It is just after twilight, and a flock of cranes is silhouetted against the rising moon. The artist watches as light and wind and landscape weave a wild and elemental tapestry at the end of the day.
Perhaps the great birds above her head are "whoopers" - the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), is one of the world's rarest and most endangered creatures, and it is also one of the most beautiful. Putting down her camera and sketchbook and opening her umbrella, she sprints along the shore, and the wind sweeps her up in its gusty arms. She takes wing with the moondancing cranes, her long skirts blowing.
For the ancients, the dance of the tsuru or crane was a celebration of life, and so it is for the artist. A symbol of good fortune and longevity for its fabled life span of a thousand years, the crane also represented honor and fidelity because it mates for life. The crane is a prominent motif in Taoist wisdom tales, and images of the magnificent birds have been found in Asian tombs as far back as the Shang and Zhou dynasties.
Banner text for the title of this place is set in Esmeralda Pro by Guillermo Vizarri of the Sudtipos Type Foundry. Vizarri's creation is strongly influenced
by classical “capitalis monumentalis” stone carvings - it is graceful and elegant, fresh and modern in feeling, bold too. Subtitles are rendered in
English Engravers Roman by Robbie Smith for the Smith Hands Collection - his "face" is inspired by the magnificent English letter carvings produced between 1930
and 1980 by type carvers like Eric
Gill, Edward Johnston and David Kindersley. I have wanted to use both typefaces in a banner for some time and am happy to see them together here. Body text is, for the most part, Verdana by the magnificent Matthew
Carter, just because I like it. It remains (to my mind anyway) one of the
most elegant of all sans serif typefaces and the easiest on the eye for text.
For the lover of typefaces and lettering, the great wide world is full of wonders, and every single scrap of print encountered is a grand adventure in the offing. It helps to have a good guidebook along as one traverses the soaring peaks and pastoral valleys of the typographical landscape, and I recommend one book alone—book designer, typographer, poet, essayist and mythic historian Robert Bringhurst’s magnificent The Elements of Typographic Style.