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Baseline Cover Issue 20


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Cover: The arches at London Bridge


Editorial Hans Dieter Reichert & Mike Daines

The growing network of Baseline’s supporters and contributors increases the possibility of making discoveries that enable us to refresh these typographic eyes, sometimes blurred through a surfeit of typo-material, or from too long spent surveying cyberspace.

McKnight Kauffer’s labels were ‘discovered’ through a friend of a friend of the editorial board, followed up with a growing enthusiasm as their previously overlooked importance became clearer.

And there are discoveries which only show their true value through assiduous searching by the graphic prospectors. Such as John Chippindale, prepared to wait until the sun’s angel created light which revealed the details of image and texture, and rewarded with the disappearing jewels of Spanish vernacular lettering.

Behind the most commercially successful type designs, such as Robert Slimbach’s Adobe Garamond, sometimes lies a wealth of hidden detail. Research and experimentation, which, when revealed, undermines the suspicion that contemporary type is invariably shallow and based on a fast buck philosophy.

Searching for exceptional new work leads us to the visual trickery of Stefan Sagmeister, and his demonstrated credo that content is more important than style. A designer prepared to invest in the time that it takes to work beyond the obvious solution to a graphic problem, and prepared to remind us that shock accompanies discovery sometimes.

Seekers after a new way of expressing language need to discover how technology can provide a solution, as Teal Triggs explores in the Pussy Galore font project; while more prosaic historical research led to Dave Farey’s insight to the frequently complex relationships of the London typefoundaries at the turn of this century.

Discoveries in different ways at different levels, proving once more the breadth and depth of the typographic world which Baseline continues to explore.

Hans Dieter Reichert & Mike Daines

Lexicon of Typematters (A–B) Editorial team
Stefan Sagmeister – Perception and Reality Hans Dieter Reichert
Cuentos Callejeros John Chippindale
Image from article Image from article Image from article Image from article Image from article

The Spanish sun is fierce. These stone or stucco walls are baked year after year. Paint fades and peels, metal rusts and streaks, old wood dries and cracks. Torrential winter and spring rains wash the facades and softly erode the surfaces. Many walls have a faded quality, like frescoes, where colour has clung persistently, fused with the material of the wall and eventually become part of the surface itself. The brilliant quality of light reveals the texture of every surface and casts highly contrasting shadows. To a Northern European, colours are very different. The light is so intense that colour appears bleached in full sunlight and is darkly intensified under shadow. Faded murals, old shop and business signs and other letterforms abound in this environment of light and shade; sol y sombra…

John Chippindale

Robert Slimbach – Baseline Interview (Adobe) Editorial team
The making of Pussy Galore (Typeface) Prof. Dr. Teal Triggs
The ‘Lost’ Labels of E McKnight Kauffer Mike Daines
The Last of the Elite Dave Farey
Opinions, Reviews Bill Johnstone

©1995 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.