The Royal


The Royal theatre, in Quirindi NSW, dates from 1930. It closed in 2006 but a couple of years later the building was bought by the shire council with the aim of restoring it to its former glory. The community rallied, and volunteers  helped with the clean up and painting. In April 2010 the theatre officially re-opened with a live performance, and by September, movie screenings were resumed. I would have loved to have seen inside, even caught a show, but it was closed on the day I was there so I had to be content with admiring the name above the door.

Another chemist


Here’s another chemist, another collection of type styles. The sheer lack of harmony saves it from being a complete mess. Actually, it is a complete mess, a typographic disaster area and design catastrophe! Perhaps its saving grace is that there has been no attempt to update the older vertical sign and the mortar and pestle to match the newer awning sign of the chain pharmacy.



It’s been a while since I walked up Bathurst Street in the city, and this group of type styles, between Castlereagh and Pitt, reminds me that I’m well overdue for another walk through town. My attention was first drawn by the flag-like chemist sign. The H and M are missing on this side but there is no loss of legibility as the symmetrical sans serif upper case letters—which look like Helvetica Black—can be easily read in reverse. Half hidden behind the E is the original building mark, and it almost goes without saying that where there is an accessible bit of wall, there is graffiti.



Weight refers to the blackness or heaviness of a character, and generally ranges in scale from light to bold. Weights from one typeface to another can vary considerably, but they have relative meaning within a typeface family. Some typeface families have only a few weights. Bernhard Modern, for example, has only Roman and Bold, and Clarendon has three weights—Light, Roman and Bold. Other typeface families, such as Helvetica Neue and Interstate, have a huge range. Helvetica Neue has eight weights, from Ultra Light to Black.

Bill Posters


I know it’s old, but I still allow myself to wonder what poor old Bill Posters did to deserve prosecution. Not only that, but to have notification of his fate emblazoned over walls, telegraph poles and hoardings! As a kid, I really did want to know who this mystery Bill Posters was—and my mother, with her unalloyed delight in wordplay, did nothing to dissuade me of my misconception. Years later, the caution is still being publicised, and although I now know what it means, it’s still good to see that Bill Posters will be vindicated.



Using handwritten pegs is such a simple and obvious method of labelling plants, but I don’t think I’ve seen it done like this before. More common is the use of paddlepop sticks that are stuck into the soil, but these pegs are so easy to read, and I like the complete effect, more small-scale sculptural installation than functional device. I found myself wanting to delve deeper into this forest of brahmi, gotu kola, thyme and evening primrose, and wondered if they were grown along Fairy Mountain Road, which I had driven past earlier in the day.

Gnome Alley


Not only do the gnomes have a new home, but this time there is no fear of them being ousted, because they now have their own street sign. I liked how my view of the sign sat with the garden centre sign a little further down the street. There’s a mess of typefaces here, although the mix is fairly restrained compared to that which can be seen in the main streets of the seaside towns nearby.

New home


The Cobargo gnomes have a new home. The block of vacant land they previously occupied has been developed, but the locals were not prepared to see the gnomes displaced. Incorporated into an improved and landscaped garden setting at the side of the new building are all the old gnomes, plus a new intake of residents including this gardener, philosopher and sage, as well as, a little further along, a painted grey statue named Grey Gnom-ad.



My Summer Hill friends have gone bush, and we celebrated the new year with them in their new home on the south coast. We had planned quite a feast: a first course of local prawns with homemade tartare sauce followed by barbecued steak from Benny Bros of Cobargo, served with anchovy butter and a salad of herbs and mixed leaves. We ate too many prawns so by consensus decided to defer main course until the following night. But next evening the meat could not be found! Each of us in turn searched both fridge and freezer, and to our dismay discovered that the bagged-up prawn shells, that we thought had been put in the garbage, were still in the fridge. By then it was too late in the day to replenish supplies from Benny’s, whose closed painted glass door can be seen here through the flyscreen.



In typography, a ligature is a single glyph made up of more than one character. Ligatures can be functional or ornamental. A good example of a functional ligature is the combination of the letters f and i. In many typefaces the dot of the i crashes into the arch of the f, and the ligature resolves the overlap of letters and improves letter spacing. The typefaces shown here are Adobe Caslon, Eames Century Modern and Adobe Garamond Pro: the second two also contain the ff and ffi ligatures in their glyph set.