The Constant Reader

— Among the legends of computer typography, two stand out. There’s an 18-year-old Steve Jobs stumbling into a calligraphy class at Reed College and learning about serifs and spacing—useless stuff, he thought, until it came time to design the first …

Observer: Perfect Ten (Or Twelve)

To a certain cast of mind—a cast shared by many designers—lists of preferences are fascinating. Lists offer information in its most elemental form. There is no explicit linkage between the items, no explanation or opinion. Everything comes down to selection …

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, …

Fabrica’s exhibition “Les Yeux Ouverts”

Approaching the staircase leading down to “Les Yeux Ouverts” (“Open Eyes”), an exhibition of Fabrica currently on display at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, I braced myself for the expected succession of blunt, cause-driven campaigns and personal experiments following the design rubric …

Photographic Testimonies

— Since the American Civil War, photography has played a central role in crafting narratives about conflicts and disasters, whether domestic or international, natural or man-made. As photographic technology has changed, so has our shrewdness in interpreting these documents, allowing …

Flexion

In the late ’70s, John Langdon discovered that he could manipulate letters to form words that read the same from the right and the left. He has since carved out a strong career as a designer and letterer specializing in …

There’s a Place in France

Ever-shifting ideas of beauty are all the more suspect when it comes to fashion, since they’re an inextricable element of glamour. Two very different recent photography collections, Parisiennes and The Vice Photo Book, which weigh in on the two major …

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 …

RDA 2007: South

  Some designers in the South still insist they don’t get the respect they deserve, but there is evidence that perceptions are evolving. “People assume there’s not excellent work coming from Nashville,” says Joel Anderson, art director at Anderson Design …