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New font releases

Two new font releases on MyFonts this week.

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The first is the definitive version of Oswald Bruce Cooper’s classic typeface Cooper Italic.

1924 saw the release of Cooper Italic, the italic companion to Cooper Oldstyle. Cooper Italic possesses “a most unusual swing” in a number of the characters, most specifically the scooped, pigeon-toed feet of the lowercase “n”, “h”, and “m”. These idiosyncratic characters are offset by more stately and assured capitals. Cooper said that his Italic is “much closer to its parent pen form than the roman” and “that freedom is almost the life of it”.

Cooper was a firm believer in creating humanist letterforms that echo the hand that created them, not wringing the life out of them through refinement and mechanization. In Cooper’s own words about Cooper Italic, “The designer is conscious of its crudity, and of its irreverence for the best traditions. But he believes that there are enough good types already– that the need is for poor types that can be used! And since he admits this to be a poor one, there now remains to be found out only whether it is usable or not.” Cooper was long a believer that good type should be homely- if too pretty or sleek, it’s lifespan would be exponentially shortened.


Cooper designed a set of swash capitals to pair with Cooper Italic in 1927 that had not been released until now. The swash capitals are a lively interpretation of round serifed oldstyle caps mixed with classic Caslon italic forms.

These two typefaces are the result of researching Cooper’s original drawings and series of engraved proofs for both typefaces. The typefaces include the original ligatures (never before released digitally), the previously unreleased Swash characters, and a range of punctuation and diacritics, et al, that fill out a full character set. The typefaces have been lovingly kerned for the smoothest result in text setting.

Cooper Italic Complete is available from MyFonts here.


The second typeface release is called Stacker. Stacker is a display gothic typeface with three weights of extruded typefaces that can be used to project the main typeface spatially.

Originally designed for Beautiful/Decay magazine, then picked up for Nokia’s 2006 Europe campaign, Stacker is a bold, lively, attention-grabbing display face.

The extruded faces can be used in a standalone manner, as they have been by electronic musicians such as YACHT and E*Rock.

Stacker is available from MyFonts here.

January 16, 2010

Typography 101


Last chance to sign up for Typography 101 at Temple University Japan.

The course has been expanded to include designing custom typefaces and programming digital fonts from them.

January 13, 2010

Clobber Grotesk Stencil Bold


Clobber Grotesk Stencil Bold is a new typeface I designed now available through MyFonts. Clobber marries crude stencil forms with extreme legibility/readability at small sizes.

January 10, 2010

Peace Sweater Now Available

Peace Sweater

The Peace Sweater project that I worked on with Ryo Chikushi Bordini, Stefan Sagmeister, Oded Ezer, Dainippon Type Organization, and many others is now available online.

Peace Sweater

In TAB’s words:

Typography meets fashion with this limited edition sweater with a simple message. Top designers from around the globe contributed the word Peace in their own language, woven together into a harmonious typographic pattern and then printed on a beautifully tailored organic cotton sweater. More than a fashion item, it is an environmental and uplifting statement for a brighter future.

December 8, 2009

Mammal: Live Again


Next Mammal live show: Pecha Kucha Night Tokyo on December 2nd at Super Deluxe.

November 22, 2009

Mammal: Live

My new band Mammal with Mari Kojima will debut next week at Tokyo Art Beat’s 5th Anniversary party at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo.

October 31, 2009

Poster Initiative 003 @ PKN

I’ll be debuting and giving away installment #3 of my Poster Initiative offset-printed poster series at Super Deluxe this Wednesday during my Pecha Kucha Night presentation. The posters are produced in editions of 1,000 and distributed around Tokyo. Not advertising- just free design for the people.

I’ll be doing a glib presentation on the “The Year in Review”- a look back over highlight projects for my design studio in 2009.

at SuperDeluxe
1000yen /1 drink
B1F 3-1-25 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031
+81 (0)3-5412-0515

October 27, 2009

PKN Presentations


I have the dubious honor of being the very first Pecha Kucha Night presenter to have a presentation presented online at PKN’s new Presentations section of their website, designed by UltraSuperNew. You can listen to me sputter, babble, and throw out half-truths here, as recorded 2+ years ago.

I’ll be presenting again this Wednesday, doing my “Year in Review”, updating interested folks (and uninterested folks schmoozing over drinks) about what my design studio has been up to in 2009. Come on down!

at SuperDeluxe
1000yen /1 drink
B1F 3-1-25 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031
+81 (0)3-5412-0515


October 25, 2009

Scion Installation Auction


Scion Installation 5: Self Portrait – Final Show & Online Art Auction Trailer from Scion ART on Vimeo.

All of the work in Scion’s latest Installation tour is available for public auction here. All artwork sale proceeds go to funding Creative Capital, a non-profit organization benefitting artists.

September 22, 2009

Typography 101

It’s that time again: I’ll be teaching Typography 101 at Temple University Japan in the upcoming semester.

About the course:
An in-depth look at typography (designing with fonts) for both beginners and experienced practitioners. This class is a working examination of Western typography including lectures on type history, type classification, and contemporary practice. Practical exercises, as well as in-class critiques will help broaden students’ understanding of typography practically and critically
The class will conduct projects to explore typographic styles, learn correct typesetting practices, and increase design acumen. It will host guest lectures by some of Japan’s top graphic designers.

September 19, 2009

On The Street

Artalking #4: ON THE STREET
From Barry McGee in San Francisco to Banksy in London to the street artists of Tokyo, we take a look at street arts’ semiotic and symbolic roles in contemporary culture, both as an aesthetic and as an active lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 8, 7pm – 9pm
at Nobilduca, Roppongi
RSVP Required
Ian Lynam, design educator, writer, practitioner, and critic
*Guest speaker TBA
Artworks: EKYS, TWIST, BNE, QP and more

Healthy ‘Street food’ from Italy
Organised by:
Julia Barnes & Loredana di Porcia
4,000 yen Advance / 4,500 yen Door sales
Includes buffet-style dinner with MONACA wine, Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino – Fine Waters & Nespresso Coffee

Supported by:
Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino – Fine Waters, Nespresso Coffee, Nobilduca – Roppongi and MONACA Wines

Nobilduca, Roppongi
Address: Aoba Roppongi Bld B1, 3-16-33 Roppongi, Minato-Ku
Phone: 03-5772-9825

Facebook link here.

September 19, 2009

What I Did on My Summer Non-Vacation

I shamefully admit that 2009 has not been a great year for attaining my previous levels of web prolificacy. Recession and real life are keeping me from leisurely penning long essays on complex topics. Twitter has been a good outlet, but blogging has gotten to be hard. I think that Kyabajo one took me literally six months to finish up.

Anyway, here are some of the numerous things that I have been up to:

brutus-mrgentleman 1) I wrote an article in Japanese for Brutus on the late great writer George Plimpton for the Autumn Fashion Issue “Mr. Gentleman.” Now on stands, featuring a special Thom Browne-directed “Brutus Gentleman’s Book.”
madeofjapan 2) I wrote about half the articles/interviews in the Onitsuka Tiger/Zoo Magazine collaboration “Made of Japan” — in celebration of the shoe brand’s 60th anniversary. It will be available on newsstands soon (I think), but TAB already has it on sale as part of a special limited-edition set. My interview/profile subjects include Shugo Tokumaru, Verbal (m-flo, Teriyaki Boyz), Chiho Aoshima, Kiyoshi Kuroda, Tomokazu “Matzu” Matsuyama, Hirofumi Kurino (United Arrows), Soichiro Ito (SOE), Toshikazu Iwaya (Dress33), Rinko Kawauchi, mint designs, Né-net, Writtenafterwards, Final Home, DOG, and Bruce Osborn.

3) I was interviewed for a documentary on Japanese indie music called Live From Tokyo last year, and the trailer is out. Looks great.

Live From Tokyo Trailer from Lewis Rapkin on Vimeo.

4) I think I was on an episode of Tokyo Eye about Ura-Harajuku at some point this summer.

5) I completely forgot how to do formatting in HTML.

6) I published a Japanese language backpage piece in Weekly Diamond (週刊ダイヤモンド)in late July. New semi-monthly blog on market trends and culture in Japanese (and maybe also English) coming soon from parties related.

W. David MARX
September 15, 2009

Scion Installation 5 LA

Scion Space Presents:
Installation 5 | Scion Art Tour: Self Portrait

September 12th – September 30th, 2009

Featuring 44 Self-Portraits by:
 AJ Fosik, Alex Hornest, Andrew Schoultz, Angela Boatwright, Asylm,
Blek le Rat, Christina M. Felice, Codak, David Choe, Edwin Ushiro, el
Yem, Eriberto Oriol, Eye One, Francesco LoCastro, French, Ian Lynam,
J. Shea, Jamel Shabazz, Jeff Soto, Kelsey Brookes, Kofie, Lisa Alisa,
Logan Hicks, Mark Mothersbaugh, Nicholas Harper, Patrick Martinez,
Peter Beste, Peter Glover, RETNA, Rick Rodney, Rob Abeyta Jr., Ron
English, Saber, Sage Vaughn, Skypage, Something in the Universe,
Souther Salazar, Stormie Mills, Tessar Lo, Todd Tourso, Too Tall
Jahmal, Usugrow, Will Barras, Yoskay Yamamoto

Opening Event: Saturday, September 12th, 2009 | 7-10pm
Artists in Attendance | Free Valet Parking | Open bar for guests 21+

All art will be sold in an online charity auction at
www.artnet.com/scion.html  Auction runs Sept 12 – Sept 30
Visit site to see artwork and get more details
All sales will go to Creative Capital

@ Scion Installation L.A.
3521 Helms Ave. (at National)
Culver City, CA 90232
Gallery Phone: 310.815.8840

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday | 11am – 6pm and by appointment | Free


Follow our profiles on these sites:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/scioninstallation
Twitter – www.twitter.com/scionart
Vimeo – www.vimeo.com/scionart


September 3, 2009



August 25, 2009

Shitte: Internet FAIL FAIL


Hello? Internet? Are you awake? Do you see this kanji???

I was on the train the other day and discovered that there is a station called Shitte (尻手) on the JR Nambu line. Shitte! And did you see the kanji??? “Ass-hand.” Again, everyone: a city called Shitte made from the kanji for “ass-hand.”

But listen, this is not the kind of thing I want to discover on a JR map. I need this genius found comedy to show up on my RSS reader. This could be front page material for about 75% of the Japan blogs, with trackbacks by BuzzFeed, DIGG’d to infinity. Remember that city in Austria? Okay, that was better, but seriously: Shitte Ass-Hand! There should be entire webpages dedicated to this station. Shitte.com. TheRealshitte.com. Shitte.jp. http://www.bekkoame.co.jp/~38293skasldasd/shitte.htm.

Terrible work, everyone. I better see some daily Shitte coverage on Engrish.net-type sites soon or the entire internet is fired. The whole point of websites is to constantly scroll the Japanese lexicon for things that sound funny in English.

W. David MARX
August 24, 2009