G is for Gill Kayo


Gill Kayo is often referred to as Gill Sans Ultra Bold, despite the fact that many letters are not consistent with the structure of any other of the Gill Sans weights. The name comes from ‘knockout’, implying its solidity, and its release by Eric Gill and Monotype in 1936 was met with much controversy. Gill Kayo is categorised as a sans serif typeface, but even Gill himself considered it a novelty.

F is for Flight


Flight was designed for Letraset in 1995 by self-taught British type designer Timothy Donaldson. It is a calligraphic font that was originally rendered in pencil using a quick sketching technique, after which the stem junctions were thickened. Donaldson also designed John Handy, Orange, Green, Pink, Trackpad and Neo Neo—all of which exhibit his characteristic calligraphic style.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



The side effect of ageing that affects me most is that I now have to don spectacles to be able to read with the sharp focus that I have been lucky enough to enjoy unaided until fairly recently. But I figure that if I’m going to have to wear specs, they might as well be nice ones. Yesterday was my scheduled visit to the optometrist. They’re a friendly and helpful bunch—and given their location, rather used to graphic designers being particular about frames. What made yesterday a standout is that the frames I chose came with free engraving on the underside of the side bit. I’m not big on putting my name or slogans on things, but when they said I could have twenty-six characters …

Hawaiian alphabet


The Hawaiian alphabet consists of five vowels and seven consonants (or eight if you include the ‘okina, the letter used to indicate a glottal stop). I find it quite remarkable that such an expressive language can come from so few letters, but then again, the Hawaiian language is rich with words that have multiple meanings. This poster is displayed in the restored Hale Pa’i (House of Printing) on the grounds of Lahainaluna High School, on the hillside above Lahaina.

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.