Have you ever wondered who created all those fonts on your computer? Type Foundries are the companies where most of those letters come from. In the old days, type foundries manufactured metal and wood type. Nowadays, type foundries design and sell typefaces, mainly as digital fonts. 

Woodtype | Photo by Threehaus

Woodtype | Photo by Threehaus

MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan Foundry, Philadelphia. Photo via Type. A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles. Vol. I

The word font is sometimes used interchangeably with typeface. And to be honest, it’s very confusing. They don’t mean exactly the same thing, and it’s something I find difficult to explain myself. Luckily for me I found an article online with a simple explanation that I believe clears things up. (Thank you Google)

Nick Sherman’s analogy: The way I relate the difference between typeface and font to my students is by comparing them to songs and MP3s, respectively (or songs and CDs, if you prefer a physical metaphor).

Stephen Coles agrees: When you talk about how much you like a tune, you don’t say: “That’s a great MP3”. You say: “That’s a great song”. The MP3 is the delivery mechanism, not the creative work; just as in type a font is the delivery mechanism and a typeface is the creative work.

Here are a few very significant type foundries:

BertholdThis type foundry produced one of my favorite typefaces – Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk (1896)

The Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk Type Family

The Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk Type Family

To promote their products, type foundries create Specimen Books. Here are some beautiful samples of Berthold's books, originally posted by Process Type Foundry.

I could look through this kind of book all day long!

 

The Bauer Type Foundry:

Futura Specimen via Collecting and/or Curating

Fundición Tipográfica Richard Gans:

Landmark, an architectural letter via Hoefler & Co.

Ziggurat   Type Family  via Hoefler & Co.

Ziggurat Type Family via Hoefler & Co.

House Industries: This type foundry has always produced beautiful catalogs to promote their products. When I started my graphic design career, House Industries was THE type foundry. Now, they not only produce typefaces, but also clothing, housewares, and other really neat decorative items.

Image via  House Industries
Image via  House Industries

Image via House Industries

Posted
AuthorSusana Gay

We took a little weekend field trip to the Kennedy Space Center the other day. I found so many unexpected inspiring things while I was there. Seeing the space shuttle Atlantis in front of me – so massive, yet full of amazing detail. And of course, I couldn't help but notice the big Helvetica letters on the side, proudly spelling “Atlantis”. Yep, that's Helvetica, even in outer space!

Space Shuttle Atlantis – detail

Space Shuttle Atlantis – detail. Helvetica.

Space Shuttle Atlantis – detail. Tiles.

“The Firing Room” Mission Control, Kennedy Space Center

“The Firing Room” Mission Control, Kennedy Space Center

363-foot moon rocket – detail

363-foot moon rocket – detail


Sideshow Sign Co. is one of those companies I've watched grow rapidly. One day I found them, I looked at their site, stared at their work, dreamed of owning my own custom sign, and pinned the above S. Next day (exaggerating a bit) I go back with the purpose of placing an order and I find a note saying something in the likes of "We have more work than we can handle and we are not taking any new orders at this time" 

Now they have a completely new site, and they no longer list options for custom orders with affordable pricing. Instead, they show a gallery of their work – it's amazing of course. And, I can't help but notice some big names.

I have nothing but admiration for talented people that work their bottoms off (I'm a mom) and achieve greatness. All these images are from the Sideshow Sign Co. website. Visit them to enjoy more awesomeness.

(Ok. That's definitely an S, and maybe a G? Are these for me?? Could it be?? : D
Just keep dreaming… just keep dreaming... )

Posted
AuthorSusana Gay

I've been wanting to create a space where I can share some of the things that inspire me, or that I simply find interesting. So, I'm adding a little "blog" to this site.

I also want to be able to share resources here, books, ideas, things I've learned, or things I simply like. Design related of course. I'll let you know about new posts through my Facebook page. 

This is an open blog for anyone to see and enjoy. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Welcome! First post, out!

Posted
AuthorSusana Gay