List 029: Typefaces with names that interest me

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Design

I’ve always been interested in how people name things—they say that when you name things, you immediately build a relationship with that object, person or emotion. Whenever I go though the text panel in InDesign searching through my vast font library, I always wonder about what the relationship is like between the typeface and the designer: is it strictly a professional designer-client relationship? A sordid love affair? Or a promise of forever?

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1) St Ryde: I don’t really know who St Ryde is, but he or she ought to be the saint of good taste. Designer Sascha Timplan certainly did a great job of combining a humanist sans-serif with a script.

I don't really know who St Ryde is, but he or she ought to be the saint of good taste. Designer Sascha Timplan certainly did a great job of combining a humanist sans-serif with a script.

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2) Bisque: I’m always intrigued by combinations of two of my favourite things: food and design. Even though this doesn’t really conjure up images of creamy lobster soup in my head, it’s one of those typefaces that looks the way it sounds: sexy. It’s that “-isque sound that makes me think of elegant, curvaceous lines.

Yey, a typeface named after food! But surprisingly, it doesn't really conjure up images of creamy lobster soup in my head. This is actually one typeface with a name that reflects what it looks like. I've always visualised the "-isque" sound as being elegant and curvaceous. Or curvaceously elegant. Or elegantly curvaceous.

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3) Berber: What can be more intriguing than a typeface named after the indigenous people of North Africa?

It intrigues me how Stephen Banham named this after the indigenous people of North Africa. Why not the indigenous people of Australia? or any other country? Perhaps he saw a typeface on a trip to north africa. I love conjecture (and being proved so wrong in the end!).

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4) The Sans: I think it’s a little presumptuous and not to mention a wee bit arrogant to name something as THE anything. Especially this family of fonts: TheSans, TheSerif, TheMix, which never really took off as THE typeface! If anything, Helvetica is still THE sans.

I think it's a little presumptuous and not to mention a wee bit arrogant to name something as THE anything. Especially this family of fonts: TheSans, TheSerif, TheMix, which never really took off as THE typeface! If anything, Helvetica is still THE sans.

+++++

5) Akzidenz-Grotesk: I always have visions of gargoyles, sharp edges and car crashes whenever I see the name of this font written down. But any designer knows that this classic, clean, sturdy sans serif is anything but chaotic.

 

I always have visions of gargoyles, sharp edges and car crashes whenever I see the name of this font written down. But any designer knows that this classic, clean, sturdy sans serif is anything but those things.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akzidenz_Grotesk

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7) Mrs Eaves: The story behind the naming of this typeface runs like a soap opera: This typeface is named after Sarah Eaves, the woman who became John Baskerville’s wife. As Baskerville was setting up his printing and type business, Mrs. Eaves moved in with him as a live-in housekeeper, eventually becoming his wife after the death of her first husband, Mr. Eaves. Like the widows of Caslon, Bodoni, and the daughters of Fournier, Sarah similarly completed the printing of the unfinished volumes that John Baskerville left upon his death.

The story behind the naming of this typeface runs like a soap opera: This typeface is named after Sarah Eaves, the woman who became John Baskerville’s wife. As Baskerville was setting up his printing and type business, Mrs. Eaves moved in with him as a live-in housekeeper, eventually becoming his wife after the death of her first husband, Mr. Eaves. Like the widows of Caslon, Bodoni, and the daughters of Fournier, Sarah similarly completed the printing of the unfinished volumes that John Baskerville left upon his death.

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8) Cochin: I have been to Cochin and I think this typeface represents a highly romanticised vision of the ancient city, certainly not the chaotic Indian city it is today!

I wonder if there will ever be a typeface named Melbourne? or Manila? Obviously no one has built enough of a relationship with these cities to make a typeface in honour of it...

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9) Caecilia: I’ve always liked the name Caecilia and perhaps one day I will name a pet or a child (I can see special man friend throwing a fit) after it. This Linotype typeface was designed in 1990 by Peter Matthias Noordzij (PMN), and named for his wife, Caecilia.

I've always liked the name Caecilia and perhaps one day I will name a pet or a child (I can see special man friend throwing a fit) after it. This Linotype typeface was designed in 1990 by Peter Matthias Noordzij (PMN), and named for his wife, Caecilia.

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