Tag Archives: handmade

Pinterested: New boards this week

Our very own FontShopper, Theresa, recently came back from a trip to the UK — along the way, she snapped some typographic memories in London and Edinburgh. We have two new boards up this week — Type Travels: Hello, London! and Type Travels: Hello, Edinburgh! — that show some of the things she spotted during her trip.

Much like our own home here in San Francisco, seeing chalkboard lettering and handmade signage is not uncommon in both London and Edinburgh. Of her journey, Theresa notes:

“In London, I saw a lot of hand-painted signs and hand-lettering for shops, markets, and the Bloomsbury Festival. And I loved walking through Edinburgh’s Old Town which is filled with engravings that have lasted for hundreds of years. I really should have allotted more time for the British Library though — that place is a goldmine. I could have spent an entire day in there just looking at their stamp collection — too bad you can’t take photos, so you’ll just have to believe me and go yourself!”

If you’ve been thinking of traveling, maybe you should check out some of Theresa’s typographic pictures on Pinterest — that may sway you to fly overseas!

Pinterested: New boards this week

Raise your hand if you like handmade type! We created two new boards on Pinterest this week that tie in with our Typographic Trend this week.

As our font expert, David, mentioned in his Typographic Trend post yesterday, some fonts are influenced by actual handwriting. Our In Your Face: FF Mister K board puts the spotlight on one of our own FontFonts that falls into this category of “handmade” type. FF Mister K is a family of four that was inspired by the handwriting of writer Franz Kafka. Check out the different cuts of FF Mister K on FontShop!

We also pinned a different approach to what “handmade” type can mean. On our Getting Out Of Hand board, you’ll find a collection of type and images and designs made out of hands or done on hands. You’ll find words spelled out in sign language and also letters shaped with fingers.

Can you handle our new boards this week?

Typographic Trends: Handmade

This is the first in a series of trends I see affecting typographic design written by me, David Sudweeks, Type expert here at FontShop. One of the prominent undercurrents I’m noting in design generally is the move toward approachability and authenticity. The movement is fueled by a growing skepticism toward the overproduced, highly finished corporate brand image – or in fact anything that appears too easily reproduced – in favor of a more substantial, personable connection to one’s professional services, goods, etc.. When designing for such an audience, details that reflect thoughtfulness and humanness, such as a bit of playful script lettering or an aptly placed tooltip that gently offers assistance, aid in building a relationship between people and the things we designers make for them.

On using the word typography: Type purists like myself generally don’t appreciate seeing the term typography thrown about so carelessly as to include anything remotely related to letter art, such as graffiti, lettering, sign painting, or handwriting. Typography is the use of type, and type is writing using prefabricated letters (to be unguardedly concise). Lettering, calligraphy, handwriting and traditional engraving, while not type, share many design aspects with type and in fact overlap in their definitions. Rather than focus so narrowly that these disciplines fall outside the scope of the series, I’m including them; noting up front that they’re not all typography.

That said, today we’re only looking at type.

Madelinette carefully reproduces Crystal Kluge’s handwork leading to a nice, approachable result. Crystal’s hand to paper to type follows the traditional model, though also in vogue is type that takes one additional step.

P22 Stanyan, like many members of the Hand-made, Hand-drawn, Paper-cut genre, draw type by hand, and then turn it into type. The application of the hand-drawn style exists across many genres of type. Some are even named after specific faces, like Gert Wiescher’s Franklin Gothic Hand.

In other faces, the influence of the hand determines the construction of the letterforms, like the decision to close the loop of the lowercase g & y in Veronika Burian and José Scaglione’s Bree.

In the next part of the series, we’ll stay on the subject of hand-made type, with an emphasis on it having a presence in the physical world.

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