When you think of it, words get in the way of appreciating typography. You find yourself reading what’s said and paying scant attention to the characters from which the words are composed. In fact, idiosyncratic typefaces can be distracting and irritating if you are trying to read long passages. Type should affect the reader on a subliminal level, adding to the reader’s enjoyment, not stressing the eyes or competing for the reader’s attention. But as graphic forms, typefaces can be beautiful, elegant, whimsical, futuristic, historic, geometric, sculptural, and even funny, if you count Comic Sans. Used as a design element, quirky fonts can add a lot of spice to a page.
About 10-12 years ago, designer Kit Hinrichs, a rabid typophile, wanted to raise public appreciation of type as art, and came up with the idea of creating the 365 Typography Calendar. The calendars first came out under Pentagram when Kit was a partner in the firm, and now are produced under Studio Hinrichs. In 2013, Kit invited a few American members of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) to submit some of their favorite faces, and in 2014, he looked to AGI members who live in other parts of the world. A sampling of 2014 typefaces includes February’s Constitutional Court, designed by South African Garth Walker, principal of Orange Juice Design in Durban. As its name implies, the face was created to serve as the signage and wayfinding system for the new courthouse on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, which now sits on the site of an infamous Apartheid-era prison. Walker designed the font to document the hand-lettered characters that he had seen on the prison walls. April’s Bodoni Classic, the font chosen by Australian designer David Lancashire, is a cut of Giambattista Bodoni’s 18th-century face that Gert Wiescher re-drew in 1993. September’s ABF Lineaire Medium was originally drawn by French designer Philippe Apeloig for the French Library Association.
The 2014 Typography Calendar is available via the Studio Hinrichs website.