I bought this booklet recently after browsing abebooks.co.uk. I couldn’t resist. I was seduced. The front cover is a design using different weights of the typeface ‘Albertus’, printed in its striking colourway of cyan and black. I’m very fond of this particular family. It has been used on many book covers; in particular, those published by Faber and Faber in the 1950s and 1960s – still some of my all-time favourite designs. It is also used for the very distinctive City of London street signs. When it came to designing our identity for Railway Land Press, it was one of three typefaces that I proposed to Jason, but it was by far the most effective and we settled on it within no time. We use in conjunction with ITC Johnston, a typeface with a story of its own, but that’s for another blog post.
Back to my purchase; within the newsletter is an article about the Monotype ‘alphabet tracing sheets’, something that I had quite a collection of in the days of being a graphic design student in the 1970s. To produce anything typographically for our ‘roughs’, or ‘visuals’, we’d have to hand draw our chosen font on layout paper and arrange our design using a hard, sharp pencil. Oh, how my life was – and continues to be – transformed by the Apple computer! I have no regrets about my anologue training though. It gave me an understanding of tracking, kerning and the correct use of ‘negative space’ between letters and words. I still aim for this in my work. I am, mostly, diligent about this practice. Yes… mostly.