Do type blogs still exist?

2019 March 22

One of my goals with this new website was to have a blog. I really like blogs. Twitter is too fast and heated. Message Boards are too full of trolls. Blogs are still personal but they are much less ephemeral. They require some effort and thought, and that hurdle is a great way to make sure you actually care about the ideas you're putting out into the world. Blogs are still the best way to present ideas on the internet. And, to be perfectly honest, I don't release new fonts very often (averaging one release every five years), so having regularly updated content on this site might actually draw some new eyeballs.

So yea, I'd love to have a blog. I have some ideas about things to write about, mostly random skeletons of ideas about things I've been researching, experimenting with, or thinking about. But, it turns out writing a blog is a lot of work. It's especially hard if you don't write a lot and have a crippling lack of self-confidence. For now my goal is to post something once a month. Maybe it gets easier with practice, like running or making pasta. I guess we'll find out. Or not.

In the meantime, I thought I should share some of active type blogs that I still read. This is in no way an authoritative list, I just pulled them from my feedbin.com account (I <3 rss). Let me know if I missed anything, there's a good chance I just don't know about it or, more likely, just forgot.

— Jackson


The Alphabettesalphabettes.org
This group posts on a wide range of type and lettering-related topics. From interviews to design explorations. It's all great. You could start with Victoria Rushton’s thorough logotype critique or this recent list of non-molestery alternatives to Gill Sans


Dan Reynoldstypeoff.de
Dan's posts dive deep into German type history. I especially enjoyed this recent post identifying types of source material for researching historic type production


CASTarticles.c-a-s-t.com
This gets a pass even though it’s on Medium and related to a type foundry. Excellent, well-produced posts on type history. I especially enjoy the articles by Riccardo Olocco. You could start with his detailed look at Jenson’s influence on the roman letter


Indra Kupferschmidkupferschrift.de
Indra teaches typography and I’m pretty sure she is involved in every corner of the type world. She writes about lots of random things and it’s all interesting. Here’s a good thinking-out-loud post about how to approach evaluating the quality of a typeface


Fonts In Usefontsinuse.com
In addition to its huge gallery of typographic design, Fonts In Use has an excellent blog with articles that examine the typographic details of specific projects. Start with Quentin Schmerber’s typographic history of Akira


Font Review Journalfontreviewjournal.com
Bethany Heck’s thorough, and I mean thorough, evaluation of recent typefaces from a graphic designer’s perspective. More graphic designers should write about their typographic opinions. I’d start with this review of Eames Century Modern because it’s one of my favorite typefaces


David Shields woodtyperesearch.com
If you like wood type, you’ll love David Shields. He posts useful things like this list of online wood type specimens but my mind is constantly being blown by his insanely good research. This old post about using tool marks to identify the manufacturers of unmarked wood type is one of my favorite things ever


Paul Shaw paulshawletterdesign.com
Paul Shaw is a type historian with a refreshingly critical voice. His writing is thorough, detailed, and usually full of Dwiggins goodness. Paul's fact checking of mainstream type writing are a highlight, usually offering a better read than the original text. Start with his classic markup of the popular book Just My Type


Typographicatypographica.org
Typographica used to be the go-to thoughtful type blog. Unfortunately, apart from a yearly drop of short "favorite typeface" reviews, it's pretty dormant. Averaging about one post a year, it almost didn’t meet my bar for active blogs. But Agyei Archer’s recent post on the political baggage of fonts is a must read. Hopefully they can keep up momentum with more posts


I wasn't going to include type foundry blogs on this list since most of them just post promotional content. Release announcements, in-use photos, awards, dates for speaking events, pictures of cats, etc. There are a few, however, who manage to write some really great articles about their work, research, and thought/design process. These are all very good:
Commercial Type
Frere-Jones
Fontstand
Harbor Type
Hoefler & Co
KLIM
Oh No
Type Today
Typotheque
Underware