Funky, graphic illustrations by Sara Andreasson

Really feeling these pieces by Sara Andreasson, an illustrator and designer who’s based in Gothenburg, Sweden. There’s such a playful and graphic element to her work that’s so appealing, but what really sets it off is her color palette. There’s a slight Parma vibe to it all but her combos of dusty pinks and drab olives is truly stunning.

Sara Andreasson

Sara Andreasson

Sara Andreasson

Sara Andreasson

Sara Andreasson

December 6, 2016 / By

Sawdust continues to prove they’re the best studio for experimental type design

Sawdust studio - typography

London based design studio Sawdust, made up of Jonathan Quainton and Rob Gonzalez, are leading the way in type design and their new portfolio update proves it. Creating work for clients like Wired, IBM, Coca-Cola and more, their approach is more akin to art or illustration, beautifully communicating a bold message. I personally love the path they’re traveling because a lot of the pieces have a futuristic, somewhat alien feeling to them. I feel like I don’t see this style in editorial all that often and would love to see it pop up more frequently.

Sawdust studio - typography

Sawdust studio - typography

June 15, 2015 / By

HypeForType releases Glaser Stencil in a range of lighter weights

I first remember seeing Glaser Stencil being used on the cover of Phaidon’s Design Classics series – the chunkiest, quirkiest set of numerals you’ve ever seen. Now HypeForType has released the font in a set of lighter weights that will surely be much more versatile.

Glaser Stencil was designed by the world renowned American illustrator and graphic designer, Milton Glaser. Originally it featured on a Camegie Hall poster by Glaser in 1967. The bold weight was digitalised by many, however the forgotten lighter weights have never been digitalised until now. In agreement with Milton Glaser himself, Glaser Stencil has been officially brought back to life by Rick Banks at Face37, and is sold exclusively at HypeForType. Glaser Stencil is an all caps font available in four weights: Extra Light, Light, Medium, and Demi.

I’m guessing we’ll see these being used in a lot of restaurant branding. Snag it for yourself by clicking here.

HypeForType releases Glaser Stencil

April 20, 2015 / By

Tobias Frere-Jones illustrates the basic mechanics of type

The always inspiring Tobias Frere-Jones has started a new series of posts on the mechanics of type and so far it sounds perfect for the novice and expert alike.

This new series of posts will explore what I call “typeface mechanics”, the behind-the-scenes work that makes typefaces visually functional. It is what placates the stubborn oddities of human perception, helps or hinders the user, and informs long-standing conventions of design.

The first part is about vertical and horizontal position of type. Logically you’d think all the letters would line up perfectly though unfortunately our brains don’t work that way. Take a read and see for yourself.

February 17, 2015 / By

The Top Title Sequences Of 2014

Art Of The Title Top 10 Title Sequences Of 2014

Good title sequences are much rarer than they should be, an aesthetic often only considered by those making the opening credits of a Bond movie or the show True Detective. Title sequences are about setting a tone and style for a show and do so by doing either very little or a lot. The episodes and show may chance but the title sequence is the one item that ties everything up, alluding to what an audience knows and will find out if they stay tuned.

Art Of The Title knows this best and, to celebrate, they selected their top ten favorite title sequences of last year. The selections span from video games to movies to television shows and even promotional sequences. While just ten sounds paltry, their picks span a variety of styles and forms. For example the brilliant opening sequence for the decent game Alien: Isolation not only falls into an homage category, echoing the original Alien, but set the tone for a decidedly creepy (yet glacially slow) game. It’s place at number ten points out how stellar a year it was.

It’s a good little list, considering many of the titles were part of wonderfully considered and executed design efforts in entertainment (which is a rarity). There is even the wacky inclusion of “Too Many Cooks” which is just as absurd as the video but—hey—it truly is at its heart a title sequence.

Read the full list and see all the sequences in question by clicking here.

January 15, 2015 / By

Typefacts Chooses The Best Fonts of 2014

Typefacts Chooses The Best Fonts of 2014

Christoph Koeberlin is a Berlin based typographer, graphic and type designer who on the side runs Typefacts, a blog dedicated to the world of type. Recently he published a post highlighting what he thought were the best fonts of 2014. I’m not usually a fan of lists like these but Christoph’s is spot on with an eclectic number of typefaces that I hadn’t seen before. The list is numerous with eleven of the fonts being highlighted because they stood out more to him.

I’m a big fan of Ryman Eco by Dan Rhatigan & Gunnar Vilhjálmsson, GT Sectra by Grilli Type, and Caponi by Paul Barnes, Christian Schwartz & Miguel Reyes. You’re sure to find a least a few gems in the list.

January 12, 2015 / By

Sweden Enlists Söderhavet to Design A National Typeface

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How do you brand a country? A hard task, to say the least. Hot on the tails of Bobby’s post on Norway’s exceptional passport and currency design, another country has been catching the eye’s of designers: Sweden. This year, Stockholm-based design firm, Söderhavet, took on the challenge of reimagining their home country’s identity. The whole package is clean, modern, and oozes Scandinavia, but to me the most important part of which is the typeface they designed. It’s about time countries start putting more emphasis on type to aid in creating a national identity, because the ones that have done so in the past (Switzerland) have come to see phenomenal results.

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Nations are most quickly recognizable through their anthems, music, and food. But perhaps most important to a nation’s identity is the flag. There’s an old saying in design that specifically relates to branding, “if it works in black, it will work in color.” Yet, apply this to most flags and you’re left with unrecognizable monochrome results. This won’t do, there needs to be more to a country’s look. In redesigning Sweden’s image, Söderhavet went a step beyond and created a national typeface inspired by Swedish signs of the 1950s. They named that typeface “Sweden Sans”, a modern, geometric sans serif font.

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“Aesthetics are very important in Sweden and we have a long tradition of great architecture, furniture and design – so this was the natural next step,” said type designer Stefan Hattenbach of Söderhavet, who worked on the font. “It was a big responsibility to be representing our country, but we were really proud to be asked.”

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To create the typeface, the designers started with the Swedish flag. “We started to think about how it would work with different typefaces, then started mood boards with different fonts and pictures—especially of old Swedish signs we’d seen from the 1940s and 50s,” says Jesper Robinell, Söderhavet’s head of design. Six months later they were left with the clean, classic, minimal typeface that reflects Sweden. Little touches, like the capital Q’s tail pointing downward instead of slanting to the right, add a touch of modernity and originality to the concept.

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Not only did the team capture the look of Sweden, but they also captured the nation’s attitude. One of my favorite words in Swedish is lagom, meaning ‘not too much and not too little,’ something in the middle of being content. It’s a word, that as far as I have come to understand, more or less reflects the attitude of Sweden’s people. Hattenbach explains that, “lagom is what we’ve aimed for with Sweden Sans… It’s all about Scandinavian minimalism. If they notice the typeface too much, it hasn’t worked.” Success, if you ask me.

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Sweden is far from the first country to employ a national font because Switzerland has been doing so since the 60s. Their branding goes beyond an emblem, a color, or a national dish, but is instead immersed into the writing and language of the nation. What am I talking about? Helvetica, of course.

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Helvetica comes from Helvetia, the female national personification of the Swiss Confederation, and is an integral component of the International Typographic Style that swept the face of 20th-century graphic design. From train timetables to bank notes, the Swiss have accepted and employed this clean, simple character set with great success. Not only does it concisely reflect the nation’s identity, but it is recognized and used worldwide, working the front lines of Switzerland’s soft power.

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So, how do you brand a country? As Söderhavet and Switzerland have taught us, you need to think beyond a flag or colors. Consider application, as it’s your best means to having the concept used, remembered, and adopted by citizens.

You can find Sweden Sans for download here, as well as guidelines for working with the Swedish brand.

December 2, 2014 / By

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