Anitra and Jason are two type nerds sharing the strange and wonderful stories of the typefaces we read every day (and their mutual disdain for the typeface Goudy).
The Type pod is available on your fav podcast player or listen right here
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WE’RE WORKING ON SEASON 2 (HONEST).
Episode 6 / Goudy > Listen here
In this second last episode of the season we finally tackle our least favourite typeface, Goudy. We learn about the designer, Frederic (no K) Goudy and speculate on his rumoured penchant for women and fast cars. We dive into his improbably large output... of typefaces and publications. We wonder if part of the reason he designed and cut over 100 typefaces might be his very talented wife Bertha, who got much less press despite being named the Times ‘Woman Printer of the Year’.
Jason did the history of the typeface for this episode. He offered to revisit the “Oxford University Press War” days because he has spent less time in therapy about this than Anitra. It becomes clear by the end of this episode that he is in a much better place about Goudy as well as his ex-boyfriends.
This episode is for all survivors of corporate typefaces, whoever you are and whatever they were.
Episode 5 / Baskerville > Listen here
In this episode we talk about Baskerville, which is the most trustworthy typeface (as proven by science.) Anitra has feminist thoughts about designer John Baskerville and thought it would be inappropriate for Jason to mansplain this particular typeface to her… but she found out some things about JB and, well, this episode takes a turn.
We learn about how designer John Baskerville pissed off the establishment enough to be turned into a famous book character and perhaps inspired a riot. What happened to Baskerville after he died is possibly even more interesting than why he got dismissed by the Vox Classification system. And it’s not often you can say that.
Episode 4 / Times New Roman > Listen here
In this episode we examine the history of that most ubiquitous of typefaces, Times New Roman, which is much more interesting than Times New Roman itself, honest. Anitra volunteered to do the typeface history for this episode so she can then bore for Australia on printing technology. Jason will try to stay awake. Because we had to re-record this four times we talked our designer friend David into sticking around and helping us record it one more time. It turned out better when he helped us — thanks David!
Episode 3 / Bodoni > Listen here
After a much longer than intended “we’re out of lockdown and we have a social life again!” pause The Type Pod is back! In this episode we deep dive into Bodoni, that typeface most beloved by designers of fashion magazines. Designer, type teacher, and Anitra’s former student David joins us from Washington D.C. to discuss why designers have, for more than two centuries, stuck with Bodoni through thick and thin.
We learn all about designer Giovanni Battista, who once made Napoleon come to his house for a change, and is special enough to have his own museum in Parma. We speculate on why grunge band Nirvana chose a typeface most associated with “high class” to be their band logo. Finally, Anitra will explain why Bodoni probably wouldn’t get sloppy ‘white girl’ drunk.
Episode 2 / Gill Sans > Listen Here
Due to technical issues during recording, we skip our advertised feature on Times New Roman; although fear not, we will return to Times New Roman in the future. Instead we focus on Gill Sans, and Eric Gill, type designer and religious artist, with a sideline in erotic woodcuts.
Jason warns that luxuriant facial hair combined with smock-wearing are a red flag, and Anitra confesses disturbing revelations mean she is no longer a fan of Gill Sans or Chris Pratt. We agree that Gill Sans is not a typeface for beginners, and discuss the hazards of uneven proportions in letterforms. Anitra laments that saying Gill Sans is the “British Helvetica” doesn’t wash with Americans.
Weblinks referenced in this episode:
The Four Gospels
The Gill Sans Font Family (scroll down for Gill Sans Ultra Bold)
Episode 1 / Futura > Listen here
In this first episode we talk about Futura, that most versatile of modernist typefaces and its designer Paul Renner, the OG Anti-fa.
Anitra tells Jason why the Nazis hated Latin typefaces. We argue about the merits of mathematical proportions and Jason unfairly compares Type Designer Mathew Carter to a character from Game of Thrones.
Websites and books referenced in this episode:
Biography of Renner:
University of Kansas Bio of Renner (that everyone else shamelessly ripped off):
About the women of the Bauhaus:
Just My Type / Simon Garfield
Elements of Typographic Style / Robert Bringhurst