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  • This Week in Type Has Seven Days

    That week just flew by, didn’t it?

    1. A phenomenal bit of business about repainting the name of a ship onto that ship. “It took a day to letter-space [sic] seven characters.”

    2. I need those ashes so I can dot this i.

      (“He left me for a woman who uses two spaces after a period.”)

    3. Robert Palladino, who taught Steve Jobs that typography matters, died in February.

    4. Tal Leming, whose surname my inner voice always pronounces with the stress heard in LeMans, dodges the bullet of solving the already-solved problem of fonts for “coding” by solving the problem of fonts for U.S. Soccer athletes, a lifelong goal for Tal. (Leming’s Levidéo.)

      We have discussed jersey type before. I am just going to assume the Paralympians will use the same typeface, but of course they never get mentioned anywhere ever.

    5. There’s just no way to avoid an aperçu from Spiekermann. His house is more impressive (Sowersby, who’s been there, told me so) but Rhatigan’s remains kooler.

    6. Digital Fonts and Reading (“Series on Language Processing, Pattern Recognition, and Intelligent Systems: Volume 1,” “USD118.00”).

    7. Nobody remembers inline and contour fonts from the ITC days. I just loved them growing up. Au courant thinkfluencers use colour emoji to navigate our post-Federal/‑Brim media landscape, so wood-type-redolent colo[u]r fonts are self-evidently next. They aren’t SVG.


    8. “By reverse engineering, we can determine the following characteristics about the standard Emoji font on iOS and OS X.”

    9. help me” (“[f]ind the differences between Myriad and Frutiger”).


    11. “ ‘Excellens’ is the first font totally created using Microsoft EXCEL 97” (caps in original).

    12. I guess we’re back with Spiekermann: “He only deserves Arial.

    13. Richard Ishida (op. cit.) still doesn’t have his utility back up that lets you paste in a string and get back a list of every Unicode character in it, but Babelstone’s has been there all along. (Tim Whitlock’s Unicode Character Inspector has better type.)

      And just as I mishear “Leming,” I constantly mistype “Unicide.” (“You have selected REGICIDE.”)

      (Unicode ⒸⒶⓀⒺ ∕ ⒼⒶⓉⒺⒶⓊ Unicode.)

    14. Alcuin Book Society Awards 2015 homepage superhelpfully lists the designers, authors, and publishers of winning books (without a canonical URL). And that’s all it does.

    15. Probably need another piece on Johnston Sans. Meanwhile, the Toronto Star achieved the impossible by publishing a thorough, technically accurate profile of Rod McDonald. And you know how important technical accuracy is to us, much more so than adequately encapsulating a human persona, which Katie Daubs’ article also succeeds in doing.

    16. Courier (also dachshund [not Dax]).

    17. Are you jaded about and bored by the wonderful Web pages designers produce for each of their new typefaces? You can’t keep up, can you? A lot of the time, you have no idea what some piece is typeset in, do you? But you used to be able to ID every font on sight, did you not? You were king and/or queen of all you surveyed.

      You were younger then. You remember inline and contour fonts.

      Well, you now have a new purpose for living, because even in this post-JustLefthand/‑ErikRighthand media landscape, Manu brilliantly fills gaps jaded bored typophiles did not know existed. (No dachshund.)

  • Re: This week in type: WHAT IS SANS SERIF?

    Vanilla chokes on emoji.
  • This week in type: WHAT IS SANS SERIF?

    Comic Sans Papyrus.

    Nobody does type marketing better than Hoefler & Frere-Jones Co. You heard about Operator everywhere. You saw the video. You heard about it on a Monocle podcast. To paraphrase Will & Grace, dead people know about Operator. And it solves a problem nobody has, namely “I don’t have a really good font to ‘code’ in,” where “code” is a verb. Everybody who “codes” solved the type problem with any of the last three or four typeface releases that promised to do so. Someday somebody will design a font for “coding” and will present sample uses that do not resemble Windows 3.1 angry fruit salad. I use black on pink.

    Richard Ishida outglyphs himself: Hieroglyphics picker. (Those “code points” are awesome.)

    Hobo. (Hobeaux!) San Francisco.

    Do you remember a hand carrying out calligraphy in the intro video for the iPad Pro? No, you don’t, because that was in the video for the Apple Pencil. I know whose hand that wasn’t, but JFP gave it a shot for real.

    Almost as many Webfonts in Blendle as there are ways to render the word “Webfonts,” namely 200.

    Upside-down N (but lOWERCASE l).

    You can download scans of 64 issues of The Monotype Recorder. I did. (Always use an FTP program, not a browser.)

    How to make your text look futuristic” (but Desert Chrome).

    Speaking of which, is the value proposition of a streetcar (“LRT”) in Brooklyn actually the unrealistically-well-rendered futuristic type of its destination signage?

    I have heard the adorable Michael Bierut spontaneously curse in a video recording, but I am not going to tell you where. He cites Miles Davis as an influence, while some of us have Desert Chrome or Letraset or Space: 1999 as influences. Xavier Dolan basically didn’t see any movies older than Titanic, either.

    (Bad type on Jeopardy.)


    Sansserif Cherokee that is not Gadugi or Phoreus.

    Also not Gadugi: Microsoft allegedly has “a font and system of text wrapping that makes reading easier for dyslexics – but also faster for those without dyslexia.” (“Easier” vs. “faster.”)

    And, by any standard, the biggest news of the “week,” covered in another drawer: James Montalbano gets the royal shaft, and reacts appropriately.

    • “This notice terminates the Interim Approval for Use of Clearview Font”
    • Times guest editorial: “I can’t help wondering if something else is afoot. To use Clearview, state departments of transportation had to pay a licensing fee”
    • Tsunami-like aftershocks felt as far away as Ohio
  • This week in type: All Bat-Helvetica breaks out over emoji dumplings (and: Spiekermann)

    Let’s start with a bang: The justfont “Working Group is chartered to define the ‘font’ top-level media type, as per RFC6838 [§]4.2.7.”

    ATypI 2015 São Paulo recap: Part 1 ¶ Part 2. One does rather wonder how the interpreters kept up.

    “Interestingly, there’s no Kickstarter campaign to reissue this particular standards manual, perhaps because it wasn’t created by a famed Italian modernist designer and is typeset in the most basic manner possible.” Here the Transit Maps Tumblère is talking about the Boston MBTA identity guidelines, links to PDFs of which are helpfully given without having to ante up a hundred bucks.

    “The long, incredibly tortuous, and fascinating process” variously “of creating a Chinese font” or getting a dumpling emoji into Unicode. As the latter is premised upon cultural inclusion and sexism, we’ll never hear the end of it.

    Why Are the Terms of Service Agreements We Never Read in All Caps?” And Why Do Online Clickbait Sites Use Only The Upstyle For Headlines Despite The Fact The Times And The Journal Are Almost Alone In Doing That In The Real World?

    Richard Ishida pickers: Runic and Old Norse; Old English. Still dearly missed is his utility whereby you paste in any string and it lists every Unicode character in that string.

    Hi! Yes, the Canada 150 logo(type) boondoggle continues to worsen, notwithstanding what Ray Larabie tells us in a different drawer. Ray predicted the press and designers won’t care; in fact this thing gots legs.
    1. Adrian Jean, Twitter: “$400k on waterproof Canada 150 flags… with design from a logo contest and a free font. 3 for 3 on the ‘brutal’ score”
    2. “All Helvetica breaks loose in typography squabble” is the print headline but not the online one, Neither Of Which Is In Upstyle. (“DESIGNERS TO FREE FONT: DROP DEAD”)
    3. Government planning to flood country with millions of Canada 150 flags
    4. Canada Gizmodoed
    “Releasing Your First Typeface: An Interview with Font Bureau’s Victoria Rushton.”

    Typeface reality check–cum–intervention: “You Are Not a Sassy Black Woman.”

    Everything I Know About Typography” has quite a few errors and overgeneralizations, of which everyone will have a different set.

    “I am not 100% certain, but as far as I can tell, Vietnamese is probably the only Eastern language that is not written in ideographs,” says Donny Trương, rather quite neglecting Burmese, Hmong, Indonesian, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Malaysian, Mongolian, Nepali, Thai, Tibetan, and Uyghur. Still, Danny’s Vietnamese Typography site looks great on an iPhone while mine do not.


    Evert Bloemsma lives through Cobalte.

    The Spiekermann Economy.

    Rewardingly thorough Tumblère de l’instant: Bat-Labels.

    This Week in Type clearly has nothing to do with This Month in Typography because weeks and months are as unrelated as type and typography are.

  • Re: Diversifying TypeDrawers

    You’re an inch away from replicating the fatal mistakes of Typophile. Wing Chun and Glark of Television Without Pity are not remotely viable models to emulate. I speak as someone who tangled with the arbitrary rules of both sites. (I have been online for 23 years, and Wing Chun and Glark both lived in Toronto before they remedied the cardinal mistakes of their birth and became Americans.)

    Further, I dispute the premise of the discussion. I don’t see why “women, minorities, and other groups who are typically underrepresented in discussion groups around type design” are a priority when anyone can “discuss” type design at will, often under pseudonym. I assume “minorities” means “racial minorities” and not, say, persons with disabilities. I know gay and/or nonwhite and/or female type designers, and have met several graphic designers with significant physical disabilities, but, while the gay/nonwhite/female designers are going strong, I never hear from the disabled ones. Who really needs help? Isn’t that a core discussion that is overlooked here?

    Do we even need this kind of metaconversation? If so, why must it be limited to classic liberal concerns like race and sex? But isn’t this a very big kettle of worms that simply does not need to be opened?

    Isn’t Coles’ posting really another way of saying, yet again, that women face some kind of barrier in type design? But do they? The typeface doesn’t know you’re a girl. If the suggestion is that typeface-discussion forums are unwelcome to women and minorities, how do you prove that to anyone’s satisfaction? (“I’m angry and I’m offended by this comment and I don’t like this guy’s style in general” does not amount to “proving” anything.)

    Typophile closed up shop, which might have been deserved. (But rendering its archives unavailable is a disgrace.) When it comes to “discussion groups around type,” TypeDrawers is it at the moment. And it barely gets any use. Clamp down on misbehaviour that seems not to be happening in the first place and what ultimately will become of TypeDrawers? Isn’t Typophile a cautionary tale?

    Generally speaking, sites that call themselves “discussion forums” resist dissent, especially disagreement with foundational principles that are, when examined, weakly formed or contradictory. TypeDrawers is not MetaFilter, which at least has some taste for variance via its MetaTalk forum. (Though longtime participants there – I am user 250 – know there are real limits to what can be questioned.)

    I don’t think the comment-flagging system, as presently implemented, is of any use for limiting “abuse,” to the extent it even exists.

    Everyone thinks Coles is a great guy except for those who do not. (Mustn’t break consensus.) Now he has the keys to this place and has explicitly threatened to ban people. (Mustn’t break consensus.) Just this comment in its entirety is enough to get someone banned. Isn’t it?