Flora Fauna Faces Font Friday

From the Public Domain Review

This 17th-century alphabet seems to show grotesque vegetation, animals and even humans in its forms, reminiscent of DeepDream imaging.

An Alphabet of Organic Type (ca.1650)

 


A series of stunning prints – titled Libellus Novus Elementorum Latinorum – designed by the Polish goldsmith Jan Christian Bierpfaff (1600-ca.1690) and engraved by fellow-countryman Jeremias Falck (1610–1677). According to BibliOdyssey blog, where we first learnt of the images, Bierpfaff worked as an apprentice at the Mackensen family of metalworkers in Cracow, a group “who introduced the Dutch auricular (‘shell or ear-like’) style of ornament into the Polish gold and silver workshops”. We see the influence of this auricular style in Bierpfaff’s letterforms but also the unmistakable baroque stylings of the grotesque. The result is wonderfully surreal, the writhing forms hovering somewhere between the monstrous and floral.

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Font Technologies Font Friday

Parametric fonts: Diagram of capital "A"
This article, from SmashingMagazine.com, explicates the concept of parametric fonts. The concept has been around for 40+ years but it has novel applications in web type design.

How Font Technologies Will Improve the Web

PARAMETRIC FONTS (original article)

Words are the primary component of content for the web. However, until a short while ago, all we had at our disposal were but a few system fonts. Adding to that, those system typefaces weren’t necessarily coherent from operating system to operating system (OS). Fortunately, Windows, macOS and Linux made up font-wise, and since then, all modern fonts have been compatible across those OS’. There’s no question, the future of web typography looks promising. Continue reading “Font Technologies Font Friday”

Phonological Font Friday

Graph: Optimum font size

An interesting article by UK layman Peter Irons from his blog, “To Read or Not to Read: This Blog will chart the progress of the emergence of the use of computer screen technology to enable more people to maximise their reading performance across the world.”

In his blog Irons explores reading deficits such as dyslexia, especially in children, and how they may be best ameliorated. Here he comments on a Harvard study about children’s relative reading speed and comprehension on e-readers as opposed to in print. All emphasis and text colors are that of the author.

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If you want to see the future of software UI design, look to the history of print design

Interaction Design collage

This interesting article from bjango.com posits that stylistic design choices follow from the limitations of their hardware or production:

Interaction Design collageLike many trends in technical areas, interaction design is being led by technical ability.

8bit games looked 8bit-y, because of limited colour palettes and giant pixels. 16bit games looked 16bit-y because of better colour abilities and slightly smaller pixels than their 8bit counterparts. Newer games look newer, because GPU hardware developed to the point where full 3D games were possible. These aren’t stylistic choices, they’re hardware limitations, dictating how software looks.

In the same respect, print design has limitations to work with. Most body copy in print design is black, because of hardware abilities — black is one of the four printing plates, so it can be reproduced at high quality, with sharp, fine lines needed for text. Back off a little to a mid-grey and the quality drops significantly, because you’re still using black to print, but you’re building mid-grey from a dither pattern of small black dots on white paper. It’s a trick. There is no mid-grey, only black or white. And because of this, smallish text printed as mid-grey looks horrible (please note that I’m talking about typical four colour CMYK offset printing, not the use of special colours).

[Full article]