A hamster and a rat were sitting on the side of a swimming pool. They were enjoying the sun. Suddenly the rat turned to the hamster and asked him:
"Hey, how come people consider me a nuisance, and you a pet? How come people pay money to have you, while they are trying to kill me? How come you are considered a cute little animal, while I am considered creepy and disgusting? How come you live in a warm home, and I have to stay in the sewer?"
But it does spur me on to get out and do some searching. And here we have two fonts that have very similar attributes (aside from the obvious difference of one being sans and the other slab serif): because both are based on strictly geometric forms.
Litera was designed in 1983 by Michael Neugebauer, who used the same construction found in his more widely-known typeface Cirkulus. The overall look of Litera is modern, clear and light. Distinguishing characteristics are the openness and the e and P and the particularly long cross stroke of the G.
And Lubalin Graph, which was designed by Herb Lubalin and drawn by Tony DiSpigna and Joe Sundwall in 1974. They based the geometric skeletons of this new typeface on Lubalin's earlier (and also better-known) Avant Garde, but modified the shapes to add those big square (or rectangular) serifs. The condensed weights, which include small caps and old-style figures, were added by Helga Jörgenson and Sigrid Engelmann in 1992.
I hope that Richard won't mind me mentioning that a couple of weeks ago we had a little off-blog discussion about how we respond to bloggers who ask for reciprocal links. I said at the time that no one had ever asked me, so it wasn't something I'd yet had to consider. But lo and behold, and out of the blue, they start arriving, usually prefaced with words along the lines of 'your site is awesome'.
Well, excuse me, but it's not awesome. If you want awesome, you're looking in the wrong place my friends. This is just a little bit of noodling to lighten the load of the day, sometimes to bring you a little amusement, and sometimes to have a little grump. But it ain't gonna change the world, is it?
So here are two simple rules that you need to know before you ask me for a link:
1. Unless I already know you (in the virtual web 2.0 sense), your request will fall on deaf ears, so don't bother;
2. Look over there on the right, and scroll down to the bottom. There's a heading 'I'm keeping an eye on these ten'. That list gets reviewed at the beginning of each year. So, if you still want a link, you've got to displace one of those ten come next January.
It's not that I'm grumpy or anything, but that's just the way it goes around here.
Getting towards the middle of the alphabet is proving a bit tricky with this little series - hence my failure to keep to my two-weekly schedule. And I'm sure I'm not alone in not having very Ks in my font book aside from Kai and Kufi. Which is when I have to start searching around. But the joy in this is either rediscovering fonts that I might sometime have used (or thought of using), or discovering something entirely new. Such is the case with the Ks.
And Kabel is the one that I might once have thought of using, though I never have. The first cuts of Kabel appeared in 1927, released by the German foundry Gebr. Klingspor, and designed by Rudolf Koch. Like many of Koch's typefaces, Kabel is carefully constructed and drawn. The basic forms were influenced by ancient Roman stone-carved letters, which consisted of just a few pure and clear geometric forms, such as circles, squares, and triangles. Koch also infused Kabel with some elements of Art Deco, making it appear quite different from other geometric modernist typefaces from the 1920s, like Futura.
Linotype has two versions of Kabel in its library. Kabel has a shorter x-height, with longer ascenders and descenders, making it a bit truer to Koch's original design than the second version, ITC Kabel, which was designed by Victor Caruso. This version, also known in the United States as Cable, has a larger x-height, shorter ascenders and descenders, more weights, and a diamond shaped i-dot.
The second K, Kepler, is a new one for me. Designed by Robert Slimbach in 2003, it comes in more weights and variations than you could shake a stick at.