When just about everyone has stopped printing type specimen books, the contrarian James “the first one hundred fonts are the most painful” Montalbano releases his 292-page tome, the TerminalDesign Type Catalog. Smartly bound in a black hardcover with an embossed red “t” as assertive as the man himself, the Catalog contains page after page of beautifully laid down ink detailing his prolific 27-year output at TerminalDesign.
Just as smart are Montalbano’s memorable and varied pangrams, and witty typeset excerpts from Moby Dick which gorgeously visualize the use of his 790 fonts, including the Clearview type system, used in highway signage all over the United States and acquired by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.
Not to be outdone by any other type specimen book, the Catalog includes handy indices comparing x-heights and earmark details amongst others, as well as Opentype alternates, and appendices of sample display and text pairings, making a typeface search a breeze.
Overall, Catalog is a well thought out and designed type specimen book, condensing 45-plus years of typographical goodness from the master.
James Montalbano is the principal of Terminal Design, a typeface and lettering design studio located in Brooklyn. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Print, Creative Review, ID, Wired, and is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He is a past president of the Type Directors Club (TDC), and teaches undergraduate typeface design at Parsons The New School for Design.