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  2. 2. on 04 Neue Fonts 09 Foundry Spotlight 13 Making the Rules It’s good to introduce non-human forces, be they mechanical or natural, in order to invigorate or question existing creative processes. 28I need restrictions tobe creative; it’s whenI have restrictions thatI can perform my ‘art’. 9 10 Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical. 142 Font
  3. 3. F nt ShopRule Makers/Rule Breakers 20 Breaking the Rules 29 New FontFonts 34 FontStruct: Built with Bricks NewA of scanning web Where Thoreau wasn’t impressed with pages and deleting junk email, I change, writing that, “There is an incessant might sit back and soak in the latest flow of novelty into the world and yet weentertainment news from Hollywood or tolerate incredible dullness,” curator andreflect on national opinion with the chatter art critic Glen Helfand finds inspiration.of pundits and their eternal polls that never Recognizing ours as an age of convergence,seem to get the story right. I like to think that Helfand focuses this issue of Font on the workit’s my obligation to the media industrial of a wide cross section of artists and designerscomplex to absorb as much information as who are “making the rules” by channelingpossible or risk, like excess carbon dioxide that incessant flow through filters and towardin the atmosphere, a dangerous buildup the creation of generative art. He convincesof ones and zeros. us that processing information is not only Things sure have changed in the last a reflection of our time but a celebratorydecade. When I think about the trajectory of act that can result in beautiful thought-our contemporary society, with all the tools provoking images and objects. We alsoand applications we use to publish, move, focus on six additional projects that featureand manage information, I’m immediately graphic designers and typographers whoreminded of Henry David Thoreau. I can are “breaking the rules” by using generativepicture him sitting outside his small cabin, concepts to map ideas, from individual lettersquietly meditating on the breakneck speed to complex narratives. Finally, we toot ourof social and economic progress as the last own horn for FontStruct, a new online portalrays of the day sparkle across Walden Pond. for building and sharing fonts that’s beenLike us, Thoreau was experiencing a profound getting plenty of blog buzz.shi . His, defined by rapid industrial If it’s true that everything has its properexpansion and a final push across the frontier; place, then we can rest assured that Thoreauours, by the release of the latest smart found his at Walden and those extra onesphone or praise for the next big viral video. and zeros (and all that they represent) haveBut unlike Thoreau, who saw a need to found a comfortable home in Font magazine.retreat from the rules and systems that were To get started, here are a few simple rules:quickly reshaping his world, we’ve embraced read, share, and recycle.ours as solutions to organize physical andelectronic space or to fulfill a personalidentity within the gathering storm of the Editordata we face every day. ™ ™ ™ ™ ® ® . 3
  4. 4. The NewFontFonts Clan Italic r&sOs.sÍtd Netto . 29
  5. 5. And so it gøes on Hexa Max mp ahn Fur a-Berg re e Chambers Sans Ô Comptoir des Marchands NettoCavallino Rampan Enzotax Torre pendente di Tisa Quadraat® Sans Bold Italic FAI ’Twas a fri fi , Nicht on your , guv’ Unit Rounded Formal 30 Font
  6. 6. ahedron Cube Trill symbiont e thet c Daxline Italicnte u fi me Pitu PisaIR PLAY à vous Utility methin s Nuvo Boot loader Milo characteristics Polymorph . 31
  7. 7. Meta® Serif , , ǽ 1990 , ģ FF Meta Headline CompressedErik Spiekermann madeseveral attempts at designing FF Meta Headline Condenseda companion for his original Meta, arguably one of ĵ FF Meta Headlinethe most ubiquitous fontsof the past two decades.Colleagues had often asked FF Meta Hairlinewhich serif face would bestfit with Meta, and after ∂ FF Meta Condensed & Italicyears of recommendinga variety of suitable faces,Spiekermann realized that FF Meta Correspondence & Italiche should just make hisown serif companion. Meta & Italic → Meta Serif & ItalicE tęʼnđëdMeta a “The whole Meta system is supposed 4 to solve separate typographictąme @ problems while keeping ¶ . This is not a family ſ of identical triplets, but sisters andmåŧé € brothers or even nieces and nephews.”ţεάm ů The OpenType version of Meta While the serif design can stand → Serif o ers book, medium, bold, and black weights, each including on its own in a wide range of applications, the extra benefit is italics, , alternate numeral its close relationship to the original ⅝ styles – proportional, tabular, lining, Meta, its sans serif sister. The two oldstyle – extra ligatures, case-sensitive families can be mixed in the same line, punctuation, and a range of arrows and and one can be used to accentuate the other symbols. (The Pro version also other. Using both on the same page Q supports Eastern European languages.) adds . ű32 Font
  8. 8. . . !"#$% !"#$ !"#$%& o, what exactly is this FontStruct thing?FontStruct is a free online platform for creating and There were also a number of comparable projects under development at about the same time – evidence of a broader interest in grid-based design tools.sharing modular grid-based fonts which FontShopInternational launched in early April 2008. Really? Who was behind them?Where did the idea come from? Michael Gianfreda, Lorenz “Lopetz” Gianfreda, and Kaspar Lüthi at Büro Destruct were working on (Büro DestructIn many ways, the starting point was really the Meek Designer) between 1999 and 2003. A tribute to Swiss(also see page 28), which was my first contribution to the design of the 1960s, it’s certainly a classic of the genre,world of grid-based design tools, and initially appeared in encouraging the user to make a virtue of limitation. Strict2000. I was relatively new to the world of graphic design, adherence to a grid, a simple point and click interface, andhaving just switched from the programming to the design a selection of simple geometric shapes to choose fromdepartment at the agency where I was working. I was were its key ingredients. The ability to export creationscompletely ignorant of the world of typography, but soon in a usable format was also an important feature.became fascinated by it, and wanted to design a font;a grid-based modular font seemed like an easy way in. Another inspirational piece of Swiss work was Lineto’s Lego Font Creator (circa 1999), by Urs Lehni, Rafael Koch,How did the project come about? and Jürg Lehni. This was more explicitly a type builder,I started laying out shapes in Freehand. My lack of but was again based on principles of grid-constrainedexperience led to a lot of hesitancy in making creative construction using a palette of predefined shapes.choices. I kept changing my mind about the forms I wanted Fast-forward to 2005, and there was BitFontMaker fromto use – should they be spaced out or flush next to each Japan. (I actually only became aware of this after I firstother, that kind of thing. At some point, I moved from pitched FontStruct to FontShop in May 2006.) It sharesFreehand to Flash so that I could automate changes, and many characteristics with FontStruct: one hundred percentgradually built a tool to cater to my indecision. That’s online; a simple intuitive interface for grid-based fontwhere the Meek came from. creation; a gallery; and downloadable TrueType fonts. ™ . 35
  9. 9. I think FontStruct o ers a lot more than BitFontMaker, It feels unique having the creation and editing togetherbut it’s very well executed nonetheless. with the community features. I don’t think there are many online applications which integrate both. It’s as if peopleSo there’s definitely a clear precedent for grid-based were actually recording music in MySpace or takingdesign tools, and a tradition of designers trying to create pictures in Flickr. There’s a very close relationship betweentheir own more specialized tools. the creation and exchange with others.Perhaps it’s also partly a reaction to the complex Absolutely. Ask even the most seasoned expert andinterfaces o ered by the likes of Fontlab and Adobe. they’ll more than likely say they’re still learning.Yes, it’s good to have – or at least imagine – alternatives, That’s probably what keeps so many people sowhether they are more specialized tools or simply tools interested in drawing and redrawing the alphabetwhich defamiliarize the creative process. over and over again. You’re always learning and your context is always changing.How does the Meek di er from FontStruct? Indeed. My main goal when creating the interface was toThe Meek is about tweaking an existing design; I wanted keep it accessible for beginners but also powerful enoughto do something that was about constructing grid-based to interest seasoned typographers. I wanted to removetypefaces from scratch. Also the Meek , and, to a certain everything that would inhibit a novice. You start with aextent, the other projects I’ve referenced, are more toys very simple metaphor – drawing on a grid of squared graphthan tools. There’s an emphasis on playfulness rather paper – and you don’t have to bother with any specialistthan earnest practical production. The output is of limited terminology or concepts. More advanced features arequality and practical value. I wanted to make something available from menus and with keyboard shortcuts.that could really stand up as a useful tool to enablemodular type design. The first two months have borne out your vision and FontShop’s foresight. FontStruct has been unexpectedlyI saw the opportunity, particularly when approaching popular, resulting in some very high quality work andFontShop with the idea, to create an online font-sharing tremendous diversity. Hey, we even got a mentioncommunity around a modular font editor; a kind of in The New York Times! So, what’s next?mini-Flickr for fonts, if you will. Font design really lendsitself to the online environment. The file sizes are small, We have a lot of ideas, many of them from the userand the relatively simple systematic nature of the data community, and we’re adding features steadily. Themake the creation of an online font design tool much more highest priority at the moment is fixing minor bugs andstraightforward than an image, video, or music editor. annoyances, and adding some control over horizontal metrics so people can define how their letters are spaced.I’d wanted to pursue the project for quite some time We also want to bolster the community features, such asand had initially imagined an o ine application. However, incorporating proper user Web 2.0 apps continued to get more sophisticatedand powerful, I felt a sudden panic that someone else Are you concerned that free FontStructions devaluewas bound to do this and realized that I needed a partner commercial type and might harm FontShop’s business?with clout, with typographic expertise. . . Quite the opposite, actually. FontStruct is fun and easyEnter FontShop. partly because it is very limited. I think it nurtures not only the pleasures of type design but also an understandingYes. It’s been a great match as far as I’m concerned. of how much work is involved in making a font andI’ve e ectively been paid for what I wanted to do in my why ‘real’ fonts cost money. FontStructions have too manyspare time anyway, with no compromising of the original limitations (everything has to be based on a grid, there’sidea. FontShop had an immediate understanding of no kerning, no hinting, no OpenType features, and so forth)the potential for an online font-building and sharing to be any real threat to FontShop’s retail sales.platform. I think it’s quite brave and forward-thinkingfor a font vendor to give people the chance to maketheir own fonts for free. . .FontShop’s vision for FontStruct really focused ondeveloping a community site rather than a pure fonteditor. Sharing, rating, and discussion capabilities areall right there in the browser.36 Font
  10. 10. !"#$%& !"#$%&%()%*! +,#-+*,#-** ./+0*1%*1+*%#*23/0* /#($4*-1%,* %02.5*/$4*,#-* 41661)(3%*1%*1+*%#* 7/8.*./3*%02.9: !"#$%&(!"#$%& )*&+,- ./012 $-34&5+ , Featured FontStructions include Epiorque Joined, SlabStruct Too, Ransom Note, Tight, Bolt, Texture (shown within the FontStructor), and Tristeak Ribbon. . 37
  11. 11. kol -fon(t)Font is published by FontShop Outputs from Meek , courtesy Balance™ and Scribble™ of Rob Meek Balance marked the beginning of149 9th Street, Suite 302 FontFont designer Evert Bloemsma’sSan Francisco, 94103 decade-long exploration into readability.1 888 - Its peculiar horizontal stress and four1 415 252 1003 2 Typeface sketch courtesy of Tomáš Brousil, weights of equal widths put it in a class Suitcase Type Foundry of its own. Scribble is inspired the era of pre-digital composition and 2/3 Other images credited below an ironic play on the design truth that sketches are often more pleasing than the computer-processed final. 4–8 Images © their creatorsAmos Klausner www.fstopimages.comStephen Coles Object photography courtesy of the 21 Boris Müller: Poetry on the Road, LiveSurface® Layered Image Library™ 2002–2008 & Images courtesy of the artistConor Mangat 22 Cinthia Wen: Hours, Image courtesy of the artist 14 Sol LeWitt: Incomplete Open Cubes, 1974 23 Marek Walczak: Noplace, 2007Michael Pieracci Painted wood structure, gelatin silver Images courtesy of the artist prints, and drawings on paper "× "× " 24 Benedikt Groß: Seelenlose Automaten, ( . cm × . cm × . cm) 2007Glen Helfand San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Images courtesy of the Accessions Committee Fund: gi of Emily L. Carroll and Thomas Weisel, Jean and 26 Catalogtree: Typopath . , 2002 James E. Douglas, Jr., Susan and Robert Image courtesy of the artistsTamye Riggs Green, Evelyn Haas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Eve and Harvey Masonek, Elaine McKeon, 28 Rob Meek: Meek , the Modern Art Council, Phyllis and Images courtesy of the artist Stuart G. Moldaw, Christine and Michael Murray, Danielle and Brooks Walker Jr.,Erik Spiekermann and Phyllis Wattis. Airport™ and Tisa™ © Estate of Sol LeWitt /Artists Rights Airport is the Lineto studio’s tribute Society ( ), New York to the charm of displays, freight waybills, and boarding passes. The 15 Brian Eno: Million Paintings Gateway™ fonts are based on the © Scott Beale and electronic display systems at Tegel and Schönefeld airports in Berlin. For Tisa,Paragraphics, San Rafael, 15 Roxy Paine: Erosion Machine, 2005 Slovenian designer Mitja Miklavcic Stainless steel, rubber, felt, glass, out to create a more subtle and dynamic galvanized steel, silicon carbide, slab serif. He succeeded, earning the electronics, dust collector, reclaimer, Type Directors Club’s Certificate of robot, and air Excellence in Type Design for 2007. "× × " © Roxy Paine, image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York 15 Roxy Paine: Erosion Machine Stone # Nuvo™ (Crime Statistics), 2006 Over 30 years’ fine printing experience, During a stay in Paris, the elegance Limestone and extravagance of French magazines combined with the newest eco-friendly technologies. Proud to be a certified "× "× " inspired Siegfried Rückel to create Green Business and the first -certified © Roxy Paine, image courtesy a typeface of his own. The result isn’t printer in the San Francisco Bay Area. of James Cohan Gallery, New York nearly as ostentatious as his muses, yet is sublimely usable for editorial 16 Danica Phelps: Stripe Factory Sample design in its own right. Nuvo has for Sister ( , stripes), 2007 a so calligraphic touch with a set of Watercolor, gouache, and pencil alternates that o er stylistic versatility. on cut paper mounted to wood panel "× " Cert no. SCS-COC-00781 Image courtesy of Sister, Los Angeles 17 Lee Walton: Angels vs Boston – Game Series, April 22, 23, 24, 2008 Ink and paint on paper "× " Printed with -free and 100% vegetable-based inks. Image courtesy of Lee Walton and Kraushaar Galleries 18 Alex Dragulescu: Spam Architecture Series Images courtesy of the artist© 2008 FontShop International. All rights 19 Mark Napier: Spire, 2007reserved. All trademarks named herein remain Image courtesy of the artistthe property of their respective owners. The viewsexpressed herein are solely the opinions of theirrespective contributors, and do not necessarilyrepresent the viewpoint of . The contents of thispublication may not be repurposed or duplicatedwithout express prior written permission. . %38 Font
  12. 12. FontShop149 9th Street, Suite 302San Francisco, 941031 888 toll-free1 415 252 1003