Arcade Game Typography [Amazon] is a forthcoming book by Toshi Omagari that "definitively surveys" the pixelated fonts of arcade games from the 1970s to the 1990s. It's full of gorgeous-looking full-color spreads, with grids, offering both a beautiful item and a formal tour of a distinctive artform.
Arcade Game Typography presents readers with a fascinating new world of typography: the pixel typeface. Video game designers of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s faced color and resolution limitations that stimulated incredible creativity. With each letter having to exist in a small pixel grid, artists began to use clever techniques to create elegant character sets within a tiny canvas. This book presents typefaces on a dynamic and decorative grid, taking reference from high-end type specimens while adding a suitably playful twist. Arcade Game Typography recreates that visual aesthetic, fizzing with life and color.
Featuring pixel typefaces carefully selected from the first decades of arcade video games, Arcade Game Typography presents a completist survey of a previously undocumented outsider typography movement, accompanied by insightful commentary from author Toshi Omagari, a Monotype typeface designer himself. Gathering an eclectic range of typography, from hit games such as Super Sprint, Marble Madness, and Space Harrier to countless lesser-known gems, Arcade Game Typography is a vivid nostalgia trip for gamers, designers, and illustrators alike. 300 color illustrations
Ugly Gerry is a typeface where each glyph is a conspicuously gerrymandered congressional district. The district boundaries are manipulated thus by incumbent politicians to arrange voters to their own party's advantage. The result is that, unlike their opposition voters, every letter of the latin alphabet gets represented. Read the rest
Helvetica Now is Monototype's new typeface created for today's screens. Read the rest
It's not just nostalgia. Blame high DPI displays, too!
Today’s movement toward fonts reminiscent of the ’70s is partly a matter of advancing technology, Jen says: As phone and TV screens have improved, designers don’t have to worry as much about pixelation when working with curves. But nostalgia is a powerful factor, too. Elizabeth Goodspeed, a graphic designer who works at the branding agency RoAndCo, believes that for many consumers, ’70s-esque fonts represent a safe retreat into the past — a safer retreat, importantly, than the one currently offered by midcentury Swiss Style, which inspired all of those minimalist startup logos with its grid layouts and sans serif fonts.
The recent use of 70s type in corporate branding is showy in a way that suggests a fad rather than a sustained trend, but such a trend does exist toward more utilitarian typefaces from the era. You might be seeing a lot of Windsor, Souvenir and chunky Caslons in the next few years. However ugly and cheesy you might consider all this, it's a merciful antidote to 2010s tech culture anglegrinding every logo into the same sort of bland, soulless sans-serif font.
Helvetica Now, redesigned by Charles Nix, Jan Hendrik Weber and others for Monotype, is the first revision of the tasteful typeface in 35 years and comes in 48 styles.
The Helvetica family has been used by countless brands and creative professionals, in millions of designs since its inception. The typeface embodies clean and versatile design, and the Helvetica Now typeface continues the tradition established by the Helvetica and Neue Helvetica families while introducing a number of improvements.
If you want anything from a Helvetica derivative except conspicuous mediocrity, what you really want is Univers.
Correction: Max Miedinger designed the original typeface, but died in 1980 and took no part in the new version. Read the rest
The Tiny Type Museum is a limited-edition handmade box set of traditional printing tech, including hot metal and wooden type, custom-made linotype slugs, plate molds, phototypes, plates, Monotype matrixes, other stuff besides, and a book about six centuries of reprographic technology that fits nice and kentucky in a slot. Read the rest
Millitext is a "font" whose glyphs are just one pixel wide. But it's really a clever exploitation of how subpixels -- the individual red, green and blue lights of an LCD display -- are triggered by pixels of certain colors. For example, a magenta pixel triggers the red and blue subpixels, leaving the green one dark between them.
The result is as embedded above. Below is how the bitmap image would look like scaled up, on the wrong sort of screen—or simply as seen from a normal distance where the subpixels, as intended, appear to merge together.
Sans Forgetica is a free-to-download font that supposedly helps you "remember your study notes", designed by typographer Stephen Banham and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's Behavioural Business Lab. It's a remakably hostile mindhack: the letterforms are designed to be difficult to read without losing their legibility, thereby "prompting your brain to engage in deeper processing" and "question the gestalt understanding of type".
I'd like it more if it were a deliberate prank, a typographical equivalent of the Jimmy Kimmel skit where he tricked Fashion Week attendees into praising a model wearing a watermelon on his head. It's called semiographic closure, honey, look it up. Read the rest
Marcin Wichary, a wonderful designer/typographer/writer who I had the pleasure of working with at Medium years ago, created this fantastic "Segmented Type Playground." Learn more via Marcin's Twitter thread about the project. (Among many other prior projects, Marcin created the playable Pac-Man Google Doodle back in 2010.)
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For as long as I remember, I was fascinated with segmented typography – not quite vectors, not quite pixels. Inspired by a conversation with @covrter and @enf I made a little typing (and painting!) playground. Maybe you’ll like it. https://t.co/kyrOcb0rDr pic.twitter.com/4LeulXIch4— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) May 11, 2018
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My goal isn’t to prescribe a number score or valuation on a typeface — rather, I want to celebrate, analyze, demystify and inform designers who are looking to improve their typographic choices. I won’t be reviewing any fonts here that I don’t personally use and see value in. Designing a typeface is a herculean effort that takes hundreds of hours and often years of time to refine and complete. My aim is to show appreciation for these works of art through thoughtful discourse, aesthetic studies and historical context. There is often a gulf in the communication between the type design community and the designers who put their work to use, and I hope this site serves as a sort of bridge to bring the two practices to a closer understanding of each other.
Selectrics get all the hype, but I love the typefaces available on Smith-Corona typewriters from the 1960s. From the samples posted by munk, I think my favorites are the futuristic but legible "Classic Elite No. 86" and the handwriting-style Artistic Script (pictured).
There are about 20 in the set. The only ones that seem to be available as fonts are Numode No. 61, and this set with Smith-Corona's Prestige, Mini gothic and the script, bu all in very roughly-scanned form.
(Via this conversation between @hacklib and Marcin Wichary, who is writing a book about the typewriter and mechanical keyboard community.) Read the rest