A wide selection of items for the beginning of fall, from positive fonts to jolly cameras — with Adobe and Pantone pouring some cold water on things. Let’s get to it!
As Americans, Europeans, or, more generally, Westerners, we take for granted that fonts will reflect the various pieces of individual type — that is, letterforms — that we’ll need. But not everyone falls into that category.
The always-great Hoefler & Co. spends a minute educating us about italics:
Italics can be the most colorful part of a type family, diverging dramatically from their roman cousins. Here’s a look at twelve kinds of italic typeface, with some notes on their cultural contexts, historical backgrounds, and practical applications.
Hoefler & Co.
Read the article, “Italics Examined,” at Hoefler & Co.’s Typography.com.
Adobe Types, “Stop.”
Adobe and Pantone are having a . . . thing. As a result, all Pantone spot libraries have been removed from Adobe products:
A classy move, completely in character for both companies, to reach into users’ machines and remove stuff they had paid for and may rely on because of some licensing spat.
Nick Heer, Pixel Envy
I didn’t get a notice in either InDesign or Photoshop, but a check in InDesign (the CC 2022, aka 17.4, version) shows only the CMYK libraries:
You can subscribe to the additional libraries from Pantone for $60/year. Book design is almost exclusively CMYK, so I won’t be . . . but grrrr.
Instead I encourage an order from this Ukrainian company:
They’re based on instant film cartridges, are made of recycled materials, look incredibly cool, and a kit starts at an incredibly-reasonable $99. Throw in a few extra dollars to support Ukraine and . . . feel Jolly.
To call Rolling Stone‘s place in America culture iconic might be selling it short, and their logo plays a large role in that. In 2018, they flattened it — leading that trend, possibly — and it lost something.
However, this month, it’s back:
“The assignment was a paradox. How could we make the logo look like it did in the past, without making it feel dated? My hope is that loyal readers will believe the old logo is back, but on closer inspection will be surprised to notice how much it has been modernized.”
Jesse Ragan, XYZ Type
The “old logo” he’s referring to is the one that ran from 1981–2018, but there were others, too:
A great study in logo evolution: read more at the Type Network, and lettering specifics from XYZ Type. Awesome. (Hat tip to, as usual, Brand New.)
Aston Martin’s New Logo
On the subject of subtlety, Aston Martin usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Their recent logo redesign, however, falls into that category:
The evolution of their logo emphasizes those small steps:
Subtlety and Bugatti rarely — if ever — fit in the same sentence. Aston is stratospheric as far as I’m concerned, so Bugatti would qualify as the antithesis of subtlety. But, but, but: there’s something about one.
They have a new logo and marketing campaign to go with:
It’s been a busy August, including having to make a lightning trip through the usually-not-fun Atlanta airport. But there’s always a bright spot at the end of that tunnel: being the little boy again, awed by the simple act of flying.
Better still, the flight was on a 757, the sports car of big planes. Everybody around me had their window shades pulled and noses in their phones, but I was looking out the window:
Last weekend, Gerald and I took a summer road trip and photostroll through southwest Georgia — with stops in Andersonville and Americus.
Andersonville is a sobering place: “The deadliest ground of the American Civil War.” Further:
Nearly 13,000 men died on these grounds, a site that became infamous even before the Civil War ended. Their burial grounds became Andersonville National Cemetery, where veterans continue to be buried today. This place, where tens of thousands suffered captivity so others could be free, is also home to the National Prisoner of War Museum and serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war.
National Park Service
We just visited the National Cemetery section of the park, with its closely-spaced Civil War graves, memorials, and reminders that it’s still in use today.
Later, we headed just down the road to the small city of Americus:
Both galleries — Andersonville and Americus — have been updated with new photographs. The new items start with “2022,” and remember that clicking on any photograph starts a slide show for that gallery. Thank you!
Note: Click on the title above to see this post in one-column format, which includes larger graphics — helpful with some of these jackets especially. (This applies to any post here on Foreword, by the way.)
It’s time once again to celebrate the unsung heroes of the book world: the best items published by university presses.
The annual show, now in its 57th year, honors the university publishing community’s design and production professionals. The Association recognizes achievement in design, production, and manufacture of books, jackets, covers, and journals, and the Show serves as a spark to conversations and source of ideas about intelligent, creative, and resourceful publishing.
As promised, I returned to Madison, Georgia, to complete the gallery my camera battery didn’t permit last time. Special thanks to Gerald, who accompanied me around the beautiful downtown historic district and on the lovely drive from here to there.
This round is mostly details, taken with my stunning new Leica APO lens. (Introduced in this Macon post.) The whole line has been discontinued, so I am incredibly glad to have gotten one while they’re still available — every single photograph shows just how good this lens is. I’ll try to do it justice:
I’ve revamped the gallery with the new shots mixed in with the old. Several are improved versions of shots taken last time, meaning those were deleted in favor of the new ones.
132 Madison photographs have been posted in all. Peruse and enjoy; remember to click on any individual photograph to start a slide show, and if you’d like, click “buy” to get options for fine art prints in a variety of sizes and finishes. Thank you!
AIGA has announced their winners of the 2021 50 Books, 50 Covers competition:
With 605 book and cover design entries from 29 countries, this year’s competition recognizes and showcases excellence in book design from around the world. […] Eligible entries for the 2021 competition were open to books published and used in the marketplace in 2021.
AIGA Press Release
In this year’s competition, innovative book designs for topics ranging from designing and motherhood, African surf culture, stories of resistance, visual histories of Detroit, Black food traditions, and more all give our jury life, hope, and visible windows into new possible worlds. The covers and books we looked at had a diverse range of visual language and took aesthetic risks.
Silas Munro, AIGA [Competition] Chair
As usual, there are items here that I haven’t seen before, along with several that surfaced on others’ “best of 2021” book design lists (see that Foreword post for my faves). Also as usual, there are some excellent choices.
Further, there’s something in this competition that you don’t see in the usual “best of” posts: interiors. Half of the competition is covers, sure, but the other half considers the whole book design — and sometimes, as I can definitely attest, an underwhelming cover can lead to a treasure within.
But enough talking. My favorites, in no particular order:
This is one from the 2021 “best of” finalists that I didn’t post about — but now that I’ve seen the interior…. So very worthy. (See more.)
This series of three books not only have striking covers I’d not seen before but exceptionally competent interiors done on matte paper, a personal favorite. (Click through for more examples.) Excellent.
In this fascinating book, architectural photographer Iwan Baan and (Pritzker-winning) architect Francis Kéré “set out to capture how the sun’s natural light cycle shapes vernacular architecture.” While I may be slightly biased in terms of architecture and photography, this one’s a winner. (Read the AIGA’s take.)
“A little overly precious,” the AIGA says … while awarding it a prize. Completely fresh, I say, with interesting content presented in a way that does considerably more than interest. Well done. (See them apples.)
“The type on the cover and in the body is perfect, in all ways and choices. The use of the gutter for captions is a great understanding of the art and a perfect way to save space. The page numbers too.”
There always seems to be some projects that violate book design “rules” — this one doesn’t have a title on the cover, has page numbers in the gutters, and more. Yet this book, about a sculpture project, makes for interesting viewing indeed. (See more.)
Last, we have a couple that are only covers:
This was considered for my favorites of 2021 (and made it onto others’ lists). I’m glad to have been given the chance to call it out. Excellent in its simplicity. (See the AIGA entry.)
Last, but certainly not least:
Another advantage of this competition: seeing more than the front cover. And this cover, front, back, and spine, is so much more — especially in person: black plus four neon inks. Wow. (See the AIGA’s praise.)
Car site The Autopian scores with book design, Ford posts old marketing material gold mine, and more on the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity in this edition of Beautifully Briefed.
Autopian suggests book design
The Autopian, founded by a couple of former Jalopnik writers, is a new automotive gem: in these days of more-of-the-sameism sites trying to make money of others’ ideas, the Autopian has a retro style and interesting, original content.
Including this short post from their Cold Start column:
Sometimes you may encounter an old car ad and realize that the design of it could lend itself very well to something completely different. In this case, this 1958 Ford Zodiac ad, with its rich, saturated colors, striking dress on the model, and evocative name with understated typography just feel like something you’d see on modern book cover design.
Jason Torchinsky, Autopian Founder
His book design idea “realized”:
The Ford Heritage Vault
Ford has taken the unusual step of posting a good chunk of their old — 1903 to 2003, their first 100 years — marketing materials online: “promotional materials, photographs, and all kinds of other historical goodies,” according to CarScoops.
“Our archives were established 70 years ago, and for the first time, we’re opening the vault for the public to see. This is just a first step for all that will come in the future,” says Ted Ryan, Ford archive and heritage brand manager.
Here’s a personal favorite: the 1965 full line brochure, showing the cars set in architectural drawings — presumably, matching the car to the house:
We discussed the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity back in April, but Metropolis magazine has published an extensive article covering a visit to the Institute.
Modernism has largely been diluted from a series of ideas rooted in social change to one of just style—Instagram moments, if you will. The Eameses insisted that they did not have a style or even an “ism.” […] Modernism was an idea, not a style. With the establishment of the Eames Institute, I hope Charles and Ray will be remembered most of all for their ideas and processes.
Kenneth Caldwell, Metropolis
With our ongoing struggle to use materials more efficiently, many of the Eameses’ ideas and ideals need to be taken for the solutions that they are: style with incredible substance.
Three items for the end of June, 2022: AIA Los Angeles announces photography awards, the 2022 edition of the Logo Lounge logo trends report is out, and Buick makes its new logo official. Let’s get into the details.
AIALA Photography Awards
The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA) has announced this year’s winners of the annual Architectural Photography Awards, and there’s some pretty great stuff:
[W]hile there are still corporate-looking marks being crafted there is a stronger effort to find ways to identify products that are artisanal and handcrafted.
Bill Gardner, Logo Lounge
Corporations trying to be more human. (News at 11.) But then, my use of that particular phrase perhaps betrays my lack of being in touch with the modern corporate world; I think publishing is a different animal, and prefer being part of that world despite the regular influence of corporate entities there, too.
Nonetheless, following logo trends is, from a purely graphic design perspective, worthwhile — and this report summarizes beautifully. Read on.
According to Southern Living magazine, “In Madison, Georgia, you can witness the power of tireless historic preservation efforts and take in the glory of old Southern architecture — from Greek Revival to Victorian, this town showcases all the great architectural styles.” (Read their day trip advice.)
It’s certainly worth taking some time to visit — and for this guy and his camera, the restaurants, shops, stroll-worthy streets, and simply spectacular historic district represent a great opportunity to add to the treasure trove of Georgia architectural photography.
I’m not done, either: I had two lenses with me, but only one battery — which gave out before I could make a round downtown with the second lens. I’ve got another trip through the area scheduled, and will absolutely make the time to return, camera in-hand, to complete the gallery. Stay tuned.
The past couple of days represented a much-needed break from the recent heat wave — an opportunity to get out of the house and celebrate a stunning morning with camera in-hand.
I pass through Madison regularly (it’s along the route from Macon to Athens), and have been meaning to stop and take some photographs for literally years. Today, the first of two parts this week, with more to come soon.
We start at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center and loop through the historic district — and its many, frankly stunning buildings — south of downtown:
There are a few detail shots mixed in, too, like this one from the Presbyterian Church:
See the first 34 photographs in the new gallery. (Remember to double-click on a photograph to see larger.) Next time, downtown. Happy Monday!
A book design treat for your Monday morning: four of my favorite new book covers from last month’s debuts.
Aged, distressed paper is a great look when done well, and this one hits all the right notes. The size relationship between the characters, the glow around the eyes, the two color choices, the type, all of it — great stuff.
A veritable how-to on less-is-more. Brilliant.
Another solid-color triumph. Great font choice here, too. Awesome.
I’ve saved the best for last:
Great Circle has featured before, and this follow-up takes us inside the plane and into the safety brochure in the best possible way. Great, brilliant, and awesome wrapped into one.
Update, June 20th: WABE, Atlanta’s NPR station, has a summer reading list out, highlighting Georgia books and authors — and I’d like to include two of the covers here:
The grainy photograph, the wonderfully placed city skyline, and classic typography, combined with the diagonal cutline, elevate this title from mundane to eye-catching.
Excellently distressed doesn’t begin to describe this, on many levels. Side note: it’s a terrible shame that the Oprah and Booker call-outs have been elevated to logo status in what can politely be described as a distraction (from a book designer’s point of view, at least).
FedEx pulled up around 8:30 this morning and dropped off a new lens. (It wasn’t due ’til Tuesday — bonus!) Given that it was an absolutely beautiful morning, I shelved my plans for the day, picked up the camera, and headed downtown.
Verdict? It’s so a keeper. See for yourself:
Wound up with sixty new items posted. However, the downtown Macon gallery was getting almost too big — confusing, even — so has been separated into three parts:
This month’s favorites cover a delightful new extension of the typeface DaVinci, Google’s updated mega-font, Noto, photographs of a desert aircraft boneyard from above, and mega-photographs of the Milky Way.
Before we get there, however, I wanted to wish Jason Kottke — whose 24 years of web sleuthing has been a source for items here on Foreword dating back to its original iteration in the ’90s — good luck on his sabbatical:
“I need some space to think and live and have generative conversations and do things, and then I’ll make something, but I can’t tell you what it is just yet.”1Alexandra Bell, NYT That’s the sort of energy I need to tap into for a few months.
“When you do this sort of type exercise — based on printed letters — it gives a very organic shape and form, in opposition to the very metallic sharp shape from type materials.” Furthering this organic look by pushing the fluidity curse at its maximum, Virgile ended with a design “which is very historical, yet with a contemporary twist.”
Makes you want to find an excuse to use it. But that’s not all: Flores is an incredibly diverse artist whose work both challenges and inspires. See more.
Called “A Typeface for the World,” Google’s Noto defines “megaproject.”
Noto is a collection of high-quality fonts with multiple weights and widths in sans, serif, mono, and other styles. The Noto fonts are perfect for harmonious, aesthetic, and typographically correct global communication, in more than 1,000 languages and over 150 writing systems.
According to Google,
“Noto” means “I write, I mark, I note” in Latin. The name is also short for “no tofu”, as the project aims to eliminate ‘tofu’: blank rectangles shown when no font is available for your text.
While the font itself has been around for a few years — 2013 seems like yesterday in so many ways! — it’s updated regularly, cover 150 out of the 154 scripts defined in Unicode, and deserves attention from every web designer and type nut. Read more at Google or Wikipedia. (Via Kottke.)
Aircraft Boneyard, From an Aircraft
This is Colossal introduces us to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, whose desert conditions are ideal for storing — and scrapping — aircraft:
Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as “the father of landscape architecture”, the Cultural Landscape Foundation has created an ever-growing digital guide of Olmsted’s most notable works.
Of course, the building’s interesting, too, so there’s a good mix of architecture, gardens, architecture from the garden, and — you guessed it — garden architecture:
I enjoyed the visit, and as a result of that visit, added 32 new photographs to the Columbus gallery. (They’re grouped together: “Columbus Museum – Mar22.”) Peruse anytime; purchase if you’d like. Thank you!