fonts

Photo credit: Oded Ezer

Art History Masterpieces Transformed Into Surreal Typefaces

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Typography and art nerds, this one’s for you. Israeli designer Oded Ezer (who we first spotted on Co.Design) enjoys playing with type to create unusual fonts — and he’s designed some humorous typefaces inspired by the annals of art history. Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa, and Michelangelo’s David are just a few of the famous artworks that Ezer transforms into type-friendly images. Fingers, facial hair, and phalluses are dissected from well-known paintings and sculptures to form letters, using the artwork itself as a backdrop. It’s a bizarre, but fun remix of art’s greatest masterpieces.
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Superheroes and Their Typographic Counterparts

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After enduring the SATs, we weren’t too fond of analogies in any form. Thankfully, artist Matthew Olin has all but erased our negative connotations with the semantic riddle. Olin, whose work we spotted on Design Taxi, uses analogies to make connections between famous fonts and even more famous superheroes. “The most distinguishing factor of any font is its characters,” Olin says of his typographic classifications. “Hidden beneath these characters, each typeface also has character — its own unique characteristics.” See a selection of Olin’s superhero-and-font pairings after the jump, and be sure to check out more of his thoughtful, analogical work here.
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Corporate Logos Get a Comic Sans Makeover

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Helvetica vs. Comic Sans: a typography battle for the ages. Sure, Helvetica looks pretty — cool and minimalist and not trying too hard. The little black dress of fonts. But the long-maligned Comic Sans has recently emerged as its scrappy, punk-rock nemesis, the kid who toughens up and starts wearing spikes because he’s sick of getting teased. (Exhibit A: “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.”) Enter the Comic Sans Project, a clever new Tumblr that states its mission as follows: “We are the Comic Sans Defenders. We fear no fonts and we will make the whole world Comic Sans. Because Helvetica is sooo 2011.” To that end, the blog is posting redesigned images of universally recognizable corporate logos, their trademark fonts replaced with Comic Sans. See a few of our favorite remakes after the jump, and follow the Comic Sans Project on Tumblr for more.
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Can Text Messages Become Art?

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In this age, anything’s possible. Last week, NYLON alerted us to T_XT_RT, a group exhibition at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York, which focuses on dissecting the changing relationship between text — especially the short, abbreviated texts of our modern age — and art. The exhibition explores this idea through a wide variety of mediums, from neon lights to repurposed GameBoys to altered books. Maybe this is the perfect way to make those 160-character missives we all love so much actually mean something. Click through to see a few highlights from the exhibition and check it out at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in NYC until June 25th.
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Five Fonts We Never Want to Read Again

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If a new study by Princeton psychologists is any indication, we’ll be seeing a surge in ugly typefaces within the near future. After switching out straightforward text book fonts for “disfluent” ones like Comic Sans and Haettenschweiler, the team of researchers found that students’ reading retention “significantly improved in naturalistic settings by presenting reading material in a format that is slightly harder to read.” Given the potential educational application of this evidence — as well as its inevitably misapplied implications — here’s a preemptive field guide to five of the most reviled typefaces we’ll regrettably be seeing more of soon.
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Daily Dose Pick: Alphabets: A Miscellany of Letters

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The new book from preeminent alphabet historian David Sacks combines eye candy, font fetishism, and sociological etymology in a lavishly illustrated love letter to the modern A-to-Z.

Sacks examines the development of written language from the ancient to the digital world, from Medieval illuminations to advertisements, and from fine art to boxcar tagging. The result is an engaging, encyclopedic romp through our collective visual history that celebrates human creativity and cultural expression not only in the use of the written word, but in its very invention.
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Daily Dose Pick: Retrofonts

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Taking the form of an antique type-specimen book, Retrofonts is a chronicle of the best type designs from last 150 years, with an accompanying CD containing 222 copyright-free fonts.

Munich-based graphic designer Gregor Stawinski compiled and categorized more than 360 fonts into nine chronological sections for the book, ranging from “Art Nouveau and Japonism” to “Postmodern and Punk.” The resulting 560-page volume is a compendium of the best examples of modern typeface, presented within a historical context that uses each font to visually represent a different zeitgeist.
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Does the Custom Typeface Match the City?

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Global-based web project CitID is enlisting the help of artists to give cities worldwide a typeface makeover. As they explain on their website, “Our hope is that creatives from around the globe will make a logo or a visual interpretation of the city closest to their heart.” We rounded up a few of our favorite designs from larger cities around the country to see if the fonts matched the local scenes; let us know what you think in the comments.
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