Glitches are described as “sudden, usually temporary malfunctions or irregularities of equipment” and have been embraced and turned into art, both musically and visually, for at least the last two decades or so. What is it that lends such an aesthetically pleasing quality to electronic error?
There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul. – Quote from I, Robot (2004)
Glitches are described as “sudden, usually temporary malfunctions or irregularities of equipment” and have been embraced and turned into art, both musically and visually, for at least the last two decades or so. What is it that lends such an aesthetically pleasing quality to electronic error? Maybe it’s the notion that computers are meant to run on pure logic, so when they produce something random or unexpected, our inborn curiosity is awoken. Or maybe we momentarily recognise our own flawed human nature, and it freaks us out just a little. Who knows!
Jennifer Daniel, designer for Bloomberg Businessweek recently reported that their Docucolor 240 conked out whist printing proofs for the magazine. The resulting artworks were posted on Flickr. I remember spending hours as a student, trying to emulate this exact look for my projects!
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.
Conceptualised by Christian Schwartz and Florian Bachleda as a hybrid of a condensed sans they discovered in an old German specimen book and Paul Renner’s Plak, it was expanded into a full range of widths by Vincent Chan.
Christian Schwartz gives us a glimpse into his Zizou Sans design process:
It originally began as my attempt to draw Antique Olive from memory, but ended up with its own distinct personality. I surprised myself with what I remembered correctly (i.e. the swing to the top of the bottom bowl in the lowercase a, and the distinctive top of the lowercase t), but was impressed by just how wrong I was able to get certain things. So much for my photographic memory for type!
Schwartz on the design of the slab serif version:
I decided to start from the simplest place I could – snapping rectangular slabs onto the sans with a minimum of contrast – to see what that would yield before I tried to be any more clever with the design.
Almost too easy!
I always find it fascinating how a font looks exponentially more interesting and lively seen in use compared to a plain specimen, don’t you think?
Jaunā Gaita is a Latvian language magazine which has been published since the 1950s. Here are a few of their beautiful experimental covers from the past.
Jaunā Gaita is a Latvian language magazine based in Canada. It was first published after the second world war when many Latvian people were relocated to other countries across the world. Writers and other creatives were influenced by the process of change and their new surroundings. Jaunā Gaita is a result of this turmoil and the title translates as “The New Course”. The magazine is still in publication today and they have an online archive of their beautiful experimental covers. Here are a few samples:
Found via junkyard.dogs’ flickr. Images from Jaunā Gaita’s cover archive. More info from ISO50 and Grain Edit.
I love these elaborate typographic creations by Italian agency Happycentro. The fact that these were done by hand, instead of simulating the textures, shapes and lighting in Photoshop, is awesome!
I love these elaborate typographic creations by Italian agency Happycentro. The fact that these were done by hand, instead of simulating the textures, shapes and lighting in Photoshop, is awesome. What strikes me is how the illustrations look okay in isolation, but they only really come to life on the pages of the magazine as part of the layout!
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.
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:
Read more about the revival of this legendary typeface at: