We have conversations about the history of printing and type paired with how this gives insight to people today. What does the past still have to teach us? And what are we learning fresh today about things that happened 20, 50, 500 years ago? Each episode, new guests. Hosted by Glenn Fleishman.
Toshi Omagari, Type Designer and Video Game Font Historian
Toshi Omagari studied Visual Communication Design at Musashino Art University, Japan, and then got his master's in Typeface Design at the University of Reading in England. From 2012 to 2020, he worked at Monotype, one of the leading digital type foundries, with roots that date back well over a century. During that time, he created his own faces and revivals, including a major reworking and expansion of five typefaces created by Berthold Wolpe. Toshi runs his own font studio now, and lectures and teaches.
His 2019 book, Arcade Game Typography, is an incredible deep dive into the 8-by-8 pixel fonts used in early video game systems and arcade consoles.
David Shields, Wood Type Historian
David Shields is the preeminent expert on the history of wood type, and currently the chair of the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where he teaches design. David previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the Design Custodian of the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection. David has engaged in extensive studies of the history of wood type production in America and Europe, as well as actively using historical type in printing. He produced the reproduction edition of American Wood Type: 1828–1900.
His work provides an invaluable tool to historian and to printers, by helping people track down the provenance of type and re-assemble sets of type that have been scattered. By educating people about historic wood type, he makes it more likely that it will continue to be cherished, retained, studied, and used. David is also always looking for the people behind the type. David’s research has helped him identify the people who worked in many wood-type companies, and even tie particular workers to fonts of type.
Briar Levit, Design Historian and Educator
Briar Levit is a book designer, filmmaker, and former art director of Bitch magazine. She has taught graphic design for years, and is an associate professor of graphic design at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. She directed the film Graphic Means about the phototype and paste-up period that acted as a transition between metal and digital production processes. That movie also delved into the way in which printing shops acted as gatekeepers to communication, and how women were severely underpaid during this period as they entered a previously nearly all-male industry.
WIth founder Louise Sandhaus, she and Brockett Horne are collaborating on fostering an amazing online gathering place, The People's Graphic Design Archive. And she's at work on Baseline Shift: Untold Stories of Women in Graphic Design History, a collection of essays due out later this year (not yet available for pre-order). We talk about all that and much more in this episode.
Jim Moran, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Jim Moran, the master printer and collections officer at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, runs a unique institution in all sorts of ways. It preserves the manufacturing history and remaining wood type assets of the historical Hamilton Wood Type Company, the dominant producer of wood type in America from the late 1800s through the 1990s. https://woodtype.org
Jeremy Burge, Founder and Chief Emoji Officer of Emojipedia
Emoji are the first kind of symbolic element designed to read only online that’s also difficult, sometimes impossible, to reproduce accurately in print—or in a static electronic document, like a PDF. In this episode, I talk with Jeremy Burge, the chief emoji officer of Emojipedia, a site that exhaustively documents the past and present of those popular pictographs. He also helps chart the future as a member of the Unicode Consortium group that considers adding new emoji to the official Unicode set.
Sponsored by the Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule and the associated book, Six Centuries of Type & Printing. Find out more.
David Sax, author of The Soul of an Entrepreneur and The Revenge of Analog
David Sax, the author of three books—on delis, on the revival of analog culture, and on the right way to look at entrepreneurship—offers insights into the joy people feel in letterpress printing and the way in which cottage businesses dominated the world, and still do. Printing and letterpress aficionados will particularly like his 2016 title, The Revenge of Analog. His new book is The Soul of an Entrepreneur (April 2020).