Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Love Type

          I love it so much that I take photos of it shakily incised onto sarcophaguses in a language I don't speak that's how much I love it. (Click on any of these photos to make them bigger so you can enjoy the keen typographic details.)

What charms me about this inscription on the side of a sarcophagus* is the way the stone carver
ran out of space and had to dribble the rest of the inscription down into the bottom border.

I like the bouncy baseline and general DIY air of this one, also the side of
a sarcophagus, and I love the mysterious illo—why is the big guy waving
a stick over the doorway where the dead guy is?
          I love type so much that I will photograph it on random chunks of rock that have been recycled into the walls of churches.

Best "L" I saw in all of Rome!
It seems more important when it's missing a chunk down the middle.

          I love type so much that I will photograph it on churches and monuments while others are photographing the beautiful stained glass or the wonderful architecture that's how much I love type.

I love the shape of the "M" and the "E" and also the gorgeous little curlicues
mimicking the scrolls on the capitals that show up on the "R" and the two letters
that appear to be, respectively, an "F" and a backwards "F." Also, look at how
the spikes on the gate (at bottom, shaped rather like hearts),
mimic those typographic curlicues.

Everyone else photographs Trajan's Column. I photograph the yummy letterforms
on Trajan's Column that the typeface "Trajan" is, not coincidentally, based upon.

*These sarcophaguses had the virtue of being recycled. They first carried the pre-Christian Roman dead into the afterlife. When Christianity became the hottest thing going, they were emptied of their former inhabitants and re-used by (and for) Christian Romans, who added the charmingly inept red-letter inscriptions and illustrations.

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