This Online Archive Will Tell You Exactly Which Typeface Your Favorite Products Use

Scott Olson, Getty Images
Scott Olson, Getty Images

Even if you’re a designer, you may not be able to identify all the typefaces you see in the world by sight, aside from a few of the most common, like Helvetica or Futura (or, sadly, Comic Sans). Luckily, Fonts in Use will find it for you, as DesignTAXI alerts us.

The online archive, created in 2010 by a trio of font and typography experts, documents the different typefaces that you can see in the wild, whether it’s on Sriracha bottles, in magazines, or on a film poster. Searchable by industry, format, and specific typeface, each entry in the archive details every one of the typefaces used in a particular image. Once you find a particular typeface used in, say, the movie poster for Moonrise Kingdom, then you can click through to the tags to find where else you can see Tilda out in the world. (Answer: a website for a design studio called Pixiegate.)

Images of bottles with their typefaces listed underneath
Screenshot, Fonts in Use

The site can identify the use of Engravers Old English on the cover of Taylor Swift's album Reputation, Albertus in the opening titles of John Carpenter’s films, and Candice in the Cheers logo. The archive features current typeface examples both familiar and obscure—there are a high number of European products and titles that might be unfamiliar to American audiences—as well as vintage ones.

Posters from film and entertainment with their typefaces listed below them
Screenshot, Fonts in Use

For a design obsessive, the site and its accompanying blog is a little slice of heaven. For the uninitiated, it provides an unexpected appreciation of type, a reminder that someone out there had to choose the seven-plus typefaces that come together to make a Sriracha bottle. It will give you a whole new way to look at the text you see everywhere, every day.

Explore for yourself here.

[h/t DesignTAXI]

Want to Repurpose Old or Damaged Books? Turn Them Into DIY Wall Art

Svitlana Unuchko/iStock via Getty Images
Svitlana Unuchko/iStock via Getty Images

Many bibliophiles see their books as more than just reading material. Whether they're color-coded, stored backwards, or stacked around the house in teetering piles, books can double as decorations that add coziness and character to a space. This interior design trend spotted by Today pushes this concept to new heights by transforming old books into pieces of sprawling wall art.

Erin Kern, the Oklahoma designer behind the blog Cotton Stem, first had the idea to make books into DIY art in 2015. Her concept works with any books you have at home that you can bear to part with. Just grab a staple gun, secure the book covers to the wall you wish to embellish, and then use staples, glue, or tape to arrange the pages of the book however you like them. You can keep the book open to your favorite page or use some clever craft work to make the pages look like they're frozen mid-flip. As you expand the piece, you can add single pages or pages without their covers to vary the design.

Kern and other designers who've created their own versions of the project often combine old books with other types of wall decor. You can nestle framed prints of literary quotes or tuck air plants among the pages. Ana Ochoa of the blog Fiddle Leaf Interiors used hanging books as a makeshift canvas for a larger-than-life painting.

If seeing books stapled to a wall makes you cringe, rest assured that no one is suggesting you buy brand-new books to use as your crafting materials. This project is a great way to repurpose old books you never plan to read again—especially books with tears and missing pages that are too damaged to donate.

Looking for more literary design inspiration? Check out these pieces of furniture made out of books.


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[h/t Today]

Who Invented the Cardboard Box?

Feverpitched/iStock via Getty Images
Feverpitched/iStock via Getty Images

Few inventions have blended as seamlessly into our daily living routines as the humble cardboard box. We get excited to see piles of them near our front door. We stuff them with papers. Our cats love to claim them as their private living rooms. Yet we rarely stop to consider how much more convenient they are than a burlap sack. Who do we credit for this marvel of simple but indispensable ingenuity?

In the 1st and 2nd century BCE, the Han Dynasty of China was busy pioneering the use of paper. During the same era, sheets of bark from the Mulberry tree were used to wrap and protect food, one of the earliest examples of a sturdy, wood-based product being repurposed for packaging. But what we’d come to recognize as the earliest form of the cardboard box as we know it today didn’t appear until the early 19th century, with the 1817 German board game The Game of Besieging being the oldest example. Throughout the 19th century, companies began using the boxes as a means of storage and transport for cereals and even for moth eggs used by silk manufacturers.

But an additional twist—or pleat—was needed in order to turn these carriers into the cubical wonders we know today. In 1856, top hat peddlers Edward Allen and Edward Healey used a stiffer paper made with a fluted sheet in the middle of two layers to provide stability and warmth to the lining: It was a precursor to corrugated cardboard.

The real breakthrough, however, came in 1879. It was then that Robert Gair, owner of a Brooklyn paper factory, figured out that he could both score a single sheet of cardboard and then have his printing press cut it at the same time, eliminating laborious hand-cutting. When the flat pieces were folded together, the cardboard box as we know it was born.

Gair sold consumer product companies on this handy new form of storage, eventually scoring a 2-million-piece order from the cracker czars at Nabisco. Snack foods could now travel without the danger of being crushed, and, pretty soon, the cardboard box was migrating from kitchen cupboards to anywhere a cheap, effective form of packaging was needed. In the 1930s, the Finnish government even adopted the boxes as part of a take-home maternity package for new mothers who may not have been able to afford cribs. Babies took their first naps in the confines of the mattress-lined box—a practice that continues today.

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