Counterpunch is both an explanation of the 16th-century method of?cutting metal type and an impassioned plea for contemporary designers to incorporate the lessons of history as a means of creating typography in our digital age. Smeijers sees the counterpunch technique as essential for ensuring the regularity of form, repeatability, and speed of production necessary for rational design.?
?Smeijers traces the history of letterform design to discover how technique influenced the shape of type, whether the metal punches of the past or today's computer-generated forms. Counterpunch is generously?illustrated with drawings by the author, examples of early type specimens, and detailed photographs of punches.
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Fred Smeijers is a Dutch type designer, teacher, and writer. After finishing as a student at the school of art at Arnhem, he worked as a typographic advisor to the reprographic company Océ, then became a founding member of the graphic design practice Quadraat, which provided the name for his first published typeface (FontShop, 1992). Smeijers has a whole range of distinctive typefaces to his credit, including Renard (The Enschedé Font Foundry, 1998) and Arnhem, Fresco, Sansa, and Custodia. These latter are all distributed by OurType, the company that he co-founded. His books are Counterpunch (1996) and Type now (2003). He is a winner of the Gerrit Noordzij prize (2001), and is Professor of Digital Typography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig.Review:
Counterpunch is written in an entertaining manner and Smeijer's wit frequently shines through....The book's carefully considered design, a bibliography, and a useful index complete a work that is warmly recommended to anyone interested in type. Kaspar Brand, Page
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