Earlier this year, we were asked by visual artist Anna Schuleit Haber to take part in her Fitchburg Alphabet project. For 26 days, one letter designed by a different designer is being shown on the front page of Fitchburg’s daily newspaper each day.
The original version of this paper was written as part of Tim Ahrens’ MA in Typeface Design at the University of Reading in 2007. Tim first became engaged in the issue of optical sizes while he worked on the digitization and redesign of the Leipziger Antiqua (published as JAF Lapture in 2004). Through the project, he realised that although size-specific adjustments were commonly practiced for 500 years of metal type printing, not much documentation was available on the subject. This lead him to research and write about it himself, in the hope that the outcome would become a useful source for practitioners who wish to create fonts with size specific styles. The book looks into type history and perception psychology, and analyses designs by old masters as well as numerous contemporary designers.
We are happy to announce that we are in the process of updating and re-publishing Tim’s book on optical sizes, currently titled “Size-specific adjustments to type designs”. We have been constantly asked about the availability of the book, but the book has been extremely difficult to obtain. Furthermore, it was overpriced since the book was produced “print-on-demand”. Finally, we got out of the contract, and we are updating the book with new materials and a re-designed layout.