Advertising supplements were a lot more fun to look at in 1880. Submitted as evidence: this issue of the Philadelphia Grocer.
If you have a thing for typography
Typography enthusiasts "moved by Dr Fabiola Gianotti's incredibly strange choice of font in announcing the recent results of Cern's ATLAS collaboration" are petitioning Microsoft to rename Comic Sans to "Comic Cerns." Cosmic Sans might work, too!
Do you love nameless, creeping horrors in the deep? Unnaturally! Do you love fonts? Of course, you do. Thomas Phinney, a veteran type designer, is attempting an unholy union of the two by resurrecting the moldering corpse of three typefaces: Columbus, Columbus Initials, and American Italic. Columbus was used for all the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, in which Phinney played a hand (severed?), designing clues for "Masks of Nyarlathotep."
Back the project on Kickstarter for Phinney to create Cristoforo, modern renditions of these three fonts. Pledges at all but the lowest level come with licenses to use the fonts. Phinney's original work is terrific, and I have no doubt that he'll bring a sensitive hand to re-creating these classic faces.
Anniina ("Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance") produced these delicious-looking and awfully lovely illuminated initial cookies:
I wanted to share with you some Medieval manuscript cookies I made for my friend and colleague, Risa Bear, creator of Renascence Editions. I chose historiated initials from several manuscripts, printed them on edible paper with edible ink, attached them to square cookies and gave them gold edges. Who says love of literature and art can't fill a belly?!
Medieval Illuminated Initial Cookies
(via Making Light)
Bibliodyssey has curated a beautiful collection of letterheads from 19th century and early 20th century architectural and industrial firms, doing a lot of cleanup and posting the hi-rez images to Flickr. The originals are from Columbia University's Biggert Collection.
The images in this post all come from Columbia University's very large assortment of commercial stationery (featuring architectural illustrations): the Biggert Collection.
The vast majority of the images below have been cropped, cleaned and variously doctored for display purposes, with an intent towards highlighting the range of letterform/font and design layouts. The underlying documents are invoices (most), letters, postcards, shipping records and related business and advertising letterhead ephemera from the mid-1800s to the 1930s.
Architectural Stationery Vignettes
In this video, Videocrab demonstrates a very odd typographical Easter-egg embedded in Google Chat. I have no idea if this is real or shooped, but it's cute nevertheless.
2012-04-06_21-10-36_872 (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
The limited edition "Scrabble Typography Edition" stores away in a handsome set of replica type-drawers and features tiles whose letters appear in a variety of fonts. However, there are no kerning options, nor can you choose which font your tiles will be, which probably makes this game pure torture for type-nerds, but is likely pleasing to people whose reaction to desktop publishing was "Cool! I can make the world's most precisely snipped ransom notes now!"
Scrabble Typography Edition - Winning Solutions, Inc.
This 1977 CB radio ad has it all, from the heavy metal concept album lettering to the lens-flares on every surface -- even a halo for the holy gizmo itself.
1977 CW McCall Midland CB Radio
Dan Sayers ("I am not a type designer") decided to explore "generative" type-design by seeing what happened when he "averaged out" a large number of fonts. Once he got his teeth into the problem, he realized that "averaging out" is a complicated idea when it comes to shapes, and came up with a pretty elegant way of handling the problem, which, in turn, yielded a rather lovely face: Avería, "the average font."
Avería – The Average Font
Then it occurred to me: since my aim was to average a large number of fonts,
perhaps it would be best to use a very simple process, and hope the results
averaged out well over a large number of fonts. So, how about splitting each
letter perimeter into lots of (say, 500) equally-spaced points, and just average
between the corresponding positions of each, on each letter? It would be necessary to match up the points so
they were about the same location in each letter, and then the process would be
Having found a simple process to use, I was ready to start. And after about a month of
part-time slaving away (sheer fun! Better than any computer game) – in the
process of which I learned lots about bezier curves and font metrics – I had a
result. I call it Avería – which is a Spanish word related to the root of the
word ‘average’. It actually means mechanical breakdown or damage. This seemed curiously fitting, and I was
assured by a Spanish friend-of-a-friend that “Avería is an incredibly beautiful
word regardless of its meaning”. So that's nice.
For many years, most of the Internet ran on ASCII, a character set that had a limited number of accents and diacriticals, and which didn't support non-Roman script at all. Unicode, a massive, sprawling replacement, has room for all sorts of characters and alphabets, and can be extended with "private use areas" that include support for Klingon.
But for all that, I never dreamt that Unicode was so vast as to contain a special character for a "pile of poo."
Name: PILE OF POO
Block: Miscellaneous Symbols And Pictographs
Category: Symbol, Other [So]
Index entries: POO, PILE OF
Comments: dog dirt
Version: Unicode 6.0.0 (October 2010)
HTML Entity: 💩
Here is "Pile of Poo" in whatever font your browser renders this page in: 💩
Unicode Character 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9)
Roboto, the new “house” font for Android 4, was branded a haphazard mash of classic typefaces. The longer you look at it–and the technological constraints that it aims to transcend-the clearer its virtues become.
Read the rest
Apple is a cipher, and its reasons for making changes often a mystery. A new update to iBooks for iOS devices adds a full-screen mode, a night-time reading color theme, and nicer covers for free, public-domain books. The release notes mention four new fonts, all superb choices, but avoid the fact that three less-loved fonts were removed.
Read the rest
From How to Be a Retronaut, a "Stereo Stack" anthology: 4,000+ pixels of "In Stereo" logos from LP jackets, ganked from the
Stereo Stack site.
Shape Type is a new HTML5 typography game from the creator of Kern Type; this time around, you have to drag curve-adjustment tools to perfect letterforms.
Unicode has a special character, U+202e, that tells computers to display the text that follows it in right-to-left order; this facility is used to write text in Arabic, Hebrew, and other right-to-left scripts. However, this can (and is) also used by malware creeps to disguise the names of the files they attach to their phishing emails. For example, the file "CORP_INVOICE_08.14.2011_Pr.phylexe.doc" is actually "CORP_INVOICE_08.14.2011_Pr.phyldoc.exe" (an executable file!) with a U+202e placed just before "doc."
This is apparently an old attack, but I've never seen it, and it's a really interesting example of the unintended consequences that arise when small, reasonable changes are introduced into complex systems like type-display technology.
Some email applications and services that block executable files from being included in messages also block .exe programs that are obfuscated with this technique, albeit occasionally with interesting results. I copied the program that powers the Windows command prompt (cmd.exe) and successfully renamed it so that it appears as “evilexe.doc” in Windows. When I tried to attach the file to an outgoing Gmail message, Google sent me the usual warning that it doesn’t allow executable files, but the warning message itself was backwards:
“evil ”cod.exe is an executable file. For security reasons, Gmail does not allow you to send “this type of file.
Unfortunately, many mail applications don’t or can’t reliably scan archived and zipped documents, and according to Commtouch and others, the malicious files manipulated in this way are indeed being spammed out within zip archives.
(via Command Line)