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  • Watch Erik van Blokland explain how the Noordzij cube revolutionized typeface design

    On June 17, Erik van Blokland, the Dutch type designer and co-founder of the LettError foundry, gave an enlightening talk about the Noordzij cube and it's implications for how we think about the design space in typeface design.

    “The reprint of The Stroke by Dutch type design theoretician Gerrit Noordzij sparked deeper digging into the origins of his iconic cube. This talk reflects on what this model can mean for type design and education. As a conceptual object, the cube inspired modern interpolation tools and design spaces. A report about curiosity-driven research in type design practice” notes Type@Cooper. 

    Erik van Blokland studied graphic design at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, and picked up the taste for type design in Gerrit Noordzij's class.

    Now his insightful talk is available for all to watch below: 

    The recording of the talk which took place on June 17, 2019 in the Rose Auditorium at The Cooper Union as part of Type@Cooper's Lubalin Lecture Series was made possible by the generous support of Hoefler & Co.

  • TCM tv channel has a brand new alphabet of old Hollywood glory

    Wete, the small & independent graphic design studio based in Barcelona has another client in its portfolio. After Adobe, HP, Reebok, Yorokobu, Desigual, Fortune Magazine, W Hotels, AIGA, and LVMH group, Wete has been commissioned to breathe some fresh air into the old Hollywood through the redesign of the logotype and alphabet for TCM (Turner Classic Movies) tv channel in Spain.

    “The goal was to make a subtle change to the old logo that modernizes it and gives it a more actual and fresh look. Initially, the idea was not to change the logo too much but to update it a bit. As we were working on new proposals we saw that we could take a step further and make something more different/risky, always maintaining the essence of the old one. I think it's interesting to see the evolution to understand the result” writes Wete. “Once we had the logo we began to develop the alphabet, an important piece within the identity since it would accompany the titles in the different animated pieces.”

    Art directed by Ignacio Gaubert with typography by Wete this is TCM's brand new visual identity for all things Hollywood. Discover more here.

  • Google rules: six new principles in data visualization design to follow

    What is data visualization? you asked Google. Data visualization depicts information in graphical form is the answer and after launching its public guidelines in full details for creating your own data visualizations now the mighty force online is sharing six strategies for designing any chart.

    Google's Manuel Lima posted six brand new principles to follow for a great data visualization design on Medium. The insights, gathered by a group of passionate designers and engineers and literally Google’s first fully dedicated Data Visualization force, cover everything. From color to shape and typography, the comprehensive set of data visualization guidelines are intriguing and informative.

    The adventure kicked offback in August 2017. Now Google's Data Visualization team presents its findings in this algorithm friendly exploration of how people visualize and interact with information. “We want to share our insights with creators everywhere. We’ve launched detailed public guidelines for creating your own data visualizations, and distilled our top principles and considerations. Below, six strategies for designing any chart” notes Google. 

    From data accuracy and integrity, the first basic rule to emphasize clarity and transparency through the need to provide context and help users navigate the data to providing structure by using visual which “develop uniformity in graphical treatments (shape, color, iconography, typography) and interaction patterns (selection, filtering, hover states, expansion)Google's Data Visualization team would like you to rule in data visualization design.

    Explore the rules here and just do it!

    Bonus: watch and learn the best practices for creating a dark theme based on an existing material app in the video below and let the light in.

  • July 8, 1923: Virginia Woolf is T.S. Elliot's hand typesetter for Hogarth Press

    “I have just finished setting up the whole of Mr. Eliots [sic] poem with my own hands – you see how my hand trembles” wrote on July the 8th of 1923, Virginia Woolf, author, editor, publisher and typesetter for the freedom of the press. Woolf had just completed her work hand typesetting the first English edition of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. The book, published by Woolf and her husband Leonard’s’ Hogarth Press is just one of many publications which the Woolfs typeset and published by hand

    The book, printed in 460 copies has been considered a rare gem in printing for numerous reasons and a rare UK first edition of The Waste Land has been bought at auction by the University of St Andrews for £4,500 after being donated to Oxfam in 2013. Woolf put out 460 copies of the poem in 1923 through Hogarth Press, the publisher that she and her husband Leonard had created to publish her writing. “Woolf had difficulty with the typography because of the way Eliot would write, the rhythm and space used in his poems, and she had a bit of trouble getting the typeface right” said Lydia Wilkinson, books specialist at auction house Bonhams, which handled the sale on behalf of Oxfam to The Guardian.

    The Waste Land  by T S Eliot, 1923, The Hogarth Press, © Estate of T. S. Eliot via the British Library

    “On the afternoon of 23 March 1917 Leonard and Virginia Woolf were walking down Farringdon Road in London when their attention was caught by the window display of the Excelsior Printing Supply Company” writes Duncan Heyes, curator in Printed Heritage Collections and Contemporary British Published Collections, in his article for Woolfs' Hogarth Press

    “They had been discussing the possibility of taking up printing for a while, and towards the end of 1916 decided that they would definitely do it. They had even gone as far as enquiring about enrolling at St Bride School of Printing, only to be turned down because courses were only open to trade union apprentices whose numbers were strictly controlled. Nevertheless, undeterred they entered the small printing supplier and explained their plight. They were greeted by a helpful assistant in brown overalls who convinced them that with the aid of a 16-page booklet they would be able to teach themselves all they needed to know to get started. So, for the sum of £19 5s 5d the Woolfs became the proud owners of a small hand-printing press, some Old Face type, and all the other necessary paraphernalia to begin their printing endeavour. The printing press was duly installed on the dining room table at their home Hogarth House, which gave the Press its name. After a month of experimentation, setting type and inking blocks, the Woolfs felt confident enough to print a page of a book. Their first publication, Two Stories, appeared in July 1917. In its first five years the Hogarth Press published works by Katherine MansfieldT S Eliot, E M Forster, Clive Bell, Roger Fry and Sigmund Freud.”

    “The whole process of printing and production (except in one instance) is done by ourselves” wrote Woolfs in a flyer announcing the Hogarth Press circa 1919 via the British Library

    From the time of its inception in 1917 until Leonard Woolf sold the Hogarth Press in 1946, only 34 of the 525 Press publications were printed by hand. “Printed and bound by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, they are fascinating examples of amateur bookmaking” notes Smith College which owns a dozen of the hand-printed titles. “The illustrator Richard Kennedy worked at the Hogarth Press from 1928 to 1930. In one of his original drawings, Virginia Woolf is seen setting the type for Herbert Palmer’s poems. Kennedy feeds a platen press in the foreground. George (“Dadie”) Rylands, who was also an assistant at the Hogarth Press, published two volumes of poems, one of which is on display. Setting type and binding books were therapeutic activities for Virginia Woolf. She was trained by bookbinder Sylvia Stebbing.”​

    Richard Kennedy. Virginia Woolf Setting Type: ink and graphite drawing, n.d. This was an illustration for Kennedy’s A Boy at the Hogarth Press (London, 1972). Presented by Elizabeth P. Richardson ’43 via Smith College


  • FC Barcelona Play is Barça's bespoke type for the win

    From this season on Barça is set to have its own “more expressivetypography aptly named FC Barcelona Play.

    Barcelona's new typography will be featured on the backs of the club's shirts as well as in all club marketing during the upcoming season in Barca's first foray ever in type design.

    “The intention is for it to become a new identification element of the club, known for its personality and uniqueness” reads the club's official statement.

    “The new typography, which has already been seen on the shirts of the new signings in the different professional teams, is the result of a creative process that has taken into account the history of the club to the brand story and the need to have a strong graphic character, whilst at the same time owning a creative expressiveness that is recognisable and can be identified with Barça.”

    Barça Women, Barça B and the basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal teams, as well as their youth sides, will also use the new typography in their friendly matches and official competitions. In addition to usage on the shirts when permitted by the regulations, the new typography will also be applied to sporting campaigns, as well as in the retail and merchandising area of the club.

    This is the first time that Barça has driven the design of their own, new typography, although in previous seasons the shirts had different designs developed by Nike.

    “Conceptually, FC Barcelona Play is a typography based on the origins and history of the club, Catalan modernism in the late nineteenth century and specifically relating to the direct link between Barça and the current artistic and aesthetic trends in the city of Barcelona and Catalonia. The intention was that each word written with the typography had its own personality and ability to have variants. Once the typographic base was defined, the creative process introduced its own elements that make Barça a unique and different club, such as the style of play. Thus, the new typography includes traces that suggest movement and dynamism, and a wink to the movement of the ball” the official statement reads. 

    The first game in which the players from the first team will be wearing this new typography will be in Tokyo on July 23, when Ernesto Valverde's team face Chelsea on the Japan tour.

    Image via FC Barcelona