E is for Eurostile


Eurostile was created by Italian type designer Aldo Novarese in 1962. It was a development of the caps-only Microgramma, which he had helped design ten years earlier. It is a geometric sans serif typeface that has proved to be popular for record covers, film titles, logos and science fiction and videogame artwork.

Rice St


There is a marked similarity between road signs in Australia and the United States. In the US we have to remain alert driving on the other side of the road, but as far as navigation goes, it’s all very familiar. This mess of signs, on Lihue’s main street, bears a striking resemblance to those found in my own neighbourhood, where they seem to congregate, as if the more the merrier. It’s surprising that these agglomerations are not more confusing, but we seem to be able to understand this visual language and get around reasonably successfully.

D is for Diotima


Diotima was designed by Gudrun Zapf von Hesse in 1948. It is named for Diotima of Mantinea, a philosopher and priestess in Plato’s Symposium. Zapf von Hesse is a German type designer, calligrapher and bookbinder. She ran a bookbinding studio in Frankfurt from 1946 to 1955. She also taught lettering, and was fascinated by letterforms. Diotima was released as metal type by the D Stempel AG foundry in the early 1950s and was later digitised by Linotype.

Liquid aloha


The supermarket at Princeville, with its colourful displays of packaging and interesting bottle shapes and labels, can hold me captive for hours. It takes some doing to get my head around the fact that the grocery store in a small town on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean can offer more choice than some major stores in my considerably larger home town of Sydney. But on this particular day we had been out in the heat for hours, and just wanted to get back to our apartment and open the bag of chips, crack open a cold one, and sit on the deck while the sun went down on Bali Ha’i.

C is for Caslon 3


Caslon 3 is ATF’s 1905 cut of William Caslon’s 1725 typeface. Every cut of Caslon—and there are many, including digital-only versions such as Adobe Caslon and Big Caslon—is slightly different, but Caslon 3 is relatively true to the forms of the original. Caslon is an old-style serif typeface.



A hukilau is a centuries-old Hawaiian method of fishing. When the time to catch the fish is right, a large number of people, sometimes the entire village or community, gather at the beach to participate in the event. They would work together to cast a large net from shore, and the resultant catch provided food for everyone. Hukilau Beach is in La’ie, on the northeastern shore of Oahu, and is so named because of the hukilaus that took place there until around 1970. The Hukilau Song was written by Jack Owens in 1948 after he attended a hukilau at La’ie, and has since been covered by many Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian musicians. And the first hula I learnt was the Hukilau, played and sung by Uncle Sam and taught by Auntie Malihini on Maui.

B is for Bernhard Fashion


Bernhard Fashion was designed by Lucian Bernhard in 1929, originally for American Type Founders. Born in Germany and based in New York, Bernhard designed about a dozen typefaces, many of them with his name in the title. This highly stylised display typeface was designed to evoke the spirit of the roaring twenties.

Falling fruits


In Hawaii there are plenty of warning signs nailed to coconut trees, but this one is stuck in the ground at the Lyon Arboretum, in the upper Manoa Valley. Harold Lyon, who gives the arboretum its name, was a botanist from Minnesota, and during his tenure as director almost a century ago planted around 2000 species of trees. My walk through the tropical rainforest, in the rain, was most enjoyable, and made even more so by coming across this home-made laser-printed sign, laminated for weatherproofing. I hardly noticed the actual fruit, just that it was falling fruits in Frutiger.

A is for Albertus


Albertus was designed by Berthold Wolpe around 1932 for the Monotype Corporation. Wolpe was a German-born, London-based typographer, type designer, typographic historian and calligrapher. Albertus is recognisable as the typeface used on London street signs, and was also used by Wolpe on many of the book jackets he designed for Faber and Faber. It is a glyphic serif typeface, intended to resemble letters carved into bronze.