HAND (& ARM) MADE TYPE

Now, here’s a novel idea. Designer Tien-Min Liao makes her type by hand - literally. In a process that involves painting on her hands and arms, Tien-Min creates upper and lower case characters while encouraging the viewer to think critically not only about the methods by which the forms are created but also the shapes themselves. Here is what she has to say about the project:

In this experiment, I drew shapes with ink on one or both of my hands, manipulating my gestures into the corresponding shape to signify an upper-case letter. Then, using the same shape on my hands, I manipulated my gesture or changed the perspective through which the shape is viewed in order to transform the upper-case letter to a lower-case of the same letter. Removing or redrawing the darkened shape on my hands is not allowed in the experiment. The only way to make the model transform from an upper-case to a lower-case (or vice versa) is changing the gestures or the perspectives.

See below for a few examples, plus a video glimpse of the process:

Tien-Min Liao is from Taipei, Taiwan and currently attends the Pratt Institute. Check out this work plus others of hers here.

Mid-Century Modern Typefaces Identified & Project 33

 

Images courtesy of Project Thirty-Three

It’s hard for me to give justice to two blogs in one post, but because both Mid-Century Modern Typefaces Identified and Project Thirty-Three are so closely related I feel that they needed to be tackled at the same time.

Mid-Century Modern Typefaces Identified (perhaps one of the longest names for a blog I’ve ever seen) is the work of the wonderful designer Mark Weaver. Granted, it’s a very small blog, but it’s still informative in its brevity. Essentially, Mark took a handful of vintage record covers (and in some cases, packaging and street signs) and proceeded to point out all the Mid-Century typefaces in use. Then, he gave each typeface a set of categories into which it fits. For example, the typeface “Latin Wide” is seriffed, bolded, and extended - and is listed in those categories. Simple as that. I’ve often wondered what typefaces were used on vintage records (especially those in the classical/traditional/ethnic music genres, as those seem to have received more stylized design treatments). So, hats-off to Mark for the research.

Now, how Mark Weaver got these examples of vintage record covers for his typeface discussion is where Project Thirty-Three steps in. A blog created and maintained by Jive Time Records, a vinyl record store hailing from Seattle, Project Thiry-Three is a “shrine to circles and dots, squares and rectangles, and triangles, and the designers that made them come to life.” And that it is. Hundreds of record covers, all organized by types of visual elements: circles, squares and rectangles, triangles, lines, arrows, stars, faces, and (of course) typography only. It’s another blog that is simple in structure just like Mark’s, but serves strictly as a catalogue of designs. I’ve spent hours studying all of the covers on Project Thirty-Three, and I hope that after reading this you will too.

LOST TYPE CO-OP


One of the most exciting things for me lately has been the discovery of the Lost Type Co-Op. It has changed the way that I’ve created designs using type, and has made available to designers a fantastic palette of typefaces for various applications inspired by a wide range of design styles.

So, what is it and what makes it so great? In short, it’s a (mostly) free collection of type for anyone to download and use. In long, it’s a collaboration in which top-notch type designers throw some of their best work into the ring, and make it available for everyone to download. Just select the typeface you would like, specify how much you would like to pay for it (“0” if you would like it for free) and download. It’s made to be easy and artful, and is downright fantastic. These are some of the highest quality new fonts out there, and they are FREE (have I said that before…?). Of course, I’m sure Co-Op would like at least a mention if you use their typefaces extensively and would always appreciate a few bucks thrown their way (who wouldn’t want to reward their hard work), but there aren’t too many strings attached. Well, none, really.

Here is what they say about themselves:

“The Lost Type Co-Op is a Pay-What-You-Want Type foundry, the first of its kind.

Founded by Riley Cran and Tyler Galpin, originally in a whirlwind 24 hour adventure to distribute a single typeface, Lost Type has blossomed into a full fledged foundry, distributing fonts from designers all over the world, with its unique model.

Users have the opportunity to pay whatever they like for a font, you can even type in ‘$0’ for a free download.

100% of funds from these sales go directly to the designers of the fonts, respectively.

Lost Type takes no cut of sales, and holds no funds.”

Pretty awesome, right? Well, I’m not the only one who has noticed this and cashed in. I’ve been seeing thier typefaces pop up everywhere. For examples of how other designers are using Lost Type typefaces, look no further than Dribbble. Below are just a few that I pulled:

Lovely work by Nathan Romero, using Duke and Homestead.

 

Detail of a beautiful infographic created by Kyle Anthony Miller. Some of the Lost Type fonts used in the piece include Ribbon, Wisdom Script, and Pompadour.

 

Another offering from Kyle, this time with Pampadour, Wisdom Script, and Duke.


Simple screenprint by Brian Grellmann, using Wisdom Script.

 

Last but not least, a few examples of how I have incorporated Lost Type’s fonts into my own work:

This particular piece is using Homestead, Wisdom Script, and Ribbon.

 

Fonts in use here: Wisdom Script, Deming, and Mensch. Copy: Mandy Stinson.

So, when you have a chance, head on over to the Lost Type Co-Op and see the awesomeness for yourself. Who knows, maybe even your designs will be enlivened by one (or a few) of their fonts.

THE MOMENTUS PROJECT

This is a fantastic design project that I was made aware of by Mark Weaver, who I follow on Twitter. The website, momentusproject.com, is essentially a collection of works focussing on important events in US history by some of the most talented illustrators and designers today, with names such as Blake Suarez, Matt Riley, Alex Perez, and Evan Stremke to name a few. Take a look below at some of the other awesome works on the site. 

 

The Art of John Passafiume

I’m positively thrilled about the work of a designer based out of Brooklyn than seems to be rapidly grabbing everyone’s attention these days: Louise Fili Ltd, “a New York-based graphic design firm specializing in food packaging, restaurant identities, logos, and book design,” he is turning heads everywhere with his beautiful designs ranging from wedding invites, book covers, subway posters, and coffee mugs, to name just a few. He doesn’t disappoint.

 

Hand lettered wedding invitation

 

Coffee Mug for Blue Q

 

Jacket design and custom lettering for Louise Fili and Steven Heller’s
new compendium, Scripts

 

 

A series of ten classics designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Italian Republic, published by Rizzoli