Gadget - Parachute® on Friday, February 26th, 2010

After 2 successful years 2009 & 2010, over 200 type designers and more than 600 typefaces were presented in Typodarium. One of the greatest type gadgets ever made, Typodarium is a tear-off calendar which was realized by Lars Harmsen and Raban Ruddigkeit of Magma Brand Design. Each font is prominently displayed on the front calendar sheet while on the back there is a detailed description of how the font originated, from whom and from what the inspiration came as well as where it can be obtained. Every type designer or font label is invited to contribute to this project, but only fonts that has been released in the last two years. Participation is free. You have the opportunity to book a maximum of seven favorite days in advance. The sooner you do so, the more choice you’ll have. Typodarium 2011 will be distributed in design and museum shops and selected bookstores around the world.

For more information: Typodarium call for entries

New Releases - Parachute® on Friday, February 19th, 2010

Adamant Pro is the latest release announced by Parachute® today. This typeface was designed by Vedran Eraković, a young designer from Serbia. Vedran was born in Split, Croatia but lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. He graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, University of Arts, the Department of Applied Graphics, where obtained a Master’s Degree in 2009. He is involved in calligraphy, graphic design, typeface design as well as newspaper and magazine design. Vedran is an art editor at the Serbian publisher “Politika Newspapers and Magazines”. As a freelance designer and calligrapher he worked with many institutions in his country and cooperated with FontShop Berlin. He has won several awards and recognitions in the field of graphic and typeface design in Serbia.
Vedran explains when and how he started working with Adamant Pro:
“It took me about two years to complete the Adamant typeface. I started to work on it a few years ago, after I came to Politika. This is the time I entered the world of newspaper design. At that time we were involved in the redesign of the newspapers and magazines, therefore I was thinking a lot about newspaper fonts and was purchasing a lot of domestic and foreign newspapers and magazines…
After a while, I was inspired to do my own typeface family that would be very legible and usable in a variety of printing conditions, even in very poor conditions, such as newspaper printing.

I used to often change my ideas while was designing the previous fonts, and even drop the font and start a new one. However, when I was making Adamant, everything went relatively easily. Probably because I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish, and set clear goals: creating a readable and appealing font, usable for setting long texts (as in books and magazines), and this meant adherence to certain rules, such as: large x-height, pronounced horizontal (the process of reading is carried horizontally, so fonts which have pronounced vertical, such as “modern faces”, make reading slow), low contrast between thick and thin lines, sturdy serifs, and so on. I decided to create a typeface that is between serif and slab-serif style.

Also, in order to be legible, the letters must be easily recognizable, and this means to have simple, familiar shapes. The apertures are wide, lower case “e” has a large eye, etc., all these details are also important for easy differentiation of letters in small sizes.

The capital letters are not very high compared to lowercase, in order not to look too emphasized in text and thus hinder reading. This is especially important if names and initials appear often, such as in newspaper body text. For the same reason, the capital numbers are a little lower than capital letters.

There are six weights, from Light to Extra Bold, in roman and italic forms. They are finely balanced, with low contrast among them, so that they can be easily combined, depending on the type of paper and print conditions. I spend a lot of time setting basic weights, such as regular and bold, and after that everything went relatively easily, thanks to multiple master technology.  It was very important to make a lot of weights and to set them correctly, because, for instance, the same weight which is suitable for setting newspaper could be too dark for setting book or magazine. If so, one can use the “light” weight, for example, for setting body text in magazines.

My goal was not only to make sturdy fonts suitable for using at small sizes, but also to make a contemporary family that would be a little warmer in larger sizes. I achieved this by combining sharp and soft-edged strokes, where it was natural and logical. This can be seen at the beginning and end of strokes, for instance. Serifs are made in that way, too. They are non-bracketed, in order to be more dynamic in large sizes.

The glyphs have natural, humanistic forms and calligraphy probably helped me to achieve this. Although the glyphs are quite simplified, I think one can feel a subtle calligraphic influence.
The first sketches were made mainly in pencil, but sometimes I wrote a letter using the calligraphic pen, in order to get a natural form of letter or the exact angle. Later, I simplified and changed the forms using a computer. Some letters include their alternative forms, with or without serifs, such as the letters a, e, c, f… The letters without serifs are practical for use in very small sizes, for example, below 9pt. When these glyphs are used in text, they make it look brighter and more legible, especially if low quality paper is used. The serif version can be used in larger sizes or headlines, because the headlines should look more compact, and tracking is usually set narrow. These versions are available via the Stylistic sets or the glyphs palette in programs such as InDesign, Illustrator and Quark.

Adamant Pro has already been tested in different print conditions, newspapers, books, magazines and posters psrticularly the Политика (Politika) newspaper, the journal Задужбина (Vuk’s Endowment), the women’s magazine Ana as well as the magazine Русија данас (Russia today). Some photos are attached, in order to show how the fonts look in real use. As can be seen, sometimes the same fonts may look completely different, depending on the way in which they are used. They may look strong and traditional, and sometimes modern or gently. I think this is an important feature, because the graphic designer has more flexibility with such faces.”

more on Adamant Pro

Publications - Parachute® on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The new book, by FHTF Publishing, is about a well known graffiti artist Niels Meulman, the contemporary Dutch calligrapher, typographer and designer who gained his initial recognition as the graffiti artist “SHOE”. After an apprenticeship with Dutch graphic design master Anthon Beeke, he went on to run his own design company, worked as senior art director for BBDO and more recently as a creative director for MTV Europe. He freelances and specializes in typographic design. His designs are part of the permanent collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and MOMA in San Francisco.

Now his personal art known as “Calligraffiti” -a blend of calligraphy and graffiti- after being exposed to various museums around the world, is gathered in a book by the name “Calligraffiti”. This impressive publication showcases a fine selection of artworks by Meulman as he presents, for our viewing pleasure, a wonderful series of fast phrases and upbeat witticisms in the form of captivating typographic masterpieces. The book contains more than 250 Illustrations & photos in 144 pages of printed matter.

view video of Niels Show Neulman
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