An unusual use of words to say the least.
Piece of street typography taken from a train parked at Ashfield, Sydney, Australia. I present it as a record only since in a few years, who knows, this building may have been demolished or new ownership may have erased the lettering.
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
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
There’s something beautiful about things seen at random, by chance, that otherwise may have gone unnoticed and unrecorded. This first one was taken as I was waiting for a bus on Monday (my truck was in for a service and I was catching the bus back home) – seen in the waiting shelter. The poster has been mutilated and overlain with others.
The next as I walked out from my place of work at lunchtime on Wednesday. While the last was snatched today (Friday) as I went to meet someone in the local town. All random, all wonderful demonstrations of lettering in action, caught unawares, just as, without any overlay or analysis. Fresh.
The link will take you to The Guardian’s video on the Olympics in Numbers. Produced by Mariana Santos from the Guardian’s interactive team it is a visual delight. Enjoy.
Over the last year or so since this blog has been up and running I can find no mention of Edward Johnston. I don’t know how this can be, given how important he was to the growth of lettering in the early twentieth century and his continuing influence on designers. Let this post be a belated apology for the gap. It starts with this brochure for a book printed in 1994 by the London Transport Museum, called London’s Handwriting. I regret that I did not subscribe but expect the price of 295 pounds was a put off to a struggling hack with a young family and a huge mortgage back then. Google turns up a few references to the volume but I can’t find any for sale through the normal sources (ABE etc). If you hear of one please let me know, or snap it up as it appears to be a fine example of fine printing.
For those who don’t know Edward Johnston visit the Foundation
and there’s a fascinating overview here.
As with many archives, a lot of his stuff is now in the US, at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. As with Gill I’d urge any American readers who live nearby to go visit. For those in the UK a visit to Ditching is a must – just 9 miles north of Brighton. With spring in the air now’s the time…