6 November, 2009
Fonts in Time and Space
Typeface: Gotham Bold
By the way, that tiny screen grab below — which even fixed in time is so charmingly reminiscent of that CBS cafeteria designed by Lou Dorfsman — is but part of a captivating typographic video designed by Gretel. Greg Hahn was kind enough to share with me the original; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. —JH
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
20 January, 2009
THE NEW GOTHAMS: 46 New Fonts from H&FJ.
Fans of our Gotham typeface will be pleased to find that as of this morning, there are three times as many Gothams in the world as there were yesterday.
Designers who work with Gotham have enthusiastically deployed the fonts in a range of environments. We've seen Gotham on soda cans, boarding passes, billboards and banner ads; we've seen it engraved in marble on a cornerstone, and cast in rubber on the sole of a shoe. One newspaper used Gotham for financial listings, another for saucy tabloid headlines. But what we see the most are designers facing the challenge of making one typeface work across all channels. Last year saw one of the most remarkable examples of this: journalists couldn't stop writing about something that designers have always known, which is that a candidate for president should use the same font for everything, from lawn signs and flyers to the campaign's website.
Making a font work everywhere is a tall order. H&FJ's designers love these kinds of challenges, and are driven by an incurable compulsion to make fonts that can answer everyone's needs. But designing a typeface is an arduous process requiring serious commitment, and we realized early on that if we weren't careful, there could suddenly be an endless number of very specialized Gothams. The prospect of a "Gotham for embroidery" collection and a "Gotham for box scores" was daunting, and ran counter to one of H&FJ's core philosophies: that type families should be as small as possible, but as large as necessary.
So we organized all of these ideas into a coherent design brief, mapped out a way to bring a larger Gotham family to life, and then devoted years to drawing the new fonts that we're delighted to present today. Today’s Gotham contains a total of 66 styles, neatly organized into four widths: regular Gotham, the new Gotham Narrow and Extra Narrow, and the newly-expanded Gotham Condensed. They're all now available, in packages starting at $169, exclusively at H&FJ.
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