Illustrator/Designer Jessica Hische released her first typeface today, and it looks gorgeous. Buttermilk is a “bold script that would be just perfect for magazine headlines, book title type, holiday cards, initial caps, you name it.”
The numerals are especially beautiful, and she promises a “huge array of ligatures to help you set it beautifully and easily.”
I worked with Jessica last fall on a nice retro logo for the Pogue-o-matic. Be sure to check out Jessica’s work, (I’m particularly fond of her letterpress stuff.)
Jeff Veen announced Typekit today, a hosted solution for embedding fonts on the web:
We’ve been working with foundries to develop a consistent web-only font linking license. We’ve built a technology platform that lets us to host both free and commercial fonts in a way that is incredibly fast, smoothes out differences in how browsers handle type, and offers the level of protection that type designers need without resorting to annoying and ineffective DRM.
@font-face CSS at-rule support will come to all major browsers, so use of non-traditional web fonts will increase. If this catches on, the web in 2010 might look a lot different than it does now—I wonder who will be the first major online content provider to use it?
As of noon today, we have a new president, as well as a new WhiteHouse.gov. The much-admired, Gotham-based typographical identity is gone, but as Jason Santa Maria points out, the designers went instead with two other typefaces from the same foundry: Whitney and Hoefler Text.
Another major redesign this week also involved the use of Whitney: kottke.org – though you’ll need to have the font installed on your machine in order to see it.
Which begs the question, Is Whitney the new Gotham? (Seems like just yesterday we were asking, Is Gotham the New Interstate?)
Hoefler+Frere-Jones is on a roll.
The Mostly True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway:
There is a commonly held belief that Helvetica is the signage typeface of the New York City subway system, a belief reinforced by Helvetica, Gary Hustwit’s popular 2007 documentary about the typeface. But it is not true—or rather, it is only somewhat true. Helvetica is the official typeface of the MTA today, but it was not the typeface specified by Unimark International when it created a new signage system at the end of the 1960s.
R-train icon, set in Helvetica and Standard.
I noticed this discrepancy earlier this year – I had to recreate some MTA subway icons for use on a project, and noticed that the R train map icon looked nothing like the Helvetica “R”. The MTA’s own website seems to be confused about the type used in the system icons, let alone its station signage.
Enter typographer Paul Shaw, and his 10,000+ word piece on AIGA’s site. Did you now that Boston’s subway signage system was the first to use Helvetica, without modifications? Ever curious as to the process by which enamel signs are made? Want to just look at pretty pictures of subway signs over the years?
It’s a great history, for fans of typography and the MTA.
Mad Men is such an enjoyable show – but, typeface designer Mark Simonson takes Mad Men’s prop masters to task for their typography sins.
None of these missteps occurred to me when watching, so maybe I need to brush up on my history of typography?
Can a typeface truly represent a presidential candidate? Yesterday on the Times’ Campaign Stops blog, Steven Heller invited several designers and critics to comment on John McCain’s use of Optima for campaign collateral.
Is it dated? Classic? Does it convey strength? Or, quirkiness? The replies run the gamut; many of them funny or tongue-in-cheek. Michael Beirut notes the font’s resemblance to the one used to carve the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Matthew Carter muses about how the typeface will hold up with the addition of a running mate this summer. But, my favorite judgement comes at the end, from Rudy VanderLans:
What does Optima say about Senator McCain? Nothing. It probably says more about the designer than anything else. Who, except designers, would judge a candidate by the typeface?
Oh, and earlier this month, Heller did a similar discussion with branding expert Brian Collins, on Obama’s Gotham-heavy design scheme.
I love this typographical poster of Brooklyn neighborhoods, by Ork Posters of Chicago.
It won’t help me figure out the “official” boundaries of Carroll Gardens, but it sure is pretty.