You pit your faculties against concrete problems. The victories are concrete, definable, touchable. A page of perfect printing. You can touch the page you wrote. We exult in what we master and discover. Instead of using one’s energy in a void, against frustrations, in anger against publishers, I use it on the press, type, paper, a source of energy. Solving problems, technical, mechanical problems. Which can be solved.
Happy Birthday Johnston and the London Underground
This week London sees the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. To commemorate the occasion a stream locomotive used in the 19th century made a journey through the modern tunnels of the Metropolitan line. See more on the BBC
It is also 100 years since its iconic typeface Johnston Sans was released as the the ‘Underground’ typeface. Dan Rhatigan, type director at Monotype and forthcoming interviewee of 8 Faces talks about Edward Johnston and the typeface here.
The structured, based on a calligraphic nib held at a 45 degree angle, is emphasised by Johnston’s diamond tittle shapes(the dots over the i and j), one of it’s most recognisable characteristics.
‘For the love of Letterpress’ is a short documentary by Dara deFaoite (White House Docs) which gives a glimpse into the current letterpress scene in Dublin. It features; Nicola Carty; Seán Sills from Distillers Press; Mary Plunkett; Vinnie Caprani, Con Devlin & Alf McCormack from The National Print Museum; and myself. Nicely put together too.