Tag Archives: Typography

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.

Advice #46: How Do I Build My Font Library?

ask nubby advice

How do you build up your font library? Buying fonts one by one seems to be a very expensive endeavor. And what is the anatomy of a bad font? My teacher said that all free fonts should not be used. Granted a lot of them are gimmicky, but dismissing all of them just like that seems shortsighted.

advice typography

RBNo2 by Font Fabric

It’s good to start building up your font library as early in your career as possible. My advice is to invest in what you can, when you can. Bookmark your favorite fonts and when you start making money off your services, view purchasing fonts as an investment in your business. If you’re a freelancer, they’re considered an expense and therefore, a write-off. Save those receipts! I swear by Veer, House Industries, YouWorkForThem and Hoefler & Frere-Jones for high quality font options.

I was lucky to get off to a great start with my personal font library. During my first semester of college, my instructor provided us with a handful of the tried-and-true classics including Bodoni, Garamond, Caslon and Avant Garde. Having access to this limited but high quality collection of fonts got me going down a solid path and I used these over and over again in early design projects. From there, I gathered more during my first internship at an ad agency and as I began profiting from client work, I kept building my collection.

Instead of asking what the anatomy of a bad font is (design and typography can be so subjective, just like fine art — one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!), focus on what the anatomy of a good font is. When I applied for a design program back in 2006, the first book I went out and bought was The Elements of Typographic Style. This book is often referred to as the “Typographer’s Bible” and for good reason. Penned by Robert Bringhurst (who also happens to be a poet), his attention to detail when it comes to typography is unparalleled. This book will teach you to appreciate even the smallest details in typography all while absorbing proper etiquette.

advice typography

Valentina by Pedro Arilla

When it comes to free fonts, don’t write your teacher off completely — they are making a point that has some validity! I heard similar advice back when I was in school and with good reason — we’d all go crazy on free font sites, downloading and installing without much thought on our school computers and most of the time, we got lucky. But, there was that occasional misfire that screwed up our machines! Admitting that we’d installed a bad font and having our teacher call up the tech guy yet again was embarrassing. And so not cool.

Over the last few years though, the tide has began to turn and the abundance of high quality free fonts is pretty unbelievable. To prove my point, here’s the 100 greatest free fonts of 2012! Seriously, this is the best roundup I’ve ever seen.


The Typofiles #110: House Industries Goodness

nubby twiglet house industries

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite pages from the latest House Industries catalog (get your free copy here) and the Photo Lettering brochure (have you seen all the cool fonts they offer at just $2.00 a headline?)

nubby twiglet house industries

Both of these pieces were also part of the Catalog Collector Bundle I shared last week. Fonts have been filling my brain even moreso than usual lately as I’m working my way through a combination of personal and professional identity projects that are requiring completely opposite looks. Are any of you working on any inspiring design projects that you’re excited about these days?

The Typofiles #109: House Industries Catalog Collector Bundle

nubby twiglet house industries bundle

I’m a huge fan of type foundry House Industries and the distinct retro modern touch of many of their fonts. Though I have most of their catalogs and a handful of prints, when the Catalog 62 Collector Bundle came around, I thought I’d give it a shot. House Industries is revered for their quality and attention to detail and the contents sounded pretty impressive.

nubby twiglet house industries bundle

When I finally had a chance to pop the box open, I was blown away — the description of 40 items total held true. The weight and texture of the paper that alphabet cards were printed on, the printed belly band that held the catalog bundle together and the branded ribbon around the thank you cards was top notch. House Industries really knows how to make a presentation and this is like a treasure chest for type enthusiasts.

nubby twiglet house industries bundle

If you’re a designer, screen printer or just a lover of great design, this is a great little bundle to get a feel for the House Industries brand and to gather some fun keepsakes in the process. I keep thinking that this would be a great way to spruce up your desk area or cubicle as well!

nubby twiglet house industries bundle

In this day and age, when print is becoming increasingly rare, I applaud House Industries for not giving into shortcuts and sub-par printing. Their love of what they do really shows and I greatly admire that.

P.S. My favorite / most used House Industries font is Neutraface.

The Typofiles #104: Interview Magazine

After picking up the occasional issue of Interview Magazine, I finally broke down and subscribed because it’s consistently beautifully designed and the mix of content is always compelling. Part of this shift over the last few years is in no doubt due to Fabien Baron being the editorial director. I’ve been a long time admirer of his work and it’s no surprise that he’s turned Interview around considering that in the last 20 years, he’s also revamped five other magazines including Italian Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

His use of white space is one of the reasons his work stands out and probably influenced by the fact that his dad was a Parisian newspaper designer. Regarding his take on Interview, Baron says, “People buy into personality. And you need to be bolder.”

I found this graphic on the Interview site — it’s brimming with a distinctly Baron-esque look; have you checked it out?