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Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour, Vintage

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on May 29th, 2020. Artwork published in
May 2020
.
    Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour, Vintage
    Source: http://www.casualoptimist.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover for Brown Album by Porochista Khakpour, designed by Joan Wong for the paperback edition by Vintage. Via this month’s edition of the Casual Optimist’s Book Covers of Note. Dan Wagstaff comments:

    This cover immediately reminded me of Helen Crawford-White’s cover A Half-Baked Idea by Olivia Potts published last year…

    And then I thought maybe it was a nod to the cover of The White Album by Joan Didion, published in 1979 […] But maybe I am over thinking it…?

    The font in use looks like one that could have been released just recently, by a boutique foundry / type design beginner: bold and of high contrast, with letterforms like E that will prevent even color no matter how much kerning you throw at them, spiced up with some trendy details like fox brush terminals on r and y, and wacky ones like the “light trap” spikes or the triangular i dot.

    In fact, the typeface is already 125 years old. Now one could insert a pessimistic remark about typographic culture going in circles and not getting any wiser. I, for one, find it fascinating that a face first released in 1895 can pass as contemporary in 2020. This aspect is pretty unique to our field. Edwards is the work of Nicholas J. Werner, who already had about a dozen released typefaces under his belt at the time, including his collaboration with Gustave F. Schroeder on the De Vinne series. When Barnhart Brothers & Spindler reissued the face in 1925, they aptly renamed it Bizarre Bold. There are several digitizations.

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