Corsair and Conductor: a co-showcase

Yesterday was a good day for type releases designed or co-designed by women, so here’s a quick double showcase to commemorate the event.

Project: Corsair
Designer: Ksenya Samarskaya
Foundry: Rosetta Type
Team Members: Azamat Kodzoev, Micha Strukov, James Todd (Drawing); Mathieu Réguer (Post-production)
Published: 2018
Link: Corsair

Project: Conductor
Designers: Tobias Frere-Jones and Nina Stössinger
Foundry: Frere-Jones Type
Team Members: Fred Shallcrass
Published: 2018
Link: Conductor

Corsair, designed by Ksenya Samarskaya and released by Rosetta Type, is a condensed all-caps sans-serif in handwritten style, as if written with a sharpie. The original commission came from Best Made Co., and the letterforms are inspired by the lettering on a collection of leaflets intended to help discern WWII fighter aircraft. Available in Latin, Cyrillic and Greek, it has a great texture in short paragraphs, with warm irregularity in the letterforms and really satisfying uniform texture — like looking at the notes of that one friend you have with mesmerizing handwriting*.

Corsair poster

Corsair poster close-up

The other release we saw yesterday is Conductor, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones and Nina Stössinger, with contributions by Fred Shallcrass, and released by Frere-Jones. It’s a display family where the romans have a distinctive retro feel, while the italics look really fresh and dynamic — I have a soft spot for lowercase zs, and this italic z looks so great I want a poster of it for my wall. The roman shapes were based on Bulgarian lottery tickets, which only seems random until you take a quick look at the ephemera eye-candy shown in this article by Helen Rosner on the Frere-Jones blog. The article also includes fascinating insights into the design of the italics and their relationship to the roman counterparts.


Conductor — look at that italic z!

I really look forward to seeing these two releases in use!

*As a random side comment, for me that was Spike Spondike, who designed Blenny — I used to love looking at her notes when we worked together.

Showcase: Guru Gomke

Project: Guru Gomke
Designer: Pooja Saxena
Company: Matra Type
Team Members: Subhashish Panigrahi
Client: Centre for Internet and Society’s Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K)
Published: 2016
Link: Guru Gomke on Github

Gure Gomke newspaper

Pooja Saxena has designed some really nice Indic script typeface families (Farsan Gujarati and Cambay Devanagari for example), but I want to take a moment to shine a light on one particular project of hers.

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Book of the Week


As the name suggests, ‘Book of the Week’ was a series of paperbacks that were distributed every week in Iran between the years of 1961 and 1963. A product of the Tehran-based publishing institute Kayhan, the books gained a great amount of popularity among the general public by featuring literature from established writers, as well as publishing essays on a diverse range of topics such as science, culture, society, poetry and the arts.

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Elido by Sibylle Hagmann

… and a bit about type on the web in general.

It’s long overdue that we introduce you to Elido more. I won’t even need that many specimen images because it’s the typeface you are reading right now. When we were discussing the fonts for the Alphabettes blog, we were after something that looks appropriate for very diverse content that we didn’t have yet — potentially long or maybe short, serious, delightful, angry or funny — and that is comfortable to read and rendering well on the web. All demands that many editorial sites share.


Elido specimen images by Sibylle Hagmann

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Another Lettering Video

Some very sped-up drawing, for your vector-scrutinizing pleasure. My favorite parts, if you can catch them, are when I realize halfway through that the ascender tops are leaning the wrong way, and when my boyfriend’s iMessage pops up with some solicited feedback that the “a” and “l” are too close together.

Music is Jenny by the bird and the bee.