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Nick Shinn

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Nick Shinn
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  • Re: Share your pleasure and learning experience at drawing revivals

    Here is the Dair link, fixed.
    Your motivation at working on revivals is close to mine.
    I don’t think so. You asked about experience in the design process, which I recounted, not motivation, which I didn’t.

    My motivation for the Modern Suite was primarily to correct a couple of misperceptions prevalent in 2004 (and perhaps still), namely that the didone genre has poor readability, and that the sans serif is a modernist, 20th century invention. Also, I felt that the available Scotch Moderns were too cookie-cutter clinical in their finish, and there should be a more “post-printed” version published—a concept established by ITC Bodoni.

    My motivation for Goodchild was again contrarian, namely to produce an old style newspaper text face. I figured why not base it on the source, Jenson.




  • Re: Share your pleasure and learning experience at drawing revivals

    I prefer to do original work, but I have drawn a few revivals and restorations, in which I aim for either facsimile-level authenticity or major reinterpretation, I’m not a big fan of tinkering. I work from printed samples, but not foundry specimens. Some PDFs:

    Dair (Cartier, 1967)
    Drawn over scans (no autotrace)

    Modern Suite (Scotch Modern, Figgins Sans, mid 19th century)
    Drawn by eye (no scans)

    Goodchild (Jenson, mid 15th century)
    Drawn by eye (no scans)

    I’ve certainly found satisfaction in being able to use my fonts to create facsimiles of ancient documents—in fact, achieving that goal was a large part of the production process, which I hesitate to call design. There is design, though, in expanding the character set and features, but it’s still not in the same league as creating new, original typefaces.

    A big motivation, and reward, in doing these revivals was investigating and gaining an understanding of another time, another place, another technology, through the process of design, as an adjunct to academic, literary-intellectual wisdom. Trying to get the letters to combine nicely in the same manner as the original, one goes through the same trials and tribulations, no doubt, as the original designer, and it’s a weird kind of out-of-body feeling, like being in their skin, or having them look over your shoulder as you’re slaving away.








  • Re: Margo Chase

    Quite a few glimpses of her work in this video.
  • Re: Low vision calendar company seeks a better font

    You don’t have to use the same typeface throughout.
    Futura has quite distinct figures.
    Perhaps the style of 3 which has a sharp top right would make that number less like 8, but then again, perhaps too much like 5?

  • Re: Romanée – New Release?

    I recently revived (as a restoration) Carl Dair’s Cartier (1967).
    I worked from a printed example, as that’s how, IMHO, the best revivals of old types are done, so no point piracy was involved.
    I discussed the project with Rod MacDonald (friend and colleague), who designed the presently available version of Cartier (which is as much redesign as revival), for Monotype, in 2000, and he was very supportive.
    I couldn’t use the name Cartier, of course, which is a Monotype trademark, so I named my version Dair.