What better way to celebrate my lifelong love and affinity with typography than dedicating an entire year posting samples of my favourite fonts each Monday morning on Twitter.
I’ve always been interested in letterforms and sketches of experimental characters appear in my sketchbooks from a young age. It was’t until university that I was given the ability to express, discover and expand my knowledge with the help of my course tutor, Phil Gray — a truly dedicated follower of lettering. This dedication is clearly proven by his online cataloguing of found letterforms, currently sitting at 4,845 images on www.thevisualdictionary.net
In the last few years I’ve been using various brutalist typefaces more and more in website development. Brutalist fonts are sans serif only (not twiddly ends), usually very simple geometric forms and, in my own exclusive opinion, the letter a must, I mean must, have no terminal (the bit that curls round over the top of the letter).
A slight caveat though — there’s no definitive opinion of what brutalist typefaces should be. Typeface resource icon, Jeremiah Shoaf of typewolf, can’t decide either.
TypeYear in a leap year
After defining what I loved about brutalist typefaces I started to catalogue my favourites. The most recent example is used here on my own website. The simple and beautiful Sofia Pro, designed by French typographer Olivier Gourmet in 2009 and distributed via his foundry Mostardesign.
I decided what’s the point of my catalogue if it’s not shared so that other type-nerds can enjoy it too?
With any typography sample though, you need a good sentence. I’ve always hated type samples that use a, b, c, d, e and so on, as this does’t demonstrate the typefaces characters in context. I much prefer using a piece of writing that elegantly uses sentences so you get a true feel of how the typefaces characters interact with each other.
The Chaos of English Pronunciation
For TypeYear I’ve picked a piece of work by the Dutch linguist, Gerard Nolst Trenité. In 1922 Trenité published The Chaos of English Pronunciation. A poem that contains about 800 of the most notorious irregularities of the English language and skilfully written with alternating feminine and masculine rhymes. Perfect for 53 weeks of samples. I hope you enjoy.