type

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 extremes that are unnecessary, or too ingrown. Design for design, and so what?” So...

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 Types (Askim, Sweden: Erik Lindegren Grafisk Studio, 1964–1965, 3 vols.) when I was a...

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 a century before it was used for something else. More Design Resources: Available now: Print Magazine’s...

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 is Characters: Cultural Stories Revealed through Typography by Stephen Banham (Port Melbourne: Thames &...

Un Buon Tempo at Il Buon Tempo: A Visit to Lucio Passerini in Milano

I spent the first weekend of July as the houseguest of Lucio Passerini, Milanese woodcut artist and letterpress printer. On the morning of July 2 we took a leisurely walk a mile or so to his studio, Il Buon Tempo on Via Longhi. The weather was sunny but cool, unusual for Milano in the...

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 manufacturer of phototypesetting machines just at the cusp of the digital age. In the...