Moon | Typeset In The Future

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For dedicated Media students, it really does’t get any better than the website Typeset in the Future, which is  blog dedicated to typography in science fiction films.

For anyone who wants to learn about the power of type to evoke an era and to create a mood, look no further.

And for my students who think my obsession with type is a bit strange, please note that I did not start that blog. Other people are, in fact, far more obsessed than I. I’m the well-adjusted one.

This typeface is OCR-A, which was designed in 1968 for use in optical character recognition systems. It’s actually an ISO standard for character recognition. Moreover, it looks like THE FUTURE, and so it makes a perfect choice for on-screen interstitial positioning shots. (Matthew Skala has very kindly made a modern implementation of OCR-A available for free on his web site.)

Read more: Moon | Typeset In The Future.

via daringfireball

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New Statesman to go back to the future with masthead makeover

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We’re delighted to announce that the New Statesman is unveiling a brand new look to celebrate its centenary, using the popular Comic Sans font. Starting today, we’ll be replacing our web header and text fonts with Comic Sans, and the magazine will soon change too. Here’s our new masthead:

Read the rest, before 12: New Statesman to go back to the future with masthead makeover.

Helvetica

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Helvetica is a full-length documentary about one of the fonts I hate the most. Of course, I don’t hate it nearly as much as I hate Comic Sans, but even a viewing of the trailer on iTunes is very informative about Helvetica’s ubiquity (or over-use).

It was made to celebrate the font’s 50th anniversary two years ago.

I don’t mind sans serif fonts. I mostly like Myriad, though it’s becoming almost as common; and I’m fond of Frutiger; Gill Sans is good, but also over-used. My problem with Helvetica is that its a default choice, and a safe choice, a lazy choice, and an uninspiring choice. What’s wrong with Avenir? Or Scala Sans? Or Cronos? There are so many nicely-wrought sans serifs, many of them more recent than Helvetica, Eurostile or Univers, if only people would think a bit harder.

Still, guess what we’re watching in class next week? Think of it as a Christmas treat.

The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Switch to Verdana – TIME

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Those of you who think I am strangely obsessed with fonts are always sceptical when I claim that lots of other people share my obsession. Well, the IKEA adopts Verdana story has now appeared in Time magazine, and I’ll have you know that I have nothing to do with it.

The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Switch to Verdana – TIME. Snip:

Others seem mystified by the choice to eliminate one of the chain’s key identifying features. “The former typeface definitely better reflected Ikea’s design philosophy, giving it a very special, unique flavor that actually fit the company’s style,” says Vitaly Friedman, editor in chief of the online Smashing Magazine, which is dedicated to Web design. “With Verdana being used all across the Web, Ikea’s image not only loses originality, but also credibility and the reputation that the company has built since the 1940s.”

Here’s another take on the controversy: Why, Ikea, why? Snip:

Like many other critics of the switch I would counter that Verdana was specifically designed for use online. Why didn’t IKEA just switch to Verdana online and keep the typographically superior Futura for their print applications? I shudder at the thought of hovering Verdana-emblazoned billboards and bus stop ads.