April 13, 2003
A while ago, I bought a font - I forget which - from Emigre, a foundry in California. One consequence is that, every now and then, they send out mailshots of samples of their work. I've today opened one that bears a sample brochure for a spectacularly old-fashioned body face called 'Tribute,' by Frank Heine.
To an amateur type nerd like me, it's beautiful. There's something about pages of well-set, interesting type that I find fascinating and pleasing in equal measure. Last year I unexpectedly found myself trying to ape the style of Baskerville's setting of Virgil's Bucolica, in type by both Caslon and Baskerville. Or rather, their current Adobe interpretations. Speaking of whom, Adobe's lovely UK press office provided me with the means to do half-decent typography with minimal effort, in the form of a copy of InDesign. The results, printed onto hand-stained papers, were beautiful - I wish I'd framed them.
Type is one of the most undervalued modern commodities, in my humble. Everybody just sticks with Arial or Times New Roman or (heaven forbid) Comic Sans. They're missing a lot of fun, considerable pleasure, and much beauty.