….Is that Ren from Skip Beat or just someone who looks scary like him with even crazier anatomy?
Inujima Art House Project
The tiny island of Inujima in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea was once a bustling copper refining town, but the population declined dramatically when the local industry shut down. In 2010, just 56 people lived there—and many of those inhabitants were more than 70 years old.
Recently, the island has been revived into a destination for art and architecture lovers. The industrial complex on the island was converted into the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum in 2008. Two years later, Architects Kazuyo Sejima & Associates created three immersive art pavilions—s-art house, f-art house, and i-art house—all connected by a pathway through the island. This year, a-art house and c-art house opened as well. To view more photos and videos of each of the art houses, visit the location pages below:
Over the last couple of years, layered typefaces have appeared in bestseller charts and found their way into a variety of decorated headlines where more elaborate or colourful typographic styles are required. Each layer is generally a separate style designed to compliment or construct the core type design. Layers might be drop shadows, outlines, inlines, 3D extrusions, stripes or other textures.
When applied using more than one colour, the resulting effect is referred to as chromatic. Chromatic type became popular in the second half of the 19th Century as efficiencies in printing enabled greater creative freedom. Traditionally it was achieved by printing each colour from individual blocks, usually wood. Each layer would be carefully designed to abut each other, overlap, or be completely cut away to achieve a variety of colourful, eye-catching effects.
It’s hard to pinpoint where the recent popularity of this style stems from, but advancements in web font capabilities plus the general trend for designs that look hand-made seem likely sources. With new typefaces appearing regularly, I was curious as to how chromatic type was constructed. I asked my friend Terrance Weinzierl, a type designer at Monotype, who has recently completed an award-winning layered, custom typeface in this style for Domino’s Pizza, called Pizza Press.
Were there any typefaces or sources that particularly inspired you?
The ad agency I worked with, CP+B, had very tight illustrations as to how they wanted the striped shadows, so that was a solid starting point. I studied my 1901 ATF catalog for other shadow designs with that fine of detail. There weren’t really any specific designs that I followed. I focused on more general observations, the direction of the stripes, their spacing and weight, and how long the shadow was. Obviously, the intended size influences the details and hairline weights.
I remember hearing Erin McLaughlin’s TypeCon presentation about Landmark, which was a reminder of things to lookout for such as elements that would need optical adjustment which break the logic of the shadow extrusion. I also studied Gill Sans Shadowed and Light Shadowed for the same kinds of adjustments. Really, there would be different challenges and different adjustments depending on the direction and severity of the shadows.
Was there a specific process for designing a layered typeface and how do you ensure the layers all line up etc.?
My process started with the Regular weight to get the design and weight dialed in before expanding into the other layers. In this phase, I made suggestions to the client, like making a G without a spur, so that it would hold the Inline better. An inline inside of a small, tapered area like a spur or serif would make an optical blob, so faces designed for inlines are usually very low stroke contrast, especially in the joins.
Once the Regular design was approved, I worked on the Fill and Shadow weight. The length of the shadow (how far it comes away from the letter) would determine the spacing for all of the others. I worked on some action set formulas to do the heavy lifting for the initial shadow and outline weights (based on the Fill). The Outline weight is 1/1000 larger than the Shadow’s outline, so it overlaps a tiny bit. Without the overlap, you might get a tiny white crack when printing, depending on the size and rasterization from the printer.
The most difficult piece was the Antique weights, the striped shadows. I tried a number of failed prototypes where I was relying too much on automation: for example, making a clipping mask with the Shadow weight. None were quite right. I had to manually place and adjust the spacing of the stripes to ensure they hit the letter shape consistently (especially at the corners). Because they are stripes, and not a solid shape, they needed optical adjustments to the angle so they appear to be the same direction. Characters like the K, N, and M, all have optical adjusted stripes. On top of that, we did two stripe weights! The Antique Display weight has thinner stripes.
How long did it take you?
It’s a small character set, but a pretty complex system. I think the majority of the font production happened within two or three months. The agency had been working on the campaign for some time before that though. They had excellent direction for me, which resulted in fewer revisions.
What are your thoughts on the ongoing trend for layered type?
I guess I noticed it in late 2012, and the Domino’s project started in early 2013. I think maybe the renewed interested in chromatic designs came from people playing with CSS tricks, and an explosion in headline web font usage. It was finally easy enough to layer fonts in a browser as it was in page layout apps.
I try not to focus too much on the fashion trends of type. Things come and go. I’m trying to make type that will look good in ten years from now, or longer. I think a lot of the distressed, printed, and hand-drawn aesthetic is part of a larger reaction to our computer filled lives. You can see that hand-made appeal in clothing and food trends. Many faces that mimic chalkboards, letterpress, modern calligraphy, or hand-painted letters, appeal to that idealism of craftsmanship and personalization. Something made by a person who cares, not generated by a computer.
On the other hand, these sleek geometric sans serifs are popular too. Maybe it’s a 21st Century modernism thing (akin to ditching skeuomorphism). It’s like we want our craftsman pizzas served on a reclaimed wood table using a distressed script, but we want our mobile apps to have bright colours, a minimalist UI, and a geometric sans. Sounds good to me.
Above Images, Top down:
1-5: Pizza Press, Terrance Weinzierl, Monotype / CPB
6 & 7: From the Specimens of Chromatic wood Type, Borders &c. William H. Page &c.
8: Brandon Printed, HVD Fonts
9: Surto Deluxe, Jim Parkinson
10: Trend, Latinotype
These wonderful hand-painted globes are by Laura Maxcy, of Mississippi. Each vintage globe is drawn on directly using paint pens and then sprayed with a protective coating.
As someone who’s not a fan of the pastiche quote posters that seem so ubiquitous, I love the connection between the sayings, the lettering and the globes. It’s this combination that gives the otherwise trite captions a twist of wit and whim.
“Although I got my degree in graphic design, I needed a creative outlet that didn’t involve staring at a computer screen all day. I started hand-lettering quotes on vintage landscape prints I found at a thrift store, with which I planned to decorate a room in my house. Instead I decided to list them on Etsy, along with my painted globes. Each of my items are definitely unique and one-of-a-kind.”
Easter Type Combo
I just spotted these ultra vivid posters featuring the innovative typefaces of MuirMcNeil. They are offering a free font with each poster, but you’ve on a few hours left—the offer ends on Tuesday 22 April, 8am (GMT+1).
More awesome cosplay! Check out Singed’s eyes.
The PAX Twisted Fate in this photo is my friend Kyle. It’s his first cosplay, but he did an awesome job!
“A 14-year-old Indian-origin boy has come up with a unique plan that could help the U.S. save nearly $400 million a year by merely changing the font used on official documents.
Suvir Mirchandani, a student in a Pittsburgh-area middle school, claimed that if the federal government used the Garamond font exclusively it could save about $136 million per year, nearly 30 per cent less than the estimated $467 dollars it spends annually on ink.
An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also implemented the change.
Mirchandani said the idea came to him when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money as part of a science fair project at his school, CNN reported.
The youngster noticed that he was getting a lot more handouts than he did in elementary school and decided to figure out if he could minimize use of paper and ink.
While recycling paper was one way to save money and conserve resources, Mirchandani said little attention had been paid to the ink used on the papers.
“Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” he said, adding that he then decided to focus his project on finding ways to cut down the cost of ink.
As part of his experiment, he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts and focused on the most commonly used characters such as e, t, a, o and r.
He noted how often each character was used in different fonts like Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans and then measured how much ink was used for each letter, using an ink coverage software.
From his analysis, Mirchandani figured out that by using the Garamond font with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24 per cent and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually.
He repeated his tests on five sample pages from documents on the Government Printing Office website and got similar results that changing the font would save money.
Mirchandani’s findings have been published in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a publication founded by a group of Harvard students in 2011 that provides a platform for the work of middle school and high school students.
One of the journal’s founders Sarah Fankhauser said that of the nearly 200 submissions they have received since 2011, Mirchandani’s project stood out.
“We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper,” Fankhauser was quoted as saying…”
Too bad the kid did his math wrong and it really wouldn’t save the gov’t any extra money.
Dammit I forgot to bring my pineapple to class
Fun fact: One time in my English class, this dude walks in like 10 minutes late. He’s carrying a pineapple with him. I figure he needs it for something later on in the day so I don’t think anything of it. Well about 5 minutes after he sits down, this dude pulls out his pineapple, starts turning it around in his hands, stares at it, and STARTS EATING IT. SKIN AND EVERYTHING. I DIDNT EVEN KNOW PINEAPPLE SKIN WAS EDIBLE. I don’t think I had ever been more confused in my life. I wish I still had the picture I took of it saved on my phone.
Oklahoma is a strange state
You have no idea
Reading that was an experience
i found the pictures
OH MY GOD
Yeah, we had that happen in my class. With a watermelon. That ice cream scoop in her hand? She’s using that to eat the thing.