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Nick Shinn


Nick Shinn
Last Active
Member, Type Person
Invited by
Admin James Puckett
  • Re: Anti-Ink-Traps

    I produced Brown (left) and Worldwide (centre) initially for newsprint, optically scaled.
    The minting sharpens up body type, and provides visual interest at display size.
    The third style is Beaufort, a glyphic effect which doesn’t require optical scaling, as the sharp serifs are close to asymptotic.

    For some reason, rounding obtuse angled inside corners seemed more appropriate than negative thorns, perhaps because they don’t “decay” during process, and it expands the joint in a manner that balances the outside minting, which looks good when the font is closely inspected, rather than the typeset image.
  • Re: Playboy

    Art directors provided type houses with a rough layout of the ad and typed copy (text), marked up for typeface, size, leading, paragraph indent and extra leading, and measure (line length).

    The headline in the above ad was set from typositor, with manual positioning, the body copy from a text machine, could have been metal or photo in 1967.

    Galleys of the set type were assembled on artboards at the agency, with black-and-white prints from the photo transparencies in place “for position only”, and a tissue overlay with instructions for the film house, e.g. to close crop the bottle above. These art boards were controlled at the agency by its production manager.

    Then the artboard and photo transparencies were sent to a film house (pre-press production), which scanned the transparencies (colour separations into CMYK) and film-stripped (taped) these together with film of the type, and exposed these onto final film—sets of four-colour negatives which were returned to the production manager, who sent these to the various publications, which in turn sent them to their printers, who exposed them onto printing plates.

    The media buyer at the agency was responsible for informing the production manager of the specifications of the media, i.e. size, paper stock and screen resolution.

    Often, different sizes of film were made from the same artwork, but with consistent proportions, so that the same ad might appear in different sized publications.


    I believe there was some kind of synergy between agency art directors and publication art directors, as both were well aware that their work would be on adjacent pages.
  • Re: When did the "Serif vs. Sans" derby started?

    Working as an art director in the early 1990s, I would try out different typefaces for new projects, and was struck by how old-fashioned serifed styles made things look—and retro was not in fashion except for scripts.

    This was particularly notable for body text, where the mantra had always been that serifs were de rigueur for legibility. So that idea was abandoned (or mothballed, at least).

    There were exceptions, Scala, for instance.
    And slightly earlier, before digital really took over the media, Licko’s Matrix was ubiquitous.

  • Re: Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E

    I continue to be impressed with the title of this thread, so important sounding!—authoritative, erudite, technical and obscure. And with an f_f_i ligature to boot. One more time:
    Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E
  • Re: Specific diacritic designs depending on language

    I don’t think one should follow national “models” slavishly.
    It’s more important to consider difficult situations in the particular typeface one is working on.

    For instance, the sequence í_l in Fernando’s typeface.

    With the variables of angle of diacritic and ascender height, certain combinations work better than others.

    Presently, the steep diacritic works best (top left), because it doesn’t run into the following serif. However, were the ascender taller, then the flatter accent would work better (bottom right).