Modern Typography is a dot com web presence organized by the London-based type designer and graphic designer, Paul Barnes (b. 1970), typophile extraordinaire. It is promised to have plenty of material for the typophile. In the 1990s, Paul Barnes worked for Roger Black in New York where he was involved in redesigns of Newsweek, US and British Esquire and Foreign Affairs. During this time he art-directed Esquire Gentleman and U&lc. He later returned to America to be art director of the music magazine Spin. Since 1995 he has lived and worked in London. He has formed a long term collaboration with Peter Saville, which has resulted in such diverse work as identities for Givenchy and numerous music based projects, such as Gay Dad, New Order, Joy Division and Electronic. Barnes has also been an advisor and consultant on numerous publications, notably The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian and The Observer Newspapers, GQ, Wallpaper, Harper's Bazaar and Frieze. Following the redesign of The Guardian, as part of the team headed by Mark Porter, Barnes was awarded the Black Pencil from the D&AD. They were also nominated for the Design Museum Designer of the Year. In September 2006, with Schwartz he was named one of the 40 most influential designers under 40 in Wallpaper. He cofounded Commercial Type with Christian Schwartz. Author of Swiss Typography: The typography of Karl Gerstner and Rudolf Hostettler (Modern Typography, 2000).
- The (free) font Pagan Poetry (2001), done for one of the sleeves on Björk's albums. The font was made for Show Studio (see also here and here).
- Codesigner with Christian Schwartz in 2005 of the 200-font family Guardian Egyptian for The Guardian, about which he spoke at ATypI 2006 in Lisbon.
- In 2007, he worked with Peter Saville on the Kate Moss brand. As a font, he suggested a variation on Brodovitch Albro, a typeface by Alexey Brodovitch, the famous art director of Harper's Bazaar from 1934-58. The Creative Review reactions to this typeface are a bit negative though.
- In 2003, he created Austin, a high-contrast modern typeface. Now available at Schwartzco and at Commercial Type, Christian Schwartz writes: When hired to design a new headline typeface for Harper's&Queen, Britain's version of Harper's Bazaar, Paul thought to flick back through the pages of its 60's precursor, the über cool Queen. The high contrast serif headlines were lovely, but a little too expected in a contemporary fashion magazine. Some time poring through specimens in St Bride's Printing Library inspired the perfect twist: rather than taking our cues from Didot or Bodoni, we would start with [Richard] Austin's first creation, turn up the contrast, tighten the spacing and make a fresh new look that would look bold and beautiful in the constantly changing world of fashion. The end result is Richard Austin meets Tony Stan, British Modern as seen through the lens of late 1970s New York. iThe Cyrillic version was designed in 2009 and 2016 by Ilya Ruderman (CTSM Fonts).
- Dala Floda (1997-now) is based on gravestone inscriptions, and was turned in 2010 into a logotype stencil family at Commercial Type. As a stencil family, it is praised by the typophile community. Realted is the semi-stencil typeface family Dala Moa.
- Publico was designed from 2003-2006 with Christian Schwartz, Ross Milne and Kai Bernau. Originally called Stockholm and then Hacienda, and finally Publico for a Portuguese newspaper by that name. Publico Text Mono (Christian schwartz and Paul Barnes) was commissioned in 2012 for Bloomberg Businessweek. Greg Gadzowicz added the italics, which are optically corrected obliques, in keeping with the un-designed aesthetic, in 2014.
- Brunel (1995-now): an English modern, this is an anthology of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century English foundries. It was drawn from original source material, most notably the Caslon foundry and the work of John Isaac Drury).
- Marian (2012) is a type experiment based on Garamond, consisting of 19 hairline styles with names referring to dates between 1554 and 1812. Commercial Type writes: Marian is a series of faithful revivals of some of the classics from the typographic canon: Austin, Baskerville, Bodoni, Fournier, Fleischman, Garamont, Granjon, Kis and van den Keere. The twist is that they have all been rendered as a hairline of near uniform weight, revealing the basic structure at the heart of the letterforms. Together they represent a concept: to recreate the past both for and in the present. [...] Faithful to the originals, Marian comes with small capitals in all nine roman styles, with lining and non-lining figures, with swash capitals (1554, 1740, 1800&1820), alternate and terminal characters (1554&1571). And like the hidden track so beloved of the concept album, Marian is completed by a Blackletter based on the work of Henrik van den Keere.
- His classics series, mostly influenced by old Britsh type foundries, includes Figgins Sans (original 1832), Besley Grotesque, Caslon Antique, Fann Street Clarendon, Caslon Italian, Blanchard, Thorowgood Sans, Antique No. 6, Antique No. 3, and Ornamented (original c. 1850 at Caslon, Barnes use a Steven Shanks interpretation).
- VF Didot (2013) is a custom Didot by Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz for Vanity Fair, as requested by its design director, Chris Dixon. Based on work of Molé Le Jeune, a punchcutter used by the Didot family in the early part of the 19th century, VFDidot has 7 optical sizes and up to 5 weights in each size, plus small caps and even a stencil style.
Early in 2014, Christian Schwartz, Paul Barnes and Miguel Reyes joined forces to create the manly didone typeface family Caponi, which is based on the early work of Bodoni, who was at that time greatly influenced by the roccoco style of Pierre Simon Fournier. It is named after Amid Capeci, who commissioned it in 2010 for his twentieth anniversary revamp of Entertainment Weekly. Caponi comes in Display, Slab and Text subfamilies.
In 2014, Dave Foster and Paul Barnes (Commercial Type) designed Marr Sans. They write: The influence of Scotland in typefounding belies the nation's small size. Marr Sans, a characterful grotesque design, was inspired by a typeface from the 1870s found in the work of James Marr & Co. in Edinburgh, successors to Alexander Wilson & Sons. From a few lines in three sizes, and only one weight, Paul Barnes and Dave Foster have expanded the family from Thin to Bold, plus an Ultra Black weight, a wider companion to the six lighter weights. While Graphik and Atlas represent the greater homogenity of twentieth century sans serifs, Marr, like Druk, revels in the individuality of the nineteenth century, and is like an eccentric British uncle to Morris Fuller Benton's Franklin and News Gothics.
- Le Jeune (2016, Greg Gazdowicz, Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes): a crisp high-contrast fashion mag didone typeface family in Poster, Deck, Text and Hairline sub-styles, with stencils drawn by Gazdowicz. This large typeface family comes in four optical sizes, and was originally developed for Chris Dixon's refresh of Vanity Fair.
- Marian Text (2014-2016) is a grand collection of ultra thin typefaces designed at Commercial Type by Miguel Reyes, Sandra Carrera, and Paul Barnes. Marian Text 1554 depicts the old style of Garamond & Granjon; John Baskerville's transitional form becomes Marian Text 1757; the modern of Bodoni, with swash capitals and all, becomes Marian Text 1800, and the early Moderns of the Scottish foundries of Alexander Wilson & Son of Glasgow, and William Miller of Edinburgh, become Marian Text 1812. And like the original, a black letter: Marian Text Black, referencing the forms of Hendrik van den Keere.
- Gabriello (2015) is a soccer shirt font designed by Paul Barnes and Miguel Reyes: Inspired by brush lettering, Gabriello was commissioned by Puma. First used by their sponsored teams at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, it was later used at that year's World Cup, held in South Africa. It was used on the kits worn by Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, and Ghana.
- Sanomat (2013-2017). This custom typeface by Paul Barnes was originally commissioned by Sami Valtere in 2013 for his acclaimed redesign of Helsinging Sanomat in Finland. Sanomat is now available for retail via Commercial Type in two subfamilies, Sanomat (serif) and Sanomat Sans.
- Chiswick (2017), a series of three typefaces families based on vernacular forms found in the British Isles from the eighteenth century.
His St Bride Type Foundry. Dafont link. Klingspor link.
Klingspor Museum page
Sites with only a few free fonts ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Type personalities ⦿
Type design in the United Kingdom ⦿
Stencil fonts ⦿
Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿
Books on type design ⦿
Garalde or Garamond typefaces ⦿
Fashion mag typefaces ⦿
Soccer typefaces ⦿