Paul Shaw

Overlooked Typefaces

The end of the year / beginning of the year list-making spirit is still with me and so here I go with another typeface list. This one is devoted to typefaces that have been overlooked and/or underappreciated. There are two parts to the list: 1. typefaces available digitally that are not used as much...

Is There a New Leading Man in Hollywood?

Since the mid-1990s Trajan has been the favored typeface for Hollywood movie advertisements and posters. But within the last two months a small batch of movies have appeared that emphatically reject the respected Roman Imperial capitals. The new face in town is Gotham from Hoefler & Frere-Jones. At the moment it can be found...

The Top 10 Graphic Design Events of 2010

I have not had time to elucidate my reasons for each of these selections so feel free to contest them. (I have left out items already included on the top 10 type events such as the Roger Excoffon book and the U&lc PDFs that could also fit here.) But here they are: Vignelli Center...

Top 10 Typographic Events of 2010

1 – The Arrival of Webfonts 2010 will be remembered as the year that the Internet moved beyond Arial, Verdana, Georgia and the other web-friendly fonts offered by Microsoft. The major type foundries finally figured out several ways to offer fonts optimized for use on the web that are (fairly) secure from piracy, thus...

Five Favorite Fonts from the New A2-Type Foundry

The London-based design studio A2/SW/HK has recently launched its own type foundry called A2-Type. The 15 fonts in the initial specimen book are largely derived from design projects that partners Scott Williams and Henrik Kubel have done since they formed the studio a decade ago. (The exceptions are A2 Klampenborg, designed by Kubel in...

The Tea Party Adopts Gotham and Other Surprising Political Campaign Fonts

Ever since the 2008 election, the design community has been delirious that the Obama campaign used Gotham by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. It has become received wisdom that this was the most adventurous font decision ever made by a political campaign and further proof that Obama deserved to win. McCain’s choice of Optima, on the other...

Arbor, a Fresh Interpretation of Caslon Italian

Chester has released Arbor, a fresh interpretation of Caslon Italian, one of the most bizarre slab serif types of the 19th century. The design, originally created for the The New York Times Magazine, dispenses with the irrational logic of its ancestor, concentrating instead on making a consistent and aesthetically pleasing reverse-weight Egyptian. Although its...

It's Not Nostalgia: The Skill and Vision of Lowell Bodger

Lowell Bodger, who died this past January 26 at the age of 65, was a typographer, letterpress printer, planetary cartographer, and experimental filmmaker. A selection of his films (Wave Symmetries, 1971; Favorable Conditions, 1973; A Recent Animation, 1974 and others) will be shown tomorrow, September 16, at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue, New...

Gotham and Moderne Sans Serifs

The letters that inspired Gotham are not unique to Manhattan or New York City. Similar, though not entirely identical, capitals can be found in cities across America and Europe. Beginning in the mid-1920s, they appeared first in posters (see the work of A.M. Cassandre, E. McKnight Kauffer, and Austin Cooper) and then in signage—from...

Ten Typefaces of the Decade

In 1998, in the middle of millennium-induced listmaking mania, I wrote a short piece for Letterspace, the newsletter of the Type Directors Club, on the “top 100 typefaces of all time.” The list was based on the historical, technological, or theoretical importance of each design rather than its aesthetics. Initially, the list caused barely...