News, Uncategorized - Parachute® on Saturday, February 26th, 2011

As more and more traditional practices turn digital, we were excited to receive information about a brand new application for the iPad. LetterMpress™ is a virtual letterpress environment which allows anyone to create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints. The design process is the same as the letterpress process; you place and arrange wood type and cuts on a press bed, lock the type, ink the type and print. You are able to create unlimited designs, with multiple colors, using authentic vintage wood type and art cuts. You can print your design directly from LetterMpress or save it as an image and import it into other applications.

Letterpress has experienced recently a growing interest amongst designers, artists, and printmakers. A reaction to the “perfect” look of modern printing? Whatever it is, letterpress evokes a handcrafted appearance unparalleled by other printmaking methods.

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News - Parachute® on Friday, February 11th, 2011

The last issue of Creative Review showcases the winners of the first Type Annual for Excellence in International Typeface Design over the past year. A large number of entries were judged by Coralie Bickford-Smith who is senior cover designer at Penguin Books, John Bateson a fellow of ISTD and founder of Bateson Studio and Fiona Ross, lecturer, author and typographic designer. In addition several experts were consulted such as Maxim Zhukov, Miguel Sousa, Dr Mamoun Sakkal and Adi Stern. There were 4 main categories: display faces, bespoke faces, non-latin faces and text faces.
Parachute’s Regal Pro was selected to be among the winners in the text faces category. Back in October of last year it won again first place in the display category at the Granshan Awards. Regal Pro was originally created for the redesign of Grazia magazine and later was revamped and upgraded for commercial use. The original 3 basic families were expanded to include more variations, ligatures, swashes and additional support for Latin and Greek. The final version of Regal includes 6 families. Currently Regal Pro is available locally but will be officially released online shortly.

History - Parachute® on Thursday, February 03rd, 2011

Phaestos was an ancient city on the island of Crete. It was inhabited from about 4000 BC. The area upon which Phaestos stood was the site where a curious clay disk, containing a sophisticated pictographic writing, was discovered. It was the Phaestos Disk, an archaeological find, dating from about 1700 BC. The first moveable type! Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. An Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier discovered this remarkably intact “dish” (about 15 cm in diameter and uniformly just over 1 cm thick) in the basement of the Minoan palace site of Phaestos during an excavation on July 3, 1908.

Physical Description
The inscription was made by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic “seals” into the soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiralling towards the disk’s center. It was then baked at high temperature. There are a total of 241 figures on the disc.
Many of the 48 different glyphs represent easily identifiable every-day things, including human figures, fish, birds, insects, plants, a boat, a shield, a staff, etc. In addition to these, there is a small diagonal line that occurs underneath the final sign in a group a total of 18 times. The disk shows traces of corrections made by the scribe in several places.

The Text
Although there is no official Unicode encoding for the symbols on the disk, the ConScript Unicode Registry has assigned a block of the Unicode Private Use Area to be used for the script. Two fonts include support for this area; Code2000 and Everson Mono Phaestos. The text on the disk is given on the second of these links; you can read that text if you have either of them installed.

Strokes and Direction of Reading
There is a number of glyphs marked with an oblique stroke, the strokes are not imprinted but carved by hand and are attached to the first or last sign of a “word”, depending on the direction of reading. Their meaning is a matter of discussion. One hypothesis, supported by Evans, Duhoux, Ohlenroth and others, is that they were used to subdivide the text into paragraphs, but alternate meanings have been offered by other scholars.

The diverse epigraphical facts (overcuts, angulous points of the spirals, corrections, etc.) reveal that the text was written from the perimeter to the center. The scribe was “composing” his text as he was printing it. There is therefore no way to disassociate the direction of printing from the direction of reading.

Attempted Decipherment
The Phaestos Disk captured the imagination of many amateur archeologists. Many attempts have been made to decipher the code behind the disc’s glyphs. Historically, almost anything has been proposed, including prayers, a narrative or an adventure story, a “psalterion”, a call to arms, a board game, and a geometric theorem. Many enthusiasts still believe the mystery can be solved, as it is generally thought that there isn’t enough context available for meaningful analysis.

http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/index.php?id=2648
http://www.evertype.com/standards/csur/phaistos.html

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