Thursday, September 22, 2011

Graphic Typonine

Type specimen books are the plumbing-parts catalogs of graphic design. They show graphic designers the ways in which different sizes and weights of letters sit together as typeset words, and how they showcase typographic form and style. A specimen book enables a designer to visualize the mix and match new and old typefaces. Although digital type foundries now sell their fonts online, most still issue the occasional specimen books and booklets, as a nod to tradition.

Nikola Djurek, who holds a Ph.D. in type and graphic design and is the founder of the Croatian type foundry Typonine, has just issued his first specimen book. The book, which is mostly in English, was designed by Djurek and Hrvoje Zivcic, and features Djurek’s most current typeface, Delvard, which took him three years to complete. Also included are over a dozen other fonts that he’s designed during the past 10 years, along with typefaces by Strange Attractors design, Hrvoje Zivcic & Dario Devic, and Damir Bralic. Djurek’s specimen book is not huge, like those from the major hot metal type foundries of the mid-20th century, but it is ambitious for the sheer number of its variations — light, regular, medium, semi-bold, bold, condensed and italic — in the type families that he’s raised and nurtured.


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