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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Typographic Treats

Here are a couple of typography items to treat yourself to on a cold and wintery day.

The first is a link to a compilation of the top 100 typefaces from type reseller FontShop (for those who don’t know, this company was founded by Erik Spiekermann). There are a number of lesser known gems further down the list. 100 is obviously an arbitrary number, but it's interesting to see what makes the cut and what doesn’t.

A personal favorite is Number 69: Quadraat by Fred Smeijers. I'm a fan for a couple of reasons: 1. it sits on the page like a classic Old Style with real presence, distinctive but not distracting, and 2. Smeijers’ use of punch and counterpunch techniques to develop the face during the midst of the digital type boom of the early 90’s. It's wonderful, as is his newer creation Renard.

I also recommend the type specimen book FontShop created for Quadraat Italic, with characters made of what appear to be Pringles chips (the full specimen “snack book” can be downloaded in PDF at the bottom of the link page, one spread shown below).

The second treat for the day is a link to a video of the aforementioned Erik Spiekermann. The video is courtesy of German visual culture publishers Gestalten.