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Cooper Hilite Complete

Brand new Cooper revival out as of 5 minutes ago!


Cooper Hilite Complete is a complementary set of two fonts- Cooper Black and Cooper Hilite. Either typeface can be used alone, or as a stackable, multi-colored set.

 The history of these typefaces:

Cooper Black, the most famous and successful of Oswald Cooper’s type designs was released in 1920, following a year of development fleshing out the weight of the typeface and filling out the full character set. Cooper redrew the lowercase characters multiple times, toying with the rounded forms of the “m” and “n” and engaged in a lively debate with McArthur over the final form as McArthur requested that the typeface be drawn bolder and bolder. Cooper famously said the face was “for far-sighted printers with near-sighted customers”, and the public agreed. Sales of Cooper Black were voluminous, and Barnhart Brothers and Spindler had a difficult time keeping up with the demand for the typeface. Conservative typographers were critical of Cooper Black, though it was overwhelmingly popular, helping to shape the American advertising landscape through the 1920s and 1930s.


1925 saw the release of Cooper Hilite, the highlighted companion to Cooper Black. The design was executed by merely painting white incised negative spaces on a proof of Cooper Black.


These two typefaces are the result of researching Cooper’s original drawings and series of engraved proofs for both typefaces. The typefaces include the full range of punctuation and diacritics that fill out a full character set. The typefaces have been lovingly kerned for the smoothest result in text setting.

Available now via MyFonts.

February 16, 2010



Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior designer (iPod, iPad, iTouch, et al) likes the YACHT logo so much that he and the Apple design team dropped some free custom laser-engraved iPods on the YACHT team last week.

February 15, 2010

New feature article in IDEA


I wrote a 10,000 word essay called “Heft, Gravy, and Swing: The Life and Times of Oswald Cooper” for the latest issue of Idea. The essay serves as the definitive biography of the Chicago type and lettering designer, famed for his Cooper Black typeface.


The essay is the result of a long-dreamed of trip to Chicago to sift through Cooper’s original drawings, scarce writings, and working papers. Copiously illustrated with proofs of Cooper’s work, unpublished typefaces, and photographs of rare design work, his legacy is brought into contemporary focus. New biographical information about Cooper, his work, and his associates is discussed within.


An excerpt:

Bertsch & Cooper was a visionary commercial art service. They were one of the first shops in Chicago that offered to create layouts, compose artwork, and typeset text all under one roof. They continually added staff, resulting in a scattershot assortment of illustrators, draftsmen, and compositors peppered throughout the same building in a variety of rooms. At their first location, Bertsch was famous for his “inter-office communication system” which consisted of yelling upstairs and down from the inner balcony of the building to professional associates. Cooper was ensconced in the “bull pen”- a room with a half dozen or so other commercial artists scratching away at the jobs of the day. Cooper was renowned for his “filing system”- a towering, dusty, haphazardly curved pile of layouts, proofs, notes, and other assorted papers that loomed over his desk, each day’s ephemera separated by a newspaper from that date.


This pile grew in relation with Bertsch & Cooper’s increasing roster of clients, which included a number of local Chicago businesses including doctors’ offices, legal firms, coffee shops, and banks, New York’s Marchbanks Press, the department store Marshall Fields, Strathmore Papers, Red Book Magazine, American Printer Magazine, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Cooper’s distinctive lettering can be found on a series of public service announcements for the United States government’s Food Administration, exhorting the public to eat less and conserve rations during World War One.


The article was jointly designed by myself and the Shirai Design Office, the esteemed designers of Idea. It contains the first public showing of Cooper Italic Complete.


Oh, and it’s in both English and Japanese.

February 10, 2010

Illustration Exhibition

I’ll be exhibiting a number of illustrations drawn for the recent Blunt Mechanic CD on Barsuk Records on February 13th at the Sakura Gallery in Nakameguro.

The exhibition is an all-day art party and exhibition, running from noon until 10pm.

Sakura Gallery
Nakameguro 2-5-28 1F
Tel. 03-6277-2100

Supported by Niigata Beer, Chazymo, Aroma Tea Ale, and Mooring Deck.
map here.

February 8, 2010

"Staying Put"


My latest print project, a double poster set called “Poster Initiative 004A” will debut at Grasshut in Portland, Oregon in the show “Staying Put”. The show opens tomorrow, February 6.

The show is a collection of prints from folks such as Yellena James, Tim Biskup, Scrappers, Chris Johanson, APAK, Mauro Gatti, Shawn Wolfe, The Little Friends of Printmaking, Studio Folk, and others.

Work from the show is available online here.

811 East Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

February 6, 2010