There’s an art to combining typefaces. When it is done well, the entire layout comes alive. Words become more legible, information feels organized and easier to understand, and the typography itself reflects a mood that is consistent with the message being conveyed. When it is done badly, it’s a jarring hodge-podge.
That’s why when we ran across this lesson on Hoefler & Frere Jones’s website, we had to bring it to you. (H&FJ, as most of you know, is one of the world’s foremost digital typehouses.) H&FJ’s overriding advice is: Keep one thing consistent, and let one thing vary.
1. Use typefaces with complementary moods to evoke an upbeat, energetic air.
Geometry, the mathematical study of shapes and their relative positions in space, lies at the heart of design and typography and the physical order of the universe. These posters by UK-based applied mathematician Simon C. Page for the International Year of Astronomy ’09 (IYA) depict the wonders of the universe through the use of simple geometric lines and circles. Page, a self-trained graphic designer, had originally created these images for a self-promotion piece, but the math-inspired art caught the attention of the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO, which asked to turn them into posters to promote the International Year of Astronomy’09, a global effort to raise awareness of astronomy. Retro in feel, Page’s posters aptly capture the beauty, dynamism, and mysterious orderliness of objects in space. They are available for sale from simoncpage.co.uk.
The Pentagram 365 Typography Calendar now celebrates its tenth year, prompting us to ask its originator Kit Hinrichs what drove him to create this now popular product.
What was your inspiration for the calendar?
I’ve long been an admirer of Massimo Vignelli’s iconic Stendig calendar, introduced in 1966. It’s classic Helvetica typeface is boldly graphic, contemporary and easy to read. If I may speak for Massimo, it was “Perfetto!” Yet as someone who loves and uses type, all kinds of type, I felt there was room for a wall calendar where the typography was in more than one face. So many people, designers included, have no idea who designed the beautifully crafted typefaces that are very much a part of our everyday life. I wanted to enable people to become more aware of type as a designed object.
Sometimes it seems insulting to call a television ad a “commercial,” especially when it feels like a very very short film on the making of installation art, akin to Christo’s red gates of Central Park. That’s how ABSOLUT Vodka’s “Anthem” ad struck us. Created by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, the ABSOLUT ad has a poetic quality that is magic to view. Shot at six different locations, the film presents vignettes of artisans creating gigantic installations of words shaped out of blocks of ice, wheat, 2,000 hanging ABSOLUT bottles, flying lanterns, gigantic balloons, and a myriad of glass cylinders. It’s entertaining enough to keep you from heading to the refrigerator during commercial break. The creative team included CCO/Art Director Mark Figliulo, Creative Director Rob Baird, Art Director Hoj Jomehri, and Director Rupert Sanders.