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  • World Emoji Day: How ITC Zapf Dingbats paved the path for the smiley dominance

    "Hermann Zapf is for typedesign and calligraphy what Michelangelo was for sculpture or Beethoven was for music", said one of Hermann Zapf’s former students and he was right. Zapf who passed away on June 2015 created around 200 typefaces in numerous alphabets, including Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic and Cherokee yet today we pay tribute to him as the godfather of the emoji.

    After all, if this iconic type designer hadn't envisioned ITC Zapf Dingbats -aka the most acclaimed dingbats collection that went on to become the foundation for Unicode’s symbols- the emojis couldn’t have happened.

    Zapf was one of the first designers to “predict that computers would both require and make possible digital typeface”.

    Marconi, the typeface he designed for Hell-Digiset in 1972 was the first alphabet designed specifically for digital composition. Five years later, Zapf proposed to his friends Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and Edward Rondthaler from the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) to publish a typeface of special characters, arrows and symbols. So, he did.

    In 1977, Zapf created about 1000 (or over 1200 according to Linotype) sketches of signs and symbols. ITC chose from those a subset of 360 symbols, ornaments and typographic elements based on the original designs, which became known as ITC Zapf Dingbats.

    The font first gained wide distribution when ITC Zapf Dingbats, which consists of the subset chosen by ITC, became one of 35 PostScript fonts built into Apple's LaserWriter Plus.

    Symbol fonts such as Zapf Dingbats were especially handy in the early days of personal computing when integrating symbols and graphics into documents was harder” said a font and typography expert and vice president of FontLab, Thomas Phinney, on Zapf’s iconic legacy.

    “Because Zapf Dingbats was built into the first PostScript printers by Adobe, it became a standard. Among designers it achieved a legendary status when David Carson made an entire article about Bryan Ferry unreadable by setting it in Dingbats for Ray Gun magazine.”

    Today, as the world celebrates it’s annual World Emoji Day, we pay tribute to Zapf who is the inventor of the emoji long before Japan invented them.

    Image: Flickr, KENT WANG

    Image via

    Steve Clayton via Microsoft


  • Encore! Long before the World Cup 2018, France was already a winner with type

    Marc Armand’s Tu Sais Qui, the Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio he founded in 2008, teamed up with a number of creatives to revamp the French national football team’s jerseys before the triumph in this year’s World Cup.

    Convoy Agency which was in charge of the art direction of the project teamed up with Studio Jimbo for the graphic design elements of the campaign.

    In collaboration with some of Nike’s in-house design teams Studio Jimbo played the field like a pro mixing the images with type in this visually striking, impressive “case study” for the winners of this year’s World Cup 2018.

    France's 4-2 victory over Croatia gave them a second star above their crest following their 1998 victory.

    Check more here and here.

    Image via @studio.jimbo

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    Image via @studio.jimbo

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  • Matt Yerman’s Horrible Five and the type for blood on this Friday the 13th

    Matt Yerman, the Oakland-based designer and art director who loves to help brands tell their stories through digital experiences, has a thirst for blood and cool graphic design splattered with type. His project “Horrible Five” is a proof. “A harrowing collection of utterly disgusting clips. From serial slashers to blood-thirsty aliens, this arrangement tackles the best scenes from contemporary horror to vintage classics. "Blood & gore is fun, right?” notes the designer of his project. “I’ve been collecting images of old VHS box covers and a lot horror-related imagery for years, so it was fun to pull it all out and explore different interpretations for the logo. I’m absolutely in love with hand-drawn type and there were some extremely iconic pieces from the 50s – 90s that inspired the other versions below” he adds on this bloody party of five that is ideal for viewing any Friday the 13th.

    Enter at your own risk here.


  • From London to Texas: Sawdust latest typographic identity for Texas Monthly is genius

    The highly acclaimed duo of creatives Sawdust aka Jonathan Quainton and Rob Gonzalez are the Houdinis of type.

    Known globally for creating over-the-edge, awe infusing brand identities for numerous premium clients (NYT, The Coca-Cola Company, Hearst, Conde Nast, ESPN, Nike, Audi, Honda, IBM to name a few) this multi-awarded duo are in love with type. Sawdust specialise in “bespoke and innovative typography, brand display typefaces, visual identities and image-creation”.

    Their latest fresh typographic identity for Texas Monthly is a new entry in Sawdust’s stunning portfolio of typographic manilulations.

    Sawdust crafted a new look for the near-half-century-old publication Texas Monthly. The London-based studio bespoke typography for the magazine’s new lifestyle sections is created in conjunction with TM’s recent magazine and website redesign. Sawdust invest on large drop caps and new 3D effect contents title lettering for a fresh and sharp redesign to adore.

    Check more here

    Photos: Sawdust |

  • Sunday screening: From paper to screen, the evolution of typography explained

    Typography is the main star in the graduation project of Thibault de Fournas. Titled "From Paper to Screen" this little visual gem is filled with information and walks us through the evolution of typography. Fournas explains the transitional history of animated type in this inventive short film. “Animation which shows typography evolution from paper to screen.

    The animation is divided in two parts. The first deals with the basic rules of typesetting. The second, is about the evolution of typography in cinema.

    Used mainly for Opening and Closing title” notes Thibault de Fournas, cofounder of

    FROM PAPER TO SCREEN from Thibault de Fournas on Vimeo.