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.

Sex, prison and lost ligatures: The story of Avant Garde

I needed to clear this up for myself, the truth behind this great and mysterious typeface we know as Avant Garde. So for the benefit of those interested, here is the story…

I needed to clear this up for myself, the truth behind this great and mysterious typeface we know as Avant Garde. So for the benefit of those interested, here is the story:

Herb Lubalin (1918 – 1981) was a prominent American graphic designer. In 1962 he teamed up with a journalist called Ralph Ginzburg (1929 – 2006) and together they published a controversial erotic magazine called Eros. By the fourth issue the magazine got shut down for violating federal obscenity laws in the USA. They followed with a magazine called Fact, but this one also came to a premature end due to legal troubles.

Avant Garde

Six months later Lubalin and Ginzberg released the first issue of Avant Garde, an attractive hard-bound periodical which would run for 14 issues between January 1968 and July 1971. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, Avant Garde pushed the boundaries of censorship and ceased when Ginzberg went to prison for featuring nude models depicting the alphabet!

Avant Garde magazine’s most notable legacy is arguably its instantly recognisable logo designed by Lubalin:

Avant Garde

Lubalin expanded the logo design into an extensive range of characters and ligatures intended solely for use in the identity and headlines of the magazine.

Avant Garde

Avant Garde

Demand from the design community for an Avant Garde typeface became such that Lubalin employed the help of his partner Tom Carnase and together they transformed the Avant Garde lettering into a full-fledged typeface. ITC Avant Garde was first released in 1970 by the International Typeface Corporation, a company formed by Lubalin that same year.

Avant Garde

Avant Garde

Avant Garde

The original release comprised five weights, including one version for headlines and one for body copy. Sadly the modern digitized releases did not include the vast amount of ligatures and alternate characters. For a while they were considered lost, but fortunately the advent of OpenType technology has allowed ITC to release a complete digital version of Avant Garde Gothic offering all the original alternate characters and ligatures.

Avant Garde

Despite its pure geometric shapes, the typeface is a deceptively tricky one to use well and many designers lacked the necessary understanding of Lubalin’s letterforms. After being released commercially, the font quickly became overused and is commonly found in poor design solutions. Avant Garde remains extremely popular to this day and the most successful examples of use are where restraint is exercised such as this identity for Music Balloon by Golden:

Avant Garde

Avant Garde

Sources:

* Note: A ligature in typography is a special character consisting of two or more joined letters.

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

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: