Author Archives: Anna Malsberger

Peter Buchanan-Smith, Best Made Co.

— Scroll above to see more images PETER BUCHANAN-SMITH in a rarefied world, making elegant lookbooks for Isaac Mizrahi and pared-down packaging for Philip Glass. But his preferred cooking method is very down-to-earth: “The preparation itself is what I love most: selecting wood, chopping wood, making a blazing fire, poking the fire, blowing on...

Ventura

Bright eyed and balletic, Dino dos Santo’s Ventura (a TDC2008 winner) has been sculpted by a couple of cultures and centuries. When the Portugal-based, self-taught type designer Dos Santo undertook what would be his 12th typeface, he “felt the need to open people’s eyes to … amazing calligraphers, and Portuguese calligraphy in general.” Ventura...

Lakeside

Looming over the baseline like long shadows on a rainy night, the characters in Mark Simonson’s  Lakeside are an homage to brush-script titles of 1940s film noir. Simonson has spent many hours screening the typefaces of period films and evaluating them accordingly—critiques that have informed the authenticity of his many nostalgia fonts. (L.A. Confidential,...

Stilla

— Stilla is a headline typeface for anyone waiting for Poster Bodoni to shrug off its restrained precision and get a little funky. Remaining true to its Fat Face brethren (e.g. Normande, Falstaff), Stilla is primarily defined by thick verticals, high contrast, and a self-assured boldness. But beyond that, it takes its solo show...

Cadena Black

Round and amiable, the characters in Miguel Hernández’s Cadena Black gambol along like inflated carnival balloons—space them well lest they float away. But their levity is strictly proverbial; Cadena Black is a significant contribution to the collection of digitally rendered hand-painted signs, and the first of Chilean origin: both the model, and the designer....

Los Niches

We still can’t get enough of Typographica’s “Typefaces of 2007,” so Anna Malsberger revisits her review of Los Niches. Like any effective ensemble, Los Niches knows when to wait in the wings, and when to take the stage. Most of its modern monoline letterforms are stylized yet understated: sleek and elegant, but ultimately serving...

Frieze

Hang your holiday lights on a typographic armature. Frieze, by Julian Morey, isn’t the first dotted grid font, but its pointillism wanders away from a strict matrix that allows it to wave in the winter wind without blowing away. The non-uniform diameter of its dots give each character the illusion of varying depths; as...

P22 Underground Pro

Admired by type designers, depended on by European backpackers, and spotted on any Tube ephemera, Edward Johnston’s 1916 sans serif for the London Underground is a legend. As popular as it is, however, its ubiquity has largely been relegated to Britain’s underbelly due to one critical shortcoming: the lack of a full text family...

Radio

Video may have killed the radio star, but the script typefaces that typify radio’s Golden Age are very much alive—resurrected by the digital pen of nostalgic type designers. Responding to a market affection for retro sentimentality, designers are paying homage to hand-lettered commercial logos created for mid-century appliances and packaging. Freehand 575 and House...

Black Slabbath

Ushered into the ring as “The Heaviest Typeface in the World,” Stefán Kjartansson’s Black Slabbath has earned its title. Kjartansson, an Iceland-born designer who now runs an interactive agency in Atlanta, admits that he bestowed the superlative on the font with a note of hyperbolic humor: Some typefaces may use more ink, but none...