August 2012 Archives
Everyone’s favourite mad inventor of the internets, Brendan Dawes, has been at it again. In his own words:
Take one nice and cheap audio system for greeting cards, wire it up to Electric Imp, put it into a 1960s Walkie-Talkie and you have an Internet connected audio device that will broadcast Neil Armstrong’s famous message when an image is clicked on!
The result, an Internet Connected Walkie-Talkie; a lovely homage to everyone’s favourite astronaut, Neil Armstrong. Great work.
My My My, Matthew Young is a talented chap indeed. His book covers for Penguin are particularly nice and he’s also responsible for Impress A Penguin, a beautiful little site advertising a position at Penguin. Lovely work.
Fingers at the ready tomorrow for 8 Faces #5 which goes on sale at precisely 4.00 pm GMT. Given that the previous four issues have been snapped up in a matter of hours, you’ll need to be on the ball to pick up a copy. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Issue 5 features interviews with, amongst others, Trent Walton, Peter Bilak, and Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones. It also features an essay titled ‘A Palette of White Space’ by Typekit’s very own Tim Brown, on type’s, “built-in white space,” which explores how the negative spaces of typography can influence and improve typographically driven design.
Lastly, as if that cornucopia of delights wasn’t enough for you, the issue includes an essay titled ‘Octavo – A Retrospective’, on Octavo magazine, an international journal of typography published between 1986 and 1992 by British design partnership 8vo. Written by Christopher Murphy (who you might recognise as ½ of The Standardistas, whose very journal you’re reading), it casts a light on an often-overlooked pillar in the pantheon of British typographic history.
All in all we’re sure you’ll agree it’s an issue packed with goodness.
A new foundry and type production facility based in Dublin, TypeGroup gets off to a great start with a couple of beautifully designed typefaces.
Orga, “a friendly sans-serif, with subtle quirks that give it a distinctive and fresh personality,” is available in eight delicious weights, from a lightweight thin to a heavyweight black, each with accompanying italics. With a generous x-height, it’s ideal for settings where legibility is a priority. Even better, the full Orga family is available at a specially reduced introductory price, with 20% off.
Kettle, by contrast, is, “a slab serif typeface of nineteenth-century origins with contemporary sensibilities,” available in an ultra-heavy black with accompanying italic and stencil fonts. The stencil is particularly lovely and would make the perfect choice for adding a little personality to headlines.
We’re looking forward to seeing what else our friends south of the border conjure up down the line.
As it’s name suggests, Ten Dollar Fonts is a distributor of typefaces all priced at a very reasonable ten dollars. Unlike most bargain basement bin outfits, the folks behind Ten Dollar Fonts have a great eye for type and have gathered together a varied catalogue by an international roster of designers. If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary their catalogue might just have you covered.
How remiss of us! We thought we’d written about Typecast before, but on searching the archives it appears we were mistaken. Still, it’s never too late to rectify a problem, and we hope our friends at Front will forgive us the oversight.
With real web fonts now a part of our everyday workflow, the ability to create rich typographic layouts natively in the browser can save considerable time and heartache. Typecast makes designing typographically rich sites a breeze, allowing you to rapidly build and compare typographic palettes. Easy and free to use (while the product’s in beta) it allows you to create beautiful, readable typography with the minimum of fuss.
If you haven’t already tried it, we’d urge you to do so now.
Type meets geography in this lovely series of prints by Orange & Park (Southern California natives David Klinker and John McCauley). Screen printed on French’s Speckletone Madero Beach and Kraft 100#C papers, they’re very reasonably priced and perfect for the geographically challenged typographer in your life.
If you’ve a passion for typography, Just My Type – a recently launched typographic journal by Belfast based designer Rory McCawl – is well worth bookmarking. Mr McCawl has an acute eye for type and Just My Type is a comprehensive and impressive resource, featuring the typographic news of the day alongside a extensive series of useful links, lessons and a playground for typographic experimentation.
(In the interests of full disclosure, Mr McCawl is a graduate of the MFA Multidisciplinary Design programme that we run in Belfast.)
If you missed the announcement earlier in August, Adobe have released Source Sans Pro, the company’s, “first open source type family.” Not only is the typeface beautifully crafted, they’ve also published an extensive article covering the brief behind the typeface and details of its extensive development, which makes for interesting reading. As Paul Hunt (the typeface’s designer), writing on Typblography, puts it:
The primary need for type in Adobe’s open source applications has thus far been for usage within user interfaces. A second environment of perennial interest to Adobe is the realm of text typography. Thus the immediate constraints on the design were to create a set of fonts that would be both legible in short UI labels, as well as being comfortable to read in longer passages of text on screen and in print.
The result is a typeface perfect for user interfaces, legible at low resolution whilst also readable in text-heavy settings. Get it free from GithHub, where the company is engaging with the community in an admirable effort to improve the typefaces ongoing development and refinement. It’s nice to see a company of Adobe’s size open sourcing what would otherwise be a valuable source of income. Hats off to them.
If you’re looking for a spot of typographic inspiration, look no further than Fontdeck’s carefully curated Showcase. The latest additions to the canon include: Brighton Design Festival, Elliot Jay Stocks and Chad Lindemann. Fine work all round.
As the fine folks at FontFont put it, FF Routes is, “the perfect way to give some direction to your routes.” A set of road segments and map symbols that can be pieced together to create route maps, it has all the possible pieces you might need to map out the perfect journey.
Get it now for just €49 for eight weights as part of FontFont’s weekly Typelover Tuesday series.
If you haven’t been following along with Aral Balkan’s, “personal reboot narrative,” at Breaking Things, you really should. In a refreshingly honest series of articles, Mr Balkan - Voice of the Year at this year’s Critter Awards – is reflecting on a personal ‘reboot’, chronicling the decisions that are underpinning his development.
Balkan’s an extremely talented chap and it’s refreshing to see him laying his cards on the table so openly. You could learn a great deal just by following along, and we’d urge you to do so.
If you find yourself sharing code examples, you owe it to yourself to show them in their best light, beautifully rendered using code syntax highlighting. You could conjure up some CSS to do the trick, but why bother when Craig Campbell has you covered with Rainbow? A lightweight (1.4 KB), easy to use and extendable framework, it turns monochrome code examples into colourful works of art.
As Campbell puts it:
Your code is beautiful - show it off.
Completely themeable via CSS it comes with a host of themes to make your syntax highlighting journey that little bit easier. Great work and, even better, free.
Should you have missed it last week, Shaun Inman – shockingly talented gentleman and manipulator of pixels extraordinaire – has released Flip’s Escape, a companion game to The Last Rocket (released to much fanfare last year). Designed for both the iPad and iPhone it’s perfect for 8-Bit lovers wishing to cast a nostalgic glance backwards to the gaming days of their youth.
As Inman puts it:
Guide Flip as he tries to escape a stellar shockwave. Brake to dodge asteroids, fill your star meter to warp, and earn gems for upgrades to cover greater distances.
Try your hand at outrunning the sun, but be warned, it’s unputdownable.
If you’re more of an 8-Bit soundtrack aficionado, great news, you can pick up the soundtrack, “in your choice of MP3 320, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.” Nice.
Think you’re good with colour? Put your ability to the test with Color, the first in a series of resources designed to, “improve design for analytical minds.” Designed by Maria Munuera and Mark MacKay for Method of Action, it’s a lovely piece of design and not a little addictive.
If you think you’re good with colour, give it a whirl, it’s not as easy as you might think.
Being favourable to the odd tipple we were excited to stumble across BeerBods, a new venture by a group of Beer aficionados based near Worcester. The setup is a little like a book club, but with beer instead of books. The BeerBods crew seeks out independent brewers making amazing beer and sends it to you in the post. This is how they describe their motivation:
We want to get more people drinking better beer. So we find the best beers in the UK and around the world and send them to you in the post. Everyone drinks one beer a week. We tell the stories behind that beer as you drink it. The power of the internet and a bit of clever logistics means we all drink each beer at the same time.
Beer plus community plus internet plus sharing stories. Sounds swell. Cheers!