7 February, 2011
Things We Love
In a manner more typical of the corporate than the corporeal, designer Nicholas Felton marks the passage of each year with an annual report. Past editions of the Feltron Annual Report have ranged in sensibilities, from his editorial 2006 (smarter than the smartest magazine) to his diagrammatic 2009 (which out-Tuftes Tufte.) While the very concept is arch, making the Feltron Report a beloved fixture in the offices of so many graphic designers, I really have to hand it to Nicholas for never stooping to the obvious and allowing his yearly record to become a mere send-up of the annual report form. This year’s report, awash in our Tungsten typeface, is no exception: it uses the tools of data visualization and typography to tell a compelling story, and color a narrative that might so easily have been reduced to a mere family tree or a timeline.
Spend some time with The 2010 Feltron Annual Report: I think you’ll find it smart, touching, and inspiring, an uncommon trifecta. —JH
24 January, 2011
H&FJ Typefaces Join the MoMA Permanent Collection
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced the acquisition of four H&FJ type families — HTF Didot, Gotham, Mercury and Retina — for the MoMA permanent collection.
In designing new typefaces, Hoefler & Frere-Jones has long been consumed with the interpretation of historical artifacts, the implications of cultural expectations and mechanical requirements, and the invention of new techniques. Four type families that embody H&FJ’s approach to type design are HTF Didot, Gotham, Mercury and Retina, and we are honored to have these designs selected by the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in its permanent collection.
This acquisition marks an important expansion of MoMA’s design collection, which includes historically significant objects ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright’s model for Fallingwater to the original Macintosh 128K computer, into the category of typeface design. “Type design is an essential dimension of the history of modern art and design,” writes Senior Curator Paola Antonelli. “The best typefaces belong in MoMA’s collection.”
The typefaces chosen for the MoMA collection have been selected for their social relevance, the ways in which they reflect technological progress, and their importance to cultural history. “Each is a milestone in the history of typography,” writes Antonelli. Alongside H&FJ’s typefaces are major works by a number of our friends and colleagues, including Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum, and the many contributors to Emigre. H&FJ is proud to be in such distinguished company, and to be a part of MoMA’s recognition of our industry’s craft.
22 January, 2011
Legacy of Letters: An Italian Tour
So enormous are the contributions of the Italian people to typography that they often pass unnoticed. The words you are reading may be written in the English language, but they are rendered in the Latin alphabet, which comes to us via Roman ancestors. We celebrate these same ancestors in the name of our upright Roman alphabet, and we remember their country of origin in our slanted Italics. If you ever use H&FJ’s Requiem typeface, take note: taxonomically it is a Venetian Old-Style, its letterforms modeled on the work of a renaissance Roman calligrapher, who was inspired by the inscriptional lettering on a classical Roman monument, which was dedicated to a Roman emperor. The emperor’s name was Trajan, an Italian name you may recognize from your font menu; he is immortalized there alongside dozens of his compatriots, including Aldus, Arrighi, Bodoni, and Jenson.
Since Italy has remained a cradle of letters and literacy since classical times, it makes an excellent destination for any lover of typography. This June, design historian and calligrapher Paul Shaw will be leading Legacy of Letters, an eight-day typographic tour of some of Italy’s most typographic destinations. Including both Emilia-Romagna and the Veneto, the tour includes stops in twelve typographic capitals including Parma, Mantua, Verona and Venice. Registration is now open for a limited number of spaces.
25 October, 2010
For Immediate Release
October 25 has been designated World Pasta Day, and as part of typography’s contribution to this important initiative, H&FJ is pleased to offer the following: an excerpt from the typeface “Nr. 941. Dubbelmittel (corps 28),” as it appears in Berlingska Stilguteriet Stilprof, a type specimen book from the Berlingska type foundry of Lund, Sweden, circa 1900. It is a dimensionally extruded ring accent, shaped like a piece of rigatoni.
This concludes our contribution to World Pasta Day. See you in 2011. —JH