Friday, February 22, 2008

The Modern Day Type Master.

Andy Cruz of House Industries is the modern day type master. You would expect that. What you don't expect is just how forward thinking he and his company really is.

His presentation to ADCD on Thursday started as a quick tour into what House Industries is into and has been doing lately, but then he began his real presentation, his real passions, his heroes, his influences. Big Daddy Roth, Coop, Alexander Girard, he keeps going. He talks about his entry into fashion, design, architecture, furniture, shoes, he keeps going. He talks about all the research they put into any effort they put out, and he shows a real understanding of what they do.

It's not the general type-nut stuff, its a understanding of hand drawn fonts, dancing baselines and how different letters can begin to interact with each other. How the inspiration he pulls from influences not just letter forms, but words. How hand drawn fonts should work, how the computer takes away all the playfulness. Ok, maybe it is a bit type-nut stuff, but then he really begins to show Houses visionary side.

He pulls out the big guns. House may just change the way you work with fonts, type, applications. If you thought that open type is changing how we work, what he showed us makes that look under-developed. He has been talking about interactions between letters and how the skill has been lost because nobody hand draws the type anymore.

House is working on a separate program, that you will need to export from. A program that actively looks at what letters are sitting next to what letters and adjust them so that the become friendlier, warmer, richer. It adjusts the baselines so they dance (his words), it also adjusts the ligatures so the overlap (and underlap). If you are not excited yet, lets just say that it will be the best way to get that custom look, the only better way would be to hire House directly.

If that wasn't the coolest thing, the next bit of type candy was. He then unveiled a program that lets you move a slider on a graph and watch the font "slide" from light to heavy, thin to thick. All of the benefits of "stretching" the font, none of the guilt. The really cool thing was the thing looked great no matter the width or weight.

All of this is coming soon.

That's the essence of House. Its a small shop, filled with the right people. Always digging looking, inspiring. Not too interested in being too big, or too much. Just looking for the next thing they can become obsessed with. The next thing we can all be obsessed with.

Keep an eye on the small shop out of Delaware. They have a few more cool things up their sleeves. A few more things they are passionate about they would like to share. If there we only more shops just like them.

We'd just like to say, thanks Andy.

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