Creative Boom: A new tool by Pentagram’s Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell grows letterforms from fungi. “We thought we’d seen it all. Until that is, Pentagram partners Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell designed an interactive web tool that allows us to cultivate and download letterforms (and much more) by stimulating the mycelium growth found in fungi.”
Domestika: This Digital Archive Is a Treasure Chest of Typography and Design. “The TM Research Archive is a website created by a Swiss student, called Louise Paradis, as her final project for her master’s degree. It compiles information about and images from Typographische Monatsblätter, dating between the 1970s and 1990s. It is a treasure chest filled to the brim with dozens of covers, indexes from different issues, and detailed biographies of its most prominent designers and typographers.”
Dexigner: Synoptic Office Launches Open Source Archive of Chinese Typefaces. “Synoptic Office has launched Chinese Type Archive, a volunteer-run, open data resource that will bring awareness and discussion around Chinese typefaces for designers. The archive aims to support designers who use Chinese typography by developing descriptors for concepts and typefaces, as well as archiving related and relevant visual examples.”
Fine Books & Collections: Letterform Archive Launches Membership Program and Online Archive. “Letterform Archive, the nonprofit library and museum dedicated to the history, preservation of and education in graphic design and letterform arts, announces its new membership program and the launch of the Online Archive. Beginning on November 29, 2018, charter participants in Letterform Archive’s membership program will receive access to the online Archive, a digital repository of highlights from the non-profit center’s collection of over 50,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design.” The initial archive will have 1000 items. Membership is $60 a year or half that for students and educators.
Design Taxi: Sainsbury’s Online Archive Of Packaging Designs Spanning Decades Is A Real Treat. “The Sainsbury Archive at the Museum of London Docklands has recently digitized the decades-old packaging designs of UK supermarket Sainbury’s for your viewing pleasure at zero cost. Thus far, the collection comprises over 400 photographs and scans of packaging, which certainly offer more than enough for you to observe how design has evolved. There’s so much to unpack here.”
The Next Web: This app is like Shazam for fonts. “WhatTheFont is a Shazam for fonts — a designer’s dream. The app is a mobile version of the website previously developed by MyFonts, and recognizes any font you point at with your camera, including a variation of similar fonts to go with it.”
Now available: a digital library for graphic designer Jock Kinneir. “Jock was one of the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century, along with his one-time pupil and later business partner Margaret. Jock and Margaret’s signage system became a role model for modern road signage all over the world. … Jock’s grandchildren Simon and Anna Kinneir launched the online repository, which is expected to host a range of teaching briefs, workshops, interviews and biographical details for teachers, students or anyone interested in his life and his user-focused design methods.”
Google has updated its font site. “Google Fonts now has a brand new layout that displays font previews in a dynamic grid that resizes as you adjust your preferences. You can check out every style for each font, change the preview text and compare options side by side. “
Ants Magazine has a roundup of 40+ free fonts. I like Ants’ roundups because the fonts are not all decorative things that you’d maybe use once. These are every day fonts. And they pick good ones. Sunday, PH, and oh wow, Gagalin.
Oh, why not: a a message generator that uses Instagram photos for letters. “Just type in a short message and watch your words appear in a spectrum of illustrated type styles, from hand-sketched letters to black-and-white graphics to colorful comic book–style images to photographs of objects that look like letters (a donut as the letter o, for example).”
New-to-Me: a Duggal blog post tipped me to a huge archive of Vernacular Typography. From the Web site: “One vanishing art that can still be studied in the interstices of the assault of global retail is vernacular typography. All over the world, there are cities and towns that retain their rich traditions of vernacular signage. Unfortunately, the fate of these typographic havens is being threatened by the uniformity of corporate advertising, which ignores and subverts local history and tradition. This website seeks to collect and document examples of these vanishing symbols of art and culture.”
Want to play with a bunch of in Google Docs? there’s an add-on for that. “Available as a free add-on via Google Docs, Extensis Fonts provides a panel where you can browse, preview and apply fonts directly from within Google documents.”