Category Archives: typography

Leaving more to the imagination.


What newfangled innovation will the Dutch come up with next? This simple little font from Netherlands-based agency Spranq uses 20% less ink which means fewer ink cartridges end up in landfills. Not as nifty as the iPhone level app but still pretty neat.


Typography and politicians this time.

Logo Voting
Originally uploaded by !!! k2208

I heard a semi-interesting On the Media piece on presidential campaign logos while walking to work the other morning. Nothing too new here, I just love some of the language type designer Sam Berlow uses to describe the fonts used in the campaigns:

On Bush/Quayle: Quayle is the very, very thin, spindly serif typeface and the Bush is a very strong sans serif and it’s set really big.

On Bush/Cheney: It just had that incredible NASCAR feel with the slanted sans serif saying, “We’re going really fast. Hang on.”

On Hillary: It’s serif. It’s sort of highwaisted, as if the lower case, the pants had been pulled up too high. It feels sort of like a bad Talbots suit. Doesn’t quite fit right … It looks like the lower-case R has sort of been punched in the nose and the lower case has been jacked up a little bit to make it feel a little bit bigger and stronger.

On Obama: They made big, beautiful posters that would say, South Carolina loves Obama, headlines set in a very classy sans serif font called Gotham. It’s very clean. It doesn’t have any lumps or big balls at the end of the characters. It sort of ends very crisply, like a manicured set of nails – very metrosexual. [If it were a suit it would be an] Armani.

On Mike Huckabee: The six stars … sort of floating down like snowflakes … and the swash that reminds me of Coca-Cola. And then there’s this yellow element in the type. The only yellow that I could find in the past was Nixon/Lodge and Goldwater, which puts him in interesting company … And then the type itself is squished together very tightly and artificially bolded as if they had so much they had to get on the page, like family and faith and freedom, as if the other candidates don’t believe in those three things.


On McCain: The star with the yellow bars clearly says he’s a general, he’s in charge … It’s a down-the-middle-of-the-aisle serif. It has elements of a sans serif but the ends of the strokes flare out a little bit … It’s a typeface that can talk to Feingold and can talk to Bob Dole at the same time.

Twenty-six types of animals.

Thanks again to Ministry of Type for pointing me to Jeremy Pettis’s beautiful series of “typographic illustrations representing 26 animals– one for each letter of the alphabet.” It’s hard to pick a favorite: fat, slinky Cobra, heavily-shadowed Fruit Bat, or dark and angular Wolf?cobra.jpg2226999902_2eef30832e_o.jpg

More on typography and film.

Originally uploaded by your pal Matt

The Ministry of Type pointed me to an interesting post on Kit Blog about the consistent use of a certain font (Windsor, it turns out – white on black) in the opening and closing credits of Woody Allen films. I’d actually noticed this recently catching the end of Annie Hall on TV but more in a “Aw, aren’t intellectual movies from the 70s so cute?” kind of way. The credits stuck out for their throwback feel, but now I remember noticing that he did the same “outdated” (at first blush) thing with movies as recent as Match Point (2005). I hadn’t realized just how consistent and intrinsic to the Woody Allen brand this treatment was but it’s true—that white on black lettering screams Dialogue-Heavy Woody Allen Film Set in Pre-Giuliani New York!!!! It made me think of the typography used in the credits and posters for There Will Be Blood and just how well that creepy, gothic lettering works to set the scene and the mood.

Jason Munn concert posters.

broken social scene poster
Originally uploaded by sumei

Scratch that – I found him! Check out designer Jason Munn’s concert poster portfolio here.

A funny thing happened to me on the way to Helvetica…

love helvetica
Originally uploaded by siumeister

I saw a quirky, nerdy little art film called Helvetica last weekend. It was a day or two before New Year’s and it was painfully warm and sunny in San Francisco. (I grew up in Colorado where December blue sky days weren’t uncommon, but at least you had piles of snow and freezing temperatures to temper the cornea-burning lack of clouds.) I was bored and craving darkness so I walked to the Mission and bought a matinee ticket for one at the Roxie. The film was too long and discursive at times and I had to tell my friends that I spent the day watching a documentary… by myself… about a typeface… but perfectly fit my mood for geeking out to the history of modern design. It’s worth seeing just for the abundant awesomeness of German-American accents.