📕 Read pages 220-356 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 220-356 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield (Gotham Books, , ISBN: 978-1592406524)

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapter 16: Pirates and Clones

But type designers were more like apple growers cultivating unique fruit without protective fences; whenever someone stole them, they could argue that apples were the result of the sun and rain and God’s own fair intervention.

Highlight (yellow) – 16. Pirates and Clones > Page 227

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

… and font-editing software such as Fontographer.

Highlight (yellow) – 16. Pirates and Clones > Page 228

Might be worth playing around with this program?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

A recent example concerned Segoe, created by Monotype and licensed to Microsoft, which bears a close relationship to Frutiger. Their common usage is different (Segoe for screen display at small sizes, Frutiger for signage), …

Highlight (yellow) – 16. Pirates and Clones > Page 229

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Chapter 17: The Clamour from the Past

There are hundreds of small presses in the Uk, Europe and the United States. One of the newest is White’s Books, which in the spring of 2010 had just eight titles in its list, …

Highlight (yellow) – 17. The Clamour from the Past > Page 246

I’m curious to look at some of these.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Your choice may often come down to “Has it got a small caps italic?” So few of them do.

Highlight (yellow) – 17. The Clamour from the Past > Page 250

Ha! I have in fact actually made this very decision before.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

There is another rare feature that places his [White’s] books among the remnants of a type museum–the setting of a catchword at the bottom of the right-hand page.

Highlight (yellow) – 17. The Clamour from the Past > Page 250

I did always appreciate this vestige of publishing.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Sabon

Sabon was developed in the early 1960s for a group of German printers who were grumbling about the lack of a ‘harmonized’ or uniform font that would look the same whether set by hand or on a Monotype or Linotype machine. They were quite specific about the sort of font that might fit the bill, rejecting the modern and fashionable in favour of solid sixteenth-century tradition–something modeled on Garamond and Granjon. They also wanted the new font to be five percent narrower than their existing Monotype Garamond, in order to save space and money.

Highlight (yellow) – Sabon > Page 251

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Chapter 18: Breaking the Rules

Here are the rules as [Paul] Felton considers God intended them:

  1. Thou shalt not apply more than three typefaces in a document.
  2. Thou shalt lay headlines large and at the top of the page.
  3. Thou shalt employ no other type size than 8pt to 10pt for body copy.
  4. Remember that a typeface that is not legible is not truly a typeface.
  5. Honour thy kerning, so that white space becomes visually equalized between characters.
  6. Thou shalt lay stress discreetly upon elements within text.
  7. Thou shalt not use only capitals when setting vast body copy.
  8. Thou shalt always align letters and words on a baseline.
  9. Thou shalt use flush-left, ragged-right type alignment.
  10. Thou shalt not make lines too short or too long.
Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 255-256

Quick synopsis of Felton’s book The Ten Commandments of Typography / Type Heresy
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Or this observation on digital type from the design critic Paul Hayden Duensing: ‘Digitizing [the seventeenth-century typeface] Janson is like playing Bach on synthesizer.’

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 258

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… type was like painting and architecture: an elitism prevailed, and what you produced was only half the story, and what you said about it counted just as much.

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 259

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

But he [Sebastian Carter] also championed the not-such-a-great-job, the pieces of design and printing that didn’t turn out to be beautiful or clear, merely interesting. He illustrated his talk with some items that were ‘pretty cruddy’, and suggested that these too had a place in our world. ‘I would not want to live in a world of exclusively good design at the bus-ticket level,’ he said.

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 261

delivered mid-October 2004 Beatrice Warde Memorial Lecture at the St. Bride Institute
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Thus armed, ‘the designers of tomorrow will not look back; we give them the chance to fail abjectly and completely; they’re all in the typographic gutter and some of them are looking at their scars.’ The result, of course, would bring forth more failure, but also types of originality and brilliance.

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 262

This sounds to me like statistical mechanics at work in design. Many will be in the median, some will be three signma out and either be truly great or out of the game altogether. The question is how to encourage more at the higher end, knowing that evolution is a very strong selector. In fact what does the distribution over a few generations look like with evolution in play? How strong is it?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Peace

Highlight (gray) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 265

Why wasn’t this used in it’s actual face like the other examples? Was it not available? Or too expensive for one word?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

‘Where is the language of protest now?’ he asks. ‘We have been led to believe that culture was only there as a financial opportunity.’

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 265

Quote from Neville Brody
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

The key, Brody said, in a strange echo of Morison, was ‘to change a newspaper entirely, but to make sure no one noticed. […] When we first showed it to focus groups they didn’t notice it had changed, but when we told them it had changed, they hated it.’

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 266

Sounds like America’s racial culture in the last 60 years. The question is did they hate it because they’d been lied to and it was a psychological effect after-the-fact when they obviously otherwise didn’t know?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Buffalo and Popaganda

Highlight (gray) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 267

again, no exemplars of these faces
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The Interrobang

the @ […] may be almost as old as the ampersand. It had been associated with trade for many centuries, known as amphora or jar, a unit of measurement. Most countries have their own term for it, often linked to food (in Hebrew it is shtrudl, meaning strudel, in Czech it is zavinac or rollmop herring) or to cute animals (Affenschwanz or monkey’s tail in German, snabel-a, meaning “the letter a, with a trunk,” in Danish, sobaka or dog in Russian), or to both (escargot in French).

Highlight (yellow) – Interrobang > Page 269

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 19: The Serif of Liverpool

… and we were sucha funny family, a little bit Alan Bennett.

Highlight (yellow) – 19. The Serif of Liverpool > Page 271

Who is Bennett? Curious cultural reference that doesn’t play in the US…
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 20: Fox, Gloves

Rather than ten letters of each new typeface showing in Handgloves and the rest of the alphabet shown beneath it, each font now comes with words unique to its character, style and possible use.

Highlight (yellow) – 20. Fox, Gloves > Page 291

Kind of similar to the quirkiness of paint chip color names, somewhat useful, but meant to help sales too…
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Coles introduced me to Chris Hamamoto, who had a long list of Handgloves alternatives on his computer. Anyone in the office could add to it,
butthere were certain guidelines:

The key letters, in order of importance, are: g, a, s, e. Then there is: l, o, I. And of lesser importance but still helpful: d (or b), h, m (or n), u, v.

Verbs or generic nouns are preferable because they don’t describe the font (like adjectives) or confuse the sample word with a font name (like proper nouns).

Avoid tandem repeating letters unless showing off alternatives.

Use one word, as spaces can get too large and distracting at display sizes.

Highlight (yellow) – 19. The Serif of Liverpool > Page 293

This could actually be a rather interesting information theory problem.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 21: The Worst Fonts in the World

‘Real men don’t set Souvenir,’ wrote the type scholar Frank Romano in the early 1990’s, […] ‘Souvenir is a font fatale … We could send Souvenir to Mars, but there are international treaties on pollution in outer space … remember, friends don’t let friends set Souvenir,’

Highlight (yellow) – 21. The Worst Fonts in the World > Page 301-302

Souvenir bold evokes 1970’s porn and Souvenir Light evokes the Love Story movie poster, romance novels, and maybe the poster for Flowers in the Attic for me.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 22: Just My Type

… you can fire up one of a number of software programs — TypeTool, FontLab Studio and Fontographer are the most popular — and begin your quest.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 320

I want to look at how these work.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

He [Mathew Carter] replied, ‘Some aspects get easier. But if you’re doing a good job you should feel that it gets harder. If you think it’s getting easier, you ought to look out. I think it means you’re getting lazy.’

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 321

Carter on whether computers have made the life of a type designer any easier.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

In 1968 the influential graphic design review The Penrose Annual asked exactly the same things: ‘Aren’t we done yet? Why do we need all these new fonts such as … Helvetica?’
The answer, than and now, is the same. Because the world and its contents are continually changing. We need to express ourselves in new ways.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 322

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

‘There are only thirty-two notes on a tenor saxophone, and surely to god they’ve all been played by now.’

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 322-323

Matthew Carter on Why New Typefaces?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

… there is a lavish app called TypeDrawing, which takes even the plainest fonts to exciting new heights; it may be the tool that teaches children about type–the modern version of the John Bull printing kit.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 323-324

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…a set of Type Trumps–the designer’s version of the kids’ card game, with each font card rated for legibility, weight and special power.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 324

an interesting set of “trading cards”
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

Syndicated copies to:

📖 Read pages 193-219 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 193-219 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield (Gotham Books, , ISBN: 978-1592406524)

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Not the least significant of their innovations was to produce a $ sign; previously, printers had used a long ‘S’.

Highlight (yellow) – 14. American Scottish > Page 197

in reference to Archibald Binny and James Ronaldson of Binny & Ronaldson
Added on Thursday, December 28, 2017 morning

Binny & Ronaldson’s best known font is Monticello, which they called Pica No. 1. This was a modern hybrid of Baskerville and Caslon.

Highlight (yellow) – 14. American Scottish > Page 197

Added on Thursday, December 28, 2017 morning

Many American book publishers, including Scribner and later Simon & Schuster, favoured what was known as Scotch Roman for their books,
a slightly more modern transitional face showing heavy influences of Bodoni and Didot.

Highlight (yellow) – 14. American Scottish > Page 197-198

Added on Thursday, December 28, 2017 morning

Franklin Gothic, a typeface named after Banjamin Franklin and first published in 1905. […] made by Morris Fuller Benton […] had its roots in the German Akzidenz Grotesk…

Highlight (yellow) – 14. American Scottish > Page 200

Added on Thursday, December 28, 2017 morning

(The German designer and head of Fontshop, Erik Spiekermann, co-wrote a book called Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works).

Highlight (green) – 14. American Scottish > Page 202

Added on Thursday, December 28, 2017 morning

But they [Obama campaign posters not set in Gotham] looked slightly wrong in Gill Sans and Lucinda, and they only fooled some of the people some of the time.

Highlight (yellow) – 15. Gotham is Go > Page 219

A solid reason not to be cheap on fonts or substitute well-known fonts for others. This chapter had some interesting branding thoughts on type for politics. The tangential reference here to Abraham Lincoln’s quote is well couched, but only vaguely funny.
Added on Thursday, December 28, 2017 morning

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

Syndicated copies to:

📖 Read pages 143-192 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 143-192 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield (Gotham Books, , ISBN: 978-1592406524)

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

…[Jock] Kinneir and [Margaret] Calvert did something else important: they established that it is a lot easier to read lower-case letters than capitals when travelling at speed.

Highlight (yellow) – 10. Road Akzidenz > Page 143

Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

… and cows becoming part of the proceedings at any time.

Highlight (blue) – 10. Road Akzidenz > Page 144

Just a lovely quote nestled within this page…
Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

…the iPhone has an app for font identification named WhatTheFont.

Highlight (yellow) – 12. What the Font > Page 175

Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

[Erik] Spiekermann’s blog, which is called Spiekerblog, contains acerbic comments on the type he sees on his travels.

Highlight (green) – 13. Can a font be German, or Jewish > Page 186

Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

📖 Read pages 89-142 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 89-142 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield

The flowery language continues apace almost as if this were a love letter to the typographic arts.

There is seemingly no solid narrative thrust throughout the book, which easily makes it something that one can read a chapter or two of every day. One needn’t swim along linearly, but could dip in to sections here and there without much loss based on my reading thus far.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapters 6-9

Ironically, the first full Baskerville biography, published by CUP in 1907, was printed in Caslon.

Highlight (yellow) – 6. Baskerville is Dead > Page 103

This is just painful to read, particularly as in the sentence before it was noted that Baskerville’s original punches and matrices are housed at the Cambridge University Press. Oh, the horror! It’s one thing if you’re Vincent Connare, but Baskerville?!
Added on Monday, December 25, 2017 evening

Highlight (yellow) – 8. Tunnel Visions > Page 109

I did quite like the section on Johnston Sans which I hadn’t previously known any history about.
Added on Monday, December 25, 2017 evening

In 1916, the same year that Johnston’s work appeared, Lucien Alphonse Legros and John Cameron Grant published their exhaustive study of the optical adjustments that were required of a typeface to aid readability and achieve visually balanced characters (this was the study that observed that a lower-case t often has to lean backwards, and the dot over the i has to be offset a little to the left.)

Highlight (green) – 8. Tunnel Visions > Page 119

I’m curious to read more about the scientific research of perceptions in this areas, particularly if they’ve been updated in the last century.
Added on Monday, December 25, 2017 evening

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

Syndicated copies to:

📖 Read pages 52-88 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 52-88 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapters 3-5

people found type with strong distinctive strokes easier to read than flattened styles; and a greater distinction between letters led to a clearer (and faster) digest of information. The research confirmed that the key areas that make a letter most distinctive are it’s top half and right side, the eye using these flagposts to confirm what it anticipates may be there.

–general research conclusions from the 1970s at the Royal College of Arts Readability of Print Research Unit

Highlight (yellow) – 3. Legibility vs Readability > Page 52-53

Variety in width is particularly important, with the upper half of letters being more readable than the lower half.

Highlight (yellow) – 3. Legibility vs Readability > Page 55

These two quotes above come just as I’ve been chatting with a parent of a student who has reading issues. I had mentioned to her some research on improved fonts for dyslexia like dyslexie. They make me wonder if the mental processing for those with reading issues is possibly mirror reversed or other variations of “normal” readers’ capabilities that could also be remedied by various font manipulations. If different fonts can be read better (speed and comprehension) by “normal” readers, then certainly one could optimize for non-normal readers.
Added on Sunday, December 24, 2017 afternoon

On a section of his website called Typecasting, the designer Mark Simonson

Highlight (yellow) – 4. Can a Font Make Me Popular? > Page 66

I liked the idea of people grousing about anachronistic typefaces in movies. I doubt many continuity, set decorators, or other hands on productions pay attention to these types of minutiae.
Added on Sunday, December 24, 2017 afternoon

Septmber

Highlight (gray) – 4. Can a Font Make Me Popular? > Page 72, last paragraph

Added on Sunday, December 24, 2017 afternoon

Even those who had previously advocated the printed dissemination of wisdom complained of dumbing down: Hieronimo Squarciafico, who worked with Manutius, feared that the ‘abundance of books makes men less studious’, and he dreamed of a scenario in Elysian Fields in which great authors bemoaned that ‘printing had fallen into the hands of unlettered men, who corrupted almost everything’. Of particular concern was the digested read and the accessible history–knowledge falling within the hands of those who had previously regarded it as being beyond their reach.

Highlight (yellow) – 5. The Hands of Unlettered Men > Page 80

This sounds like the lamentation of every age even into the modern world of the blogosphere and even later Twitter and even the self-publishing platforms offered by Amazon. Still somehow the cream manages to rise to the top.
Added on Sunday, December 24, 2017 afternoon

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

📖 Read pages i-52 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages i-52 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield

Some interesting tidbits interspersed in a text written by someone who obviously loves the typographic arts.

At times the languages seems a bit too flowery, but it’s often in service of describing the character in language of the visual aspects of the fonts themselves. The potential false dichotomy is that these feelings may not be evoked the same way by everyone experiencing them in person.

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