Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brought to You by the Letter....

Today's letter is brought to you by the letter: A.
Twentieth Century, uppercase A, regular.

I definitely really like the way Twentieth Century's uppercase A looks. It's got two strong legs to stand on, where the cross bar is positioned creates a good ratio of white space. But I was worried that it was a little boring. It's a geometric sans-serif, and for the most part, it looks like any other geometric sans-serif. But when I got digging, I found some neat information. (Keep reading)

Courtesy of wikipedia.com and briarpress.org

Design Foundry: Monotype
Designer: Sol Hess
Date: 1937-1947
Classification: Geometric Sans-Serif

Okay, apparently, another geometric sans-serif, Futura made an appearance in the mid 1920s for the Bauer foundry before Twentieth Century (1937-47). Tw Cent is just Monotype's version of a geometric sans-serif. There are others to: Metro, Kabel, Spartan, Vogue etc from different foundries. The differences among them are slim. They're just the licensed version for each foundry. Futura and Tw Cent are essentially the Coke and Pepsi of the type world.

Geometric sans-serifs (GSS) were resurrected in the latter half of the twentieth century with type families like ITC Avant Garde, Century Gothic and Avenir. These new GSSs had less stroke variation (notice how the cross bar is slimmer than the legs in Tw Cent) and higher 'x' heights. The increased 'x' heights made them perfect for children's books. This makes perfect sense, because I can't help but look at that Tw Cent 'A' and think ABCs, even though it's such a cold and unfriendly looking A.


Sam Ricks said...

Can I just say that I love these posts?

h. van de mark said...

Thanks Sam! Word has it that I have a few regular readers, but they're off in the shadows being quiet.

So thanks for letting me you know you like them, definitely helps keep me doing it.

Sam Ricks said...

Yeah, I suppose I'm a bit of a closet blog reader.

But this is wonderful. You should try and get it syndicated or something! It'd be a great feature in a design magazine.

h. van de mark said...

Thanks! Maybe I'll think about that once Portfolio and Seminar are done kicking my butt. :)

And shhh, don't tell anyone I missed this week.