I re-read Maurice Annenberg’s “Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs”, tracked down business directories of the period, and spent too much time in Google Earth. But I was able to plot out the locations for every foundry that had been active in New York between 1828 (the earliest records I could find with addresses) to 1909 (see below). All of the buildings have been demolished, and in some cases the entire street has since been erased. But a startling picture still emerged: New York once had a neighborhood for typography.
When it comes to streaming music I’m a devout Rdio user, specifically because of it’s clean, organized design. But now the originator of streaming music Spotify has released a fresh new design that almost feels like the dark, swarthy twin of Rdio.
The UI has been significantly cleaned up and simplified, though in my opinion it feels like it’s taken a lot of cues from Rdio, although still awkwardly it looks like a mash-up of iTunes and an old Windows application. Still, it’s too early to be hyper-critical of the effort. Clearly the design team there has been empowered to start making changes to the UI, and hopefully we’ll be seeing incremental changes rolling out from here.
You don’t often see animated typefaces often and for good reason, they’re generally meant to be legible and practical. Except there are cases like Zipeng Zhu’s Electrica typeface, inspired by electronic music, which defy the norm and offer up a pulsing, nonstop type that could potentially make you have a little seizure. Still, it’s an interesting concept that pushes the boundaries if what we usually consider to be type design.
Talk about an assignment. Abbott Miller and his team at Pentagram recently updated the branding of Sotheby’s, one the world’s oldest and largest auction houses, with a massive overhaul. The effort included an updated logo, ditching Gill Sans for a much sharper Mercury, a cleaner site design, and a host of rebranded peripheral items like paddles, stationary, and the hundreds of catalogues they distribute.
Overall the branding feels… right. It feels like this is what Sotheby’s should have looked like all along, if that makes sense. It’s also incredible that they were able to bring cohesion to such an immense company that spans the globe. For something of this scale you need something that’s simple and easy to institute, and in my mind, this definitely does the trick.
You can see the full brief by clicking here.
Spiros Halaris is a London based illustrator who we’ve featured on the site before for his incredible illustrations. I was such a fan in fact that I had to reach out to him to see if he’d create a wallpaper for the site and he graciously obliged.
What he came up with was a fantastic interior scene, with lots of bric-a-brac and a lovely patterned wallpaper. The way he integrated the blue, yellowish wash to certain pieces is subtle and captivating. I feel like it’s a really nice wallpaper now that spring is here. A big thanks to Spiros for creating such a great piece.