California as an Island

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For a change of pace let’s talk about some real honest-to-goodness fonts, eh? One release that’s worth your attention and one I noticed that made me squeal with excitement was Acme Gothic, a new family my Mark Simonson that’s based on the lettering style that was pretty much everywhere in the U.S. in the early 20th century:

I can tell this is a lovely type family because of my big, dumb excitement about it. And generally speaking a lot of gothics look a little too mean and are trying too hard to be cool to be useful. Acme though doesn’t share the same quirks and since the family contains compressed, condensed, normal, wide and extrawide styles, it’s possible to cover a huge swath of design possibilities with ease.

Also, one nifty feature I’ve never heard about before is what Mark describes as ‘raised small caps’ in the specimen page. You can see the difference between them and the regular kind in Mark’s example here:

How unmeasurably lovely is this? I can imagine blowing a whole afternoon away just experimenting with this feature alone.


Next up is a typeface from David Jonathan Ross’s prestigious and wondrous Font of the Month Club where if you sign up for just a few bucks he’ll send you a font once a month. Each email happens to be entirely frustrating and envy-inducing though as it looks like Ross exhales typefaces effortlessly. And August’s release is no different:

Map Roman is a titling face designed by Ross that was influenced by a trip to the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla. Ross found some illustrated maps by Max Gill and felt inspired to design a new typeface based on the calligraphy he found there.

Here’s a note from the Map and Atlas Museum website that caught my attention and made me want to ditch everything and drive down to see this place for myself:

In the Museum’s permanent exhibition are maps ranging from a copy of the 1472 “T-O” Map by Isadore of Seville, generally considered to be the first printed map, to a delightful colored 1958 Tourist Map of Southern California with the charming name of “Roads to Romance."

The Museum’s main hall is divided into sections that show maps categorized by Exploration, Colonization, California as an Island and Sea Charts. There are also galleries set aside for maps of Europe, Celestial, Holy Land, Africa and Asia. Display cases in both the main hall and galleries contain many rare atlases by Blaeu, Ortelius, De Wit and others. Here too can be found work by Father Kino, Benjamin Franklin, a beautiful edition of the “Nuremberg Chronicles” and colorful Gold Rush Map by William Jackson.

There is only one thing I can say in response to all this: road trip, anyone?