Archive through December 31, 2001

whatdesignco's picture

So, it's that time of the year, the holidays are here.

hrant's picture

A large, high-quality eraser... :-/


soreno's picture

Add to transparent paper and large eraser: several well-sharpened 9H pencils

Soren O

beejay's picture

Are there any good books -- besides 'Elements of Typographic Style' -- that anyone could recommend that deal with type design?


Miss Tiffany's picture

As per the books: If you have money to spare ...




[[ or look up TYPOGRAPHY on Oak Knoll's Web site. ]]

beejay's picture

Thanks for the suggestions David and Tiffany.

I was in a used bookstore the other day and found...

How Typography Works (and why it is important)
by Fernand Baudin

Lettering Design by Michael Harvey

The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering
Frederic W. Goudy

These books + this thread have given me a small bit of enlightenment as to how to construct a 'text face'...from scratch.

That secret, I think, is to turn off your computer and draw the face on paper. Eureka!


johnbutler's picture

The best calligraphy markers I've ever used are
the double-ended ZIG waterproof markers available
from . One nib is
2mm for ordinary everyday writing (checks, forms,
letters, envelopes) and the 5mm nib is great for
drawing big letters.

As far as books go, I'm hoping to get my hands
on Doyald Young's Fonts & Logos one day
soon. For great examples of blackletter, you have
to learn German and buy Koch's Die Schrift als
and Julius de Goede's
Kalligraphie mit gotischen und Frakturschriften

I'm trying to improve my Dutch as well, as so
many great books on type and lettering are written
in Dutch. It's pretty easy if you learn German

For blackletter type, nothing beats Peter Bain
and Paul Shaw's Blackletter: Type and National
. Also indispensible is Albert Kapr's
Fraktur. Kapr is in German.

fonthausen's picture

Hi, here jacques writting.
you should not forget to buy strong paper. I always explained people, drawing type is a lot about knowing how to erase. What I mean by that, is that you should be afraid of erasing, but should not erase so much, that you can't recognize the drawings anymore.

Although some people might like them, I never used moulds(is that the right word). Try get a feeling for curves by drawing them by the hand. You don't have to be able to draw them in one stroke.
Sometimes when I draw, I know from the beginning the curve I started to draw will be bad. You sometimes feel and see that strokes are under- or overstreched, or that it has the wrong character.

What might help to understand the strokes, is to do a little bit of callygraphy.

What john said is true. There are some very gut dutch books. For example: 'de theorie van de letter, by Gerrit Noordzij'. Where he is explaining his theory of type, based on calligraphy and writting.


fonthausen's picture

Of course I meant, you should NOT be afraid of erasing!!


Mark Simonson's picture

>> Although some people might like them, I never used moulds(is that the right word).

If I'm understanding you correctly, I believe you mean what we in the U.S. call "French Curves". I've always wondered what they called them in France.

In any case, I agree--it's a bad idea to try to draw letters with them.


fonthausen's picture

That exacly what i meant, french curves.


fonthausen's picture

That exacly what i meant, french curves.


Joe Pemberton's picture

Transparent paper is very useful. Just be sure it can withstand Hrant's enormous eraser. :-)


anonymous's picture

Calligraphic pens and brushes would be helpful, too -- and not just for calligraphy. They help a designer understand the logic behind stress (the typographic kind, anyway :) ) and lyric movement in a design.

A proportional scale is an invaluable tool as well.

Grid paper is helpful as well.

anonymous's picture

"The Art of Hand Lettering" (Helm Wotzkow/Dover) is a good, rather comprehensive book for hand-lettering, especially emphasizing proportion, spacing and color. Wotzkow also goes into some useful detail about the basic forms and structure of the various glyphs, even if getting a bit dogmatic about it.

For someone interested in creating hand-drawn faces, a good, comprehensive type specimen book is always useful (and fun to flip through for inspiration from time to time).

"Encyclopaedia of Type Faces" (Jaspert, Berry & Johnson/Blandford) is a good (if flawed) one, among several others.

"Type: The Best in Digital Classic Text Fonts" (Graphis) is a good specimen of 18 fonts that will probably all be seen somewhere on the "favorite fonts" lists due to be posted this coming weekend. It's probably more useful to digital typographers, but couldn't hurt for hand-letterers too.

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