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the world's favorite fonts, typography, and book history blog
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Fonts in Focus: Decimal & Chill

Mon, 10/28/2019 - 3:53am

Type designers take care of the details, so that we aren’t unnecessarily distracted by them. And good type designers relish those details. To listen to them explain their craft and describe their font-making processes is like watching the child of zero-sugar parents eat its first candy bar. Talking of ‘deep dives’, if you haven’t already, then […]

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Hera’s Milky Way & the Origins of the Multiverse

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 6:32pm

To the Egyptians, it was a reflection of the Nile; for the Babylonians, a giant serpent or length of rope. In Greek mythology, the infant Heracles was brought to suckle at the breast of a sleeping Hera, goddess of childbirth. Suddenly awake, she pushes the child away and her milk splashes against the sky. The […]

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The Secret Life of Books

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 11:13pm

I seldom write book reviews. Despite reading many good books, it’s quite an effort, for me at least, to gather my scraps and notes and thoughts and hone them into a few hundred words. But Tom Mole’s latest book is worth the effort – and worth more than a retweet or a half-hearted thumbs-up emoji. When […]

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Long-Haired Stars & the End of the World

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 5:58am

For the best part of 2,000 years, the earth stood at the center of the universe. It did not move but was surrounded by a series of embedded transparent spheres. Each hollow sphere, for the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and an outermost sphere or firmament of fixed stars, rotated around our […]

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Underground World & the man who (thought he) knew everything

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 7:51pm

Often described as the man who knew everything, Athanasius Kircher (1602–80) was a German Jesuit polymath of international renown during his own lifetime. He was a prolific author with an astoundingly broad range of interests, writing about everything, from geology and geography to sinology and egyptology, biology, medicine, engineering, theology, anthropology, music theory and linguistics. […]

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Meditations on Snowflakes

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 5:52am

Born in December 1571 in southwest Germany, Johannes Kepler would go on to become one of the greatest observational astronomers of all time. He would also write books that forever transformed our view of the cosmos. He is best known for his three laws of planetary motion that describe the motion of planets around the […]

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Pomp, Type & Circumstance

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 6:52am

Within several decades of its invention in Europe, the printed or typographic book was already outselling handwritten or manuscript books. A very conservative estimate would be that 12 million books were produced from the publication of Gutenberg and Fust’s first printed Bible in about 1455 until the end of 1500. In those first decades, printing […]

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The first fashion books, Renaissance pixel fonts and the invention of graph paper

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 3:11am

Fashion is a global, multi-billion dollar industry. From haute couture to $5 tees, it is inescapable — at least for those of us who wear clothes, that is. It is supported and promoted by vast publishing enterprises of glossy magazines and books and million-dollar advertising budgets. And although, arguably, we might say that fashion got […]

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