ModcultFest ’11

ModcultFest ’11

New Possibility for July-August: the Hobbiton of the Atlantic, the Faroe Islands. Who’s in (besides me)?

Won’t it be pretty cold down there in July-August?

Oh, Denmark. I just assumed Argentina.

Very, very uncouth

Borges: Well, the meaning is that the man was a hoodlum; he was a sharper. But at the same time he had a code of honor. I mean he would not think of attacking someone without fair warning. I mean he knew the way that those things were done. The whole thing was done very, very slowly. A man might begin by praising another. Then you would want to say that where he came from nobody knew how to fight. You might teach him, perhaps. Then after that, he would interrupt the other with words of praise, and then after that he would say, “let us walk into the street,” “choose your weapon,” and so on. But this whole thing was done very slowly, very gently. I wonder if that kind of rhetoric has been lost. I suppose it has. Well, they use firearms now, revolvers, and all that code has disappeared. You can shoot a man from a distance.

[interviewer]: Knife-fighting is more intimate.

Borges: It is intimate, yes. Well, I used that word. At the end of a poem I used that word. A man is having his throat cut and then I say, “the intimate end of [the] knife on his throat.”

I was, of course, going to post this 1980 interview with Borges as part of my plan to post all-Borges all-knife content all the time, but:

[interviewer]: Myths don’t have to believed to be effective, though.

Borges: No, and yet, I wonder. For example, our imagination accepts a Centaur, but not, let’s say, a bull with the face of a cat. No. That would be no good, very, very uncouth. But you accept the Minotaur, the Centaur, because they are beautiful. Well, at least we think of them as being beautiful. They of course are a part of tradition. But Dante, who had never seen monuments, had never seen coins, he knew the Greek myths through Latin writers. And he thought of the Minotaur as being a bull with a human bearded face. Very ugly. In the many editions of Dante you see that kind of Minotaur, while you think of him as a man with face of a bull. But since Dante had read semi-boven, semi-hominem, he thought of him in that way. And our imagination can hardly accept that idea. But as I think of the many myths, there is one that is very harmful, and that is the myth of countries. I mean, why should I think of myself as being an Argentine, and not a Chilean, and not an Uraguayan. I don’t know really. All of those myths that we impose on ourselves- and they make for hatred, for war, for enmity- are very harmful. Well, I suppose in the long run, governments and countries will die out and we’ll be just, well, cosmopolitans.

Verdana on a Pedestal

MOMA has just acquired 23 new digital typefaces for its Architecture and Design collection. Hoefler & Frere-Jones are responsible for five of the these.

The full list:

  • American Type Founders OCR-A (1966)
  • Wim Crouwel New Alphabet (1967)
  • Matthew Carter Bell Centennial (1976-78)
  • Matthew Carter ITC Galliard (1978)
  • Erik Spiekermann FF Meta (1984-1991)
  • Zuzana Licko Oakland (1985)
  • Jeffery Keedy Keedy Sans (1991)
  • Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum FF Beowolf (1990)
  • Barry Deck Template Gothic (1990)
  • P. Scott Makela Dead History (1990)
  • Jonathan Hoefler HTF Didot (1991)
  • Neville Brody FF Blur (1992)
  • Jonathan Barnbrook Mason (1992)
  • Matthew Carter Mantinia (1993)
  • Tobias Frere-Jones Interstate (1993-95)
  • Matthew Carter Big Caslon (1994)
  • Albert-Jan Pool FF DIN (1995)
  • Matthew Carter Walker (1995)
  • Matthew Carter Verdana (1996)
  • Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones Mercury (1996)
  • Matthew Carter Miller (1997)
  • Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones Retina (1999)
  • Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones Gotham (2000)

On the inclusion of the Emigre-era fonts, Paola Antonell writes:

Walker, Meta, Blur, Keedy Sans, Mason, and Template Gothic are all faces that represent a specific era in the digital revolution—the early 1990s, when digital typography was coming into its own. They were chosen based upon their importance to cultural history as well as their experimental aesthetics.

This is timed quite nicely with the launch of David Carson’s new magazine. Are we poised for an early 1990’s design revival?

1) Load a web page 2) Change the font to wingdings 3) Spray paint half your screen black

You have just launched a David Carson on the web revival.

6 Matthew Carter entries, which is appropriate because Matthew Carter is probably responsible for more of the letterforms seen by Westerners on a daily basis than any other person.

No MICRs like E-13B or CMC-7?