23 April, 2013
H&FJ: The Video
As part of the presentation of the 2013 AIGA Medal, the American Institute of Graphic Arts commissioned this short video about Hoefler & Frere-Jones. In addition to offering an intimate look at two recent works-in-progress, and a tour of H&FJ’s offices in a rare moment of repose, this startling exposé reveals for the first time what ongoing dispute provokes the greatest disagreement between H and FJ. (Hint: this sentence contains five of them.)
Thanks once again to the AIGA for recognizing our work, and to Dan and Andre at Dress Code for presenting typeface design with such thought, care, and wit. —JH
5 February, 2013
H&FJ Awarded the 2013 AIGA Medal
The American Institute of Graphic Arts has announced that Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones will be awarded the 2013 AIGA Medal, the profession’s highest honor.
“In recognition of their contributions to the typographic landscape through impeccable craftsmanship, skilled historical reference and insightful vernacular considerations,” the award recognizes both the work of Hoefler and Frere-Jones, and the accomplishments of the H&FJ type foundry throughout its twenty-four years.
Since 1920, the AIGA Medal has been presented annually to innovators who set standards of excellence for design. Past recipients have included Charles and Ray Eames, architect Philip Johnson, publisher Alfred A. Knopf, photographer Richard Avedon, and artist Saul Steinberg. Typeface designers to have received the award include W. A. Dwiggins, Frederic Goudy, Stanley Morison, and Jan Tschichold, as well as contemporary designers Matthew Carter, Zuzana Licko, and Rudy Vanderlans.
Eight designers will receive the 2013 Medal: John Bielenberg, William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, Stefan Sagmeister, Lucille Tenazas and Wolfgang Weingart. The awards will be presented at a celebration in New York City on April 19.
9 November, 2009
Sure, I Guess That’s My Final Answer
Typeface: Whitney Semibold
I have a friend, an editor at a renowned university press, who is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the English language. He is my go-to man for typo-lexico-philological questions, like whether there’s an English word that contains the adjacent letters h and x (there is); he’s the sort of gent to casually drop the words "usufructuary" and "megaboss" in the same sentence. It was therefore with great temerity that I once challenged him to a game of Scrabble, which to my surprise and relief he declined. ”I hope you understand,” he said, “I can’t. What would happen if I lost?”
This allegory was far from my mind when I agreed to captain Team C at “The Type is Right,” the AIGA/NY’s first-ever typographic game show. Join me and H&FJers Andy Clymer and Sara Soskolne, along with nine other nerds and nerdesses, as we go for the gold tonight in Brooklyn. The contestants’ range of interests and inclinations suggests a fun evening, probably one rife with withering embarrassments that you won’t want to miss. So come and join us this evening at Galapagos in DUMBO, and see which lucky typographer gets the chance to go all Kanye on the actual winner. —JH
The Type is Right
Monday, November 9, 2009, 6:30–8:30pm
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street
Update: H&FJ clinches the vaunted title! Assisted in no small part by our fourth contestant, selected from the audience by random draw: typomaniac Ina Saltz. (Which is a little like learning that "one of the dads," who has volunteered to fill in at a Little League game, turns out to be Barry Bonds.) Thanks to the AIGA/NY, emcee Ellen Lupton, host Matteo Bologna, puzzlemaster Paul Shaw, and all the other participants for making it a fun evening. And please never remind us that we mistook a line of Zuzana Licko’s Filosofia (1996) for a line of Giambattista Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico (1788). Our only explanation is that the venue boasts very bright spotlights, and an enviable collection of pale ales.
24 June, 2009
What Was Next
Most of the talks that we've given are lost to the sands of time, but this afternoon I was happy to discover that one of our favorite presentations lives on. For the AIGA Design Conference in Denver, we were asked to meditate on the topic of “What’s Next,” for which we presented a study of typographic history — and why the ‘historical revival’ might be a twentieth century idea whose time has passed.
The AIGA has posted the audio of our talk, which tracks with the images above; it runs about 45 minutes, including some questions from the audience, in which Tobias reveals some of the unpublished developmental names of Gotham. Also keep an ear out for two provocative concepts: a French wine scholar offers a pithy gloss on experimentalism, and a certain type designer defines “the underpants-on-the-head school of revivalism.” —JH