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
13 October, 2010
The Finishing Touches
In the middle of Gotham, our family of 66 sans serifs, there is a hushed but surprising moment: a fraction whose numerator has a serif. So important was this detail that we decided to offer it as an option for all the other fractions, a decision that ultimately required more than 400 new drawings. Why?
Join us for The Finishing Touches, a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the invisible details that go into every font from H&FJ.
30 September, 2009
New Fonts: A Graphic Designer’s Perspective
Most graphic designers choose the fonts that best fit their projects. Brian Hennings does the opposite: he chooses the projects that best fit the fonts. A resident designer at H&FJ, Brian shares with me the responsibility of creating all of the sample art you’ll find on this site. His is a strange universe of the fictitious: signage programs for mythical cities, book jackets for unwritten novels, product literature for items you cannot buy, broadcast graphics for live sporting events that you can’t quite identify. (They might have a ball, horses, cars, rifles, or all of the above.) His fake cookbook recipes have immaculate typography, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to cook from any of them.
Two weeks ago, H&FJ released our new Tungsten font family, accompanied by an unusually large collection of sample art: Brian and I just couldn’t put the new fonts down. The feedback we received was extraordinary in both its kindness and its volume, and I was especially happy to see so many designers specifically mention the art that we’d worked so hard to create. Since Brian’s job gives him a unique perspective on typography — plus enviable access to fonts that the rest of the world won’t see for years — I asked him to share some of his observations about the process: what it’s like to use a new font that no one’s ever used, what it tells you about itself, and what it reveals about typography in general. Without further ado, here’s Brian... —JHContinues...
11 September, 2009
“Someone Found a Letter You Drew Me, On the Radio...”
This afternoon, typography joins the ranks of the wonderfully obscure on Please Explain, my favorite segment of the Leonard Lopate Show: Steven Heller and I will be on hand to discuss, if not actually explain, typography. If you're in the New York area, join us around 1:20pm EST at WNYC-FM 93.9 or AM 820, or follow the podcast at wnyc.org. —JH