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Nick Shinn


Nick Shinn
Last Active
Member, Type Person
Invited by
Admin James Puckett
  • Re: MyFonts and families

    Shinntype’s best-sellers at MyFonts are Beaufort, Bodoni Egyptian and Brown, all of which were originally published at MyFonts at least 15 years ago, are close to the top of the alphabet menu, and have been updated to “Pro” OpenType status.

    The only reason I spend so much time designing more typefaces is to amuse myself. If I were a better businessman, I would instead be extending those established B-brands with rough and stencil versions (and into OTvar), and producing much more marketing material rather than bezier-wrangling new stuff.

    The number of foundries continues to increase, and with it the number of new typefaces, while the quality, sophistication and amount of marketing has burgeoned. The font business is increasingly competitive, and it’s hard to catch the market’s attention. I’m lucky I got into it early and established a bit of a presence.

  • Re: [OTVar] Spacing axis

    Very clever. Nice idea.
  • Re: Is the term ‘foundry’ a proper name for digital companies?

    There is something rootless about digital culture, so we need a little high touch to offset the high tech, and foundry connects us with our storied past.

    So much emphasis on distressed and script types these past 20 years. It didn’t go away when grunge/deconstruction went out of fashion.

    Phototype makers wanted to dissociate themselves from “hot” type—for marketing reasons. But they were still heavily invested in tactile culture though; every week as an ad agency art director in the 1970s and 80s I used to get a visit from several type house sales reps, dropping off a job and/or new specimen booklets from ITC, Berthold, Compugraphic, etc. And U&lc, a big, beautiful “newspaper” from ITC, in the mail.

    Letraset, of course, was an extremely hands-on medium.
  • Re: Is the term ‘foundry’ a proper name for digital companies?

    My favourite old documentary word is “scrolling”. A venerable noun cleverly rehabilitated as a verb, quite apropos.

    I’m also rather fond of “leading”, which some practical folk have tried to replace with “line spacing”. Borrrrr-ing.

    After all, if we’re going to continue to use designs like Bembo, Garamond and Jenson (fons et origo), why not preserve vocabulary of similar vintage?
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    There is a small market for layered fonts, which have been available for 25+ years.
    So, not much market-driven demand for huge change there.

    Colour will never be the new bold.
    When one uses colour for contrast, one usually bumps up the weight.
    That’s because colouring type doesn’t make it bigger, which bolding does, and also makes it less clearly defined.
    Color can produce meaningful contrast, but for type it is always weaker than boldness.

    On the other hand, apparently my house is “powered by Rogers” (internet service provider), so anything goes.