Ricardo: A Tale of Two Worlds

June 7, 2017Jasper de Waard David Ricardo (1772–1823) was a versatile man. A stock trader, politician and, most importantly, an economist. He is considered the first of the classical economists, thus symbolizing the transition from mercantilism to capitalism. While his theories are mostly derived from mathematical abstractions, he communicated his ideas in understandable, down-to-earth language. Besides a versatile man, Ricardo is also a versatile typeface that bridges the gap between geometrical and humanist typeface design. In broad terms, geometric typefaces express a certain conceptual clarity, a set of a few simple rules that seem to govern everything. In reality,...

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The First Cookbook

Recipes are as old as eating and recorded recipes date back to the invention of writing, with the most ancient examples from Mesopotamia, written in Akkadian cuneiform and dating to about 1750 BC. From late Imperial Rome, a collection of recipes from the late fourth or early fifth century, commonly referred to as Apicius, has survived via eighth- and ninth-century manuscript copies. Moreover, dozens of recipe books have survived from the Middle Ages, including the tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq and the fourteeth-century treatise on cookery and cooking techniques, La Viandier, written by Guillaume Tirel, chef to...

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On the Nature Things

May 9, 2017John Boardley FIRST EDITIONS It has been estimated that prior to the European invention of typographic printing in the mid-fifteenth century, some ten million manuscripts were produced.* During the incunabula (c. 1450–1500), some 30,000 editions were printed in as many as thirteen million copies. Thus, in the course of just fifty years, more books were produced than had been in the previous 1,000 years! But what did fifteenth century readers read? For the most part, Renaissance readers differed little from their medieval forebears. One third of everything published in the fifteenth century was religious in nature, and...

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The Evolution of Chromatic Type

April 3, 2017 Jamie Clarke Color fonts or chromatic type are not new. The first production types appeared in the 1840s,1 reaching a peak of precision and complexity a few decades later as efficiencies in printing enabled greater creative freedom. In 1874 William H. Page of Greeneville, Connecticut, published his 100-page Specimens of Chromatic Type & Borders2 that still has the power to mesmerize designers today. William H. Page & Co. The Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, Etc. Photos: Becca Hirsbrunner Chromatic effects are achieved by stacking two or more corresponding type styles on top of one another...

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6 tips for taking creative criticism

Icon by Cards for Humanity With just five days left of intensive two-week creative workshop Modual 2016, groups of students at the University of the Arts London are busy tackling self-initiated briefs to make positive social change. Each day from now on will end with students pitching to a range of industry experts, from social innovation investors to advertising executives as well as art and design journalists. This super fast-paced pitch-refine-repeat process was designed by Fred Deakin – creative veteran and current chair for Interactive Digital Arts at UAL – to give students a taste of the often hectic...

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3D Inception-style desk bends reality

This mind-bending desk is made from wood and steel Famed for its puzzling plot and distinctive visuals, the 2010 sci-fi film Inception provided the inspiration for this folded desk, created by Greek designer Stelios Mousarris. You’d be forgiven for thinking the intricate design is the product of hours spent in a clever photo editor. But no. The table was created out of steel and wood using 3D printing technology – and it isn’t as precarious as it looks. Thanks to some ingenious design work, this desk has been carefully weighted to make it sturdy and reliable, despite having an...

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TypeParis

March 17, 2017 Dave Coleman In my experience, life presents a fascinating series of opportunities, decisions and challenges, each of which impact us in different ways. Pushing and pulling us in various directions, and introducing new opportunities, decisions and challenges along the way. Of these experiences, one of the most special was my time at TypeParis. Discovering the program It was March 2015 that I first heard about TypeParis, thanks to a tweet from Gemma O’Brien. In hindsight, the timing couldn’t have been better. I had been hooked on type since early 2012, and would constantly draw letters during...

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Thesaurus

January 30, 2017 Fermin Guererro The concept behind Thesaurus goes back to 2014, when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree in visual communications at the Haute École d’Art et Design, Geneva. My final project, ‘Genèva’, was to be a type family inspired by the city of Geneva itself, an attempt to answer the question ‘If Geneva were a typeface, what would it look like?’ My research into Geneva’s typographical history led me to the fascinating work of the Estiennes, Robert (1503–1559), printer to King Francis I and later to the reformer John Calvin, and his son Henri (1528?–1598), the...

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The Prints and the Pauper

  In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg entered into an agreement with one Johann Fust, a Mainzer goldsmith and guildsman, to borrow a staggering 800 Rheingulden at 6 percent interest. Gutenberg’s sales pitch must have been convincing, for Fust would later testify that he himself had borrowed money in order to fund the loan. Gutenberg sank the money into his workshop and promptly defaulted upon the interest payments. Fust must have been incandescent in his rage, and yet, two years later, as recorded in the inevitable court judgment, he would go on to lend Gutenberg another 800 Rheingulden on the condition...

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