TYPO TALK in Mainz in March

As part of their ON-TYPE exhibition, the Gutenberg-Museum in Mainz will hold a two-day lecture series entitled TYPO TALK on March 21 and 28, 2012. I’ve been invited as one of three speakers to present on the 21st. The series organizer, Marcel Häusler shared some information with today that I am pleased to translate into English for TypeOff. readers. Unfortunately, I will only be in Mainz for the first evening – on March 21st – but both dates are sure to prove interesting.

These days, there are more typefaces available than ever before. More and more typefaces are being designed every day. The TYPO TALK shines a light on the world of type design. The lecture series will help illustrate the work of type designers and their processes, all the way from the creation of new typeface concepts to their final uses on screen and in print.

During each of the two TYPO TALK evenings, three type designers will present their work. Each will use the example of one of their typefaces to communicate an image of themselves as designers, highlighting their personal ideas and intentions, showing what inspires and motivates them, and allowing the audience as much of a view into their studios as possible. The speakers all come from a variety of backgrounds and include, for example, a Linotype employee, a graphic designer who creates typefaces for his personal work, and a young designer only just beginning his career, but with a few typefaces already available.

The audience will have the ability each evening to talk to each of the speakers, and get to know them better.

This event is organized by the Gutenberg-Museum Mainz, together with Marcel Häusler, Arthur Ruppel, Alice Schaffner, Daniel Kalbfuß, the Fachhochschule Mainz, Prof. Dr. Isabel Naegele, and the institut designlabor gutenberg. Linotype GmbH is a partner, and Slanted is a media partner.

Posted at 2pm on 02/27/12 | Comments Off | Filed Under: News Items read on

The History of My Commute

Since January 1, 2012, Mark Simonson has been putting all other type bloggers to shame – his New Year’s Resolution was to post every day, and he’s been keeping pretty good on his word. My last TypeOff. post, in comparison, was on October 13, 2011!

Today, however, he moved me out of my complacency by posting a history of his commutes, from 1976 to the present. I can only go back to 1999 with this counter-post.

  • 1999: 45 minutes by car from Providence, Rhode Island to Taunton, Massachusetts
  • 2000: 20 minutes by car from Providence, Rhode Island to Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • 2000: 30 minutes by El. train/foot from Chicago (Belmont) to Chicago (Navy Pier)
  • 2001: 20 minutes by car from Central Falls, Rhode Island to Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2001: 25 minutes by foot from Providence, Rhode Island (East Side) to Providence, Rhode Isand (West Side)
  • 2002: 60 minutes by train from Baltimore, Maryland to Washington, DC
  • 2003: 60 minutes by S-Bahn from Wiesbaden to Offenbach
  • 2004: 90 minutes by S-Bahn from Wiesbaden to Bad Homburg
  • 2007: 60 minutes by S-Bahn from Offenbach to Bad Homburg
  • 2009: 330 minutes by train from Berlin to Bad Homburg
  • 2011: 90 minutes by train from Berlin to Braunschweig

I win, Mr. Simonson!

Posted at 2pm on 02/15/12 | 3 comments | Filed Under: Miscellaneous Articles read on

Side Notes

  • In addition to my ongoing design projects – and my work and research in Braunschweig – I’ll be in Darmstadt once a week October–February, too. For the fifth time, I’ve been invited to teach an intro to type design course at the Hochschule Darmstadt. This semester, it will be two classes; the same course repeated back-to-back, due to the extremely high-level of student interest in the topic.

    Thomas Phinney wrote to me once that, “offering a course type design in Darmstadt is like going to Jerusalem to teach religion.” This may indeed be so; to walk down the path a little bit, my students and I will spend our semester looking into more of Darmstadt’s typographic tradition. We’ll be visiting the rare books department of the TU Darmstadt library, where the Kleukens Collection is housed. And of course, we will also pay another visit to Haus für Industriekultur, to look at Monotype matrices and freshly-cast metal type fonts from the old Stempel and Haas foundries.

  • Mota Italic’s Rob Keller just informed me of the launch of a small new web project called Type in Berlin. The site states that, “Berlin is the current type capital of the world with more type designers and foundries than anywhere else. There is always something type-related going on or some new local announcement.” Keep tabs on the site for news about all Berlin type goings-on, or to see an up-to-date list of all the type designers and foundries currently in the German capital. I recommend following Type in Berlin on Twitter, too – @typeinberlin

  • I’m almost afraid to admit it. Several months ago, I ordered a copy of the UK first edition of Simon Garfield’s Just My Type. I read it rather quickly, and even enjoyed some of it, although the amount of factual errors and oversights in the text was completely maddening. Paul Shaw has written up a review of the book’s failings better than anyone else probably could; if there were an option print out his article to sign like a petition, I would do so.

    Nevertheless, I got an e-mail last week about a podcast from the Copyright Clearance Center. Despite the odd-sounding name, the message led me to an interesting 20-minute interview with Simon Garfield. You can listen to it here – http://beyondthebookcast.com/just-my-type

    Nice moments in the interview include a story about how Helvetica (the film) inspired Just My Type. It is also swell to learn about just how much Garfield likes Helvetica (the typeface). Unfortunately, the not-true story about Cyrus Highsmith’s “day without Helvetica” is repeated. The same page that I link to above has a crazy, minute-long animation advertising the US edition of the book, put together by Penguin USA; the film is worth a look. Without spoiling too much, it shows the compound word “JustMyType” in a whole lot of different typefaces.

  • I love Chris Herron Design’s recent rebranding of Hell. You know, Hell-as-in-the-oppposite-of-Heaven. Without getting all nit-picky, I need to point out that Mr. Herron seems to have one or two of the facts on his research timeline wrong. As is surely no surprise to most TypeOff.-readers, Hell went through a rebranding in 1990, as the result of an acquisition. At that time, they changed their 1980s name and logo from this to this.

  • I’ve been trying to pick up my blogging tempo over the past few weeks. In addition to new stuff here on TypeOff., I been writing posts elsewhere, too. You can check out my Interview with Doug Wilson from Typo Berlin as well as a bit about a 1961 BBC radio broadcast on Eric Gill; these are each up on Linotype’s Blog. At Ghostarmy, I have a round-up of the Mota Italic Gallery’s second exhibition, Type Masters.


Dan Reynolds is a typeface designer and typographic researcher in Berlin. TypeOff.™ – this blog – launched in 2004; it was founded by a collective of typography students in Offenbach, Germany. The members of this team have each moved on to better things, but the »Offenbach Typostammtisch« inaugurated by the group still meets occasionally.

Most text here is currently set with a custom webfont forked from the font family that would eventualy become the Malabar typeface. Information about this webfont may be found here.