In his editor’s letter for Print’s latest issue, Zachary Petit has this to say on the subject of typography design:
“One of the most fascinating things to me about typography: For as exacting of a science as it may sometimes seem, it’s inescapably still an art. Yes, type can be deconstructed to its most minute details and deemed to be objectively “good” or “bad”—but at the end of the day, subjectivity reigns above all. Consider the myriad voices in this issue. Some are loud. Some soft. Others, zealous. Still others, euphoric. Perhaps most importantly, though, some are contradictory—and together, they make up the brilliant and engaging dialogue that is typography today.”
And in the pages of Print’s February 2015 issue, “Type Today,” we attempt to listen to this dialogue.
First, join Matteo Bologna, founding partner of Mucca Design and upcoming speaker at the 2015 HOW Design Live Chicago event (taking place May 2015), as he invites all designers to escape from the ordinary—one typeface at a time. Bologna argues that knowing where you came from as designers and typographers is key to understanding where you should be headed in the future: to a realm in which you create custom faces for any—and all—of your projects. And he provides a key example of this in his cover design for the issue.
“The audience for this cover scares me!” Bologna says. “Designing for non-designers is always less intimidating than when you produce work for your peers (who will scrutinize every aspect of your work). But at the same time it is also more rewarding to know that when you design for an audience of designers, they will be able to appreciate all of the little details.”
Bologna goes on to note that working on the cover’s 3D lettering was both time consuming and fun. “I liked the idea of having a big title with a strong message that was also crystal clear and simple to get. Once that was done, I did what I usually do and started panicking because I had no clue how to solve the background. The background had to support the big lettering and not interfere with the headlines. Then during my research I saw an advertisement from the early 1900s that had a sky with clouds out of registration, and because I’m lazy, I practically copied it for this cover. I like when I copy something and people cannot tell that I did that. … ooopsy …”
As Bologna notes in the article he both wrote and designed for this issue, a type foundry component is in the works for Mucca (muccatypo.com) and Bologna hopes to soon release the custom type created for the cover of “Type Today” in this shop.
“In case my endemic procrastination overrules the scheduled launch of the site, all of the fonts on the cover will be available to anybody willing to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Also in this issue: In a collection of essays, eight of the top minds in the field—Paul Shaw, Stephen Coles, Yves Peters, Will Hill, Richard Kegler, Indra Kupferschmid, Ferdinand P. Ulrich and Cyrus Highsmith—reflect on the art, history and future of typography. You’ll hear thoughts on why handlettering is not type, how type trends are an expression of culture, the essentials of web typography and more. Plus, read Scott-Martin Kosofsky’s essay for this collection, “Total Design,” online, in which he discusses creating specific type for specific books.
And writer Emily J. Potts provides a little typography inspiration in her list of nine type designers we should all keep an eye on in the new year. Then, from icicles to flames, Steven Heller takes a look at the rise, fall and future of novelty typography. Plus, Print talks with “mad typographic scientist” Oded Ezer—a designer who manages to perplex, awe and outrage while simultaneously changing the way we look at type.