This tells it like it is, and while the promise of such carbohydrate delights is inviting, the people sitting inside didn’t look like they were especially enjoying their chosen sugary floury treat. You never can tell though: the appeal of the sign (and, yes, this is basic, but I like it, particularly the K of cakes and the scripty and) is not always indicative of the fare on offer. In this case the sign had more appeal than the display in the window, but, hard to believe, I once had an excellent cake from a bakery that used Algerian Condensed!

Antikva Margaret


Antikva Margaret is not a typeface you come across nowadays, although it was part of the Linotype font library at some point because it appears in a typesetting catalogue I have from back in the era of phototypesetting. Antikva Margaret was designed in the 1960s by Hungarian type designer Zoltán Nagy for VGC (Visual Graphics Corporation). My type catalogue includes samples of light, italic, extra bold and black weights. I found a free download, but also discovered Olde Megrat NF, a version of the original that was updated and digitised by Nick Curtis of Nick’s Fonts in 2011.

For music


I’d like to know what the green paint is covering, but as far as the sentiment goes, I’m all for music too. Whether they left the words unobscured on purpose, or just because it wasn’t the part that, for whatever reason, needed to be covered up, hardly matters. This has the look of the hand-drawn, and I like it for that too.



What a magnificent building this is, despite—or because of—its dilapidation. The faded and peeling paintwork, rotting window frame and patchy painted glass are not enough to disguise its beauty. I love the decorative frieze of circles and lines and the irregular letter shapes and spacing of Eclipse. The Eclipse Theatre is situated in the small town of Deepwater, on the NSW northern tablelands. Deepwater’s population is not much more than 300.There is an annual race meeting and a Scarecrow and Wool Festival. Despite the proximity of a river, the Ngarabal name for the area is Talgambuun, meaning ‘dry country with many dead trees’. It’s hard to imagine how this art deco theatre got here, and I haven’t been able to find out, which only adds to its allure.



Tracking, like kerning, is a horizontal space adjustment of letters, but whereas kerning refers to the space relationship between two individual characters, tracking applies to the uniform spacing of groups of letters—whether it be a word, sentence, paragraph, or larger block of text. Tracking can range from very tight to very loose. Large headlines are often improved by some tightening of the tracking, and very small type can be made more legible by some loosening, especially if the paper it is to be printed on is absorbent and allows ink spread.

Green cables


I like this gathering of green and yellow cables: the neat row of screws, the tidy cable groupings, the curves that make it look like some eighteen-tentacled alien creature (with an added thick tail for balance). While I know that printing onto surfaces other than paper is nothing new, it still amazes me that the information printed onto the plastic is so legible. The colour palette of green and yellow, complemented by the various grey and silver tones of the metal elements, with a highlight of reflective orange from an adjacent metal cabinet, transforms a functional bit of wiring into an industrial sculpture.



Straight to the point! None of this diesel or ethanol or super or standard or vortex or 95 or 98 or lpg or 4c-off-with-voucher business. Just fuel. I love this no nonsense declaration, with its rusty streaks and bold red sans serif letters. In the country town, where I saw this, the message is unmistakable, but location plays a big part in its inherent communication. In the city, this could equally be a cafe, an overpriced grocer, an industrial-chic hangout for the weekend chillseeker, and the asymmetric shape would be interpreted as organic rather than aged and weathered.



Seventy-seven years have passed since this building was erected, and while Ray White had been in the real estate business since 1902, I doubt his company occupied these premises until much more recently or there would surely have been evidence of an earlier incarnation of the logo, perhaps more sympathetically matched in materials and execution to the building. While there is nothing exceptional about the facade, the stark white of the modern screenprinted sign is undoubtedly unsympathetic. This doesn’t detract from the attention-grabbing number 3, however.

The letter F


The letter F is the sixth letter and fourth consonant of our alphabet, and dates back to the Proto-Sinaitic letter waw. F is a fricative consonant, which means that the sound is produced by forcing air through a narrow channel: in F’s case, this is created by placing the lower lip against the upper teeth. In addition to the F-word, degrees Fahrenheit, F-stop, F-Troop, the musical note F and ff (fortissimo), F also stands for the Latin term fecit, or ‘made it’, and was often added by an artist or craftsman to the signature on their work. In typography, the lower case f is commonly seen as a ligature.