TYPEROOM is an online platform for the Typophile Generation. Showcasing outstanding typographic works, featuring inspiring stories about the letterforms that matter, premiering breaking news and interviewing type designers from around the globe, TYPEROOM is a curated portfolio for the discerning typophile.
Emojis are dominating the visual language like a (smiley) virus. These digital ideograms, which for many are the hieroglyphics of the 21st century although they are not, were named after the the Japanese for pictograph: e “picture” + moji “character” are much like emoticons, but emoji are actual pictures instead of typography and they wouldn’t have happened if the iconic type designer Hermann Zapf hadn’t invented one of his most popular typefaces ever, back in the seventies.
This master of type design created numerous typefaces in various alphabets, from Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic all through Cherokee. He also envisioned ITC Zapf Dingbats -aka the most acclaimed dingbats collection that went on to become the foundation for Unicode’s symbols- before emojis were a thing.
One of the first designers to “predict that computers would both require and make possible digital typeface” Zapf proposed to his friends Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin and Edward Rondthaler from the International Typeface Corporation(ITC) to publish a typeface of special characters, arrows, and symbols. It was 1977. That year Zapf created about 1000 (or over 1200 according to Linotype) sketches of signs and symbols of which ITC chose a subset of 360 symbols, ornaments, and typographic elements. Obviously, ITC Zapf Dingbats took the visual language by storm and became one of 35 PostScript fonts built into Apple's LaserWriter Plus.
“Symbol fonts such as Zapf Dingbats were especially handy in the early days of personal computing when integrating symbols and graphics into documents was harder,” said FontLab's Thomas Phinney, on Zapf’s iconic legacy. “Because Zapf Dingbats was built into the first PostScript printers by Adobe, it became a standard. Among designers, it achieved legendary status when David Carson made an entire article about Bryan Ferry unreadable by setting it in Dingbats for Ray Gun magazine” he told Guardian.
Carson, uncompromising as ever, has said that his use of ITC Dingbats was his way to make a boring interview interesting.
Filled with ornaments Dingbats paves the way for Microsoft to develop its own collection of Dingbats aka Wingdings in the 1990s and of course the original set of 176 emojis designed by NTT DOCOMO’s in 1999.
“From its founding in 1991 by the Japanese national carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, NTT DOCOMO was at the forefront of the burgeoning field of mobile communications. In keeping with Japan’s longstanding pioneering role in technological adoption, Japanese tech companies, and NTT DOCOMO in particular, were ahead of the curve in incorporating mobile Internet capabilities into cell phones. Early mobile devices, however, were rudimentary and visually unwieldy, capable of receiving only simple information about weather forecasts and basic text messaging. For the revolutionary 'i-mode' mobile Internet software NTT DOCOMO was developing, a more compelling interface was needed. Shigetaka Kurita, who was a member of the i-mode development team, proposed a better way to incorporate images in the limited visual space available on cell phone screens. Released in 1999, Kurita’s 176 emoji (picture characters) were instantly successful and copied by rival companies in Japan” notes MoMA’s Paul Galloway.
The release of NTT DOCOMO’s emoji set of these revolutionary 12 x 12 pixels radicalized the way people communicate through small screens when it was released for cell phones in 1999. Twelve years later, in 2011, Apple introduced emoji functionality to its iOS messaging app and all emoji hell broke loose.
“Shigetaka Kurita’s emoji are powerful manifestations of the capacity of design to alter human behavior”
“Shigetaka Kurita’s emoji are powerful manifestations of the capacity of design to alter human behavior. The design of a chair dictates our posture; so, too, does the format of electronic communication shape our voice. MoMA’s collection is filled with examples of design innovations that radically altered our world, from telephones to personal computers to the @ symbol. Today’s emoji (the current Unicode set numbers nearly 1,800) have evolved far beyond Kurita’s original 176 designs for NTT DOCOMO. However, the DNA for today’s set is clearly present in Kurita’s humble, pixelated, seminal emoji. Emoji continue to grow in use across the world” adds Galloway on the first set of emojis ever.
But is this set the world's first emji-legion ever? Emojipedia's Editor in Chief, Jeremy Burge, begs to differ.
Shigetaka Kurita, NTT DOCOMO. Emoji (original set of 176). 1998–99. Software and digital image files. Gift of NTT DOCOMO Inc., Japan @ MoMA
“Unless or until we find evidence that Docomo had an emoji set available prior to this release, we hereby issue a correction that the original emoji set is from SoftBank in Japan in 1997, with designer/s unknown”
“Until now, Japanese phone carrier Docomo has most often been widely credited as the originator of what we know as emoji today. It turns out, that might not be the case, and today we are correcting the record. SoftBank, the carrier that partnered with Apple to bring the iPhone to Japan in 2008, released a phone with support for 90 distinct emoji characters in 1997... The 90 emojis from SoftBank in 1997 predate the set of 176 emojis released by Docomo in 1999, which until now have most commonly been cited (including by Emojipedia) as being the first. Not only was the 1997 SoftBank emoji set released earlier than the first known date of the Docomo emoji set (in '1998 or 1999'), one of the most iconic emoji characters now encoded as U+1F4A9 PILE OF POO in the Unicode Standard, originated in this release. Unless or until we find evidence that Docomo had an emoji set available prior to this release, we hereby issue a correction that the original emoji set is from SoftBank in Japan in 1997, with designer/s unknown”he notes.
The SoftBank 1997 emoji set might have been the original first, uncredited, emoji set ever via Emojipedia
“Emojis will never be a replacement for the written word and I doubt they would have the capacity to help build and maintain an entire civilisation”
As for emojis as the hieroglyphics of our times? Well, UCL’s Julia Deathridge has some insights on why they are not. “The hieroglyphics language was far more than ‘picture writing’. It allowed ancient Egyptians to compose a huge variety of texts from medical documents to poetry – texts that are significantly more advanced than what is possible to convey with emojis. Let’s just say if my doctor tried to write my medical report purely in emojis I would be concerned! Emojis are a great form of communication and can add a creative flair to how we message one another. However, they will never be a replacement for the written word and I doubt they would have the capacity to help build and maintain an entire civilisation. If I change my mind and decide to write my thesis in emoji, I’ll let you know!”
Exactly 50 years ago on July 20, the world heard a quote destined to become iconic famous. “That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” said as Neil Armstrong lowered onto the surface of the Moon and this quote of him is probably evidence of “humankind's single greatest technological achievement.”
Neil Armstrong,Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were strapped into their Apollo spacecraft on top of Saturn V rocket on 16 July 1969. Four days later, Armstrong and Aldrin were officially the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface bringing a typeface along the Moon. Futura has landed and what a stunning journey has this font accomplished!
The geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Paul Renner and released in 1927 was designed as a contribution on the New Frankfurt-project. Based on geometric shapes, especially the circle, similar in spirit to the Bauhaus design style of the period Futura was developed as a typeface by the Bauer Type Foundry, in competition with Ludwig & Mayer's seminal Erbar typeface of 1926. Futura's forwardness and simple geometric forms are evident in the lunar plaque Aldrin and Armstrong left behind once they were lifted off the lunar surface.
Futura's near-perfect circles, triangles and squares, based on low in contrast strokes of near-even weight were ideal for NASA, after all the typeface's slogan in the font's brochure was "die Schrift unserer Zeit" ("the typeface of our time") and in English "the typeface of today and tomorrow." But Futura didn't land on the Moon because of Stanley Kubrick's extensive use in his opus “2001: A Space Odyssey” as many claim.
“Futura wasn’t just a ceremonial embellishment, or a sunny commentary on the goals and ethos of NASA, the Apollo missions, and the United States. Rather, Futura (or one of its American clones, like Spartan) preceded the space program as a systems typeface, a method of communication and labeling that unified parts of the military, and then NASA’s myriad actors: contractors, engineers, and astronauts” writes Douglas Thomas.
“By the 1950s and ’60s, Futura had established itself as a visual cue for authority. It signaled factual information in headings, footnotes, and fine print across thousands of textbooks, newspapers, encyclopedias, and magazines. Futura’s visual authority sprang from its ubiquity, effectively robbing the typeface of its avant-garde exclusivity. In this environment, NASA didn’t choose Futura as a grand aesthetic statement of modernism unique to space travel. The U.S. Army had been using Futura as the basis for its detailed global mapping project since World War II, and the US Air Force had started using Futura on labels for its missiles by the late 1950s. By the time of the Apollo program in the 1960s, Futura was a generic choice for military operations” he adds in this article adapted from the book “Never Use Futura” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2017).
“Here men from planet Earth first set foot on the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind” is written in Futura in this all-capitals iconic inscription.
Futura's trip to where no other typeface has gone before was obviously not the last frontier for one of the world's most popular typefaces ever. Futura's geometric authority was used extensively by the publishing industry as a general-purpose font lines until the 1950s whilst the use of the font is widespread in the aerospace industry for flight instrument and control markings.
Popular with Hollywood and any industry alike (from transport, an area where Futura has been used extensively due to its ability to be read quickly from a distance through aviation and more) NASA made Futura part of humanity's history on this day fifty years ago. Explore more details of this font's influential adventure in type design in the book “Futura, The Typeface” (Laurence King).
Futura's trip to where no other typeface has gone before was obviously not the last frontier for one of the world's most popular typefaces ever.
Slider images via “Futura, The Typeface” by Petra Eisele, Annette Ludwig and Isabel Naegele (Laurence King). Specimen images via Wiki.
Are you ready to change the world by design? If so this is a call for entries in the world’s largest and influential award competition, the A’ Design Award & Competition which was “born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well-designed products.” The competition provides extensive and intense publicity to award-winning designs, therefore the A’Design Award & Competition is considered as a high-return quality alternative to any advertising you might be running provided that you have a good design that could win the accolade.
The A' Design Award & Competition's mission is to provide a fair, ethical and competitiveplatform for companies, designers and innovators from all design fields with different experience levels, diverse disciplines and market focus to compete on while providing them a global audience to showcase their success and talents to.
The A' Award and Competition aims to act as blender; to bring together designers, companies and the press, and this is a call for entries to those who are talented and confident enough to be members of a prestigious club in design excellence.
Featuring numerous categories, covering the whole spectrum of the design industry, the A’Design Award & Competition has numerous benefits besides the award winners’ kit. Fame, prestige, recognition, credibility, publicity and international awareness to name a few. Participating in this year's creativity fest means that you are literally starring in the global stage of design excellence with various international media outlets and publishers featuring your work.
The A' Award and Competition aims to act as blender; to bring together designers, companies and the press
There are more than 100 categories to enter in the first design competition that has been synthetically developed through research and has been specifically designed to increase the overall value creation for all participants (not individual or specific participants) such as the A' Graphics and Visual Communication Design Competition, the A' Packaging Design Competition, the A' Social Design Competition, the A' Arts, Crafts and Ready-Made Design Competition, the A' Digital and Broadcasting Media Design Competition, the A' Print and Published Media Design Competition and more. See the full list here.
Laureates in the competition will not only receive the A’ Design Award trophy, but also get featured in the A’ Design Award annual yearbook, be awarded a design excellence certificate, obtain space allocation in the A’Design Award & Competition exhibitions and many others such as inclusion in the World Design Rankings, and translation of award winning works to 20+ languages as well as international PR Services.
Fame, prestige, recognition, credibility, publicity and international awareness are some of the numerous benefits for the winners
In this competition all entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members with a transparent and efficientmethodology, the result of five-years research. “Studies and surveys on the subject of 'what makes a design award prestigious', results in a common answer; if a competition is judged fairly, if an award is independent, and if the accolades are famous, then receiving the design award trophy is considered prestigious” notes A' Design Award.
So do register hereand maybe, by this time next year, you could be the proud winner of the 2019—2020 A’Design Award & Competition. The competition, an independent and expert appraisal for design, wants the most talented in the design industry to be part of its 2019—2020 edition and this post is literally an early call for entries for anyone who has the credentials to be part of an ever-expanding tribe of talent, the winners of the past.
Register your best worksbefore early submissions close on 30 September 2019 and be one of the winners which will be featured on Typeroom on 15 April 2020.
This is your turn to win the world's largest and most influential design award ever. So are you high caliber enough? Following are some of our favorite winners from the previous years for inspiration. Feeling lucky? You should.
Nankin Lab by Pau Garcia and Pol Trias
Haymarket Brand identity by 25AH Design Studio
Optics & Chromatics by Andorka Timea
Dressing The Screen by Roma Lazarev
Reflexio by Estudi Ramon Carreté
“Studies and surveys on the subject of 'what makes a design award prestigious', results in a common answer; if a competition is judged fairly, if an award is independent, and if the accolades are famous, then receiving the design award trophy is considered prestigious”
PosterLad by Vratislav Pecka
The Silent Breeze by Steven KH Choi
Wanlin Art Museum by Dongdao Creative Branding Group
With five grandmaster keynotes, 16 full day workshops, 25 paper presentations, 1.100 poster entries, 40 poster winners, nine installations, and 15 projects with 550 participants Typography Day 2019 at IDC School of Design (IDC), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), Mumbai is an event which celebrates our mutual love for the letters. Organized for the twelfth time this year this fest of creativity took place from the 2nd to the 4th of March 2019 and TD2019 was particularly significant as it was held to coincide with IITB’s Diamond Jubilee (60th year) celebrations as well as IDC’s Golden Jubilee (50th) year celebrations.
With this year's theme focusing on what is called 'Experimental Typography' an international conference was dedicated to addressing issues faced by type designers, type users and type educators. The conference included keynote deliveries from international grandmasters, as well as academic presentations that have been selected through a blind jury process. The event has attracted industry professionals, academics, research scholars, and students alike and it included an exhibition of posters that have been selected from an international competition with participation from upwards of fifty countries.
For those eager to compete for type design, Typography Day 2020 will be organized for the 13th time on 28th, 29th February and 1st March 2020 at Beirut, Lebanon with support from India Design Association (InDeAs) and Aksharaya. The theme for this year's event is 'Typographic Dialogues: Local-Global' and eventually there is a call for submissions.
For Typography Day 2020 designers are asked to create a poster representing this year's ‘Typographic Dialogues: Local-Global’ theme. “You can use the language, script and typeface of your choice. You can make use of one letter, one word, many words or even a paragraph composed of words. Calligraphic or digitally created letterforms or existing fonts, or a combination of these can be used for the poster” note the organizers.
For Typography Day 2020 designers are asked to create a poster representing this year's ‘Typographic Dialogues: Local-Global’ theme. Deadline for submission is the 31st October 2019
The Poster Design Competition is open to students, faculty and professionals. Winning entries will be published as a book and displayed in an exhibition during the event in Beirut. Deadline for submission is the 31st October 2019. So be inspired and commit to type design by participating to this year's TD2020 poster competition here.
Following are some of the winning entries from the Typography Day 2019 Poster Design Competition for the title 'Dance of Typography'. The winning entries were published and displayed in this year's typographic fest.
'Electro Dance' by Anastasiya, Ukraine
'Dance of Typography' by Sanjeev Kumar, India
'Dance of Typography' by Siddhesh Sushil Shirsekar, India
'White Wednesday Movement' by Maryam Hosseinnia, Kuwait
'Dalla meaning Fire' by Lahiru Dilshan Ranathunga, Sri Lanka
'Dance of Typography' by Marah Al-Kazak, Kuwait
'lines in Arabic' by Salma Mohammad, Kuwait
'Rhytym of The Letters' by Evren Tural, Turkey
'Dance of Typography' by Sharvari Marathe, India
Slider image captions: 'Brihannala' by Uttam Hasabnis, India. 'Valley of Poverty and Annihilation' by Nasrin Bavafa, Iran. 'Valley of Love', by Nasrin Bavafa, Iran. 'Nrutya’ (Dance)', by Rajkumar H. Mahajan, India. 'Dance of Typography', by Shih-chieh, Hung, Taiwan. 'Dance of Typography', by Jinal R. Dahanuwala, India. All images via Typoday.
Typography is an art form which deserves to be displayed for all to see and explore the power of the letterforms. The science and craftsmanship of type is at the heart of visual communication and LACMA aka the Los Angeles County Museum of Art brings the symbols with which we communicate, these stunning elements of the visual language, into the limelight in its impressive exhibition, Between the Lines: Typography in LACMA’s Collection.
“The selection, organization, and placement of letterforms in a work of graphic design profoundly impact how a viewer interprets the text. Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, designers have used typography to reframe the words on a page, striving to capture the pace and mood of their time through decisions about letter spacing and form” notes the museum.
Drawn entirely from acquisitions made since 2014 as part of LACMA’s Graphic Design Initiative, the more than 30 posters and publications in this exhibition represent a range of typographic approaches from the mid-20th century through the present. From Corita Kentthrough Paul Rand to Massimo Vignelli and Takenobu Igarashi the exhibition Between the Lines: Typography in LACMA’s Collection features the work of numerous groundbreaking, utterly influential international designers.
The works featured span over a half century, from the 1950s through 2013. “During this time, designers wrestled with how to use letter spacing and form to underscore the meaning of their texts, or to capture the mood of their time. Some practitioners, such as Massimo Vignelli, extolled clarity as the ultimate standard of success while others jettisoned legibility in order to convey abstract ideas and sensory experiences” writes LACMA's Staci Steinberger, Associate Curator, Decorative Arts and Design.
From Corita Kent through Paul Rand to Massimo Vignelli and Takenobu Igarashi the exhibition Between the Lines: Typography in LACMA’s Collection features the work of numerous groundbreaking, utterly influential international designers.
“Innovative designers challenged the limitations of available technologies, from letterpress to phototypesetting to computer software... Others arranged words into dense clusters or precise curves, allowing the spatial relationships between them to suggest multiple layers of meaning. And some expressed themselves through historic and vernacular forms, drawing connections with the past or finding new meanings in familiar tropes” she notes.
In the exhibition Kent's ability to physically bent and folded texts to create stencils for her serigraphs and Igarashi'sfuturistic take in design prove that typography is indeed an art form and LACMA's ode to the letterforms demonstrates “how inventive typography can enhance a work of design, adding layers of meaning beyond the simple words on the page.”
So, if you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles explore a wide range of typographicapproaches, from brash headlines to delicate hand-scrawled text in Between the Lines: Typography in LACMA’s Collection which runs through September 2, 2019. Explore more here.
Futerra wants people to change before its all too hot, too late, too nothing. Therefore the change-agency co-founded by Ed and Solitaire, two friends with a common task in making sustainability as natural as possible -ever since 2001, Futerra pursues the mission of “making sustainable development so desirable it becomes normal’ with multiple projects- has declared a climate emergencyalert for the creatives -even though many nations and leaders continue to declare that Earth is not becoming a burning hell due to fossil fuels and the drive to eat meat...
Futerra's Creative Climate Disclosure has been brewing since 2015 when the change-agency published the world’s first Client Disclosure Report during COP21 in Paris. Then in May 2019, the Extinction Rebellion folks reminded the advertising, PR and marketingindustries they hadn’t been forgotten. Spearheaded by the agency the letter aims to “divest creative talent from destruction.”
“Creatives and communicators are already changing the narrative about climate change and ecological crisis. That’s the work we’re all passionate about. But too many advertising, creative, publicrelations, marketing and digitalagencies are still ‘playing both sides’ and treating their role as neutral. They have some clients for climatesolutions and yet they also run campaigns for fossilfuels. The first step to changing that is honesty – for agencies to be transparent about who pays their bills” notes Futerra. This is literally open invitation to begin a long-delayed conversation across the entire creative industry asking both agencies and individual creatives to come aboard a mission for change.
“If you are an agency you promise to disclose your turnover by sector, and highlight any climateconflicts. If you are an individual working, or planning to work, in this industry, then by signing your declare you won’t work on fossil fuel clients. No one is policing you or checking up, this is a promise to yourself” notes Futerra. The deadline is end 2019 to disclose.
Creativity has consequences, so our industry cannot be neutral. As communicators, we have the power to inspire change or to keep serving destruction
Well if the globaleconomy runs on fossilfuels, why do agencies need to take the blame you ask like a spoiled teenager. “We strongly believe agencies have to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We are a $1.3 trillion sector, after all. These disclosures bring agencies in line with other industries, all who report their ‘material’ impact on the world. We have to respect the climate and ecological science, just like everyone else” is the answer. Even if you don't think this is a massive step forward check the media industry. “There is still too much climate confusion and denial, some obviously sown with professional help. No one gets to be neutral when it comes to climate change, the agency world has to do our bit as well” states Futerra on the dangerous virality of fake news spreading like wildfires in California or Portugal or Greece or, you name it -it will happen anywhere unless we take measures not to and probably we, creatives, should be warriors for good. The mediaand marketingindustry should help solve the climate emergency before we become extinct.
“That’s the power of imagination, invention, problem solving and storytelling. But not if the advertising, PR and marketing industry keep serving the problem. That’s why creatives, especially young talent, are opting out of destruction. They are powerful communicators themselves, so they know spin when they see it. Declaring your agency purpose without disclosing proof simply won’t cut it anymore. At Futerra we’ve spearheaded this letter to help put agencies on the right side of history” said Solitaire Townsend, celebrated green entrepreneur, advisory board member for Danone and O2 Telefonica and self-confessed sci-fi geek and co-Founder of the change-agency. Below is the full Creative Climate Disclosure agencies and individuals alike are asked to sign by the end of the year:
“As creatives, communicationsagencies and mediaexperts, we see the climateemergency. Just over a month ago, Extinction Rebellion (XR) called upon advertising agencies to 'Declare a climate & ecological emergency and act accordingly.' Those of us who have signed below agree. Because creativity has consequences, so our industry cannot be neutral. As communicators, we have the power to inspirechange or to keep serving destruction. We could end this letter here, with a commitment to use our power of persuasion and storytelling for the right side of history.
Spearheaded by the change-agency the letter aims to “divest creative talent from destruction”
But a promise is not enough, because our industry hasn’t faced the same scrutiny as others. Remember, we’re good communicators and might be able to wiggle out of this. Therefore, the agency signatories below commit that before this year is done, we will disclose our ‘climate conflicts’. Whilst respecting client confidentiality, we will reveal the percentage of our turnover categorised by industry, including income from fossil fuel companies and other high carbon clients. Some of us have already done so. The individual creatives who have signed below will simply not work on fossil fuel client briefs, no matter which Agency we are with.
We know many of our colleagues and friends across the creative industry are anxious/terrified about the climate emergency. We also know that disclosing climate conflicts will be too early, and too controversial, for many Agencies today. But, we firmly believe that we cannot serve climate solutions, whilst still serving the industries most answerable for causing the climate emergency. And of course, disclosure is only the first step on a journey that must lead to divestment - divesting agency client rosters of these clients. Agencies need to align our businesses with the climatescience, just like everyone else.”
“Creative agencies have to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We are a $1.3 trillion sector, after all. We have to respect the climate and ecological science, just like everyone else”
Image via Futerra
In line with Extinction Rebellion's first demand to Governments to Tell The Truth and be adult enough to share the seriousness of our climate & ecological emergency the Climate Creative Disclosure is a great first step states XR.
“It's great that individuals, businesses and whole industries are starting to get the message and doing the same. Industries need to come together, be open, honest, disclose their business actions that are in conflict with life itself and follow with fast and meaningful action. Though Extinction Rebellion wrote an open letter to industry leaders, we recognise that everyone in a company can put pressure on their employers to act now. Creatives can have a huge role; to tell the truth, refuse to work with toxic clients or on briefs that will harm the environment. So many agencies claim to understand Gen-Z audiences yet promote ecologically damaging clients and behaviours, even greenwash fossil fuel companies, actions which will ensure that these young people who are deeply concerned for their planet, will have a future at all. We encourage all agencies to sign and disclose, for employees to rise up and demand change, for individual creatives to use their talent on the right side of history. We are running out of time" added Extinction Rebellion's William Skeaping.
Futerra believes a better world is possible, and we, creatives, can make it happen. Be involved and use your talent for a good cause.
A medal to an iconic visual modernist and ferventadvocate of the grid system, a tool he considers one of the most important in the designer’s toolbox, the acclaimedWim Crouwel is the recipient of this year’s Type Directors Club Awards' TDC Medal. Crouwel joins a distinguished group of past TDC Medal recipients such as Hermann Zapf, Paul Rand, Herb Lubalin, Matthew Carter, Paula Scher, Louise Fili, Gerard Unger, and Fiona Ross. TDC's choice is an acknowledgment of Crouwel's leading authority on type, design and the visual elements which give meaning to our times.
Born in 1928 in the Netherlands, Willem Hendrik "Wim" Crouwel is a Dutchgraphic designer, type designer,lecturer, professor, organizer, spokesperson, and typographer. Between 1947 and 1949, he studied Fine Arts at Academie Minerva in Groningen, the Netherlands. In addition, he studied typography at what is now the Geri Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Crouwel worked in the fields of exhibition, graphics, and product design before co-founding Total Design, the multi-disciplinary design firm that served many prestigious clients, such as the Dutch Post Office (PTT) and Schiphol Airport. It was during the swinging sixties when Crouwel's work was widely published in international design magazines.
Crouwel helped design the Dutch pavilion at EXPO’70, the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan and some of his most renowned commissions have been for museums, including the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, for which he designed catalogs, invitations, and posters until 1964 notes TDC. He succeeded the renowned Willem Sandberg as a designer at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, where he based the Stedelijk’s visual identity on a unique modular grid system and designed almost all of the museum’s posters and catalogs from 1963 to 1985.
For Crouwel the only typography that matters is the one which “puts communication on paper in such a way that a message gets across plainly and clearly to the reader”
Portrait of Wim Crouwel via TDC, courtesy of Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
A lover of clarity, functionality and machine-likesimplicity Crouwel was never afraid of the new technological advancements in type design and all things visual. The Dutch designer has already stated since 1964 that “‘good-looking’ typography” was of no interest to him. For Crouwel the only typography that matters is the one which “puts communication on paper in such a way that a message gets across plainly and clearly to the reader.” A dreamer of a simplifiedalphabet in which upper and lower case might become one, punctuation could be reduced, and type weight and width could be easily adjusted as needed indeed Crouwel gained a reputation for basing designs on grids, even when designing typefaces like Gridnik, Fodor, and especially his New Alphabet reports TDC.
Crouwel's New Alphabet parametrictypeface which was released in 1967 embraced the limitations of the displaytechnology that it was displayed on by only using horizontal and vertical strokes aka the cathode ray tube technology used by early data display screens and phototypesetting equipment, therefore some of the letters had little resemblance to the letters they were supposed to represent. New Alphabet was a deeply personal, experimental project of the iconic Dutch designer who went totally against the norm.
Crouwel “wanted to adapt his design to work for the new technologies, instead of adapting the technologies to meet the design” so his glyphs were pretty much unconventional with most of the letters based on a grid of 5 by 7 units, with 45-degree corners. For many Crouwel went too far -the designer himself stated back in 2009 that this design was an exercise in theory of type saying “the New Alphabet was over-the-top and never meant to be really used. It was unreadable” - yet for others, this was a groundbreaking design that proves typefaces ARE an art form -at least when they are designed by a Dutch artist named Crouwel.
“The New Alphabet was over-the-top and never meant to be really used. It was unreadable”
New Alphabet is, in Crouwel's words, "over-the-top and never meant to be really used," a statement on the impact of new technologies on centuries of typographic tradition. In 1988, however, Peter Saville Associates used a stylized version of the font on the cover of Substance, an album for the band Joy Division. New Alphabet was digitized for contemporary use in 1997 by Freda Sack and David Quay of The Foundry, closely based on Crouwel's original studies notes MoMa
“In the infancy of digital typography—as lead type, set by hand in heavy lead blocks or by machines that generated lines of metal type, was giving way to text set on screens—Crouwel saw an opportunity for an interesting experiment” notes the Museum of Modern Art which acquired New Alphabet and more (23 in total) digital typefaces in January 2011 for its Architecture and Design Collection.
Just in time for TDC's Medal the Stedelijk Museum pays tribute to Crouwel, the sole designer of the museum’s visual communications from 1963 to 1985, with a selection of his typographic oeuvre from the 28th of September until the 22nd of March 2020. “His practice was profoundly influenced by the Swiss school of graphic design, whose rational, minimalist approach was organised around a grid system” notesStedelijk. “Crouwel employed the grid structure in his designs for the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (1956-1964) and later for the Stedelijk Museum. At Total Design, grid sheets provided templates for the abundance of typographic work produced for the Stedelijk. Crouwel has always favored an analytical approach, believed in technology and progress, and promoted design as an independent profession. His preoccupation with grid systems was the subject of the exhibition Wim Crouwel: Fascinated by the Grid, which was on show in Japan in 2017 and 2018. Crouwel’s design projects for the museum comprise a monumental oeuvre that has cemented his reputation.” The Stedelijk Museum's rich and long-standing tradition in graphic design is explored in the introduction to the Crouwel show, which presents other celebrated designers who have shaped the Stedelijk’s visual identity such as Willem Sandberg, Anthon Beeke, Experimental Jetset, Mevis & van Deursen and others.
Crouwel's influential take in type design will continue to shape and reshape the practice of many young designers throughout the world and The Wim Crouwel Institute will continue to promote the world of graphic design and share Crouwel's heritage states Stedelijk which features not one but three exhibitions on graphic design, Wim Crouwel: Mr. Gridnik being one of them.
A teacher during most of his career, beginning in the 1950s at the Royal Academy for Art and Design in ’s-Hertogenbosch through ErasmusUniversity in Rotterdam where he taught until his retirement in 1993, Crouwel has received numerous awards, including the Piet Zwart Prize and the Anton Stankowski Prize in 1991, and the Gerrit Noordzij Prize in 2009. Type Directors Club's Medal has been presented to Crouwel in his Amsterdam studio on the 8th of July. A recording of this informal ceremony will be shown at TDC’s annual awards presentation in New York City on July 17, 2019 in The Rose Auditorium of The Cooper Union. TDC has presented its Medal since 1967 to highly influential and inspiring practitioners and thinkers in typography and Crouwel, the true king of grid, is one of them.
Stranger Things, the Netflix sci-fi series is premiering for its third season following Eleven and her boys into the darkest realms of the alternate dimension, the Upside Down, circa mid-1985. The typography and visual branding of the hit series are two reasons to be obsessed with the multi-awarded tv phenomenon.
Beyond Winona Ryder and the eighties hits featured in the series Stranger Things sparked a love for the retro font featured in its title sequence, ITC Benguiat, the decorativeseriftypeface designed by legendary Ed Benguiat and released by the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) in 1977.
Loosely based upon typefaces of the Art Nouveau period the font face follows ITC's design formulary of an extremely high x-height, combined with multiple widths and weights. The original version of 1977 contained numerous nonstandard ligatures (such as AB, AE, AH, AK, AR, LA, SS, TT) and alternate shapes for some letters which were not carried into the digital version. The font family consists of 3 weights at 2 widths each, with complementary italic.
Matt and Ross Duffer, brothers and creators of the hit tv series cited a “two-fold inspiration” to Vulture on the choice of the title sequence font. “There was a two-fold inspiration. One was, in terms of the font [ITC Benguiat] and the title design, going back to those old vintage Stephen King books. We sent 12 different old covers to Imaginary Forces, who were designing the titles — we wanted it to be in the style of these novels. There’s something about when we were kids, when you would open up one of these big fat Stephen King novels that we loved. We wanted the show to have that sort of feeling every time you got to a new chapter. So that was for the font.
Then for the actual design, we’re pretty obsessed with this designer Richard Greenberg who did so many great title sequences back in the day, whether it was Alien or The Untouchables or The Goonies or Superman. Altered States. What he specialized in was using just graphics: title graphics, titles over titles. That’s something we really wanted to do. Part of it was, it felt it represented the show well.
Title sequences are so great nowadays, but it’s almost like they’re getting more and more elaborate and trying to top each other. As opposed to trying to top these amazing title sequences, what if we just go back to the simplicity of these great titles we loved growing up? There’s something to us that feels epic about those titles. Something like The Untouchables which is just basically just a font. It’s so epic and memorable, so we wanted to go back to that simplicity.”
[Clip] Gracias Richard Greenberg ┃ www.cinedemedianoche.cl - YouTube
“It’s rather appropriate, if I might say. It lends itself to the feeling of the titles, it has a look. It’s like food – it’s hard to describe what something tastes like, or identify a good smell”
Imaginary Forces chose to reveal ITC Benguiat in all its red glowing glory through animation. “We could concentrate on the type—the counter of the A and the serifs. We had to find the most beautiful combinations” explained to WiredMichelle Dougherty, the Imaginary Forces’ creative director who oversaw the project.
“A disjointed version of the Stranger Things title starts the sequence which typographically sets the tone for the show. Imbuing the opening with a sense of unease, the music informs the movement of the type as the letterforms slide together to form the title. The Stranger Things main title mimics an optical look which reflects the time period of the show, it also seems as if light is passing through film, creating a lush haptic quality” states IF.
“It merges, it moves in and out, it’s very good. It’s rather pleasing and comfortable too. And yet exciting at the same time” the designer of the font, the legendary Ed Benguiat, told The Telegraph when the outlet asked him of the show’s title sequence. “It’s rather appropriate, if I might say. It lends itself to the feeling of the titles, it has a look. It’s like food – it’s hard to describe what something tastes like, or identify a good smell.”
Ed Benguiat’s font has a long history in the showbiz. It has been used on the cover of numerous 1980s Stephen King novels and it is featured also in The Smiths album Strangeways, Here We Come, in the book covers of the Choose Your Own Adventure series, in The Bitmap Brothers game The Chaos Engine, as well as in the logos of both the National Assembly of Quebec and the Melbourne Knights. The typeface is also featured in the main titles of the Star Trek films, Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact, as well as video game Nier: Automata. Paramount's FBI warning, from 1995–present, also uses ITC Benguiat.
Ed Benguiat - YouTube
Ed Benguiat has crafted over 600 typeface designs and is widely known for his designs or redesigns of the logotypes for Esquire, The New York Times, Coke, Estée Lauder and others
An iconic font made by a living legend in the graphic and type design industry, Ed Benguiat -the American typographer and lettering artist has crafted over 600 typeface designs and is widely known for his designs or redesigns of the logotypes for Esquire, The New York Times, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, AT&T, A&E, Coke, Estée Lauder, Ford, and others- is glowing in red once again. But don't be fooled. Benguiat is no stranger to the entertainment industry himself. Before Stranger Things his designs have graced the logos of the original Planet of the Apes film, Super Fly and The Guns of Navarone.
One of the most prolific lettering artists ever Ed Benguiat was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame in 2000. A very prominent jazz percussionist playing in several big bands with the likes of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman once, Benguiat X Stranger Things is a haunting match made in heaven.
Stranger Things: Season 3 | Title Tease [HD] | Netflix - YouTube
Slider image caption: ITC Benguiat as it was first shown in U&lc, Dec. 1977 [PDF]. The alts and ligatures were lost in the digital version via Stephen Coles @ Flickr
What was the Bauhaus? Well, it was everything about design, period. A lively school of ideas and a field for experimenting in the free and applied arts, design, architecture and educational methods Bauhaus was only active for 14 years, as the “State Bauhaus” in Weimar, as a “school of design” in Dessau and as a private education institute in Berlin. Eventually, Bauhaus evolved out of the arts and crafts movement and art school reforms with its ideas being as present as ever, a century after it was conceived.
The Bauhaus sought to train a new generation of committed designers with all-round skills. Students learned design basics in their preliminary course and this was followed by training in workshops, where different masters set their personal stamp on the course. The curriculum was complemented by non-artistic subjects and frequent presentations by guest lecturers or guest professors.
The fruit of versatile input from both well-known avant-garde artists and aspiring junior masters, with more than 1,250students from 29countries Bauhaus influenced everything and it is literally an idea that made a name for itself writes Bauhaus100. Its worldwide recognition is evident throughout almost any creative field, from typography through architecture and theater and while 2019 is the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus the highly acclaimed Getty Museum is celebrating with an interactive online exhibition open to all, admission free.
Conceived in tandem with the Getty Research Institute’s gallery exhibition, Bauhaus Beginnings, the “Bauhaus: Building the New Artist” exhibition offers an in-depth look into the school’s novel pedagogy with dozens of Bauhaus material, not on display at the Getty Center. “I think it’s important for users of the online exhibition to understand how the interaction between those who teach and those who learn is still a valuable experience in our society,” said Maristella Casciato, senior curator of architecture at the Getty Research Institute, at the Los Angeles Times.
“I want to show that it was playful and joyful, but the teaching was demanding for both the students and the masters” she adds on the three interactive exercises for online visitors who are eager to learn more about the core philosophy of a movement which defined our era. We bet architectWalter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus School in Weimar in 1919, is more than proud of the movement’s enduring impact in all this design.
Featuring three interactive exercises for online visitors Getty's project will cultivate the artist in you
Considered one of the most influential schools of art and design of the 20th century, the Bauhaus forged a unique educational vision that blended theory with practice in order to cultivate a new generation of artists and designers. Highlighting student explorations, masters' theories, and a variety of colorful media drawn from the GRI's archives, this is a project not to be missed. Enter the Bauhaus educational vision and cultivate the artist in you here.
Cover of Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit (Utopia: Documents of reality), I/II, Margit Téry-Adler, 1921. Lithograph. 30.1 x 24.2 x 1.4 cm. From Bruno Adler, ed., Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit, I/II (Weimar, 1921). The Getty Research Institute, 85-B9544-2
Cover of Der Helfer im ewig jungen Zeitgeist (Mazdaznan) (The helper in the eternally young zeitgeist [Mazdaznan]), Immanuel Ga-Llamus, 1925. 21 x 14.8 cm. From Der Helfer im ewig jungen Zeitgeist (Mazdaznan), no. 1 (Dresden, October 1925). Bauhaus Typography Collection, 1919–1937. The Getty Research Institute, 850513
Bauhaus seal, Oskar Schlemmer, 1922. Lithograph. 20.2 x 29.3 cm. From Walter Gropius, Satzungen Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar (Statutes of the State Bauhaus in Weimar), July 1922. Bauhaus Typography Collection, 1919–1937. The Getty Research Institute, 850513
Slider image caption: Group portrait of Bauhaus masters, from left: Josef Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl, Oskar Schlemmer, photographer unknown, 1926. Newsprint. 19.1 x 28.7 cm. From Das Illustrierte Blatt, No. 50, p. 1131. Jan and Edith Tschichold Papers, 1899–1979. The Getty Research Institute, 930030
The jury of MC2019 received 340 entries from 19 countriesModern Cyrillic 2019, the international type design competition organized by Paratype, has just announced its winners. A sequel to Kyrillitsa ’99, Modern Cyrillic 2009 and 2014, this year's competition aims to get the objective evidence of the current state of Cyrillic type design and find the best examples of its development.
Cyrillic typefaces created or released from 2014 to 2019 were eligible for the competition and participation in Modern Cyrillic was open to all and free of charge.
The jury of MC2019 received 340 entries from 19 countries with 208 of them chosen by the selection committee. Eventually, 30 winners and 6 honorable mentions have been announced.
Also, Modern Cyrillic 2019 asked the public to vote on their favorite typeface from June 20 until June 27 with three winners in this category.
Winning typefaces will be awarded honorary diplomas of Modern Cyrillic 2019, published in the catalog and shown at the traveling exhibition. The authors of the winning fonts will receive a copy of the catalog after its publication. Work on the catalog is in progress and Paratype's plan is to show the results at the ATypI: Association Typographique Internationale conference in Tokyo this September.
Following are some of Typeroom's favorite entries. All the winners are published here.
Winner, Curbe by Olga Pankova, 2019
Winner, Harbin by Oleg Macujev, 2018
Winner, Lapture by Tim Ahrens (Latin part author) and Oleg Macujev (Cyrillic part author), 2019
Winner, Nostra by Lucas Decroix, 2019
Honorable Mention, Thaw by Ilya Bazhanov, 2019
The jury of MC2019 received 340 entries from 19 countries
Public Voting Winner, Bipolar Grotesque by esh gruppa & Ekaterina Daugel-Dauge, 2018
Public Voting Winner, Grafema by Jacklina Jekova & Todor Georgiev, 2018-2019
Public Voting Winner, Sapienza by Nikolai Petrusenko, 2015-2019