Archives: typography


I recently got the chance to contribute blogs to not one, but two fantastic outlets on typography and graphic design in general: the event blog for the inaugural TYPO San Francisco—the American manifestation of Europe’s “premiere design event”—and Eye magazine’s blog column, Type Tuesday.

Read on to learn more about TYPO SF and what #FontSunday has to do with Type Tuesday.

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A close-up shot of a sewer opening cover

In part through the influence of the fantastic Vernacular Typography project, I’ve become obsessed with one particular manifestation of the typescape that surrounds us all. The one most likely to avoid our ever-forward-looking gaze, in fact: the type beneath our feet.

Wherever you go in the urban, and even the rural, world, you trod upon the words of others. And you hardly ever notice it. Granted, these are words of purely utilitarian value—at least, that is their primary intent. But as I’ve discovered these ultimately disregarded and yet wonderfully resilient signs, I’ve noticed a peculiarly poetic element to their time- and elements-scarred contours, to the strange messages they so often convey when divorced from their familiar contexts.

The small sewer cover above, for instance, struck me for its lovely textures and rusted color, which seemed to echo beautifully the decay and squalor you expect to find beneath its thin metal plate. And the fading away of the S pulled the word ewer to my mind—a ewer being a vase-like pitcher used to hold anything a person might drink. Richly ironic contrasts abound!

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