Posts tagged london

Famous type: The fight over the Doves

typography, history, font, london, dove, doves, thames, type

That painstaking process is similar to the technique Cobden-Sanderson and Walker used to create the Doves type, itself a confection of two earlier designs. Doves owes most to the type of Nicholas Jenson, a Venetian printer from the 15th century whose clear and elegant texts shunned the gothic blackletter favoured by print’s early pioneers. A few letters were added, and others redrawn. The arrow-straight descender of its lower case ‘y’ divides critics; purists lament the thick crossbar of the upper case ‘H’. Most people neither notice nor care. “No more graceful Roman letter has ever been cut and cast,” opined A.W. Pollard, a contemporary critic, in the Times. Simon Garfield, a modern writer, celebrates its rickety form, which looks “as if someone had broken into the press after hours and banged into the compositor’s plates.”

Violence, glass, steel

london, affectless, luxury, real estate, dystopia, work, dysphoria


Shit, this is astonishing. Redrow, a luxury apartment builder, have made this creepy, completely dystopic, half-American Psycho advert for the new London they’re currently metastasizing all over the city. Its protagonist lives in a world of almost continual night, with the hungry eyes and dead affect of an Ayn Rand wet dream: his world is constituted of chrome, glass, a palette of white-to-taupe, a spatter-pattern rug and one book, a single book, on graphic design. ‘Luxury’ is so often a code for this – double-glazed, polished steel, hermetically sealed in the back of a cab. Our man does not have conversations, but stares out at the city from the fifteenth floor (he does a lot of staring). The concept of conversation is alien to him, though he is shown having a screaming argument; as you see from his inventoried shelves, he has a passion for objects and this is how he treats women, as well.

Flat-toned, void affect, social cancer in a suit: a model for London living. Here’s a curious honesty about it all: houses in the suburbs are marketed still for the smiling happy family, all oak tables and smiling coffee mornings (in zone 4, the dog never even barks, let alone bites). In the central zones, having been cleared of many of their inconveniences (families, communities, *life*), now deadboxes are marketed to the single (wannabe singular) sub-Thatcherite dweeb who manages his violence only on a balance sheet, who wants to take life, pin it, and crush it behind plate glass. Let us burn it down.

Violence, glass, steel