Font-astic

Font-astic

partypographieall.gifI feel very fortunate that, between this blog and my gallery, any number of magazines have become required reading. My coffee table is littered. Every trip to a newsstand is research more than it is indulgence. I’d taken a hiatus from design and shelter magazines up until very recently – most of my attention has been focused on art publications like Artforum and ARTnews. Design remained an interest, but I was mostly getting my news online.

I’ve been nothing short of ecstatic about picking up all these juicy, delicious print magazines about design. Also, I’m looking at all magazines with a new focus, and loving the fresh perspective. The two publications I’ve spent the most time with this past weekend are How Magazine (see my earlier post on items of interest in the current issue) and Print Magazine. Both pubs recently underwent a redesign. Right now I’m on a bit of a font bender, so that’s what I’ve honed in on.


I have to say, I’m not crazy about the headline font that Pentagram chose for How. Parisine Plus from the French type foundry Porchez Typofonderie was chosen because it “projected personality without sacrificing legibility.” I expect assertive, stylish and distinctive fonts in a design magazine, especially when it comes to their headline fonts. It’s just my opinion, but there is something sort of wimpy about this font (at left is a comparison of Parisine and Parisine Plus) – I can’t quite put my finger on it, but that could be because I going on instinct, rather than forming my opinion based on design education.

So, last night, as I was flipping through How, I was feeling kind of “eh” about Parisine. It was a nondescript “eh” in large part because I couldn’t say what I’d prefer to it. This morning as I paged through Print MagazineI found the coutnerpoint I was looking for. On page 25, there’s an article discussing the magazine’s introduction of three new typefaces as part of the redesign by Abbott Miller. Gotham Rounded Book, Medium & Light are new typefaces from Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

The font is so new that I was actually unable to find examples of it on their site. Hopefully I’ll be able to track something down and post it later on. It’s from the Gotham family, a font recently most famous for being chosen as the font used on the cornerstone at the World Trade Center site. Regardless, it’s newest incarnation put to work for Print is friendly, informal and well, warm. It makes me feel good, just looking at it. But, it’s not wimpy. It’s got a certain heft to it, a presence. I’m certain that someone with a broader typographical vocabulary and education could put their finger more directly on what I’m trying to say. In fact, I encourage you to do so. Drop an email to jen AT unbeige DOT com.