Friday, April 18, 2014


Old English was the first typeface, but before it was set on the printing press, it was drawn by hand by Calligraphers. Simply put, calligraphy is the art of making beautiful letters. Typically, a broad tipped nib is the primary tool of a calligrapher, however, more humanist scripts require a pointed flex nib. Nibs come in all shape and sizes, and each serve a different purpose. 

Round and Broad Tip Nibs

Pointed Flex Nibs

In calligraphy, there is no such thing as a "font" or "typeface." Instead, "script" is used to describe the overall aesthetic that a calligrapher wants to achieve, and a "hand" is their own version of that script. The beauty of calligraphy comes from nearly-uniform weights, angles, x-heights, baselines and flourishes; yet every letter "a" that you could pen in your lifetime will be different from every other "a" that you have ever written. There are certain characteristics to each script that have been largely accepted as characteristics of that specific script (i.e. what differentiates Fraktur from Old English, and Copperplate from Spencerian).


Old English


My Calligraphy

Friday, April 11, 2014

monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a cypher (e.g. a royal cypher) and is not a monogram.

(via wikipedia/ the source of ALL knowledge)

Heres some super snazzy monograms to get your design day flowing:

James Edmondson
André Beato
alex trochut

R&Co. Design

Get Corporate, yo!

Monograms are often used as logo types.
here's a link to some pretty schweet ones:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Filetaedo Frenzy!

Filetaedo is the art of the streets of Buenos Aires. Filetaedo was born in the early 20th century in the spirit of rebellion from city regulations stating all delivery carts must be painted gray. It was later applied to buses and trucks. The aesthetic soon spilled onto signage, packaging and storefronts. It has been called Buenos Aires' original street art. 

In 1975, the dictatorship introduced new laws banning filetaedo from vehicles. The filetaedors were put out of business due to economic instability, but the art form is now making a resurgence. 

Filetes are characterized by the the bold color schemes, floral motifs, swirling lines, obsessive use of symmetry and typography rooted in blackletter. In addition to traditional filetaedor, it is entering into the realms of graffiti and body art. 

Other modern examples:

Friday, April 4, 2014

More Street Type

This was a viral video going around the past week or so:

"These road workers in London, England, lay out the letters in a matter-of-fact way with perfect results. We on the internet rarely get to see such road painting unless something is misspelled or the line goes over a dead animal."

Which leads down the rabbit hole of youtube to this really cool anamorphic type:

I also found a blog that collects photographs of street photography.. but the cool thing is.. its a collection of the everyday type we see here in Philadelphia (street signs, deli markets, etc) but in countries all over, and you can filter the posts by country as well. Its interesting to see the similarities/differences. Typotrip

Then I found this. HandpaintedType is a project that is dedicated to preserving the typographic practice of street painters around India. Beautiful.

Lots of dispute, but how the government can save money by switching typefaces.
Times vs Garamond

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kinetic Typography

For those who are unfamiliar with the term; Kinetic typography refers to the animation technique of mixing motion and text to express ideas. You have most definitely seen it in some shape or form in a commercial in day to day life.  However kinetic typography can be very beautiful and fun, it does not always have to sell you something.

The first instance of kinetic typography can be traced back as early as 1899 by and artist George Melies  who was a french cinematography who lead the way in many technical developments of cinema like time-lapse photography, multiple exposure, dissolves and hand-painted color on film.  He used kinetic typography in his advertising art, though words were mostly static with transitions.

The first extensive use of kinetic photography in film however is really attributed to Saul Bass, who created the opening sequence for Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest film with a "flying"credit sequence.

Today Kinetic typography is becoming even more popular with programs like Adobe After Effects, Adobe Flash and Apple Motion easily available to all.  With digital design becoming the prominent method to convey information, kinetic typography is here to stay. Here are some really fun examples I came across.


30 must-see examples of kinetic typography:

Or just a couple:


Kid President-We Need a Pep Talk

The Alphabet