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Poppi Picts from Emigre

Joshua Lurie-Terrell  on March 25, 2004

Martin Friedl‘s new Poppi is possibly the most complete symbol font ever made. Emigre recently released the 777-pictogram set (divided into 8 categories in 15 fonts) and those of us on their mailing list may have already received a specimen booklet. The full set includes pictograms for food, household and medical items, sporting goods, clocks, tools, and even some more adult-themed icons, which are censored by a red X in the printed specimen.


  1. It’s hard not to think of Susan Kare when I see these. Perhaps her work was an influence.

  2. Hrant says:

    Is anybody else disappointed?


  3. Both works are wicked! Both are a complete collention of usable symbols. But, i see big differences in your styles and angles. For example, one of them is smoooth, and the oder is more “no alias” style.

  4. Dan Reynolds says:

    Is anybody else disappointed?

    I am a bit disappointed. Emigre‘s work is usually more, I don’t know, different. Now we’ve got a 777-member pictogram family. Yippy Skippy, just what I want!

    Although, the breadth of the project does seem remarkably Emigre-like, even if the content does not.

  5. The world is not static and Emigre have the right to be different! Its a good sign. Glad that they are far away from Emperor and others earlier bitmaps families. They bring many gems along their long career.

    But yes, I’m bit surprised too by the non-style of theses pictograms.

  6. nick says:

    >Is anybody else disappointed?

    Not really, as I have never had great expectations of pictograms. But I see what you mean, and this project, though current, prolific, and useful in its content matter, is somewhat flat stylistically, treading no new ground from the FF Dingbats of 10 years ago.

    Another thing that makes it seem old fashioned is that a ghastly toon-ism has afflicted icon-making in recent years, with excessive detail, multi-colors, and dimensionalization, so Poppi’s austerity of rendering, while it makes all kinds of sense to purists, may have to wait for the pendulum to swing back. Let’s hope utility wins out over flashiness, though, and this is a great success!

  7. Simon Schmidt says:

    whatever anybody thinks about the style and quality, Poppi is gonna sell like crazy, i’m sure!

  8. Hrant says:

    > Emigre have the right to be different!

    Different than what? This isn’t really different than other font houses – quite the contrary – this is something that could have come from a number of other places. This is just different than Emigre itself! I’ve had high expectations of them since their recent return to type, and I think they did much better with Tribute for example.

    > Poppi is gonna sell like crazy



  9. Dylan Menges says:

    It’s a nice exercise, but I don’t have any practical need for such a set. I’m more interested in icons specifically designed for GUI, such as these from CSA Design alum Paul Howalt:

  10. Armin says:

    > Itís a nice exercise, but I donít have any practical need for such a set.

    I was just thinking that it would be really cool if they sold each icon separately. Sure, it would be a pain in the ass, but I’d be more likely to buy one that I really needed for $20-30 than pay a higher amount and end up with a bunch of icons that I might not use.

    Other than that, I really like the set. It has an oxymoronic wicked innocence to it.

    I got a pretty good laugh at the “censored” type specimen they sent in the mail.

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles with Caren Litherland and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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