This Week From the Desk

It's Baaaaack! Mary Catherine Pflug has been hard at work on the second annual Font Purchasing Habits Survey. Last year, Mary presented the results of the survey to applause at TypeCon. This year's survey marks it as an annual event and gives a fascinating look into the type industry. This year, there is a reward of 9 free fonts to all who take the survey. Submit your answers here, and speak up for the industry. 

Say Hello to XYZ Type, the formal foundry for the type world's most underestimated dynamic duo Jesse Ragan and Ben Kiel. The two gents are not only two of the most talented type makers working today, but two of the most humble; working as passionate educators—on top of all the type work. Cortado, Aglet Slab, Export, these faces are just the beginning for XYZ Type. Watch this space for what is sure to be some list-topping type for years to come. Congrats Jesse & Ben!

Missed posting this last week, so it's in the mix for this one, Lucas Sharp is having fun again with his latest release Respira Black. This new-age blackletter is the font your font menu has been craving. The face releases with a fascinating set of posters for purchase, the proceeds of which all are donated to the NRDC.

Here's a 'must-have' book for you: "Strange Bird—The Albatross Press and the Third Reich". Published this week by Yale University Press, Strange Bird is the first book about the Albatross Press, a Penguin precursor that entered into an uneasy relationship with the Nazi regime to keep Anglo-American literature alive under fascism. It's got all the right things: a book about books and WWII era historical intrigue. Purchase on the Yale site here

Although it is easy to throw hateful critique at the success of big name designers like those at Pentagram, this branding program for QUAD Cinema in New York by Paula Scher and her team makes it very easy to love. I think its easy for people to insult good design because "it looks like the designer didn't try very hard"... well to that I say "That's the point." Good design should appear effortless if not transparent altogether. This project is a beautiful example of this. Lighting, signage, color, environment, architecture, typography, this project has all the hallmarks of a Paula Scher application and I'm rather in love. Read and see more at B P and O here.

David Johnathan Ross, in all his wizardry debuted his own Fonts of the Month Club this week, set to release one display font every month. You can subscribe to 3, 6, or 12 months wroth of fonts! For $6-$8 per font, you BEST be getting in on this new model. Discover more here! The first month's offering is Nickel, an all caps font inspired by banknotes. 100% fun. 

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is holding an exhibition of the work of Franco Grignani (1908-1999), a designer and artist who anticipated the rise of Op Art. The show looks positively mind-bending. The opportunity to see how art and design intersect in this way is a rare opportunity. Anyone in London going to see this? I'll be looking out for photos.

This recently published project by Michael Bierut and his team at Pentagram for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture is a rather fascinating application of type. It seems as though several of the partners at Pentagram have an affinity for stretching type all over buildings, which will surely be fodder for lots of good branding and type debate for months to come. Looking forward to seeing a more formal case study, but for now, read the write up in Architect Magazine. 

I'll leave you with this absolutely delightful video from Japan of Rube Goldberg as storytelling.