I’ve always wondered, “What is it that makes a typeface or any other design good?” However simplistic this question may seem to typographers, it is a legitimate question many of us are trying to answer.
Jan Tschichold was one of the 20th Century’s most influential typographers and book designers.
Born in Leipzig, Germany, in April 1902, Tschichold’s early inspiration came from his father’s work as a sign writer.
Jan was taught the importance of calligraphy and it was this training that was to later set him apart from other typographers.
Tschichold’s career was threatened by the rise of Adolf Hitler, who insisted that all designers had to register with the Ministry of Culture. The Nazis were hostile to any teachers who they believed were “sympathetic” to communism.
In the 1950s, when consumer electronics such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines emerged, there was a belief that household chores would be done in a fraction of the time.
We know now it didn’t work out that way. Our definition of clean changed. Instead of wearing underwear for multiple days, we started using a fresh pair every day, and so the amount of washing required increased. In short, technology enabled us to do more, not less.
Our work environments have followed a similar path. Tools such as email enable us to communicate more, rather than make life easier. In fact, many people are now overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive.
Prelo was designed to be a neutral, highly readable typeface, for identity, editorial and information design. With nine weights and nine true italics, from Hairline to Black, Prelo is a workhorse typeface, full of OpenType features such as Small Caps, Tabular Figures, Central Europe characters and Historical Figures, among others.
Like other DSType fonts, most of the diacritics were designed to fit the gap between the x-height and the caps height, avoiding some common problems with the accented characters. The curves are soft and smooth, providing legibility, even in very poor conditions and the neutrality allows this typeface to be used with any serif companion.
Pasarela is a display typeface inspired by the new culture of fashion in the streets. A global phenomenon across continents, traveling through social networks, fashion bloggers and street style. Everything is possible, everything is combined. The new culture of fashion is eclectic with hints of each culture at miles away. The complexity generated by the start page of this mix styles is solved perfectly with his neutral and clean tone, streamlined structure and thin strokes. It has been designed in two weights plus a set of borders that can generate graphic compositions for application in blogs, magazines, posters and tv.
I’m moving along to more lookalike punctuation today, since I’m eager to see what new things I can learn writing on these. On a high level note, let me say that what I’m sharing today is language- and culture-specific and therefore not universally applicable, and subject to change. I should also mention that this is a fuzzy area that tends to test the boundaries and overlaps between typography, language, and grammar.
Milton Glaser is arguably the most influential graphic designer of modern times. In fact, Glaser has been awarded that very title by Graphic Design: USA in the past. The creator of the truly iconic “I♥NY” campaign for his home city, his inventive but simple designs and illustrations have an individuality of their own which has often been copied but never bettered throughout his 70-year career.
Glaser’s work has been celebrated by both the art and commercial worlds, appearing in permanent collections in New York, Jerusalem and Washington D.C. , while the three agencies he has built up over the decades have a list of work including the best in poster and identity work, as well as re-designs and consultancy for some of the top periodicals and newspapers in the world. Among his most famous pieces are Bob Dylan album covers, the DC Comics bullet logo and the aforementioned identity work, the most copied logo in history according to some , for New York in the 1970s.