The flipside of old New York Times photos

The New York Times recently launched a Tumblr to share old pictures from their newsroom archive. More exciting than the photos themselves, is the history recorded on the back of each picture.

The New York Times recently launched The Lively Morgue; a Tumblr to share old pictures from their newsroom archive (nicknamed “The Morgue”).

The photos are intriguing enough and certainly provide excellent fodder for reblogging and pinning enthusiasts, but what really makes this project worth a closer look is that each photo can be “flipped over” to inspect the back. What could possibly be of interest on the back of a photo you ask? Well, you would be surprised!

Layer upon layer of stamps, scribbled annotations and clippings offer a haphazard roadmap to the photo’s history. Things to look out for include subject codes, what the photographer was paid, details of when and how many times the photo was published and of course the accompanying captions.

Call me strange, but I find these way more exciting than the photos themselves:

Back of picture from NY Times's archive

Continue reading “The flipside of old New York Times photos”

Chicks & types

What could be more exciting than receiving a mystery package from overseas? Well, I was lucky enough to find one in my mailbox this week, all the way from Florence, Italy…

What could be more exciting than receiving a mystery package from overseas? Well, I was lucky enough to find one in my mailbox this week, all the way from Florence, Italy.

Designer and illustrator Simone Massoni sent me a copy of his latest project – this very cool A-frame 2012 calendar entitled Chicks & Types.

Chicks & Types

Continue reading “Chicks & types”

Chinese water calligraphy tricycle

No, you didn’t misread the title, it is as weird as it sounds. Nicholas Hanna built a tricycle that “prints” Chinese characters on the sidewalk as he rides along…

No, you didn’t misread the title, it is as weird as it sounds. Nicholas Hanna built a tricycle that “prints” Chinese characters on the sidewalk as he rides along. I wouldn’t call it calligraphy as such, but the idea stems from the tradition of older Chinese men painting characters on the ground of parks with long brushes and water.

The video from Jonah Kessel is dated September 2011, but I only discovered it now. Take a look:

Just Because: Tricycle Calligraphy 水书法器 on Vimeo.

Fast Company’s fantastic new fonts

In September 2011 Fast Company introduced three new typefaces to their print publication. Kaiser, Zizou Sans and Zizou Slab were all commissioned as part of a design overhaul.

In September 2011 Fast Company introduced three new typefaces to their print publication.

Kaiser, Zizou Sans and Zizou Slab were all commissioned  from Commercial Type by Fast Company’s creative director Florian Bachleda as part of a design overhaul. Co. Design, one of the magazine’s online counterparts launched their redesign four months later, using specially hinted versions of Kaiser and Zizou Slab to great effect.

Kaiser:

New Fast Company fonts

Continue reading “Fast Company’s fantastic new fonts”

Vintage Polish packaging

Ok, this is about as random as it gets, but here are a few examples of vintage Polish packaging in the following categories: chocolate and soap…

Ok, this is about as random as it gets, but here are a few examples of vintage Polish packaging in the following categories: chocolate and soap. Just for the sake of typographic curiosity and colour palette inspiration you know…

Chocolate

Vintage Polish chocolate packaging

Continue reading “Vintage Polish packaging”

Snooping web fonts made easy

Sure, you can find out all you need to know about fonts on a web page by inspecting the code with Firebug or the likes, but the WhatFont bookmarklet makes font snooping super easy.

WhatFont is a clever little script by Chengyin Liu, a Computer Science student at University of Illinois. You add the bookmarklet to your web browser and once activated it tells you what fonts are used on a web page by hovering over the text in question.

WhatFont bookmarklet

Continue reading “Snooping web fonts made easy”

Friday find: The Grapho-Scope and other forgotten art supplies

Whether you are old enough to have used a Grapho-Scope, or whether your first introduction to design was Adobe CS5, check out the online Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies curated by Lou Brooks…

American designer and illustrator Lou Brooks (born 1944 in Pennsylvania) has been in the game longer than most. You know the little Monopoly guy in the top hat? Lou drew that. He witnessed the entire digital revolution and as such, remembers using tools and materials most of us spring chickens have never even heard of.

Whether you are old enough to have used a Grapho-Scope, Shading Film, Non-Repro Blue Pencils and Letraset, or whether your first introduction to design was Adobe CS5, check out the online Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies curated by Lou himself. It will either fill you with nostalgia or puzzlement!

A few examples from the museum’s Artifacts Gallery:

Forgotten Art Supplies

Continue reading “Friday find: The Grapho-Scope and other forgotten art supplies”

Modern hand lettering of India

Two interesting type-related snippets came across my desk this week, both from India: hand drawn movie posters from Bangalore and digital fonts created from the lettering of street painters in Delhi…

Two interesting typographic snippets came across my desk this week, both from India:

1. HandpaintedType

The initiative of Delhi based designer Hanif Kureshi, HandpaintedType is a collaborative project aimed at capturing the rapidly-disappearing lettering styles of street painters across India.

The idea is to document the particular typographic style of individual sign painters. Each artist pruduces a character set on canvas, which is redrawn digitally and eventually released as a commercially available font. Apparently 50% of the proceeds from every font sale goes to the painter and the other half is invested in the continuation of the project.

Here’s an example of an original character set, hand painted in Old Delhi by an artist called Kafeel:

Hand painted lettering from India

Continue reading “Modern hand lettering of India”

Good Google web fonts

Having trouble finding the best Google web fonts for your next website design? Chad Mazzola wants to help you out…

Google web fonts is a great initiative providing a simple and free way of adding real fonts to your web design projects. I have been using their service for a while and the only complaint I have is that finding the right font among the 400+ typefaces can be challenging. Apparently Chad Mazzola of Cambridge, Massachusetts (not England) has encountered the same problem, so he has kindly taken it upon himself to help us out.

There are currently over 400 typefaces in the Google web fonts directory. Many of them are awful. But there are also high-quality typefaces that deserve a closer look.

Beautiful web type is a growing showcase of the Google web fonts Chad finds most deserving. You can click each specimen to find the font in Google’s directory.

Google web fonts

Google web fonts

Google web fonts