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“First, One Must Endure”

“First, One Must Endure”

This presentation was designed for a lecture at Northern Illinois University School of Art in 2011, about my Hemingway typeface and its design process, and about my type design philosophy at large.

“Hemingway Pro” is the result of a personal project or I should say journey started in September 2002 after a vacation in the town of Otranto, Southern Italy. It was the time when I had to come up with a substantial idea for my master thesis at Polytechnic of Milan. I had ‘that’ book on the shelf calling me to be read, and I tossed it the bag for the trip. It was the prize winning novel “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Miller Hemingway. One afternoon, after a walk, sitting by a dock in the gulf of Otranto, I happened to lay my eyes on a hand-drawn upper case ‘B’ painted inside the stern of a little fisherman’s boat. It was just beautiful: a sharp ‘B’ with the right part of the letter having the shape of two sails in full wind, the stem being the mast. After that view, I knew I had to start reading the book by Hemingway, and the time proved to be right. I found the structure of the novel suitable for a semantic translation into the high-contrast world of black and white letterforms and words. In his discussion of the prose style of “The Old Man and the Sea” in “Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Old Man and the Sea,” Malcolm Cowley notes that Hemingway “uses the oldest and shortest words, the simplest constructions, but gives them a new value.”

I wanted my typeface to relate to the content, to carry the meaning of sharpness and harshness, and at the same time to show a stiff and a soft quality – the same qualities in which the nature of the sea is apparently revealed in Hemingway’s novel, a book that indeed speaks about the fairness of nature. During the process of embedding a sailboat symbol into the uppercase letters, I pursued a philosophical method held dear by the writer; the theory of omitting as much as possible from his stories and relying on the sensibility of the reader, who is trusted to imagine that which was omitted. As Robert Bringhurst writes in his The Elements of Typographic Style: “We could say that a large part of typography is far removed from literature, but typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition.” I found the possibility of compressing the prose fascinating, I saw in my drawings that I could achieve the intensity I was looking for.

In a 1958 interview in “The Paris Review,” Hemingway described this style of writing in the following terms: «I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg. It is the part that doesn’t show. If a writer omits something because he does not know it then there is a hole in the story». I intended to use this idea as if it was an idiosyncratic relation between the uppercase and lowercase letters, and within those having large counters. Contrary perhaps to normal practice, I started to draw first all the uppercase letters, using a calligraphic broad nibbed automatic-pen, on a grid I had planned to be closely related to the proportions of the Roman Capital letter. The orientation of the sail symbols I was trying to embed in my sketches was meant to compatible with the western reading model, as if the reading direction was the wind itself. Consequently, I developed the lowercase letters and the numbers. The influences on the lowercase were mostly Neville Brody’s Industria Solid, for its rigid and industrial sharpness, and Michael Gills’ Charlotte Sans, a humanistic sans serif which I found very legible among the unseriffed typefaces I knew at the time.

By the time I presented the thesis at the Polytechnic of Milan in July 2004, assisted by Prof. Giangiorgio Fuga, I had developed a basic yet complete set, with italics and relative kerning. In August 2004 I received a letter from Prof. Hermann Zapf to whom I had sent a copy of my thesis book. Zapf wrote back: “My personal feeling for your typeface design called ‘Hemingway’ would be that the characters are too smooth for a personality so powerful and rough as Hemingway was in all his life. Also much too elegant for him. As a specialist in bookfaces I think within a text of type your type is too narrow in the distance between each character which reduces the readability.” Later that year and in 2005, I worked on Zapf's feedback and on a new set of caps for all “cuts" further removing some decorative details. The resulting shapes turned out to be more functional and therefore more useful than the originals, without diminishing the overall concept behind the typeface. Extensive editing was done to all glyphs, maximizing and optimizing consistency and metrics, and expanding the character set (now supporting 98 languages). In January 2007 an article on my Hemingway was published on Graphicus 1034, at the time the leading Italian magazine for the graphic industry; the article included a specimen set in the updated version of the fonts.

The Hemingway font is not a bookface indeed; in a conservative view of text type, it is impossible to see this as anything except display. Still, it has something very experimental in it, that makes it perform at small body size as well. In the words of Jan Tschichold: “Both nature and technology teach us that ‘form’ is not independent, but grows out of function (purpose), out of materials used (organic or technical), and out of the ways in which they are used.”

The typeface was awarded and selected for the UK “Creative Review Type Annual 2011” within the Display category.

Alessandro Segalini

February 08, 2011

More Decks by Alessandro Segalini

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  1. 1 Hemingway™ Pro — The design process, slides by Alessandro

    Segalini. Hemingway™ Pro Concept September, 2002 Drawings June 2003 Thesis July 2004 Revised March 2008 Released © November 2009
  2. 2 Hemingway™ Pro — The journey ... was a favorite

    expression of Ernest Hemingway. He used the saying in his private letters and on occasion inscribed the words in books he signed for close friends. The saying (French in origin) roughly translated to “ first, one must endure.” “Il faut d’abord durer”
  3. 6 Hemingway™ Pro — The Iceberg metaphor, 1958. «I always

    try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg. It is the part that doesn’t show. If a writer omits something because he does not know it then there is a hole in the story.» The Principle of the Iceberg
  4. 7 Hemingway™ Pro — ‘The Old Man and the Sea’

    illustrated by Alexander Petrov. Running: 8' Characters: Santiago, The Marlin, Manolin, Joe DiMaggio, Perico, Martin, Perico.
  5. 8 Hemingway™ Pro — Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1954. Running:

    2'10" No writer who knows the great writers who did not receive the Prize can accept it other than with humility. There is no need to list these writers. Everyone here may make his own list according to his knowledge and his conscience. It would be impossible for me to ask the Ambassador of my country to read a speech in which a writer said all of the things which are in his heart. Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses he will endure or be forgotten. Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed. How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him. I have spoken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. Again I thank you. Recorded at Havana Cuba Radio station in 1954.
  6. 9 Hemingway™ Pro — ‘The Old Man and the Sea’

    manuscript and typed copy with corrections.
  7. 17 Hemingway™ Pro — Hemingway’s first edition 1952, and 2002

    (Portuguese). “According to publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons, Hemingway used the same designer, a woman who signed her work Cleon, for many of his books. Other covers were done by Hemingway’s young Italian friend and love interest, Adriana Ivancich.”
  8. 23 Hemingway™ Pro — Upper case, study with calligraphy tools,

    March 2003. VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] ops #,"#µ)+µ&µ'#.,(&9µ))+6,²+0#", µ&--+µ*.#µ+#)(+--µ#"µ,&µo G uµ,("(µ,--µ-+#-µµ-')+µ"+µ("µ."µ)""µ.-('-#µq¿µ#µopµ''E !²&--+,²,!(0"²!+²("²o G u²,&²!/²"²0+#--"²(.-²0#-!²&%²(.!²0#-!²²op²''²q¾².-('-#²)"E ªEµvn VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] opt !* !³')³$³%!,*&$7³.))+6,€+0#",C ªEµvo VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] !* !³')³$³%!,*&$7³.))+6,€+0#",C VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] !* !³')³$³%!,*&$7³.))+6,€+0#",C
  9. 25 Hemingway™ Pro — Upper case, deconstruction (parts) study. opw

    µ)+-#µ&µ'#.,(&(9µ))+6,²)+-, ªEµvr
  10. 27 Hemingway™ Pro — Influences on the lower case letters.

    Industria by Neville Brody, 1989 Gill Sans by Eric Gill, 1932 Charlotte Sans by Michael Gill, 1992 E²".,-+#²"&#"²#,²²&#!-+²/+,#("²( ²".,-+#²(&#E µ(').-+µ"E 19²"².,² (+²&&²,#",9²/+-#,#"9²"²-#'-&,E²#&&Y,²+((-,²"²² !+²0+² (!",-("Y,² ("("²"++(."²-1)E²#&&²!,²,.!²,#'#&+&16 !#,² ("-².,²²'(+"² &².²-(²#-,²&+9²"+(.,²"²(+##"&² "9²-!#,²-1) ² (&&(0,²)+#"#)&,²,-&#,!²1²0+² (!",-("E 2389:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQ µ1,-',µ"E9µ #"(-1)µ #++1µ"µ¿))&µ(').-+µ"E .² (+²-!² ("("²<² (+-!²,-+"²#&019²"².,² (+²&&²,#",9²/+-#,#"9²"²-#'-&,E²#& ²²-1) ,²"²'(+²#+-&1²-(²!#,²-!+²0+² (!",-("Y,² ("("²"++(."²-1)E²#&&² %,²-!-²-!²1²""(-²-&&²-!²# +"E²!#,² ("-².,²²'(+"² &².²-(²#-,²&+9²"+(.,² ²1²+#²#&&² (+²-!² ("(-1)²(+)(+-#("9²-!#,²-1) ² (&&(0,²)+#"#)&,²,-&#,!²1²0+ ,+# ²( ²#-,²%#"²-(²²+(&1²#,-+#.-E R´€VYXMKIV )E µ1,-',µ"Eµ"µ #"(-1)µ #++1E "²+.-#+²0,²(''#,,#("²-(²/&()²²,#"²"²#+-#("&²,1,-'² (+²-!²"0²!+&,²².&&²¾ +9²² ("-²0!(,²!+-+²ª-²#"²0#-!²-!²'(+"²+!#--.+²( ²-!²#+)(+-E²+.-#+²#,²"#-!+²).+&1 ',²,#"²,(²-!-²!²#"#/#.&²!+-+²#,²*.#%&1²"²,#&1²+("#29²/"² +('²²#,-"E² .-#+²-!²)+ -² ("-² (+²,#"²"²(-!+²))&#-#(",9²0!+²-!²#,-#"-",,²( ²!+-+,²#,²( ²! &#"²-1) E "#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ oqn , IP´MPPW ("-%E -#("&µ1) µ(+)(+-#("µ"µ #"(-1)µ #++1E ²0,²,#"²1² #!&²#&&,²-(²((+#"-²0#-!²-!²!+&(--²,+# ²-1) ,²#"²,-1&9²0#!-9²"² -0"²-!²!.'"#,-#²*.&#-#,²( ²#&&²",²"²-!²/"",,²#"²(&(+²( ²+.-#+E²!+&(--²",²#,²!# ,²(')-#&²0#-!²#-,²,+# ²(."-+)+-²"²( +,²,#"+,²²0#²+"²( ²)(,,##&#-#,E >LV`iv}…ˆŽ“˜œ«µÀÃÌÕÛÜÝÞâ "#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  11. 30 Hemingway™ Pro — First set of lc drawings and

    preparation to digitalization, 2004. VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] oqp !* !³')³$³%! ,*&$7³&(0+6,€+0#",C ªEµvt VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] oqq !* !³')³$³%! ,*&$7³&(0+6,€+0#",C ªEµvu VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] oqr !* !³')³$³%! ,*&$7³&(0+6,€+0#",C ªEµvv
  12. 33 Hemingway™ Pro — Metrics and editing, from v. 1.0

    to v. 12.3 (Fontlab 4 on Mac OS 10.4). VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] ouu '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", upµ)- ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ((%µ<µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- amburgefons ouu '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ((%µ<µ-&# qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- amburgefons V ' upµ)- '.+ (", ' wµ)- upµ)- amburgefons amburgefons Book v. . live. Book italic v. . live.
  13. 34 Hemingway™ Pro — Metrics glossary. Left bearing Right bearing

    Baseline Ascender Capital Descender x-height Character width
  14. 35 Hemingway™ Pro — From v. 1.0 to v. 12.3

    (generation of eight weights). Version 1.0, 2004. Regular Medium Book Light Light Bold Bold Version 9.0-12.3, 2005-2009. VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] out '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", upµ)- ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ(&µ<µ(&µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- out '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ(&µ<µ(&µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", upµ)- ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ((%µ<µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] ouu '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", upµ)- ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ((%µ<µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * '.+ (", upµ)- ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ #!-µ<µ #!-µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- VRIWXS´‚IQMRK[E] %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * %,)& * '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", '.+ (", upµ)- ("-Gµ+",-(µ'#"01µ #!-µ<µ #!-µ-&# svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- oqµ)- wµ)- upµ)- svµ)- rtµ)- qpµ)- prµ)- ovµ)- Hamburgefons Hamburgefons Hamburgefons Hamburgefons Hamburgefons Hamburgefons Hamburgefons Hamburgefons
  15. 36 Hemingway™ Pro — Testing metrics: master side bearings test,

    and kerning. OAOBOCODOEO HAHBHCHDHEH OFOGOHOIOJO HFHGHHHIHJHKH OKOLOMONOPO HLHMHNHOHPH OQOROSOTOUO HQHRHSHTHUH OVOWOXOYOZO HVHWHXHYHZH HÌHÍHÏHÎHHÆHŒH HØHHÇHOÇO HOHIllinoi oaobocodoeofogo nanbncndnenfngn ohoiojokolomono nhninjnknlnmnnn ooopoqorosotouo nonpnqnrnsntnun ovowoxoyozo nvnwnxnynzn nßnænœnønnçn oßoæoœoøooço AAM ABLE ACE ADS AEON AFTER AGE AHEM AIDS AJAR AKIN ALAS AMEN AND LAOA APE AQUA ARK FASE HATAI FAUAO CAVAII HAWAII AXE RAYA JAZZ BAOR BUBBY BCH BEND BHARAIN BING BLUE BOOS BRA LABS OBTUSE BUCK BVO COBWEB BYTE CARP OCCUR CD CENT CG ARCH CIGS DOCK CLOWN COD ACQUCROW TICS ACTS SCUD CYCLE bazaar abbey ace adelaer aft aße age hair ajar ape aqua army astol ata aura cava awa axa aya jazz baoork abbey abcat bend bing blue boat bran cubs debt bust byte candy occur cd aces chum icing buck cycle icoon cream lics actual scud cyan dan db adcil add dendf edge dharma din idle adman odno 001020304050 (0607080900) 101121314151 (16171819100) 202122324252 (26272829200) 303132334353 (36373839300) 404142434454 (46474849400) 505152535455 (56575859500) 606162636465 (6676869600) 707172737475 (7677879700) 808182838485 (8687889800) 909192939495 (9697989900) (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(0) $00 $10 $20 $30 $40 $50 $60 $70 $80 $90 €00 €10 €20 €30 €40 €50 €60 €70 €80 €90 £00 £10 £20 £30 £40 £50 £60 £70 £80 £90 ¥10 ¥20 ¥30 ¥40 ¥50 ¥60 ¥70 ¥80 ¥90 #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #0 lynx tuft frogs, dolphins abduct by proxy the ever awkward klutz, dud, dummkopf, jinx snubnose filmgoer, orphan sgt. renfruw grudgek reyfus, md. sikh psych if halt tympany jewelry sri heh! twyer vs jojo pneu fylfot alcaaba son of nonplussed halfbreed bubbly playboy guggenheim daddy coccyx sgraffito effect, vacuum dirndle impossible attempt to disvalue, muzzle the afghan czech czar and exninja, bob bixby dvorak wood dhurrie savvy, dizzy eye aeon circumcision uvula scrungy picnic luxurious special type carbohydrate ovoid adzuki kumquat bomb?
  16. 37 Hemingway™ Pro — Character Sets, Unicode UTF-8 Standard (23

    languages supported). ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV W X YZ ÆŒØ& abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzæœø fi flßſ №$¢ƒ£¥€#0123456789 0123456789 %‰½¼¾¹²³ {[(_)]}*,.:; /|¦\!?¿¡@^~†‡§•¶®©™ao«»‹›…–—“”‘’‚„˝´ ° ¬ + < = > ≠ ≤ ≥ ± ÷ − × ⁄ ∞ ∑ √ ◊ ∏ π ∫ ∂ ∆ ≈ μ Ω ` ´ ˆ ˇ ˙ ˘ ˝ ˜ ˚¸ ˛ ÁÀÂÄÃÅĀĄĂÇČĆĈÐĎÐÈÉÊËĒĚĖĘĔĢĞĜĤĦÍÎÌÏİĮĪĬĴĶĻĹŁL·Ľ ÑŃŇŅÓÔÒÖÕŐØŎŔŘŖŠŚŞŜŤŢŬÚÛÙÜŪŮŰŲŴŸÝŶŹŻŽ ÞŊáàâäãåāąăçćčĉċđďðéèêëēěėęĕģğġĝĥħĭíîìïıįīĵķļĺłl ·ľñńňņʼnnóòôöõōőøŏŕřŗšśşŝťţúùûüūųůűŭŵÿýŷźžżþŋ Version: 1.000 File size: 48,300 byte MD5: 7749ea010f4af7815c5d6d62b6979220 Character Sets: OT Features: aalt frac kern liga onum ordn sinf subs sups Name: Hemingway-Book Family name: Hemingway Book Sub family name: Book PS name: Hemingway-Book Format: OpenType
  17. 38 Hemingway™ Pro — First final specimen, 4 weights with

    italics, caps redesigned, 2009. {|}~€‚ƒ„…†‡ˆ‰Š‹ŒŽ‘’“” áh E g9./0123456-9vom STUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijkl á  #$%&'()*+"vomÀ¾ yz{|}~€‚ƒ„…†‡ˆ‰Š‹ŒŽ‘’ á  I t=1234567890=;,࡟ yz{|}~€‚ƒ„…†‡ˆ‰Š‹ŒŽ‘’ á  I á  h9‚h á tuvwxyz{|}~€‚ƒ„…†‡ˆ‰Š‹Œ á  !%&'()*+,-$;,àL© lmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~€‚ƒ„… á  2 ™(Z[\]^a_`bY(ie¿žœ efghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~ á   !"#$%&'(ie¿0. lmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~€‚ƒ„… á  @ ’6*+,-./012)64‰¿—• ijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~€‚ á  $%&'()*+,#4‰¿64 2/-!. ,)'(4 "//+ -%$)5- "/,$ )4!,)#