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  • Watch: Monotype's Charles Nix on Helvetica's latest offspring, Helvetica Now

    Helvetica is, almost perhaps, the best-known typeface of all time. The font which has inspired designers across multiple generations and around the world to reinvent the visual language of today recently got revamped for the digital ages through Monotype’s Studio team.

    "It's been six decades since Helvetica was released, and in that time the typeface has remained the go-to choice for clarity and neutrality. However, as with many typefaces, the demands on it have increased. Helvetica's famous Swiss simplicity is now expected to perform in a growing range of environments and at a wider spectrum of sizes than ever before" notes Monotype's Emma Tucker on the brand new take of an all-time classic. 

    Helvetica Now reimagines Neue Helvetica, the classic font which was released in 1983, for the digital era whilst "staying true to its ethos of simplicity, clarity, and global appeal". Helvetica Now offers Micro, Text and Display sizes "each of which is tailored to a particular environment—unlike Neue Helvetica, which was drawn and spaced for use in text type," with the Micro version a standout feature of Helvetica Now. 

    "When you go back to the original source, it's so much more readable and that doesn't have to do with the forms themselves but the spacing" says Monotype Type Director Charles Nix. "It was about studying the spaces between the letters and figuring out what the methodology was early on, how it made the type so much easier to read, and then restoring that and improving upon it."

    For this brand new font Monotype redraw Helvetica’s nearly 40,000 characters and as Nix notes in Verge, the "redesign was done with extreme trepidation".

    Nix and his team got deep into the forms, studied the history of New York's original typeface, looked at every iteration between 1957 and now as it was more than important for him "to understand how it’s evolved and where the missteps happened — what can be corrected and what needs to be preserved".

    In the video Charles Nix shares how the project came about and discusses the specific updates that have been made to address the needs of a modern world. An absolute must-see and please, thank us later.

    Read more on Helvetica Now here

    Charles Nix Tells the Story of Helvetica Now from Monotype on Vimeo.

     

    16May
  • Alan Kitching X Anthony Burrill and the JOY of wooden block type in full force

    Alan Kitching and Anthony Burrill need no introduction. Now the two iconic designers are destined to deliver joy to all through their love for type in their latest collaboration.

    "I’ve always seen my work as an antidote to miserablism," said designer and printmaker Anthony Burrill of his printed synergy with letterpress legend Alan Kitching.

    The two creatives, known for acknowledging and using the words which matter the most, and their letterpress craftsmanship is on display at their "YOU & ME" exhibition.

    "In a way I wanted to complete the circle, to collaborate with someone that had had such an influence on my early work. A lot of my work is about positive messages. When we’re living in such serious times it’s important to have hope" notes Burrill. 

    The available to buy, print is part of the exhibition at De Beauvoir Block. Made with wooden block type, Kitching X Burrill are more than certain that JOY is all we need.

    Buy your print here

    All images via Twitter and Anthony Burrill.

    16May
  • IKEA reconstructed: Seventy Agency on the rebranding for the digital ages

    The registration mark is not where it used to be, the kerning is obviously better and IKEA has been rebranded for the first time in years with a logo responsive to humanity's digital needs

    "The change is about fine-tuning of the logo, it’s the first step of refining and clarifying the logo that ensures it works in all channels” note IKEA Brand and Trademarks Concept Leader Åsa Nordin and Seventy Agency's Creative Director Joakim Jerring in their interview with Resumé, sharing their thoughts behind IKEA logo's subtle transformation

    "Many things have changed since 1983, but the IKEA logo has remained the same" notes the acclaimed Stockholm based agency with an international team of strategists, designers, analysts, film makers, programmers and business consultants that fuse multiple perspectives on brand building.

    "We examined every detail and are now proud to introduce a refreshed logo, optimized for physical and digital environments, and representative of IKEA’s modern and forward-thinking positioning. We refined and reshaped the letters, evolved the proportions, and updated the colors to align across media. With a few subtle but impactful refinements, the timeless IKEA logo is ready to carry the brand into the digital age and beyond" says the agency which has been honored with Regi’s Agency of the Year four years in a row since it's inception back in 2013.

    The rebranding has caused a lot of stir online with many debating if it's as groundbreaking as it could have -or not. 

    All images via Seventy Agency. 

     

    03May
  • Alpha code: Letterform Archive X Monotype's Lynne Yun on the Latin alphabet's brand new perspective

    From crafting handwritten calligraphic pieces to designing type for the screen, Lynne Yun is a type designer who specializes in all types of letterforms. Yun enjoys the balancing act of form and function that is required when designing tools for communication and she enjoys sharing the joy of her craft through public speaking engagements and teaching workshops for organizations such as AIGA, TypeCon, and the Society of Scribes.

    Being a designer at Apple Inc., Publicis, and Deutsch her insights are precious for anyone into typography and the letterforms and this past March, she shared her knowledge during Letterform Archive's lecture "Letters: A Code System". 

    "At the root of its identity, the Latin alphabet is a code system. It is a series of symbols that create a visual pattern that resemble the spoken language. From Morse code to stenography, there have been numerous inventions to express letterforms that go beyond the conventional A-Z. If dots and dashes can convey the Latin alphabet, what other unconventional methods could be used to express letterforms? Once we determine what makes a letterform a cohesive system, how far can that logic stretch before it breaks? How can this way of thinking apply in our current times, where algorithms are increasingly becoming adept in predicting systems and generating patterns? We will take a sweeping survey of letterforms and visual systems to gain a new perspective on our alphabet" notes Monotype's Lynne Yun.

    The Latin or Roman alphabet is the writing system originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin language. Due to its use in writing Germanic, Romance, and other languages first in Europe and then in other parts of the world, and due to its use in Romanizing writing of other languages, it has become widespread. It is also used officially in China  and has been adopted by Baltic and some Slavic states.

    The Latin alphabet evolved from the visually similar Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet, which was itself descended from the Phoenician abjad, which in turn derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Etruscans, who ruled early Rome, adopted the Cumaean Greek alphabet, which was modified over time to become the Etruscan alphabet, which was in turn adopted and further modified by the Romans to produce the Latin alphabet.

    Calligraphy in a Latin Bible of AD 1407 on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. The Bible was hand written in Belgium, by Gerard Brils, for reading aloud in a monastery. The text on display is Latin, and it comes from the book of Numbers (Num 1:24-26). 

     

    During the Middle Ages, the Latin alphabet was used (sometimes with modifications) for writing Romance languages, which are direct descendants of Latin, as well as Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, and some Slavic languages. With the age of colonialism and Christian evangelism, the Latin script spread beyond Europe, coming into use for writing indigenous American, Australian, Austronesian, Austroasiatic, and African languages. More recently, linguists have also tended to prefer the Latin script or the International Phonetic Alphabet (itself largely based on the Latin script) when transcribing or creating written standards for non-European languages, such as the African reference alphabet.

    The term Latin alphabet may refer to either the alphabet used to write Latin (as described in this article), or other alphabets based on the Latin script, which is the basic set of letters common to the various alphabets descended from the classical Latin alphabet, such as the English alphabet. These Latin-script alphabets may discard letters, like the Rotokas alphabet, or add new letters, like the Danish and Norwegian alphabets. Letter shapes have evolved over the centuries, including the development in Medieval Latin of lower-case, forms which did not exist in the Classical period alphabet. English is the only major modern European language requiring no diacritics for native words (although a diaeresis may be used in words such as "coöperation"). It is generally believed that the Romans adopted the Cumae alphabet, a variant of the Greek alphabet, in the 7th century BC from Cumae, a Greek colony in Southern Italy.

    Letterform Archive has made this insightful lecture public and we are bound to watch it through the end and so you will. 

    Lynne Yun: Letters: A Code System from Letterform Archive on Vimeo.

    This event was part of the Letterform Lecture series, co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library, and sponsored by Adobe.

     

    02May
  • This Font Sunday Stanley Kubrick and his typewriter legacy took over the twitterverse

    To mark the opening of Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, the Design Museum's latest #fontsunday was dedicated to typewriter fonts. 
     
    From Colón Mono, Courier M to Olivetti and Letter Gothic the viral celebration of this very specific yet inspiring in the multiple ways it can be used type, filled the Twitter feed with letterforms made of typewriters. 

    A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical machine for writing characters similar to those produced by printer's movable type. Typically, a typewriter has an array of keys, and pressing one causes a different single character to be produced on the paper, by causing a ribbon with dried ink to be struck against the paper by a type element similar to the sorts used in movable type letterpress printing. Commonly, a separate type element (called a typebar) corresponds to each key, but the mechanism may also use a single type element (such as a typeball) with a different portion of it used for each possible character. At the end of the nineteenth century, the term typewriter was also applied to a person who used a typing machine.

    Per Wikipedia the first commercial typewriters were introduced in 1874, but did not become common in offices until after the mid-1880s. The typewriter quickly became an indispensable tool for practically all writing other than personal handwritten correspondence. It was widely used by professional writers, in offices, and for business correspondence in private homes.

    Typewriters were a standard fixture in most offices up to the 1980s. Thereafter, they began to be largely supplanted by the computer. Nevertheless, typewriters remain common in some parts of the world, are required for a few specific applications, and are popular in certain subcultures. In many Indian cities and towns, type writers are still used, especially in road side and legal offices due to a lack of continuous reliable electricity. The QWERTY keyboard continues to be the standard used in computers.

    Notable typewriter manufacturers included E. Remington and Sons, IBM, Godrej, Imperial Typewriter Company, Oliver Typewriter Company, Olivetti, Royal Typewriter Company, Smith Corona, Underwood Typewriter Company, Adler Typewriter Company and Olympia Werke. 

    Stanley Kubrick was one of the many artists who used an Adler Tippa S typewriter for his scripts and of course, the typewriter is as ominous as ever in Kubrick's nightmarish The Shining

    Check more here.

    To mark the opening of #StanleyKubrick: The Exhibition, tomorrow's #fontsunday is dedicated to typewriter fonts. Send in your favourites from noon. #DiscoverKubrick

    "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy" - #TheShining pic.twitter.com/Raqm6dhRub

    — Design Museum (@DesignMuseum) April 27, 2019

    To mark the opening of #StanleyKubrick: The Exhibition, today's #fontsunday is dedicated to typewriter fonts. From Colón Mono, Courier M to Olivetti and Letter Gothic, there are so many examples of this type! Send in your favourites from noon. #DiscoverKubrick pic.twitter.com/8Hp4pjYDFC

    — Design Museum (@DesignMuseum) April 28, 2019

    #FontSunday 'Untitled' (1980) from the Kykafrikaans series by 'word artist' Willem Hendrik Boshoff. @DesignMuseum #Art #Design #Type #Typography #Typewriter pic.twitter.com/Sr7QVOnJf8

    — MHD / Graphic Design (@MHD_Studio) April 28, 2019

    When each typed letter carried a cost, messages were necessarily pithy. But you could still feel the emotional impact. 1910#FontSunday @DesignMuseum pic.twitter.com/kIouYsCf5X

    — Jim Stokes (@JAStokesNJ) April 28, 2019

    #FontSunday The typestracts of concrete poet, visual artist, writer and Benedictine monk, Dom Sylvester Houédard. #typewriter #StanleyKubrick @DesignMuseum pic.twitter.com/3o3QLcviX1

    — Wayne Ford (@wayneford) April 28, 2019

    Hipgnosis, cover for Go 2 by XTC, 1978 @DesignMuseum #FontSunday #typewriter pic.twitter.com/GJVIyj8Kl6

    — Michael Bierut (@michaelbierut) April 28, 2019

    #AnniAlbers 1940s typewriter generated patterns were a revelation at the @Tate @DesignMuseum #FontSunday #TypewriterFonts pic.twitter.com/21NwB4pcei

    — Jake Tilson (@JakeTilson) April 28, 2019

    Chinese Typewriterhttps://t.co/Si4NtYruSH

    #FontSunday pic.twitter.com/fIuwiYuIvl

    — Undt Type (@_Undt) April 28, 2019

    A series of portraits created using nothing more than a manual typewriter and the art of imagination. @DesignMuseum #FontSunday #SundayMorning
    — ’Textual Portraits’ by Leslie Nichols pic.twitter.com/sdTwZki4s2

    — Tiffani Bova (@Tiffani_Bova) April 28, 2019

    .@designmuseum. For the opening of #StanleyKubrick: The Exhibition, we love the simple and attractive Letter Gothic. This typewriter #font was designed by Roger Roberson for IBM around the early 1960s. #FontSunday #DiscoverKubrick pic.twitter.com/imIdVM6M87

    — Stiff (@stiffinc) April 28, 2019

     

    30Apr