Emigre at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 11.11.2011
The Emigre typeface Base 900 and the book Emigre No. 70: The Look Back Issue were selected to be featured in the exhibit Graphic Design: Now in Production at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. This major international exhibition explores how graphic design has broadened its reach dramatically over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely deployed tool.
Graphic Design: Now in Production is the largest museum exhibition on the subject since the Walker's seminal 1989 exhibition Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History in which Emigre's work was also represented.
Emigre at Victoria & Albert Museum, London 10.12.2011
Emigre magazine issues #10 and #11 are included in the exhibition Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. This exhibit, which features work by the likes of Peter Saville, Frank Gehry, Philippe Starck, Robert Venturi, and Ettore Sottsass, sets out to answer the questions "What does postmodernism mean, and where did it come from?" And while some of its participants have tried to distance themselves from postmodernism, Emigre is proud to have been an active participant in this controversial movement which continues to defy definition.
Read Rick Poynor's review of the the exhibition here.
Emigre at Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC 10.10.2011
All 13 typographic labels designed for the Historia type specimen are included in the exhibit Deep Surface: Contemporary Ornament and Pattern at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC. Curated by Denise Gonzales-Crisp and Susan Yelavich the exhibition is comprised of works from 42 international designers and artists and speaks to the pervasiveness and relevance of pattern and ornament in graphic design, industrial design, fashion, furnishings, architecture and digital media.
Emigre Fonts PDF Catalogs 09.13.2011
Emigre's award winning type specimen catalogs are now available for free as downloadable PDF files. Many have been long out of print and some have reached collector item status. So if you haven't received these in the past, or have lost your copy, here is your opportunity to receive these beautifully designed type catalogs delivered directly to your computer for immediate typographic perusal.
Dutch Treat 06.06.2011
Rudy VanderLans couldn't be more proud of the latest Emigre typeface release. Alda, designed by Berton Hasebe, was conceived and developed at VanderLans' Alma Mater, The Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. "This typeface wears its local heritage on its sleeve," said VanderLans. "It exudes Dutch type design to such a degree, it makes me feel homesick. It has that beautiful combination of being both robust and elegant. It's a great text typeface. I can't wait to use it in some of my own designs." See if you can beat VanderLans to it by purchasing your own copy of Alda right now.
A short interview with Hasebe about his experiences at KABK is posted in our essays and interviews section. (Photo of KABK building, The Hague, by Hyo Kwon.)
Neon Suburban 05.26.2011
Jonathan Hoefler sent us this wonderful example of Suburban at a coffee house around the corner from their office called La Colombe. We never imagined neon as a viable application for Suburban when we designed it, but it works remarkably well. Our hats off to whoever produced that sign.
The Legibility Wars are Over and the Winner is... 05.22.2011
Twenty years after we first published our thoughts on legibility in Emigre magazine, the rest of the world is finally catching up. We raised a lot of eyebrows in those days. Our less than neutral layouts and jarring typeface designs were criticized and dismissed as self indulgent and were deemed to interfere with the readers' ability to read texts and comprehend messages. The opposition to our experiments was so vehement that the ensuing battle was referred to by many as "The Legibility Wars."
Well, it turns out that researchers have found what we suspected all along: that slowing the reader down actually helps them concentrate harder and retain more information. Disfluency, as the researchers call it, improves retention. Or as The New York Times put it: "...people retain significantly more material when they study it in a font that is not only unfamiliar but also hard to read."
Of course we're not absolutists on this issue, and we're highly skeptical of findings by researchers who have little knowledge of the complexities of type and design. But it was always obvious to us that there's more to effective typography than simply making things legible.
Books of Excellence 05.21.2011
When the AIGA decided to discontinue their annual design competition, "50 Books/50 Covers," in early 2011, members and non-members alike reacted en masse. Designers and publishers love the printed book, and a public petition to save "50/50" resulted in over a thousand signatures in only a few days convincing the AIGA to reinstate the popular competition.
It's inspiring to see this passionate interest in the art of traditional book making. And we're proud to be a part of this long running event, as Emigre and its publisher Gingko Press have been on the receiving end of two "50/50" Certificates of Excellence. In 2010 we received one for Emigre No. 70: The Look Back Issue. And in 2001 the award was bestowed on Supermarket.
Bitmapped Maple 04.20.2011
It is more than 20 years ago since Zuzana Licko, in reply to a skeptical question about the viability of her bitmapped typefaces in print applications, said: "why did letter press type start to look a certain way, and why was that eventually accepted? Not because people were reading the type off the bed of the letterpress. They were still reading it off the printed page. That didn't have anything more to do with casting lead than it does with computer chips today, but that's where it comes from, and that's what we've gotten used to."
Not to further complicate the issue, but if you're so inclined you can now read Licko's trademark bitmapped screen type off the bed of a letterpress as well.
These wonderful wood letters of Oakland (renamed Lo-Res in 2001) were created by Evan Christie, a student at Juliet Shen's Level 1 Typography class at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, WA. "Typefaces of the past, many of which are now staples of modern graphic design, took physical form as moveable type," said Evan. "I wanted to use a typeface that was never meant to take physical form, and Oakland was the perfect typeface to use because it embodies the birth of the digital era where nothing is tangible." Christie milled the maple down to type height and etched the letters in long strips using an epilog laser engraver. They were then cut off the strip into individual blocks.
It doesn't resolve any legibility issues, but it resulted in some beautiful prints and brought a smile to Zuzana's face. Thanks Evan!
(A flurry of attention has resurrected Oakland as of recently, as it is also one of 23 digital typefaces recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art in New York.)
A Note on the Type 03.15.2011
The traditional practice of crediting fonts is a lost art today. Type designers are largely resigned to the notion of toiling in obscurity. So imagine our delight when the best-selling British author Simon Winchester himself contacted us to verify the accuracy of his colophon "A Note on the Type" to be published at the end of the text in his latest book Atlantic published by Harper Collins. The text of the book was set in Filosofia. And we couldn't be more grateful for the thoughtful acknowledgement.
Here's what Winchester wrote:
"The typeface employed throughout this book is a modern interpretation of the classic eighteenth century Bodoni face, and known as Filosofia. This was created in 1996 by the Bratislava-born type designer Zuzana Licko, who with her Dutch-born partner Rudy Vanderlans astonished the typographic world during the closing decades of the 20th century with a whirlwind of type design, largely occasioned by the invention of the Macintosh computer in 1984. Filosofia, with its slightly bulging serifs and lighter-than-classical-Bodoni vertical lines, clearly owes much to one of the most beloved of all Italian faces, but is more amiable and less wearing to the eyes when ranged over texts as lengthy and complex as that of Atlantic. I am proud that this book's designer felt able to employ this wonderful new typeface, and applaud with gratitude its most gifted creator. - SW"
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Base 900 PDF Catalog
Emigre at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
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Emigre Fonts PDF Catalogs
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Books of Excellence
A Note on the Type
Emigre Typefaces Enter MoMA Design Collection
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