Letterform Archive

A fantastic resource discovered by Pete, Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, publishing, and community. Basically, an online archive of type, with a search function as simple (and powerful) as sites we know like designspiration.

search functionality

search functionality

It requires a membership, but priced at $2.50/month for students is well worth it for the vast archives that can be accessed.


We hold physical and digital artifacts in a variety of formats, including books, periodicals, posters, sketches, original art for reproduction, and related ephemera, as well as a robust reference library. Together, these works chronicle the history of written communication, from the invention of writing and medieval manuscripts to modernism, the age of print to the present explosion of digital type. See a sampling.

The Archive doubled its holdings in 2015 by acquiring the typeface specimen collection of the late Dutch publisher Jan Tholenaar. Recently donated archives include Emigre, pioneers of experimental digital design; Ross F. George, author of the Speedball textbooks; and Aaron Marcus, a seminal figure in computer graphics. Also featured prominently in the collection are Rudolf Koch, Jack Stauffacher, Irma Boom, and Piet Zwart.

Type books, lots of lovely type books

Type books, lots of lovely type books

Brain Pickings: a really good website

Brain Pickings is a site I’ve recently come across. It requires time and inclination, but it has a depth which is necessary to discuss some topics that are in and around what we do. These include art, writing and illustration but also self-critique, responsibility and beyond. The articles are interesting, accessible and well researched. It’s a great place to go on the internet that is thoughtful, calm and ultimately useful.

My name is Maria Popova. I am a reader and writer, and I write about what I read here on Brain Pickings — my one-woman labor of love. Drawn from my extended marginalia on the search for meaning across literature, science, art, philosophy, and the various other tentacles of human thought is a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into what it means to live a good life.

I have previously thought in words for The New York TimesWired UK, The Atlantic, and Harvard’s Nieman Reports, among others, and am the author of a very long book titled Figuring.

Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012. Here are some reflections on my most important learnings from the first decade of Brain Pickings.

Good book, great advice

wise words.jpg

With record numbers of design and advertising students graduating into the job market each year, it makes more sense now than ever before to be fully armed to succeed. This book helps new designers make the transition from design school to work, giving them the ammunition they need for a successful start.

Here the reader will learn how to get that all-important first job, and how to impress their new employer. They will also have at their fingertips plenty of useful, practical information essential to know in the design studio and when working for clients. Enriched with quotes and advice from some of the best and brightest in the industry, this book is where you will find out what they didn't teach you in design school.


A snapshot of the delights within

A snapshot of the delights within

A fantastic resource for all students of graphic design. LogoArchive has been created by designer and design-reviewer Richard Baird who also runs the excellent website BP&O (Branding, Packaging & Opinion). He describes the LogoArchive as: A study of form language in logo design. A recovery, research & restoration project by Rich Baird, BP&O.

Follow him on Instagram.

And on twitter.

Lost & Foundry

A very interesting type project, preserving the characteristics of typefaces which could be forever forgotten.

But the most important project is that all proceeds go to The House of St. Barnabas, a social enterprise and members club in Soho, London. They are a charity who work to lift people out of homeless and into employment.

The fonts can be purchased from from their website lostandfoundry.org.uk or directly via Fontsmith.com.

Many thanks to Simon Warden & Jason Smith, Creative Directors of Lost & Foundry who have been in touch to update our original post.


Lost & Foundry is a unique collection of 7 typefaces based on the disappearing signs of Soho, these are at risk of being lost forever due to the ever changing landscape of the area. By re-imaging the signage as complete fonts, we have rescued this rich visual history from the streets and present the typefaces into a contemporary context for a bright optimistic future.


Netflix Original: Abstract

If you've not already seen it, add Abstract to your list on Netflix. It features one of - if not the - best graphic designers in the world, Paula Scher, plus recently noted illustrator Christoph Niemann amongst its 8 episodes.

The series helps you understand the mechanics of a designer's mind, as well as bringing to light the massive impact design has on everyday life. Enjoy.