VISUALGUI

DJR on Designing Diacritics

David Jonathan Ross:

Typeface design is inherently multicultural.

In his ATypI 2017 presentation titled, “How NOT to Draw Accents,” David Jonathan Ross shares his approach to design diacritical marks. It’s an honest, inspiring talk and I hope more type designers will join him on this journey.

One of David’s methods of studying accents is traveling and looking at signages. My only concern with Vietnamese signages (both in the U.S. and Vietnam) is that most of accents were not part of the typeface. Because accents were added in afterward, they often appeared to be filling in, especially when the space of the signage is limited. One of my goals for Vietnamese Typography, which David mentioned in his talk, is to solve this issue.

I had the pleasure of working with David on Vietnamese accent for his fantastic Fit and I have been thrilled to see his monthly typefaces support Vietnamese. If you have not joined his Font of the Month Club, you are missing out. Six bucks for a display typeface that supports multiple languages is a steal. Even if you are a student in graphic design, it is a worthwhile investment to expand your type collection. Don’t limit yourself to Helvetica, Akzidenz-Grotesk, and Roboto.

Stössinger On Making Good Type

Nina Stössinger:

When fonts work well and their design effectively conveys a brand’s voice, they can be a fantastically powerful tool. They can carry emotion. They can be very specific in how they feel and specific, too, in how they behave, in how they work across media, formats, sizes, and usage scenarios. But making good type is hard and takes time and care, and evaluating and describing it is also hard, and we can’t afford to skip that part.

Mallory and Retina in Vietnamese

Vietnamese Typography welcomes two new additions to its “Type Recommendations” chapter: Mallory and Retina. These two typefaces, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones and his team, are big gains for the Vietnamese language.

I have admired Frere-Jones’s types and wanted to showcase them for a long time; therefore, I am very excited that he allowed me to do so. In return, I hope that my type specimen would bring more attention to people who are interested in Vietnamese typography. I also want to thank my friend Tim Brown for setting me up with Typekit.

Speaking of the specimens, I incorporated both the Standard and MicroPlus variations. If you want to see MicroPlus in action, look at the paragraph text on your mobile device or dragging in your browser.

Jeremy Keith on Orphans vs. Widows

Jeremy Keith:

I always get widows and orphans confused so I remind myself that orphans are left alone at the start; widows are left alone at the end.

Should Print Design Principles Apply to the Web?

Jan Middendorp, Shaping Text, (p.36):

Yes and no. Much works differently on the web, yet the basic principles of classic and modern (typo-)graphic design have not become worthless. Proven guidelines for good layout and typography are still relevant, but they must be applied intelligently and adapted to the new environment.

Middendorp on Reading Skill

Jan Middendorp, Shaping Text, (p.12):

Not only is reading one of the most fascinating human skills, in our society it is also a vital one. People who have difficulty reading—a newspaper, a warning sign, a letter for the tax authorities—are socially vulnerable and more likely to get into trouble.

Sounds like the forty-fifth president.

Unger on the Essence of Reading

Gerard Unger, While You Are Reading:

The printed letters dissolve in your mind like an effervescent pill in a glass of water. For a short moment, all those black signs disappear off the stage, change their outfits, and return as ideas, as representations, and sometimes even as real images and sounds.

Rendle on the Futures of Typography

Robin Rendle on the nature of the web:

[T]he web will always be a wild and finicky canvas for us to work with; we’ll have to be creative in the ways that we help older browsers that don’t support these features. So although I don’t believe that the web hates beautiful typography, there certainly is a tension between the web and the old typography, where control over every element on the page was relatively easy and absolute.

Rendle on accessibility:

What about accessibility and the preservation of the text? Making sure that everyone can simply read the text in every browser is more important than just about any typographic flourish that we can implement. And so with that in mind, whenever we stumble over a new feature for the web we have to question whether it will truly improve the reading experience.

He concludes:

There are infinite futures of typography, and the opportunities only expand when new browsers, new features, new devices become available to us. All that’s required is a little patience and a healthy dose of curiosity.

Loxley on Type and Communication

Simon Loxley, Type is Beautiful, (p.2):

Typefaces communicate moods and feelings: some are considered elegant or refined, while others seem bold, radical or whimsical. Typefaces can reflect the fashions or the zeitgeist of an era, often to a surprising degree. Some typefaces were created for a specific purpose. Some are easy to read and draw little attention to themselves; others are meant to grab your attention, but only for the purpose of a few words. Which font is chosen for any given communication matters a great deal, since it conveys a whole world of meaning, both blatant and subliminal, and much time, thought and money continue to be spent to try to get it right.

Loxley on Italic

Simon Loxley, Type is Beautiful, (p.23):

Without the italic, typography would be visually the poorer, and in practical terms, in its primary aim of communication, severely compromised.