Archive for the ‘Fonts’ Category

All Categories | Storms, Smoke & Power Cuts

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Apologies!
Due to a combination of wild storms that blew smoke from the wood fire back down the chimney, setting off  alarms in every room, and covered everything in a fine layer of soot, and the power cut that, in amongst all of this, plunged our friends’ isolated, converted corn mill where we were staying into deep, velvety darkness, The Blog isn’t posting this week.

In the meantime, you might like to take a look at our reminder of the diverse range of international visual arts and events-related subjects we posted in 2014.

Best wishes for 2015



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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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All Categories | Omnipresence 2014 / 2015

Friday, December 26th, 2014

2014 proved to be an exciting year at The Blog.

We published posts relating to exhibitions as diverse as Egon Schiele; The Radical Nude at London’s Courtauld Gallery, and Robert Heinecken: Object Matter at MoMA in New York, to another about VKhUTEMAS – often called the Russian Bauhaus – at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau museum. We admired rare and exotic posters in The Art of Travel, exhibited at Cannes during the annual film festival and auctioned afterwards by Christie’s.

We showed a selection of compelling images from Roxanne Lowit Photographs Yves Saint Laurent, a glitzy new book – with an introduction by no less a figure than Pierre Bergé – and wrote about Vitra’s more modest new publication Everything is Connected, which relies totally on visual language rather than written text to relate the company’s labyrinthine story.

We loved Korean artist Lee Bul’s captivating installations at the UK’s Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, and the Museum für Gestaltung’s 100 Years of Swiss Design exhibition – as well as the accompanying Lars Müller book – showing selections from the Museum’s consolidated collections, now housed at the Schaudepot in Zürich’s burgeoning New Toni development.

We covered the Saul Steinberg 100th Anniversary Exhibition at Pace MacGill in New York, and we assembled our own photographic tribute to The Years of ‘La Dolce Vita’, from the paparazzi images on show at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, in London.

We published extracts from Christie’s International Head of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Philippe Garner’s scintillating interview with Zeev Aram, on the subject of Japanese furniture designer Shiro Kuramata. And we salivated over Serge Mouille’s 1950s sculptural lighting included in Phillips Design sale in New York.

We hope the journey so far has been as interesting for you as it has for us.

As the globe – at least in communication terms – continues to shrink, the cultural landscape forever widens and diversifies. What was formerly remote has often become more easily accessible. In response, 2015 will see The Blog extending its reach and venturing into geographical and subject areas we may have so far ignored, exploring and gaining entry for our followers to a broader range of thought-provoking, disparate and topical events in the omnipresent visual arts and associated artistic disciplines.



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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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All Categories | The Blog Will Return Next Week

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Untitled #1, Norfolk, UK

Untitled #2, Norfolk, UK

Untitled #3, Norfolk, UK

Photographs by Pedro Silmon, 2014




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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier




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All Categories | The Blog Team is on Holiday

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Kielder Water from below the Kielder Observatory, Northumberland, UK

Kielder Observatory, by Charles Barclay Architects, completed 2008

Photographs by Pedro Silmon, 2014




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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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All Categories | The Blog is on Holiday

Friday, September 6th, 2013

This Way, 2012, Pedro Silmon

Our Mapplethorpe Curated by Huppert blog post was published early this week

Watch out for our next post on, or around, September 27th

Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, gardens, books, design and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Books | The History of Type in 2 Volumes

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Type. A Visual History of
Typefaces and Graphic Styles
Cees W de Jong, Alston W Purvis
and Jan Tholenaar
Published by Taschen
720pp, 2 volumes, soft covers
In slipcase, with keycard
Text in English, French and German

The glossy, bright red sleeve containing the matt linen effect, two-volumed book set, one black, the other white, the gold-blocking, spot-varnishing and the randomly positioned die-cut shapes punched through the slip-case, revealing both ornate and plain typographic characters, as well as illustrative elements on the covers beneath, combine to create a package that would make an ideal Christmas present for anyone who loves type in the way that those responsible for collating, editing and designing this publication surely must. Feeling at once modern, it cleverly evokes a strong sense of history without stooping into nostalgia. At first glance, the subject might easily be early twentieth century avant garde art and design, Dada, the Bauhaus, Surrealism, and perhaps have been designed by Pentagram with help from Kurt Schwitters and Piero Fornasetti, however Sense/Net based in Cologne, who for over the past ten years or so have designed many books on a wide variety of books for Taschen, including among others the Architecture Now! series (2009-2011), Cinema Now! (2007), Contemporary Graphic Design (2007), Helmut Newton, Sex & Landscapes (2004), were responsible for the art direction.

Design and publishing consultant Cees W de Jong, based in the Netherlands, Alston W Purvis, professor of the School of Visual Arts at Boston University, USA, and collector of the printed letter in all its incarnations, and Jan Tholenaar, based until his recent death, in Amsterdam, made up the editorial team, whose careful attention to detail ensured that all of the big names: William Caslon, Peter Behrens, Eric Gill, Paul Renner, Jan Tschichold, A M Cassandre, Aldo Novarese and Adrian Frutiger are represented, but equally that anonymous though often equally impressive examples of great typography were not left out.

This book set is representative of a very positive and growing trend among publishers for making available high-quality books, with a tactile hand-crafted appeal that offer a more precious alternative to e-books and other on-line publications, of which Penguin’s series Great Ideas (2004), designed by David Pearson, was an early example. The rather dry title, Type. A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, belies the depth, complexity and sense of pure enjoyment that can be had by simply turning from one spread to the next of each volume’s 360 pages – volume 1 covering the period 1628-1900 and volume 2, 1901-1938. Given pace by constant changes of scale and sheer variety of content, the package is fully cogent, but also full of surprises, including the keycard that comes as part of the package and allows purchasers free access to an online library of high-resolution images of type specimens downloadable for unrestricted use, making it great value at £34.99 / €41. While the outer packaging is splendid, using higher grade paper on the inside pages, where the uncoated bond suffers a little from show-through, might have been a good idea.

Type samples from top
Schriftproben, Schriftgiesserei
und mechanische Werkstätte

J H Rust & Co
Vienna, 1887

Monotype Gill Sans
The Monotype Corporation
London, 1935

Schriften und Zierat
J G Schelter & Giesecke
Leipzig, 1909


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The Blog is about art, architecture, gardens, books, design and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Typography | No Qualitative Easing

Friday, October 7th, 2011


Letter Fountain
Website companion to Taschen’s book Letter Fountain by Joep Pohlen

Designers born after 1980 have a total [sic] different view on visual culture, on aesthetic products, visions and history than the people born before the eighties – Extracted from Everyone is a Designer in the Age of Social Media, edited by dutch pair Geert Lovink and Mieke Gerritzen – first published in 2001, substantially revised and republished in summer 2010 by BIS publishers.

Until I began composing this blog post, I wasn’t aware of Everyone is a designer… but agree – with some reservations – to the authors’ sentiment regarding the democratisation of design for publishing and that nowadays anyone who wants to can turn their hand to layout or graphic design and even design typefaces.

Born well before the 1980s, classically trained in the use of typography, my peers and I at art college even set metal type and printed from it. Modernist that I’ve turned out to be, I make no apologies in admitting to being one of those designers who struggled (and continue to struggle) with what used to be called new technology. New technology – aka design on computer, arrived rather late, in 1990, at The Sunday Times Magazine where I had recently been made Art Director. Interestingly, Joep Polen and graphic designer Geert Setola’s first version of Letterfontein (Letter fountain) was published, only a short time later, in 1994, but rather unhelpfully, only in dutch and french. The 2011 manifestation is more international, with editions in english and spanish.

Aesthetically pleasing as the typography and design of Pohlen’s book and the website are, and although in their blurb Taschen claim that Letter Fountain will be useful for a new group of people interested in typography and typefaces, the very clear and classical presentation might easily be construed as dry, possibly patronising and rather academic to today’s snowboarding, crowd-surfing and web-surfing generation. For silver surfers, though, this book/website combo, might turn out to be a godsend.

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Look out for The Blog’s posts on art, architecture, gardens, books, design
and anything else that interests me and I think might interest you

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Design | Of Quick Brown Foxes & Lazy Dogs…

Friday, May 20th, 2011

New fonts from FontShop

There’s something very personal about choosing a typeface for a design project or for one’s own use. The fonts you go for say so much about you: where you come from, where you are, who you are, who you might like to be. Just as your signature is your own identifiable graffiti, the type you pick gives clues to your family tree as a designer.

It used to be that there were far fewer to choose from, which, although the limitations of what was available could be cause for frustration, in some ways made the task somewhat easier. My, how times have changed since the onset of digital type design.

I look forward to receiving it but I’m not always that impressed with the selection of new fonts that Fontshop send out in their, more or less monthly, Newsletter. Call it self-indulgence if you like, but if  I see anything that looks promising, I’ll use the sampler and set my name in it and see what it looks like in all the different weights and styles available – if it doesn’t look good in any of these or at least amuse me in some way, I can be pretty sure I’ll never use the font. That’s not to say it isn’t well-drawn or well-balanced; it’s just not me. If I want to look more closely at a font family I’ll type in the old faithful ‘The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’ sentence to see what all 26 characters look like and how well they set together. If I’m happy, I’ll take a look at the figures and the complete character set. It’s rare to find complete consistency throughout, which is something that appeals to me but I can understand may not be everyone else’s top priority.

Of those that arrived on my screen yesterday, Design System by Flat-it Type Foundry – all of the fonts of which have now been transferred to Dharmatype – in it’s madly extended form, Design System E 900 Regular OT, top, amused me but only Museo Sans Rounded, below, designed by Jos Buivenga jumped over my lazy dog.

So, who do you think you are, typographically-speaking?
What method do you use as a quick test when looking at fonts?

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