Category Archives: The Typofiles

The Typofiles #126: A Peek Inside TypoMag

Typofiles: TypoMag

“While magazines are mainly seen as colorful things with loads of pictures, they are actually the best living example of the marriage between image and text.” —Luis Mendo, TypoMag


They say that you should never judge a book by its cover but I’ll admit that what first drew me to TypoMag was just that. In 2010, it seemed to be popping up everywhere and I was definitely intrigued by the simplicity of the design.

Typofiles: TypoMag

TypoMag painstakingly documents the role of typography in magazines, most which are on the obscure side (and even a few which are now sadly out of print). The primary goal of the book is to focus on covering magazines that are dedicated to creating their own identity through typography.

While I found the visuals to be wonderful, the Annex section in the very back is especially valuable because it includes a directory of both typography blogs and magazines.

Typofiles: TypoMag


I’m on the lookout for more books with a focus on editorial design — any recommendations?

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The Typofiles #125: Crazy for Neenah Paper Books!

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

The more time we spend camped out in front of computers, the more obsessed we get with the tangible. Or, at least I do. I’ve confessed my undying love for magazine subscriptions (even when they pile up in the corner of my office), I love piecing together a real life mood board and I also have a little obsession with paper sample books.

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

Books of paper samples used to be lurking everywhere. And, they still are if you look hard enough but not in the same quantity they once were. So when I see a really well designed one, I want to absorb every little detail and Neenah Paper has taken it to a whole new level with their latest batch.

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

Handed out as a “brick” that then snapped into four smaller sample books (!!!), each page is meticulously designed over their different paper offerings. A lot of the designs have a throwback 90s feel (the best of the 90s, not the garish, pixelated stuff) and it’s really inspiring. I didn’t want to keep this goodness only to myself so I sat on my floor, scanning tiny page after page to give you a glimpse of the awesomeness covering these pages.

Typofiles Neenah Paper Books

Inspiration is everywhere. Even in paper sample books. Bravo to Neenah Paper for taking it to a whole new level.


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The Typofiles #124: Super Cahier Alphabet Book

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

One of the coolest design-related discoveries I made during my stay in Paris last week was this slightly bizarre type-filled activity book. I found it while perusing the always hip shelves of Colette and though the accompanying text is completely in French, Super Cahier º1 by Claire Gautier is an imaginative, inspiring visual trek through the alphabet. Each letter gets the star treatment with two full pages (one large specimen and another grid of 12+ examples).

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

While this might not be a practical purchase for most folks, I’ve found it to be inspiring (you just can’t go wrong imagining “O” as a sprinkle-covered donut!) and best of all, the pages are easily removable if you want to cover your walls in rad lettering. The alphabet has never looked so stylish — leave it to the French (as usual) to elevate the everyday to art-worthy status!

You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

The Typofiles #123: Rika Magazine No. 7

Typofiles Rika Magazine

I first shared Rika Magazine on here a few months back after I fell in love with its use of unique innovative fonts, pages full of handwriting and features of people you don’t see flashed all over the front pages of every other magazine. Based out of the Netherlands, it feels like the ultimate bible of cool, done in an accessible, inviting way.

Typofiles Rika Magazine

In this issue, Rika has splashed a new mix of vibrant colors throughout, most notably this Springy, minty green. Oh, and the always lovely Solange makes an appearance in a beautifully shot editorial.

Typofiles Rika Magazine

Rika Magazine always manages to create a balance between the pretty and gritty. With that big splash of mint green comes a heavy dose of the black and white and the handwriting that gives it a total private journal feel. If you’re on the hunt for your own copy of Rika, I found mine at Barnes and Noble.

Typofiles Rika Magazine


You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

The Typofiles #122: Jan V. White Books at Your Fingertips!

Jan V. White Books Graphic & Publication Design


An outtake from a Jan V. White post, 2008


I’ve been posting about magazine guru and design consultant Jan V. White since the beginning of this blog, ever since I discovered his best known title, the Graphic Idea Notebook.

He’s a hero of mine because he has spent the majority of his life making a whole world of design techniques and ideas accessible through his many titles, all painstakingly thorough. These books were groundbreaking at the time because most were released before designers had widespread access to the internet and the world’s collective inspiration at their fingertips. Books like this were the gateway to learning about great design.

To this day, I still use his his titles like Editing By Design and Designing for Magazines when I’m working on publication-based projects like the Rock N Roll Bride Magazine from earlier this year — they’re timeless and are a great way to jog your memory when you’re trying to come up with unique, original page layouts.

Jan V. White Books Graphic & Publication Design

The big news is that Jan V White’s books are now all available under the public domain in their entirety, completely free on his website! This is amazing because a lot of these titles are no longer readily available.

Upon the completion of the digitization of his books, Jan wrote, “This 84-year-old thanks you for your gift of remaining extant forever.” His works now have the chance to become cultural artifacts, not just design relics. And for that, I’m very grateful. A whole new generation of designer can now access his books with ease. I hope you love his content as much as I do!

Jan V. White Books Graphic & Publication Design


You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

The Typofiles #121: J. Crew Holiday Catalog

The Typofiles: J. Crew Holiday Catalog

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: J. Crew gets me every time. I’m probably not their target customer and I barely own anything by them but sure enough, their catalog shows up on my doorstep every few months and I’m suddenly transfixed by their world…or at least the world they project in their catalogs.

What is it about J. Crew’s branding and offerings that has this certain power and charisma? There’s this sense of inviting cool that I immediately feel when I flip through their catalogs. Nothing’s too fussy. And the type is sharp and on-trend but never overdone. Maybe what draws me in as a from a design perspective is that they manage to strike that elusive balance between classic and trendy. Not too classic that it’s boring but not too trendy that it’s vulgar.

The Typofiles: J. Crew Holiday Catalog

I like the idea of having staying power but without being dull. To me, that’s precisely why J.Crew is so popular. And why I like their catalogs so much. It’s no secret that I gather a lot of design inspiration from flipping through catalogs. If you’re looking for some free inspiration over the holidays, check out my catalog post and sign up for a few of your own. Isn’t snail mail the best?

The Typofiles: J. Crew Holiday Catalog


You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

The Typofiles #120: The Color Printer

The Typofiles: The Color Printer

The Typofiles: The Color Printer

I just came across this amazing printing book and had to share! Still considered to be one of the great guides for letterpress printers, The Color Printer was published in 1892 by John Franklin Earhart after five years of meticulous work. Earhart was an early developer of artistic printing (a movement that focused on incorporating decoration and ornamental type styles) and covers mixing ink colors, embossing techniques, and much, much more in great detail.

The Typofiles: The Color Printer

Best of all, you can view every single page of this amazing piece of history for free right here! It must be said: I love the internet and the ease that it allows us to access gems like this.


You can view all of The Typofiles right here.