22 JULY 2015

Paul speaking at the Typography Summer School

X Marks the Bökship / Matt’s Gallery
42–44 Copperfield Road
London E3 4RR

Open only to attendees of Typography Summer School.

Typography Summer School is a meeting place for graduates of graphic design, wanting to bridge the gap between student and professional and learn more about typography. The school brings together leading practitioners and participants to study, exchange ideas, and investigate the discipline. Find out more at

Paul will be speaking on what makes Commercial Type tick, and will discuss the ideas behind a number of different projects.

16 JULY 2015

Christian speaking at SVA’s Type as Language summer intensive

10am, open to class participants only

Christian will be speaking in Dan Rhatigan's class at the 4-week Type as Language type design program at SVA in New York. He'll give an overview of a number of custom typeface projects for magazines, to discuss where ideas for typefaces come from.

12 JUNE 2015

Typographics Conference

Cooper Union
Great Hall
7 East 7th Street
New York, NY

Conference entry $400 for preofessionals, $350 for educators, $250 for students. Some events free.

Typographics is a 10-day design festival devoted to contemporary typography, with talks, workshops, and tours focusing on where typography is today and where its future may lie. It will be held at Cooper Union in New York City as a combined effort of Type@Cooper and the Herb Lubalin Study Center, with a big helping hand from Roger Black. Christian Schwartz will be speaking on newspaper type on Saturday morning, alongside such luminaries as Alex Trochut, Barbara Glauber, Juan Carlos Pagan, and Erik van Blokland. Commercial Type is proud to be a sponsor of what is sure to be a great event. See the conference site for more information and to register.

06 MAY 2015

Paul speaking at the National Print Museum in Dublin

National Print Museum
Garrison Chapel
Beggars Bush Barracks
Haddington Road
Dublin 4

6 May 2015

Open to the public. Advance booking strongly recommended.

Organized by the National Print Museum in conjunction with Typography Ireland. Tickets are limited, please contact to reserve a place. Time will be announced closer to the date.

29 APRIL 2015

Paul speaking at Northumbria University

School of Design
Northumbria University, Newcastle

Wednesday 29 April

Not open to the public

Paul will be speaking at the School of Design at Northumbria University, together with the brilliant book cover designer David Pearson.

09 APRIL 2015

Christian Schwartz at the SND conference in Washington, DC

9–11 April 2015
Conference registration required to attend the special session

Christian Schwartz will be speaking on designing type for newspapers at a special session on type and typography at the Society for News Design conference in Washington, DC. This session has been organized by Roger Black, and the other speakers include David Berlow of Font Bureau and Dan Rhatigan of Monotype. For more information, see the main conference site or this page with info in the special session.


20 JULY 2015 | TOUR

2015 North American Tour

Paul and Christian will be giving a series of lectures across North America in September and October, starting in Vanouver and ending in Washington DC. A list of confirmed dates is below: September
1 Tuesday Vancouver
3 Thursday Seattle
8 Tuesday Chicago
10 Thursday Salt Lake City
12 Saturday Minneapolis
16 Wednesday Dallas
20 Sunday St Louis
22 Tuesday San Francisco
23 Wednesday Austin
24 Thursday Houston
30 Wednesday New York

1 Thursday Pittsburgh
8 Thursday Cleveland
20 Tuesday Raleigh
22 Thursday Baltimore
23 Friday Washington, DC

These talks are being organized in conjunction with the local AIGA chapters in each city, except Vancouver (organized with Type Brigade) and Chicago (organized with Society of Typographic Arts). We'll post links for tickets and more information as they come in.



New typefaces for the Daily Telegraph redesign

The Daily Telegraph has undergone a design transformation to mark its 160th anniversary. Under the guidance of design director, Jon Hill, one of the last remaining quality daily broadsheets in the UK has a completely new typographic dress from Commercial Type. Working closely with Hill was Commercial Type partner, Paul Barnes, who has developed two new type families as well as designing the new titlepiece.

The title piece draws on the paper’s rich heritage of using an inline blackletter form, harking back to the first publication of the Daily Telegraph back in 1865. Since this date the newspaper has seen a wide variety of forms, ranging from Victorian exuberance to the stripped down form inline less form of the most recent incarnation. Barnes looked back at the black letters of Hendrik van der Keere from the 16th century, through to the Georgian forms of the British foundries of the 18th and 19th century. The first example of the Anglo inline style seems to have been pioneered by the Fry foundry in the 1790s. The new design manages to capture historical accuracy, without seeming archaic, with high contrast giving it a dignified stature at large sizes. Three variants have been drawn, with the inline removed and lower contrast for the smallest size model.

The headline serif typeface is a new version of the popular Austin, designed originally by Barnes with later additions of a light and Ultra by Berton Hasebe. Austin News Headline retains much of the elegance and compactness of the original, with a lower contrast, an increased x-height of 106% and an overall slight widening of the face. The serifs are heavier and shorter. While Austin started as a magazine headline, inspired by the typefaces of Richard Austin, Austin News is a hardworking newspaper headline typeface, with eight weights with matching italics. The wide range of weights have been applied throughout the newspaper from the light being used for section heads, through to the bolder weights in the sports section. Designed to work above in large sizes, a version for small size headlines, Austin News Deck was designed for uses from 24 to 14pt.

As Austin Text showed, the design is robust enough to work in small sizes, and after months of trials this has lead to the new Telegraph text typeface, Austin News Text. Following much of the conventional wisdom of news text design, Austin News Text manages to keep the beauty of the display and text variants. With an increased size on body with the typical x-height increase, it is still remarkably economic, and with the decision to increase type size on the previous Franklin Antiqua, makes the paper a much easier to read. Austin News Text comes in five weights with small capitals and various alternate numeral styles.

Hill has also employed a new version of Marian 1812, the design based on the original ‘Scotch’ Romans of Miller and Wilson. Commercial Type designed additional optical weights for the font, so it can be used down to text sizes and also in large section heads, particularly in the Saturday editions. Barnes also drew an extended set of swash capitals, inspired by the copperplate initials of the Scottish foundries. It is often thought that these typefaces were cut originally by Austin, the most famous of the British trade engravers of the Georgian era, fittingly giving the Telegraph a homogenous feel.

The new design also features the Telesans family, designed by Barnes with long term Commercial Type collaborator Dan Milne. Begun in 2011 under the guidance of Himesh Patel, the former creative director of The Daily Telegraph and Derek Bishton, special creative projects director, it comes in three optical sizes, headline, text and agate. An open and warm modern humanist sans, it is at present used as a secondary counterpoint to News Austin, and for the large amount of small size typography throughout the newspaper from weather, financial listings, sports scores, and television listings.

At present the typefaces are being mainly employed in the daily and Sunday editions of the print newspapers, but will eventually be rolled out across the digital editions.

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22 MAY 2015 | RELEASES

Fontstand has launched

Fontstand, a new Mac OS app that facilitates testing fonts and renting font licenses, has launched today with over 20 independent type foundries participating, including Commercial Type. Conceived by type designers Andrej Krátky, Peter Biľak, and Ondrej Jób, this service gives new flexibility to desktop font licensing and makes it very easy to test typefaces in your layouts before committing to a license. We've joined Fonstand because we want to learn who the traditional font licensing model has been leaving out. We feel that the type market is ripe for innovation as far as platforms and ways of selling font licences are concerned, and it's not in the best interest of type designers or users to cede all of the innovation to corporate bean-counters who see type as a commodity and users as nothing more than a revenue stream. Some of our most popular families, like Stag, and our least popular families, like Gabriello, can be accessed through the service. Find out more at, or find our fonts directly on our foundry page there.

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New typefaces for the daily newspapers published by The McClatchy Company

The McClatchy Company publishes 29 daily newspapers across the US, from Washington, to California, to Kansas, Florida, and the Carolinas, in both large and small markets. Working with Garcia Media, they have spent the last year developing a unified design language that will bring together the print papers, mobile apps, and web editions with a more consistent overall look. However, it was important that the newspapers retain a measure of individuality, rather than all looking exactly the same. Directed by Garcia Media's Reed Reibstein and Mario García, we designed a set of typefaces that will help to bridge the gap between design consistency and individual character. For more information on the redesigns and the underlying strategy and philosophy, please see this excellent post on the Garcia Media blog.

The first set of newspapers to follow this new design paradigm are The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, and The Merced Sun-Star, with The Fresno Bee to follow in the next week. The remaining 25 dailies will roll out their redesigns in the coming year or so.

The quiet, hardworking core of this new set of typefaces is the text face, which will be common to all 29 dailies: a modified version of Kai Bernau's Lyon Text, with shortened ascenders and descenders to fit better with the tight leading of newspaper text typography. The italics are slightly less angled and a bit wider, keeping the counterforms and arches from clogging up on newsprint. Three grades have been produced for this family, slightly different weights to compensate for different inking on different presses across the country. Though the schedule was highly accelerated, we were able to receive press tests from all 29 newspapers, which helped to determine how heavy the different grades should be, as well as the right range of weights for the headline faces.

The more visible part of this project is a set of three headline families, all drawn on the same character widths and sharing kerning so that they can be subsitituted seamlessly for one another without changing copyfit. We have aimed for a friendly, sophisticated, and distinctly American look for the three families. McClatchy Sans was drawn by Christian Schwartz, McClatchy Serif was drawn by Miguel Reyes, and McClatchy Slab was drawn by Greg Gazdowicz. These headline families build on the ideas explored in Berton Hasebe's Duplex family, which matched a serif and a sans on the same widths, but the addition of a third family added exponentially to the complexity. The designers at Garcia Media and a handful of the McClatchy papers tested Duplex but felt it looked too European. With this in mind, we looked for sources that would feel unambiguously American, landing on a set of typefaces from the Ludlow Typefoundry. Ludlow's typesetting machines were very popular for setting headline type at newspapers throughout the US in the first half of the 20th century, before the rise of phototype.

Because these families are designed for differentiation, they needed to look different, while complementing one another when they are used together. McClatchy Sans takes a number of design cues from Tempo, R. Hunter Middleton's Americanized take on the geometric sans, which seems to borrow as much from sign painter's Gothics as it does from Futura. Since many of the papers had been using Font Bureau's Benton Sans, derived from Franklin Gothic and News Gothic, we felt we had to rule out the American Gothic genre. Angled terminals make the face look warm and approachable, while also adding flexibility in tweaking the character widths to match the other families. McClatchy Sans is the largest of the headline families, with 7 weights, duplexed italics (drawn by Greg Gazdowicz), and a full range of Condensed styles that are used for labels and larger headlines. McClatchy Sans also serves as a workhorse beyond headlines, with a looser Text version in use for captions, weather maps, and other secondary applications.

McClatchy Serif is based on Ludlow Garamond, Middleton's quirky take on French Renaissance types. We felt that an oldstyle would be a more distinctive and interesting choice than a Modern, which seemed like a more overtly historical choice. Miguel Reyes also looked at Sabon, which has more contemporary proportions and a crisper italic. McClatchy Serif has 4 weights, with true cursive italics for all. It is the most visually sophisticated of the three families, with higher contrast and a smaller x-height than the other two, making it feel less compact.

McClatchy Slab started out as a loose interpretation of Ludlow Bookman, the primary headline face in The New York Times throughout most of the 20th century, until the 2005 refresh that replaced it with Matthew Carter's extensive Cheltenham family. However, the character widths of the other two families forced the serifs to become shorter and shorter until McClatchy Slab ended up looking more like a slab serif interpretation of Cheltenham. This family is a bit friendlier than the other two, but the crisp detailing on the serifs keep it newsy and energetic.

A small number of alternates, such as a single-story g (which looked far too silly to include in the Serif), allow for further flexibility and differentiation.

The design process for these three families was far from straightforward. Schwartz drafted the Sans first, so Reyes and Gazdowicz would have widths to work with, but it was important not to think of any one of the three families as the "primary" typeface. As work on the three families progressed, the designers would periodically sit down together to discuss which characters they were having the hardest time fitting onto the widths and where the compromises were most visible, then negotiate changes.

Reibstein and Garcia describe their approach to using these three families as follows:
In practice, each newspaper will select a type palette emphasizing certain of the headline faces across platforms. In print, there are four options for the primary and secondary headlines: #1, Serif and Sans; #2, Slab and Sans; #3, Sans and Serif; and #4, Sans and Slab. At launch on the web, papers using the Serif will have the Serif as their primary headline face, while those using the Slab will have that as their primary face... Palette #1, emphasizing the Serif, is be the most elegant and conservative. #2 is more approachable but still serious. #3 and #4 are the boldest and most newsy.

00a-sacbee-before after-124-xxx 00b-mcc-iphones-border-197-xxx 00c-sacbeehome-responsivewide-138-xxx 00d-sacbeehome-responsivemed-111-xxx 00e-sacbeehome-responsivenarrow-72-xxx 00f-sacbeehome-responsivearticle-158-xxx 00g-sac1a-closeup-141-xxx 00h-modesto-text-closeup-160-xxx 01-mcclatchy news slides 02c-147-xxx 02-mcclatchy news slides 02c-147-xxx 03-mcclatchy news slides 02c-219-xxx 04a-sacbee-fronts-189-xxx 04b-merced 1a-sports-124-xxx 04c-sacbeeinsight-closeup2-172-xxx 04d-fresnobee-124-xxx 04e-mcclatchy news slides 02c-4-165-xxx 05-mcclatchy news slides 02c-5-161-xxx 06-mcclatchy news slides 02c-6-161-xxx 07-mcclatchy news slides 02c-7-161-xxx 08-mcclatchy news slides 02c-8-161-xxx 09-mcclatchy news slides 02c-9-161-xxx 10-mcclatchy news slides 02c-10-147-xxx 11-mcclatchy news slides 02c-11-147-xxx 12-mcclatchy news slides 02c-12-147-xxx 13-mcclatchy news slides 02c-13-147-xxx 14-mcclatchy news slides 02c-14-147-xxx 15a-mcclatchy news slides 02c-15-147-xxx 15b-sacbeeinsight-closeup1-160-xxx 16a-mcclatchy news slides 02c-16-147-xxx 16b-modesto insight-149-xxx 17-mcclatchy news slides 02c-17-147-xxx 18-mcclatchy news slides 02c-18-147-xxx 19a-merced sports-closeup-179-xxx 19b-mcclatchy news slides 02c-19-147-xxx 20-mcclatchy news slides 02c-20-147-xxx 21-mcclatchy news slides 02c-21-161-xxx 22-mcclatchy news slides 02c-22-161-xxx