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Old 09-10-2006, 07:45 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default NYT mag has fun with letters

Recently I have mostly been sniping at the New York Times Magazine’s type design — drop caps that are isolated from the text that follows, making reading a puzzle; decorative type that is cropped by the trim line or otherwise mutilated; and so on.

But this weekend the art directors there have really made me a smile: They set the titles to a collection of articles, ransom-note style, in characters found and photographed around the city. A discreet (well, okay, almost invisible) key advises where each character had been found.

The sources range from battered old signs, some painted, some made of metal or wood; bits of neon signs; street signs; perfectly good signs but in odd type designs; and some of no particular distinction that seem to have caught the photographer’s eye for some reason.

They included a sampling from their collection on the TOC (attached); the more interesting were used for the articles, but to see those you must run right out and buy a copy of the paper — the online edition doesn’t include them. Pity.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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And not a University Roman 'R' to be seen anywhere, thank God!

   
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #3
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Ann:

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And not a University Roman 'R' to be seen anywhere
Explain, please!

   
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:35 PM   #4
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Explain, please!
Ann has gone off to work. Does this help? (See attachment)
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:08 PM   #5
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KT:

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Does this help? (See attachment)
I should call that a grossly distorted R, but as I could see two Rs that inclined to that direction, I still don't understand Ann's comment. Perhaps it's a designers witticism.

   
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:24 PM   #6
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I should call that a grossly distorted R, but as I could see two Rs that inclined to that direction, I still don't understand Ann's comment. Perhaps it's a designers witticism.
Perhaps so.

Grossly distorted at least. <g>

   
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:50 PM   #7
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Explain, please!
I loathe the University Roman R (and by association, the entire typeface). It's grossly overused in signage in Brisbane, especially by jewellers. In the city area alone, there must be more than 20 jewellers with street-front shops who use it for their signage. And of course, the word 'Jeweller' necessitates use of the R.

Fortunately, I rarely visit the city area of Brisbane these days, and had almost forgotten the usage until I saw the NYT photos, which look as if their design staff had a lot of fun.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:47 AM   #8
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Ann:

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I loathe the University Roman R (and by association, the entire typeface)
Now all is clear! I didn't realize that you were referring to a typeface called University, and particularly its roman; has it got an italic?

I have never come across University: I recognize the names of only the better-known typefaces, and not very recent ones at that.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
Now all is clear! I didn't realize that you were referring to a typeface called University, and particularly its roman; has it got an italic?

I have never come across University: I recognize the names of only the better-known typefaces, and not very recent ones at that.
No, actually she was referring to a 1980 design for Letraset by Mike Daines and its name is actually “University Roman” (not “University” roman).

There is an italic/swash alternate set. It is called University Roman Italic Alternatives.

I have actually seen these fonts used effectively. For display, of course.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:15 AM   #10
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KT:

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she was referring to a 1980 design for Letraset by Mike Daines
Earlier than that: the copyright date is 1972, and University Roman (EF) was produced as an improved version of University Roman in 1977. I can't remember if both versions were designed by Daines & Kelly or just one of them.

I've seen that type of thing before, though I think it was by someone during the art nouveau period (I mean it was printed then). 'University Roman' is a silly name, and 'University Roman Italic' is just ridiculous, but the font sells.

   
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