Font Poetry: Starting a meme

Confession: I have fallen head over heels in love with the delicate, poignant, meaningless poetry of typeface samples.


Designer: Nikola Djurek.
Print Foundry: OurType.
Found: via FFFFOUND!, via AisleOne

Mainly this calls for no effort from me, and is therefore a greedy, parasitic indulgence on my part. But sometimes the prettiest words need to undergo a bit of picking and choosing to turn them from Joyce into something bite-sized, like Bashō. Case in point: this sample grid for Gotham Narrow from Hoefler & Frere-Jones could be a ballad of epic proportions…


…but I like it better paraphrased into this charming little verse:

Push dress medium powder hyperion,
Fine Irish resin bloom;

Gotham Narrow (abridged)
Designer: Frere-Jones (from the original Gotham, circa 1930s)
Print Foundry: Hoefler & Frere-Jones
Found: via Seannamon

Now, as far as filler text and typeface samples go, typographic poetry runs rings around the quick brown fox, and has far more individual character than the oft-repeated, famously nonsensical lorem ipsum.

It did get me wondering, though: Who chooses the content of these beautiful little odes? Is it a matter of science and reason, or just a happy mish-mash of randomly chosen words? Can someone from the world of typography please put an end to my ignorance?



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