Nicely Done: Purcell Heli-Skiing

With the imminent return of snowstorms to New York, we can't help but mention a wintry website that uses typography to great effect: Purcell Heli-Skiing, who have spent forty years choppering more than 50,000 adventurous skiers and snowboarders to the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. The website, designed by Ontario-based They, plays with the scale of its typography in a thoughtful and deliberate way. Text faces Gotham SSm and Sentinel SSm are used throughout, punctuated by the lighter weights of Tungsten Light in all caps, creating a monumental but hushed tone that evokes the striking terrain itself. —NW

An Early Snowtype

The snow-themed alphabets below all belong to the world of lettering rather than typography, but typefounders have made their share of snow-covered fonts as well. Some of these go back quite a bit further than I imagined, as I learned this afternoon: at lunch, Tobias mentioned offhandedly that he remembered being surprised to see a snow-covered typeface in a specimen book from Weimar Germany. “I don’t remember which book it was,” he added, a sure-fire way of triggering a typographic wild goose chase at the office.

Half an hour later, and covered in dusty fragments of brittle yellow paper, we found it. Naturally it was in none of the specimen books that we thought to check first, from the Bauer, Berthold, Klingspor, Ludwig and Mayer, Schelter & Giesecke, Schriftguss, Klinkhardt, C. E. Weber, or Flinsch foundries. It was lurking on page 120p of Die Haupt Probe, otherwise known as The Behemoth: the 1,478-page, six-kilogram, scanner-breaking type specimen of the Stempel Foundry, issued in 1925, and thought to be the largest typefoundry specimen book ever produced. Behold Schneekönigin, a snow-capped adaptation of the Fette Teutonia typeface. Like the book that contained it, it is equal parts delightful and menacing. —JH

Ice Ice Typeface

I’ll admit it: snow-covered typography is a guilty pleasure, and one I get to enjoy throughout the year. Summertime icicle fonts are never hard to find, once soft-serve ice cream trucks establish strategic flanking positions on either side of our office. And in the winter, their appearance on the sides of HVAC trucks heralds the return of seasonal boiler problems, a cherished part of the winter experience in New York.

Although all H&Co fonts are guaranteed frost-free for easy maintenance, the wags at Deitch have come up with this seasonal adaptation, in keeping with their site’s summer delight theme. Under these snowcaps is our very own Gotham Bold font, artful iciclized by illustrator/guitarist Rick Froberg. So great! —JH

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