The Fuse Box: Faces of a Typographic Revolution

It’s 1994 and Steve Heller is on a rant about a Fuse magazine font called LushUS. It’s “an abominable typeface. It’s…” “… vernacular carried to an extreme?,” I offer. “Vernacular carried to stupidity,” he replies. “It ain’t funny. There are certain …

Michael Harvey's Life of Letters

I have known Michael Harvey, the British book jacket designer / lettercutter / type designer, for nearly thirty years. And I have known his work for far longer, having first discovered it in Erik Lindegren’s ABC of Lettering and Printing …

What's Wrong With These Pictures?

This is the category of “decorative material” found in most type specimen books, before you from the Empire Foundry in Buffalo, New York, c. 1910. Can you find the curiosity. Hint: it was used as a printing ornament for over …

Book Review: Characters by Stephen Banham

My blog Blue Pencil has become infamous for no-holds-barred critiques of books. This is not a Blue Pencil takedown. Instead, this is a welcome opportunity to praise a book that is exemplary in nearly all respects. The book in question …

Akira Kobayashi, Akko Pro, and Akko Rounded Pro

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Akira Kobayashi’s tenure as type director at Linotype. Born in Tokyo in 1960, he studied graphic design at Musashino Art University. Kobayashi began his career in type design at Sha-Ken Co., Ltd., a …

The Mirko Ilic The West Doesn't Know

A new book, Mirko Ilić: Eye to Hand by Dejan Kršić (MikserBooks, Belgrade) reveals art director, designer, illustrator, author and Print contributor, Mirko Ilić as he’s not been seen in the West (or New York) before. The wealth of material …