Introducing Ribbon + The Ribbon Specimen Book

Today we are pleased to announce that Ribbon (one of our very first contributions, originally a numeral set) has been expanded by its creator Dan Gneiding, to become a full display face!

And, along with it, some of our most exciting news yet. Announcing: The Ribbon Specimen Book.

Shown here are some beautiful photos taken by our friend Ryan Berger.

Created by Dan, and containing work by a dozen Lost Type contributors and friends (all featuring our new font Ribbon), this book can be mailed to your doorstep for free, when you purchase Ribbon for $30.

We asked Dan a few questions about how all of this came about:

LT: How did Ribbon come about?

DG: It all began with the Letter Cult alphabattle project. I had been a fan of that site for a while and when the call for submissions came up a thought it would be a fun exercise. This cut paper letter T was the first hint at what would become Ribbon.

When the battle came around to the 3 character I started to refine some of the potential I saw in the cut paper T. I loved how this three seemed to hold a square in the negative space [fig 2]. I threw it up on and Tyler contacted me that same day. Lost type was just in its infancy at the time and looking for some faces for the freshman roster. I had been cutting my teeth with Font Lab making some faces for my day job at Urban Outfitters and I was eager to keep that momentum going. Thus the Ribbon numeral set was born.

LT: There are a few OpenType features in this new version of Ribbon, is that something you had done before?

DG: I had just started dabbling in Open Type coding for another font (which I put on hold to work on Ribbon) so it was all very new to me. Ribbon is the first face I have completed with functioning Open Type features. Straight character substitutions like the stylistic alternates and sub/super script numbers were pretty easy, the fractions were a little tricker but the kind folks on the forums were extremely patient and helpful.

LT: Any other surprises in store this time around?

DG: There is a border set included in the download as a vector .eps. I love when fonts have all the bells, whistles and assorted extra goodies, so I wanted to make sure Ribbon had some of that.

LT: The Ribbon Specimen Book is the first printed piece for Lost Type, how did that project come about?

DG: As legend has it Alonzo (designer of Lost Type’s amazing Tightrope font) and I had the same idea on the same day. We both emailed Riley separately and he was very supportive. The friendly competition of knowing Alonzo was also thinking about a book really lit the fire under me to make this book a reality.

LT: What was the logic behind the pricing?

DG: We did not want to mess with the ‘pay what you want’ model of the site, but obviously needed to cover the cost of production and shipping. So this sort of kickstarter-like reward system seemed like a good way to achieve that. You can still get the face for any price you desire but if you chip in $30 you get the book sent to you, shipping is on us.

LT: The book is a collaborative piece with many designers contributing spreads. Why did you go this route as apposed to designing the whole thing yourself?

DG: Yes, a dozen designers including myself worked on the book. I wanted to show Ribbon in use in a broad range of styles. Rather than try to fake this on my own, it seemed better to recruit some talented people and let them do their thing.

We were very fortunate to work with the likes of Linda Eliasen, Mauricio Cremer, Chaun Osburn, Jim Leszczynski, Olivia Verdugo, Elysse Ricci, Andy Rementer, Namik Schwarz, Lachlan Heywood and Ryan Katrina.

LT: What do you have coming up next?

DG: Now that Ribbon is all wrapped up (excuse the pun), I am going to go back and finish up the other font I had left in limbo. After that there are a few other alphabattle characters that I would like to see expanded into a full set. Now that I have a taste for Open Type I would really like to push that potential further in my next face. Who knows maybe I will be back on Lost Type again in the not so distant future???

So go get yourself a copy, and support Lost Type by purchasing Ribbon for $30, and getting yourself a fancy book!

Riley Cran

Riley Cran is the Operator and Manager of the Lost Type Co-Op