Vinh and Coles Talk FontBook


The perfect, quick read to get this Friday morning started off right. Over at Khoi Vinh‘s site, he sat down and talked with Typographica‘s Stephen Coles all about the holy bible of typography, the massive and beautiful FontBook. We won’t waste your time jabbering about it, so you can get right into it, but here’s a little to taste:

Most digital type specimen books are temporary catalogs of a particular foundry. House Industries, Typotheque, and Emigre produce some excellent booklets for their font collections. “FontBook” is unique in that it compiles the typefaces of these and ninety other foundries into one objective reference. This allows the editors to be systematic in how the book is organized. Sans, serif, slab, and display typefaces are grouped together so you can find and compare fonts based on their characteristics, rather than the way they were released or promoted. There are also cross-references for almost every typeface to help you find designs that are closely related and discover new stuff.

And unlike the foundry catalogs, “FontBook” is intended to be a permanent part of a design library. It’s hardcover and very heavy. It makes an excellent door stop. Erik Spiekermann uses it to weigh down the scanner lid when scanning books.