This Week in Fonts

An ambitious text family by Schizotype, a feature-rich face from URTD, playful forms by Outras Fontes, a versatile sans from Fontsmith, modern styling by Thinkdust, a transitional face from MCKL, a minimalist slab by Mostardesign, and a sober text family from Fountain.

Schizotype: Urge Text

Designed by Dave Rowland

The slanted styles of Urge Text exhibit a certain bipolarity, the tops of glyphs having a standard italic form, the bottoms of glyphs being more Roman in their construction.

URTD: Odesta

Designed by Ondrej Jób

Odesta has seven feature-rich weights with built-in small caps, swash alternates, and contextual alternate initials & finials.

Outras Fontes: Progressiva

Designed by Ricardo Esteves Gomes

Unique playful forms and a condensed structure, Progressiva is ideal for texts that require some personality and titles with great visual presence.

Fontsmith: FS Hackney

Designed by Nick Job & Jason Smith

Inspired by the thought “it doesn’t have to be like this” FS Hackney is meticulously honed to perform in exacting conditions. Refined, assured and very versatile.

Thinkdust: Monolite

Designed by Greg Ponchak

Clear-cut edges and modern styling give Monolite the attitude it needs to leave a lasting impression.

MCKL: Superior Title

Designed by Jeremy Mickel

Superior Title is a high contrast transitional typeface, a kind of missing link between Bodoni and Times.

Mostardesign: Metronic Slab Pro

Designed by Olivier Gourvat

Metronic Slab Pro is a slab serif typeface with a technological and minimalist look for text and headlines.

Fountain: Aria Text

Designed by Rui Abreu

Aria Text is the new text version of the lyric Aria. More sober and rational, Aria Text was designed for books. The decoration mannerisms, extreme contrast, the italics angle, among other attributes of the original display typeface were now tamed and rethought towards readability and transparency.



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This Week in Fonts

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Translated Untranslatable Words

I use the title guardedly, as these words featured and illustrated by Ella Frances Sanders at Maptia are all perfectly translatable, but as phrases rather than as neat single words. There’s probably a neat word in a language somewhere that we could use to describe concepts-as-single-words that can’t be translated into single words in other languages. We could of course make one up, say, we could call them uniglottal, i.e. existing as a word in only one language. Words like this get borrowed pretty quickly if they’re useful enough, for example, Schadenfreude — and while words get borrowed all the time, here they’re a special kind of loan word, describing an idea rather than a thing.

One of the words in the list, the lovely Japanese word komorebi reminded me of a word that’s been sufficiently borrowed long enough not to be included in lists like this anymore: bokeh, which is well-known in photography, and like a lot of loan words doesn’t venture much outside a particular profession or technical niche. Then you get to thinking of it and notice more and more, and it reminds me of a French colleague half-jokingly saying, “You can tell if an English word is one of the ones we brought over*: it has more than one syllable”. Controversial.

If you’re interested in the idea of words like this, Better Than English posts a new one fairly frequently.

* 1066 and all that, or, if you prefer.

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Betteo 365

I’ve been enjoying Patricio Betteo’s 365 project for a few years now and somehow never linked to it here. The illustrations are (I think) added daily, though there’ve been a few months where it’s not been updated at all (sounds familiar, can’t think why). It’s a regular source of inspiration for me, with a mix of illustrative styles, with occasional photographs and typographic designs, and always in a square format — the variety and quality are quite brilliant. Patricio Betteo is extraordinarily talented, and if you look through his blog or DeviantART portfolio you’ll probably notice you’ve seen some of his work at some point even if you’ve not heard his name. Well worth a look.

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Blued

I’m quite fond of illustrations made with restricted palettes (part of the appeal of mid-century printed ephemera, I think) so this project by Sameer Kulavoor (as Bombay Duck Designs) caught my eye when It’s Nice That featured it.

The illustrations highlight the use of basic blue tarpaulins in Indian cities by abstracting all the other elements and leaving just the shadows and the blue colour to define the scene. If in India the blue tarp is ubiquitous, as in Kulavoor’s words, “it makes for excellent sun-proofing, dust-proofing, pigeon-shit proofing, packaging, and temporary refugee camps.” they’re certainly familiar globally; I recall my father’s motorbikes being protected from the rain with them, a neighbour’s shed-rebuilding project shrouded in one (for years) and various festivals and outdoor markets seemingly constructed from them (and thickets of scaffolding poles). The book is available from Tadpole Store.

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