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A milestone & a pop-up

First of all, a big hello to all of you new subscribers! Around 300 of you joined over the last week and have therefore given me a very clear answer to the question I was asking myself: “is it worth me emailing the old 8 Faces list to see if they might be interested in this?” And this sudden influx of new subscribers (or should that be old subscribers?) has pushed this list way above the 1,000 milestone that I’d (secretly) set for myself as goal to hit by July, so: thank you. It’s not about numbers — I’m a firm believer in the power of newsletters as an antidote to the grind of the social media algorithm, and this is where I want to focus my energy.

Anyway, it also means that there’s a little pressure for me to give you a good first issue. Yikes. But here’s how this usually works: I share a load of links to type-centric projects, such as new typeface releases, new foundries, new events, or just type ‘news’ — with the caveat that sometimes these are just new to me — and I intersperse a few links to my own projects.

Mind if I start with one of my own? My next book, Fine Specimens, is currently fundraising on Kickstarter and although most of you know this, you may not know that I added some new mockups since launching the campaign last week. As I write this, the project just under a third of the way towards its funding goal and, while that’s a lot of people who want to see this slab of typographic inspiration on their shelves / coffee tables / bathroom reading piles, there’s still a long way to go. So please consider spreading the word to your type-loving friends. (And huge thanks if you’ve already chosen to back it!)

Fine Specimens

Speaking of specimens, a few weeks ago, a very nice surprise (thank you, Erik!) landed on my doormat: the neue Serie57® specimen book: 64 pages, 4C+Pantone 877 Silver, limited to 500 copies, numbered and signed, distributed exclusively by Hacking Gutenberg. I mean, this is special. You can get your own copy from p98a’s shop.

neue Seri57

Before we move off the subject of books entirely, it would be remiss of me to not mention John Boardley’s very kind review of my recently published book, Universal Principles of Typography, which went up today on the ILT blog. (Thanks so much, John!)

Universal Principles of Typography is both an easily accessible typographic reference book and a tour de force of typography’s most essential tenets — it’s nothing short of a typographic Swiss Army knife that any designer would be wise to keep on hand.

Universal Principles of Typography review on ILT

Did you see that Spotify has a new custom typeface? Spotify Mix is a variable font, created in partnership with Dinamo Typefaces that appears to use width and weight axes to achieve a pretty wide gamut of styles. Maybe there are more axes? I‘d love to peak under the hood. About a year ago, I noticed that Bianca Berning started working at Spotify as Staff Typographer and I’m sure she’s been heavily involved in this. Can’t wait to see it roll out!

Spotify Mix

Speaking of Spotify — wait for it, there’s a great segue coming up — today, I published the final episode in season one of my podcast, Hello, type friends! My guest is my very close friend Jamie Clarke — a type designer and lettering artist who just happens to live in the same village as me in rural Somerset. Actually, we’ve been friends for years, and have been collaborating since the early days of 8 Faces. This is an edited version of a much longer ramblechat (thanks, Adam Buxton) in which we discuss Jamie’s forthcoming new typeface Nave, his self-initiated studio projects that have won him high-profile client work, the journey to his ‘third’ career, and the threats and opportunities posed by AI. Listen on hellotypefriends.com, Apple Podcasts, and — here it comes — Spotify.

Hello, type friends!

At the end of next week I’m heading down to London to speak at Craft+Work, and then immediately jumping on the Eurostar to Paris, where I’m speaking the next day at TypeParis Now24 (on the ‘typeducation’ panel). I plan on taking a load of photos, maybe even some videos, and generally recording the three days via a new pop-up newsletter, (very) heavily influenced by my friend Craig Mod. (His current pop-up, The Return to Pachinko Road, is excellent, of course.)

Like Craig, I’ll send one issue a day (so three in total) and will then completely delete the mailing list. No “read in browser” button, no integrations with my site, no online archives (although maybe later), just a fun little experiment to communicate with the (presumably) small group of folks who decide to sign up. Want to come and join me? Simply head over to the signup form for Notes from a different (type)setting! By the way, Justin from Buttondown is responsible for the pun that inspired the name.

Notes from a different (type)setting

Ken Barber (of House Industries fame) is launching a brand new workshop, Classic Script Lettering. “In this comprehensive hands-on workshop, you'll learn how to get the most out of this essential style so you can create striking pieces of classic script lettering for personal and professional projects.”

Ken Barber

The recent permission-to-read time while awaiting my new tyre (oh, the glamour!) also afforded me the chance to read type.today’s interview with Rutherford Craze of Mass Driver (just one of the many foundries who’ll be in Fine Specimens, by the way). I hadn’t come across type.today until this. Nice find!


Okay, this one’s not new, but have you seen Hyperglot, from the Rosetta Type Foundry team? A fantastic resource, especially for type designers.

Hyperglot helps answer a seemingly simple question about language support in fonts that is deceptively complex: “When can I use a font to set texts in a particular language?” or, more generally, “What do I need to represent a language in writing in a digital environment?”


Yesterday, Grilli Type announced the release of GT American Intl — a variable font with “a lot more stamps in its passport”. Long-time readers will know I’m a sucker for good microsite and oh boy, this one delivers. Hint: move your cursor around.

GT America

Don’t let the name fool you: Tiny Grotesk, the new typeface from Robin Mientjes, has huge potential. I especially love the Wide. Interestingly, the widths are tied to optical size; i.e. the Wide is for display use. I’ve not seen that before.

Tiny Grotesk

Not directly typography related, but author Jack Cheng has just made an iOS app for super-simple note-taking called Bebop. This does exactly what I wish the default iOS Notes app did: you open it and you’re right there, composing a new note. I love it. Also really enjoyed reading Jack’s post about the making of the app.


Thanks so much for reading, and I hope that didn’t disappoint those of you for whom this is the first issue. Maybe one or two of you might join me next week for the pop-up?

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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