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The Smashing Book #5

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Posts Tagged ‘Typography’.

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Typography’.

Why Won’t Helvetica Go Away?

The other day someone sent me a link to a website with the preposterous title of “The 100 Best Typefaces of All Time”. Topping the chart was Helvetica, and that stirred my ire. I dismissed the list because it was based on marketing figures from one source, FontShop, coupled with the opinions of half a dozen Berlin-based typographers, but I was still incensed.


When it comes to, say, boxers, you can handicap the various athletes in the ring and predict that Muhammad Ali would beat Jack Johnson or Jim Corbett and that, therefore, he is number one, but a lot of other factors come to bear on your decision: sentimentality, the fact that Ali is acknowledged (by people like me, with no real knowledge of the sport) to be “The Greatest”; he has name recognition, and so on. But how do you evaluate a typeface? Is it just based on its widespread use? Or its suitability to the subject at hand? Ease of reading? Familiarity?


Industrial-Strength Types

The Industrial Revolution gave us a new iron age, one of cast iron, which a devotee of Vulcan told me he thought was the highest achievement of man — or, as he put it, “the hairless ape.” In the 18th century, cast-iron bridges sprang across British rivers such as the Tay and Severn. These lovely sculptural archways are resistant to rust, so many are still standing.

Industrial-Strength Types

Before the introduction of Clarendon as a text face, it could be seen as a display type, for example in Figgins’ two-line Pica in shade, from about 1817. It was copyrighted by Robert Besley of London’s Fann Street Foundry in 1845, and as soon as the copyright lapsed three years later, it was widely copied. Railway timetables, newspaper headings, dictionaries, guidebooks, textbooks and other places that required spot emphasis were its preferred venues at first.


Typography Carved In Stone

Every name here is a tragic story of loss and heartbreak. The Garda Memorial Garden, or Gairdín Cuimhneacháin an Gharda Síochána, is located in the heart of Dublin city. This memorial is a contemplative garden with large stone plinths and a lot of names and numbers. The list of names, this “roll of honor,” records individual police officers (gardaí) who have lost their lives violently and tragically in the line of duty since the formation of the Irish state in 1921.

Carved In Stone

This article offers insight into the creative thought processes I followed in designing a typographic solution for this memorial. I’ll discuss my choice of typeface, my detailed layout, the size of type, the materials, the process of engraving, and leaving open the possibility to add names in the future. My objective was to keep a sense of visual harmony throughout the design, while aiming for a certain consistency in the future engraving of names, regardless of language.


The Creative Way To Maximize Design Ideas With Type

As with most designers, being sure that we explore and select the most successful, memorable and stimulating designs is a vital aspect that underpins every project we undertake. For us, the beginning of a new challenge has never been as simple as asking ourselves what might be the best avenue to take and then sitting down at a computer and attempting to fulfill that idea.

Drawing And Mark-Making: The Creative Way To Maximize Design Ideas With Type

After researching the subject matter, we will almost always begin with a sheet of paper and pencil and draw out a variety of design options to help bring together and develop the breadth of ideas that are maturing in our minds. In this article, we will explore the use of drawing and mark-making as an integral part of the creative process.


Legitima Typeface: An Experience Of Fossils And Revivals

Just as living species depend on mutation and adaptation to survive, typefaces too depend on their features to optimize the performance of text in a given environment. This principle seems to determine, in a way, the degree of failure or success that printing types (old and new) have in the physical world.

Legitima: An Experience Of Fossils And Revivals

Typeface revivals (i.e. old typefaces beautiful enough to see a second digital life) are a virtually never-ending source of inspiration, as well as a good opportunity for graphic designers to learn some history. After taking part in the practice, I can say without doubt that the similarities between this process and the work of palaeontologists when reconstructing the appearance of dinosaurs and other extinct animals from fossils are striking.


One More Time: Typography Is The Foundation Of Web Design

For years you have been searching for it. You hear the question being asked in your dreams as you go on an Indiana-Jones-type-crusade to find the answer. When the answer comes to you, you know that the confetti will fall from the ceiling and the band will start playing your favorite song. You might even get a kiss from that special someone. So what is this question? "What is the secret to Web design?"

Typography is the foundation of Web design

A tough question and one that might not have an answer. In 2006, Oliver Reichenstein wrote that Web Design is 95% Typography. Some people loved it, others were not so amused. If Web design was based that much on typography, then what was the point of learning anything else? All you needed to do is understand the elements of typography and you were good to go.


40 New High-Quality Free Fonts

Every now and then, we look around, select fresh free high-quality fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice out there is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually time you should be investing in your projects. We search for them and find them so that you don’t have to.

New High-Quality Free Fonts

In this selection, we’re pleased to present Signika, Plastic Type, Bariol, Alegreya, Metropolis, Typometry and other quality fonts. Please note that while most fonts are available for commercial projects, some are for personal use only and are clearly marked as such. Also, please read the licensing agreements carefully before using the fonts; they may change from time to time. Make sure to check the free quality fonts round-up from January 2011, too.


Avoiding Faux Weights And Styles With Google Web Fonts

If you’re using Google Web Fonts on your websites, then there’s a very good chance that 1 in 5 visitors are seeing faux bold and italic versions of your fonts — even if you correctly selected and used all of the weights and styles. That’s because the implementation method recommended by Google Web Fonts doesn’t work with Internet Explorer 7 or 8.

Avoiding Faux Weights And Styles With Google Web Fonts

As of 21 May 2012, StatCounter reports that IE 7 or 8 was used for 19.4% of the 45 billion page views collected in February, March and April 2012. As an experienced print and Web typographer, I embrace and use the term “font” when talking about Web fonts; it’s the term used in CSS syntax and by a myriad of Web font providers.


Hands-On Experience: The Rehabilitation Of The Script

Serifs, sans serifs and… scripts. In theory not a bad typographic palette to play with, but when it comes to practice, the options are always far fewer.

Hands-On Experience: The Rehabilitation Of The Script

One member of that stylistic trio could never quite punch its weight. But over the last few years we have seen something of a rebirth and revitalization of scripts, a category that once represented a care home for the typographically underemployed. But why has this come about, and why was one needed in the first place?


Why Subtle Typographic Choices Make All The Difference

A strong understanding of how designers control meaning is essential for anyone interested in graphic design or typography. In a previous article, we discussed how sophisticated and complex visual and verbal language can get, examining instances that show how type can be used to effectively take control of meaning.

In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why subtle typographic changes can create considerable effect. We’ll refer to one or two linguistic and semiotic examples, as well as design case studies, to get to grips with why subtle changes can make all the difference.


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