Type specimens are getting buck wild these days. Here’s The Food Issue, a website by Commercial Type, that’s a tiny magazine and type specimen. But, also: Helena Fitzgerald! Helen Rosner! Robin Sloan!
What a great idea for a thing.
Editor of The Food Issue, Caren Litherland, wrote about the origins and where this punk-rock idea comes from:
The catalyst for the present specimen was a volume published in 1958: Linotype-Schriftenreigen, a title one might loosely translate as A Roundelay of Linotype Typefaces. It’s a diminutive hardcover that fits comfortably in the hand and shows all of German Linotype’s text faces in roughly equivalent settings as text for books.
[Schwartz and Barnes of Commercial Type] envisioned a type specimen that, like Linotype-Schriftenreigen, would sit comfortably in readers’ hands. It would be disguised as a single-issue magazine that would show Commercial Type’s text faces at work — a specimen meant to be looked at and read. They decided to commission original writing for it and to encourage readers to choose different typeface combinations for the various texts. When they asked me if I would edit this hypothetical magazine, I enthusiastically said yes.
I have never heard of the Linotype-Schriftenreigen and must find myself a copy. How dare it exist without me knowing about it!