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Love letters

Did you know there's more than one Chinese character for 'love'?

The characters for 'lovey-dovey' love and 'friendship' love have a fairly similar design – but the former includes the representation of a heart within the centre of the character. Lovely!

Have a happy Valentine's and Chinese New Year this Sunday.

Font Aid IV: Coming Together

Categories: Extra-curricular

I follow Ellen Lupton on Twitter (@ellenLupton) so saw a recent tweet of hers about Font Aid IV: Coming Together.

The US-based Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) are putting together a font made entirely of ampersands, designed by loads of different designers from around the world. (Hence it's name, Coming Together.)

They'll then sell the resulting font via MyFonts, with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders who are one of the many organisations helping out in Haiti at the moment. SOTA are on the hunt for submissions at the moment, so I had a go …

My contribution is based fairly closely on the 'et' from which the ampersand shape derives and is (loosely) made up of a heart shape and a kiss. Ahhhh!

I tried to make it simple but with a bit of thought behind it – though only time will tell if it's good enough to be part of the font or not.

If you've got the mad Illustrator skillz, why not spare half an hour or so to create an ampersand?

Here's what you need to do to take part:
> Submit a black and white "ampersand" icon.
> It should be a vector image file, not a bitmap.
> Keep it simple, not too crazy.
> Send it in EPS format to by 01/29/10.

(Remember to check back on MyFonts and buy the font once it's ready!)

Thinking backwards. And sometimes upside-down.

Categories: Nice stuff

I’m working on a project related to typography and patterns at the moment and, following a period of “Errr, where am I going to go with this?!”, I decided to link the two subjects by concentrating on palindromes.

Incase you’re not sure what palindromes are, they’re words or sentences – sometimes number sequences – in which letters (or numbers) appear in the same order when read forwards and backwards. Generally they ignore any punctuation marks, spaces and/or capitalisation.

The palindrome example that immediately jumped into my head (as it’s fairly logical too, making it extra-clever) is: A man, a plan, a canal – Panama. Neat.

Further research into wordy patterns also led me to look at ambigrams. The Wikipedia entry on which reads “An ambigram is a typographical design or artform that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction, or orientation.” So, there you go.

I like the style of this example; and for some reason it really tickled me that it’s over a century old.

Early ambigram by Mitchell T. Lavin, published in The Strand, June 1908