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As, is, and us

Hello and welcome and hooray, because the summer has finally reached us here in Blighty. If it’s your sort of thing, I hope that you, like me, have been enjoying some laptopping in the sun this week!

Before we get going with this issue’s links, I should mention that next week I’m off to Berlin and will be running the second edition of my pop-up newsletter, Notes from a different (type)setting. Just like the first edition, here’s how it’ll work:

  • I’ll be writing about my journey to, experience at, and journey home from the Berlin Letters conference;
  • there’ll be 4 emails total, 1 sent each day;
  • the list for the pop-up is totally separate from Typographic & Sporadic; and
  • the list will be deleted entirely after the last issue’s been sent.

Sound like something you’d want to come along for? I was genuinely surprised and encouraged by the nice things people said after I did the first one; mainly, that they ‘felt like they were there’. And I guess that’s kind of the point. Actually, to be totally honest, I’m still not 100% sure what the actual point is, but I enjoyed doing it for Paris and feel oddly compelled to do it again for Berlin, so please sign up and, er, give my life purpose…? Remember: you’ll need so sign up again even if you subscribed to the first one, because I (intentionally) deleted that database. Here’s a big button for you because I. Like. Big... buttons and I cannot lie:

Subscribe to the pop-up

The crew at Hoodzpah have just made the second edition of their beautiful screenprinted typography definitions cheat sheet in the guise of a poster. And actually now I just want to buy all the things in their shop. They’re such a ridiculously talented bunch.

(And that reminds me: did you know that Jen Hood also makes music, too? She’s just released her latest single as Bad Trifle, Eclipsed).

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Type in the wild — specifically, from the Stocks family’s breakfast table: our regular oat milk got substituted in this week’s shopping delivery, but I was instantly taken by the (presumably) custom “sh” ligature in Plenish’s logo. I have to say, though, that I prefer the texture of Oatly — or, better yet, Minor Figures. You see, folks? Come for the typography, stay for the oat milk tips!

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

I met Patti Walczak at TypeParis and mentioned her typeface that won her the Gerhard Unger Scholarship; now she’s just presented her graduation typeface, Familiar. It’s not available yet, but I’m looking forward to when it is.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

From one WIP typeface to another: Flaneur, by Fred Wiltshire, has just been updated to v0.5 and is available from Future Fonts.

Flaneur V0.5 includes an array of styles across widths, weights and italics including a text style, with approximately 800 glyphs per font […] Its character set includes Extended Latin, Greek, a bunch of ligatures, two styles of numbers (lining and non-lining), necessary punctuation, symbols, illustrations and a few ampersand options. It also comes with a flamingo.

From now on, I’ll be judging all new typefaces on the inclusion or omittance of a flamingo.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Speaking of Future Fonts, Keya Vadgama’s Mango caught my eye in the latest newsletter. It looks incredibly fully formed for a v0.1! And although the focus is very much on the Gujarati, I think the Latin characters look wonderful, too.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Viktor Baltus is once again teaching his Font Making Course and registrations close this Sunday, so get on it quick! Full disclosure #1: if you sign up using my affiliate link, I’ll get a little financial kick-back. Full disclosure #2: I’ve taken this course myself and paid for it with my own money before I even met Viktor, so can vouch for its quality!

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Until just this morning, I’d not heard of the design studio Socio, their foundry Sociotype, or indeed their Sociotype Journal, but oh wow yes please! As far as I can tell, this is essentially a magazine as a type specimen. Or a type specimen as a magazine, depending on how you look at it. Reminds me of what Jeremy Tankard does for his releases.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Speaking of which, Jeremy Tankard has just released a brand new typeface called Ravenscar and he wrote all about “chasing the ideal setting”.

Using the potential of digital technology, and in addition to standard pair kerning, Ravenscar incorporates an extra level of contextual spacing. This applies a range of adjustments to the standard word space in order to amend visually inconsistent gaps and balance the line of set text.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

My talented and generous friend Norman Posselt very kindly offered to take some studio shots of my recently published book, Universal Principles of Typography, and he did an incredible job. I haven’t yet uploaded Norman’s photos to the book’s page on my website, but I will do soon. I need to add a few things to that page, in fact, including some nice testimonials.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Editorial Sans is a new typeface from Pangram Pangram. If you thought that a sans serif couldn’t possibly have such a serif-like “a”, then you were mistaken! (Don’t worry, so was I.)

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Rutherford Craze has just released MD Lórien and, as is his custom, written an accompanying article on the process behind it. To say it’s a ‘making of’ would be an unfair understatement, though — this piece is nothing short of a very rich type history lesson. It’s also really interesting to read how he approached the balance between designing letterforms that reference their Baroque inspiration while avoiding distracting shapes:

One of the tricks I discovered during testing is that the threshold for ‘distracting’ differs from one glyph to another. The most frequently-used letter in English, E, has a pretty narrow margin of error: make the crossbar too long, and it’s immediately visible. But the tail of the Q, or the leg of the ampersand, are much more forgiving, and it’s here where I kept (or even added) much of the ornament which gives Baroque typefaces their character.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Of course, the article is set in MD Lórien itself and therefore acts as a perfect example of just how readable the typeface manages to be. I hope Rutherford will forgive me for zooming in and screenshotting part of the text that mentions “the as, is and us ligatures” found in the italic — I don’t think I’ve ever encountered these kind of ligatures before, and I think they look fantastic:

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Playwrite — the latest type family to come out of Type Together’s Primarium project (which I’ve now mentioned about three times so, yes, alright, I’ll stop) is divided into country-specific and handwriting model-specific variations, and available to use for free on Google Fonts.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

I do try to avoid nepotism, but naturally new fonts from my friends tend to make their way onto my radar easier than others. So I was very excited to see that Mark Caneso (AKA ps.type) has a load of new typefaces available for you to sync via Adobe Fonts, including Skew Variable, Snug Sharp Variable, Hegante Display, and Scale Variable.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Speaking of Adobe Fonts… did you see my news? I’ve rejoined the Adobe Fonts team! I’m not returning as Creative Director this time around, and in fact this is only a six-month contract to help out on a specific project, but I’m thrilled to be rejoining so many old friends on the team to be working on A Very Cool Thing.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Yesterday, I took a peek at the Hello, type friends! stats and noticed that my little podcast has received over 4.5k plays! I’m starting to make plans for its second season, so if you work for a company that might be interested in sponsoring, please get in touch by hitting ‘reply’. Perhaps now’s a good time to re-post links to the first season’s episodes:

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Did you enjoy the theme music on the podcast, by any chance? If you fancy more of that sort of thing, last week I had a new EP out on the Fur:ther Sessions label. I blogged about it if you’re in the mood for some Spotify, Apple, etc. embeds. And yes, I had fun with variable fonts on the cover. That’s Mark’s Scale Variable, by the way.

Typographic & Sporadic by Elliot Jay Stocks

Okay, that’s it for this time. And actually this’ll probably be the last issue I send before I kick off the next Notes from a different (type)setting pop-up newsletter next week, so please do sign up if you’d like to come along for the ride!

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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