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Posts Tagged ‘itc edwardian script’

by Allan Haley

New Fonts, New Technology and Predictions For The Future

The pages of U&lc Volume 21 ushered in a typeface family extension, two new complete families, four single-weight display designs, eight Cyrillic family additions and a suite of fonts that took advantage of a new technology. Volume 21 also predicted the future of typeface design, and announced ITC Design Palette, a digital distribution center that preceded the Internet – but not by enough.

Friz Quadrata was used by graphic designers for almost 30 years before Thierry Puyfoulhoux drew its italic complement that was announced in Volume 21. Two typeface families, ITC Bodoni and ITC Edwardian Script, were also announced in the same Volume. The latter, by Ed Benguiat, found influence in the flowing character shapes drawn with a steel-point pen. Varying the pressure on this writing instrument – rather than the angle of the nib – produces thick and thin strokes.

ITC Bodoni was one of the most carefully researched and accurate interpretations of Bodoni’s typefaces ever attempted. The process involved two trips to Parma, Italy; hundreds of hours of research; and thousands more hours carefully designing fonts using one of the original copies of Bodoni’s 1818 Manuale Tipografico as a benchmark for accuracy. The complete story is told in Volume 21, Number 2. It’s worth a read.

Cartoon graphics from the 1960s influenced David Sagorski’s ITC Snap and ITC Juice typefaces, while Michael Stacey’s ITC True Grit and ITC Wisteria were revivals of designs found in an old lettering book.

The Cyrillic typefaces were a second edition of designs from ParaGraph, and included designs for both text and display applications. ParaGraph continues to provide ITC with new Cyrillic designs to this day.

ITC announced the availability of twelve fonts that took advantage of Apple’s new TrueType platform called “TrueTypeGX.” Heralded as “smart fonts,” GX fonts were predicted to revolutionize graphic communication. ITC’s offering included small caps, fancy initial letters and a bevy of biform, swash and other alternate characters. Some of these are still available today in OpenType fonts.

The 8-page feature, “Timeless Typefaces,” in Volume 21 Number 2, collected the opinions and predictions of 21 type design luminaries. The predictions – and photos of the starts of the typographic community from 18 years ago – are great fun.

The idea behind ITC Design Palette was that it would make design tools like fonts, photographs, Iine-art and design software plug-ins available “24–7” at a click of a button. Sounds like the Internet, doesn’t it?

Trouble was, ITC Design Palette had nothing to do with the Internet. It was a box containing over a hundred CDs that sat on a designer’s desk. The CDs’ content could be browsed through an interface and downloaded to the designer’s computer desktop. When the content was licensed, ITC Design Palette would send a message over phone lines to a billing center that sent out monthly invoices. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the growth and scope of the Internet made ITC Design Palette obsolete before any devices were delivered.

Click the PDFs below to find out what else was in U&lc Volume Twenty-one.

Low Resolution:

Volume 21–1 (Low Res).pdf (9.6 MB)

Volume 21–2 (Low Res).pdf (12.3 MB)

Volume 21–3 (Low Res).pdf (10.3 MB)

Volume 21–4 (Low Res).pdf (8.7 MB)

High Resolution:

Volume 21–1.pdf (45.8 MB)

Volume 21–2.pdf (59.1 MB)

Volume 21–3.pdf (49.6 MB)

Volume 21–4.pdf (41.3 MB)

Allan Haley
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.

 


by Vikki Quick

Winners of the Type Directors Club’s TDC² competition were notified last week. To get a semi-jump on bragging rights (the TDC gave winners permission to boast), I thought I’d provide some behind-the-scenes observations on our winning entries. The TDC won’t be making its official announcement until March.

Elegy
The Elegy™ typeface is simply gorgeous. If it were a wedding dress, I imagine it to be the purest of whites with flowing lace and a long, lavish train. Such a feminine description might not fly with Jim Wasco, senior typeface designer at Monotype Imaging, who created this beautiful face.

Elegy is based on the original, handlettered logo of the International Typeface Corporation, which flourished in the 70s from its New York City headquarters. The logo was designed by the legendary typeface designer Ed Benguiat, who created such well used faces as the ITC Bookman®, ITC Edwardian Script™ and ITC Benguiat® families.

With an eye toward maintaining the spontaneity and flowing attributes of the ITC logo, Jim set out to create a contemporary design based on an American form of ornamental penmanship called Spencerian script, popular from about 1850 to 1925. Close your eyes and picture the Coca-Cola logo. A Spencerian script, the Coca-Cola identity was first published in the late 19th century.

What was unique about designing Elegy? First off, it was difficult. “Elegy was the most difficult design job I’ve ever done in my life,” Jim says, “from getting the shapes right to designing alternatives for each letter in order to take advantage of OpenType’s contextual alternate feature.” This allows letters to be substituted in specific combinations, which enables text to take on the look of handwritten letters. Jim also designed the initial and final strokes for the beginnings and endings of words.

Does the design experience trigger anything funny? “Funny, no. Scary, yes,” Jim says. Scary as in fear that people will not use the typeface correctly. Jim adds, “I’ve already seen an example where an alternate nine old style figure was used instead of a zero. Now that’s scary!”

What’s the most important thing about Elegy? It needs to be used in the latest applications that support OpenType® features, such as old style figures, arbitrary fractions, proportional numbers, tabular numbers, discretionary ligatures and of course, contextual alternate characters. Because of its fine hairline strokes and various design nuances, Elegy should not be used in all caps or sizes under 24 point.

Check out this animated video of Elegy. You’ll get a sense of its graceful beauty in all its glory.

Palatino Sans Arabic
My next blog post will cover the TDC² award-winning Palatino® Sans Arabic typeface by Nadine Chahine, who collaborated with master typeface designer, Hermann Zapf.

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