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Pagan & Sharp lectureJune 1, 2013

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Lucas Sharp & Carlos Pagan (Pagan & Sharp), will give a talk at the 14th Street Apple store, Wednesday, April 3rd @7pm.

Typographica on PitchMarch 13, 2013

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Carolina de Bartolo reviews Pitch

Unfortunately, there is not much I could tell you about the design of the riveting new typewriter face called Pitch that Kris Sowersby has not already published in his extensive process notes.

That being the case, I’ll spare you the repetition and go directly off on an idiosyncratic tangent.

First, a brief homage to the typewriter:
Like the bicycle, the typewriter played a remarkably important role in women’s liberation. Wikipedia informs me (with ‘citation needed’) that according to the 1910 US census, 81% of the women who entered the workforce began their careers as typists. Fans of the popular television series Downton Abbey will recall the storyline of the redheaded housemaid, Ms Gwen, who is secretively learning to type via correspondence course in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a secretary.

Read the rest of the review on Typographica

Typographica on ShiftMarch 13, 2013

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Robb Ogle reviews Shift:

Embrace designs that give a tacit nod to history without making contemporary words look like they’re wearing a cravat. Shift’s appeal, beyond utility, is a quirk of prescient timing and 2012 fashion.

We (re)prioritized lasting materials and so swiped older generations’ fabrics and waistcoats. Let us face the fact that fashion-conscious men overindulged playing tweedy dress-up this year. Likewise, certain type revivals arguably become overwhelming costumes. Young Shift’s antique form can switch playing Country Lord or Lumberjack. Prim, sharp Extralight or heaving Black weights offer that period breadth. Contextual alternates add spit polish. But the family seems a new inventive composite of choice Barnhart Bros. & Spindler aesthetics, duly name checked by Mickel. It is minted for fresh use, detoxed of olde-timey contrast ghosts and too-gooey bracketing.

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Typographica on TimoniumMarch 13, 2013

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Ben Kiel reviews Timonium:

Tal Leming has built a career on his ability to deftly turn both the geometric (United, Bullet, and Mission + Control, for example) and the lettered (Burbank, Baxter, and Shag Lounge) into well-balanced typographic forms that are aesthetically rooted in their source material but function flawlessly in contemporary typographic applications.

This is a design challenge that appears simple at first glance, but it can be an exercise in hair-pulling frustration to get the letterforms sitting comfortably in both worlds while betraying neither. Timonium brings these two sides — the lettered and the geometric — together in a design that achieves lettered warmth within a geometric construction. The design takes a style that I associate with a certain French flavor (the high-contrast sans serifs of Deberny & Peignot, in particular) and with Optima (sans entasis), looks to that style in non-typographic traditions, and merges its influences in a design that doesn’t reference any certain era, but maintains a distinctive character.

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New Release: Brooklyn & Brooklyn StencilFebruary 11, 2013

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Brooklyn and Brooklyn Stencil started out in an architectural model….

In April 2007, I got a call from a favorite client, Michael Bierut at Pentagram in Manhattan, asking if I could come in to talk about a project for a new architectural development. The project turned out to be the Atlantic Yards project, a massive undertaking involving a sports arena, an office block, and hundreds of housing units, all designed by the great American architect Frank Gehry.

An early rendering of the Atlantic Yards project from The Office of Frank Gehry

I was shown photos of the model for the project which included a wonderfully twisty and turny tower, a stack-of-blocks-block-of-flats, and an arena which looked as though it was to be covered with blue metal post-it notes.

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New Release: Founders Grotesk TextJanuary 23, 2013

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Founders Grotesk was initially designed for headlines, but upon its first outing—in a newspaper—it was used at text sizes and performed rather poorly. The lighter weights were serviceable at best, but far from ideal. The bolder weights veer pretty close to disaster, almost clogging up completely. Perhaps with a bit of letterspacing and better printing it would only just be passable.

When Francesco Franci used Founders Grotesk (and Tiempos) for his wonderful redesign of IL: it was simply failing at text sizes with sub-optimal printing conditions. After discussing our options we decided the best fix was to make a text version of Founders Grotesk.

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Lecture: On type design & typographyJanuary 17, 2013

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Please join us on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6pm for a lecture by type designer and former Design Office member Jeremy Mickel. Jeremy moved to Providence in 2008 shortly after releasing his first typeface, Router, through Village. He’ll talk about the process behind that first design, as well as the origins of his subsequent releases Shift, Fort, and Superior Title—all started while at the Design Office. He’ll show how these self-initiated projects led to a full-time career in type design, and resulted in starting his own foundry and getting custom projects for Kraft, Etsy, ESPN, Weight Watchers, and more.

Die Besten Fonts 2012: FortJanuary 1, 2013

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MCKL’s Fort was named one of the 10 best fonts of 2012 by typefacts.com.

Friendly neutrality: Jeremy Mickel’s background as a graphic designer can be quite advantageous as a typeface designer: If existing fonts aren’t quite right, he can draw one himself. In the case of Fort, Gotham might have been too round and DIN too strict. The result is a contemporary sans serif with slightly squared shoulders; neutral enough to stay discreet where necessary, yet warm and friendly to avoid being impersonal.

WOFF / W3C RecommendationDecember 13, 2012

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WOFF becomes the W3C Recommendation

Authors: Jonathan Kew, Tal Leming, Erik van Blokland

This document specifies the WOFF font packaging format. This format was designed to provide lightweight, easy-to-implement compression of font data, suitable for use with CSS @font-face rules. Any properly licensed TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format file can be packaged in WOFF format for Web use. User agents decode the WOFF file to restore the font data such that it will display identically to the input font.

The WOFF format also allows additional metadata to be attached to the file; this can be used by font designers or vendors to include licensing or other information, beyond that present in the original font. Such metadata does not affect the rendering of the font in any way, but may be displayed to the user on request.

The WOFF format is not intended to replace other formats such as TrueType/OpenType/Open Font Format or SVG fonts, but provides an alternative solution for use cases where these formats may be less optimal, or where licensing considerations make their use less acceptable.

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