055 – Wednesday, 11th August 2021
Hello again! I’m Mark, and this is the Specimen Digest, a weekly typography newsletter.
It’s nice to be writing about typography again.
I’m back at my desk after a couple of weeks unscheduled time off to juggle child-care and tackle the ever growing list of home improvement chores I have stuck on post-it notes next to my desk.
I’ve never been one for religiously organising my life. I look at awe at the people who have Notion databases, or half a dozen apps hooked up to one another so they can categorise when and what food to feed the cat. I have a simpler system. When I have something to do, I write it on a post it note and stick it next to my desk and there it sits. For months. Sometimes years. ‘I’ll get to it’, I say in my head weekly when I glance over and get that moment of self-flagellation that I’m not getting enough done.
Today I was chatting to a designer I’m working with about a list of projects he had on. Some of them where internal projects that were being bumped as higher priority work came along. We’ve all been there. We’ve all kept a list for visibility of things that need to be done but never are. He described it in such a wonderful way I wanted to share it with you because I’ve been thinking about it all day.
He said ‘Imagine I’m hiking and there are twelve bricks in my backpack. I don’t need them, but they are there. Making the pack heavy. That’s like those projects I never do. I know they are there, just like those bricks, adding weight day after day. So why don’t I just take them out?’
Noting things down might get them out of your head but the bricks are still there. I reckon I might just get rid of those post it notes and lighten my backpack.
Until next week!
Bau Mono The designs for the carousel that opens the specimen for Bau Mono are refreshing, but hidden away. The specimen would be really improved by having them as stacked panels. The typetesters are good, providing multi-lingual defaults and options for different columns.
Avantt This specimen for Avantt reeks of modernist design values combined with a wilful disregard for digital type specimen conventions. And it’s brilliant as a result. Refreshing content. Interesting branding.
Array Array is a characterful mono typeface. A response to the design brief of ‘can a typeface work for coding and regular text?’. Array is a combination of the two. The specimen neatly demonstrates the font and its capabilities, but is lacking showing it in an actual coding environment.
Monoflow Monoflow is a coding font. The website goes into great detail as to what that means from a design perspective, carefully explaining the impact on readability in a coding environment.
Sebenta Great looking monochrome colour palette for this striking specimen for Sebenta. Big, full width type displayed in stacked layouts of components with text long and short, large and small.
A brilliant piece from Doug Wilson on interesting monospace coding fonts. A few of which feature in today’s newsletter.
Dinamo’s newsletter is brilliant. Sign up for it.
A great interview with Cem Eskinazi on the design of Mantar.