Monday, December 8, 2008

Typographic Rules and Terms

-- Parts of the grid: what are the following: margin, column, alley, module, gutter, folio.

COLUMNS that divide the page vertically into many sections and groups so each section is very individualized. The space between two columns of printed text is called a GUTTER.  Also the layout of the text creates a unique frame because of the strict order, which create blocks of text. These grids create frames for fields of text, which are known as MARGINS. The MARGIN creates a pristine barrier around a solid block of text. There are many layouts known as GRID MODULES, they are flexible structures, which serve as a skeleton to any mass of information, usually consist of many columns and rows. FLOW LINES are lines that help connect the flow of the text.

-- Why is there only one space after a period?

Fonts on a MAC have proportional character spacing and take up a proportional amount of space. A single space is enough visually to separate them and two spaces creates a big gap.

-- Why is the baseline grid used in design?

where all the letters sit. The is the most stable axis along a line of text, and it is a crucial edge for aligning text with images or with other text

-- What is x-height, how does it effect type color?

the main body part of a letter of the lowercase letter , excluding its ascenders and descenders

-- Define Tracking.

adjusts and affects the amount of spacing between characters

-- Define Kerning. Why do characters need to be kerned? What are the most common characters that need to be kerned (kerning pairs)?

The removal of space between characters to create visually-consistent letter-spacing.  Awkward spacing looks unprofessional and disrupts the communication of the words. 

HL - verticals next to each other need the most amount of space

HO - vertical/curve needs less space

OC - curve on curve needs very little space

OT - curve can overlap into white spaces under or above the bar or stem of a character

AT - closest kerning is done when both letters have a lot of white space around them

-- What is the difference between a foot mark and an apostrophe? What is the difference between an inch mark and a quote mark (smart quote)?

inch mark (")  quote mark (“ or ”)

footmark (')  apostrophe (’)

-- What is a hyphen, en dash and em dashes, what are the differences and when are they used.

Both the em and en are used in punctuation to provide a measurement for dashes.  

The hyphen (-) is smaller then an "en" and 1/3 of an "em" and it also serves as a compound modifier where two words become one (hyphenating words or line breaks).

 The en (–) dash is used to separate words ending induration (hourly time, months, or years),  pages numbers, dates, and to replace the word "to" in constructions implying movement. 

The em dash is twice as long as the en dash (—). Used in a manner similar to a colon or parentheses, or it indicates an abrupt change in thought, or its used in a spot where a period is too strong and comma is too weak. No space on either side of it.

-- What is a widow and an orphan?

Widow when a paragraph ends and leaves fewer than seven characters on the last line creates lone word called a widow. It is worse to leave part of a word.

Orphan is the final one or two lines of a paragraph separates from the main paragraph to form a new column at the top of the page.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Helvetica Movie

Before I watched Helvetica I never realized how frequent the font was used. After watching the movie, I realized that the Font Helvetica was used in so many advertisements and businesses. For example they flashed through New York City and almost every or every other sign or type, was done in Helvetica. It is such a simple and sophisticated font that works well with the style of designing today. In the movie, one speaker made a very interesting comment on graphic designers, he said that graphic designers are basically in charge of illustrating and interpreting the way people picture concepts or images in their mind, because they are in charge of designing what people visualize. Those are not his exact words, but I just liked the way he explained a graphic designer's job and importance. Overall, Helvetica was a very interesting movie on design that had a lot of speakers with excellent points and thoughts for the design world.  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jonathan Hoefler was born August 22, 1970 in New York, where he still remains today. His parents are Doreen Benjamin and Charles Hoefler.  His mother Doreen was from Yorkshire and bought imported groceries with English labels with type unlike anything Jonathan was familiar with seeing in the United States. This sparked his fascination with letterforms, which played a huge role in his future. Hoefler became a self-taught typeface designer and an armchair type historian who specializes in the design of original typefaces. His main inspiration was from his collection of antique type specimen books, because historical revival played a huge role in his early typography designs.

Hoefler did not go to college, but instead at the age of 18 founded The Hoefler Type Foundry in 1989, in New York City. Before opening up his own business, he spent one year working with the magazine and newspaper art director Roger Black. Black taught and introduces Hoefler to type specimes, which hes been collecting and using ever since. He designed and redesigned magazines, and his first typefaces were very suitable for magazine headlines. Hoefler educated himself very well on the history of typography that he took it upon himself to write a letter to Spy Magazine criticizing the magazines critique of postmodern typography. After opening up the Type Foundry, he received a commission and designed fonts for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, and Esquire. One of his early accomplishments was his typeface design Hoefler Text family of twenty-seven, which was a contemporary Antiqua font inspired by the seventeenth century baroque types of Jean Jannon and Nicholas Kis. It was designed for Apple Computer in 1991 in order to demonstrate advanced type technologies of the Mac, and is now appearing everywhere as part of the Macintosh operating system.


Hoefler takes so many factors into consideration when designing a typeface. These factors have changed since he has gained much more experience with type over the years. His first years were spent focusing on historical revival but his taste has somewhat evolved so he can create new styles. After ten years on his own, he teamed up with Tobias Frere-Jones in 1999. In 2004, the business was renamed as Hoefler and Frere-Jones Type foundry. They had been rivals and competitors for certain jobs and their alliance together was a very good solution for their careers. Since collaborating with a partner both of their thoughts and style are incorporated into the process of designing a typeface. "Working together has diminished by half the number of opportunities that are available to us individually," Mr. Hoefler said, "but it's doubled our ability."   Hoefler and Tobias have developed a routine to work together successfully, one way is to take turns over who has the micro and macro perspective on a project. They both find interest in late 19th century and 20th century, the Bahaus, and Morris Fuller Benton. Their collaboration has made history with the world’s leading publications, corporations, and institutions. Hoefler and Frere-Jones Type Foundry has grown into such a successful type design business, Time Magazine stated,“Hoefler and Frere-Jones create fonts that stand out with the clarity, elegance, and durability, of a well-cut diamond…. An H&FJ typeface is always exquisitely legible without sacrificing high style.”    

Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones have created over 1,000 fonts, but have only released 500 for Tiffany & Co., Nike, New York Jets, and the rock band They Might Be Giants. The ultimate duo works extremely hard in their development process. They vigorously research and carry around small notebooks everywhere they go. Hoefler and Frere-Jones are capable to reconstruct fonts from a few elements, which means they are not exactly creating a new font. For instance, one of their clients Bierut needed them to help reconstruct a font based on a few clues to create a new sign after the renovation of the Lever House in 2000. Bierut stated, “Here, they’re like anthropologists who can reconstruct a whole lifelike representation of an extinct beast from just a few random fossils.” Both of them were also needed in a similar situation, when they redesigned the fonts for the Wall Street Journal. Their job was to create the typeface Retina, which was supposed to be 5pt and used on the stock pages. Hoefler and Tobias analyzed 129 foreign and international papers. After coming up with the typeface they spent an extensive amount of time double checking and testing the font, so it could stand up to the effect of spread and ink squeeze that can happen in newspaper printing.  They always double-check and test their font solution so no one comes to them with a complaint or reason why they can’t use a particular font. They did everything they could to satisfy their clients and by doing this they have created a well-respected typography business.

In an interview with The Typographic Times Hoefler talks about what he specializes in and what influences his work.

 You’re known as a specialist of revival typefaces ? Why this specialization ?

It’s funny; I do think of myself as someone closely involved in historical revivals, but most of the work I’ve done in the past ten years has been outside the historical continuum. This has been especially so in the last five years, during which Tobias Frere-Jones and I have worked together. We always keep an eye on history, but we’re ever more interested in designing new typefaces rather than interpreting old ones.

The typeface history, before the 20th century (and even) is very European. Do you find historical materials to design typeface in the American printing heritage?

Absolutely! I suppose the most obvious example is my Knockout typeface, which is an interpretation of specifically American forms. Tobias and I are both really interested in late 19th and early 20th century American typefounding - the organization of the American Type Founders company (ATF) at the turn of the last century being an especially important event, as it pitted an old approach to typefounding against a new one. (Where 19th century typefounders anthologized as much as possible, 20th century ones tried to organize and rationalize what had been done.) The work of Morris Fuller Benton is especially interesting in this regard.

What are the other factors, except history, you take into consideration when you design a typeface?

History takes a back seat to the most important thing we consider, which is application. By this I’m talking not only about a typeface’s material considerations -- at what sizes it works best, in what sorts of media it will be rendered -- but what it’s for in the first place. We’d always 
rather begin a conversation about a new typeface by talking about application rather than history: the person who wants "a nice Bodoni" is probably going to be well-served by a typeface that already exists, though the one who wants a more legible stock listings page may actually need something new.

You have the reputation to design some very beautiful typeface specimens. Like the punchcutters of the past...

Thanks very much! It’s nice that you noticed -- I do labor over them quite a bit. One of the reasons I decided to start the business back in 1989 was that I was disappointed to see how typefaces were presented. I couldn’t think of anything more depressing than spending years of your life working on a new design, only to see it showcased as nothing more than an alphabet at twelve point. I really love using the typefaces that we produce here at H&FJ, and there’s nothing I look forward to more than getting to work with the fonts that we have in development. Mind you, as the library grows, it’s increasingly difficult to find novel ways of presenting new typefaces, but figuring out a solution is one of a designer’s great satisfactions.


Major businesses and corporations aren’t the only ones who rely on Hoefler and Frere-Jones, graphic designers are always stopping by in need for new fonts. This happens all the time since New York design community surrounds their type foundry, it is located on the intersection of Houston and Broadway.  They also have their information and fonts available on and this extends their business and allows them to be available to anyone. Hoefler has basically dedicated his life to his type foundry even his wife Carleen  takes part and works for the type foundry as it’s business and marketing manager. His hard work and dedication has paid off with all his awards and honorable mention. I.D. Magazine named the forensic typographer one of the forty most influential designers in America. He has award winning published original typeface designs for Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire. His work has also been exhibited internationally, and is included in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian Institution) in New York. In 2002, Hoefler received another remarkable mention, by received the most prestigious award from the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI), known as the Prix Charles Peignot for outstanding contributions to type design. Hoefler’s accomplishments and dedication has also earned him profiles in The New York Times, Time, and Esquire. Today, he still remains President of Hoefler and Frere-Jones Type Foundry, where he still dedicates his time to type design by creating new typeface designs and striving to reach his goals as a designer.

Hoefler’s Fonts

HTF Acropolis 1993, HTF Champion Gothic 1990, HTF Didot 1992, English Textura, Fell Type, HTF Fetish, HTF Gestalt, Great Primer Uncials, HTF Hoefler Text 1991, HTF Leviathan 1991, HTF Requiem 1992, HTF Saracen 1992, St Augustin Civilité , HTF Ziggurat 1991, Ideal Sans 1991, Mazarin 1991, Knockout 1994, Quantico 1994, Troubadour 1994, Guggenheim 1996, Kapellmeister 1997, Mercury 1997, Chronicle 2002. Whitney, Numbers 2006, Verlag, Topaz, The Proteus Project, Shades, Knox, Hoefler Tilting, Historical Allsorts, Giant, Archer (his main fonts, hundreds more listed on his website)

Hoefler Text (1991)


Oldstyle typeface

Characteristics: automatic ligatures, the round and long “s”, real small capitals, old style figures, swashes, ornamental

When Hoefler created Hoefler Text during a time where he wanted to show typography on its highest level. He blended characteristics from Garamond and Janson fonts to create a very descriptive font.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jonathan Hoefler


  • Born 1971
  • typeface designer and an armchair type historian who specializes in the design of original typefaces
  • 1989 Founded Hoefler & Frere-Jones, a type foundry in New York, which he shares with Tobias Frere Jones.
  • Hoefler is the President of the company
  • typeface designs for Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire
  • created the Hoefler Text family of typefaces, designed for Apple Computer and now appearing everywhere as part of the Macintosh operating system
  • his work has been exhibited internationally, and is included in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian Institution) in New York
  • In 2002 The Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) presented Hoefler with its most prestigious award, the Prix Charles Peignot for oustanding contributions to type design. Hoefler and Frere-Jones' collaboration has earned them profiles in The New York Times, Time, and Esquire.


"Hoefler and Frere-Jones create fonts that stand out with the clarity, elegance, and durability of a well-cut diamond.... An H&FJ typeface is always exquisitely legible without sacrificing high style." Time Magazine


sources so far:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Arts and Crafts Movement of the 1850s

The Victorian Arts and Crafts Movement was a result of the rejection of the heavily ornamented style which was very popular during the 1850s. This style was shown throughout interiors (mainly in England and America) with furniture, ornamental objects, and fringed cloth surfaces. 

The style of the Arts and Crafts Movement was started by William Morris because he favored simplicity, and good craftsmanship and design. The British artist and architect created a new style which is illustrated in the image of one of the chairs above. The one on the left shows the highly ornamented style of the Rococo era, in result Morris designed a much simpler version (on the right) because of his frustration and belief that mass produced objects take away from human creativity. 


Robert Prenzel wardrobe form the "Mathais Suite"

This wardrobe illustrates the hand craft and the link between beautiful work and the worker. This is was a movement that took place because of artists' rejection of the Industrial Revolution.

Quiz Question: Who is the artist or architect that was the leading exponent in the creation of the Arts and Crafts Movement?

Pictures and Information from:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Typography Terms*

Absolute measurements are measurements of fixed values and are expressed in finite terms that cannot be altered.

Relative Measurements happen when character spacing is linked to type size, which means that their relationships are defined by a relative measured series. 

Points is the unit of measurement used to measure the type size of a font, which refers to the height of the letter. One point = 1/72 of an inch or 0.35 mm.

Picas are a unit of measurement, and one pica = 12 points and 6 picas (72 points) = 1 inch. It is commonly used for measuring lines of type.

X- Height is the main body part of a letter, excluding its ascenders and descenders. 

The em is a relative unit or measurement used in typesetting to define basic functions, which makes it linked to the size of the type.  If thee size increases or decreases the em does the same. It is equal to the size of any given type and is used to defining elements such as paragraph indents and spacing.

The en is equal to half of one "em." 

Dashes ( hyphen, en, em) both the em and en are used in punctuation to provide a measurement for dashes.  The "hyphen" is smaller then an "en" and 1/3 of an "em" and it also serves as a compound modifier where two words become one. The en dash is used to separate pages numbers, dates, and to replace the word "to" in constructions implying movement

Alignments can either be justified which is when the word spacing on separate line is irregular, unlike range left type where all the lines have the same spacing. There is also flush left which is the same principle of handwriting and it is aligned to the left margin and ends ragged on the right. Flush right is less common and more difficult to read, and it is aligned to the right margin and jagged on the left.

Letterspacing is the addition of space between letters to improve the visual look of type and opens up the text. 

Kerning is the removal of space between characters.

Tracking adjusts and affects the amount of spacing between characters. 

Word spacing adjusts the amount of space between words. 

Widow lone word at the end of a paragraph (occurs in justified text.) 

Orphan is the final one or two lines of a paragraph separates from the main paragraph to form a new column and should be avoided at all costs.

Leading is a hot metal printing term that originates from the lead strips that were inserted between text measures in order to space them evenly.  Now it is the space between lines of text in a text block.

Indents are moving text in from the margin by a specified amount and provides easily accessible entry point to a paragraph. First line indent is when the text is indented from the left margin only in the first line of a paragraph.  A hanging indent is when the first line of the text is not indented but the rest of the paragraph is, its the opposite of first line indenting. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


In 1928 in Unterseen, Switzerland a famous type-designer named Adrian Frutiger. He began his education at the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts for three years. After that he moved to Paris in 1952 to be a type designer and artistic manager at Derbeny and Peignot. After a few years of work and three typeface creations later he created a sans-serif font known as Univers, which made him an internationally known type designer. The Univers type family made such an impact that every typesetting system in the world licensed it for their use. This was because he created a numbering system for weight and width for the 21-member font family, which became a guide for font designers of the next generation. The Univers Grid became known as the “intellectual springboard” because of it breaking and broadening of the – normal, bold, and italic. The grid and its layout allow much more detail with space. 

Frutiger likens it to a star; in the centre, there is a basic font face marked with number 55. Adjacent on the left and the right , are one unit higher or lower faces with always broader or narrower characters, but always with a ductus (stroke width) of the same thickness. On the other hand, there are adjacent faces in an upward or downward direction that are a tenth lower or higher with a ductus (stroke width) of equal thickness. Odd numbers mark the upright faces while even numbers mark the oblique faces. All characters are therefore logically connected and derive from one “prototype”.”

Since then he has created more than forty other fonts. Also, he was consultant for IBM and for the Stempel type foundry and then went on to be a professor for eighteen years. He has accomplished so much in his life including this year on his 80th Birthday when he came out with his latest type: frutiger serif. He has accumulated many awards and honors for his incredible talent, which he very much deserves.

*John Baskerville

John Baskerville was a well-known type designer and printer of the 18th century. He is and Englishman from Worcestershire and was born in 1706. He is known for his creation of a text that is modern, with level serifs and emphasizes the contrast of light and heavy lines. He discovered his talent while engraving tombstones at the age of 17. He began his business at the age of forty-four, which included his elegant styled Baskerville fonts and his invention of fine printing on woven paper. 

After many years of practice and after Cambridge University Press hired him as his printer, he produced a very successful Bible in 1763. He was known to be quite the perfectionist, which helped him out with creating such a successful technique that made such an impression on typography. His books were known to be quite large, with wide margins, and printed with excellent paper and ink. The styles of his page layouts were very basic when compared to Italian and French Renaissance printers. But after his death his basic style influenced Italy and France where Giovanni Battista Bodoni and the Didots used his ideas with their printing and font techniques. He was a very successful man who has impacted made a lasting impression on typography!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Designers and GRIDS

A Grid establish a system for arranging content within the space of a page, screen, or built environment. They also break space or time into regular units. Typographic grids are an effective and flexible formula that help maintain control. They are the basis for a designer's guide in generating a method of construction and layout. They help organize characters into their own block. The margins, gutters, and empty spaces create a frame. The work depends on the frame for its status and visibility because it makes it unique and different. Grids allow a designer to use their own framework in a simple way but at the same time it also allows them to have their own style and twist, because there are so many different ways to approach. Especially when it comes to all the different rulers, guides, and coordinate systems, which allows the structure to be so flexible, simple, or complex. The example above shows a very complex formulation of columns and rows, which are formed by the gutters and margins. Those empty spaces become the framework for the design layout and make it very unique and intriguing. The lower example is very simple and has less text, which means not all the boxes are filled with text. It shows the text in columned format and also in row format. Just by choosing to do such little things can make a big impact in layout and overall design. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

*Paul Rand*

Paul Rand is a very well known graphic design artist who helped orignate the Swiss Style and was also inducted into the New york Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972. He is known for his corporate logo designs he created in the 1950s and 1960s, which included logos for IBM, ABC, and UPS.

He attended three schools such as, the Pratt Institute, The Parsons School of Design, and the Art Students League. He created a cover for Direction magazine, which was a very crucial step in developing the "Paul Rand look." The art work con
sisted of barbed wire to show that the magazine was war-torn gift and crucifix. Over time, he became a great contribution to designing corporate identities through simplicity, which was one of his great strengths. He proved that even if you blur or manipulate his graphic works they can still be recognized, which is the need for "functional-aesthetic perfection."

From Impressionism
to Pop Art, the commonplace and even the comic strip have become ingredients for the artist’s caldron. What Cezanne did with apples, Picasso with guitars, Leger with machines, Schwitters with rubbish, and Duchamp with urinals makes it clear that revelation does not depend upon grandiose concepts. The problem of the artist is to defamiliarize the ordinary. - Paul Rand (

This concept or idea of "de-familiarizing the ordinary" played a huge role when Rand was developing his corporate identities to create a "lively and original" design. These designs
ihave a modern, and simple twist that have lasted years in their corporate businesses. (

Pictures Sources