Docmenta Sans, details from “Eugen Schönebeck”

October 20th, 2011

Documenta Sans

DTL Documenta Sans designed 1986–1993 by Frank E. Blokland (* 1959). Type designer and Senior Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Frank E. Blokland founded the Dutch Type Library in 1990, the first producer and publisher of digital typefaces in the Netherlands.

Johnston Sans, detail from «Nils Nova – Works so far»

August 12th, 2011

Johnston Sans

ITC Johnston finds its roots in Edward Johnston’s early 1900 London Underground Railway typeface, and there were no italics for his original design. Johnston’s London Underground Railway typeface was the first alphabet created for a specific corporate identity and the first sans serif design of the twentieth century. Edward Johnston himself, however, never called his design a typeface. It was an alphabet primarily for signage and other display purposes – designed to be legible at a glance rather than readable in passages of text.

Caxton, detail from “Nils Nova – Works so far”

August 12th, 2011


Caxton, designed by the late Leslie Usherwood (1932–1983) in 1981 for Letraset, is an old style design with a large x-height, short serifs, and high-waisted capitals. The font is named after William Caxton (1422–1491) who produced and printed the first book in the English language (The Game and Play of Chess Moralised, 1476, a translation of the first major European work on chess).

April 22th, 2011


Vendetta, designed by John Downer (*1951) for Emigre (released 1999) is a revival of the general Venetian Old Style class of types. Tribute is not paid to one individuell punch-cutter or to a single printing type, but rather to a definite historical structure. John Downer began training as a sign painter while he was in high school. His essays on type history and hand lettering have appeared in Emigre magazine and House magazine.

Plak, detail from “Press Art”

April 21th, 2011


Plak, designed by Paul Renner in 1928. Renner ( designed a grotesk bearing some similarity to Futura as a display typeface for Stempel. Plak was produced as wooden letters from 72 point to 624 point in size. Being a poster type, it was available exclusively in bold weights, but in three width variations. German typographer Paul Renner (1978–1956) is best known as the designer of the typeface Futura, which stands as a landmark of modern typographic design.

Quadraat, detail from “Dieter Roth, Tears in Lucerne”

April 18th, 2011


Fred Smeijers’ (* 1961) Quadraat offers a crisp interpretation of typographic tradition. Originally designed around 1992 for his own design company with the same name, Quadraat combines Renaissance elegance with modern ideas on construction and form. He followed Antiqua archetypes, but ultimately created an original italic typeface in Quadraat Italic. In 1997, following in the footsteps if his compatriots Jan van Krimpen, Martin Majoor and Lucas de Groot, he added a sans-serif version and later added display and heading variants as well.

Centaur, detail from “Bruce Wrighton - At Home”

April 9th, 2011


Bruce Rogers (1870–1957) originally designed Centaur for the Metropolitan Museum in 1914. The matching italic font, which was designed by Frederic Warde in 1925, was originally called Arrighi because Warde drew these italics based on Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi’s italic typeface. The completed typeface was released for general use in 1929 by the Monotype Corporation Ltd.