in which glyphs are imagined for genres which did not exist at the time of the original:

    In Figgins Sans, based on a bold, all cap English font from the 1830s, I made up lower case, italics, cyrillic and greek, old style figures, small caps, diacritics, symbols, &c., &c.

    Speaking of Cyrillic, versions of pre-Petrine reform roman types, e.g. Garamond, are historical fiction.

    More anachronisms, family extensions in genres not yet existing at the time of the original: Garamond Sans. Garamond Bold. Bodoni Egyptian.

    Not revivals, but inventions in historic genres:

    The Miller & Richard “old style”.

    William Morris’ type designs.

    Many Goudy types, and other designs of the historicist era in the early 20th century; my homage to these, Oneleigh.

    Storm’s “18th century” sans, Sebastien.





  • Looking for something else, I just stumbled on this interesting conversation. Not sure if it qualifies, but I self-published a novel whose protagonist is a type designer with a specialty in historical handwriting simulations. (Yes, slightly autobiographical.) It has fantastical elements, and type design does figure in the plot—but not so much shapes and glyphs. Anyway, FWIW, here ’tis:

    Lydia
  • My favourite book of all times is TYPE: THE SECRET HISTORY OF LETTERS, by Simon Loxley, it mixes accurate history with scy fi... a bit like DaVinci code...

    http://www.simonloxley.com/type-a-secret-history.html
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,499
    edited June 2016
    Something I really relish owning: "A Type Detective Story" by Matthew Woolman. It's a fun typographic crime/mystery of sorts, but also highly educational, and superbly produced.
  • ivan louetteivan louette Posts: 248
    Hi, just a short reply because I was aware of two interesting infos these days :
    - the french sci-fi writer Alain Damasio has written a new novel (in French) called "Les Furtifs" where he does use invented personalized diacritics linked to the different characters.
    Have a nive day and much fun !
  • ivan louetteivan louette Posts: 248
    More info and a complete paragraph on this page. The font itself seems to be a modified Garamond.
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 168
    There's the Voynich manuscript, which appears to be an encyclopedia written in an unknown language and unknown, probably invented, writing system in the 15th century.

    The Voynich manuscript has been decoded!  By a research assistant, after both Alan Turing and the FBI failed to decode it.
    Apparently it was written in Proto-Romance an early ancestor of the modern Romance languages, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Catalan and Galician.
    But this early version was only used as a spoken language and wasn't normally written down and so it was lost.
    Someone in the 15th century invented a character set for this language and wrote this book in it.

  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    Typography fan fiction. It's the next big thing.

  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 880
    Jean-Luc Picard, Riker and Helvetica meet in the holodeck.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,351

    Hasn't this been claimed several times in a row now? I'll believe it when I see a translation...

    Aha, Wikipedia says about that:
    However, experts in medieval documents have disputed this interpretation[103] with the executive editor of Medieval Academy of America Lisa Fagin Davis denouncing the paper as "just more aspirational, circular, self-fulfilling nonsense".

    Sounds about right to me. :wink:

  • Russell_McGormanRussell_McGorman Posts: 192
    edited May 16
    I predict a procedural detective series on Netflix about a CEO of a company that makes a font design application who ditches the C suite for a career serving the public as a font detective. Now... Not sure if the lead would be a Dirty Harry type, or more like Columbo? :wink:
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 348
    edited May 16

    The Voynich manuscript has been decoded!  By a research assistant, after both Alan Turing and the FBI failed to decode it.
    Apparently it was written in Proto-Romance an early ancestor of the modern Romance languages, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Catalan and Galician.
    I actually read this paper and am completely amazed that it passed peer review. I can safely say that the Voynich manuscript has not been decoded and most certainly isn't written in Proto-Romance.

    Here's a link to the actual paper:

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02639904.2019.1599566

    Note that anyone who thinks that (e.g.) 'epe' is a triphthong obviously has no clue what they are talking about.

    I could list his various mistakes but then this post would end up being far longer than his actual paper. The take-home point is that the guy's a crank.

    P.S. Not meaning to revive a thread from 2016, but on the topic of 'Fiction about Type' I'm suprised no one mentioned the infamous Hitler meme:


  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,499
    Someone in the 15th century invented a character set for [Proto-Romance]
    The decoding does seem bogus, but might this part be true?
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 348
    The part about someone inventing a character set is likely true. That it was for Proto-Romance almost certainly is not. I know very little about the manuscript, but I suspect it was simply someone trying to produce something that looked 'Hermetic'. It may be someone's personal code. It may be an early example of a conlang. Or it may simply mean nothing at all.
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 168
    edited May 16
     Or it may simply mean nothing at all.
    Having taken a quick look at the paper (just a skim through) some of it does look less than rigorous.
    However I doubt that the book is meaningless.  In that time books were very valuable and it would take somebody a considerable time and effort to produce.  Someone must have thought the effort and expense was worth it.

  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 348
    In that time books were very valuable and it would take somebody a considerable time and effort to produce.

    Yes. My position, though, it that it may have been created primarily as an objet d'art rather than as a book intended to be read. I'm thinking it may have been a sort of precursor to the sorts of occult works which became popular in the 16th century (e.g. John Dee's works).
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,486
    I predict a procedural detective series on Netflix about a CEO of a company that makes a font design application who ditches the C suite for a career serving the public as a font detective. Now... Not sure if the lead would be a Dirty Harry type, or more like Columbo? :wink:
    I think Columbo is probably a better fit for this completely mythical character of yours.  ;)
  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    CSI: Typography.

  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 29
    I encountered this unusual web comic, "The League of Fonts." http://leagueoffonts.com
    Its premise is that a flesh-and-blood personification of every typeface springs into to being upon its completion, and these make up a secret organization with an influence over font licensing. They all speak in a hand approximation of themselves. It's hard to know where it intends to go with this, as it's only in the Prologue yet.
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