June 2021, Type Digest

Best-designed books in the world, hibernated bespoke type project, new largest independent font distributor, and how Facebook will drive type designers out of job

July 6, 2021

Typefaces of June as chosen by TypeCache

Every day, Akira Yoshino, Taro Yumiba, and Shohei Itoh inform TypeCache.com’s followers on new type releases. Here are the key novelties of the past month, according to them.


Tipo Fusão


The Brazilian magazine Tupigrafia (named after tupi, the largest indigenous tribe of the country) has no shortage of compliments received: Hermann Zapf pointed out that ‘there is no other publication showing such typographic fireworks’, Robert Bringhurst called it ‘a lesson in how to use the eyes and how to link them to the hands’, while Steven Heller (Print Magazine) considers them ‘probably the best professional media on type and typography’. The Italian publisher Lazy Dog Press has prepared an English-language edition of the best and most beautiful materials of Tupigrafia: Brazilian art deco and modernism, xylography and calligraphy, compositions from letraset, bossa nova album covers, lettering for Amazonian river fleet, and more. The amount required for issuing the thing was raised on Kickstarter, books will be ready by September.


Facebook teaches robots to reconstruct any typeface


Facebook software engineers presented their TextStyleBrush project — an engine capable of reading a font on the photo and then reproducing another text in this font. This innovation can be used for machine translation — this way, the user will receive not only the meaning, but also the intonation of the initial message. The examples of TextStyleBrush in use look impressive — the robot is quite convincing in imitating even complex typefaces.


Warhammer, Warchaos


Luke Prowse of NaN.xyz designed a bespoke typeface for Total War Warhammer III — stylistically, the new game is slightly more reserved, but still grim and brutal, as befits the Warhammer universe. The Chaos typeface has modern proportions, blade-like serifs and tapered strokes, exotic details, and three optical sizes. At large sizes, the type is wicked and weird, while at medium and small sizes it is a bit less toothy — yet creates a subtle, shimmery texture.


Our new release: Grato and Gratimo


TypeMates designed, and we released two related geometric typefaces, Grato and Gratimo. Each has two subfamilies: Classic (with details à la humanist sans serifs, such as Gill Sans), and Grotesk (which is more like more mechanistic typefaces such as Akzidenz Grotesk). Grato is a very bid, rather display family with a rounded о and short lowercase glyphs. Gratimo is intended for copy and UI, with its constructions and metrics adapted for small sizes.


Three forms


Esh Gruppa unveil a graphic identity for Form architectural bureau — the new logo has three versions, in accordance with three key subjects of the firm (community, method, projects). A non-contrast stenciled, an almost humanist, and an angular geometric sans serifs are brought together into one variable file. The lead designer of the project is Anastasia Cherepanova, who earlier ran our Instagram.




The research and development department of The New York Times (that is, coders and scientists doing journalism) made a dynamic wordmark for themselves — it is set in Karnack Black (as well as the names of other departments) and changes in real time based on the activity of the department. For example, some parameters of graphics depend on the amount of latest GutHub commits and the number of team members active in Slack.


Typographics 2021: get under the hood, look up in records


If you have read our previous digest, you certainly visited the website of Typographics 2021 — one of the largest conferences of the year that took place during the entire first half of June. The key showpiece at the site are animated headlines based on Gridlite typefaces — now Typographics made a playable showcase of them. In other news, the Cooper Union posted a video from the fifth day of the conference — it addressed Cyrillic, was curated by Ilya Ruderman, and featured Russian type designers.


Altertype: how to make a typeface when faced with extreme technical constraints


Simon Renaud set himself a challenge of creating a typeface with extreme technical limitations: minimum file size, minimum amount of points and curves, minimum kerning — though with historically justified forms, legible at small sizes, and suitable for coding. The resulting Altertype is 7 kilobytes, has 680 nodes, three kerning pairs, 57 glyphs (lowercase only). Type design is not always about complexity and abundance.


Damoli and Yukechev present their research on Renaissance type


The Plantin Institute of Typography publishes a talk of Anna Damoli and Eugene Yukechev recorded for last year’s ATypI All Over conference. Supervised by Frank E. Blokland, Anna and Eugene studied roman and italic typefaces of Robert Granjon searching for the common model for systematisation — such a tedious and deep work allows for better understanding ancient times and designing far more thoughtful contemporary typefaces.


Best Book Design From All Over The World 2021


The German Stiftung Buchkunst (Book Art Foundation) announced the winners of the competition called the Best Book Design From All Over The World. The jury of four design duos (Pixelgarten, 2xGoldstein, Studio Pandan, Slanted publishers) made their choice after carefully considering 500 editions submitted to Frankfurt. The top prize, Golden Letter, was awarded to the book of illustration by the Korean artist Yu Jeong Eom, while the Bronze Medal and Honorary Appreciation correspondingly were awarded to two Cyrillic books — operating manual for an Aspekt electric generator (designed by Yan Zaretsky) and an edition of The Remarkable Rocket by Oscar Wilde (designed by Stepan Lipatov, illustrated by Svetlana Shuvaeva, published at V–A–C Press).


The New Art Of Making Books


Publishing As Practice is a documentation of three residential programmes at Ulises, a bookstore and cultural space in San Francisco. This book includes The New Art Of Making Books, a manifesto by Ulises Carrión, which is also republished at Design Observer. Despite having been written in 1975, it rings no less important today:

‘In the old art the writer judges himself as being not responsible for the real book. He writes the text. The rest is done by the servants, the artisans, the workers, the others.

In the new art writing a text is only the first link in the chain going from the writer to the reader. In the new art the writer assumes the responsibility for the whole process.

In the old art the writer writes texts.

In the new art the writer makes books’.

Logo and type for the Yermolova Theatre


Shuka Brand Bureau presented an identity and typeface for Moscow-based Yermolova Theatre. The image of the theatre founder from the preceding logo turned into a recognisable wicked Е — while the other letters are designed in the art nouveau style, but with contemporary, even more dramatic graphics. First iteration of the project was just the wordmark, which the theater then asked to transform into a full-fledged graphic identity — but this is when the pandemic struck, and works were put on hold. However, Shuka have completed the bespoke typeface and are willing to bring the entire project to fruition.


Cyrillic on Google Fonts: Old-style serifs


We examined another portion of Cyrillic-supporting types at GoogleFonts. This time we address old-style serifs — as it turns out, there are not so many of those, but almost all of them are of acceptable quality.


I Love Typography, now a store


The blog by John Boardley (with almost half a million followers on Twitter!) is not just a blog anymore: ilovetypography.com turned into a huge independent type store. The CEO of the enterprise is Nadine Chahine — a University of Reading graduate, PhD at Leiden University, founder of Arabic Type. In her interview to Print Magazine she highlights CEDARS+ — the search system at ILT, that sorts typefaces by Contrast, Energy, Details, symmetry Axes, Rhythm, Structure, and more. Today the storefront offers 7,000 fonts from 40 studios (among them, 15 first runs); Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, and Devanagari.

This June our Instagram was curated by Sholotch design community

Thanks to them for the explosive videogame fan arts. For July, we handed the keys over to Anna Baydinger.