by Rebecca Bedrossian

Our first-ever Typography Annual is special for a number of reasons: One, it’s the first; second, there’s a wide range of typographic eye candy to explore; third, the feature line-up is inspiring and creatively varied; and four, the magazine’s original cover was created by Christian Northeast. Like most of Christian’s work, there’s a lot to take in. Each time I look at the cover, more and more details are revealed—much to my delight. And the details not only announce Typography Annual 1 with flair, but give us clues about the artist. Like van Eyck in the Arnolfini Wedding, Christian included himself in the illustration, from the North/East weather vane to the Northeast Dance Academy pencil. Subtle references that are then echoed in the enlightening profile of Christian Northeast by Jim Hanas. Here’s a snippet:

[Christian’s] portfolio ranges from the impossible machines of his early work, to dense type treatments, to
tone-perfect takes on artifacts from matchboxes to postcards, all tied together
by Northeast’s talent for making even the digital feel handmade. “The stuff I
collect or the stuff I’m drawn to is always something that looks like it has a
bit of history to it,” he says. “I’ve always been drawn to stuff that has a
patina to it.”

Still, over the years, Northeast’s work has also
displayed an increasing clarity and refinement. It looks less like assemblages
of found images than like actual found images, recovered from an imaginary past
where Terry Gilliam animations, letterpress posters, vintage cartoons and
visionary art coexist and comingle.

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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