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Smidgen sketches by Ken Barbermore Smidgen sketches by Ken Barber“Thank You” print from House Industries
Typeface Review


Reviewed by Dyana Weissman on January 25, 2012

Smidgen is not a “smidgen” of anything – it is a big, fat dollop of whipped cream. I want to put it on a pie, and throw it in someone’s face.

When I enjoy a typeface, I liken it to food; probably because a good typeface is visually nourishing. When a font gets this heavy, it’s tricky to find where to put the weight. Smidgen knows exactly where it should go. Its shapes are made well, as one would expect from Ken Barber and House Industries. They’re flexible, they don’t try too hard to capture any specific feeling, giving the face a broader range of use. The lowercase ‘g’ is a one-story ‘g’ masquerading as a two-story ‘g’. For a typeface of this weight, it maintains a fair amount of contrast. This gives it the smallest hint of sophistication, setting it apart from similar fonts which are often overly-friendly.

Despite these careful considerations, Smidgen certainly isn’t bland. It has just the right bit of flavor. All it needs is a cherry on top.

Dyana Weissman is a typeface designer at Font Bureau. She has been a presenter at ATypI, TypeCon, and Type Camp, but also enjoys sharing her expertise locally with college students, wizard rock bands, and astrophysicists.

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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.

Set in Bureau Grot by Font Bureau, Nocturno Display by Nikola Djurek, Fern (unreleased) by David Jonathan Ross, and JAF Bernini Sans by Tim Ahrens.

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