Alternatives to Gill Sans

Granby by Stephenson Blake (1930). From: Specimen of Printing Type, Stephenson Blake / The Caslon Letter Foundry Sheffield, 1953

If you are looking for a humanist sans-serif with a slight English flair, here are some less overused and ambivalent alternatives:

Agenda, Greg Thompson, Font Bureau
Apres, David Berlow, Font Bureau
Astoria, Alan Meeks, Alan Meeks Collection
Bliss, Jeremy Tankard, Jeremy Tankard Typography
Cronos, Robert Slimbach, Adobe Type
Documenta Sans, Frank Blokland, DTL
Dover Sans Text and Display, Robin Mientjes, Tiny Type Co
Edward, Hendrik Weber, formally Ourtype
Granby, Stephenson Blake, Elsner + Flake, Scangraphic
Halifax, Dieter Hofrichter, Hoftype
Johnston, Edward Johnston, David Farey, ITC
(Johnston) Underground, Edward Johnston, Richard Kegler, P22
London, Henrik Kubel, A2-Type
Mallory, Tobias Frere-Jones, Frere-Jones Type
Metro Office, Akira Kobayashi, Linotype
Mr. Eaves, Zuzana Licko, Emigre
New Atten, Miles Newlyn, Newlyn Type
Relay, Cyrus Highsmith, Occupant Fonts
Rowton Sans, Julien Priez, Hugo Dumont, Jérémie Hornus and Alisa Nowak, Font You
Seravek, Eric Olson, Process Type
Today Sans, Volker Küster, Elsner + Flake
Yoga Sans by Xavier Dupret, Monotype
Zeitung, Akiem Helmling, Bas Jacobs, Sami Kortemäki, Underware

Alternatives to Prokyon

Semplicità by Alessandro Butti (1930). From: Campionario caratteri Nebiolo, ca. 1962

Spurless humanist sans-serifs were all the rage in the early 2000s, but not anymore. If you still really have to use one, try one of these:

Aad, Aad van Dommelen, Font Font / Monotype
Aller Typo, Marc Weymann, Dalton Maag
Barmeno, Hans Reichel, Berthold
Branding, Alfonso García, Daniel Hernández, Luciano Vergara, Latinotype
Beau Sans, Panos Vassiliou, Parachute
Bega, Sabina Chipară, Diana Ovezea, Fontstore/ITF
Co, Bruno Maag, Ron Carpenter, Dalton Maag
Conto, Nils Thomsen, Type Mates
Dax, Hans Reichel, Font Font / Monotype
Daxline, Hans Reichel, Font Font / Monotype
Diodrum, Jérémie Hornus, Clara Jullien, Alisa Nowak, Indian Type Foundry
Etelka, František Štorm, Storm Type Foundry
Generis, Erik Faulhaber, Linotype
Karbon, Kris Sowersby, Klim
Kuro, Jonathan Hill, The Northern Block
Legal, Hellmut Bomm, Linotype
Netto, Daniel Utz, Font Font / Monotype
Phoenica, Ingo Preuss, Preuss Type
Ribera, Jörn Oelsner, URW
Ringo, Łukasz Dziedzic, Typoland
Sari, Hans Reichel, Font Font / Monotype
Signa, Ole Søndergaard, Font Font / Monotype

Oof, I think that’s more than you ever want to use in this century. Better try a less modisch humanist sans of which there are plenty of.

Alternatives to DTL Fleischmann

From: Atlas zur Geschichte der Schrift. Das 18. Jahrhundert. Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, 1995

The typefaces of punchcutter Johann Michael Fleischmann have inspired many to design close and not so close revivals of classic Dutch old-style text faces. (A typeface of similar colour and sparkle is the one you are reading right now here on the blog – Dover Text by Robin Mientjes – although she took inspiration from Caslon’s typefaces more than from Fleischmann.)

Adobe Text, Robert Slimbach, Adobe
Berlingske Serif Text, Jonas Hecksher, Playtype
Ehrhardt, Adobe, Monotype
Equity, Matthew Butterick, MB Type
Eudald News, Mário Feliciano, Feliciano Type Foundry
Expresso, Mário Feliciano, Feliciano Type Foundry
Farnham, Christian Schwartz, Font Bureau
Fleischmann BT Pro, Johann Fleischmann, Charles Gibbons, Bitstream
Freight, Joshua Darden, Garage Fonts
Glosa, Dino dos Santos, DS Type
Garvis, James Todd, James Todd Design
Guyot, Ramiro Espinoza, ReType
Janson, Scangraphic
Janson Text, Miklós Kis, from Adobe, Monotype, URW
Kis, Miklós Kis, Bitstream, ParaType, RMU
Kis Classico, Miklós Kis, Franko Luin, Linotype
Mercury, Tobias Frere-Jones, Jonathan Hoefler, Hoefler & Co
Pradell, Andres Balius, Typerepubic
Quercus, František Štorm, Storm Type Foundry
Rosart, Jacques-François Rosart, Katharina Köhler, Camelot
Tyrnavia, Miklós Kis, Gábor Kóthay, T-26

Faces of Funtoosh

“The whole of man is in the alphabet.”
— Victor Hugo

“Letters have a mysterious and cabalistic quality that has been recognised at least since Roman times. As the building blocks of words, and thus of languages, their magic has inspired artists throughout the ages. The illuminated initials of medieval manuscripts, ranging from Romanesque exuberance to Gothic excess, paved the way. Here were not only biblical scenes but mythical beasts and human figures that were the direct precursors of the zoomorphic and anthropomorphic alphabets of the Renaissance and later. Ornamented letters presented historical and mythological events, romantic landscapes, trees, flowers, buildings, clowns, devils, naked figures, street cries, children and every kind of animal.”

The Animated Alphabet, Hugues Demeude, 1996, New York

Continue reading

Cooking with Peter Pauper Press

My connection with the Peter Pauper Press cookbook series started during the first years I was living in California.
I recall the first time I found a book from the collection was at the Recycle Bookstore in San Jose, CA — one of the best second-hand bookstores in the Bay Area. During the years living in California I found so many great books in this bookstore and they also have two great cats.

Recycle Bookstore, Ender the cat taking care of business and my friend Calvin browsing through books, San Jose, CA. Photos by Frank Grießhammer

The first book I got was Simple French Cookery. I was in awe: from the colour combination to the type choice and the effective and simple illustrations.

Simple French Cookery (1958)

Continue reading

Alphacrit: January 18, 2019

This special session of Alphacrit will focus on Indic scripts, specifically Devanagari and Odia. Kimya Gandhi and Alessia Mazzarella will review in-progress typefaces of four lucky participants seeking feedback on their work. Sol Matas will moderate to ensure a smooth crit. Read on to learn more.

Kimya Gandhi is a type designer from Mumbai with a passionate interest in Indic scripts, specialising in creating new and innovative Devanagari typefaces. Kimya is a partner at the type foundry, Mota Italic, with her husband Rob Keller. She divides her time between designing and teaching typography and type design at various design institutes in Mumbai. After graduation, Kimya gave herself two years to decide if she wanted pursue type design professionally, it’s been 7 years since and she is very happy that she did.

Alessia Mazzarella is a senior type designer at Fontsmith. After receiving a BA in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins and a BA in Graphic and Multimedia Design from Sapienza (University of Rome), her interest in type design led her to the Typeface Design MA program at the University of Reading. She graduated with distinction in 2013. Alessia is interested in the technical and multi-script aspects of typeface design.

What to expect: Four people will present their in-progress typeface, each receiving approximately 10 minutes of feedback. The entire session will last about an hour. Participants will have the benefit of sitting in on the other critiques as well. To keep it focused, we suggest presenting either a single weight of a typeface or come prepared with a specific question about a multi-weight typeface. Specimens need to be ready a couple of days before the session so plan ahead!

When & where: Friday, January 18 at 6:30 pm GMT (UTC +00:00) via video conferencing.

Who can participate: This session is open to everyone, of any skill level, and the four spots will be drawn lottery style. Preference will be given to underrepresented groups and people who haven’t participated before. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to: women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

How to apply: Fill out this form https://goo.gl/forms/dvHmo8QYt7NYSJuj2

It asks for some very basic information, like your name and email address. Nothing you can’t handle.

Applications due by: January 10, 2019

Questions: Still have questions? Drop us a line at crit@alphabettes.org.