Old essay on new black face

Neuland and Lithos on black books

I suspect that designers who use Neuland or Lithos as an approximation of the Africanesque are being unimaginative at best, and jingoistic at worst. —Jonathan Hoefler

This article by Rob Giampietro of Giampietro + Smith has been around for a while—having originally been published in Letterspace in 2004—but I didn’t see it until Brian Feeney blogged it, so maybe you haven’t, either.

Since I read it, about three weeks ago, I’ve been noticing these typefaces everywhere (though slightly less often than I spot Papyrus), used in exactly the way Giampietro describes. Quit it, people.

3 thoughts on “Old essay on new black face

  1. I think you should put one of these fonts on the cover of one of the books at your current place of work. Just to, you know, fuck with people.

  2. This is a brilliant plan. However, I don’t have anything to do with the design of the books where I work at present. And the freelance project that’s on deck right now is, in fact, an African American journal. For which it would never have occurred to me to use Neuland or Lithos.

  3. So that’s what that font’s called! I’m in the middle of putting together a flyer on a “jungle” theme for a low-budget job and this is exactly what I was trying to track down. So, thanks. (And I did read the linked article; I wouldn’t disagree that Giampetro has a point, but I’m going to have to use the font anyway – cliched typography with racist echoes are all this client can afford…)

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