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Posts tagged typography

Herrick backdates emoticons to 1648?
April 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Robert_Herrick_HesperidesWhile attending the WCF Davos Forum in March, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Scott E. Fahlman, widely hailed as "father of the first smiley emoticon in 1982." As it happens, though, there have been other challengers to that claim - the New York Times once ran a story citing an excerpt from an Abraham Lincoln speech in 1862 that may have had a smiley inserted. Now, though, writer and editor Levi Stahl claims he may have discovered one of the earliest emoticons of all - a line in the poem "To Fortune" by 17th-century English poet...

The single versus double space debate
February 1, 2014 | 11:19 am

This is one that's gone, if not exactly viral, at least mildly infectious on Facebook, with writers and editors debating the pros and cons of single or double spaces after full points in manuscripts and word-processed copy. As a sometime editor, I can tell you that it introduces problems into word-processed copy that require extensive fixing at the editorial stage to produce text that's fit to print. So why do so many writers still do it? [caption id="attachment_7223" align="alignright" width="144"] The culprit[/caption] The practice dates back to the days of monospaced text from manual typewriters, which unarguably did make text with single...

Fonts and E-Books: Author Madeline Miller is fan of Baskerville
August 24, 2013 | 2:34 pm

e-booksFamily friends in Edinburgh introduced me to Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles,” and while browsing through the book (on paper, for a change), I came across her concluding text on the book’s font, “A note on the type”: “The text of this book is set in Baskerville, and is named after John Baskerville of Birmingham (1706-1775). The original punches cut by him still survive. His widow sold them to Beaumarchais, from where they passed through several French foundries to Deberney & Peignot in Paris, before finding their way to Cambridge University Press. “Baskerville was the first of the ‘transitional romans’ between...

A conversation with Michel Pierson, resurrector of Mallarmé’s ‘Un coup de Dés’
July 20, 2013 | 7:02 pm

Michel PiersonI spoke recently with Michel Pierson, resurrector of the unique picture-poem "Un coup de Dés" ("A Throw of the Dice") by French Symbolist luminary Stéphane Mallarmé, about how he reconstructed the poet's original intentions in print and online. * * * TeleRead: How difficult was it to recreate the author's original plan for the poem, both in print and online? Michel Pierson: We worked in 2002 from photographs of one of the last sets of proofs of the Vollard edition project held at the Bibliothèque nationale. Reconstruction of the missing Didot font and the  layout (or "staging, " in Mallarmé's terms), was very time-consuming,...

The state of ebook typography
April 9, 2012 | 11:10 pm

20120404 fg1 Fascinating article (I love typography) by James Felici in CreativePro.  I suggest you read the whole thing and take a look at the illustrations as well: Whether on Kindle, iPad, Nook, or other LCD display, type suffers compared to print. So is good typography even possible for today’s electronic devices? From the standpoint of the craft’s two underlying principles — legibility and readability — the answer is "no." If you look at the size of the type most people choose for their Kindle, iPad, or any other device used for reading e-books, you’ll see that it tends to resemble that in books...

Typographica’s favorite typefaces of 2011
January 31, 2012 | 8:50 am

Typefaces of 2011 140x140 From the Typographica site: The idea is simple: I invite a group of writers, educators, type makers and type users to look back at 2011 and pick the release that excited them most. The reviews range from the academic (like Paul van der Laan on Zizou or Jens Kutilek on FB Alix) to the theoretical (such as Jan Middendorp on Agile) to the personal (like Carolina de Bartolo who reviewed Calibre and Periódico after firsthand experience with a redesign of WIRED magazine) to the playfully unexpected (Microsoft’s Si Daniels praises Apple Color Emoji) to the exclamatory (Matthew Butterick...

A typographic checklist
May 8, 2011 | 10:16 am

AChecklistThis checklist is from an article in Monotype Imaging's fonts.com site.  If you go to the original article you will find links to each item on the list with an explanation of why it is there.  The list was compiled by Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio and a typographic consultant. I always recommend that designers and students make a typographic checklist to help avoid committing type crimes, as well as to aid in finessing their typography. I’ve decided to create a checklist that covers issues I’m most frequently asked about in my workshops. You can download the PDF and print...

Michael N. Marcus: Ugliness of e-book formatting bleeding over into print books
November 1, 2010 | 2:52 pm

pizzas Michael N. Marcus, who I mentioned a few days ago when Amazon subsdiary CreateSpace refused to print his book because it mentioned Amazon (they subsequently called him to apologize and let him know that was a mistake) has written a post comparing books vs. e-books to craft vs. chain pizza. The analogy is made on the basis of typographical matters and quality. After painstakingly examining a 318-page book he’s publishing line by line to make sure that word spacing, hyphenation, and so forth look as good as possible on the page, he received a copy of Dan...

Overcoming iBooks’s full justification with Calibre
April 17, 2010 | 8:07 am

justification One of the annoyances Stephen Coles cited in his article about iPad typography was the way that iBooks uses full justification with no hyphenation. This was also something that annoyed me about the Sony and Astak e-readers that I reviewed. While I do not know of an easy way to add hyphenation, the full justification is something that can be dealt with (at least for DRM-free e-books, such as those from Baen), using our old friend Calibre. (This also works for the Sony, Astak, and presumably any other EPUB readers with no internal control over justification.) ...

iPad typography leaves something to be desired, says The FontFeed
April 9, 2010 | 4:01 pm

Table of Contents formatting Stephen Coles at The FontFeed has an article about what the iPad is missing. As you might guess from the name of the website, it is about the iPad’s typography and font selections. Coles dislikes the way that iBooks uses full justification with no hyphenation, causing wide gaps and “rivers” in text displays on-screen, and lacks proper handling of widows, orphans, and line breaks. (Liz Castro of the “Pigs, Gourds and Wikis” blog has an article about formatting problems with a number of books in iBooks, from which Cole took one of his screenshots.) I definitely have to agree that such...