Look at these characters! Gorgeous curves; the barest slivers of counterspace; lush, gently flowing volumes. Try to resist! When you finally give in, you can get it here.
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.
Anton Bolin used his time at TypeLab in the summer of 2015 to create Heaton, a typeface for users of live streaming online games. He also happens to play the bass for the Swedish hardcore punk band Pissjar, and as resident designer, was tapped to improvise a logo for an upcoming new album.
“I wanted to create a typeface for the cover that linked the sound of someone pissing with the band’s name, so I decided to make use of my own bladder,” says Bolin. “After experimenting with different techniques and materials, I stapled a set of bed sheets, which could contain the liquid for a perfect amount of time, over a remodeled picture frame. The process was simple: empty my bladder onto the stretched fabric, hope that I get the shape right, then photograph my creation as quickly as possible because the lines get distorted after about seven or eight seconds.”
It soon became apparent that a logo wasn’t enough, so Bolin decided to go for the full alphabet. Over the course of six months and approximately 300 work sessions in his shower (sorry landlord), he had an all-caps alphabet that looks, well, like piss. Let us all shower him with praise.
Pissjar the typeface will be available for free download in April. And in the spirit of punk, a D.I.Y guide will be included so the kids can try this at home. If you want to hear Pissjar the band, click here.
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