Posts tagged "wood type"

December 4, 2013

A Typographical Curiosity: Frank Grießhammer joins the circus with the release of HWT Tuscan Extended

Tuscan Extended Ampersand

As part of Adobe’s ongoing mission to help support the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, several members of our team have been digitizing antique typefaces for the Hamilton Wood Type Foundry (a partnership between the Hamilton and P22 type foundry). My co-worker Frank Grießhammer threw his hat into the ring, so to speak, unleashing one of those strangely wonderful “circus types” onto the world. In celebration of its release today, I’m happy to share with you a little insight into the making of HWT Tuscan Extended. Although Frank has not yet been able to visit the Hamilton—a “wood type wonderland,” as he imagines it—he feels strongly about the importance of the museum, and its mission to preserve and promote such a rich part of typographic culture.

“Wood type is this genre of type that very much has its own rules, and I think that is great,” Frank said. “I imagine it like this big guy, just doing his own thing, not caring about what anybody else will say (please understand that this is supposed to be a compliment!).”

“Leafing through Rob Roy Kelly’s American Wood Type, I have yet to find one page which is not awesome,” Frank continued. “Often, I will laugh when seeing the specimen of a wood type alphabet—something that does not happen very often with digital fonts.”

In choosing which type to digitize for HWT, Frank decided to work on a less-than-typical design, focusing on the fun and challenging aspects of reviving a little-known antique face. “I wanted to digitize the craziest typeface Rich [Kegler of P22/HWT] had to offer; first, because I wanted to have a bit of fun while working, and also for the sake of drawing something I had not drawn before.”

A wild hybrid fluctuating between a Gothic Tuscan and an Antique Tuscan, HWT Tuscan Extended is an extremely wide face, abundantly decorated with spikes and crossbars. Although this Tuscan is not overly ornate, each letterform is a study in complexity—unique combinations of spikes and bars dress each character’s outrageous curves with cheeky exuberance. Continue reading…

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October 9, 2013

From Broadsides to Websites: Miguel Sousa brings wood type to digital life with HWT Gothic Round


Last week, we talked about the adventures of Adobe type designer Miguel Sousa as he traveled the US conducting research on his sabbatical project, a revival of a historic wood typeface. He carefully paged through gorgeously produced antique specimen books and studied the shopworn surfaces of giant wooden letters stained with the ghosts of ink from bygone eras. Miguel printed with rare alphabets hewn from nineteenth-century timber, fueling his imagination as he worked to craft a typeface that would smoothly meld historical charm with advanced typographic technology.

The result of Miguel’s summer sabbatical journey—along with many months spent on research and type design and production in San Jose—is the finishing of a face that captured his heart, released this week as HWT Gothic Round. Continue reading…

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October 3, 2013

Adventures in Wood Type: Miguel Sousa lends a helping hand (or two) to the Hamilton

One of the perks Adobe offers to its employees is paid sabbatical leave every five years. Going on sabbatical—taking a strategic pause from the everyday work routine—provides boundless opportunities for in-depth research, broadening skills, and recharging mental batteries.

A native of Portugal, Miguel Sousa began his career with Adobe in 2006, after graduating from the MA Typeface Design program at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. When it came time to take his first sabbatical, he considered a number of options. He knew he wanted to challenge himself, enrich his practical education, and give something back.

In the summer of 2012, Miguel attended the TypeCon conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a prelude to the main event, he participated in an intensive letterpress workshop held at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, located in the little town of Two Rivers, about 90 miles north of Milwaukee. The museum, a non-profit, volunteer-driven labor of love, houses a collection of more than 1.5 million pieces of wood type.

Continue reading…

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