It’s surprising and a little exciting when you flick through Tumblr and see something you’ve designed. This recent musical ‘G’ was inspired by the Pouchée types. It needs a little more work and is part of a bigger design which I’m hoping to finish and then letterpress later this month. More to follow.
Musical ‘G’ by Jamie Clarke
A for Art
A logo for the Philadelphia Museum of Art has has been designed by Pentagram’s Paula Scher.
Aiming to put ‘art’ front and centre, it features a flexible initial A that can customised to show off the museum’s collection of 227,000 items. The Museum’s typeface Avenir is customized for the new configuration.
The identity overhaul coincides with the unveiling of plans for a renewal and expansion of the Museum by architect Frank Gehry.
Embrace the wobble
In this, the second of our guest posts, Ged Palmer, designer, letterer and burgeoning sign painter, reminds us of how wide the pool of inspirational lettering is…
Good typography is all about clean lines, smooth curves and harmony, right? Well, for the most part I subscribe to that philosophy whole-heartedly. I mean you only have to see Herman Zapf drawing curves to agree with that! Then again, these days I find myself more and more attracted to the weird and wonderful world of vernacular typography and lettering. I’m talking about the type of design that’s not made by designers: wonky signs, yard sale posters, janky tags and sketchy handwriting. Things that are made by hand are imperfect and that human quality is what gives it life, as Margaret Kilgallen once eloquently put.
So whilst we strive to make our work as beautiful and well polished as we can, let’s take a moment to embrace the wobbles, the drips, the busted-up, the forgotten and the downtrodden.
36 days of type
I noticed this open project over on Instagram recently, organised by Alejandro López Becerro. There’s a huge variety of characters to look through including just these 3D designs by Alejandro himself.
While the main letters were going up in April/May the project still seems quite active. Search on Instagram #36daysOfType and #36days_<glyph name>.
I missed these intricate letter blocks at the start of the year. Julien Priez from Paris has created the ornamental letters to for a greetings card. I love the quirky pattern work, each is quite individual.
Typeframe: Render vs. Cardboard
OK, now I give up. After seeing so many extraordinary, life-like 3D type models I had assumed this beautifully complex ‘a’ was of the same mould. But no. This character has actually been constructed physically. It’s made me realise that the line between 3D rendered graphic shapes and real constructed shapes is now imperceptible.
This Bodoni ‘a’ is part of a personal project called Typeframe by Gerard Miró of Lo Siento a Design Studio based in Barcelona, Spain. The ‘internal structure’ of the character has been constructed from cardboard “undressing the letter to show its skeleton”.
London Transport Type
Last week I had the chance to visit the London Transport Museum in the old Flower Market building in Covent Garden Piazza.
I’d been meaning to go for a while, particularly after the 100th anniversary of Johnston’s pervading typeface last year, and to see the history of the iconic roundel logotype which first appeared in 1908.
With a rich visual heritage spanning 200 years there’s plenty of graphic design and typography to see. There’s a decent sized display dedicated to graphic design and signage of the transport system with lots of printed ephemera. However type and lettering examples cover everything: vintage buses, underground carriages, posters, wayfinding.
Above, you can see some print examples together with hand–painted signage, ceramics, metalwork, and even some beautiful Pouchée type in use.
Lovely work by Seth Mach of San Francisco. These were hand-patterned and then digitized. I like the ears of wheat. It would be nice to see some more well-recognised plant forms mixed with the abstract shapes.
These are so intricate. You can spot little faces in some of the letters; some obvious, some maybe imagined?
Jan Christian Bierpfaff, Alphabet of organic type from Libellus Novus Elementorum Latinorum, mid 17th century. Via flickr.
This ABC shows masterfully the new Rocaille ornament of the beginning Rococo period. It was designed by the Polish goldsmith Bierpfaff and engraved by his fellow Jeremias Falck.
I’m transfixed by the level of detail that have gone into these illustrated letters. The little people seem pretty happy in their typographic environments. The designs are from various alphabet projects by Jing Zhang, based in East London.