Mark Simonson

About Mark Simonson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Mark Simonson has created 77 blog entries.

Poirot Déjà Vu

By |November 16th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Back in 1991, I designed a series of packages for the American release of London Weekend Television’s Poirot series on VHS. (My design is above on the left.) As part of the design, I drew the name “POIROT” in a geometric Art Deco style, which I thought was fitting for the series.

The other day, I happened to see the latest incarnation of the series packaging (above on the right) and noticed that the designer had set the title in one of my fonts, Mostra, which I never noticed before is pretty similar to my 1991 lettering design.

I wonder if they knew?

The Misery of Edwin Drood

By |October 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Alastair Johnston, who has written some very nice books about type, has posted an item on his blog skewering the period typography of the tv movie The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

“A Lonely Place For Dying”

By |July 3rd, 2012|Uncategorized|

I don’t normally plug movies here, but I had a small part to play in this one as a technical advisor. It’s set in 1972. My job was to advise about typographic details so they would be correct for the period. (See Typecasting and Son of Typecasting.)

I haven’t seen the movie yet, or even all the shots that have typography in them, but you can see some of the results in the trailer. They first contacted me about it in 2008. It’s really cool to see it finally coming to theaters this fall. Congrats to Justin and his crew!

Wood Type

By |July 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|

Clark Kellogg, a furniture maker and letter carver in Houston, recently completed a commission for a sign for a friend and fellow cabinetmaker. He writes, “I was excited to do it, as it finally gave me a chance to carve something with your epic Goldenbook font. The client flipped out when he saw the sign, and liked the font so much he ended up using it for his business cards.”

Very nicely done!

(Photos by Clark Kellogg.)

Pangrammer Helper, RoboFont Style

By |March 14th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Almost ten years ago, I made a little program called Pangrammer Helper. It’s a little tool to help compose pangrams, which are sentences containing every letter of the alphabet. It was built in Flash and was designed to run in a web browser.

Type designers are especially enamored of pangrams, as you can imagine. Fellow type geek and friend, Craig Eliason, has been using it for several years to compose entries for his Daily Pangram site.

Recently, a new font editing app called RoboFont was released, and I’ve been starting to use it in my work. One of the neat things about it is that it’s fully extendable—that is, if you are willing to do a little Python programming, you can add features to it.

Last week, the Robothon 2012 conference was held in The Hague. It was all about type design and technology. I wasn’t able to attend, but videos of most of the talks have been made available on Vimeo, and I’ve been watching them the last couple days. Two of them in particular, one by Tal Lemming about Building Stuff and another by Frederick Berlaen introducing RoboFont, inspired me to rewrite my Pangrammer Helper in Python so it could work inside RoboFont.

It took less than a day to do it, and it works great. You can use it by itself, and it works a lot like the old Flash version (a bit simplified), or, if you have RoboFont’s “Space Center” window open (the window were you work on your font’s spacing), the text also appears there as you compose it.

If you happen to be a RoboFont user, you can download the script here. Just drop it into your scripts folder and you can run it right from the Extensions menu.

The Artist vs. The Lettering Artist

By |March 5th, 2012|Uncategorized|

The Artist won this year’s Oscar for Best Picture about a week ago. It seems to say something about the state of movies today that a black and white, silent picture—not even wide screen—wins the big prize. I’ve seen it, and it&...

Bookmania Baby

By |March 4th, 2012|Uncategorized|

I got this birth announcement in the mail (all the way from Belgium!) that features Bookmania prominently. Designed by Yves Peters (of The FontFeed and elsewhere). Nice!


By |February 28th, 2012|Uncategorized|

There’s something Lee Friedlander-esque about this shot I snapped in a parking lot last September in St. Paul. Don’t remember what I was thinking when I shot it.

MST3K Tales, Part III: The Final Installment

By |February 24th, 2012|Uncategorized|

I don’t have any more MST3K stories to share, but I thought it would be fun to do “remastered” versions of my mock “redesign” covers that I sent to Best Brains. Without too much trouble (yeah, right), I was able to find a...