05 June 2009

The new typestar of the Emtype Foundry - EMT Geogrotesque

EMT Geogrotesque

Geogrotesque is a semi modular with a subtle rounded finish type face, designed by Eduardo Manso. I've recently fallen in love with this font and convinced our design-leaders to acquire it for our license portfolio. Ever since all type-freaks have been trying and testing it. Hopefully a good competition for the over-hip FF DIN and ever cool ITC Avant Garde. All the Geogrotesque characters are based in the same formal principle with its corresponding optical adjustments in order to adapt the system to an alphabet for texts. 
Although the type family has a geometric or “technological” construction, the rounded finish provides it a warm appearance, making the typefaces more accessible.

Geogrotesque has been conceived to be used as a display typeface in publications or intermediate length texts, most of all the Thin and Ultralight weights which were meant to be used in big sizes.

The type family consists of 7 weights: Thin, Ultralight, Light, Regular, Medium, Semibold and Bold and it’s available in Open Type format.

Geogrotesque is available from Emtype Foundry, FontShop and MyFonts

The Berlin nightlife hotlist - 3 dance party top clubs

As always, when visiting cities abroad, I dig out the local club-scene. Having seen nearly every club in Belgian I tend to think that I will never discover a place that rocks my brain more then before. Think so ... Till you land your ass in the Berlin place of things.

Last week I attended the international design and typography conference TypoBerlin, as you might have noticed. But suffering a light — some say heavy — ADD, sitting tight isn't quite my cup of tea. So, wWhat do you do when all you need is some good vibes? Right, you dive into a conversation with a wicked but good looking punker girl you meet on the street, try to charm her and figure out were she will be hanging out to go nuts. This new generation of punk has long left the guitar sounds they've once started with ... Clubs clubs clubs! White trash and deep dark sounds of bass, beats and bliips. that's what we're all into nowadays — acidlovers — moohaa.

I was so amazed by the power and entourage of the Berlin club-scene that a shortlist of these places deserved a small but detailed writing:

1. Berghain Panoramabar

Berghain \ Panorama Bar Berlin

By far the hottest club I've ever attended. No questions asked. Perhaps even one of the best in Europe! A very strict and selective door policy pimps that image, but no other choice is left with people lining up in front from midnight 'till 6 in the morning. The club is located in a former power plant in Friedrichshain, behind the Berlin Ostbahnhof railway station. With lots of the original equipment left as part of the interior creates a real nice raw atmosphere. The building is distinguished by its enormous dimensions, which accommodate an 18 meter high dancefloor and space for 1500 guests, and also its minimalist interior design, dominated by steel and concrete. The entourage of dance-floors is pure madness and spread across 3 floors with over 6 bars. The club contains a "cavernous" main room, as well as a smaller upstairs space called the Panorama Bar, which is decorated by enormous Wolfgang Tillmans photographs and tall windows with a view of East Berlin. As always with the really good stuff the club is very gay-friendly and thus houses a superbly open atmosphere, unfortunately there're no cameras allowed.

Berghain has a strong reputation for decadence and hedonism, and the basement contains a dark room specifically set aside for that purpose. Special guestlist is restricted to a few guests for each dj. As a special feature no mirrors or reflecting surfaces can be found anywhere in the club.

Berghain is named after its location on the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.[1] Philip Sherburne has described it as "quite possibly the current world capital of techno, much as E-Werk or Tresor were in their respective heydays."

Berghain is the reincarnation of the "legendary" club Ostgut (1998-2003). This club itself emerged out of a men only fetish club night, called "Snax", which was held in different locations before it found its permanent home at the new club "Ostgut" as a part of a new concept. Quickly the "Ostgut" developed into a focal point of the Berlin techno-subculture since the venue was now open for all genders on regular nights except on those "Snax" club nights six to eight times a year. "Ostgut" closed down on January 6, 2003 following a 30-hour farewell event, and the former railway warehouse which housed it was subsequently demolished. Berghain opened in 2004.

A must see! On May 23 I sneeked in with Elfs and attended Monika Kruse who was totally letting go of control for her Saturday night session, fat dropping grooves and we were going wild — of course.

•> Am Wriezener Bahnhof. Berlin - Friedrichshain. Near Ostbahnhof station

2. Watergate Club

Watergate Club Berlin

Watergate is a get-there-early-or-stand-in-line destination on weekends. So on Thursday, May 21, I found myself lining up for my 4th or so 2manydjs concert. can you ever get tired of these guys. Somehow they always find a way to rock the boat. And again they did so in the incredibly cozy 2nd floor of the Watergate club. The club sits directly on the river, with floor-to-ceiling windows on both floors, providing gorgeous views of the water and the illuminated Oberbaumbruecke.

The ceiling of the top floor has hundreds and hundreds of tiny LED lights installed behind a translucent material, sending cascading light and patterns from behind the DJ, above the floor, and back behind the bar.

•> Falckensteinstr.49, 10997 Berlin X-berg

3. Tresor

Tresor Club Berlin

Without any doubt the most famous club in Berlin, not to say Germany, or Europe. Without neglecting other clubs like London's Ministry Of Sound and others, Tresor has the status of being the top dancetemple.

The club has a very strong brand name in Berlin, Tresor is definitely worth a visit. They have a long-running record label and mix CD series which draws a lot of attention to the club, but the place itself doesn’t need any help. It’s housed in an enormous, partially functioning power plant in the east part of the city. The tunnel (pictured above) connects the main underground dance floor to the upstairs levels. This is actually the second installment of Tresor Berlin- the old club used to incorporate an actual bank vault.

The Tresor sound is almost always hard and electronic, your typical straight forward techno sound. The main room sound system and light show seems designed to drive you insane- in a good way of course.

•> Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin Mitte. Near U-Bahnhof Heinrich-Heine-Straße

03 June 2009

The new FontExplorer X - interview with Tobias Meyerhoff, Product Manager FontExplorer X

Linotype's FontExplorer X evolved from a freeware product (v1.0) to a worthy licensed product for the design and advertising industry (v2.0). This interview explains why Linotype decided to move from a free to a paid version, and lists what the improvements they've implemented to make this new version so superior.

Tobias Meyerhoff:
"FontExplorer X Pro was enhanced and improved in nearly every area."

The new FontExplorer X by Linotype

Full post:
Ever since my first visit to the TypoBerlin annual design and typography conference in 2006 I've been using Linotype's FontExplorer X to manage my font library. Without criticizing other font managing software, like Extensis' Suitcase or Apple's Font Book, I find Linotype's software by far the best in the industry. Let me tell you why.

Most importantly; it doesn't crash that often — not to say it doesn't crash! Font Book nearly screwed my last G4. And, with my last Suitcase edition it took ages to activate font-families, etc etc. In FontExplorer X, kerning is made easy as hell, an extended information palette is provided, smart sets and managing per project font-sets are quick and handy, the Linotype store is integrated (which I think was the purpose of developing this software by the way), meta-info is easily added, a decent search is implemented, it nicely stores away your fonts on your HD, backups are easily pulled, etc etc.

Brief history of Linotype
Linotype goes a long way when it comes to the history of typesetting and -casting. The founding of the company takes us back to 1886, when Ottmar Mergenthaler produces the world’s first linecasting machine in the USA. Ottmar Mergenthaler made his mark in history as the inventor of the type setting machine. Mergenthaler’s breakthrough soon became known as the Linotype. Quickly adopted by major newspapers around the world, the Linotype initiated a new freedom in the creation of everything from newspapers to books, from advertisements to a wide range of literature. Ever since the company has gradually moved into the business of fonts and type, shifting to the fast lane when taking over the type division of D. Stempel AG in 1985 and later taking over the Haas’sche type foundry, in 1989. So Linotype carries on a 120 year old heritage. Other famous names like Linotype-Hell AG, D. Stempel AG, Haas’sche Schriftgießerei and Deberny & Peignot are the roots of Linotype.

Why is FontExplorer X now a licensed product?
In other words, why was the first version freely available and is the new version to be purchased at EUR 79 (incl. VAT)?

The business of selling fonts
Shortly wrapped, Linotype is now into selling fonts and type to the people who are willing, or rather 'have', to pay for them. And thus developed a font manager that integrated their font store. Consider it iTunes for type. The first version, launched in 2005, proved to be a very good product and spread vastly amongst the designer and typeset communities. Not only because it had a good angle of functionality, but — hence the success — because it was a free product worthy of competing with the established software widely used. For example, Extensis' Suitcase.

And Linotype recently launched a new version of it's FontExplorer X. I wondered why and asked Tobias Meyerhoff, Product Manager of FontExplorerX, at the latest TypoBerlin conference.

The business of solid customer services
According to Tobias the licensed product was released partly on demand of the consumer\user. Huh? Yes well, licensed products give a mandatory support. The product gained a lot of professional and business-environment users so the demand for a guaranteed support urged Linotype to upgrade to a Pro version with added support, and features. A lot of firms and agencies don't quite trust a freeware product, so far.

FontExplorer X Pro (v2.0): new features
Linotype has worked hard to give the new version of Fontexplorer X some extra glance. • The info-pane is updated with extra kerning features that enable users to carefully kern each letter individually.
• The activation control is now upgraded to the level of auto-activation upon start-up of third party software. Formerly this was only possible through the installation of plug-ins, which weren't provided for software like Photoshop.
• The type in the WYSIWYG-fontbrowser is now adjustable in size, formerly this was only the case within the previewpane.
• Scan from document is a new feature not a new feature. It has been brought forward since most people didn’t find it in the previous versions. The feature allows to track which fonts were used in un-editable documents, for example a .pdf This new version pulls a font report to include when passing on the exported documents of typeset and artwork.

Full-featured font management capabilities, server-based
The most compelling update to the new version is the implementation of the server-based administration possibility. This server-based solution returns control of font access rights to a central administrator who can access an administration interface from any desktop client within the network. It distributes fonts and font sets over the entire network while providing users with the freedom to customize sets and preferences for their local fonts.

Related posts from Grapplica:
Everything under TypoBerlin
Google Maps Typography made for TypoBerlin 2006

Related posts from others:
A list of all tweets from concerning the TypoBerlin conference this year
Tweets about the new FontExplorerX release
The official FontExplorerX Twitter-account
Raves about Linotype

Belgian bloggers on politics

Beken Kleur

Sigh, the whole country is going wild on elections again... In Belgium we're obligated to go voting which is a good thing but still, I hate politics. Anyway, we didn't want to rely on the newspapers to catch a pulse of what party is running for the high stack.

ProximityBBDO and Adhese combined forces to map the political colors amongst the Belgian bloggers and developed an election-widget. This widget is then to be put on blogs and thus allows readers to vote online. Until the day 'really' online voting is due it will just remain a pulse but in the atmosphere of the elections it is quite fun to see that the senior blogs are mainly right-winged, conservative, and others pull up the green party.

Next to the voting, a funny list of polls is implemented to create some buzz and spread the widget over social media. Yes, some of these guys I'd like to shoot to the moon for babbling endlessly ...