Monday, 18 October 2010

Winder Reading | Times New Viking & Thomas Cobden-Sanderson

A couple final thoughts re. TYPE. First, here's a link to a Drowned in Sound page outlining how one can prematurely download a track from Times New Viking's new record, expected to land at the beginning of next year. This is important because Times New Viking represent an example of TYPE meeting MUSIC every bit as significant as the example of typewriter-tapping as film music discussed here. Whayoumean why? BECAUSE THEIR NAME IS AN EXCELLENT FONT SORT-OF-PUN, SILLY. Excellent because Times New Viking sounds, for myriad reasons, better than Times New Saxon, Times New Greek, Times New Egyptian. Plus, they play fun music.

Second, proof (if proof were required) that Silkworms is always precisely six days ahead of the Guardian/Observer: look who published an extract of Simon Garfield's new book, Just My Type, on Sunday. Admittedly, it looks like a thoroughly enjoyable take on an increasingly well-documented subject. So here, Alan Rusbridger, is the benefit of the doubt. By way of exchange, we're going to nick one of Garfield's excellent typographical anecdotes:

Thomas Cobden-Sanderson

Most type designers are understandably proud of their work. But Cobden-Sanderson, the maker of the beautiful Doves type, was so taken by it, and so keen that his former business partner shouldn't use it after his death, that he resolved to drown every letter in the Thames. In 1916 he began loading up his bicycle under cover of darkness and throwing his font under Hammersmith bridge. He made more than 100 separate trips, a large undertaking for a man of 76. And much of it still remains in its watery grave, forming itself into such words as the tide dictates.


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