Cooper Union Typography

All about Typography, well, mostly about Typography.

Lubalin Now

Lubalin Now

The inaugural exhibition in the newly re-located Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography.

Herb Lubalin (1918–1981) is best known for his wildly illustrative typography and his groundbreaking work for the magazines Avant Garde, Eros, and Fact.

On view in Cooper Union’s new gallery, the installation includes recent posters, publications, and motion graphics by internationally recognized graphic designers that spotlight an emerging trend toward expressive lettering and typography.

Original sketches, magazines, logotypes, and posters selected from the Lubalin Center Archive will illuminate Lubalin’s influence on contemporary graphic design.

On view: November 5, 2009 – December 8, 2009

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Filed under: Lubalin, People, Reference, Typography

Stephen Farrell


Almost every semester I mention to my students the designer Stephen Farrell as someone whose work they should look at. I have always admired his approach to typography, as well as his small but eclectic set of typefaces he designed. Unfortunately his work is scattered across the web, in small bits. Obviously his work is meant to be seen in real life, to be handled, interacted with, experienced. Still, I decided to pull together everything I could find online to make it easier for students and other people to see his work. Hopefully this will also provide leads to finding his printed work for those interested.

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Filed under: Designers, People, Typography

Google (maps) Typography

Just came across two sets of alphabets created using Google Maps. The first was made by an Australian graphic designer Rhett Dashwood, and only uses maps from the state of Victoria, Australia. The other one was made by Rachel Young, a British researcher, who was inspired by Rhett to make one of the New York state.

See full alphabets after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Links, Typography

Quick Post: Lettering at the Jane Hotel

Clever use of brass studs on a leather door. Image from a slideshow “Sleeping Where Sailors Slept” in The New York Times. Read the related article.

Filed under: Lettering, Links

Erik Nitsche

Erik Nitsche

This post is less typographic, and more graphic.
I just think Erik Nitsche’s work deserves more exposure.
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Filed under: Illustration, Reference, Typography, ,

Fiodor Sumkin

Fiodor Sumkin

I’ve been meaning to write a brief note about this Russian-born illustrator I came across some time ago. I really like the use of lettering in his work. Give it a peek.

Check out his website, and also this set of fake magazine covers, which began as a set of Esquiresque logotypes: livejournal.

[UPDATE] Fiodor’s lettering is similar to the work featured on dailytype, which is an (almost) daily blog of lettering. (thanks Sam Potts for the reminder)

Filed under: Lettering, Links, Typography

Bryan Christie Illustrations

While reading an article in this past Sunday’s “New York Times Magazine”, I was intrigued by two illustrations in it (1, 2). The caption said: Illustration by Bryan Christie Design. Which led me to the portfolio of the studio, which in turn led me to his blog. At which point I saw these three astounding images. I am a sucker for old New York storefronts (as evidenced here). So naturally I loved these illustrations. Would love to see Bryan continue making these. (Click to see larger.)

West Houston Street near Varick Street, New York, NY
West Houston Street near Varick Street, New York, NY

1265 Broadway (890 Sixth Avenue), New York, NY

Southern Fried Chicken
West 125th Street at Morningside Avenue, New York, NY

Filed under: Links, Typography


Eric Ku chair

Stumbled across this great idea for a chair made out of the word chair. Not sure if this is a rendering or a physical prototype, either way it is a nice piece of design.

Designed by Eric Ku, a recent SVA grad, this is what he says about it:

An inspiration from the American contemporary artist Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chair. Instead of giving new definition, I redefined the concept of a chair by using alphabet. One is able to construct a chair by assembling the redesigned alphabets.

Link to the project: Mission No.2. Look at some of the other projects on the site, they are quite interesting.

(found via:

Filed under: Links, Typography

Design Process Videos [Updated]


I’ve recently seen a few video which document the process of designing publications. It is an intriguing idea, and hopefully something that deserves more attention. It would be nice to see other designers leave a trace of their process. In HD please.

[Update]: I also came across an interesting section on the SPD (Society of Publication Designers) website. The section (a blog really) is called The Process, and is dedicated, seemingly, to lifting the curtain off the publication design process. It’s a great idea and makes perfect sense that SPD is doing this, (most of the videos posted below also come from SPD). The first series of posts chronicle the design process of a feature article on Charlie Kaufman for Wired magazine, written by Wired creative director Scott Dadich.

Read the posts for yourself: The Process
Wired’s website is also cross-posting them: Storyboard

Some of the process videos I found are collected here:
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Filed under: Links, Reference, Typography

Lettering Parsons

Just found this video on hand lettering. It’s interesting to see the process of hand painting typography.

Filed under: Typography

Font as Construction


Since the days of the invention of movable type, type has always served as an elements in the overall construction of the page. The type slugs (or sorts) were set in lines, and those lines were framed together into a forme, which then went onto the press. So the idea of using type as form has always been an integral aspect of typography. Phototypesetting allowed the designers to treat type in new ways; it could now be overlapped, distorted. New photo-typefaces were designed to accommodate the new whims of the designers. Think of Avant-Garde with its extensive ligature set, especially in the hands of Herb Lubalin. Digital typography has pushed the boundaries even further. The studio of Richard Niessen & Esther de Vries take the notion of type as construction literally, and create beautiful, playful and refreshing designs. Richard refers to his approach as typographic masonry, and at one time called his studio exactly that.

Following along this train of thought I was curious what fonts were out there that played with this notion. Not simply symbol or dingbat fonts, but fonts that could be used to construct design; fonts which exploit the formal possibilities of type. So I collected together what I found.
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Filed under: Typography

San Serriffe


In the spirit of the (just passed) April Fool’s Day, here are some typographically inspired pranks.

2012 Olympic Typefaces
New Dollar Sign Proposed by Congress to Reflect Economic Conditions

And an old, classic, and quite elaborate one:
San Serriffe, see also wikitravel

Filed under: Links, Typography Feed

Typography Photos

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