Creepy Type 2
This ‘oral alphabet’ must surely be a counterpart to the fleshy type I posted about a few months ago.
The toothy type has been created by Japanese designer Takayuki Ogawa who was inspired by the the mouth’s ability to express such a wide range of emotions by itself. This is clearly demonstrated in the many emoticons that use the mouth to describe the key emotion— :) :D :p. :/ —etc.
Brilliantly executed, they have been made from stone powder clay, acrylic paint, varnish, wood and iron, though, you might think twice before using them on that wedding invite…
Comic Sans For Cancer
Earlier this week I went along to the opening of the Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition inspired by the 20th anniversary of type designer, Vincent Connare’s clownish typeface.
Around 200 designs from 34 countries were invited to illustrate what the typeface means to them. Posters, featuring the typeface ‘everybody loves to hate’, were are being sold to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Due to the character of the typeface combined with of the subject matter, the excellent collection of designs lean toward the quirky and amusing. London based, Vincent Connare was at the event and giving it his full support, signing books and copies of the poster that that he’d submitted (featuring his normally placid cat, above).
Comic Sans for Cancer. Until 24th August 2014, The Proud Archivist London
Global Circus Lettering
The above shots are from Eine’s latest graffiti lettering, dubbed “Tenderloin”, painted in London, Berlin and Denver, CO.
See more of Ben Eine’s work on Type Worship, here, here & here.
Photos: Ben Fuchs, BirdMan, EineSigns
Laid-back Lettering, revisited
A year ago this week I interviewed Mary Kate McDevitt, a letterer living in Brooklyn. Following-up, I noticed plenty of new work over on her site.
You can clearly see her relaxed, informal style has really solidified in these examples together with a vintage colour palette, which I really like.
If you missed the interview take a look here.
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
Here in our fourth celebratory guest post, Brand and lettering designer Andrei Robu reveals his philosophy for high quality work.
I’ve realised I’ve been searching for a new place to call home.
I’ve just realised that we’ve been in and out of South East Asia for the past two years. Together with my girlfriend, we’ve spent three months in Indonesia, two in the Philippines, eight months in Bangkok. I’m writing this from Berlin and next week I’ll be in Vienna. All of this while freelancing, and all because we were searching for something.
It all started out as an excuse to relax. I needed some time off after getting out of a partnership in a design studio - managing people is damn exhausting. Time away made me realise how important the simple things are, having your coffee at your favourite coffee shop in the morning, enjoying the sun at lunch, meeting friends in the park in the afternoon, living in a big apartment in a nice and safe city… they are all priceless and wouldn’t be possible without my work. I get to draw for a living.
I stare at the strokes, move the beziers, redraw until it feels right, and I get at peace while doing it.
I drew letters all my life but while travelling I first discovered the pleasure of drawing a typeface. Type design for me is balance. I do it without pursuing perfection in any of its forms. I just do it because I love it. It’s a bit like meditation: I stare at the strokes, move the beziers, redraw until it feels right, and I get at peace while doing it. I know many like-minded people who love the sound of the pencil touching the paper; discovering a nice ligature by accident. It’s pure pleasure; it’s passion, and you feel there’s this certain elegance of the craft.
After working for so many years I’ve realised that I need plenty of time and space to be able to create the best work for my clients. Going to an office can be fun but not being able to choose the projects you take on is bad for you and your client.
My next step is to find the place where I get to choose my opportunities. I want to do the best work I can and I need balance in my life to do it. That means having time and freedom for thinking and perfecting my craft.
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.
Recently the Type Worship blog reached a milestone of 150,000 followers. To mark the occasion we have invited a selection of creative leaders to guest blog on the subject of their choice. In the first of these posts, Rob Clarke describes a pivotal time in his education that led to his career in lettering and typography, and offers his advice to aspiring designers.
Why a career in type?
I’m often asked why I got into such a niche career as typography. Back in my student days there weren’t many opportunities or information on a career in type design or lettering. I didn’t even think you could make a living purely out of playing around with type. In the early 90s I studied an ordinary graphic design degree course and loved the work of many contemporary designers of that time including Neville Brody, David Carson, Jonathan Barnbrook, Emigre, Why Not and 8vo. However it was Erik Spiekermann who really caught my attention. He had recently co-founded FontShop and was proving an inspirational speaker.
With Brody at the helm FontShop developed ‘the magazine for the future’ entitled Fuse. In each issue four designers were commissioned to create a font and poster based on a theme. The designs rejoiced in pushing the boundaries of legibility and creativity. It was this experimentation with type that I found most inspiring at that time. I only have a couple of Fuse issues but now I wish I’d bought them all.
I had the pleasure of meeting Erik in his MetaDesign studio in Berlin in December 1992. I was hungry to learn and this short visit would prove incredibly important to my future career decisions. At this time MetaDesign were working extensively with Berlin Transport Services (BVG). I was lead through the process of designing fonts and bespoke type in order to suit the needs of a particular project. I was also given a copy of Erik’s book entitled ‘Rhyme and Reason – A typographic Novel’ – a light-hearted look into the world of type and well worth a read if you can get your hands on a rare copy.
The revelation of my trip, however, was being introduced to an emerging East Berlin design collective called Grappa. They were originally established in 1987 and were pioneers of the Mac – embracing both its capabilities and limitations. Prolific poster designers for dance, theatre and music, I found their work so expressive and engaging. With a minimal and inventive style they created an unpredictable relationship between type and image. They were not traditional typographers and went with their gut instinct. Co-founder Andreas Trogisch told me they wanted their work to stay fresh and experimental. Their supplies were limited and budgets low therefore creativity was essential. Andreas was both warm and passionate and continues to champion freedom in design today. Grappa became Blotto in 2002 and recently Andreas left to form Troppo.
Meeting these guys had a lasting effect on me and I couldn’t help but be hugely inspired. To see how they worked in the real world and getting physically involved proved to be the real inspiration. I based my thesis on the emerging graphic design scene in Berlin and it heavily influenced how I would look at and treat type in the future. I still had no idea that I would end up concentrating purely on type and it wasn’t until I got my first job alongside a calligrapher that my education really started.
My advice for students/aspiring designers today: If you don’t ask you don’t get. It’s all too easy to send a generic email to a designer you admire, in the hope of receiving some magical inspiration. You have to dig a little deeper than this. Without becoming a stalker, try and meet your idols – go to as many talks as possible, you may bump into them in the pub afterwards. If this isn’t possible look at websites, like Dribbble, I’ve found this a great place to get feedback and virtually rub shoulders with all levels of designer.
We all had to start somewhere and my experience is that us designers aren’t a bad bunch and most are willing to help.
Above from top left: Neville Brody, Jonathan Barnbrook, Emigre, Typography Now2 (Why Not Associates), Fuse Packaging, Fuse poster by Neville Brody.
Images 7-10 & 12: Rob Clarke, December 1992, aged 21.
Image 11 Eye Magazine Winter, 1991
Posters at Reading
Following on from the Type Design course (TDi) course I attended at Reading University last year, I’ve returned to learn more about type design and the industry. If you like to know more about the intensive summer course take a look at my daily diary from last year.
Meanwhile here are some of the cool posters I’ve spotted around the faculty. Top by Jamie Wieck, bottom right, specimen of MATD 2013 graduates.