13 August, 2009
These Aren’t The Fifty States You’re Looking For
In Fast Company, Ellen Lupton writes:
The graphic designer Michael Bierut, a partner working in the New York office of the firm Pentagram, designed a 21-foot sign for the new U.S.-Canada border crossing at Massena, New York. The sign, as well as the building, which was designed by architects Smith-Miller & Hawkinson, has received substantial praise as a bold and daring piece of federal design. Too daring, perhaps. The sign is being dismantled by the Customs and Border Protection Agency for fear that it will be a target for terrorists.
I share Michael Bierut’s hesitation in second-guessing the seasoned professionals at the Department of Homeland Security, who surely know more about armed extremists than I would ever want to. Still, I think there’s a compromise to be struck: if the goal is to create a typographic fig leaf that disguises one’s arrival at our 9,161,923 square kilometer nation, why not change the inscription to “Bienvenidos a México?” —JH
3 October, 2008
Ten Foot Gotham Topiary!
Typeface: Gotham Book
Not really much to add to that. It’s here, one block east of the H&FJ offices. —JH
2 June, 2008
I've been trying to find a type specimen book from the Italian foundry of Nebiolo for twenty years, and this morning one finally turned up: the Campionario Caratteri e Fregi Tipografici of 1928. Here's a sample of what's inside, perfect for a beautiful spring day in New York! —JH
17 March, 2008
St. Patrick’s Type
Three of my favorite things are big type, chromatic type, and type specimen books, and St. Patrick's Day offers the perfect occasion to bring all three interests to the table, literally. Parked here at our conference table is the 1904 type specimen of the Roman Scherer company, a wood type manufacturer in Luzern who specialized in two-color type. This page shows the shamrocked "Serie 5401" in the gargantuan size of 40 ciceros — that's a cap height of almost seven inches (173 mm) — which cleverly gives the illusion of a third color by overprinting red and green to produce a perfect black.
The font was manufactured in at least six sizes (more pictures after the jump), none of which have we ever seen in the wild: like the rest of Roman Scherer's other chromatic faces, which I'll post later, these seem to have vanished into obscurity. —JHContinues...