Truthful Type, Impossible Geometries, Printed Secrets, and Alphabet as Code.
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Why Hello there!

The Typograph.Journals recent #TypographComp allowed me to discover and connect with so many amazing new designers, artists, illustrators, calligraphers and typographers. I look forward to profiling the outstanding work being made by our community both in print (in the journal) and pixels (on the blog). This month I wanted to celebrate the outstanding optically impossible alphabet submitted for TypographComp by Melbourne designer Jin Bae. I contacted Jin to ask him to share with us a little about himself and his work you can read on here.

I am getting much closer with the production of volume03 of Typograph.Journal. Most of the features and contributors work is now in place. I have a couple more articles and conversation threads to finalise before sending the document for its final edit and proof read... This volume explores the math and magic of typography and I have been having a lot of fun researching optics and rational geometry while developing the content. (This is another reason Jins above optical illusions excited me so much!) I am really looking forward to sharing volume 03 with you and will let you know as soon as it is back from print and available for sale.

He roa te wā kua kitea (Long time no see)...
Thrilled to be collaborating with Design Assembly this July to go home to Auckland and facilitate an Alphabet as Code workshop. Designing and drawing letterforms is a discipline of limitation, but the bounds of familiarity are the perfect restraints to begin creative exploration, experimentation and expression. The workshop will be held in my old stomping ground of Ponsonby Road! You can find more details about the event here. I'd love to see you there!

May has been a huge month in Type, Print and Design so there is so much great inspiration and thinking to share I am going to cut straight to your below curated creative fix!


Monotype and Secret 7" joined forces to present a series of limited-edition typographic prints based on this year’s tracks, created by seven of the world’s top designers and typographers - including talented London letterpress duo The Counter Press. Each track name is presented in each designer’s unique style. (Check out this video to see all the artwork and glimpse at the process). Monotype produced 100 hand-numbered A2 prints per track, available to buy online here. All money raised from the sale is donated to Nordoff Robbins.
If (like me) you're gutted you couldnt make it to TypoBerlin this month you will be relieved to know the speaker talks were recorded - to provide the best value for attendees many of the talks are locked for the next few months --- but some (including Gemma Obrien and Aaron Draplin are available right now so you can get the TypoBerlin conference experience right here on this handy URL!
How do you take your coffee?
I recently took part in this Type Tasting survey where participants were asked to match typefaces to different tastes to identify what style of coffee each design most closely resembles. Check out the results here to see which typeface tastes like which brew.

Just one of of the outstanding printed outcomes from this months Get Inky workshop at Designworks. This excellent typographic Arch was created by Malcolm Middleton as we explored ways letterpress and type can convey meaning both literally and figuratively.

In typography, the importance of “negative” space is widely recognised. With this in mind, Type designer and illustrator Cyrus Highsmith has developed a workshop to explore contour drawing as an entry point to learning about type design. If you're in (or near) New York check it out

Naked Lettering Friday 12th June 2015 with Wayne Thompson

No, not drawing on naked bodies... This workshop is is all about removing the fancy pens and inks, and stripping it back to nothing but pencil and paper. It's all about getting back to basics, and learning pure technique.

Type by hand Saturday 13th June 2015

Wayne Thompsons popular Type By Hand workshop returns to Brisbane soon. This class is an overview of the world of expressive handlettering, and introduces you to various tools and markers including brush pens, broad-nibs and ruling pens. The class is taught by Wayne Thompson and Matt Vergotis.


Those of you interested in Type & Print History will appreciate  ‘Soldiers of Lead’ from the London Society of Compositors, forming part of the Lord Mayor’s Parade in 1928, armed with metal types in place of rifles via typoretum.

How Typography Shapes Our Perception Of Truth

This collaborative experiment between documentary filmmaker Errol Morris and the New York times would suggest that Baskerville is the most trustworthy of typefaces... After polling 45,000 unsuspecting readers on, Morris discovered that subjects were more likely to believe a statement when it was written in Baskerville than when composed in other typefaces.

There is a great interview (and video) on endemic world with Kate Hursthouse (one of the creatives included in the TypographJournals new Freshbet feature). Kate is a former architect turned designer, illustrator and calligrapher based in Auckland, New Zealand. She studied at Unitec School of Architecture in Auckland and worked as an architect in Australia before pursuing design and illustration at CATC Design School in Melbourne. She primarily works on calligraphic and typographic illustration based artworks for commercial projects. Her love for words and letters stems from studying calligraphy, an ancient art form that has become lost due to the onset of computers. Kate says she is "currently exploring how you can manipulate letterforms to the point where you can create texture from language."
The TypographComp for volume 03 has closed and I was so thrilled with the response from our community - with close to 600 outstanding entries it was way too difficult to choose just 26 to feature!
David Wolske published this excellent review of Alphabets of Wood on the I Love Typograph Blog. This book shines a spotlight on the remarkable efforts of working museums like Tipoteca Italiana and Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum to educate and inspire new generations of practitioners and scholars. Its contemporary design aesthetic and a chapter devoted to “Wood Type in the Digital Age” boldly declares that wood type and letterpress printing, while rooted in the past, play an important role in current and future design, craft, and art discourse.

Typography can and should perform both directly and indirectly. Alphabet is code is a hands-on masterclass with learning outcomes including;

  • Exploring the anatomy and vernacular of typography.
  • Understanding recognition, reading patterns, legibility, and the visual logic of typographic form.
  • Gaining insight to the rational maths (geometry) and magic (common optical illusions/adjustments) used in typography.
  • Participants will also deepen their understanding of typographic tone, what sound looks like and the relationship between visual and verbal language.
Say hello to Literata, Google's font designed exclusively for longer E-Book reads... Google collaborated with TypeTogether on the design, and as a post on TypeTogether's website points out, that a big challenge behind the creation of Literata was making work across a wide variety of screen sizes, resolutions, and rendering software. You can see the specimen for this face here. And read more about the development process over on Fast Company here.
Copyright © 2015 Nicole Arnett Phillips, All rights reserved.

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