Welcome TypeManiacs!

I’ve been a type lover for about 40 years, studying type catalogs (mostly cold type, but also foundry, dry transfer, PostScript, and TrueType) and using typography for my graphic design and web clients.

For the last year or so, I’ve wanted to blog about type, but hadn’t actually gotten around to it until I saw an article that suggested that people find material set in Baskerville is more believable than the same text set in other faces. (Thanks to my friend Warren for the heads up).

I’m happy to say that an old friend and fellow type lover will be blogging with me under the name “Matrix.” And, of course, other type lovers are invited to weigh in, too.


How Futura Became The Most Ripped-Off Typeface In History

Companies from Best Buy to Forever 21 use Futura, but probably not the original. That’s because it has been endlessly reimagined, imitated, and blatantly ripped off.

Thanks to MrMild, our Chief Investigative Typographer, for bringing this article to our attention. It’s a bit breathless, but still a fun read for lovers of type.

Source: How Futura Became The Most Ripped-Off Typeface In History | Co.Design


Meet the Font Detectives Who Ferret Out Fakery

A quiet side business among typography experts is every kerning nerd’s dream job—and a surprisingly high-stakes game.

Thanks to a certain retired writer from up North for sending us this article about lawsuits that turn on font identification — and the font experts who are hired to testify.

Source: Meet the Font Detectives Who Ferret Out Fakery | Backchannel


A fake font download installs malware on your computer

One of the most common malware campaigns from compromised websites is known as EITest and has traditionally been redirecting victims towards exploit kits. But it also has an alternate payload for browsers other than Internet Explorer, specifically for Google Chrome, where it tricks users into downloading a fake font file.

Source: A story of fonts by the EITest HoeflerText campaign – Malwarebytes Labs

Hat tip to our Internet Security Correspondent “Mr Mild.”


Typography Can Save Lives

According to Lena Groeger of ProPublica, “type choices are a big deal — and can, in fact, have life or death consequences.”

See the article from ProPublica entitled “How Typography Can Save Lives.” It’s full of interesting tidbits, e.g. why big blocks set in ALL CAPS are still so common.

Apparently, the U.S. government defines “conspicuous” as “a heading in capitals equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text.” Why? Because back in the day of typewriters, capital letters were the only emphasis option available.

Graphic illustration of the changes made to a humanist typeface by MIT and Monotype.

MIT collaborated with Monotype to design a typeface that cuts down on driver distraction. A square-shaped typeface (Eurostile) on top compared to the humanist typeface (Frutiger) on the bottom. Source: Monotype Imaging.

Personally, I’m delighted to know that NOAA, the National Weather Servce whose forecasts I consult every day, has made their hazardous weather alerts legible. Now I’ll be able to find Rockingham County in a list of affected counties ten times faster.