7 May, 2009
Typeface: Verlag Light
For one quarter of its lifetime, the Guggenheim Museum has enjoyed the use of a signature typeface created by H&FJ. The project originally commissioned by Abbott Miller, a sans serif in six styles called Guggenheim, has since grown into a family of thirty styles, now known as Verlag. This expanded set of fonts, now including five weights in three different widths, is now available from H&FJ. And gratifyingly, it’s still being used by the Guggenheim — now more than ever.
If the fonts’ thirteen years of continuous use can be attributed to anything, it’s the careful formulation of the original brief. The iconic lettering on Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous rotunda furnished the seed for the project; unchecked, this might have grown into an overly stylized typeface, too eccentric to be of much use. A more short-sighted designer might have made the easy play for nostalgia, but Miller took a more thoughtful approach, envisioning all the different applications that the typeface would come to serve. The family of types we created was therefore more interpretation than facsimile, a versatile family that we all hoped would evoke the qualities of the museum without simply replicating its signature. It was the right call: the fonts once used only by the Guggenheim New York’s publication department now serve the signage programs of four museums, the institution’s Webby Award-winning website, and now the new identity for the Guggenheim Foundation, also designed by Miller, and premiering this year as part of the Guggenheim’s fiftieth anniversary. —JH
30 April, 2009
H&FJ Honored by National Design Awards
Hoefler & Frere-Jones has received the great honor of being selected as an honoree in this year's National Design Awards, and is especially proud to be the first typeface designers ever recognized by this prestigious award. An official White House project created to increase national awareness of the role of design, the National Design Awards are given annually by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in recognition of excellence, innovation, and lasting achievement in design. A highlight of the award has traditionally been a reception for honorees at the White House, hosted by the first lady.
Now in its tenth year, the National Design Awards are given in ten categories from architecture to fashion, and past winners include iMac designer Jonathan Ive, fashion designer Isabel Toledo, and industrial designer Bill Stumpf, co-inventor of the Aeron chair. Congratulations to all of this year's honorees, especially our colleagues in Communication Design: finalist Project Projects, and the category winner, the Graphics Department of The New York Times. —H&FJ
18 December, 2008
Typographic Gifts for Designers, Part 15
If you’re an editorial designer, chances are that you’re familiar with the Society for News Design through its workshops, its excellent international conferences, and of course its annual. What you might not know is that SND operates the non-profit SND Foundation, which provides college scholarships, research grants, and travel stipends to help students attend its events. Did I mention the college scholarships for designers?
For last year’s conference in Las Vegas, SND Foundation President Bill Gaspard orchestrated a terrific keepsake: a deck of Custom Illustrated Playing Cards, for which 54 illustrators volunteered their time and talent, contributing one card each. Guessing correctly that H&FJ has a thing for the typography of playing cards, I was invited to design the packaging, affording me a chance to use not only some typographic ornaments that Tobias and I have been quietly collecting over the years, but two of our best wedge-seriffed typefaces, Saracen and Mercury. And naturally Gaspard and fellow designer Tyson Evans used our Deuce font on the cards themselves.
For those who weren’t able to make it to Vegas, SND is now offering sets of these commemorative cards for sale, for a tax-deductible contribution of $20.00. All proceeds go to support the work of the SND Foundation; did I mention the college scholarships for designers? —JH
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22 September, 2007
Oakleaf: Behind the Scenes
Kathy Willens, Associated Press
The Associated Press has posted a slideshow that accompanies the article about us, which charts the development of our typeface for The Nature Conservancy. You'll find it in the AP's "multimedia" section, here.
There's an audio track that includes an interview with Tobias and Jonathan — as well as an alarming sample of the ambient room noise seven floors above Broadway & Houston — but since some additional explanation of the images seemed useful, we've gathered some thoughts here. More images after the jump…Continues...