12 Dec 2016 admin
A Worldwide Scavenger Hunt For Type Nerds
It’s hard to escape Futura type. Especially in Europe, it’s everywhere you look. In part, its popularity is due to the fact that it was the first geometric gothic typeface, as well as the first sans serif typeface to be cast and produced in all weights, grades, and fonts. This seems to have ensured its wide appeal, from corporate logos to movie posters.
We all have particular types that we love or loathe, but Futura seems to inspire particular loyalty. So much so that German graphic designers have created an online space to “hype the type” – a website where people can post images of examples of Futura type that they’ve found. You can check out the site below:
Futura type website
The prevalence of Futura type inspired the name of the site: “Futura type trap”. Examples have flooded in from type nerds all over the world. So far, South Africa is sadly under-represented so if you know your serif from your sans-serif, get looking and get snapping.
Futura was inspired by the rational geometric patterns of the Bauhaus movement. Originally created in 1927, it has exhibited remarkable staying power. This was also the year of the first solo transatlantic flight, the first talking movie, and when two staples of modern domesticity were invented: colour TV and the pop-up toaster.
The Futura Type Trap project aims to honour the legacy of the designer of Futura, Paul Renner, and to highlight the continued relevance and usefulness of his type in today’s world.
As with many crowdsourced projects, there’s a competitive element to this scavenger hunt. The website’s “top spots” feature showcases outstanding examples of Future usage, while cities are ranked by the number of examples submitted. Unsurprisingly, Germany leads the way.
The website’s approach is simple. Type nerds are encouraged to find examples of Futura, photograph them, and upload them to the site. Location data from the smartphone is used to plot the images on the type-trap map. Billed immodestly – but almost certainly accurately – as the biggest global hunt for the Futura typeface, this project is heaven for type nerds but quite possibly incomprehensible to anyone else.
It seems that this hobby has yet to catch on in South Africa, despite this being a design-obsessed nation where words – and how they are written – are of great significance in telling our stories. In fact, not one single found example of Futura typeface has been uploaded from anywhere in Africa.
We’re just days away from the 90th anniversary year of Futura typeface. This is a font that deserves better. So, we’re calling on all type nerds to get out there, and put South Africa on the map. Futura was the future once; don’t let it become the past.
12 Dec 2016 admin
The Harvard Library That Protects the World’s Rarest Colours
Harvard University is renowned for its library collections, but one in particular is rather more colourful than most. Compared to mouldy stacks of monochrome printed textbooks, the Forbes Pigment Collection gives the impression that its thousands of small glass jars are filled with ground-up rainbows. The collection began with the twentieth-century globetrotting of Edward Forbes, who wanted to catalogue the pigments used in classical Italian paintings and tell cunning fakes from genuine masterpieces.Whereas today, colour is almost entirely digitised, it was formerly the preserve of ‘colourme ...
12 Dec 2016 admin
Architecture that’s built to heal
A great deal of architectural talent and energy goes into designing iconic, sculptural buildings, which can add to the aesthetic identity of a place but are often far removed from most people’s daily life, and the issues which concern them - such as their health.At the same time, many of the structures designed for health purposes, especially in developing countries, were achieving the exact opposite. Patients visiting badly-designed hospitals were returning home with new, more virulent infections – or not at all. Healing was either delayed or incomplete and this was in part due to the arc ...