This week in type: ★, Cherokee, and emoji in the most unexpected places

joeclarkjoeclark Posts: 122
edited December 2015 in Miscellaneous News
Jonathan Barnbrook, the most active political graphic designer, discusses the origin of the ★ glyphs that comprise the title of the new David Bowie album.
I asked [Burroughs] about the future of typography and he said that letterforms would go back to hieroglyphs, similar to the ancient Egyptians. You can actually see it happening with the emoji – they are becoming very common with people creating whole narratives out of them as well as using them in everyday communication. Will there be a time when we use only these to express thought?
Barnbrook talks about realeasing the glyph font as open source, but all I can find is Virus DejaVu and companion faces from 2014. Also: Spot the reference to North Korea embedded in the cover art for the previous album. I had no idea.

Further: Is Barnbrook remixing Volkswagen billboards to mock its clean-diesel engines? Apparently. (Full gallery.)

Are emoji – which word, like “deer,” is singular and plural – merely little illustrations or are they glyphs that can and should be incorporated into fonts? Trying to talk about this with civilians is like trying to explain that you have not created a podcast if all you’ve done is posted an audio file to SoundCloud. Still, CBC in Canada has for some reason released “emoji stickers,” to appropriately tart response. Finland has done something similar (coverage in Finnish). I remember the days when learned typographers insisted that colour fonts had no reason to exist. I think emoji “stickers” have no reason to exist.

(Ken Lunde’s Unicode emoji acceptance flowchart.)

Finns, then: I like what Annukka Mäkijärvi is doing with bears and Underware.

Cherokee is now less unreadable. We were told this when Microsoft released new Cherokee fonts, which I’m not going to look up, but we are being told this again in the context of Mark Jamra’s Phoreus Cherokee, which got a mention in the newspaper and is now being used by Unicode for its code charts. Here is the part I do not understand: “Before Mark, there were a handful of fonts that existed, but many of the glyphs weren’t accurate or were completely wrong.” As I like to say to recurring acclaim here, citation needed.

By the way, Inuktitut in all its forms will likely end up being written in Latin script. (“Existing writing systems have been imposed on us.”)

“People Need to Use Typography: An Interview with Non-Latin Type Designer Erin McLaughlin.”

The CFL, the Canadian Football League, is not “soccer” and is not “American football.” It has rebranded with a dull and childish logo that will surely work well as a favicon if nowhere else. The logo uses a free Google font.

For Team Tobias, our long national nightmare is over. Voici Mallory.


  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 277
    edited December 2015
    Microsoft produced a Cherokee sanserif UI font in the Windows 8 timeframe. We worked with the Cherokee Nation on the review and approval of the design, as well as the name "Gadugi" which roughly translates to "working together" in Cherokee. The people we worked with also presented at TypeCon New Orleans but were not allowed to talk about Gadugi (NDA). At TypeCon they called for more Cherokee designs, primarily for the kids to use in the schools. Mark answered that call. 

    As to the wrong shapes, for a while Plantagenet used an archaic (rotated) form for one of the letters as the default. There were a few other smaller complaints. I think Ross addressed them at the time. Maybe this PR will spur Ross on to releasing Huronia with Cherokee support.

    The article felt a bit Portlandia, even though it's the other Portland.
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