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  • Spires inspire Leo Colalillo's very italian typeface Guglia

    "Observing and analyzing the intricate details of what surrounds me is exciting and it is my main source of inspiration" notes Leo Colalillo.

    "The result is a natural, curious and careful process – a synthesis of what we absorb every day incorporated into my work" adds the Milan based graphic designer. 

    "This method provides me with a good dose of experimentation by using new techniques and media, but also rediscovering traditional techniques, without dismissing those that are most unusual and forgotten, creating ever changing projects".

    To further proof his working method Colalillo presents Guglia. "An extra textura typeface inspired by the gothic architecture shapes and in particular to his vertical extremization based on a rigid scheme, like the calligraphy of that period. A spire (Guglia in italian) is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, often a skyscraper or a church tower" adds Colalillo.

    Explore more of his work here.

    Submit your works and portfolio here.


  • Sit still. Chinese fonts are on the way to conquer the typographic realm

    "It took China’s communist government more than 10 years of dedicated work to complete its character simplification scheme, and even now it is not without controversy. For the same reason, there has not been much innovation in fonts ever since” reports Quartz on the Chinese fonts, an instant design obsession of it. “There are many things people in the West take for granted, but here’s a big one: typographic diversity. For Latin languages, you can find sites that offer 10,000 fonts for $20—a variety for every possible mood, style, and feel. For Chinese, there is no equivalent; it’s just too massive a written language” notes the report. “The default set for English-language fonts contains about 230 glyphs. A font that covers all of the Latin scripts—over 100 languages plus extra symbols—contains 840. The simplified version of Chinese, used primarily in mainland China, requires nearly 7,000. For traditional Chinese, used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the number is over 13,000. An experienced designer, working alone, can create a new font in under six months that covers dozens of Western languages. For a single Chinese font, it takes a team of several designers at least two years” adds Quartz which hails a brand new era in the painstakingly art of typographic Chinese fonts thanks to "better technologies for the design, display, and transmission of fonts".

    For more visit Quartz here and here

  • Anthony Bourdain and the typographic art of Arion Press in full bloom

    Anthony Bourdain, the gifted storyteller, writer, chef and activist, is dead at 61. CNN confirmed Bourdain's death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.

    "It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," the network said in a statement Friday morning. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

    A master of his crafts, "the original rock star" of the culinary world per The Smithsonian,  or "the Elvis of bad boy chefs" wrote many best selling books and hosted a series of programs for the networks.

    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco 

    From his first "A Cook's Tour" on the Food Network to "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel through "Νo Reservations" and CNN’s “Part’s Unknown” Bourdain wanted to share the best bits of the world with us. Yet, he was much more than that.

    A talented man who appreciated the masters of any craftmanship, Bourdain paid a visit to Arion Press, the acclaimed book publisher in San Francisco, California. Arion Press is one of the few printers still casting type by hand everyday and as founder Andrew Hoyman puts it “the business owes much to the culture of this city where printers with aesthetic sensibilities have thrived for more than 125 years”.

    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco 

    In this episode of Raw Craft, the documentary series he created for the web, Bourdain meets with founder Andrew Hoyem, the master typographer, printer and publisher at Arion Press in his attempt to show his fans “how craftspeople behind beautiful, handcrafted objects share a similar genius to the cooks behind great dishes”.

    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco 

    “The kinds of craftspeople who excite me most tend to be those who have chosen a solitary, often difficult path, doing a very hard or niche thing that all of good sense and conventional business acumen would indicate are foolish aspirations” Bourdain told Quartz on his dedication to all things real.

    Arion Press aims to match the finest contemporary art with the finest literature past and present in books that are beautifully designed and produced. Two to three limited edition books are published per year. Each is conceptually unique, bringing together a significant text with a contemporary artist, or in other cases, a purely typographic interpretation.

    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco 

    Editions are strictly limited and are designed and produced, mainly by hand, in a handsome industrial building (1928) at the Presidio national park in San Francisco.

    Type is composed and cast on the premises by M & H Type, established in 1915, the oldest and largest typefoundry still operating in this country. A complete book bindery and the historic letterpress equipment of the Grabhorn Press are in use, alongside the technology of the twenty-first century.

    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco 

    Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain - Episode Five: Arion Press

  • Attention type lovers, this is your last call to enter ISIA's Type Week 2018

    Ever since 2011 when it was first conceived by Jonathan Pierini ISIA Type Week enlightens students to the art of type. ISIA Type Week is an intensive course in type design led by Fred Smeijers and held at the Higher Institute for Applied Arts in Urbino, Italy. The course follows a teaching method developed and practised by Smeijers, who has more than 30 years experience as an educator. The method guides students from analog to digital designing along a smooth and constant learning curve. 

    The 8-day, 2018 edition of the course extends the existing curriculum to include a subject-related trip to the nearby cities of Fano and Pesaro and a visit to the historic library of the University of Urbino, alongside regular contributions by visiting tutors who this year include Eric Kindel, Riccardo Olocco and Luciano Perondi.

    The course will take place on the premises of ISIA, a spectacular former convent in the heart of the Renaissance walled city of Urbino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in a lush and hilly part of the Marche region of Italy.

    The ISIA Type Week course follows a teaching method that incorporates handwriting and sketching, stencilling and digital working. The method has been developed and practised by Fred Smeijers over many years and has proven highly effective in delivering an introduction to letterforms and the visual relationships between them.

    The method is based on the premise that doing things by hand can deliver true personal satisfaction, which in turn results in a deeper interest and enthusiasm for the field of study. Lectures, exercises and feedback sessions help students develop consistently and progressively as they gain awareness, control and precision at each stage of work.

    The materials used during the course are uncomplicated and easy to handle, and participants are not required to have particular practical skills or experience. During the course, participants will learn how to translate sketches and drawings into digital designs, connecting an analog approach to digital tools and technologies.

    The course is open to students and professionals with a passion for type, and who are working in the fields of graphic design, typography or type design. The nature of the course allows for varied backgrounds among participants – from beginners to seasoned practitioners – who will immerse themselves in the world of type and acquire new practical skills. Participants will learn to look at and design type in a unique, unconventional way.

    ISIA Type Week 2018 will run from 23 July to 1 August (inclusive), totalling 8 working days with a weekend intermission. Participants are expected to arrive by the afternoon of Sunday 22 July when they will meet their tutors and fellow students.

    The course fee is €800. The fee includes basic working tools and materials, transportation costs for the trip to Fano and Pesaro, and welcome drinks and pizza. Participants will be required to bring their own laptop computer with font editing software already installed – Robofont, FontLab or Glyphs.

    The deadline for applications is 27 May 2018. To apply, applicants are invited to send an email to the course coordinator, attaching a PDF that includes their résumé and a compact portfolio of work. The portfolio should showcase not more than five projects; the PDF should be no larger than 5MB. Applicants are required to supply their full first name, family name, birthday, postal address (street, city, zip code, state, country), telephone, e-mail and school name or company name.

    The course will only run with a minimum of 20 participants. Once an applicant is accepted, a confirmation notice will be sent by 1 June 2018. The course fee must be paid within 2 weeks of enrolment notification. Accepted applicants are officially registered on the course only after the course fee is paid.

    Previous editions have had as guest tutors heavyweights of the type industry such as Bruno Maag (2011) and Erik van Blokland (2012). Fred Smeijers has led the course since 2014.

    Click here for more

  • Tom Hingston and Paul Smith showcase the art of the record sleeve

    After two decades of working at the crossroads of music, art and design, Tom Hingston has built up an enviable client list that includes the likes of Grace Jones, The Rolling Stones and Massive Attack though his creative studio. As a good friend of Hingston and a fellow music lover, Paul Smith offers his No. 9 Albemarle Street shop as the venue for this special retrospective show of Hingston Studio’s music work.

    At the heart of ‘Progress’ are sixteen record sleeves from Hingston Studio’s back catalogue, which have been transformed into one-off lenticular artworks.

    Creating these lenticular images was a complex and lengthy process. First the original artwork had to be digitally remodeled, then the lenticular image was built up in layers to draw out a specific feature of each image.

    "You can use the lenticular process to bring different qualities to each image", explained Hingston. Some have three-dimensional depth, while others animate and spring to life as you move around them.

    Hingston specifically selected this lenticular format to highlight the changing relationship between image and viewer at a time when the phone screen is often the place where imagery is first seen.

    These one-off lenticular artworks are available to buy from No. 9 Albemarle Street, with the profits from each sale going directly to Teenage Cancer Trust.

    Although the lenticular artworks are the most eye-catching element of the exhibition, visitors can also see 4 specially curated cabinets that contain vinyl, stickers, posters and other creative curiosities from Hingston Studio’s music archive.

    In addition to the exhibition, Paul Smith and Tom Hingston have collaborated on a series of limited edition products that go beyond the standard conception of band merchandise.

    Check more here.