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When going through the slides of Mark Smonson’s interesting talk on Adrian Frutiger I saw his references to Frutiger’s book Type Sign Symbol which happened to be available at our library for me to enjoy. And it’s quite an interesting book that goes a bit into the history of typography and the rationale of its modern trends and techniques.

One cool thing in the book is how Frutiger overlays the same glyph from several typefaces to highlight its essential shape (as seen on slide 101 of Mark’s talk). He does this in the without doubt laborious way - and for the time and printing adequate way of filling each of the letterforms with spaced lines at a different angle. That works rather well. But I thought that for the screen and with transparencies we probably have simpler and possibly even more powerful techniques at hand today.

So after a bit of fiddling I got this:

the letter a in various typefaces overlayed.

As you can see I wasn’t too careful in selecting the typefaces, thus not making as strong a point as Frutiger does. Some typefaces like Chicago or Courier or American Typewriter probably shouldn’t be there. But still, the point is valid and we see the basic letterform very well in the picture.

July 17, 2007, 0:20

Tagged as frutiger, typography.


Comment by Richard Anderson: User icon


July 24, 2007, 23:14

Comment by Tom: User icon

Good job. But Frutiger used hatching to mark typefaces. On your image it’s hard to recognize used typefaces. You may also experiment with coloured hatch.

November 12, 2007, 11:38

Comment by ssp: User icon

Hi Tom,

I think the ‘hard to recognise used typefaces’ mainly comes from the big number of typefaces I have used. I could remove two thirds of the layers and the remaining individual letters will be clearer. But I was mainly interested in the common parts of the glyphs here which come out nicely as things are.

At full size, you’ll also see a thin red border around each glyph which may make it easier to recognise.

November 12, 2007, 16:16

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