serif typeface

Everything old is new again

“Love cosmetics were anti-cosmetics, makeup for a time—and a generation—at war with the pretense and falseness of makeup.”

“It was a strange, even paradoxical claim for a brand of cosmetics to be making, but it seemed to work: while older brands were said to mask and conceal the user’s selfhood, Love enhanced her individuality, allowed her real nature to come to the surface: "You’ve got a complexion worth seeing. You don’t need make-ups that blank you out. Ours won’t. Ours can’t.”

“The products themselves came in radically simplified packages, basic cylinders rather than the elaborate faux-crystal decanters of other brands. They bore whimsical instructions printed on the bottles in earnest, sans-serif typefaces.”

(Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool)

animation study - NCT U


I promised to upload these a long time ago, but life kinda got in the way. Better late than never amiright?

Anyway, onto the matter at hand. One of my projects last year was to illustrate a story using only letter forms. We could use any typeface and in any variation we chose. There had to be enough illustrations to span six pages, and we were only allowed to use one spot colour per page. 

Thus, Jay the Surfing Moose was born. All the illustrations above span two pages, are all made using only the Garamond serif typeface, and were inspired by the fantastic artwork in The Surfing Animals Alphabet by Jonas Cleasson. The project was really time consuming and at times frustrating, but it was also super rewarding, and it’s one of the few that I’m really proud of. I had this printed and bound at the end of the year, and Jay now sits proudly atop the bookcase in my bedroom. 

I hope you enjoy Jay’s Journey as much as I did.

Miraikan (Jap. “future museum”) Sign Program
Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Materials: sign panels made of translucent laminated glass, rear illuminated and treated with dotted glass grains.
Hiromura Design Office Inc. (est. 1987). Design Solutions.Kisho Kurakawa (1934–2007). Architecture. Tokyo, Japan.
Image © Nacasa and Partners Inc.

Sign Program innovations include “alphanumeric identification codes and pictograms [… and …] a new typographic monospace font with rounded terminals based on the sans-serif/humanist typeface of (Adrian) Frutiger” (Graphic Design & Archit., A 20th century History, pp. 232-3; Frutiger, A., p.172. 1976.).

Futura typeface

In typography, Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed in 1927 by German graphic designer Paul Renner. It was designed as a contribution on the New Frankfurt-project. It is based on geometric shapes that became representative of visual elements of the Bauhaus design style of 1919 - 1933. [wikipedia]


F R A N K by Bunch /

F R A N K is a limited edition typeface designed by Bunch and Alberto Hernández. It was created especially for the rebranding of Cerovski, (a print production studio) in 2013, then developed into a commercial full character set by Milieu Grotesque.
The sans-serif display typeface follows the formal tradition of lathe-milling, as used for modular stencils through a mono-linear, thick main stroke and geometric rounded endings. Following a talk by Assoc. Prof. Eric Kindel (University of Reading), the team were encouraged to explore the subject of stencils further, and after a very positive response to the Cerovski rebrand they evolved F R A N K into a font for all to use and play with.

F R A N K has 207 glyphs including a set of alternative glyphs and additional arrows and it is available as OpenType (postscript flavoured) and Web Open Font formats exclusively via type foundry Milieu Grotesque.

The team have launched a limited edition pack of 100 to accompany the 100 unique copies of the typeface purchased from Milieu Grotesque. The packs contain a 32-page specimen featuring an essay on the history of the stencil by Mag. art. Dr. phil. Thomas Maier, lecturer on typography and graphic design at the University of Art and Design in Linz (Austria), a brass stencil and the digital typeface itself. The specimens also feature embossings, perforations, foil blocking and textured paper to show the typeface at its best, making these very tactile and engaging.


For years I was looking for a typeface to replace Arial, especially in big bold titles. I made my version. Rayon is a sans-serif typeface in four weights (yet), all with small caps. This typeface intended for heading text, large inscriptions and logotypes. I also tried to escape of “condensed” effect, that many text fonts exposed to.

My initial design was a bit more wavy and fancy. I have used it for 2 months and then decided to made “more texty” version. I am still developing it. I’m working on condensed versions, light and black weights, cyrillic alphabet.

Why You Hate Google’s New Logo

When Google first appeared, in the late nineties, it distinguished itself with a combination of intelligence and friendliness. Other search-engine sites were as cluttered and garbagey visually as they were inefficient functionally, simultaneously trying to sell and inform and bamboozle. AOL, with its goofy mailbox, bulky structure, and overpriced hand-holding service for the terrified, was obviously up to no good. Others—Yahoo!, HotBot, Netscape, Ask Jeeves, and so on—seemed well intentioned but were harder to parse. Google’s design, in comparison, was a revelation. It had true confidence. It didn’t need to pretend to be the post office or a butler.

More from Sarah Larson on the problem with Google going sans-serif.

Photograph by Justin Sullivan / Getty