issn 2043-7692


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#1 / Summer 2010 / Digital Edition


8 Faces #



Welcome A note from the editor Type Matters An introduction by John Boardley Erik Spiekermann Jessica Hische Ian Coyle Jason Santa Maria Jos Buivenga Jon Tan Bruce Willen & Nolen Strals 8 Forever Artwork by Able Parris Competition Win a print from Jessica Hische One More Thing... Christopher Murphy interviews The League of Moveable Type The ad section Next issue Credits


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This magazine was made possible thanks to the kind and generous support of (mt) Media Temple



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‘Type Matters’ article that follows), but it wasn’t until quite recently that I really started to appreciate type. It was a logical spiral into obsession from there: in the same way that learning to play an instrument changes the way one hears music forever, a love of type opens a whole new world in which it’s impossible to look at letter in the same way ever again.
I’d love to hear from you! Email your thoughts and suggestions to:

A note from the editor

make something real! Something tangible that I could touch, smell, and keep forever. And I knew that other people would want the same thing. Thus, 8 Faces was born. Everything about this project shouldn’t work: A printed magazine launched in a digital age. A niche subject with a limited audience. A large financial outlay in the aftermath of a recession. Oh, and an editor who’s never done anything like this before! But it’s my belief that passion makes up for naïvety, and that our collective love for type is a force to be reckoned with. Thank you for reading our debut issue.

My interest in typography was piqued as a child when my grandfather showed me his collection of metal type. It was gently nurtured throughout my design career and then renewed with vigour just a few years ago with the launch of John Boardley’s ilovetypography. com (John wrote and designed the

I’m not alone in feeling this way, but it seemed to me that we devotees of typography were poorly served in the offline world: printed magazines dedicated to the subject were expensive, bloated with ads, and inaccessibly highbrow. Plus, as someone working predominantly on the web, I wanted to




Fundamentally. our letterforms have changed little over the past five hundred & fifty years. Blackletter’s demise (or the decline of types modelled on Gothic scripts). Likewise. but rearrangeable. Not convinced? Then close your eyes for a moment and imagine. movable pieces of cast metal type and a press for printing with them. but the craft of typography has witnessed many changes. can be attributed in large part to the incunabular publishing tycoon that was Aldus Manutius. From the mundane to the metaphysical. it has elicited and inspired every conceivable emotion. it has fomented war and promoted peace. Typography—the craft of arranging type—was born. the most powerful publisher in Europe. rotary presses were pumping out ten thousand newspapers an hour. Some five hundred and fifty years ago. Next in line for . the first printed books in Italy employed types modelled on the rounder. a Mainz goldsmith invented. which had remained virtually unchanged for the first three hundred & fifty years. These reusable sorts could be arranged to form any and every word. broader forms of the Italian humanist scribes of the Renaissance. The earliest printed books were virtually indistinguishable from those penned by contemporary scribes.TYPE M AT TE R S 3 F or five and a half centuries it has educated. if you can. shocked. typography has changed the world. and so it was that the first printed books were set in Textura or ‘blackletter’ types modelled on the popular Gothic book hands (Textualis) of fifteenth-century Germany. not even printing (the Chinese had been printing texts since at least the eleventh century). who looked back to the so-called Carolingian miniscule or littera antiqua (mistakenly attributed to antiquity) and other Precarolingian scrips. praised through poetry. a world without type. not the book (which had been in existence for at least two millennia). placated. and the rapid ascendancy of the roman type since Jenson. was mechanised with the invention of Friedrich Koenig’s steam powered cylinder press. Within half a decade. but rather was about producing letterforms that readers would be instantly familiar with. first used by The Times newspaper in 1814. Letterpress. it has admonished through treatise. This was not an attempt by printers to dupe their readers into believing they were reading handwritten texts.

From a macroeconomic metaphor to a cooking analogy. and in some respects that view—their perceived invisibility—confirms their efficacy. and acutely aware of his responsibility to the reader. so that readers don’t have to. This magnificent recipe we call typography is a truly awe-inspiring thing. typography is text’s invisible hand. The master chef uses numerous ingredients. In typography perhaps our mantra should be: type before function before form. and fonts as software. and that which lies beyond (macro). plastic. all the while respectful of the author and the text. but aids the reader—to repurpose Adam Smith’s metaphor. Good typographers and good type designers obsess over the detail. inner margins broad enough so that text does not fall into the gutter. indeed. by the 1980s. a type that is big enough to read comfortably. anyone who hits keys on a keyboard is involved in creating typography. or an led screen. The Pianotyp (1840) paved the way for the Linotype. but a keyboard-tapper is no more a typographer than a monkey wielding a paint brush is an artist. whether that be metal. for that matter. phototypesetting and. a dash of that. or a monkey in front of a keyboard. however. A true typographer is an expert type-setter. and it matters for so many reasons but. one who is cognizant of the rules. .mechanisation was the typecasting and typesetting itself. to the typographic page. That is not to say that typography is some mystical art. outer margins generous enough for even the most ample thumbs. and Monotype typecasting machines. Intertype. Likewise. For many these minutiae are inimical to the design. legible and eminently readable page. In some respects. Sound typography is achieved with not too much effort: attention to measure and the balance between black & white—both inside and between letters (micro). but ego before form before function. typography matters because words matter. perhaps so little that most but the informed gourmand would not detect their inclusion. By the middle of the twentieth century those behemoths were being squeezed out by offset lithography. digital typesetting. above all. fine typography is about the harmony. yet skilled enough to break them with impunity. Sometimes just a pinch of this. Those ‘invisible’ details. paper. the blend of many ingredients coalescing to a beautiful. in varying quantities. Perhaps one of the greatest barriers to good typography is (the designer’s) ego: not so much form before function. and a typeface or typefaces appropriate to the subject matter and the substrate. their inclusion hinging on what they can bring to the text. In a book it is the text that forms the page—all other elements are accoutrements. sum to a page that not only pays homage to the text.

I think it’s true. There are two things: there’s FontShop. at the right time. Some people call me ‘Uncle Erik’! It’s great to have been there at the start and to have found and supported some really good talent. Were you aware of that at the time? Of course not! [laughs] I think it’s fair to say. To others he’s simply known as Uncle Erik.. you like it. Is it possible to discuss the subject of typography without mentioning him? We caught up with Erik Spiekermann and learned that no-one else is allowed to touch The FontBook. which is not the only one anymore — just the best one — and it still has an edge because it’s run by people who really know what they’re doing. it grows. we created a few hundred jobs around the world and they still make great stuff. spiekermann. the distribution network. That’s my baby. How do you feel about it now as you look back on what you’ve created? Well. and it’s amazing. 12345678 I think it’s fair to say that what you did with the creation of FontShop basically revolutionised the industry. they’re all real type nerds. That’s still fun because it allows me to meet all these great type designers. And the second one is the FontFont library. But it was something that was obviously desired by the industry and I was the right PAG E 06 INTERVIEW ERIK SPIEKERMANN . in the right place. and it’s nice to see that you create something.Erik Spiekermann He’s been called the godfather of type by some.


so why don’t we have those?’ And we have to start designing this stuff. But why should they imitate Univers and Meta? Instead. They say. just like the Mexicans and the Argentinians are suddenly doing this amazing stuff. there’s the issue of it originating from handwriting. Type design for me is a hobby — it’s my second or third hobby. I just did some collections for a Hebrew version of Meta. for example. I was just doing physical corrections to the drawings — where strokes meet and where curves should be and what not — but there are difficulties because I can’t read it. What I find most satisfying is that they may go to the schools here in Reading or in the Hague — which are the two best type design schools — but they come back and they have their own flavour. Do you think that still holds true or is it changing? It used to be but not anymore. but it isn’t going to stay that way. there are obviously mechanically designed Arabic alphabets but. They want the magnitude that we have and there’s no reason why they can’t have it. but music sounds different: you can tell London music from Berlin music. Do you think this has given you a fairly unique view of the industry? Yes. PAG E 08 INTERVIEW ERIK SPIEKERMANN . from a German one. We want our own!’ Essentially the Arabic alphabet is based heavily on handwriting. Do you see that as a challenge for Western designers? To bring some of those principles to a language they’re unfamiliar with? Yes. that’s changed a lot. you’ve been in the position of forming both a successful foundry and a successful font distributor. I think it’s important that I’m actually more a user of type: it’s turned me into a better maker of type. I can see the same thing happening in India. which is very difficult. You can’t do that — it has to be written by hand. I sense what people need in the design business because I’m in the design business myself. I’m really happy to see that now. and yes. type design in South America is exploding. so there’s distinctive Mexican type design. The stereotype was nice because the history of printing started in northern Europe. They have this edge in the same way that you and I can tell type from an English one. Brazilian type design. I can really only judge it technically. if you make an Arabic Univers. but as with everything else. And I love how we all conform to the twenty-six characters and we have. Argentinian type design. what — five per cent or ten per cent leeway? It’s like music: we use the same notes and the same key. It has to show the stroke of the quill! Is that changing. ‘you have Univers and Helvetica and 140. In the world of typography. it can be quite controversial. from an American one. Now people who use the Arabic alphabet are starting to say.With FontFont and FontShop. too? Of course. Just like how it would have been in the 1500s here.000 others. by and large. northern Europe has traditionally been seen as something of an epicentre. ‘we’re a little bored seeing all this stuff in Latin. and the same goes for type. It makes me really happy there’s no divide anymore.

Digital is zeroone. And luckily that works well on the web. but the idea was to never use the same font twice. and then a black square. Do you think you’ve established a brand for typography itself that goes beyond your own? When we designed the logo in ’88 we sat down and we just had the name FontShop. He created some of our most suc- INTERVIEW ERIK SPIEKERMANN PA G E 09 . so you use yellow. Erik van Blokland was one of the two people who designed it and he’s one of our original designers. Like The FontBook. How could we settle for just one? We’re selling typefaces ­ — doing one would be stupid! So I guess these days you call that a liquid or moving identity. which is the one thing offering FF Nuvo Medium Demo as a free download. of course. My favourite is having a yellow background. is the perfect FontShop logo. That’s important. then a white square. It’s always combined with white because otherwise it gets a little bit drab. The idea was that we had to insinuate precision and digital. it seems to have become common for designers to use what I can only describe as the ‘FontFont yellow’. have a bit of geometry in there. That. Basically I tell people to use the black. Yellow is light and black is not light. two squares for ‘shop’. He worked with me in Berlin when we started FontShop. Always square-based. It was defined that you would never use the same combination of faces once ever again. to me. Everyone has their own little interpretation. Do you have any brand guidelines beyond that? There’s no real guide book. Yellow is the one and black is the zero. It’s always very grid-based. Then the logo itself is two squares for ‘font’. as at the time they were called laser fonts.In design related specifically to typography. it’s white-andblack. Always ‘font’ in one face and ‘shop’ in another. FontFont got behind Firefox’s support for the woff format by I’m actually more a user of type: it’s turned me into a better maker of type. and always a different typeface for each instance. You can’t show a white square on white. So at first it was going to be white and black: the white square and the black square. That’s how it came about and the original idea was two squares: one yellow and one black. How do you feel about woff as a format? Well. I still design by myself — nobody else gets near that. it’s on-and-off. Some of the combinations were awful. and add the white to it.

not just out of loyalty but also because we found shortcomings with eot. It’s also great for companies who have their own custom typefaces. and at nine am it would be delivered to the agencies. I’m the uncle and he’s the kid! So anyway. Typotheque: PAG E 10 INTERVIEW ERIK SPIEKERMANN . I would set it during the night. so every backstreet garage has the Mercedes Benz typeface. we choose the typefaces — he has the Dutch view and the young view. and I’m the soon. You can’t crack the woff format. Everybody will have their own systems to supply the font. I don’t buy the type — I pay them for delivering it — but instead of putting it on film they’re pulling it off their server onto a website. At FontShop we have our Web FontFont system. perhaps because web design itself is coming of age. Obviously they’ve already paid for them so they don’t want to pay for them again: we just make a woff version and put it up on their servers. In the old days I used to send my order. we’re back to typesetting: you’re asking someone else it’s healthy — we need to hack stuff — but generally it’s as safe as it can be. Now we have a decent standard and I pushed very hard for us to support it. I mean. And because it’s tied to their server people can’t rip it off. It seems that people are more interested in type these days. I still think you should pay for type but I don’t think people should pay a few hundred dollars for using a font once on a website. old tired German view. Apart from being the only people who have been there for twenty years. Is that the case? Essentially we’re back to typesetting: you’re asking someone else to supply the font. Peter Biľak already has a similar system 1 to Typekit. somebody will crack it because people do crack things and I’m glad that people do because I’m not sure which way around it goes because there’s always been an interest. It works both ways: you have this enormous offer of literally a hundred thousand 1. which is not great. I think this Typekit model is actually useful. Essentially.cessful typefaces and is still on our type board. I would get the manuscripts at night. it was obvious that we would support it. Other people have theirs. It’s important that a lot of these fonts don’t become publicly available: you can buy the Mercedes Benz typeface. And this is basically what Typekit and those guys offer. that’s outrageous. Because as a designer myself I get that.

But there are also a few thousand users of FontLab. For an example. Right now is a great time to be a type designer. A course is normally one FontLab costs hundreds of 3. It’s mind-boggling. so therefore that’s a few thousand type designers. 2 It’s brilliant. the tools are out there. you can go to type design classes. There’s a reason why they are free! [laughs] But I mean it’s great if kids want to make fonts but they’re not good enough to be sold. Or if you just want to mess around. If they want to do it seriously they should go to one of the classes that takes a year or two of your life. Twenty years ago there were a hundred. you can go to html classes. Now there are very few type designers over sixty. I knew them all and most of them were in one room at our annual conference. or lithographic stone. And that is all because of the tools. Whether it was woodcut. You can go to Java classes. Has there been an increase in the quality of free fonts as well? No. Again. The Masters course at Reading 3 is two years. be sure to check out fonts created by Sudtipos: sudtipos. And the schools now are starting to teach type design at least at a basic level. It’s got 6000 glyphs in it. It’s not like an iPhone app: it’s a big commitment. So a few thousand people have made that commitment and there are now a few thousand type designers around the world. which is fantastic. and you can spend two years in your bedroom teaching yourself FontLab just by trying it out. University of Reading INTERVIEW ERIK SPIEKERMANN PA G E 11 . It’s open for anybody. A lot of people might be put off — nobody wants to do 600 characters: they want to do fifty-two or something — but it’s available.type design forward. MA Typeface Design. It’s not like an iPhone app: it’s a big commitment. copper engraving. most of them are twenty to forty. and most of them were over sixty. it’s a commitment. Why not let them do it? What advice would you have for someone today who is getting started in type design? Obviously it’s different from when you started out. the tools have always moved 8 2. but you have to be a graduate designer. In Argentina they do the most incredible stuff because they’re using thousands of OpenType combinations. Free fonts are either done as a marketing tool by people like us or by people who haven’t done it before who are discovering their talents. typefaces. FontLab costs hundreds of pounds so you don’t buy it unless you’re really going to use it. year. but are there any parallels? Or perhaps anything that’s radically different these days? Not really. There are some decent free fonts — open source kind of things that kids do as a hobby — but they’re either not technically efficient or they lack large character sets or whatever.

FF Unit Slab We’re also huge fans of FF Unit Slab. plus great italics and display versions. contrast and lots of details for a while. where it almost looks like a typewriter face – like an Officina with the cuteness taken away. It’s a large family now: lots of weights. industrial face in the regular weight. which would you choose? FF Meta / Erik Spiekermann. Cyrillic. It works with the Meta family as well as with the other Units. Just Van Rossum My second bestseller. Works well with my own faces. Christian Schwartz. No-nonsense.Erik Spiekermann. Kris Sowersby Meta was my first successful type design and also started a whole movement of ‘alternative’ sans serif faces. as you may have noticed! / Erik Spiekermann. Has the sharpness that my faces lack. I love how Unit Slab looks like a regular. So much so that we decided to use it as the official typeface for 8 Faces. almost apocryphal. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life. Arabic (soon). ITC Officina / Erik Spiekermann. Christian Schwartz. It reads like a serif in small sizes and works suprisingly well in large sizes. but it symbolizes the time it came from: the crossover between typesetting and typewriter. Then we decided to consider the Meta/Unit families as one big universe of faces. Hebrew (soon).. Devanagari (soon). It has been a bestseller since 1990. Ole Schäfer. Kris Sowersby When we designed FF Meta Serif.. keeps going in and out of fashion. It’s almost become part of the vernacular since Adobe included it for free with early versions of Illustrator. Arnhem / Fred Smeijers A great face for magazines and books. we couldn’t decide on weight. . and is the nearest thing I’ll ever have to a classic. Greek. I hardly ever use it. practical.

Block / Berliner Grotesk / Berthold in-house I had it in sizes from 8pt to 96pt in metal and many sizes in wood when I ran a printshop. Meta Headline. FF Meta Serif / Erik Spiekermann. meant as a hard-working companion for the sans family. Christian Schwartz. Unit Slab. The R in Block Reklameschrift Bold is my favorite letter of all time. Meta Condensed.) I grew up with the hot-metal versions and used the photosetting weights a lot when I designed the specimen books and corporate design for Berthold. It is indestructible. and super caps. We designed it for my new studio after MetaDesign. Meta. Ferdinand Heinhardt (Only light. Christian Schwartz.. Designed some old-style figures for it in the early 80s. which is basically the light companion to Block. I redesigned some of the weights for Berthold photosetting in the late 70s. Meta Serif. and now part of a large tribe: Unit Rounded. I also redrew Berliner Grotesk. medium. based on the wood display versions. not too pretty. Kris Sowersby Deliberately plain. I would take it on the desert island because it works pretty much everywhere if Arnhem is too distinct.. called United Designers. Akzidenz Grotesk / Gunter Gerhard Gange. Still planning to draw a lighter Medium weight. regular. Kris Sowersby The slightly more serious sister of Meta. .All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt FF Unit / Erik Spiekermann.

Is there a reason you’ve gravitated towards that sort of thing? Well. I had a good amount of ‘for fun’ pieces in my portfolio when I sent out an illustration promo to a bunch of 1. You can’t turn your head without seeing her beautiful work in every direction you look. I was working on a children’s book and I needed something that matched the illustration PAG E 14 INTERVIEW JESSICA HISCHE . Then It kind of went away for a bit. and that is most certainly a good thing.Jessica Hische She’s everywhere right now. 12345678 Your illustration work is very type-heavy. and that was one of the most enjoyable parts of the project. as I worked for a place where there wasn’t really a place for hand-lettering because it was so technical. so I started drawing the letters. It would be like my nighttime project that I did while I was sitting on the couch with one of my friends while he was cooking dinner or whatever. it wasn’t type heavy to begin with. She was the only person that contacted me back from that mailing jessicahische. So I tried to just do it on my own. I just sent her a packet of postcards that were the twelve days of Christmas. We spoke to Jessica Hische about the fine line between design and illustration. which included Louise. just for fun... 1 Did you just contact her out of the blue then? Yeah. I couldn’t find it in a font. illustrated. Jessica’s former employer Louise Fili: louisefili. I did some hand-lettering in college and it was mostly just because I didn’t have a very good font collection.


It makes it easier for me if. done. Then I’d buy it and find that the swash thing’s not the same and the kerning is awful and — wait. I didn’t think it was an actual job interview. So when I blow it up I’ll make the stroke thinner and then I just have to re-adjust the points on the shapes. okay. obviously I’m not going to keep the thins the same thickness because it won’t work as a display typeface. Oh. Weirdly. but I went up and she offered me a job that day! It was crazy because I had just started teaching three weeks earlier. I would consider that illustration. If I’m doing headlines for a magazine.and asked me to come up for an interview. Most of the hand-lettering stuff started happening more when I was working for Louise. absolutely! It will take me four hours to find a font that’s appropriate or forty minutes to draw the one word that I want. We need an R. hand-lettering something only to realise later that it needs to be expanded to a full typeface? Sometimes. I’ve had a couple of projects where they changed the format of a book. I draw something and it has to be blown up. ‘I want this but in this book there’s no R. It takes so much less time for me to just redraw it than it does for me to actually hunt down a font.’ Do you think that has made you hand-letter stuff where most people would turn to typefaces? Have you ever got unstuck because of that. INTERVIEW JESSICA HISCHE . or they didn’t tell me when I first started that there were five extra lines on the cover or something. She would show me type and say. If I’m doing a logo for someone and I’m doing It will take me four hours to find a font that’s appropriate or forty minutes to draw the one word that I want. this isn’t a display font — so I’d have to draw it anyway. the type clients that I’ve had have been very. say. but usually because of the way that I work it’s not too hard to adjust. I usually draw with strokes first and then draw shapes on top of the strokes. so I had to drop everything and move to New York within two weeks. Would you call your type-focused work ‘illustration’ or is it ‘design’? I would say it’s the context that determines whether it’s design or illustration. ‘Looks good.’ They don’t usually come back with that many revisions.

which is divide yourself between client work and making money from products that you sell. whereas with her it’s usually people who are opening restaurants. How did you — and how do you — make a distinction between the work you produced there as an employee and the work you produce as a solo artist? I think the styles are very similar for us but the client projects and the type of work is very different. INTERVIEW JESSICA HISCHE PA G E 17 . And you’ve now got an intern to sit in the post office for you? Precisely. It involves lots of meetings and it’s much more involved.’ I still feel like I’m not making money from it.hand-lettering within the logo. We might both do books but that’s the only overlapping thing. that’s design. With my own projects. for book covers and stuff. The ‘house style’ of Louise Fili is of course very similar to your own. because I love it and I want to give it to my sister?’ So I really started selling prints just to satisfy people who wanted them. who have no idea what design is. because sitting in the post office takes up so much time. What’s actually kind of funny is that I didn’t start selling prints and what not because I wanted to make money from them. I only did it because I was getting so many requests for prints from people where they would ask.’ But it’s really horrible boring work. designers and art directors hire me to do a specific thing that they need for a project. You’ve managed to do something I’m trying to do. ‘I’m surprised that you’re paying an intern. Is that going well? What sort of divide is there between client work and product work? I always have way too many product ideas so that’s always an issue. ‘can you make a print of those cats that you made last year. so obviously I should sell this one. which is why I’m paying them! Everyone was like. I’ve got three requests for this print . Illustration is more specific: designers often hire hand-letterers to do tiny parts of what they do — one word or something — which happens all the time for me. Whenever people send me a request I write it down and say ‘okay.

‘oh. I think if I wasn’t on the map at all it probably would’ve been much lower. PAG E 18 INTERVIEW JESSICA HISCHE . Do you have plans to do more product-based work so that you can do less client work? The thing is I really enjoy the client work! I don’t have a lot of asshole clients. I don’t get dark projects. and all that. so I’m not usually like. I wish I could be doing this other thing right now.’ The reason I want to do more product stuff is because I like to make things. I feel like most of my clients are super fun to work for and the projects are usually crazy and weird and fun. The reason I got into print design in the first place was because I love tangible things that you can hold. So I’m going to try and work up a bit of an inventory by printing stuff out and having him trim things down and fill out FedEx labels.’ just because one day I’ll be doing tattoo type for a book cover. You’ve even started selling a lovely letterpress print of one of your alphabets. It’s more like. Do you think it helped put you on the map. It’s a solid four and a half to five hours when I have to do it once a week. and another day I’ll be drawing cats that are famous on the internet. I feel like I was just beginning to get on the map right before I started it because I got something like 12. ‘I have this fun human interest piece that we think you would do a good illustration for. But I really think it’s done a huge deal for making me a little bit more well-known.000 views on the first day. It’s always the kind of jobs that I I think so. so it’s going to be such a blessing not having to do that anymore. just because my style lends itself to being fun. You created The Daily Drop Cap and it’s proved to be very popular. as it were? I wouldn’t want someone to do that job unpaid! So what do they do besides queue in the post office? I do all the prints of the Giclée stuff myself because I have a crazy huge printer.would want to get. I don’t get editorial assignments about cancer and Wal-Mart.

too. ‘Oh. at first I was worrying so much about posting before midnight to make sure it happened on the exact day. [Win a signed Daily Drop Cap print by Jessica on page 64] INTERVIEW JESSICA HISCHE PA G E 19 . I needed to have a tattoo for it! 8 My style lends itself to being fun. What does the word mean for you personally? It’s just the thing that I’m most passionate about working on. but sometimes my day is so crazy that I don’t really get to it until really late at night. I have other tattoos from other times in my life. you never work a day in you life.Has it been difficult to maintain it? One letter per day is a massive commitment! Sometimes it is.’ kind of thing. Do you surround yourself with typography and is it important that it’s stuff you’ve created? I do have a good amount of projects of mine up on the wall but most of it’s just because when I first moved in I needed to have writing on the walls immediately. What’s kind of funny is sometimes I’ll draw the letter and I’ll just be lazy about posting it so then it will be eleven o’clock in the morning and I’ll be like. So when are you going to stop doing it? I’m doing twelve alphabets and then the thirteenth alphabet is going to be a curated guest alphabet. Some of it has remained up. I feel good about it. but I didn’t have a type tattoo. I don’t get editorial assignments about cancer and Wal-Mart. But I’ll have twenty-five other people doing the guest letters and I have some big people signed on so far. it’s technically tomorrow!’ But you’ve managed to stick to it so far? Yeah. but a good amount of the type that’s on my wall now is not actually my own. I’m going to do Z because I can’t not do the last letter of the project. It looks very typetastic. ‘if you love what you do. On your site you’ve got a link to an article which has photos of your apartment on it. You’ve even gone as far as to get ‘type’ tattooed on your arm. I decided that since this is the most important thing in my life. I’m going to try and do a show of those letters and maybe do some letterpressing of them. as long as I have one for each work day. It’s that whole. So I don’t really worry about posting at one in the morning.

. but as someone that very seldom designs for web. it comes in so many weights that it is endlessly useful in other formats. Tobias Frere-Jones It’s definitely good to have a solid sans-serif in your arsenal and I definitely love Gotham more than most out there right now. / Matthew Carter When I design for web (which I only really do for personal projects). Of the standard web fonts. It’s definitely exciting to see all of the new innovations and speculations about webfonts. Gotham is definitely everywhere. Walbaum / Justus Walbaum When I started working for Louise Fili. I didn’t really have a very good knowledge of serif typefaces (when you’re a student. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life. but it’s just to good to not include. which would you choose? Gotham / Jonathan Hoefler.Jessica Hische. It can look very vintage or very modern depending on what it’s paired with and is my go-to extended font. Georgia definitely gets the job done. Engravers Gothic Georgia / Bitstream Engravers gothic is a great typeface. Walbaum was a typeface used constantly in the studio and it came to become one of my favorite serif typefaces. so I tend to use it as supporting text rather than the primary type. Extended sans serifs look so great when set very small. you spend so much time trying to be experimental and a Designer with a capital D that you often overlook the basics). Georgia is definitely the least offensive and the italic is downright pretty even at giant sizes. While you can’t necessarily use it as headline text without evoking Obama imagery. though a bit funky sometimes to work with. I pretty much only use Georgia.

Coquette is in the sweet spot between script and sans-serif. 1 Neutraface Archer / Christian Schwatrz Neutraface might be a bit too stylized for some. This is another typeface that I use more as a supporting character than as the main star. The numbers are especially excellent and I’m constantly mixing it with sans-serifs to add a bit of decoration to chunks of text. / Jonathan Hoefler. One thing I do love about Neutraface is the italic. It’s definitely vintage feeling. Adios Script / Alejandro Paul 1. I wouldn’t be able to design without Ale’s fonts. Because Adios Script is a display face and not that well-suited to 8pt type. and depending on how you use it it can feel really feminine or just warm and modern. All of the weights are great from Hairline to Bold and the italic is beautiful. I think once fonts become a bit too ubiquitous. but I find that it pairs very well with my illustration and design work. mixing them smartly with other typefaces and not letting them be the main event. . Tobias Frere-Jones Archer is everywhere but I just love it way too much to not include it. It was tough to pick which of his typefaces to include. but this one pairs well with other typefaces I’ve chosen. He includes tons of flourishes and alternate characters with each typeface and Adios SCript is no exception.All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt Coquette / Mark Simonson I use Coquette way too much to not include it on this list. If I were to quit lettering tomorrow. but if you use the text versions rather than display it isn’t hit-you-over-the-head vintage. and often if I’m using another sans-serif I’ll swap out the italic for Neutraface’s. you just need to use them in a more creative way. we’ve stuck to FF Unit Slab for Jessica’s descriptive text Alejandro Paul’s typefaces are the closest you can get to hand-lettering something yoruself (or hiring a letterer).

but to be honest I’m not that excited about Typekit or Fontdeck. If they decide to raise their rates iancoyle. as a user. I’m definitely very excited about @font-face as a whole. but the one thing we’ve learnt from the music industry is that drm just doesn’t really work. controversial! How do you mean? I’m sure a lot of the type foundries are behind it so they can protect their fonts. Ian discusses the landscape one year on… 12345678 It was the discussion you and I had at SXSW that prompted the entire idea for 8 Faces: you pointed out the fact that pre-digital designers were limited by a small collection of fonts. PAG E 22 INTERVIEW I A N C OY L E . And it’s nice to have services like Typekit or Fontdeck. To me it’s not the right model for putting fonts online. this magazine wouldn’t exist: a conversation with him at South By Southwest in March 2009 lead to the realisation that typographic restriction can actually be a great thing. I don’t really have much control over. but they’re controlled by third party entities that.Ian Coyle If it weren’t for multi-disciplined designer Ian Coyle. How do you feel about @font-face finally coming of age with services like Typekit and Fontdeck? I’m going to get myself into trouble here. and that web designers should therefore embrace the limitations imposed by only having a few ‘web safe’ font families. Wow. I’m not too happy filtering my fonts through a third-party service.


there’s really nothing we can do about it. I don’t find myself too constrained by what’s possible. of course. And I guess there’s a huge potential for the misuse of @font-face as well? I think there is but there’s a lot more potential for misuse of design in general. I’m sure you. I’ve seen print designers spend hours and hours kerning every single word and every single letter. Thinking for a Living: thinkingforaliving. Can you elaborate on what you guys are doing with the Thinking for a Living network? It’s a collection of like-minded and passionate creatives. The core of that issue comes back to the designer. but one doesn’t work without the other. Typi- 1. Apple became the top music seller in less than a year and they didn’t do it by giving things away for free. As we touched on before. Their projects are commendable and they’re making it happen. You can’t assume that it’s going to be visually perfect every single time it’s viewed. Putting more money into protection instead of bettering your system is the wrong place to put your energy. if we made a better system it would probably solve a lot of the issues. I appreciate their work. so I don’t think the fonts are necessarily responsible. not with what they’re doing. and Jason could get into a nice heated debate! Oh we definitely will! But it’s cool. it’s great that they’re making it available. even though — as a true creative at heart — I want it to be. creating a network that really values and respects design and the impact it can have on society. they did it by creating a better system to distribute music. Again. you’re a firm believer in constraints leading to creativity. you tend to think about your design in a different way. I have issues higher up the chain. Jon. in my PAG E 24 INTERVIEW I A N C OY L E . It’s a philosophy I’m still trying to hone in on. Are there any particular typographic restraints you find yourself dealing with on a regular basis in web design? Apart from the font family limitations. So. gorgeous piece. so we can actually focus on the content or the rest of the design first without getting bogged down by every single little detail. You have to let go of those reins. In the end those two can come together and produce an amazing. When you think about cmss and how users can edit elements of the page. With web design. We tend not to do that on the web. A bad designer — regardless of the fonts he owns — has more potential to run afoul than a good designer with one font. I’m looking at the iTunes model — even iTunes opened up drm and to me it doesn’t come down to protecting things better. The Thinking for a Living site 1 is a good example where it really was built on the content and not the pixel-perfect design. But the nice part about that is that in return you get to build a truly collaborative system. with the font foundries not willing to put money into bettering the system. I have issues with the fundamental model. it comes down to making a better system on how to get fonts.

it’s just a metric of caring. All people want to do is just use their trackpad. And. we put on paper.000 people and not know how much they care. that deeper experience from it. while those are some measure of success. Is it turning into a place for people to go and read decent length articles about things and really learn? It definitely is.000 rss subscribers.cally agencies and designers judge the success of our work based on what I call impression-based metrics: the number of hits. I have a saying: ‘scroll and skim. but also allow you to sit and read it if you want to get that deeper knowledge. and a lot of the time people will skim right by it. skim the content and go to the next page. it doesn’t come back to paying. But then. and learn how to give them what they want — than have 10. Our goal was to make a system that enables you to skim it if you want to. you translate that to the web. We feel like we’re part of that movement forward. anyway. look at pretty pictures and scroll down the page. We put a lot of thought into how we present things. people who want to read. We spend a lot of time as designers. Is it down to the way you’ve utilised the keyboard controls. and also people who want to create. the things that I look more toward — and as a network we’re looking more toward — is what we call expression-based metrics: how much do people actually care about it? Someone might have 10. That’s what we’re focussed on: the people who really care and want to make a better society through design. the number of followers. and we put a lot of thought into the words A bad designer — regardless of the fonts he owns — has more potential to run afoul than a good designer with one font. as thinkers. things like that. I think you’ve succeeded: you do want to spend time on it. which allow you INTERVIEW I A N C OY L E PA G E 25 . For us. we put a lot of time and care into people who want to learn. I’d rather have a hundred people willing to pay for my website — and know that. the number of re-tweets. as an industry. Or we should. but I always ask the question: ‘how many of them would pay for your content?’ And when I think about it.’ Scroll and skim has become the de facto standard for websites these days.

design less. I don’t want to call it a style. I think Ellen Lupton probably said it best: ‘think more. In any song — in any piece the keyboard control — and other things that take you out of that normal day-to-day interaction of just scrolling and clicking — creates a moment for you to experience it in a different way.’ You’re the only web designer I know who owns a letterpress machine. It’s great to see this ‘proper design’ enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment. but if there’s anything that’s similar to the web (until recently. I feel like that’s sometimes lacking in a web environment. network all share a common design ground: strong typography. ‘let’s create a moment here.’ she says. I’ve learned a lot just by hiring a designer who wasn’t a web designer: she’s print-only. Even moments of silence. ‘that’s a nice moment. our designs were so predicated on technology. anyway). now that we can finally apply proper enjoy the content rather than constantly flicking the scroll wheel? Yes.’ and I realised the power of actually creating a moment: a moment to pause. especially on the web. and learn how to give them what they want — than have ten thousand people and not know how much they care. as opposed to asking. a moment to read.’ or. it’s the limited number of typefaces you have at your disposal. Not to say that we couldn’t create good designs. but our designs were somewhat limited by technology because the field was so young. but you and the other members of the PAG E 26 INTERVIEW I A N C OY L E . You need to have moments when people can listen to it or get excited. For us. ‘does this work with the technology?’ The technology is just a platform that allows us to do whatever we want. show her my web work and whenever she sees something. very rigid grids. Do you think this is happening? I do. I of art — you can’t have all high notes. exactly. When I look back on the first generation of the web. instead of saying. Has there been anything else you’ve taken from letterpressing and then applied to your web design work? I’d rather have a hundred people willing to pay for my website — and know that. minimalist layouts. a moment to reflect. etc. ‘that’s nice there. I feel like the technology has finally got us to a place where we can truly evaluate design and design thinking. The disciplines are so different.

Yeah. I don’t believe in multiple concepts. the more you can visualise those things or make the right decisions upfront. good enough is good enough for them. If I want to change the colour to red or if I want to change the leading. it comes down to. and it went really well. and we truly understand each other from a client perspective. because if I’ve listened to you right then there’s probably only one right way to do it. it’s about the person: the way they think and the way they approach the work. Taking that mentality to web design works very well because you start to make sure that your ideas are solid before you push pixels. ‘did you bring my brand online appropriately?’ or. I feel like you need more time to think if you want to do that well. You and I have spoken in the past about your aim to have only four client projects a year. teaching them that these things take time? If you’re only working with a few clients a year. When a client comes to a designer — to any creative — it’s not just the output. then I should be able to come back to you with just one concept. What it’s taught me is that I have to think first and make the right decision in my mind before I apply it. definitely. actually. But there are other people looking to create something great. Again it comes back to thinking. What letterpress has taught me is that I can’t just change the leading on my form. How have you expressed that rationale to clients. I don’t really have to think about it first: I just change a number and it happens for me on screen. a lot of it is about finding people who think the same. they help to inform my client work. Have you been able to achieve that? I have. which is great — I can get rapid feedback and I can make decisions based on what I see — but the problem is that I have to see it first and you train yourself that in order to make a good decision. It doesn’t come down to whether the design has this grid versus that grid. For a lot of people. I feel like it’s the same thing: the more you can understand. you have to see it first. I can’t just change the colour very quickly. and if I’m working on personal projects. I have to clean the press and spend three hours realigning things. It allows me more freedom and more time to think. We’ve got so used to a digital environment with Photoshop and the like. And when you find each other. Everything that I do creatively is part of a larger process. you know it. 8 INTERVIEW I A N C OY L E PA G E 27 . and if I’ve already printed half of it I can’t go back and reprint it or just hit ‘undo’. that if we want to see something. we just make it happen. ‘did you create the best user experience?’ And that only comes from thinking. Last year I had four clients. So it’s definitely made its way into your client work? I’m a designer who thinks that if I’ve truly communicated well.

Ian Coyle. Garamond Always a classic serif for text and titling. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life. / Gunter Gerhard Gange. Futura / Paul Renner Always modern and great in all weights. which would you choose? Akzidenz Grotesk One of the original and still great sans serifs. Ferdinand Heinhardt Din / Albert Jan Pool Strong and minimal letterform that is as beautiful by itself as in designs. / Claude Garamond .

elegant. / Jonathan Hoefler Sentinel / Jonathan Hoefler. Tobias Frere-Jones A new modern classic. minimal. Helvetica / Max Miedinger. Hoefler Text Nothing looks better in italic than Hoefler Text. Tobias Frere-Jones A hard choice to select this over Clarendon. simple. I believe it will stand up as long as the other typefaces on this list. classic. clean. While it’s been recently overused. The beauty of Helvetica is that any adjective can describe it in use. but the extra weights (and italics) give it the edge. boring. . Eduard Hoffmann Utilitarian.All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt Gotham / Jonathan Hoefler.

his application of editorial design principles to the humble blog post kickstarted a new movement in web design. What would you say are the core concepts of taking such an approach that have worked well for you? There were a lot of people making strides in this direction a while PAG E 30 INTERVIEW J A S O N S A N TA M A R I A . The thing that gets me — when we call it something like a blogazine — is that it has nothing to do with the distribution of that content.Jason Santa Maria In his past life as Happy Cog’s Creative Director. 1 And really this is the way that we made web pages back before everything was dynamic. and we don’t stop to think about the actual presentation of our content.’ 12345678 I’m sure you’re sick of talking about it. but you’ve popularised this idea of ‘art direction’ on the web by giving each one of your blog posts a unique design. On his personal site. really limiting because it dictates a particular style of design (if you can even call it a style). like Khoi Vinh and Liz Danzico with ‘A Brief Message’. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog or a magazine or jasonsantamaria. Jason Santa Maria wowed us with his type-tastic websites. A Brief Message: abriefmessage. it has nothing to do with the medium. We’ve got bogged down in how automated we can make our websites through the cmss that we use and how easy publishing is. This concept is just what design is all about from the get-go. The thing where a lot of people slip up is giving it a name: people are calling them ‘blogazines’ and I think that’s just horrible. It’s really. We talk Typekit and the future of web fonts with the self-prescribed ‘painfully obsessive type nerd.


it varies. improving upon it each time. not only for all of those things. Almost as soon as I announced it I ended up taking a bit of a hiatus from client work. it might be full-days here and there. I’d shown Jeff Veen some of the early stuff we’d been working on with Typedia at a conference. I’ve been mentoring a couple of students on a client project that they got through the school. I get to be an evangelist for good type on the web. Mighty is just me and I mainly did it because I got tired of people saying things like. so it’s considerably less intense than actually teaching a class right now. What matters is the story that we’re telling: the PAG E 32 INTERVIEW J A S O N S A N TA M A R I A . because I started working part-time for Typekit. and I really like it. it would at least appear outwardly legitimate. How did your involvement with Typekit come about? If I remember correctly. 1 I’ve also been working on a few side-projects: one being a book. you’re just a freelancer. What can you tell us about your new company? Well. ‘oh. there’s actually nothing different going on at all. one being Typedia. I have a very flexible schedule so I just take it day-to-day and see what needs to get done. Not necessarily being representative of the work that I always do. Mighty: madebymighty. but because often with client work you hand-off a design to the client and at some point that engagement ends. Typedia: typedia. type. 1. I love that I can keep evolving the design of Typekit over and over and over again. but something that I really want to strive towards: only doing work that matters. so I figured if I gave it a name and made something official that was just beyond my own name. but still definitely something that takes up a fair bit of time. You’re in the process of moving from Jason-the-individual into Jason-the-founder-of-an-agency in Mighty. something that has some good come out of it. What sort of balance do you have between all your various different projects? Generally I reserve half of my time for Typekit so that might split up as half-days. When they started Small Batch they intended to start doing small applications. Typekit: typekit. And the design of that content is there to reinforce it — it’s there to help tell that story.’ as if to imply that I get up at four in the afternoon and sit around in my underwear for the rest of the day! I work really hard and I get up and do a job just like anybody else. He approached me because we’d always got along and I think he also knew that I was a painfully obsessive type nerd. Are you taking on more print work as Mighty or are you keeping your focus on the web? Well that’s sort of ‘part two’ of the mystique behind Mighty. I put this out there on the Mighty website 3 as a sort of manifesto for the kind of work I want to do. 2 and also my mentoring and teaching at sva in New York. but Typekit ended up being much larger. I 2. And as far as teaching goes. and the web. So. this project is a combination of all of my loves about 3. even though I knew it was already legitimate to me. So as of right now.anything. I wanted to do something that could potentially be bigger than I am. for when I’m ready to get back into it.

These are totally invisible and no-one really knows that we’re updating these fonts with better versions all the time. INTERVIEW J A S O N S A N TA M A R I A PA G E 33 . Absolutely. I really hope they do. we’ve updated them about four times or something. That’s something neat about the way Typekit works: as they’ve re-hinted those fonts. I mean. The largest deficiency now is that even though we have the capability to do this. because we keep introducing new improvements. there are already lots of people starting to use different fonts on their sites and many you don’t even hear about. and said you’re going to support whatever standard is established. and also they’ve actually been going back and re-hinting all of their fonts for web usage to improve screen rendering.How do you think things will pan out over the next year or so? What’s going to be most interesting is how the uptake happens. It’s interesting that it’s seeping out into the general web. too. the rendering is inconsistent across browsers and platforms. When I think back to working in People see type on a screen and they think that all of these things are equal. and the support for different file formats is inconsistent. And I’m keen to see how this will pan out on the browser side. with their Web FontFonts? Yeah. You guys have got behind the woff format. And it’s all tied in with what FontFont have been doing recently as well. or — if not standards — at least improvements. We’ve already serving woff to the latest Firefox builds. I’ll be interested to see if any sort of standards develop from that. We see a lot of them coming through Typekit but some of these sites are from people who wouldn’t write about the fact that they’re using these fonts.

As long as foundries choose to license their typefaces in different ways. and the like are now officially on the way out. For instance. or anywhere else. but the thing I’ve always seen as a challenge is twofold: there’s the challenge of people understanding type — there’s a larger movement of education that has to happen — and the challenge of perception: people don’t really understand how all this works yet. you could INTERVIEW J A S O N S A N TA M A R I A . but I think things like imagereplacement will always have a usefulness. and I think the same thing’s going to happen. There are people who think @fontface is something different than Typekit. the woff format is a much more heavilycompressed format. For instance. But I don’t see that as any different from when online video files were huge and pretty unwatchable for a long time. a font file can get fairly large. is making an actual font file when it’s not. now that web fonts are becoming more of reality? There’s definitely still some way to go. What are the challenges faced by Typekit in the very near future? I think everyone associated with Typekit would probably have a different answer for you. image-replacement. Another challenge is that a font file is another asset that has to live on your page. and that’s the one that you had. either because you were on dial-up or the files were just so large because we didn’t have the same sorts of compression then. Do you think that sifr. Cufón. there’s always going to be the need for a lot of different options. print design. Regardless of whether it comes from Typekit. Some people think that Cufón. you would download the font file. If a better version came out or if they improved the hinting. There’s a misperception about how this all actually works. and this is another thing that needs to be transferred over the web in order for your page to load correctly. your server. for instance. you wouldn’t have that font. So that’s going to be something that needs to be overcome as well. There are different contingencies in place to deal with that stuff now. People see type on a screen and they think that all of these things are equal and actually none of these things are equal at all.

too. at least for me. or alerting us when there’s a problem with anything. And it will get figured out. at the very least I would like to see Cufón replace sifr because it’s considerably easier to code around. improving searches. But I really do hope that where text should be text.things and as long as foundries choose to license their typefaces in different ways. Any time a new entry is posted or edited. I’m a designer rather than a developer! How goes the progress of Typedia? It’s a huge project — is it hard to maintain? Not at the moment. There’s still a place for all of these 8 INTERVIEW J A S O N S A N TA M A R I A PA G E 35 . I went back and I removed it from all the headings and now it only appears on a handful of articles in the archive. but it’s starting to show its age. I think it’s going to be great. moving forward. people get notified via rss and any of us can go and check it out to make sure everything seems okay. And I don’t think that’s a requirement we need from a browser. presumable through Typekit? Actually the other day I saw one of the articles that I’d used sifr on. I think it’s going well and has proved to be very useful. saying they’d found typefaces on it that they would never have found otherwise. anyway. just like any new technology. So it can be a really good resource that’s not tied to a particular foundry or selling typefaces or anything like that. and people are always flagging things that seem like they’re wrong. A lot of people have been emailing. but I’ve decided I’m not going to use it anymore. there’s always going to be the need for a lot of different options. sifr was a really fantastic achievement in its day. We carry that typeface now on Typekit so I’ve got to go back and replace the sifr with the fonts. A completely non-biased place for fans of type! use web fonts all over your site but I still wouldn’t suggest using a font for your logo: you just don’t have nearly enough typographic control through css or a browser to deal with that. Not just because I would rather use fonts. but because — like I said — sifr adds a lot of development time. What about on your own personal site? Obviously a lot of your older articles use sifr. and fonts are almost always going to be a better option once all of the hard stuff gets figured out. Are you going to be moving things over to web fonts. As far as Cufón and sifr go. there’s no reason you should be using something like Cufón or sifr if you have a better option. I knew once it got rolling it would maintain itself in many ways. It just runs itself that way. We’ve got a really good community. etc. We’ll probably be giving it a bit of a design refresh. But we’ve actually been in active development on a lot of things and we’re going to push out a few really nice new features very soon: things like being able to pull in photos from Flickr that are machine-tagged.

and aesthetically. which would you choose? Chaparral / Carol Twombly A beautiful hybrid of slab serif and roman forms. I’m a sucker for a utilitarian sans serif. Titling Gothic Sabon Lyon / David Berlow A stunning super family of 49 fonts. and serves to support the text without calling undue attention to itself. a delight to read. / Jan Tschichold Jan Tschichold’s Sabon is a remarkably legible text face. / Kai Bernau I instantly fell in love with Kai Bernau’s Lyon when I first saw it in use for the latest redesign of the New York Times Magazine in 2009.Jason Santa Maria. but with a distinctly modern take. Its inspiration lies in the best text faces of the past. . but not stuffy. It somehow manages to be formal and casual. ranging from the very thin and narrow to the extremely thick and wide. and workable in many situations. and Titling Gothic is a serious dynamo. buttoned up. Carol Twombly’s Chaparral is overflowing with personality. Its inspiration comes from some of my other favorites (like Claude Garamond’s designs). Perfectly proportioned and dependable. Its elegant and versatile forms readily handle text from body to headlines. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life.

All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt


/ Jonathan Hoefler, Tobias Frere-Jones

Sentinel has quickly replaced Clarendon on my list of favorites, giving the old standard slab serif a much needed upgrade and rethink, grabbing inspiration from geometric slabs in the process, and including lots of weights (and italics, finally).

Adobe Caslon Trade Gothic Georgia

/ Carol Twombly

Despite its age, Caslon still comfortably occupies the modern world. Its stout ascenders and descenders, tender thicks and thins, and healthy contrast add up to an economical workhorse. And the italic ampersand — &  — is one of the most lovely typographic characters ever created.

/ Jackson Burke

Jackson Burke’s Trade Gothic is sturdy and simple with little flourish or fuss. It’s dependable, industrious, plays well with other typefaces, and can often be a structural anchor for a design.

/ Matthew Carter

Though its ubiquity online might cause some to consider it a bit tarnished, it remains a gorgeous and technical achievement in text faces. Georgia will always symbolize to me one of the best things the web and the screen have to offer.

Jos Buivenga
In a world where ‘free fonts’ meant ‘unprofessional fonts’, Jos Buivenga turned that stereotype on its head and gave us such well-loved typefaces as Museo, Fertigo, and Delicious. His foundry Exljbris is living proof that the freemium business model works and his success story has inspired a new generation of type designers...


You’ve enjoyed massive success from typefaces that were largely released for free, and you’ve now been able to give up your job to dedicate yourself entirely to type design. How do almost-free fonts translate into being able to make a living? I think the best way to get good results is to love the things that you do. Sixteen years ago I needed to earn some money so I got a job at an advertising agency to do some desktop publishing. I did it to earn money, but I wasn’t happy when I got home each day, so I always had things on the side like writing, painting and type design. I always admired people who designed type; I thought it was something magical. I wanted to give that a try, too, and so I did with my first typeface, Delicious. I didn’t need to make money from it because I already had a job, and the fun part of it was the whole process: not to finish it, but to go through all things that are necessary to make something of your own; something that works that you can install on your computer, type a little text, print it out, read it, and think, ‘oh, wow, I did this!’ That was the greatest joy of designing type. I didn’t want to make money with it because if I did, I





So at that point you were always giving away stuff for free? There were no options to pay for extra weights or styles? There was a possibility to give a donation and it worked out okay. I thought of maybe selling some fonts. but I didn’t know how. Museo seems to be. but it wasn’t ideal. which was way too labour-intensive. Then came sites like Smashing Magazine. The donations made it possible for me to spend some money on software so that I could do everything legally. from my PAG E 40 INTERVIEW JOS BUIVENGA . which is great. or solving technical problems. which was very important to me. And I didn’t feel like designing another typeface until ten years later. When I finished that typeface I had two and I was honoured when people wanted to use both of them. owned by Vitaly Friedman. At the time. When the donations didn’t work well enough. He had another site before that. I didn’t feel that I’d like that. in which he mentioned Delicious and Fontin. The first thing I thought was. All they had to do was send me an e-mail and I’d send the fonts to them. At first I had around 5. now I’m going to get serious. I was asked by Smashing Magazine to make a typeface for their anniversary in 2007. which was overwhelming.would also have obligations such as needing to make the font a certain quality. But there were times when I got fifty to a hundred e-mails a day. That’s the power of giving things away for free! I then thought it would be good if I could work a day less at the advertising agency. and this year I’m expecting about 2. I didn’t have any money before so it was really difficult to have all the software that I needed.000. and from then on things really took off. From then on my site traffic started to boom.’ I wanted to cover that one day a week financially — not that I needed it because with an income of four days I could support my family — but I wanted it out of principle.000 visitors a year. spending one day a week purely on type design. and I couldn’t believe it because for me it was pretty simple. because at that time I felt like it would be good to have a little control over who was using them.000. with Fontin. ‘ok. People really liked it. I had put my first sketch of Museo on my blog and was stunned by the reaction. I’m going to spend one day a week as a type designer. so I decided to put it out as a free download from my site.

So I approached MyFonts. the advertising agency where I worked went bankrupt. It’s not my best-selling font at the moment. all at the same price.With Museo I needed an outlet and a distributor. Is that the case? Without Museo I wouldn’t have been able to continue like this. I decided to offer more weights for free than paid: two are paid and three are for free. because I didn’t want to be hassled with taxes. People also liked my other fonts — like Fontin and Delicious — which I very much appreciate. Why do you think people are particularly fond of Museo? If I knew that. so I didn’t think it would be wise to sell all weights of Museo because then I thought people would be coming to my site for free fonts and be disappointed. I came from a situation where I only offered free fonts. Museo wouldn’t have been as popular. and it’s great to have their expertise. which was fine. I think it’s important to offer usable fonts: not some bold italic that no one wants. If I hadn’t done that. but it’s certainly still the most popular. But I don’t know why people like it. that April. and they’ve been great to work with. They just asked that the free weights go through them as well. It’s useful to have another outlet channel that people can also use. I could make all fonts like that! I was astounded because I saw some quality in it. But with Museo I made three middle weights. It made it possible for me to do this. The first thing I did was buy a bottle of champagne! INTERVIEW JOS BUIVENGA PA G E 41 . perception. I liked the fluidness and a nice rhythm developed when I saw all the characters next to each other. I’ve also just signed a contract with Ascender. When things started going really well and it seemed like I could make a living out of it. It really was the turning point for me. the most successful of your typefaces. I always admired people who are entrepreneurs and I always assumed that I couldn’t be one of them. Then. Was that when you started doing stuff through MyFonts? All the administration surrounding this must have taken up a lot of time. I started playing with the thought of maybe working for myself in early 2009. all available for free. They’re great because they’re more specialised in oem licensing for embedding fonts in hardware and software. Has there ever been a moment where you felt you’ve not got as much out as you’ve put in? From the beginning. so the decision was made for me.

and we had to do a text face to see if it could work or not.great to have someone to talk to about type design. ‘is this good enough?’ and together we’re shaping the text face and the italic. We decided that Questa — as I’d drawn it with a high contrast — was a display face. It’s a wonderful process. I always liked the work he did and Scala is a fantastic typeface. Martin’s more extravagant than me. I wasn’t into type design back then but he was. which is the only disagreement we often have about things. It was It was great.’ or. He was very enthusiastic about my work. It was great meeting him and we had lots of things to talk about. We also live very close to each other: about ten minutes’ walk or so. have another look over a coffee. When I put the first sketches on Typophile and on my blog. ‘we should change this. but the process is really much more important than trying PAG E 42 INTERVIEW JOS BUIVENGA . From your experience as a type designer — first of all for fun and now professionally — is there anything you’d recommend to someone who is thinking of creating their very first typeface? My first advice would be: don’t try to finish it. Scala was already out there at that point. everyone was really excited about it and I was hugely motivated by all the comments. To my great pleasure I saw Martin Majoor in the list of speakers. After this I received an email from someone who asked me to give a lecture in Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.’ and I say. We’d actually gone to the same college but didn’t know each other back then.or Didot.or Bodoni-esque typeface. working with somebody else on one face. Focus on the process. which I didn’t expect. fifteen or sixteen years beforehand. and it works like a charm when we keep it simple. What’s the typeface you’re putting together with Martin Majoor? The typeface is called Questa. I thought it was something magical. ‘I don’t like that. I always admired people who designed type. I know that people don’t want to hear it. We met up after we lectured at Dortmund and he gave me a lot of praise for what I did. and Martin says. It must have been such a different experience. and a while ago when I started it I always had a feeling that I wanted to do something like a Scala. whereas before you’d always created them by yourself. Mostly we print it out.

If I were to re-release Delicious now. it wouldn’t generate the same awareness as it did sixteen years ago. looking at it and then looking at it again. I’m also working on the book version of Calluna. It was funny because two years or so before that had I tried to contact him. When can we expect to see them? Hopefully this year. One of the joys of being known by people was that he contacted me. he downloaded the free finish something. re-worked it. The quality of the free fonts today is a lot higher. This year I go to my little office of four square metres every day. they’ll decide to give their fonts away for free and think they’ll be able to make money from it. 8 INTERVIEW JOS BUIVENGA . Museo Sans Condensed. Some people think that if they read this interview about how I did it. as you’ve done? Is there anything that you’ve discovered that you’d warn people about. Questa. or encourage them to do? For me there wasn’t really a strategy: it was just something that happened to me. Why is that? Do you think that people expecting a higher quality these days? Yes. He just went ahead and did it? Yes. The more you do it and the more you look at your work — and also other people’s work. That’ll be fun because you’ll be revisiting something you did seven to eight years ago. You can only learn it by doing it over and over again. but today you get used to extending your work with each typeface a little more. and it’s fantastic! I’m very happy. It was wonderful. and also a more complete typeface. What about people who may have created a few fonts for fun and are considering leaving their full time job to go professional. and emailed me with the re-worked font attached! It was absolutely great. What’s next? We’ve got Museo Condensed on its way. haven’t we? Yes. I work long hours. but things were different then. which has less contrast. In my early days. and three variations of Calluna Sans. so with Calluna I did all kinds of numerals and small caps. It’s a lot of work. I was trying to find out if there were ways for automated kerning or for making kerning pairs. and Fontin Slab Serif. I think that’s a universal thing with type design. To think in this way would be to forget that it’s a combination of all things. there were 256 characters in a postscript font and you couldn’t put more in it. There are hundreds of glyphs in the font. of course — the better you’ll become. Igino Marini from iKern contacted me with a re-worked version of the free Anivers font I had on my website. The great thing was that after I finished the Anivers typeface for Smashing Magazine. and I came across his name. It sounds like you have a really good year ahead! Yes absolutely. with all kinds of ligatures. I started sixteen years ago. Basically you can send a font file to him and he can do everything.

Before the world comes to an end. Anivers / Jos Buivenga Anivers was released to celebrate the first anniversary of Smashing Magazine. I talked about this on my blog more than three years ago. Museo / Jos Buivenga Although I just finished Museo Slab and I can’t think of an other Museo variant (since I also made a sans of it) I do feel that there is still something left.Jos Buivenga. / Jos Buivenga Fontin is the lovechild I had with type design. but it will happen. which would you choose? Delicious Fontin / Jos Buivenga The first typeface I designed still waits for a redesign. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life. . It waits for a bold italic and I’m also using it as a base right now to doodle around to make a narrow Din-ish/gothic-ish font. I couldn’t bear the thought of not having her around and I think she deserves a nice serifed sister.

In progress is a rounded version of Museo Sans which I would love to finish really soon.. In progress. and a text family. It’s a type project I’m working on with Martin Majoor. Questa is a type family.. . but it will serve as a base to make a slab of Calluna. also in progress. a sans.All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt Calluna / Jos Buivenga Calluna definitely has to be in this list because besides the fact that I need it to complete Calluna Sans. I also need it as a reference typeface for the slab that I also want to do. or type system if you prefer. This typeface isn’t ready yet. and it will eventually result in a display.

After all the bureaucracy you must’ve toiled through. People get confused by that. it’s democratic. long time I’ve worked for loads of companies. You could also say they’re PAG E 46 INTERVIEW J O N TA N . so different roles are democratically elected. 12345678 You’ve recently accomplished the unenviable task of forming Analog — a co-operative that spans two countries. So it’s not on a flat. We grabbed a beer and learned about treating web type with respect. They understand some of the basics of business and they can manage their own time. What it means is that all the people who work for a company participate in the decisions that form the structure of how things operate. but there is a sense of that because everyone’s participating effectively. Most importantly. corporate agencies just don’t appeal to me. The idea behind the co-op is that it has a certain set of principles. I think we’re moving into a different age where the majority of professionals not only do their work very well. and honestly. ‘is it run by a committee?’ It’s actually not. I assume it was worth it? What was the motivation for forming a co-op? For a long. but also deal with clients very well.Jon Tan Jon Tan’s experiments with image-like type treatments and in-depth articles about on-screen font rendering have proved inspirational to many a web designer looking to raise the level of typography online. They No. equal level at all times? jontangerine...


developers who can do the heavy lifting in terms of code and link all those things together. It must have been difficult for you to decide on an eventual typeface for the Analog logo. It makes no sense to abstract them into separate silos in any kind of workflow. designers who can actually conceptualise. We wanted to be detailed and precise. so it would be difficult to have a relationship with me being their boss. it was purely and simply the fact that I knew some guys. We came up with all sorts that just weren’t appropriate. I liked shareholders in the business. It PAG E 48 INTERVIEW J O N TA N . All those components are needed in order to do something well. the output is always better as long as o nt. like a band name? We did! And we went through loads. The co-operative is really about mature professionals finding a way in which they can work for themselves. I think it was Andre who came up with the word Analog. every project you do is a co-op. I didn’t want to employ them because they’re friends of mine. if you work on the web and you’re a freelance designer. And anyway. we had a meeting — all five of us — and we brainstormed the name of the co-op. not rushed through as a product on a production line. it’s directed well. we’ve still got the domains now! But I won’t say what they are because some of them are incredibly embarrassing! Did you do the ‘two week test’. even though they might not be responsible for decisions on a day-to-day basis. We came up with the name Analog because it describes a way of working that is really about craftsmanship. How did you arrive at the one that we see now? The story of the typeface is really the story of the name. so you might as well form a co-operative that can do all those jobs and hopefully collaborate because that’s really the key. To produce a web application or website you need all these different areas: a system administrator who understands how to set up architectures and infrastructures to host a website and scale it to all these people. In fact. If you can collaborate with other people really well and closely. In fact. and I wanted to work with them. We were determined that everything we did needed to be well-crafted. We wanted to care. In our case at Analog.

I don’t really see INTERVIEW J O N TA N PA G E 49 . I suppose. Do you have any other similar type experiments that you want to try out? Actually that was the second iterajust using inheritance. it’s still a huge achievement. but the first iteration was Jon and Tan stacked on top of each other. We just know that for a fact. contentment. And even though you’ve had that for a few years now. absolutely. you might not even call that a user experience. I had Marshall and Gibson. When I put it in the Analog form it took me a little bit of time and a little bit of adjustment. We know it instinctively! We love vinyl because we’re all men of a certain age and we remember it with great love. So much of the information for this was gained by collecting lots of artefacts like the Marshall brand amps. every project you do is a co-op. ‘can I get this to work?’ The tricky thing with inheritance is that you change one element in the sequence and it completely trashes the whole thing! So it was just for fun. Harking back to yesteryear? Yes. it’s not an image. Fenway Park was also a typeface that I loved. and I wanted to challenge myself with css to do something that was quite complex If you work on the web and you’re a freelance designer. how important is typography in that equation and how do you sell it to your potential clients? I’m not sure we’re selling typography explicitly. I loved it because it seemed to be so romantic and nostalgic. It was one of those nerdy things that you do late at night. So the way that developed was really just a challenge to myself. That emotional reaction doesn’t have to be joy and happiness. I never sat down to design a logo with css. It turned into a logo. In terms of Analog’s services. and a feeling of achievement. There’s a t-shirt test that I have: if I would wear it on a t-shirt. but actually what you’re selling is an emotional reaction that people have when they use it. I always think that what you’re selling is the end result. really. it usually passes. What about your logo on your personal site? It’s made up entirely of html. but it said all of the things that I wanted it to say. Also we’re all big music fans. that had a romantic and antique quality to them.just pushed all the right buttons. but it could be satisfaction. asking yourself. Now. tion and I don’t see it as a logo. nested elements. Once we’d come up with the name Analog. so we know analog is better than digital. three on three. and absolute positioning. and brands like that. I’ve got lots of it and so do all the rest of the guys. and type. I knew all these beautiful things that had been done in print with typesetting. we knew that the logo needed to have a degree of romance to it. which is a user experience. html.

They didn’t actually say and I was so happy to get the e-mail that said I’d been accepted. They don’t get used that much. We’re talking to lots of foundries and. talented typographers and type designers. many of them are interested. I try to treat it with a bit of moderation and hopefully they saw that. It might not which is that we wanted to be able to make type available to people. I hope it’s because I try to do the best job that I can with type. I was just so surprised. use it on a website. but they still need to be out there. and I try to treat it our way. less web-centric person they would get normally get? with respect. So Fontdeck is moving rapidly toward public beta 3 and I know people have been very patient with its progress. International Society of Typographic Designers: istd. it started out as: wouldn’t it be great if it was a web server that you could sign on to. dude! What do you think impressed them about what you do compared to the usual. and I find them quite intimidating. but really fundamentally. Well. But at the time it felt like it was. We had almost the exact same idea. and pass that cost off to your client if you needed to? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a web service that supported complex scripts? That’s important because there are lots of dying languages that people create typefaces for. I’d love to get involved slightly 3. Can you tell us a little bit about Fontdeck? 2 Well. Fontdeck has been released PAG E 50 INTERVIEW J O N TA N . There’s lots and lots that we still want to do. very kindly. it just happens to be some stuff on the page. Fontdeck: fontdeck. To be honest I’m quite intimidated. Rich Rutter and I met and talked about it at a SkillSwap in early 2009. So Fontdeck now is very much in development. I’m a web designer. license a typeface. They’re trusting us with their life’s work and we appreciate that. What you’re selling is an emotional reaction. Obviously we recognised that we could make money. I don’t know if that’s unique or not. I believe you’re one of the only web designers to be accepted as a member of the istd? 1 I don’t know. for me and Rich. you have to submit five pieces of work and mine were all web-based. In fact my application form wasn’t done as a pdf: it was actually done as an html document and css. The fundamental principle behind Fontdeck is that it didn’t start as a purely commercial exercise. Since conducting this interview. We don’t want to launch anything that’s not as perfect as we can make it — which is pretty ambitious — but we’re on 1. and we want to make that as a logo. as istd is full of very gifted.

It’s not just type designers. Georgia Bold Italic… they’re all fonts of the Georgia typeface. you’ve got no self respect and you really don’t know anything about type. Is that going to conflict with what FontShop are doing in any way? Well. If I wanted to distribute fonts I could buy one from FontShop and just stick it on a server somewhere and make it available. the font that you end up using. or variant. The mp3 is just the file. And as fonts become more popular and more important in terms of web design. So a typeface is a design and a font is a physical manifestation. The people who do that will always do that. We just have the size variants built into a single font file. I just don’t believe that’s true. For example. Georgia Italic. Typeface != Font: jontangerine. the typeface. I always use the mp3 example as an analogy: you listen to a song. Georgia Bold. because as a designer I just want to license one font or family — or even a super-family — of fonts to use. there will be people who do that. But on the web we don’t have that anymore. I just wouldn’t personally be confident basing a solution on JavaScript. You can’t defend against that sometimes. In the old days every variant in size was a font. if you don’t respect the rights of a type designer. kern them. I don’t see it as a competition to own the market. We’re extremely lucky! 8 4. It’s a ‘theme’. FontShop are doing eot and woff at the moment because obviously they want to secure their typefaces. You wrote a great article about the difference between a font and a typeface. but fonts are very much like anything else that’s available on the web: if people are going to steal them. Is there competition there? I think it’s great that there are all these services. Georgia Regular. So to me it’s about making space where the legitimate people can pay for the typeface they want. Georgia is a typeface that we all know.You guys and Typekit are at the forefront of bringing true font capabilities to the web. No professional anywhere in the world worth his salt is going to steal a typeface. 4 For our readers who are perhaps new to the world of typography. Although JavaScript is prevalent and people can argue with me all day about that. The song is actually the design. I don’t like Typekit’s bundle model either. It’s a concept that’s put down and then imagined on paper or in an application. and make them great for the log/2008/08/typeface--font INTERVIEW J O N TA N PA G E 51 . either: it’s the type developers that turn these things into actual font files. So you have an eightpoint font and a ten-point font and a twelve-point font. of that design. but you buy an mp3. hint them. These things take years to produce and it’s a labour of love to these people. Exactly. I almost guarantee it. Fundamentally. they’re going to steal them. I understand all the arguments and I’ve looked at them very hard. I’ll be honest in that I don’t like Typekit’s JavaScript solution: I don’t think it’s the right one for the web. can you give them a quick take-away definition? A typeface is a design. To me. if you like.

I could use Clarendon every day and never tire of it. has been used for everything from wanted posters to road signs. modern. all at the same time. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life. rational. perfect for bold statements. . I was speechless with admiration. Baskerville is living. / Robert Besle Given half a chance. To my eyes. It’s definitively American in my eyes. provenance alone would be reason enough to love it. Baskerville Clarendon / John Baskerville With its almost-vertical stress and glorious swashes to delight the unwary. John Baskerville designed a masterpiece in all its variants. It was one of those moments. I find all the different flavours beautifully nostalgic. headlines. It’s a film poster favourite. Aside from aesthetic appeal. and human. working history. which would you choose? Alternate Gothic Avenir / Morris Fuller Benton Designed by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Typefounders Company (ATF) in 1903. and monumental experiments. it’s the quintessential British slab-serif. but most especially for small body text. The optimist in me can’t help but think that when the Avenir family is optimised for browsers it will instantly become a web classic. I set some text in Avenir by Adrian Frutiger using Fontdeck as a test.Jon Tan. / Adrian Frutiger Not so long ago.

Because Fenway Park is a display face and not that well-suited to 8pt type. I only wish that the new variants (arriving this spring) could be made as widely available on the screen as the originals. A mainstay of my working life. 1 1. It’s a super family kind of thing. FF Meta & FF Meta Serif FF Unit / various 2 / various 2 2. or just browsing. Unit has a cohesion and directness that is just as seductive as its rounded and slab variants. . The nostalgia and romance comes off it in waves. Kris Sowersby. we’ve stuck to FF Unit Slab for Jon’s descriptive text Georgia / Matthew Carter Dear Georgia. Design credits for the Meta and Unit super-families go to: Erik Spiekermann. and Christian Schwartz Together they’re a super family. no-nonsense sister’.All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt / Jason Walcott There’s something about Jason Walcott’s baseball typeface that always draws my eye. It paints pictures in my mind of an American sporting culture I’ve never been part of. Described as Meta’s ‘grown-up. just because of Fenway. Long after linking web fonts has become ubiquitous. I’ll still be working with Georgia. It’s a wonderful creation. and I love them all. My old friend. but would love to. whether in a whole page of script samples. but the potential for multiple stylistic variants of the same design makes the whole even better than the sum of its considerable parts.

Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals created one of the most inspiring and informative books on typography in recent years. sometimes it’s whoever came up with the initial idea. or the person who has the best visual approach to something.Bruce Willen & Nolen Strals With Lettering & When did realise that working as a duo would be the path that you took in a non-musical sense? PAG E 54 INTERVIEW BRUCE WILLEN & NOLEN STRALS . What made you start working together? [Bruce] Well actually it started when we knew each other in college. and t-shirts. That was the start of our collaboration. 12345678 Unlike our other interviewees. the men known as Post Typography explain why they come as a package. posttypography. We both had similar interests: guitars. and art. music. CD packages. And then as far as execution goes it really depends. What’s it like working as a duo — who handles what? [Bruce] The way it usually works is that one of us has an idea for something and the other person thinks it’s cool. Then it’s usually a back-and-forth process where we feed off each others ideas. Although we’ve cheated a little with our last two guests by combining them into one. The name was actually much scarier and cooler than the band actually was! The two of us designed some posters. We started working together because we were in a metal band together called League of Death. you come as a pair. I’m intrigued about how it all came about.


It was always a really good time and the final product was usually really good. you’ve made a wonderful book that bridges the gap between a handy reference guide and a beautiful coffee table book. it seems like most of them fall into one of those two camps: it’s either a lot of eye-candy but no theory. So once we started the band together we definitely had to make some cool posters for it. [Nolen] We really just enjoyed working together and once we started getting projects for things that weren’t related to our band. or something so dense that it’s difficult to dig through and find the easy entry points. it was a natural evolution. Those kind of books are great for someone a little more advanced. too. Nolen had been designing posters for concerts and bands in Baltimore for a while and I’d seen his work. The whole time we were writing and designing the book we wanted to do something that had its foot in both of those worlds. Those first posters were a lot of fun to work on and we just screen-printed them ourselves. because if you look at a lot of books that are out there on type design or typography. With Lettering & Type.[Bruce] For me personally I don’t know if there was a single moment. Was that a conscious goal from the outset? [Nolen] Definitely. but no good for a student or graphic designer who’s not really immersed in that world. PAG E 56 INTERVIEW BRUCE WILLEN & NOLEN STRALS . For me personally that makes it one of my favourite books on typography: I can use it for education and inspiration.

as far as lettering and type design goes. Letterpress printing has made a comeback and you’re starting to see mainstream. In the late 90s you started seeing a lot of people doing more hand-drawn lettering and custom lettering in general. Sometimes you’re doing something that really needs to be type-oriented and that requires you to create a typeface. And that’s exactly what 8 Faces is attempting to avoid: we’re trying to bring typographic geekery to the masses rather than a few elitist groups. INTERVIEW BRUCE WILLEN & NOLEN STRALS PA G E 57 . [Bruce] We’ve talked about it a lot and I think that a big part is that computers became so ubiquitous in the 90s. Do you have any idea why that might be? With the computer. Sadly a lot of typography books and magazines are unnecessarily highbrow.I think it’s a great approach. A lot of your typographic output tends to fall into the category of lettering rather than type. Obviously with the computer. you start to do things that are very precise and clean. there’s been much more awareness of lettering and type design and typography in general. so that now that’s become ubiquitous. What do you like and dislike about each of the processes? [Bruce] Well obviously it depends on the project. It’s cool: there’s definitely a lot more interesting work out there now. corporate ad campaigns that are using all this custom lettering: things you wouldn’t have seen ten years ago. you start to do things that are very precise and clean. [Bruce] In the last few years. and naturally there was a backlash against that. and naturally there was a backlash against that.

They’re both extremely different processes. and in spite of the name being Experimental.[Nolen] For myself. and mix in a lot of inspiring work that could serve as good examples as well. But of course type design is fun too! Was the book hard to write? Typography is a very broad subject. We’ve been teaching a class at the Maryland Institute College of Art here in Baltimore for several years called Experimental Lettering and Typography. Where did you begin? [Bruce] Our idea was to create something that gave a broad overview of lettering and type design. If you’re doing something more lettering-based it’s often quicker and a little more creative in the sense that you can focus on solving one particular problem. like the Roman alphabet studies that are found in the book. which I love. Type design is so much more about systems. and obviously designing a typeface is generally extremely involved. just because the process is a little faster and more organic. PAG E 58 INTERVIEW BRUCE WILLEN & NOLEN STRALS . there’s a greater satisfaction when it like comes to lettering. It comes from taking these basic alphabetic shapes and pushing them into a visual area in which we don’t normally experience them. which makes it more fun in a way. It’s great to see what they already knew and what got them excited. whereas lettering — while it does deal with systems — allows a little more flexibility. I think that was a big step for us: it made us realise what we wanted to say in the book and how to structure it. Teaching the class for a few years and looking at the way our students were learning has been really eye-opening. There’s a lot of history in the book. even though they’re both about dealing with the alphabet. at least half of the class is focused on a lot of basic ideas and theories of lettering and type. How important is an And then other times something needs to be a little more customised or have a human quality for hand-drawn lettering. If handed two projects — one custom lettering and one type design — which one would you be more drawn to. from a teaching perspective. assuming you had no other details? [Bruce] We don’t actually do that much custom type design jobs in general. but I would say probably lettering.

though. And we think it’s interesting! It might not be to everybody. INTERVIEW BRUCE WILLEN & NOLEN STRALS PA G E 59 . [Bruce] It’s really important to have at least a basic understanding of where the alphabet comes from and all the forces that affect it. I think you succeeded. because with a lot of points we were only able to graze the surface. Are there any plans for a sequel? [Nolen] We don’t have any plans in the near future to write any more books. because even the craziest contemporary lettering stuff is based on letter forms that. there’s been much more awareness of typography in general. It would’ve been nice if that book had been a little larger. both in the general forms of the letters and in things like the emphasis on certain parts. so we tried to write that section as briefly and as interestingly as possible. like why one section of the letter is heavier than another. with the letters looking the same since it was created. We probably could have written an entire book on type design! 8 In the last few years. do you think? [Nolen] Very important. for what it’s worth. at their core. because it’s common to look at the al- phabet as something that has been developed at one point. Well. go back over thousands of years.appreciation of type history for the modern designer. We don’t think about it in our day-today usage. But when you go back and look at the history you can really see all the subtle changes that took place over time. it’s really important to know all of this information. especially some of the type design stuff at the end. but for someone who really wants to understand and be able to make letters themselves.

Bas Jacobs Auto is a perfect sans serif companion to Dolly and has become our font of choice when we need a humanist sans serif. / Akiem Helmling. Dolly balances traditional approaches with innovative forms. which would you choose? Franklin Gothic / Morris Fuller Benton. It’s another font that’s unobtrusive enough to lend itself to many uses. Franklin Gothic is the American Helvetica (in the best possible way). As with much contemporary Dutch type. This unadorned and unassuming typeface functions in a variety of situations. stylised. ITC Trade Gothic Dolly Auto / Jackson Burke Another industrial sans.Post Typography. Victor Caruso Without a doubt Franklin Gothic is our number one favourite font of all time. Trade Gothic can gracefully recede into a design or make its presence quite obvious through its decisive. Dolly’s humanist letters derive from pen-drawn lettering.) The family’s three different italics are more than just a gimmick. (Even though our first loves are American grotesques. Trade’s construction feels very formal and architectural without becoming too stiff. if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life. Bas Jacobs Like a lot of Underware’s fonts. but has powerful and classic quality for such a stripped-down face. but it manages to synthesise casual and warm shapes into letterforms that also feel precise and deliberate. . sometimes you just need a little humanism. It’s been a go-to typeface for us on projects from concert posters to graphic identities. / Akiem Helmling. they actually provide a useful range of options for modifying a piece’s typographic tone. and its great readability. structural letterforms. made it the obvious choice for setting the text of our book Lettering & Type. This. yet has enough personality and idiosyncrasy to impart a subtle panache to even the most type-heavy design. or hard to read.

sketchy. You can see more of this artwork on page 59 2. we couldn’t limit ourselves to just fonts. flow. Handwriting is the most straightforward and personal depiction of alphabet letters. but is perfectly suited to the contemporary era of precise digital typography. puff. personal nature of handwriting and the more controlled. Gotham has the openness and geometric qualities of an early/mid-century sans like Futura. Since much of our work incorporates custom lettering or handwriting. While these styles certainly aren’t appropriate for everything. The single stroke weight of all the lines allows the letters to stretch. they are just the ticket for certain projects that need something weirder. Here are some of our favourite lettering projects: ‘Drippy’ lettering 1 Drawing letters that drip. 1. Handwriting’s forms are incredibly adaptable. or splatter never gets old. Its exquisite uppercase (based on 20th century American signage) can do no wrong. or deliberate when called upon makes it a wonderful resource. flow. You can see more of this artwork on page 57 3. Single weight ‘stick’ lettering 3 These semi-controlled lettering styles bridge the gap between the singular. but we don’t want the stylisation or fussiness typical of custom lettering. but when employed judiciously it can still create some stunning typography. and its ability to be sloppy. wilder. Gotham was a bit overused in the early 2000s. or grosser than your average type or lettering. Tobias Frere-Jones Another classic American sans serif.All body type examples are set at 8pt / 11pt Gotham / Jonathan Hoefler. You can see more of this artwork on page 58 . which allows it to work on a level that type cannot. composed quality of type or built-up lettering. Handwriting 2 Sometimes we need letters with more personality and warmth than a font can provide. and conform to specific spaces or shapes in a way that would be impossible to achieve through typography. ooze.

Artwork by Able Parris And now for something completely Visit 8faces. If you’d like to contribute artwork to a future issue of 8 for the downloads. For our debut issue we called on Able Parris and he kindly produced ‘8 Forever’. Every issue we’re asking one of our favourite artists and fellow type fans to create a beautiful piece of type-inspired art. iPhone. and iPad. Able has kindly made the artwork available as desktop backgrounds for your computer. please email editor@8faces. the beautiful collage you see on your right. PAG E 62 ARTWORK A B L E PA R R I S .


This beautiful. The competition will close on Saturday 31st August 2010 and the winner will be notified by email. limited edition. limited edition (only seventy-five in existence).Competition: Win a signed. letterpressed print by Jessica Hische Jessica has very kindly donated a print for us to give away to one lucky 8 Faces reader. and our eight favourite entries will be printed in the next issue. The competition will be judged by Elliot Jay Stocks and Jessica Hische. To stand a chance of winning. we’d like you to create your own drop cap (the choice of letter is up to you) and email a print-ready file to letterpressed print of Jessica’s first series of drop caps from her Daily Drop Cap project — which we discuss on pages 18 and 19 — could be yours. PAG E 64 CO M P E T I T I O N WIN A JESSICA HISCHE PRINT .


like it is in the print world. Two young creatives with a preference for community over money-making. Just sell the font.One more thing. emerging formats are defined. New services debut.. First. I have an awesome sketch for a script typeface. [Micah] I agree that relying on a third party is less than ideal. so why should web designers? What alternative pricing models would you suggest? [Caroline] The simplest pricing model is the best. so my prediction is that real font files will win somehow. but that would be negated if I’d have to buy those woff fonts based on how many times I think people are going to view my website. my real problem is that FontFont’s woff prices are based on pageviews. and a seemingly never-ending list of companies are joining the fray. For instance. In my experi- PAG E 66 ONE MORE THING. and identity. The new woff format seems to address the concerns of the different parties involved: font foundries. Open Baskerville 1 is an open-source project that successfully revived the famous Baskerville typefaces. I’m not great at kerning and spacing. print. and how many times people can use the fonts they purchase. the best pricing model would be to just let people use the fonts that they paid for.. [Micah] Typography is heading down the same path as programming: more people getting into creating. Crowd-sourcing doesn’t mean everyone on the internet working on the same thing — it most often means a small group of people who are really dedicated to a particular project. I simply have no control of who and how many people can go and see it. more knowledge being shared. In general woff is a simpler format to implement. Second. which seems like an unreasonable metric. for example? [Caroline] Why not? The people who say that it’s impossible because typography and design are subjective are wrong. That being said. I’d imagine when people work collaboratively on a typeface. but having to count on someone in the middle makes for more overhead. Print designers don’t get charged more when buying a font for a magazine that might get popular. and that’s what happens in all manner of design studios across the world. every day. A foundry that’s not a foundry. browser vendors. but maybe someone else is an expert. when.. each person would focus and specialise on a specific thing. [Micah] So many designers work together on joint projects that I can’t see how anyone can argue that it can’t work with type design. On your website you mention you’re a company that. which I’m going to turn into a font. Those services will probably have a long life span. It’s that simple. and the designers. ‘can do web.. It’s the internet. [Micah] Absolutely. Does FontFont’s recent foray into selling typefaces in woff format 2 spell the end for services like Typekit and Fontdeck? [Caroline] Down the line it might. Charging for pageviews doesn’t make sense. because it’s been done before. So I do my part. How do you see the world of web typography panning out? [Caroline] I like that typography is turning into a big deal in the web design world. Web typography is changing almost daily. Instead of trying to control exactly where. Getting the web community excited about typography is the best way to raise the standard of web design.’ I’m interested in the relationship between the first two: web and print. and more community involvement. I think designers would rather use the new web font format than relying on a third party to display their fonts correctly. THE LEAGUE OF MOVEABLE TYPE . Christopher Murphy talks about the opensource revolution led by The League of Moveable Type. How might open-source and collective — or crowd-sourcing — models map onto the world of typography? Is it possible to crowdsource a typeface. and they do their part — everyone contributes something useful to the typeface.

we’d love to get this type-hub idea off the ground. that’s all changing. Does the emergence of devices like the iPad signal a coming together for type on screen and paper? [Caroline] Yes. but also provide a seriously democratic platform to show off any and all open-source typefaces. a way to structure the workflow so that everyone can work together effectively and peacefully. It used to be that web design is very rigid and. while print design has to consider real-world physical characteristics — but the common link is the fundamental rules of design. What the iPad is Missing: fontfeed. but we don’t want to restrict the availability of any open-source typeface. But we’ll be needing a lot of help on this. well. Stephen Coles wrote a fantastically detailed article on The FontFeed 4 about how poor some of the typography is in the iPad operating system. We like keeping The League’s catalogue as a curated collection. Open Baskerville: klepas. Sites like Jason Santa Maria’s blog 3 are a great example of how web design is catching up with the print world. print. I think our next step is to come up with a ipad-typography/ 5. and that’s where typography specifically becomes a link. Is a solid understanding of typography the link that binds the two? [Caroline] Having a good sense of typography is definitely essential to both print and web. access your fonts from anywhere. I’m not sure I agree with the iPad part. Don’t get me wrong: we are absolutely at the boiling point for a revolution in web & application design. I’ve always been a lover of print ONE MORE THING. one that’s still a very different beast than paper. Sort of like a GitHub that’s specifically geared towards designing type. and a tool like that could not only help people collaborate on a font. and one that. and you actually have yourself a fairly crippled device in terms of good typographic execution. is having a purpose for what you do. And with new devices like the iPad. if you do the research. Print and web are essentially just designing for different audiences. [Micah] Yeah. though. Where next for The League of Moveable Type? [Caroline] Since we’re talking about being able to design type collaboratively. In 4. ‘Why are we designing this?’ Having a purpose is what makes design so powerful. especially typography. be it print or web. The beauty of the idea is that it could increase the number of open-source typefaces available. you’ll be able to crowd-source organization. But the iPad to me is just another medium. but in both cases we need to be mindful of the content we’re designing. is actually restricting typography a great deal. and we just haven’t had a chance to get it going yet. [Micah] I couldn’t agree more. THE LEAGUE OF MOVEABLE TYPE PA G E 67 . boring. Caroline’s right. touch screen devices are just another medium. Web FontFonts: fontshop. It’s important to know why are we using this typeface and that colour. foster a community where people collaborate and work with each other. but it’s also important to ask. though: we need help! What can you tell us about your forthcoming Lettercase 5 project? [Micah] Lettercase is a still-in-development project intended to turn current font managers into antique relics. To me what makes good n/web_fontfonts/ 3. But with new web technologies and a more designconscious web community. By leveraging the power of the internet. It’s true that print and web are different — web design has to consider interactive human behaviour. 1. and share with your most trusted colleagues.. and provide a platform for new or amateur typographers to get off the 2. Lettercase: lettercaseapp.ence great web designers aren’t necessarily great print designers (and vice versa). and that’s awesome! [Micah] Actually. the line between web. Jason Santa Maria's blog: jasonsantamaria.. and interaction is blurred even further. But great typography is a tool and only half of the equation. Add to that Mobile Safari’s SVGonly @font-face support.

honest . Foundries on these pages paid a small fee that helped toward our printing costs. please email press@8faces.The Ad Section We believe in tasteful. If you’d like to advertise in our next issue.

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I thought you might be interested in some of my new typefaces… I call this and this is They’re easier to see and play with on the Available exclusively from terminaldesign. this offer is valid from 28-06-2010 till 31-08-2010 c .com and this is Tangent Pssst… wanna have 15% discount on Underware fonts? Call Underware at +31(0)70-4278115 and tell The Secret Code ‘Lettres d’Amour’. and this is Consul Trilon Moraine and this is Shenand processtypefoundry.

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NEXT ISSUE PA G E 73 . cutting things down. Errata Nothing’s Editing (proofreading.) Transcribing (from audio interviews) Design and illustration Quality control (type pedants only!) Ad sales and promotion Distribution Funding If you’d like to be a part of the 8 Faces team. 8 Faces #2 will be published just before Christmas. If you’ve spotted anything amiss in this issue. To do so. please let us know by emailing errata@8faces. etc. but we’re sure that we can do even better next time. we need your help! We’ve already got our next eight ‘faces’ lined up to be interviewed in issue two. articles. please email and we’ll make sure the record is set straight in future issues or editions. etc. but we’re looking to expand our team. Can you help us with any of the following? → → → → → → → → Writing (interview questions.We’re proud of the debut issue that you hold in your hands.

com & Kyle Meyer Printed in England by Prime Group Pages 4 & 5 written by John Boardley / flic. top: Caroline Hadilaksono Page / flic. 47. 45: Jos Buivenga Pages Audio interviews transcribed by Alice Marshall. 53: Samantha Cliffe Page 7: Marcus Hoehn Pages 8. 41: Studio Punkat Page 43: Jos Van Roij Pages 55-61: Post Typography Page 62: Julia Parris Page 67. and Scott Raney Artwork & Design Designed by Elliot Jay Stocks elliotjaystocks. Michael / Pages 66 & 67 written by Christopher Murphy webstandardistas. 9. bottom: Micah Rich * Thank you to FontFont and Sven Lubenau for CC licensing your photos on Flickr: Collage on page 63 by Able Parris Set in FF Unit Slab & FF Unit Pro Pages 4 & 5 set in Adobe Jenson Pro Photography Pages 3. 24.Credits Editorial Written & edited by Elliot Jay Stocks Website designed & built by Elliot Jay Stocks elliotjaystocks. Phil PAG E 74 CREDITS Typeface choice pages written by the interviewees Copy edited by Samantha Cliffe samanthacliffe. 10: FontFont * Page 11: Sven Lubenau * Page 13: Christian Hanke Pages Pages 4 & 5 designed by John Boardley ilovetypography. 65: Jessica Hische Pages 23. 27: Lindsay Josal Page 29: Jonathan Katzenberg Page 31: Erin Sparling Page 37: Dave Shea Pages & Decode UK decode. 42.

Jos. Samantha. Kyle. TypeTrust. Process. All rights reserved. Ian. Able. Jessica. Alice. Jason. Nolen. Published in July 2010 by Elliot Jay Stocks Design Ltd. CREDITS PA G E 75 . Terminal Design.Thank you Our contributors: John. Editor 8 Faces. who first introduced me to typography as a young child. Chank. Michael. Phil. and the photographers Our interviewees: Erik. ~ Elliot Jay Stocks. Jon. PSY/OPS. & the contributors. © 2010 Elliot Jay Stocks Design Ltd. number 1. FontSmith. Parachute. Christopher. Fontworks. Jarno Lukkarila. Contact: editor@8faces. 1921 – 1989. Scott. Type Together. issn 2043-7692. and Underware For editorial guidance: Carolyn Wood Extra special thanks to our generous sponsors: (mt) Media Temple This issue is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather Arthur Kirk. and Micah Our advertisers: Ascender. Jeremy Takard. LucasFonts. volume 1. Typotheque. Bruce.

Jessica Hische. Bruce Willen.If you could use just eight typefaces for the rest of your life. illustration. and Nolen Strals Sponsored by . print design. Jon Tan. Ian Coyle. Jos Buivenga. which would you choose? 8 Faces is a new magazine for devotees of typography that asks this question — and many more — to eight leading designers from the fields of web design. Plus: → An introduction by I Love Typography’s John Boardley → Exclusive artwork by Able Parris → Win a signed letterpressed print from Jessica Hische → A bonus interview with The League of Moveable Type This issue: Erik Spiekermann. and of course type design itself. Jason Santa Maria.

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