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Showing posts from 2007

insigne 1 year old today!

It was about this day (give or take a few days) that I went into type design full time. It's been a great year. I am sure that next year will bring some great typefaces, and I look forward to it. Thanks to all my customers that made this dream a reality.

New from insigne: SavoryPaste

SavoryPaste is a grungy sans serif from insigne. SavoryPaste includes 64 discretionary ligatures of the most common letter pairs for a more natural look without distracting repeating characters. The typeface family also includes OpenType small caps, old style figures and alternates without filled counters. The SavoryPaste family also includes a completely interchangeable and more restrained alternate.

New from insigne: Kidela

Kidela is an exuberant and eccentric serif typeface reminiscent of hand painted signage. Kidela features tight kerning and spacing, and some interesting effects can be achieved by adjusting the tracking. The typeface includes 64 discretionary ligatures to extend the natural hand painted look, alternates, oldstyle figures and small caps. Please see the sample brochure to see these ligatures in action. Kidela is an excellent choice when you need a fun and interesting serif.

New From insigne: Terfens

Terfens is a sans serif with inspiration from chancery scripts like Stefania . Subtly rounded and eschewing harsh technical lines, Terfens is a warm and inviting typeface. Its tall x-height gives it a friendly but not overly informal feel. Its readability and unique contemporary look makes it suitable for a wide range of design applications.

New From insigne: Stefania.

Stefania is an elegant chancery script, designed with wedding invitations specifically in mind. A contemporary take on chancery scripts, Stefania retains a traditional calligraphic feel. Its features include a more pronounced slant for an elegant and dynamic flow and plenty of swash capitals. With ample flourishes and frills, including a score of alternate characters, Stefania works well in a variety of creative uses. This formal script is perfect for projects that call for a sophisticated appearance.

insigne Releases Antigen!

Antigen is a forceful and fresh typeface with a strong futuristic feel. Its characters have a wide stance, and the lettering is subtly rounded. Antigen includes a set of OpenType alternates that remove the spike crossbars for a less aggressive appearance. Antigen is great for titling that needs an edgy, assertive and ultramodern look.

insigne Releases Brigette!

Brigette is based on the popular insigne script Natalya . The frilly script has been acid dipped, scratched and destroyed for use in grungy design jobs or any other use that calls for a ragged script. Three different degrees of deconstruction are available. The Alternate Two variant is highly distressed, and when rasterised by many programs at smaller point sizes appears almost illegible, but prints just fine. OpenType features include 64 OpenType ligatures that can be used to extend the natural appearance of the lettering, oldstyle figures and ending swashes. Brigette works great in conjunction with insigne Splats!

insigne Newsletter

I am pleased to announce that starting next month insigne will send out its first monthly newsletter. This will be a great resource, including behind-the-scenes information about our latest releases, information about upcoming promotions and a sneak peak at pending releases. I also hope to offer some great deals for our newsletter subscribers. More on that a bit later. You can sign up here , and you can opt out at any time.

insigne Releases Aviano Slab!

Aviano Slab is an extended slab serif and the newest member of the popular insigne series Aviano. The same classically proportioned letterforms are now available in a slab serif variant for powerful impact.

New from insigne: Lourdes

Lourdes is an informal script font drawn with quick, thick brush strokes. The script appears to be quickly dashed down, and the characters were carefully designed to create a subtle rhythm. The strokes are slightly muted to avoid an overly aggressive appearance. Lourdes has a wonderful active tempo that works well for headlines, logotypes and signage.

insigne Releases Montag!

Montag is an extended, rounded sans-serif. In many ways it can be seen as a more conservative, extended version of Chennai . As with Chennai, it includes simplified versions of many characters for titling or when a more futuristic appearance is called for. Choose Montag whenever you need a distinctive sans serif.

insigne Releases Kairengu!

Kairengu is a casual and lively rounded sans serif. The characters are “gloopy” as if ink was poured onto page surface. Kairengu is a great choice whenever you need an amusing face with a lot of character.

insigne Releases Aviano Sans

In 2007, insigne released Aviano . It’s beautifully drawn extended letterforms were a hit with designers and Aviano quickly became insigne’s most popular offering of early 2007. Now, insigne returns to the classical forms that were the inspiration for Aviano with a sans serif variant. Aviano Sans is wide and geometric, and is perfect for any job that calls for a chic and dignified sans serif.

insigne Releases Splats!

Insigne Splats! is a series of vectorized ink splatters that can be quickly and easily used in your artwork. There are 64 unique and useful ink splatters. These individual splats can be combined, decomposed and organized to accent your designs. Splats! works well in conjunction with some of insigne's grungier faces such as Valfieris Aged, Arendahl, Majidah or Blue Goblet.

Natalya Released

Natalya is a flashy and rhythmic script. The script has more space between characters than most for better legibility, and the basis point for the ornate swirls is the golden ratio. This makes for an especially harmonious typeface with timeless appeal. The typeface includes three alternates with variations of the ascenders and descenders. All three fonts include OpenType ligatures, oldstyle figures and ending swashes for an even more elaborate appearance.

Questal Released

Questal is an intriguing unicase serif. The face appears rather eccentric, yet it still retains a refined character. The typeface is wider than most, but not to the degree that Aviano is extended. The font includes some interesting OpenType alternate characters to extend the quirky quality of the letterforms even further. If unicase isn’t your thing, the Questal family also includes a small caps variant for more traditional uses. Use Questal for eye-catching and distinctive logotypes or headlines.

Carta Marina

Carta Marina is based on the titling found on the famous map drawn by Olaus Magnus in 1539. The map of northern Europe took 12 years to complete, and the total size is a huge 1.7 meters tall by 1.25 meters wide. More information about the map, as well as the high resolution reference document used to create the typeface and illustration set can be found at the James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota. The titling is slightly aged, very sturdy and elegant. Carta Marina includes a full set of OpenType alternates for every character in the English alphabet, oldstyle figures, historical forms, small caps and 64 discretionary ligatures. These ligatures are used to alter the appearance of the type so that the printing appears realistic and without any duplicate letters to detract from the antique appearance. The Carta Marina family also includes some of the unique illustrations that give the map much of its character. It includes depictions of fanciful sea creatures, land animals a

Unicase Font

Sorry for the lack of updates for the, oh, past half month. I have been working on a new typeface called Carta Marina, based on the characters and illustrations found on that famous map. I am going to do my releases concurrently with myfonts .com now, so that is the reason for the slight delay. I also took a few trips to the Florida coast and to the Tennessee mountains, looking for a place to relocate. The latest is a unicase . These are fairly popular these days, and I thought I would give it a whirl. I'm trying to think of a good Latin- esque name to match my naming convention.


This is a bit late, not because there was an issue with the design. For some reason, I was unable to upload the information to the provider that handles my paypal payments and downloads, Payloadz . Stratham is Kinshasa. I noticed when playing with the design that it had a very "English" feel to it. It reminded me of walking through Gatwick Airport. So I changed the name to something more English: Stratham . You can learn more about the design process here at Typophile . I always appreciate the help of the folks over there. What they have to say is always useful. Special thanks to Jelmar Geertsma and Dan Reynolds for their comments and spurring me onward. From the description: Stratham is vigorous sans-serif inspired by the slab serif Clarendon. It is a heavy display face, and has a tangible modern British feel to it. The italic is especially dynamic and forward moving. Stratham includes OpenType titling and swash alternates, old style figures and small caps. Stratham i

April Fools, 1977

Ran across this great typography related April Fools joke. "San Serriffe is an archipelago consisting of two main islands and a number of smaller ones. Of the larger islands, the more northerly (the Caissa Superiore or Upper Caisse ) is roughly round and the more southerly (the Caissa Inferiore or Lower Caisse ) round but with a promontory extending south-westwards from the south-east, at Thirty Point . The two major islands are separated by the Shoals of Adze, dominated by Cap Em . The capital, Bodoni , is in the centre of the Caissa Superiore, and is served by an international airport . It is linked by fast highways to the major ports, including Port Clarendon ." From the Sans Serriffe Wikipedia article.

Kinshasa 3

Still more progress on Kinshasa. Some tweaking of pretty much every character here.

Kinshasa 2

More progress on Kinshasa. Still quite a bit to do.


I've tentatively titled this one Kinshasa. It's starting to take on some character. I like whats going on with the K, R, etc. I need to incorporate that in the rest of the uppercase. The lower is somewhat reminiscent of Frutiger , surprisingly . Note that my naming convention of late has been to name sans after cities, serifs in Latin or Italian and scripts after girls names.

Next from insigne: A "Clarendon Sans"

Next up on the list to do is a Clarendon Sans. At first, I was kind of wondering if it was possible. After some sketches I was satisfied this would turn out ok, but I later found that the concept has sort of already been done. See Leviathan . Despite that, I am going to move forward. I think there are few twists I can run it's direction.

Logo Design History

I love branding. In a way, I see every typeface that I create as a "brand." Recently, I ran across this excellent site detailing the design history of many of today's logos. An interesting and inspiring source. Logo Design History.

Madeleine Released

Madeleine is an open script face with influence from early 50's scripts. The stroke doesn't have much variation, and the characters are wide and flowing. The script also features OpenType end swashes and discretionary ligatures to extend the twirling and fluid nature of the script. This mischievous script is useful for informal invitations, scrap booking or whenever you need a retro look.

Madeleine Progress 3

I have altered the stroke on Madeleine to be more "50's." In my research I didn't find a lot of stroke variation. Also, the letter forms are more consistent. I have abandoned the idea for a more spontaneous script. It's important to note that the idea was a script inspired by 50's scripts; not a complete duplication. Still, I think this stroke looks better. I found some neat reference material, so I may do a truly 50's script in the future. I think that 50's- esque design is coming back a bit. Take a look at some of Target's advertising. As a whole, they had some very interesting design in those days. It's interesting to compare the experience of designing Lorelei vs. Madeleine vs. Asturias. Strangely enough, the experience was a lot more like Asturias. I began with an idea for a more spontaneous and irregular script and found I had to dial it back. I think that Lorelei is fairly spontaneous. I'm still trying to figure out how Lorelei w

Madeleine Progress 2

I am still not really happy with this so far. The primary issue is that the characters do not appear to be working correctly together. The intention was to accentuate the sporadic nature of the script, but it seems to be working to strongly against the overall cohesion of the typeface. Based on the structure of the sentence above, I find it extremely likely that I have been watching far too much Stargate Atlantis.

50's Inspired Piece

I am working on a 50's inspired script. I recently found this great blog: Today's Inspiration . Some really great illustrations from the past. I love to see great illustrated work, and the fact that a fair number of them include some script ideas is just bonus points. Enjoy.


From the description: Insigne is pleased to release Nanumunga, inspired by the carefree antics of tropical fish. Designers will find this typeface is useful whenever a relaxed and lighthearted typeface is required. Nanumunga is a versatile face. The font includes small caps and a shadow alternate for titling. Some potential uses are advertising for children’s products, tropical destinations, or just whenever you need a slightly different “cartoon” look.

Valfieris Aged Released

From the description: Valfieris Aged looks as though it just came off a antique printing press. Ink has pooled in the serifs and on the corners, and the metal did not make full contact with the paper in center of the letters. Valfieris Aged includes a full set of OpenType alternates for every character in the English alphabet, swash alternates, ending swashes, oldstyle figures, historical forms, small caps and 64 discretionary ligatures. These ligatures are used to alter the appearance of the type so that the printing appears realistic and without any duplicate letters to detract from the antique appearance.

The next great thing in parking garages!

I had heard of these, but this is the first time I've seen it explained. This would be great; instead of driving around for hours, just have one of these robot parking garages take care of it.

Upcoming from insigne

Information on new typefaces has been a little light around here; I've got two in the works. The first is a playful sans-serif. I do enjoy doing these light hearted fonts every once in awhile. The next is a grungy version of Valfieris.

The Dooley Diet: What it is.

Today, Insigne Design will analyze the Dooley Diet with a basic overview. What is it, you ask, with severe anticipation bordering on psychosis? Well, its pretty simple, and it's guaranteed to lose weight. 1. Eat whatever you want. Just make sure the total of the calories consumed is less than 1000. 2. Exercise for 2 hrs a day. 1 hr is strenous, the other less so. I will be utilizing the amazing fat busting potential of Nintendo Wii boxing (150 calories for 15 minutes worth of boxing) and Tony Little's Gazelle! Yes folks, in addition to awesome typefaces, Insigne has the answer to your weight loss needs. No need to ban McDonalds . Interesting stats on the UAE... I did this about 6 years ago and lost 40 lbs in a couple months. I lost a huge amount of weight once I really cut down on the food intake. Probably because of this . The key is just the motivation to do it. They say that pain is weakness leaving the body. Hunger is fat leaving it.

insigne Abstractions

Insigne Abstractions is a break from working with letterforms and a chance to play with pure abstraction. These ornaments are purely nonrepresentational, and are not letterforms. The abstractions are organic, and some would describe them as magnifications of microorganisms in black and white. There are 72 different ornaments this package. Some potential uses for these ornaments include alien alphabets, navigation buttons for a website, decorative elements, inspiration for logos or background textures.

Hover Effects

I am not a fan of websites that require you to hover over the top of some area to get to content. The sole exception to this is some sort of expanding menu. I understand some reasons for it; it gets your audience more engaged in “discovering” areas, but it flies in the face of keeping the web simple and easy to read. I am sure there are some accessibility arguments against hovering to uncover site content as well. I’m usually not one to get all hung up on web standards and the semantic web. Not to pick on these guys; they do some super nice work, (see their fish packaging) but here is an illustration of what I mean: FSDesign. Strangely enough, there has been no massive blogger backlash regarding this issue. Allow me to be the first. So what’s the point, you say. How does this rant help me? Well, hovering disease afflicts designers primarily. I own a book named Don’t Make me Think! Honestly, I can’t remember a single thing from it, so this is not a ringing endorsement. I was looking th

New Italy Identity

Apparently, Italy has recently revamped their identity. Let me sum it up: Its awful . I lived in Italy for a short time. This identity doesn't say Italy to me at all. Its a disjointed amalgamation that puts together and waters down way to many ideas. Italy certainly could do better and deserves better. One thing I remember about the World Cup is that the typeface on the Italian jerseys was not only cool, no doubt custom designed, but also said "Italy" just through those simple forms. And, it did it in a way that made Italy seem very interesting and modern . More identity shredding here .

Bacon Alarm Clock

For the person who has everything, this alarm clock awakes the snoozer with the smell of freshly cooked bacon. I can't make this stuff up: look .


Continuing our industrial design theme (although, recently, this blog seems to have turned into Jalopnik , designer edition) I noticed this New York Times article the other day. I don't really buy into the "small footprint" stuff, but I do like the concept of having a Frank Loyd Wright- esqe cottage in some back roads location with a nice little stream running through my living room. With high speed Internet , of course. Well, nobody sells those yet, but I was most impressed with BlueSky 's offerings. I would love to watch the rain come down behind some of those huge windows while working on my latest typeface. Speaking of which, we will return to our normally schedule programming on Tuesday. I took a week off to take care of some administrative and tax stuff.

Designer's Favorite Cars

An interesting article on designers favorite cars . I think the BMW 6 series should be ranked higher. At first I thought there surely had to be a mistake about the Audi TT , or "stretch bug" as I like to think of it as, but I looked up the latest styling and was impressed.

Psyop Anthem

I first saw this about two years ago; at the time I liked it, but also was somewhat puzzled by its condemnation of the very thing Psyop does. I don't quite get why graphic designers are so hung up on "losing their souls" to evils of capitalism , and how Psyop thinks that this will somehow induce companies to use their services. Anyway, the tune is catchy, the visual style is interesting, the color scheme is cool, the message is entirely counterproductive, but here it is.

Dubai Architecture

Some interesting Dubai architecture . Abu Dhabi Museum Project

Arendahl Released

Arendahl is a natural-looking, irregular connected handwriting script. The script has a fluctuating baseline and swirling ending swashes to give the lettering a soothing flow. Arendahl utilizes OpenType ligatures and alternates to prevent duplicate letterforms, and automatically substitutes the best letter combination or word glyph. Arendahl includes 64 discretionary ligatures based on the most common pairs in the English language, a full set of alternates for every English letter, ending swashes and ornaments. The Arendahl family is made up of eight fonts, including an alternate, bold weights and script versions. More information here .

Arendahl Round 1

I haven't been posting much; a few things have come up, from my computer dying on me to getting in a car accident. I am going to make a few progress posts so you can see the evolution of Arendahl so far. Round 1 (above). It was too aggressive , and more "Pirates of the Caribbean " than elegant and smooth. As of 10:00 pm on Sunday, this is what Arendahl looks like. There are 64 auto ligatures in this one, based on the most common letter pairs in the English language, and a full set of alternates. In addition to the opentype alternates, there will be another alternate font, for a total of eight fonts, including the bold weight and the "script" version.

Rugged Script

The next insigne release will be another script, this one quite rugged looking. I apologize for the lack of progress updates; I have been experimenting with a new technique. It has taken some time to get everything to work as I would like it, but I finally have it nailed down and am moving into full scale production. I have also had a few computer hardware issues to deal with. I hope to have some samples soon.

Aviano Titling Released

Aviano is an extended titling face with influence from the power and timeless beauty of classical letterforms. Aviano features extended characters for a formal feel, sharp, powerful looking serifs and geometric and consistent letterforms. Aviano is named for a small town at the base of the Alps in northern Italy. Use Aviano as an alternative to Trajan. Purchase Aviano

Superbowl Ads Follow-up

All the ads are available here , courtesy of YouTube . Highlights Live the Flavor . Great concept and execution. Kudos to 5 Point Productions , a small video editing company that competed for and won the right to have their commercial air. CareerBuilder Ads. Good Fedex Moon Office Sierra Mist Beard Comb-over Coke Videogame Hideous Chevy HHR . Choose this one without knowing its history, and no alma mater bias, seriously. This was the "college ad." Some SCAD students were in the running , but they lost. I'm sure theirs was better.

Guerilla Marketing

Just recently, I was wondering why we don’t see more of... ...this... ...this... ...this... ...this... and this here in the states. Yes, guerilla marketing. As you can see, all of these images don’t have their point of origin here in the USA. Then, I got my answer . Seriously, when looking at few of these campaigns, although they are clever and probably very effective, some of them seem destructive and disruptive. I think that American advertisers recognize this, and understood that American culture doesn’t have time or allow disruptions or annoyances, making it a tactic that is rarely used stateside. There are also probably some legal, or rather enforcement reasons that make it more common overseas. Any other thoughts? Everything with the exception of AXE via adgoodness . AXE via ibeliveinadv .

Aviano Titling Round Two

Thanks to the folks at Typophile , I’ve been working out some of the kinks with Aviano. There were some definite issues with the extension. I think I have worked those out for now, but there are a few letters (STZ) that need some more “help.” Additionally, the numbers need to be balanced out a bit more. Still, I am pretty happy with this project so far. I greatly appreciate the help of a few extra eyes as well.

Aviano Titling Initial Characters

Aviano is an extended all caps face inspired by Trajan. I wanted the face to have extended letterforms for a more “formal” look, and also more geometric and consistent letterforms. This is some early experimentation.

Chennai Released

From the description: Chennai is a simplified sans-serif with a full complement of OpenType alternates. The characters are rounded, slightly extended and geometric. The OpenType alternates greatly complement the face. The primary version is more simplified, while the alternate is more traditional. These two “versions” are designed be used in conjunction with one another. For example, the primary version can be used for headings, while the alternate, with its stems and more traditional characters, can be used for highly legible body copy. Please see the PDF sample. Use Chennai whenever you need a contemporary and versatile sans serif.

Great Design Links

Just a quick entry today. I want to share a great resource of contemporary web design: Design Meltdown . Frequently updated, the site categorizes some of the best websites on the web into different contemporary design "genres", even splitting hairs down to the all-too-famous "shiny buttons" and "gradient madness!" Joking aside, its worth a bookmark, and they also pass along some information on how to duplicate the look in question, offering books with ornaments to scan or sites with textures to download.

Microsoft Expression

I have been trying out the Microsoft Expression web design program recently. My final verdict: I like it better than Dreamweaver. I’ve been using Dreamweaver for 5 years now, but where Expressions really shines is its handling of CSS, which is, in my mind, quite a bit better than Dreamweaver. My “problem” with CSS as opposed to tables is that with tables you can visualize what you are doing. CSS is a bit more programmatic. Expression helps a bit. If you are looking to save some money, and you use a PC, you should download Visual Web Developer. You can do some very advanced stuff with this program, and the interface is very much like Expressions. The price is right: free! However, Expression is more intuitive in how it handles CSS. It’s very interesting how Microsoft is starting to head into Adobe’s turf. Microsoft is working on equivalents to everything in Adobe’s product line. My long term bet is on Microsoft.

Milton Glaser

I have never been a huge fan of Milton Glaser. I don't mean that in a bad way at all, just that he was never a huge "hero" for me as a designer. Now, one of his employees, on the other hand is quite inspiring. Deborah Adler did some really nice work on the Target medicine bottle. That, and she is pretty cute . This idea of simplification inspired me to redesign our lab requisitions when I used to work at a medical lab; I will post more about that later. Back on track. Here are some very interesting statements, particularly regarding style, made by Mr. Glaser when he spoke at BYU. These comments were recorded by John Dilworth , whose blog I just stumbled across on accident. I had some comments, but I felt that Milton’s words by themselves were perfect, and anything I wrote detracted from the message. On not developing a unique style: “If people know what you do, they have power over you.” On style: “I fear arriving at a level of competence (in a specific style) and then be

Chennai Refined Characters

I received some excellent comments regarding the direction of this face. Someone felt that there was something that reminded them of Comic Sans (an unfortunate comparison) I hadn’t really thought about Comic Sans , but could see the point. I think that there IS a place somewhere between Comic Sans and VAG Rounded . One influence is Futura , which probably gives it a slightly “childlike” quality. There was also some discussion about the lowercase “e.” I did some experimentation with it, but I still think it works as is. Does anyone think the e sticks out to much? Due to the rounded forms, there was more difficulty than normal getting characters not to “float” above the baseline. I think I have the baseline float worked out better. I made a decision that the more simplified forms will be the dominant ones. To get to the more traditional forms you will have to turn OpenType swash on. How does everyone feel about that? Please ignore the temporary spacing. I’m primarily looking for letterfo


I thought this was a particulary brilliant idea. Behold the " locksit ." The seat folds back to lock the wheel. Via Core77 . Also, FontFont has released " Die 100 Beste Schriften ," that is, "The 100 Best Typefaces." Mein deutch is a bit schlecht, but it helps that there are pretty pictures, although that is a minor gripe; many of the featured typefaces don't have good examples available. You can download the .pdf here . Via TypeForYou . A lot of great material on this blog, updated very regularly.