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Hello TypoCurious friends,
February's Musings are all about favourites; I am featuring some friends, some familiar faces and a few of my favourite publications this month. Another thread follows hybrids and unusual pairings, or perhaps more accurately, the bringing together of seemingly disparate entities to innovate in design.
Type design demands familiarity and recognition. The nature of reading binds type designers with constraint. It is infrequent we see letterforms that are radically different, so when a new face provides aesthetic innovation while still being legible, the type community reacts abuzz with excitement and admiration at the designer's ability to find new territory within their constraints.

Yet, this excitement is exactly what Faune a new typeface from French designer Alice Savoie demands and deserves! The project was a commission of a type family by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (an organisation known for supporting graphic design and typography through its collection and events). The brief called for a 'new creation'. Alice (with Faune) delivered!

Faune's foundations are built in the animal kingdom. Specifically, Alice explored the plurality of the animal world (she articulates the intent and narrative beautifully on the Faune microsite) or you can read more about my excitement for Faune, An incredibly intelligent typeface and an unexpected pairing here.

I make no secret of the fact I am a huge fan of my friend and collaborator Craig Black, I promote his work here all the time because he is doing such rad stuff. So I have been thrilled that Craig is featured as a keynote speaker at this years Design Conference. I am thrilled that TDC are bringing my talented friend down under!

I also got a little insider info that my fabulous friend Maria Montes will be taking the main stage during this years conference to talk about her lettering, illustration and type design. So I was thrilled to see conference organiser Matt Haynes teasing at another Type Designer in the line up and hit him up to get the inside scoop about fellow Kiwi Kris Sowersby is rounding out a trio of type talent about to hit Brisbane May 09-11.

This line up builds on Matt's commitment to bring type and lettering luminaries to Brisbane. I am super excited for what is shaping up to be an epic event. I have secured my seat and I highly recommend you do the same as this is a conference not to be missed!

As well as speaking in Brisbane, Craig and I are going to team up with Design Assembly on a very special event in Auckland in May (stay tuned for more info!)

Enjoy the Musings below (it is a bumper list this month as there has been so much going on in the world of type).

X Np
why is crediting important?
Drawing better looking curves


Journey into spacing



Start With The "h" a Glyphs Mini Tutorial.

Type designer Tyler Finck published a 16 minute video tutorial to get started with type design (using Glyphs Mini). Promising to have you making letters in no time. I confess, I havent watched this tutorial yet, but it comes highly reccomended by the  League of Moveable Type's Weekly Typographic...

Design DNA

Noticeable and distinctive, the R carries so much personality. Offering the type designer freedom with its flexible skeleton. In this Grafik letterform piece Monotype designer Terrance Weinzierl argues why the ‘R’ is vital.




Fontsmith's latest footnotes is outstanding. This (the second issue) is jampacked with great content like Skin deep – typography and tattoos. Emily Gosling investigates different styles of typography in tattoos "while a picture is said to speak a thousand words, sometimes words are exactly what people want on their skin, and so typography and tattooing are disciplines more interlinked than ever."
Graphic designer Angharad Hengyu Owen on textual shapes and wandering poems

I bought a copy of Um Poema Errante / A Wandering Poem, late last year and have been keen to interview Angharad Hengyu Owen (the designer) and Christian Marques (poet) since, as it is breathtakingly beautiful and brave in it's experimentation. Its Nice that beat me to it publishing a profile on the collaboration and resulting book.

I know I have featured Marcel's Letters a couple of times before in these musings, but wanted to take Steven Heller's interview with Historian, Author and Type Designer Carolyn Porter as an opportunity to feature Typographic Detective Tale again... (it is one of my favourite books of 2017), "Marcel’s letters are filled with the best and the worst of humanity; words of hope and love share space with descriptions of life inside a labor camp. As each letter was translated, he became more real. Marcel was no longer just a man who had lovely handwriting."
Pop Stars
London Kerning
Continuing with Glenn's work, Robin Rendle recently wrote about Font of Type "an interesting bit of typographic ephemera from Glenn Fleishman... It’s a folio (which is a roundabout and rather fancy way to say a folded sheet) and it’s all about the poet and printer Walt Whitman." Robin's adventures in typography newsletter are always insightful I would highly reccomend subscribing here.
Typographic 70

Designed by Mirian Brüggen (who was awarded a Commendation in the 2017 ISTD Student Assessments). It includes contributions by leading designers and educators from the International Society of Typographic Designers and beyond. There are a limited number available to purchase exclusively from the ISTD shop

A Guide to Design Book Publishing (for the Non-Rich and Non-Famous)


Freehand: New Typography Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico.


Pete Rudledge has been drawing and illustrating since childhood. In volume 02 of TYPOgraphJournal (where Pete is profiled) he writes; "I have a pretty active imagination and always enjoy expressing this visually." Pete Illustrates and publishes artwork as alter ego Mr Smudge, and I am obsessed with his latest series of artworks which overlay photographic Trump transfers onto paint chips with apt colour and names like Fools Crown, Mexican standoff, Elusive and Cheesy Grin. Bloody genius!

A historical account of women’s responsibilities in the design & development of type
Paper Works
Anthony Burrill supersizes his “positive propaganda” for new show
Extending the most heartfelt of congratulations to the enigmatic Sarah Hyndman who founded TypeTasting on 14th February 2013! Happy 5th Birthday TypeTasting and huge thanks for everything you have acheived for our industry in these past few year! 
Isabel Urbina Peña

I like podcasts and I totally rate book designer/art director/letterer Isabel Urbina Peña so was excited to see the latest 'Great discontent' installment on Intuition, opportunity, working by hand, and the value of personal time features Isabel alongside, Comedian Matt Ruby and illustrator Ping Zhu.

Artist, Illustrator and Letterer Judith Mayer created a series of vibrant dimensional maze like specimen for Avondale Type Co.

You can get involved too! Submit for the artist series via the Avondale Type Co website.

Once again I am unashamedly playing favourites here profiling my friend Jamie Clarke's latest release (just launched on Myfonts) which extends his Rig family. Fastidiously constructed as you'd expect from Jamie, Rig solid is another mindbendingly admirable exploration of depth. The ‘Medium Lines’ are a triumph - Jamie credits E. Sanderson's, Projected Letters as his historical inspiration behind the lines style.
Meet Meret Pro
Grafik Letterform Total Recall
An exploration of the border between text and abstraction.

The extremely vertical structure, the regularity of its shapes and counter-shapes make it an almost kinetic titling typeface, perfect for any incisive editorial layout. Designed by Lucas Descroix, The name and height pay tribute to Grandmaster Flash and while it most certainly invokes 80s-90's hiphop genres I also see aesthetic musical references to piano keys and funk. (I love it!) TDF is a terrific foundry and the quality of the typefaces they are publishing is excellent!

Lining up on the start line is Resistenza's (yet another favourite foundry of mine) DreamTeam! This multiline-display fit font's long limbs, nimble movement and shifting weight make it the perfect aesthetic athlete for your next project.

Dave Foster draws typefaces and lettering for design studios, type foundries, brands and individuals around the world. Blanco is the brilliant first release from Dave's new foundry FosterType! Learn more (and buy Blanco) at or read more about Blanco's development in TYPOgraphJournal vol04
When Street Graffiti meets medieval (Luxeuil) calligraphy

Originality, not obtrusive at reading, is one of PampaType’s main objectives, with Atahualpa, PampaTypes founder Alejandro Lo Celso has most certainly delivered.


Aravrit brings Hebrew and Arabic together
Liron Lavi Turkenich's experimental writing system hybridises the languages. Each new letter is composed of the top half of an Arabic letter a the bottom half of a Hebrew letter while maintaining legibility for readers of each. (So very smart)!

An international cast of signwriters and lettering professionals will descend on London this August for the city's first ever Letterheads 'meet'.


Meet the designers who shape the world of type today

Fontstand was started by type designers who wanted to simplify font licensing and allow high-quality fonts to be used not only in high-end projects but also in any daily work. However, there is another important intention—to bring the type users and type designers closer together. On April 21, 2018, Fontstand is hosting an international typography conference.


How pretty is Kawerau?

One for the urban designers and placemakers... (not type, books or print but very lovely) I adore this project which maps the urban form of small towns in New Zealand.



This months Musing headings are all set in Alice Savoie's Faune, A typeface family designed by Alice Savoie, A series of original illustrations by Marine Rivoal, A commission by the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, In partnership with the Groupe Imprimerie Nationale Learn more about Faune & Download your copy here.

Copyright © 2018 Nicole Arnett Phillips, All rights reserved.

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