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Elliot Jay Stocks’ design for the Activate conference in Kent, UKElliot Jay Stocks’ design for the Activate conference in Kent, UK
Typeface Review

Changing

Reviewed by Elliot Jay Stocks on January 25, 2012

I’ve got a soft spot for fonts that have multiple glyph options per character, regardless of the design of the typeface. There’s something about that level of detail – the thought put into the end use by the designer – that endears me to them, and that is certainly the case with those released by PintassilgoPrints.

I’ve used two of their typefaces in branding exercises in 2011: Populaire for a brand that has yet to launch, and Changing for Activate, the outdoor activity day for geeks.

Like so many of their typeface designs – virtually all of which are hand-drawn display faces – Changing is firmly entrenched in a nostalgia for an era full of frivolity; an era of Saul Bass; an era of whimsical, knowingly-imperfect lettering. This sense of fun is evident in the messy lines, the intentional imbalance of character heights, the mix of uppercase and lowercase forms, and of course the aforementioned OpenType feature of multiple glyphs, which not only makes the type look far more like lettering when used in an app that can skip between the alternates, but also gives the logo designer a much wider palette with which to paint, before he or she begins hand-altering the vector outlines.

However, perhaps the most striking feature of Changing is its interlocking ligatures, which so clearly reference lettering from the 1960s. This style has been revived before in typefaces such as Ed Interlock by House Industries, but Changing is a distinctly different design, with a looser, more playful feel; the occasional clumsiness exhibited by some of the glyphs a feature rather than a bug.

Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is also the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces and, more recently, the co-founder of Viewport Industries. He lives and works in the countryside between Bristol and Bath, England.

One Comment

  1. André Mora says:

    I would love to read a 5,000 word review by Paul Shaw on this typeface. Though something tells me he’d only need 5.

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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 and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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