IDEA DOCUMENT: On The Shoulders of Giants


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A very special type design issue from Japan's IDEA magazine. This is a solid reader that cover type design history and practice, with an international slate of contributors. Twenty articles from past issues of IDEA are reproduced within, presenting perspectives on type design's evolution over the past quarter century (from the late 1980s when PostScript and Macintosh revolutionized type design, to digital fonts, new type foundries, historical studies, and the impact of the internet). An indispensable book for graphic designers, type aficionados, and type design students.

Includes the following articles: “Some features of the font explosion” by Robin Kinross; “Type design that changed the outlook of Paris” by Jean François Porchez; “From punchcutting to digital type design” by Fred Smeijers; “Originality and Redesign of a Typeface” by Akira Kobayashi; “Succeeding Experimental Typefaces” by André Baldinger; “Twin Cities – The typeface represents a city” by LettError; “Didot Elder – Radical Revival of Historical Typefaces” by François Rappo; “Yale University Typeface Project” by Matthew Carter; “Typefoundry Today”; “Frische Schriften / Fresh Type” by Andres Janser; “Fedra : polyhistorical and synthetic quality in a type face”; “Pirouette : Designing typefaces based on a practice of calligraphy” by Ryuichi Tateno; “Dwiggins Revisited” by Sibylle Hagmann; “The story of the Guardian: typefaces 2003-2005” by Paul Barnes; two articles by Ian Lynam: “Heft, Gravy, and Swing : The Life & Times of Oswald Cooper” and “John Downer : Type Designer, Sign Painter, Gilder, Artist, Writer, and Critic”; “‘sans serif does not represent the final stage’ karl gerstner international designer, artist and author new books and a new typeface” by Helmut Schmid; plus “Critical development of sans serifs — Replica, New Rail Alphabet, Neutral” and “FUSE 1-20 From Invention to Antimatter: Twenty years of FUSE.”

An interview with Matthew Carter (“The Essences of Type design”) rounds out the publication.

IDEA is Japan's leading graphic design magazine. Each issue offers insight into international and Japanese designers and their work through historical analysis, criticism, and examples of projects. In print since 1953, IDEA is a critical forum for design criticism in Asia. 

Published by Seibundo Shinkosha Co., Ltd.

Bilingual, in Japanese and English

Softcover, 374 pages, 8.8 × 11.7 inches

ISBN 978-4-416-11527-5

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