The handwritten ‘gelati’ reminds me of how writing looked when we used to use squeakers for mocking up design concepts. I was never particularly adept with the squeakers—I much preferred (and was better at) sizing headline type. We would trace individual letters from the type catalogue, use the photocopier to enlarge or reduce, cut the words up to manually letter-space them before photocopying them again. All before marking it up for the typesetter. Groan! Who would wish for a return to those days! Nostalgia aside, I love this scene—the (I’m hoping intentional) humour in the half-hearted attempt to cover ‘veterinary’, the very gelati-like colours of the plastic furniture and the gaping cartoon maw of the yellow bin.

’Tis the season


Walking past the local butcher’s window this morning, I see that the festive season is upon us, because we are now being invited to order our christmas ham’s and turkey’s! It’s reassuring to know that, in this chaotic world, some things come around like clockwork, and that the punctuation is so reliable.



I was out for dinner at a local pizzeria the other night with my husband—the typo-sleuthing monster who, while I will admit to some initial accountability, has taken his eagle-eyed zeal to another level—and our editor friend, who is capable of demolishing the writing style of any menu with a single withering glance. I was hungry, and preoccupied with the capriciossa vs vesuvio dilemma, so I was not paying attention to, well, spelling and punctuation mistakes (or, until it was unavoidable, to their obvious glee at being treated to such an excellent example of each), but finally I caught on.

Phone coverage


Luckily I’m not the type of person who can’t function without my phone close to hand at all times, but when you’re in rural areas and out of range for hours or even days at a time, you realise how useful those pesky devices are, and how much you use them for instant access to, well, almost everything. This notice is posted on a tree in the parking area of a property on the outskirts of Bermagui in NSW. Certainly not the sticks, but remote enough that reception is patchy! I didn’t want or need to make use of the phone coverage here, but the sign was hard to ignore, especially with its pleasing background of spotted gum bark and accompanying cobwebs.

Bruce Lee


Looks like some local wag had fun with masking tape. Lucky I looked up, otherwise I would have missed it! I’d like to think of something else to say—maybe about the legibility or suitability of Gill Sans for such street signage—but really, I just liked it because it made me laugh.

Caslon 540


William Caslon was an eighteenth-century English gunsmith, engraver, punchcutter and type designer. His distinctive and legible typefaces transformed English type design by establishing a national typographic style, replacing the previously popular Dutch Baroque types which inspired him. Caslon typefaces have come in and out of fashion over the centuries, and today there are many variations of the original, including Caslon 540, designed by ATF in 1902, whose character set contains this particularly beautiful ampersand.



Wrought iron is a tough and malleable iron alloy, and over time has been used to make swords, cutlery, axes, garden furniture, rails, rivets, nails, nuts, bolts, horseshoes, decorative ironwork—to name but a handful of a huge array of items. These days, things that look like wrought iron, like this curly number, are more likely made of mild steel, but retain the name ‘wrought’ iron because they are worked by hand. This olde worlde style is not generally something I particularly warm to, but in this instance I was drawn to the shape of the numbers, particularly the spirally 6 and 3.



John Benson is a stone carver whose inscriptions appear on several Washington DC monuments. He has designed and carved gravestones for the likes of Tennessee Williams and Lillian Hellman, and his architectural inscriptions grace an impressive multitude of art museums, memorials, courthouses and the like. However he came to my attention because he designed the well-named typeface Balzano, a lively upright script font.



Yesterday I was out and about doing weekend things. Going to the shopping centre and then to the local foreshore park for a late afternoon walk before the storm hit, that sort of thing. Wherever I went I was struck by how vibrant everything looks right now. No doubt it’s the result of a cold winter, some rain, an early heatwave—but the trees seem unusually green and lush, the jacarandas, bougainvilleas and flame trees so vivid in flower, all nudging up against each other to create a dramatic display of strong vibrant colour.