Who might you chose as a companion?
There’s this slim book on the shelf in front of where I sit typing away on the MacBook Air. Distracted, I pull it out. It’s approximately A4 size and titled Future Books, vol III. There’s no date but from advertising at the rear and the selection of articles I’d make a guess at 1946. The title page/contents page states: Published by Collins / Produced by Adprint / Distributed by Leathley Publications. Editor: Marjorie Bruce Milne.
I scan the contents. One takes my interest – From Hieroglyphics to Isotypes. Turning to the article I notice at the bottom the name PAUL ROTHA as author. Wow! I know that name. [Even if I don’t the inventor of Isotype, Dr Otto Neurath.] Why?
My career as a journalist [more exactly reporter] starts in January 1978 at a local newspaper [more exactly a community free sheet] based in Marlow, Bucks, UK. I am 21. I have no recollection of how this event unfolds, expect being present when Paul and his wife were evicted and somehow getting them into my car [more exactly my editor’s, I think a Ford Escort, yellow], then driving through country lanes pursued [I think] by what was then called collectively as Fleet Street.
Paul Rotha left this place in 1984. ‘He was a major pioneer figure in the British documentary film movement.’ Though I never knew that in 1978.
Street signage is all about readability, about ensuring the viewer/motorist understands the pictogram. When UK road signs were being redesigned in the 1960s by Calvert and Kinnier there was a clear imperative to ensure there was no ambiguity. However, some 50 plus years later in Australia I encounter these, minus hands and feet:
How much more satisfying is this, with both hands and feet – anatomically perfect!
Adrian Frutiger passed this life on 10 September 2015. Read here for an obituary.
I previously wrote about Frutiger here.
In his Signs and Symbols he writes of the value of ‘interior and intermediary space’. Designers take especial note. ‘The beauty of a sign,’ he writes, ‘is often the result of a struggle between the resistance of the material and its conquest by the instrument…By contrast, the Oriental way of thought and expression…puts the creative act more into the mastery of a gesture with which the brush lays the sign on paper’. [Studio Editions, London, 1989, p.101.)
I did not know of Frutiger’s personal life so as a mental health social worker I find he lost two daughters to suicide prompting him and his partner to establish a foundation
Looking through my collection of typography today I came across these images, included in Portfolio Three by The Rampant Lions Press, Cambridge, England, dated 1982. I have written about Will and Sebastian Carter many times throughout the life of this blog so please hit the search key to find out more, or send me an email. Enjoy your weekend. (This was a regular feature of the blog – the last entry can be found here.)
Images from my week. These were taken in Brisbane, Australia. The first at a train station – a nice display of cast letters (heavily covered in paint – be great to see that taken away and the true letters revealed once more) representing Queensland Rail and used as a brace for a seat; the second a metal plate in the road covering services – lovely use of the cross bar in the capital A as a functional element for inserting the rod that will remove the cover for inspection; the third some quirky figures (‘biffo man’) at pedestrian crossing. Great to see such inventiveness.
Hello again. It has been a while since the last post for which I offer no explanation except for life getting in the way of blogging. I thank all readers, regular and irregular, for continuing to step by on their way through the swamp that is the internet.
Recently, while at a local cafe, I came across this record sleeve (undated) among bric-a-brac for sale in a back room. I think it terrific. See how many typefaces you can identify. (Note – I have yet to play the record on my new Sherwood PM-9805 turntable.)
A reader recently identified the typeface I commented upon in this post as being Ashley Crawford, and not Neuland as I had then speculated. Thank you Marvin.
The face was designed by Ashley Havinden, a noted designer of that period and produced by Monotype as Series 238 and 279 (the later for the plain font). Image from Encyclopaedia of Typefaces, Blandford Press, 1953 as in my copy of Specimens of the Type Faces, Borders, Ornaments, Rules and Other Material cast on ‘Monotype’ Type Composing and Casting Machines, The Monotype Corporation, n.d it is not included, although ‘single specimen sheets…may be obtained on application’.
To correct the earlier misinterpretation here is Neuland used in another ad (taken from The Typography of Newspaper Advertisements, Meynell, F, 1929).
Two images leapt out at me today while browsing typography now, the next wave (North Light Books, 1994 pbk edition). The first one of machine-generated stone carving (naturally, being a stone carver); the second a font called Prototype, this because the illustration stated it was an amalgam of other typefaces including Perpetua and Bembo.
At the time I did not note the connection and it was only a few moments ago when reading Brnbrook’s entry in Typography, when who how (Konemann, 1998) that I came to realise he was behind both.
For more go to http://www.virusfonts.com