Articles & Essays

  • Braille, A Tactile Writing System

    Jonathan Fabreguettes

    It would take a type designer well acquainted with Braille, the writing system used by the blind and the visually impaired, to arrive at the conclusion that even this centuries-old system of…

  • Display Phototype in New York: Folks, Firms and Fonts

    Peter Bain

    There wasn’t a place on Earth that photocomposition had a greater visual effect than on the New York advertising scene in the mid-20th century. The liberation from the limitations of metal type…

  • Trump Mediaeval: The Story of its Creation

    Norbert Krausz

    Trump Mediaeval is one of those versatile typefaces that book designers turn to when they want something decidedly different from the usual book types (Garamond et al.). Norbert Krausz tells the story…

  • Modularity: An Elemental Approach to Type Design

    Aoife Mooney

    The term “elemental approach” is used in this exceptional essay to describe an approach to design that seeks to reduce and rationalize the characteristics of the Latin alphabet. Aoife Mooney acquaints us…

  • The Design of Multilingual Type Families

    Jonathan Perez

    Type designers often strive for a new interpretation of letter forms, but Jonathan Perez seems just as interested in developing new design processes to better address an era of increasing multilingual communication…

  • Frederic Warde: New York State of Mind

    Simon Loxley

    The book and type designer Frederic Warde is little more than a phantom in most histories of type, known only for creating the typeface Arrighi, and for being the husband of the…

  • The Scribe and the Silhouette

    Mark Jamra

    Rudolf Koch (1876–1934) was an artist-craftsman of tremendous capabilities and one of the great type designers of the twentieth century. As a scribe, he created works in blackletter of such breathtaking energy…

  • Of What Consequence, Design?

    Juliet Shen

    This essay is an evaluation of how the Initial Teaching Alphabet was designed. Juliet Shen looks at the history and aesthetics of this curious “alphabet reform” which, amazingly, is still in use…