Monday, February 14, 2011

Type type type


Yes, Colonel Duck, I don't seem to be blogging much. Sorry. I'm in a bit of a slumpy void thing where I am hovering glumly between existences: break, teaching; old house, new house; busy, disengaged.

On Saturday I taught a lovely class of women how to do Asian Stab Bindings at the Belconnen Arts Centre. Here we are, doing lovely things:

On Sunday I slobbed around moodily before meeting up with the lovely people of the Hill End Press.

Tomorrow I will be back at the Book Stud, teaching a bunch of graphic design students how to REALLY handle typography.

As their teacher and I were discussing today, young people use typefaces intuitively because they've grown up with the ability to layout visual text on computers with a large (limitless?) choice of fonts.

Tomorrow they're going to find out what happens when there are only a few choices, only a few sizes, and in some cases, incomplete alphabets. They're going to discover that leading means just that: strips of lead of varying sizes that sit between the lines of type. That kerning isn't just an abstract concept, but real physical spaces that you can insert between letters, and sometimes have to insert because otherwise the letters overshadow each other and won't ink or print properly.


I'm also reading Just My Type by Simon Garfield, which seems to be the book on everyone's reading list at the moment. I wasn't fussed about buying it (it'll be on every second-hand shelf in the country in 12 months) but someone lent it to me, so I'm feeling very up-to-date and it is indeed a jolly good read. Having learned eons ago not to judge art by the private life of its artist (we're a weird mob) but I'll certainly never look at Gill Sans the same way!

So there you go. I'll leave you with some typographic kitty play:


The Elephant's Child said...

You have been missed. Loved the kitty play. The colour was wrong but without question Jazz would be the fu cat - or f me anyway. And I love him just the same. Weird.

When you move would you like some honesty (money bag) seeds to enrich your new home?

The Shopping Sherpa said...

I'm sure you

a) already know this or
b) don't want to know this

but I've just been told about Booko, an Australian site which checks the cheapest prices for books across the globe:

Scary indeed...

Mindy said...

*waves to Colonel Duck*. I hope someone falls in love with your lovely house soon Duckie.

Cat Drawings said...

The kitty typothingy had me laughing out loud.

Sounds like Miss Kate enjoyed the workshop. She's blogged it, too.

Ampersand Duck said...

Why, yes she has too:

EC, I'd love some honesty. You'll have to deliver it personally ;)

Thanks, Mindy, and SS!

elsewhere said...

Tell the Colonel you are blogging more than the rest of us (except maybe PC)>

Zarquon said...

More type via boing boing

And a book with links

Ampersand Duck said...

Aaah, that first one I've seen, and it's just freaky... can't even begin to think of how he worked out the folds.

The second one is BRILLIANT.


Penthe said...

Love those kitties. Hope the house selling is going better.

shadygrey said...

THANKS for posting the kitty thingy, I really did LOL, as the kids say. This week had been a bastard, so grateful for a larf.
Long time lurker, first time commenter,