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Font Fizz

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Cooper Hewitt

The New York City-based Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is set to reopen to the public on December 12 after a major, multi-year renovation. In the meantime, you can admire the museum's bold new logo, designed by Eddie Opara of Pentagram, and signature typeface. Created by Chester Jenkins of Village and unveiled this week, the Cooper Hewitt font is a bold sans serif that can be downloaded free of charge as installable fonts, Web font files and open-source code.

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Type on Screen

The extraordinary Ellen Lupton follows up her smash-hit primer Thinking with Type with a guide to the flickering, ephemeral world of type on screen. Published this month by Princeton Architectural Press, Type on Screen "surveys new design principles born of screen-based communication while drawing on traditions of form and function that have evolved over hundreds of years," writes Lupton in the book's preface. Pick up a copy to brush up on the finer points of web fonts, logotypes and animation alongside inspiring case studies.

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Codex

Summer reading alert! Font fans will delight in Codex, a journal-magazine hybrid "for people seriously in love with type." Founded by writer, designer, and publisher John Boardley, the visually entrancing periodical celebrates and analyzes "the people, tools, and type associated with this craft, from the man carving beautiful cherubim into wood blocks in the 1400s to brilliantly formed modern interpretations and departures." The latest issue includes a beautiful foldout of Gastrotypographicalassemblage designed by Lou Dorfsman and Herb Lubalin for CBS.

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Helveticards

Swiss style. International fun. That's the promise of Helveticards, a deck that plays it sleek with the help of Max Miedinger's famed typeface. The king, queen, and jack are dethroned (and defaced) by capital letters—K, Q, and J—while two corners of each card feature not numerals but words ("Five of Clubs"), a touch that creator Ryan Myers describes as "a tongue-in-cheek celebration of Bauhaus-style Swiss design." As for those that grumble about the cards' aesthetics trumping their functionality, the designer takes it all in stride. "Design for design's sake? Sure, to a certain extent," says Myers. "What isn't? If that weren’t the case, we'd all be driving tear-drop shaped cars. But, we appreciate individuality and beauty in color, texture and shape."

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Typeface Memory

Put your font of font knowledge to good use with a round of "The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog," a typographical take on the card-matching game of Memory. Created by Fábio Prata and Flávia Nalon of Brazil-based Ps.2 Arquitetura + Design for BIS Publishers, the game includes 25 variations of the letter "A" in typefaces ranging from Akzidenz Grotesk to Zapfino. Players attempt to font-match their way to a win, along the way sharpening their knowledge of subtle differences between say, Univers and Helevetica. Up the educational factor by reading the fine print (font fun facts) on each card or delving into the companion booklet that examines the evolution of type design. It's a match made in heaven for any design buff.

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Comic Neue

Three years ago, digital designer Craig Rozynski set out to save Comic Sans, the blacksheep of the font family. The self-described "font philanthropist" has emerged from his hobby project with Comic Neue, a makeover of the awkward glyphs of the font that everyone loves to his hate. Free to download, Comic Neue aspires to be "the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy." It's the perfect choice for lemonade stand signage or passive-aggressive office memos. "Best of all, Vincent Connare, the creator of the original Comic Sans, told me it ‘should be more casual,’" says Rozynski. "The criticism has come full circle."

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Type:Rider

The search for a fontastic pastime is here in Type:Rider. Created by Paris-based interactive studio Cosmografik in conjunction with the European cultural TV channel Arte, the elegant puzzle game (available for iOS and Android) follows two plucky dots on their adventure through the history of typographical styles and techniques, from cave paintings to pixels. A series of ten worlds are brought to life through historical images, artwork, and music to reveal key periods in the history of type.

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Lettering Large

Weary and wary of design clients' constant calls to "make it bigger"? Immerse yourself in Lettering Large (Monacelli Press), in which Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic explore the outsized world of monumental typography. From a consideration of "extroverted type" and "typo-hypnotic messages" to letters that live large outdoors and those that balloon into objecthood, the book offers a giant dose of inspiration and a visually exhilarating reminder of why size matters.

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All Aboard

When Ludvig Bruneau Rossow discovered an old model train set in his grandmother's basement, he did the obvious thing: made letters out of it. The Norwegian designer's "self-initiated typography experiment" resulted in Train Set, a zippy typeface dotted with tiny houses and the odd caboose. Rossow photographed his font and laid it out with a choo-choo twist, replacing the usual fox-jumping dog with another pangram: "The quick brown supertrain travels from Oslo to Grua."

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Freudian Font

Sometimes a font is just a font, except when it is based on the handwriting of Sigmund Freud. Harald Geisler turned his fascination with the famed psychoanalyst's century-old letters into an elegant typeface. "It made me smile to imagine a person writing his or her shrink a letter set in Freud’s handwriting," says the typopgrapher, who studied original documents in the archives of Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna and Freud Museum London to develop four alphabets that are interchanged at random. Don't be surprised if the elegant letters show up in your dreams.

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