21 July 2009

Typography Tuesdays!

I really like fonts, but I don't know as much about them as I'd like to. To help with that, I'm going to be doing a weekly Typography Tuesday here. Ariel is probably going to help with it here and there, as well.

I suppose my fascination with type started when I read this article about the Obama campaign's graphic design choices. The relevant bits:

"Then the lettering. Obama's identity contrasts a Hillaryesque serif typeface with a squiggle-free sans-serif presumably to imply that he combines gravitas with youthful vigor. Originally the letters were upper and lower case, which designers generally deploy to convey friendliness. As the campaign progressed, they have switched to all-upper case, which looks more authoritative, just what Obama wants. The sans-serif font changed, too: from Gill Sans, created by the British designer Eric Gill in the early 1900s, to a contemporary American one, Gotham.

Great choice. No typeface could seem better suited to a dynamic, yet conscientious, American public servant. Inspired by the handmade signs of 1940s New York, Gotham was designed in 2000 by Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, originally for GQ magazine. It has since appeared on everything from organic food packaging, to the Freedom Tower cornerstone at the World Trade Center site in New York. You don't have to be a typographic historian to get the message. A glance at the lettering on the "Change" banners at Obama's rallies conveys a potent, if unspoken, combination of contemporary sophistication (a nod to his suits) with nostalgia for America's past and a sense of duty."

Now, this blog is written in Verdana -- which is kind pretty much the way your Kindergarten teacher taught you to make letters (I didn't want it to distract from the images). My résumé is written in Georgia, which is very refined and businesslike; it reminds me of a small-town lawyer, like from a John Grisham novel. But I can't really pretend to know anything about "a potent, if unspoken, combination of contemporary sophistication ... with nostalgia of America's past and a sense of duty." So, I'll just be talking about fonts and, hopefully, I'll eventually be able to sound like I know what I'm talking about.

To get things rolling, here's a font made with a car!

There are more pictures on flickr, and the font is available for free download here.

When I was talking to Ariel about this yesterday, she showed me the Jockstrap font, which is just adorable.

That's all I really have for today. If anyone has suggestions on where they'd like to see this segment go, please don't hesitate to comment and let me know. I'm really open to ideas.

1 comment:

  1. that vimeo video is really cool!
    have you ever seen Helvetica?
    its a documentary made in 2007.
    if you like fonts you will LOVE this movie.
    if you have netflix it's also an instant download