looking back, moving forward

Submitted by jpamental on
Topics:  design

Well, the ball’s about to drop in NYC to ring in 2012. Looking back at 2011, I really can’t quite believe how much has happened. The year started early on with a pretty amazing development: my wife started working with me at @schoolyard – which has been absolutely amazing. That was followed by writing a couple articles for Monotype’s blog at Fonts.com (more on the way!), speaking at DrupalCon London, Do It With Drupal in Brooklyn and Future of Web Design in NYC (again!). Topping it off I ended up with a deal to write a book on web typography for O’Reilly.

That’s been a fantastic experience so far. Focusing on what’s coming next in web typography has been fascinating, but today I got a rare treat in the mail that gave me a unique look at one of the places from which it’s come.

My aunt sent me a box of stuff from my late uncle – turns out it’s a bunch of type and a catalog from a Vari-Typer machine dating from 1943! I’d never heard of it before but it’s really quite a marvel. It held two type ‘anvils’ at a time and was used most often as an office typesetting machine to make master documents for lithographic reproduction. They were made in various forms from the 20’s to the 70’s and some versions could even adjust individual letter spacing and justify text. It’s another piece of typographic history I’ll cherish, especially knowing it belonged to my uncle. Did I mention that the type is Cyrrilic? That was another amazing bit about this machine: you could get type in 55 languages (the catalog is fantastic)!

Well - the ball has dropped. Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to new adventures in 2012.