Well here we are a year down the line and we've come to end of this little series. Been interesting, hasn't it? Not always easy, mind. I've struggled at times, particularly with those last two (or should that be four?). But the effort's been worthwhile, because I've made some lovely discoveries along the way. My one regret (so far) is that I still haven't found the opportunity to use Modern. But I will.
And so we come to numbers 51 and 52.
And yes, I know, the kerning's crap. But I don't own a copy of this font (yet), so I have to rely on the auto setting facility on fonts.com (a jolly handy resource if you want to know how a particular typeface looks when set).
This is Zemestro, designed in 2003 by David Farey (he's often referred to as Dave Farey, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he's like me and hates being called Dave). David's goal was to create a more legible and friendlier typeface than those limited to single character and stroke widths. The face finds its foundation in two earlier designs from Farey: Cachet, a soft-terminal sans he drew in 1999, and a partial alphabet he created for the New Scientist. Cachet appears to be monospaced and constructed with geometrically precise character strokes, but it isn't. The characters drawn for New Scientific are more condensed and structured than Cachet. Their offspring Zemestro takes on the proportions of the New Scientific letters and builds them into a full typeface family. Round characters have squared shoulders, helping to create visually consistent letter spacing and even typographic colour. Terminals are now square and clipped at right angles to the stroke.
And the name's interesting as well. "I'm always fascinated by typeface names," says David. "Most of mine are inspired by movies or books." It was while reading a book on the Russian revolution that he discovered zemestro was the word for a village council or group of elders, "before Comrade Lenin dissolved them all," he explains. "So this is the first Zemestro since 1917. I thought it was worth reviving."
And last but not least:
Zapf Dingbats. Simply because it's essential: you can't have a career involving setting type without ever having the need to set bullets and suchlike. And European Pi is never going to cover all the bases.
In 1977, Zapf created about 1000 (or over 1200 according to Linotype) sketches of signs and symbols. ITC chose from those a subset of 360 symbols, ornaments and typographic elements based on the original designs, which became known around the world as Zapf Dingbats.
The font first gained wide distribution when ITC Zapf Dingbats, which consists of the subset chosen by ITC, became one of 35 PostScript fonts built into Apple's LaserWriter Plus.
For those of those who really want to go to town, Zapf Essentials is an update to the Zapf Dingbats family, which consists of 6 symbol-encoded fonts categorized in Arrows One (black arrows), Arrows Two (white arrows, patterned arrows), Communication (pointing fingers, communication devices), Markers (squares, triangles, circles, ticks, hearts, crosses, check marks, leafs), Office (pen, clock, currency, scissors, hand), Ornaments (flowers, stars), for a total of 372 glyphs. However, not all ITC Zapf Dingbats glyphs are included in the Zapf Essentials collections (eg: airplane, letter).
One interesting little story about Zapf Dingbats is that David Carson lent the font a degree of notoriety in 1994 when he printed an interview with Bryan Ferry in Ray Gun magazine set entirely in the symbols-only font – the double-page spread was, of course, quite illegible. Carson has it that he did this because the interview was so boring.
And if you'd told me a year ago that I'd be ending this series with David Carson I would never have believed you.