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2023: the year of typography

This newsletter has perhaps found its way into your inbox a bit too far into January to wish you “happy new year”, but hey, I’m going to go for it anyway. Happy new year to you, and thanks so much for returning! Personally, I could’ve done with a longer rest in many ways, but there’s so much new stuff on the horizon, I’ve been eager to jump back into things this year. Specifically, there’s so much typography stuff I’m excited to announce, I’m calling 2023 “the year of typography”. Well, for me, anyway. You’re welcome to join in, though. Let’s see if it sticks.

Typographic & Sporadic

The first item of business today — and I must apologise in advance because this issue is a bit of a self-indulgent one — is to say that this newsletter finally has a brand. To avoid any potential confusion, I’ve not renamed everything yet, but starting from the next issue, watch out for Typographic & Sporadic rather than (the very accurate but not particularly inspiring) Elliot Jay Stocks’ newsletter. Huge thanks if you took part in my very lo-fi user research for the naming. Now, who can name the three typefaces used in the logo?

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Neue DIN

“Is it possible to rethink the German design icon? For the sake of its longevity, we are convinced that you have to!” I really like the latest and very modern incarnation of the iconic DIN, designed by Hendrik Weber, Andreas Frohloff, and Olli Meier for Fontwerk, the Berlin-based type foundry started by Ivo Gabrowitsch (formerly of FontShop and Monotype).

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Simple Type Co.

From one hot-off-the-press launch to another, yesterday, Dan Cederholm officially spun out his type design work into its own dedicated foundry: Simple Type Co. The typefaces and their presentation are of course as friendly and down-to-earth as the man himself. (Who here remembers the interview we did with Dan in the pages of Lagom?)

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Creative Characters podcast

Right at the start of the Christmas holidays, I was on Monotype’s Creative Characters podcast, and I had a really lovely chat with Phil Garnham, formerly of FontSmith, about type (d’uh), meditation (oh!), and everything in between (whatever that is). In case you missed it during the pre-Christmas fun, you can listen to the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc. Thanks for having me, Monotype!

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Spacing & kerning punctuation

Thomas Bohm has written a wonderfully detailed article for Smashing Magazine called “Micro-Typography: How To Space And Kern Punctuation Marks And Other Symbols”. There are of course very valid arguments for and against implementing this level of typographic pedantry in all of your web projects, but however you feel, it’s good to be aware of what’s possible.

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Universal principles of Typography masterclass

Speaking of Smashing Magazine, guess who’s teaching an online masterclass for them on the subject of typography? Okay, I already mentioned this in a previous newsletter, but as the first session is now approaching fast (2nd March — yikes!), I figured it was worth another mention. I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but if you have a friend, colleague, or loved one who’d enjoy it, please send them over to the tickets page.

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Interactive typography tutorial

The other day I stumbled across a wonderful interactive typography tutorial by Erik Kennedy and it’s such a great way of teaching some solid typographic practice on the web. Again, probably too simple for you fine fonty folks, but it never hurts to revisit the basics through someone else’s eyes, eh?

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Once Upon a Tuesday

Although not specifically typographic in nature, last week I came across the paper goods brand Once Upon a Tuesday while hunting for a 2023 calendar, and ended up buying a calendar, weekly planner, and yearly planner from them. I’ve now got the yearly planner on the studio wall, and it’s offering a little clarity over an otherwise quite intense few months. This is their photo; there’s no way I’m showing you the mess I’ve made of mine already.

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Coming soon…

Okay, final bit of self-indulgence for this issue. I said I have a few things to announce in the near future, and here’s a little tease of one of them: I’ve commissioned my lettering artist friend Emma Luczyn (who I met last September when she spoke at the first Letter Luvvers event) to create a logo for me. I’ve never had a logo for my own ‘brand’, but with all of the things I’ve got in the pipeline, I felt it was about time. We’re just about to move from sketches to vectors and I’m so excited to see where this ends up!

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Letter Luvvers #04

And that reminds me: the fourth Letter Luvvers is happening next Wednesday, so if you’re in or around Bristol (and I know a handful of you are), I hope to see you there. And, if you’re not, then what a great excuse for a visit, right? Jamie’s speaking, too.

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Thanks for reading and please do email me if you’d like to geek out about any of the above — I always respond.


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