To meet the burgeoning demands of commerce, type founders in 1830s London introduced a plethora of new fonts which abandoned the traditional nib-informed model. Most radical were bold, capital-only designs with almost no stroke contrast, stripped bare of serifs. To all intents and purposes these minimal expressions of utility were identical to 20th century functionalism. Recontextualizing one of the original sans fonts, Shinn offers an alternative proposition to the myth of modernism.
Copyright 2008 by Nick Shinn, Shinntype. All rights reserved.
Nick Shinn (b. London, 1952) is an art director and type designer. He teaches at York University in Toronto, and is a founding member of the Type Club of Toronto. He writes regularly for Graphic Exchange magazine, and has contributed to Applied Arts, Marketing, Design, and Druk. He founded Shinn Type in 1999, and made fifteen type families. Interview by Jan Middendorp, in which he describes himself as a contrarian. Pic by Isaias Loaiza. Pic by Chris Lozos at Typo SF in San Francisco in 2012. Custom typefaces have been produced for newspapers such as The Birmingham News (Alabama), The Chicago Tribune, The Daily Express (London), The Daily Mail (London), The Globe and Mail (Toronto), The Montreal Gazette, and The St. Petersburg Times (Florida). Custom fonts, with exclusive rights, have been created for corporations such as Thomson Nelson, Enbridge, Rogers Communications Inc., and Martha Stewart Living. Nick organizes type evenings in Toronto all year long.
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