Sunday, October 17, 2010

Media Week (Vol 3) 43: Larsson, Type & Fonts, Taylor Bradford

Just when you thought you had read all the Stieg Larsson stories comes word he was a revolutionary(Telegraph):
In it, Mr Holmberg describes how Larsson trained a group of women who were part of a Marxist liberation group fighting for Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia. He writes: “1977 was a dramatic year. Stieg spent part of it in Eritrea, where he had contacts in the Marxist EPLF liberation movement and helped to train a company of women guerrillas in the use of grenade launchers. “But he also contracted a kidney inflammation and was forced to leave the country.”

Curiously no one seems to explain who trained the trainer which could be far more interesting.

The Observer has a very long excerpt from True to Type, How we fell in love with our letters (Observer):
The etiquette of type informs our daily lives. Say you are designing a jacket for a new edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The book is out of copyright and so has cost you nothing, the beautiful jacket illustration of a secret garden has been done by a friend, and now all you have to do is find a suitable typeface for the title and author, and then the text inside. For the jacket type, conventional wisdom would be to choose something like Didot, which first appeared at around the time Austen was writing and looks very classy with its extreme range of fine and stronger lines, especially in italics. This font will fit right in, and will sell books to people who like classic editions. But if you wanted to reach a different market, the sort who might read Kate Atkinson or Sebastian Faulks, you may opt for something less fusty, perhaps Ambroise Light, which, like Didot, has a stylish French pedigree.

For the text of the book, you might consider a digital update of Bembo – perhaps Bembo Book? Originally cut from metal in the 1490s, this classic roman typeface retains a consistent readability. And it fits the overriding principle that typefaces should mostly pass unrecognised in daily life; that they should inform but not alarm. A font on a book jacket should merely pull you in; once it has created the desired atmosphere it does well to slink away, like the host at a party.

There are exceptions, of course, and a brilliant one is John Gray's bestseller, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, in which the designer Andrew Newman chose Arquitectura for the male lines and Centaur for the female ones. Arquitectura looks manly because it is tall, solid, slightly space-age, rooted and implacable. Centaur, despite its bullish name, looks like it has been written by hand, has thin and thick strokes, and is charming and elegant (obviously this is gross sexua l stereotyping, but Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is pop-psychology).

Novelist Taylor Bradford is named Yorkshire person of the year (BBC - Link to video plays immediately)

And from the twitter this week:

: Streetscapes - Rare Books About New York - Rare Books About New York -

See Frankfurt presentation - Carla Stoffle: almost no new print book acquisitions in one year from now at U Arizona

Sheila Bounford's (of NBN) presentation from TOC Frankfurt: Technology, Change & Customers

Tony Blair In Line For Bad Sex Award (Telegraph - with suitable grim photo)

Edward Nawotka Discusses Digital Publishing: The Book Futurists -

And in sport, it seems we have some serious issues with our star player (Guardian)

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