Some type designs



In 1995, I made three Braille fonts and gave them to the Library for the Blind in Iceland. (They are available from the library, free of charge.) This was the beginning of the BriemMono series.

One of the fonts is doubled up. Each character slot has a Latin letter on top of the Braille dots. Type one letter, and both of them appear at the same time. This makes work easier for sighted helpers.

Ounce and dram
The character for dram is the same as the character for ounce, but without a second horizontal bar. This information isn’t as impractical as it used to be. Specialist typefaces are coming down in price. Apothecaries may yet demand symbol fonts of their own.

A dram is 3 scruples. Before it came to mean moral misgivings, and after it meant a small stone, a scruple was a unit of mass: 0.85 grams, or 1/24 of an ounce. The new character for the Euro is within reach of the scruple symbol, turned upside-down.

People still seem to want new designs, thank heavens. Printed travel information uses typefaces with symbols for post offices, airports, and wheelchair access. What next? What about astrological advisors, palmists and readers of tarot-cards? Many of them use computers.

Do we need more typefaces?
Not really. Most of us can manage perfectly well with what we’ve got. Hundred years ago, however, somebody could have asked this question and got the same answer. Back then, the world already had Caslon and Garamond, Baskerville and Bodoni. How many more masterpieces were called for?

I’m grateful that type designers kept working. In a century, they have created loveliness the world would be poorer without. And the customers, bless them, still want more. Different flavors, a variety of emphasis, wood types, hobgoblins; everything seemes accepted with delight.

Somebody has to make these people happy.