Village

Type Supply

TypeSupply / Queue

Neon Signs and Fear of FailureMarch 28, 2017

Vllg news ohm typographics

I’m really good at getting typefaces halfway done and then not finishing them. Or so claims type designer Tal Leming when asked about designing the typeface Ohm in 2009. Since the 2017 Typographics branding makes prominent use of Ohm, we decided to ask Leming about the origins of the design and the motivation behind it.

After moving to Baltimore, Maryland Leming would walk down the street near his house and pass a closed meat market that had a 1970s neon sign in the window. I don’t remember the name of the shop, but I remember the S. The S was amazing.

Around the same time, Erik Van Blokland was working on a pre-webfont online type-testing tool to help designers called LetterSetter and it needed a logo. Leming immediately thought of the S from the meat market sign and designed the characters needed for the logo. After that, he thought it would be fun to make more letters in the same style. He would work on it for a bit, and then wouldn’t touch it for six months. At some point, he realized he basically had the entire uppercase already designed for what would become Ohm.

Read more on the Typographics Blog….

Attendees of this year’s Typographics festival will get to see even more use of Ohm, since it will be used for event signage all around the campus of Cooper Union.

New release: QueueDecember 9, 2014

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Technology and humanity are becoming more and more intertwined every day. We are increasingly experiencing the subtleties of life through devices that speak the unsubtle language of 1s and 0s. We interact with these devices through an unnatural communication protocol that has quickly become second nature to us. I find this fascinating and I thought it would be fun to try to capture this aspect of the zeitgeist in the form of a typeface.

Queue is the result of this experiment.

Read on and see Queue here

Typesupply + TypeNite / MICA September 22, 2014

Vllg typesupply typenight mica

On September 22, 6:30pm, Abbott Miller, Tal Leming, Ellen Lupton and alums from MICA’s Graphic Design MFA program will explore type at work on page, screen, and the built environment; and celebrate the release of MICA’s new book, Type on Screen, and Miller’s new book, Abbott Miller: Design and Content.

Tal Leming is known worldwide for his frisky and functional typeface designs. Residing in Baltimore, he is the founder of Type Supply and the creator of locally inspired typefaces such as Balto and Timonium.

His type family United, created with House Industries in 2007, was inspired by military lettering and has entered pop culture as a commonly used athletic font (appearing on Fox Sports and elsewhere). Tal teaches typeface design at MICA.

See more over at typenite

Typecache’s 20 Best of 2013 picksMay 14, 2014

Vllg typecache news

Typecache has named six Village releases — Balto, the Domaine Superset, the Brooklyn Superset, Odesta, Ogg and Superior Title to their 20 Favorites fonts of 2013 (out of 550 new releases they featured in 2013.)

Typecache writes: ‘There were more than 550 new releases announced last year on TYPECACHE! So, it took us some time to review all of the great work from last year. We created another roundup of what we regard as the great typefaces from 2013.’

See all 20 Typecache picks here

New Release: MarignyMarch 27, 2014

Vllg typesupply marigny news

Marigny, designed by Tal Leming of Type Supply, is a friendly typeface that takes its job seriously. It lives in the intersection of writing, lettering and typography. Technically, it’s a typeface, of course, but it looks like a very nicely lettered interpretation of a handwritten version of a traditional typeface. (Yeah, whoa.) Marigny has the same basic proportions as classic oldstyle typefaces like Garamond. These, combined with the hand-rendered forms, give blocks of a text a warm, inviting appearance. Plus, the soft forms look great in headlines and logotypes. It has small caps, swashes, ornaments and more. I had a lot of fun designing it and even more fun making graphic design with it. I hope you like it.

The family is named after a neighborhood in New Orleans. Wondering how it is pronounced? When I was growing up in Louisiana I always heard it pronounced as “mare-ah-knee” so that’s how I say it. It’s French. Or, at least it’s the South Louisiana version of French that I learned in school.

See Marigny here

Typographica’s Best of 2013: BaltoMarch 13, 2014

Vllg typesupply balto typographica

Colin M. Ford writes: Balto is designer Tal Leming’s reinterpret­ation of an American Gothic, a style of sans serif made popular by Morris Fuller Benton and the American Type Foundry. Just as Benton set out, with his ‘Gothics’ (Alternate Gothic, Franklin Gothic, News Gothic, and others), to cull the herd of discontinuous sans serifs that filled ATF’s catalog, Leming set out to make an American Gothic that emphasizes ‘the base ideas of the style rather than particular visual attributes, quirks or artifacts of bygone type tech­nologies’ that were added to previous interpretations.

Leming carries his American Gothic references right through to Balto’s website; its whirligig arrows and clever in situ examples liven up an otherwise serious typeface, placing it in a context reminiscent of the typeface samples found in ‘Big Red’, the 1300-page 1912 ATF catalog.

Balto’s origins can be traced back to 1997, when Leming found himself stuck trying to make a classic Gothic work as a text typeface for an annual report. He couldn’t find a single font up to the task, but the seed was planted. Ten years later he finally put pen tool to bezier and began drawing Balto, and on-and-off over the next six years the face began to take shape … or many shapes. To accompany its release, Leming wrote a fantastic blog post in which he thoroughly recounts the transformations Balto went through over the six years it was in development. (Note to self: this will be very useful to link to the next time someone asks me: ‘So, why do typefaces take so long to make?!’)

Ultimately, I think Leming and Balto succeed in getting to the root of the American Gothic style and updating it for the 21st century. The benefit of an American Gothic with eight weights and matching italics becomes immediately apparent when one tries to use Benton’s ‘Gothic’ types in a modern context. Need an italic for Alternate Gothic or a light weight of Franklin Gothic? Well, that’s just too bad. Benton’s Gothic types were never designed as systems the way fonts are today — thankfully, Balto was.

Balto is a great, utilitarian family suited for the everyday uses other sans serifs would turn up their noses at. Next time I need a workhorse American Gothic that actually gets down to business, I will certainly reach for Balto.

(By the way, Balto, one can imagine, is short for Baltimore, where Leming lives and Type Supply is based. His previous typeface, Timonium, is a town just outside of Baltimore. I’m beginning to sense a theme and, as a former resident of Charm City, I like it.)

See the review on Typographica.org.

Typographica on TimoniumMarch 13, 2013

Vllg typesupply news timoniumreview

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.

Read more on Typographica

WOFF / W3C RecommendationDecember 13, 2012

Vllg typesupply news woff w3c

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.

Read more

New Release: TimoniumAugust 1, 2012

Vllg typesupply news timonium

There is a sans serif, high contrast, geometric style of lettering that I’ve been fascinated by for several years. It shows up throughout modern design history like a time traveling jack of all trades. I recall seeing variations of the style on cereal boxes, jazz album covers, pharmaceutical advertisements, stereophonic sound systems, action movie titles, and, most recently, athletic and automobile racing logos. Lettering styles sadly tend to get pigeonholed, but this one has managed to escape that fate. More remarkably, it has done so while looking downright un-generic. The style has personality to say the least.

Read more

WOFF 1.0November 16, 2010

Vllg typesupply news woff 1

WOFF File Format 1.0, World Wide Web Consortium

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.

New Release: OhmDecember 28, 2009

Vllg typesupply news ohm

The funny thing about Ohm is that I never intended to draw a faux-neon typeface — it just kind of happened. It all started with an old, busted sign in the window of an abandoned meat market.

I walked by this sign a few times a week over the course of a year and the letterforms fascinated me. Around the same time I needed a logo for LetterSetter. One thing led to another and I made a some faux-neon lettering in the style of the letters on the sign. It turned out pretty well and it was a ton of fun to draw.

From that point on, it became a parlor game. I’d wonder, ‘What would an X look like?’ So, I’d open the file, spend a little while drawing an X, close the file and move on to more pressing matters. I’d often mention this game to friends and show them what I had drawn. This turned into a series of dares along the lines of, ‘That’s cool, but you are never going to be able to make a ¢ work.’ So, naturally, I’d open up the file, draw the ¢ and get back to my real work. Occasionally I issued challenges to myself like, What would a lighter version look like? and I’d start a new file.

Read more

New Release: TorqueDecember 28, 2009

Vllg typesupply news torque

Torque began its life as an amalgamation of an American athletic lettering style and classic ‘space’ lettering styles. There were also references to the video games, ‘laser’ games and 1980s pre-teen sci-fi action movies of my youth. Over time, the family has evolved into a robust collection of display fonts that have some unusual characteristics.

Torque is at once calm and erratic, reserved and boisterous, today and tomorrow. It accomplishes this by having two unique voices in each font. It has a soft, yet stern, set of glyphs that don’t veer from the commonly accepted forms of the Latin alphabet.

Read more

Welcome: Type SupplyDecember 28, 2009

Vllg typesupply news welcome

We are pleased to welcome Tal Leming and his foundry Type Supply to Village! Aside from being an all-around good guy, Tal is hugely talented and one of the most technologically-savvy of the Village members. Tal is one of the authors of the emerging WOFF file format for type on the web.

Typer / Balto

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