Font created for Rio 2016 Olympics

The essence of passion and transformation is reflected in this font designed specially for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games…

The spirit  of “Harmonious Diversity” is captured in this font designed by the Brazilian Dalton Maag team for the for Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The strong contrast between thick and thin strokes was explored during the design process by putting brush to paper and writing by hand. The variety of the curves in the different letters has a unique informality, inspired by the joyfulness of the Brazilian people.

Rio 2016 font

Rio 2016 font

Rio 2016 font

Here are a few images of the design process:

Rio 2016 font

Rio 2016 font

Rio 2016 font

The letter “r”, inspired by Pedra da Gávea:

Rio 2016 font

Fluid lines, simulating the agility of the athletes’ movements:

Rio 2016 font

The letter “m”, inspired by the Copacabana sidewalk:

Rio 2016 font

Read more at Rio2016.org.

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

I know, it’s already March, but let’s just say our postal service isn’t exactly renowned for its efficiency… Anyway!

Each month is represented by a well respected typeface, accompanied by a whimsical pin-up girl. This quirky match perfectly captures the dilemma we type-lovers face: how do you choose! They each have their own unique personality and their own sexy curves, it’s easy to end up falling in love with a different one every week… I’m talking about the typefaces of course.

A few of my go-to faces are featured, such as DIN, Avant Garde, Rockwell, Helvetica and Bickham.

Chicks & Types

Chicks & Types

Chicks & Types

Chicks & Types

Chicks & Types

See more of this calendar and the rest of Simone’s great work on Behance, as well as on his site SketchThisOut.

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

But wait, there’s more!

WhatFont bookmarklet

When you click, a little window opens up with information about the font stack, size, line-height, colour and even the web font service provider. 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. And hey, if you want to tweet about the font discoveries you make, there’s a button for that too…

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

Hand painted lettering from India

Due to the multicoloured nature of the Indian street typography, once digitised, each font consists of different layers; a base shape with shadows and highlights. These can then be used in different colour combinations to create the full effect:

Hand painted lettering from India

Hand painted lettering from India

Hand painted lettering from India

Find out more from handpaintedtype.com.

2. Hand drawn movie posters

“Dean Pickles” of Asia Obscura came across a factory north of Bangalore, where a man called Ramachandraiah prints movie posters for a living, using a lithographic press from 1901.

His [posters] are five-color, hand-drawn, and measure just 20 inches by 30 inches. They’re printed on thin paper, and illegally slapped up on building sites and highway overpasses late at night. They cost pennies to print. And they’re absolutely gorgeous.

The artist, Raju, speedily draws these posters at a  small desk on the sidewalk – about one artwork every three hours!

Raju drawing movie posters

These are the result:

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Hand drawn movie posters from India

Amazing, aren’t they? For more on the subject, see part one and part two of the story on Asia Obscura.

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

100th post and 2011 sign-off

This is Typedeck’s 100th post since launching in June this year – a great milestone and a good time to sign off for 2011. Thanks for all the support and positive feedback so far!

Hello friends. This is Typedeck’s 100th post since launching in June this year – a great milestone and a good time to sign off for 2011.

Typedeck has given me the opportunity to explore typography in a new and more intensive way than ever before. I have learned a lot in the past few months and best of all is I am applying this learning to my own design work.

Thanks for all the support and positive feedback so far! Have a fantastic festive season and a blessed Christmas.

Here’s to resuming Typedeck in 2012 with new vigour.

– Imar

To end off the year I have just thrown together a few random bits and pieces of interest. Click on the images to visit the source:

A free font based on the style of lettering seen on Cassandre posters:

Typedeck 100th post

Lettering by Astronaut Design:

Typedeck 100th post

From pilllpat’s Flickr photostream:

Typedeck 100th post

Two items from the Flickr photostream of junkyard.dogs:

Typedeck 100th post

Typedeck 100th post

Type specimen poster from a series featuring Changethethought studio’s  favorite typefaces:

Typedeck 100th post

Mattel Electronics Football from Corey Holms’s Flickr photostream:

Typedeck 100th post

Some smokey lettering by Pablo Alfieri:

Typedeck 100th post

Explore Fontdeck’s typographic advent calendar:

Typedeck 100th post

Hot lettering by Studio Muti:

Typedeck 100th post

Editorial illustration by Telegramme Studio via Black Harbour:

Typedeck 100th post

Poster from Evajuliet’s Etsy store:

Typedeck 100th post

LetterMPress app for Mac and iPad:

Typedeck 100th post

Cover design for The New York Times Magazine Photographs:

Typedeck 100th post

Detail from Old Faithful Shop identity design by Ptarmak:

Typedeck 100th post

Time lapse video of Daniel Cassaro’s (Young Jerks) mural for the Ace Hotel in New York via Xheight LA:

Typedeck 100th post

MailChimp’s Voice & Tone styleguide site via Co. Design:

Typedeck 100th post

Detail from the Tom, Dick & Harry identity by Mike McQuade:

Typedeck 100th post

From Kyle Read’s inspiration Tumblr:

Typedeck 100th post

And finally, is there a new Tumblr logo in the works?

Screenshot of their maintenance page:

Typedeck 100th post

Free fonts from Fontfabric

Fontfabric has some really nice fonts on offer and many of them are available free of charge! Here are a few you might be interested in adding to your collection…

Independent Bulgarian type foundry Fontfabric has some really nice fonts on offer and many of them are available free of charge! Here are a few you might be interested in adding to your collection:

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

Fontfabric

An unusual font from Bulgaria

Lemniscate is an intriguing font designed by Rositsa Gorolova of Sofia, Bulgaria. It is available as a free download.

Lemniscate is an intriguing font designed by Rositsa Gorolova of Sofia, Bulgaria. The complexity of the characters and the fact that the font includes only capitals, numerals and a few punctuation marks certainly limits its use to display purposes such as posters or headlines. I would love to know more about the design process and the intent of the project, but unfortunately I found very little info on this.

You can download Lemniscate for free in TrueType format for personal and commercial use.

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

Lemniscate font by Rositsa Gorolova

The quest for an average font

The fascinating explorations in finding an average of all existing fonts has lead different people down different roads, here are some examples…

In September 2011 Viennese designer Moritz Resl published a typographic experiment called Average Font on his website. The project received widespread attention on the internet, drawing both criticism and praise. The idea is to show what a font would look like if it were made up of all the Typefaces on his system at the time. Resl achieved this by layering over 900 different fonts each with a low opacity, one on top of the other. The result is a blurry, yet recognisable rendition of each character:

Average Font by Moritz Resl

As Stephen Coles of Typographica points out, the quest to find an average font is not unexplored territory. In 2006 visualisation expert W. Bradford Paley from New York put together an exploration of Face Variations, layering the outlines of 166 fonts in different combinations. Paley notes that this stems from his fascination with finding the “perceptual boundaries” around objects such as letters:

Face Variations by W. Bradford Paley

Another approach comes in the form of The neutral typeface – the result of a 2005 graduation project by Dutch designer Kai Bernau entitled Neutrality. The measurements for the design of the typeface are derived from averages reached by comparing popular existing sans serif typefaces:

The neutral typeface by Kai Bernau

The latest arrival at the average font party is Avería, a font released in October 2011 by Dan Sayers combining 725 existing fonts. Sayers explored different methods, eventually opting for a programmatic approach to the task by splitting each letter perimeter into hundreds of equally-spaced points, then finding the average between the corresponding positions of each:

Avería by Dan Sayers

Avería by Dan Sayers

Also take a look at Font Path Viewer, a web app Sayers built in order to view the outlines and control points of fonts during his process.

Fonts come in an endless array of personalities and proportions, weights and styles. Maybe it is the sheer overwhelming variety, or maybe our inborn desire to simplify and reorganise, but whatever the reason may be, people seem to be captivated by the idea of finding a neutral average. The search continues.

Two nice display fonts by Leon Sloth

I just came across these fonts designed by Leon Sloth (cool name!) from Copenhagen, Denmark…

I just came across these fonts designed by Leon Sloth (cool name!) from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Paten – a headline font:

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Antiwar – a stencil font including a few alternate characters:

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

I always enjoy seeing some behind-the-scenes process pictures:

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Font designed by Leon Sloth

Unfortunately I didn’t find any info on whether these have been released and are available. See more of Leon’s work on Behance.

The return of brush script lettering

Is it just me or is the brush script lettering style making a comeback?

Is it just me or is the brush script lettering style making a comeback? Originally popularised by the advertising of the 1940s and 50s, brush script lost its appeal when the rational grid based Swiss Style emerged in the 1960s.

While brush script is often avoided due to its tendency to look, well, kind of corny, I am noticing many designers reclaiming its place in more thoughtful solutions. Brush lettering adds a sense of fun and irreverence, especially when coupled with more formal typefaces.

Here are a few examples I found today:

1. Brand New Conference 2011

The concept of the materials stems from the hand-drawn, brush lettering that was originally inspired by small grocery stores, bodegas, and buying things on sale by the pound. So we extended the idea of blowout sale prices to the t-shirt, tote bag, and sketchbook by just listing the production price on the front.

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

Brand New Conference 2011

2. “Golden Tree” music video

A professional display of 50 No Handed Bike Moves performed to “Golden Tree” by Martin Brooks. Video by Ninian Doff.

 

3. Suti font by Mika Melvas

Suti Font

4. Sweet Skateboard decks

Deck designs by Albin Holmqvist for a Swedish skateboard company called Sweet Skateboards.

Sweet Skateboards

Sweet Skateboards

Sweet Skateboards

5. Fonts for AnOther Magazine

Aspic and Asphalt fonts designed by AnOther Magazine’s creative director Gareth Hague.

AnOther Magazine

AnOther Magazine

Just a fad or is brush script back for good? Any other noteworthy examples you can think of?

Pay what you want for fonts from Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op is a font foundry with a unique philosophy: they distribute beautiful and unique typefaces, and you decide how much you want to pay!

Lost Type Co-op is a font foundry with a unique philosophy: they distribute beautiful and unique typefaces, and you decide how much you want to pay! The designer of the particular font you choose to download gets the full amount of your donation. Creators Riley Cran of Seattle and Tyler Galpin of Toronto reckon this pay-what-you-want type foundry is the first of its kind.

Ever since we released Muncie in February, we received an overwhelming response from the community at large. We felt it was important for everyone to have access to unique and beautiful typefaces, based on a very approachable model.

Definitely worth a bookmark! Here are a few samples from the Lost Type Co-op collection:

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op

Apart from the nice specimens of each face, Lost Type also has a recently revamped blog where they showcase the fonts being used in real-world projects.

Layered font systems from Match & Kerosene

Alexander Sheldon hails from Detroit Rock City where he has immersed himself in the local music scene as both guitarist and designer. Layered font systems seem to kinda be his thing.

Alexander Sheldon hails from Detroit Rock City where he has immersed himself in the local music scene as both guitarist and designer. In addition to MySpace themes, CD packaging and band merch, he has a few intriguing fonts on offer under the banner of Match & Kerosene.

Creating layered font systems seems to kinda be his thing. The idea is that you can stack alternate versions of the font, one on top of another, creating some very interesting results.

Grizzly Bear:

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Detroit:

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Duotone:

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Layered fonts from Match & Kerosene

Found via designworklife.

Font treasures from out of the dark

Let’s face it, there is no shortage of fonts in the world, in fact there is an oversupply! To help you find hidden gems, Zürich based designer Philipp Herrmann has started a collection…

Let’s face it, there is no shortage of fonts in the world, in fact there is an oversupply! Every time you have to choose a font for a new project, it ends up being a losing battle against your font library groaning under the mass you have collected over the years. I have heard many a seasoned designer advise to stick to the handful of tried and trusted classics (and that certainly is a safe route to follow), but safety often inhibits innovation.

The fact is that many of the free fonts so readily available online lack in quality, and the professional foundries tend to charge an arm and a leg. To help you find hidden gems, Zürich based designer Philipp Herrmann has started a collection titled Out of the Dark (fontseek.info).

In his own words:

Great type design remains hidden in the jungle if it isn’t promoted by a type foundry. Fontseek features these hidden treasures.

Below are a few samples, my favourite has to be Hammer Bold! Visit fontseek.info where each specimen links to the particular designer’s site for information on how to acquire the font.

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Specimen from fontseek.info

Via: Taxi

Crisp type from Studio8 Design

This lovely crisp three dimensional typeface Studio8 Design created for Wired Magazine UK has been receiving some well deserved attention, but this London-based design team is certainly not a one-trick-pony…

This lovely crisp three dimensional typeface Studio8 Design created for Wired Magazine UK has been receiving some well deserved attention, but this London-based team is certainly not a one-trick-pony. Scroll down and take a look at the handsome work they have done for Elephant Magazine and Blazingword.

Wired Magazine Typeface by Studio8 Design

Wired Magazine Typeface by Studio8 Design

Wired Magazine Typeface by Studio8 Design

Wired Magazine Typeface by Studio8 Design

Elephant Magazine type by Studio8 Design

Elephant Magazine type by Studio8 Design

Elephant Magazine type by Studio8 Design

Elephant Magazine type by Studio8 Design

Blazingword typeface by Studio8 Design

Blazingword typeface by Studio8 Design

Fruita Blanch

I really enjoy the look of Catalonian family business Fruita Blanch. The new fresh minimal identity was designed by Barcelona based studio Atipus. They even developed a custom font used across the board. My favourite aspect is how the labels have been designed to reveal as much of the jar content as possible. Sometimes less really is more.

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Via: Identity Designed

Dyslexie: A font for people with dyslexia

Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer has designed a font to help those who suffer from dyslexia to minimise reading errors. Drawing on his own experience of dyslexia he made custom tweaks to all the letterforms and punctuation of the western alphabet.

Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer has designed a font to help those who suffer from dyslexia to minimise reading errors. Drawing on his own experience of dyslexia he made custom tweaks to all the letterforms and punctuation of the western alphabet.

Dyslexie example 01

Dyslexie example 02

Dyslexie example 02

“Dyslexie” may not be a conventionally beautiful font, but an independent study by the University of Twente in the Netherlands has concluded that it is effective in minimising dyslexic errors. Who can argue with results?

Via Fast Co. Design and Studio Studio.

It’s official: Typefaces are modern art

MOMA (The Museum of Moden Art in New York) recently acquired 23 digital typefaces for their collection. Although MOMA includes many works featuring typography, the only typeface previously in their collection was 36-point Helvetica Bold lead type.

MOMA (The Museum of Moden Art in New York) recently acquired 23 digital typefaces for their collection. Although MOMA includes many works featuring typography, the only typeface previously in their collection was 36-point Helvetica Bold lead type designed by Max Miedinger in 1956. The oldest of their new acquisitions is OCR-A (1966) and the newest is Gotham (2000).

This first selection of 23 typefaces represent a new branch in our collection tree. They are all digital or designed with a foresight of the scope of the digital revolution, and they all significantly respond to the technological advancements occurring in the second half of the twentieth century. Each is a milestone in the history of typography. – MOMA

OCR-A

Big Caslon

FF DIN

Gotham

See how many of the 23 faces you recognise with @issue’s quiz.

Helvetica redesigned

News of Linotype’s latest typeface offering, Neue Haas Grotesk has swept the typosphere since its release on June 7th. The story goes that the famous digital sans-serif  typeface we know today as Helvetica, was originally designed by Max Miedinger in the ’50s as Neue Haas Grotesk. The conversion from metal type to digital resulted in a one-size-fits-all solution with “unfortunate compromises” to the integrity and character of Helvetica’s predecessor.

NYC based type designer Christian Schwartz has now restored this typeface to its former glory and released it comercially. A common perception in the design fraternity is that “you don’t mess with Helvetica”, so I find it quite interesting that the initial reception in typography circles appears to be positive.

Neue Haas Grotesk does not come without any credentials, the typeface has been put through its paces by Bloomberg Businessweek’s print publication since their redesign last year.

My favourite part is that Schwartz has included some of Miedinger’s alternate characters which have never formed part of Helvetica. Take a look at the flat-legged R:

Neue Haas Grotesk

Read more about the revival of this legendary typeface at:

Fonts in use

This post is about three different, yet related things that caught my attention in recently…

This post is about three different, yet related things that caught my attention recently…

1. Live the language commercials

EF (Education First) released “four short films that will make you want to pack your bags” and travel to Paris, Barcelona, Beijing and London. They got Stockholm based Art director & designer Albin Holmqvist to take care of the beautiful typographic treatment in each video.

EF Typography by Albin Holmqvist

EF Typography by Albin Holmqvist

EF Typography by Albin Holmqvist

EF Typography by Albin Holmqvist

I am super excited to be visiting Spain soon, so I decided to post the Barcelona video below, but be sure to take a look at the other three commercials too.

EF – Live The Language – Barcelona

2. Fonts in use

The Fonts in Use project is a great idea and is best explained by editor Stephen Coles:

At Fonts In Use we’ll catalog and examine real-world typography wherever it appears — branding, advertising, signage, packaging, publications, in print and online — with an emphasis on the typefaces used.

Parisian fontMr Dafoe fontNeutraface fontBrothers font

Curious about the fonts used by Holmqvist in the Paris commercial? Look no further, Fonts in Use offers a fantastic analysis.

3. Logotypes for EF destinations

Following the success of his work on Live the Language, Holmqvist was commissioned by EF to create logotypes for each of their 40 destinations worldwide including my home city, Cape Town. Below are a couple of examples, see more in his portfolio at albinholmqvist.com.

Cape Town logotype by Albin Holmqvist

Toronto logotype by Albin Holmqvist

San Francisco logotype by Albin Holmqvist

The future of screen fonts

Last month Dutch type foundry Typotheque released what they call “a parametric bitmap font system” called Elementar. Is this the future of screen fonts?

Last month Dutch type foundry Typotheque released what they call “a parametric bitmap font system” called Elementar. Designed by Gustavo Ferreira, the development of this project started back in 2002. The intention of Elementar is to address the issue of contemporary fonts rendering poorly on screen, especially at smaller sizes.

You see, the whole process of conventional font design is not geared towards optimal display on electronic screens. Fonts consist of curves forming the outlines of each individual glyph.

Font design outlines

The result from high resolution output devices like printers is smooth and crisp, but fonts do not translate well to the rasterised grid display of computer screens – they end up looking blurry, jagged and illegible. A process known as font hinting can be applied to align the outlines with the pixel grid for better display. The problem with hinting is that it is a time consuming and labour intensive job which does not make it financially viable for many type foundries. This has lead to lots of unhinted, poorly legible fonts found on the internet today. You can read more about this issue on Typographica.

Rather than adapting an outline font for electronic display, Elementar is produced within the parameters of the screen display grid. The resulting fonts are non-scaleable and size-specific, which makes it quite inflexible, but this issue is addressed by producing “thousands” of possible sizes, widths and weights. You can explore these combinations online or with a free iPad app, also released by Typotheque.

Elementar font system

I agree that screen type is in dire need of a better solution, but is Elementar it? To be honest it looks pretty damn old school. And with the advent of Apple’s Retina Display and the likes, do we even need to worry about the distinction between print and screen anymore? Maybe Elementar is nine years too late. What are your thoughts?

Wood Type Revival

An ambitious project to convert ten of the world’s rarest and most unique historic wood typefaces into digital fonts.

Matt Griffin and Matt Braun of Bearded have started the ambitious project of converting ten of the world’s rarest and most unique historic wood typefaces into digital Opentype fonts. The project has successfully been funded through the Kickstarter platform. They have released a sample of their intended result as a free font called Fatboy, available in the “Husky” weight.

Fatboy Husky font

Follow their progress on woodtyperevival.com or Twitter.