Inkwell, by Hoefler & Co.

Inkwell, by Hoefler & Co.

A tiny universe of fonts that combines the informality of handwriting, the expressiveness of lettering, and the versatility of type.

This typeface family is gorgeous. I am itching to use it for some publication!

Typefaces, by design, are unyielding in their style: a good typeface commits to a single visual idea, and explores it with thoroughness and consistency to produce a dependable tool for designers. Contrast this with handwriting, which serves only to record the thoughts of an author, but has the freedom to move from style to style as the message dictates. A writer might scribble a paragraph in cursive handwriting, but punctuate key points with capitals, or backtrack to over-ink some crucial point with darker and more deliberate strokes. It’s a flexibility that makes handwritten communications compelling, and makes the medium of writing infinitely expressive. By comparison, typography can feel almost stifling.

More about Inkwell →

Craft and creativity

Inkwell: a typeface for expressive writing

A tiny universe of fonts that combines the informality of handwriting, the expressiveness of lettering, and the versatility of type.

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time for sushi

Directed by David Lewandowski. Previously: going to the store and late for meeting.

Stick around until the end of this video for some ads for the incredible goods on offer in the official store of Lewandowski’s channel: goingtothe.store.

The future of independent, artisanal, high-effort nonsense on YouTube is uncertain. I appreciate your choice to support this work with the purchase of my unusual merch.

Deluxe Dakimakura Body Pillow

Enjoy the intersection of luxury and comfort in this Japanese-style body pillow. The 160 x 50cm pillowcase is made from durable, silky 2-way tricot material.

The incredible $90,000 Premium Edition Chess Set

Premium Edition Chess Set
Remember that time you watched that YouTube video? Why not commemorate the experience with a premium chess set carved in ethically sourced arctic mammoth ivory and rare meteorite alloy. Handcrafted by artisans specializing in these elements for a combined 38 years, this product reflects a dedication to premium YouTube memorabilia.

There are other more modest items too, like towels and pillow cases.

See also

Master Works: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

The World’s Most Beautiful and Unusual Chess Sets

Atlas Obscura: Some designs, as with the Communist Propaganda set, arose from ideology. Some were born out of wealth, such as the opulent rock crystal and silver set from 16th-century France. And some were made from necessity, such as the cardboard pieces created during the 900-day siege of Leningrad in World War II.

Master Works: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the WorldThis book brings together some of the most beautiful and unusual chess sets ever made. Over hundreds of years, from five continents, they are culled from private collections and museums, including: 200 year-old sets made by nameless Indian craftsmen; sets by Peter Carl Fabergé; sets from Soviet gulag prisoners; and sets by leading artists of the 20th century, including Max Ernst.

See also

  • Chess set architectureDaniel Weil has created a new design for the chess set which is making its debut at the World Chess Candidates Tournament in London.
  • ArchicardsArchitectural playing card designs by Italian architect Federico Babina.
  • D&D maps and cartography Dyson Logos is a prolific and talented creator of Dungeons and Dragons maps.
Craft and creativity

Master Works: Beautiful and unusual chess sets

Chess, one of the world’s most popular games, has inspired artists for hundreds of years. Though apparently offering a limited canvas – each set has 32 pieces, each board 64 squares – sets have nevertheless been designed in countless ways, using almost every imaginable material: from precious metals, to ivory and rock crystal.

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London mini metro map

Mini Metros

Peter Dovak — a graphic designer and self-confessed ‘lifelong transit nerd’ — has shrunken and simplified 220 metro and light rail maps from around the world to produce this fun poster.

Mini Metros, by Peter Dovak

In a blog post about the designs, he compares some of his minified designs to the original transit maps. Below you can see Seoul, one of the more complex examples.

Peter sells his designs as posters, magnets, mugs and more.


See also: Johnston100: a modernisation of TfL’s classic London Underground typeface

Craft and creativity

Mini Metros: Peter Dovak’s minified transport maps

“All of the cities in the project had the same requirements: they had to fit in a 120px circle (with 10px of padding), the lines had to be 3px wide with a minimum of another 3px between the next parallel line, and all diagonals had to be 45-degrees.” — Peter Dovak

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HP Pavilion Wave - front

HP Pavilion Wave

I really like the look of this new HP desktop. The Amazon Echo-esque form factor makes a lot of sense — if the voice assistant is the way of the future, the PC should absolutely be a speaker. And this has a B&O speaker, so it should be pretty decent too.

  • HP: HP’s newest desktops: Not your father’s PCThe small, triangular shaped HP Pavilion Wave – about 15 percent the size of a traditional tower – has a distinctive design that was formed by arranging the internal components into a layout that would be optimal for the most demanding computing tasks. On one side is the motherboard, including the processor, discrete graphics card and SSD, while a second side holds the hard drive. The third side contains the thermals – heat pipes that extract heat from the motherboard and graphics card, push it through copper pipes, across cooling fins and out the machine’s top.
  • Windows Blog: HP announces new Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice with Windows 10For customers who want a PC that can fit into small places, the new offering is a beautiful and compact design with the power of a full-sized desktop, running on Windows 10. The dual microphones enable voice integration with your digital personal assistant, Cortana.

HP Pavilion Wave

  • The Verge: HP’s new PC looks like a speakerWhile the Wave isn’t a speaker, HP is still advertising its prowess as one. The computer has a large central speaker, which has its sound sent out in all directions by blasting against the sloped top cover of the PC. It’s a neat trick — and, during a brief demo in a small space, it did appear to get pretty loud — but it’s probably not a replacement for a dedicated speaker.
  • CNET: The HP Wave is a living room PC built for killer soundInside, you’ll find current-gen Intel Core i-series processors, up to 2TB of storage, and even optional AMD graphics for video editing and maybe a little light gaming, plus HP says it’ll drive two 4K monitors at once.

HP Pavilion Wave starts at $530 and is expected by the end of September, 2016.

See also

Shape of things to come

HP Pavilion Wave: Stylish PC that is also a B&O speaker

“The quality-woven exterior material was carefully created to allow for broad-spectrum audio transmission while retaining the texture and design appeal of fabric. The vented sides at the top of the device allow sound to project out.” –HP

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Archicards

Architectural playing card designs by Italian architect Federico Babina.

“When I was young, I used to build a house with cards: why not use architecture to design cards?”

(via The Guardian)

See also

Craft and creativity

Architectural playing cards

“Maybe I use a building or a window… something that represents them. If you look at a simple detail of the cards you can find the architect” — Federico Babina in The Guardian

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Anatomia typeface

Anatomia is a quirky grotesk typeface designed by Jacopo Atzori, Vicky Chinaglia and Matteo Giordano for a type design course at Poli.Design in Milan in 2013.

“We found this old anatomy book (from which the name, Anatomia) printed in the early 20th century, set in this ugly scotch face with exaggerated details that made it work in small sizes. Our idea was to bring the skeleton, the proportions and some characteristic aspects into a grotesk–formula based typeface, being that the historical evolution of these modern faces.”

“Big serifs and strong details for the small sizes would become characteristic elements in big sizes.”

“The design of the typeface followed the rule of keeping the counterform shaped as the original design, while building the outside of the letters in a more geometric way. What comes out of this process is a grotesk typeface with a characteristic dynamism through the texture, with an accentuated stroke modulation.”

See also

  • Recovering The Doves Type from the bottom of the ThamesIn 1916, the Doves Type was seemingly lost forever after it was thrown into the River Thames. Almost 100 years later, and after spending three years making a digital version, designer Robert Green has recovered 150 pieces from their watery grave…
  • A detailed look at Apple’s new San Fransisco typefaceSo is San Francisco really the perfect system font for Apple’s products? It’s complicated.
  • Making of a typeface: GT Sectraoriginally designed for the long-form journalism magazine “Reportagen”
  • Neue Haas UnicaMonotype’s revival of a typeface that has attained almost mythical status in the type community. Unica was an attempt to create the ultimate sans-serif – a hybrid of Helvetica, Univers and Akzidenz Grotesk.

(via)

Use your words

Anatomia: a quirky grotesk typeface

A grotesk typeface born from the skeleton of an old Scotch Roman used in an anatomy book printed in the early 20th century.

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OXO On 12-Cup Coffee Brewing System

With the thermos carafe, showerhead dripper and a variable temperature kettle that can be used separately, this machine has the potential to be a great coffee maker. I’ve been using a Clever Dripper for a few years now, but I do miss some of the convenience of using a drip machine. This could be the one to take me back.

OXO On 12-Cup Coffee Brewing System

If the clever pump that goes through the handle, over the top and out the spout of the kettle works as well as it seems (without leaking or making a huge amount of noise or anything) then this could well be one of the best coffee makers.

Seattle Coffee Gear overview

See also

AMPC – A modern computer built inside a case inspired by older amplifiers.

Lovely work from Love Hultén, Swedish designer and craftsman.

The works of Love Hultén are also nostalgic visions in a world of throwaway excess and economic efficiency gone awry.

See also

Craft and creativity

AMPC: A modern computer built inside a case inspired by older amplifiers

A lovely American walnut and aluminium PC inspired by amps from the late 70’s.

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Grovemade produce gorgeous handcrafted accessories for your technology.

Grovemade walnut desk

The keyboard tray is particularly clever. (There’s a Magic Trackpad version too.)

The iPhone dock is another of my favourites. I personally don’t like cases that cover the screen, but this one with the leather flap looks very smart.

I’m not a huge fan of the watch either, but it does look lovely. I wonder if they’ll make anything for the Apple Watch?

This sleeve design however is just incredible. There are versions for the iPad Air, Mini and for the 13 inch MacBook Air. Like everything, it’s available in maple and walnut.

Grovemade iPad

They have loads more lovely product shots and behind-the-scenes photographs on Instagram too.

(via Bless This Stuff)

See also

Craft and creativity

Grovemade make gorgeous handcrafted tech accessories

Based in Portland, Oregon (where else?) Grovemade produce gorgeous tech accessories that I really, really want. Seriously! I mean, this isn’t a paid ad guys but if you want to send me a maple monitor stand you can consider me paid!

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I don’t know why I find these kinds of workspace photographs so appealing.

I know they reek of pretentiousness and elitism and just plain showing-off (either “look at what expensive toys and good taste I have” or “look how well I’ve got my life organised”), but I still aspire.

Of all these workplaces, the Ugmonk studio has to be one of my favourites.

I’m also endlessly fascinated by these workbag displays. So many things I need to buy to make my life complete.

Craft and creativity

Apple porn

I know it’s not strictly an ‘Apple’ thing – I’ve seen plenty of people showing off PC workstations and ultra-nerdy open source setups too – but let’s be honest, Mac geeks in particular love to show off.

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Our engineers designed multiple tools in each 17-4 stainless steel bracelet link, making usable tools like Allen wrenches, screwdrivers and box wrenches available at a moment’s notice. Adjustable to ¼” to accommodate any wrist size and fully customizable with the links you need most.

Tools include a cutting hook (for safely cutting tape, cord, tape, seatbelts and other materials), a bottle opener, an oxygen tank wrench (a rectangular cutout used to slot over an oxygen tanks to open. ideal for EMS, fire department or first responder use), a carbide glass breaker (a small, pointed tip made of carbide, a very hard material, which is ideal for shattering auto glass, various screwdrivers and wrenches, and a pick/sim card tool (a small pick meant for removing sim cards or other small pieces from tight spaces).

(via BoingBoing)

Miscellany

A smartwatch and wearable, Leatherman style

This isn’t an ad, I just thought it looked very cool. Probably not the most comfortable thing to wear though!

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Craft and creativity

Obsidian: A typeface shaded by algorithms

Obsidian - collage

Nice as it looks, I honestly wasn’t that interested in the new typeface from Hoefler & Co., until I learned how it was made:

Obsidian is a decorative, three-dimensional font created in a virtual environment that can simulate light falling upon any 3-D character in the set.

The result is a convincing set of 3-D characters that harks back to the early days of type-making, but without all the flowery curlicues and animals that often accompanied 19th century letters.

An ornamental font like this could take over a year to get right. So [Jonathan] Hoefler and senior designer Andy Clymer solved for this by creating custom algorithms that could help. Obsidian is created in a virtual environment that can simulate light falling on any 3-D character in the set, thus eliminating the need to draw tens of thousands of shadows, one by one.

Obsidian – typography.com

Standard

Reportagen Magazine

GT Sectra is a serif typeface combining the calligraphic influence of the broad nib pen with the sharpness of the scalpel. This sharpness defines its contemporary look.

The GT Sectra subfamily was originally designed for the long-form magazine Reportagen, a publication with interesting stories from all around the world. The Zürich-based studio Moiré designed the magazine and since it was text heavy, the typography was central.

The design idea was to begin with truly calligraphic letters, but then transform those into simpler, more straightforward shapes. The cuts in the curves add tension and emphasize the feeling of sharpness of the typeface.

More information at ilovetypography.com, grillitype.com and moire.ch.

Use your words

Making of a typeface: GT Sectra

GT Sectra was originally designed for the long-form journalism magazine “Reportagen”, a publication containing interesting stories from all around the world. The Zürich-based design studio Moiré accompanied the whole production process, designing not just the magazine but also the typeface. — Grilli Type

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Letter Fountain - Adobe Trajan

The Adobe Trajan shown above, which was designed by Carol Twombly and is based on the inscriptions on Trajan’s Column, shows the geometrical construction method used to draw on the stone before the cutting began.

As you may be able to tell from recent posts on this blog, I’ve been interested in typography recently. Of all the books I’ve bought recently on the subject, I possibly only needed to have bought this one: Letter Fountain from Taschen.

(My Amazon affiliate link if you want to help me out: Letter Fountain: The Anatomy of Type)

The Atlantic: Finally in English: The World’s Best Type Reference Guide

Letter Fountain (or Letterfontein, as the non-English versions are called) was initially self-published in 1994 in French, German, and Dutch. 15,000 copies were sold by 2000, over half of them in the Netherlands, at which time the book went out of print. Apparently, Pohlen says, teachers in the Netherlands were so dependent on the book for their type classes they told students to buy second-hand copies. With that impetus, [Joep] Pohlen decided to revise and enlarge the book from 15,000 to 150,000 words. In 2009, after seven weeks of brisk sales, the first printing sold out. In 2010 the next edition was published internationally by Taschen Books and is currently available.

Wink Books: Letter Fountain – A stunningly well-crafted bible of typography

The front of the book is the best orientation to the logic of fonts that I’ve seen. There may be better books about using the art of typography on a page, but this is the master on the subtleties and dynamics of different fonts. Watch how adding or subtracting serifs changes the emotion of the page. Why are some letters thinner or longer? This book’s knowledge goes deep without getting academic; almost every page can be appreciated by an enthusiastic novice.

Use your words

Letter Fountain

This title offers everything you could ever want to know about printing letters and numbers, looking back as far as man’s first efforts to communicate with visual signs and drawings. “Letterfountain” is a completely unique typeface handbook: in addition to examining the form and anatomy of every letter in the alphabet (as well as punctuation marks and special characters), the book cross-references type designs with important works of art and art movements from Gutenberg’s times until today.

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