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Started by etherian, May 28, 2008, 07:01:59 AM

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The English alphabet is something that we are familiar with, but how are those same letters still recognisable to us after the process of design? Typefaces (or more commonly referred to as fonts) is more than a means of simplifying the task of writing. Each letter of an alphabet is specifically drawn to convey an aesthetic and in some cases, made to be medium specific so that it performs under certain conditions.

In this Journal, I intend to showcase through each city, the qualities that define each typeface. This may range from the function of the city, its inhabitants to the layout of the roads and whether it is dominated by straight roads or winding streets. Throughout, there may be type-related technical terms, I will attempt to include concise explanations. But if readers are interested, Wikipedia has an excellent article detailing all such nuances of typefaces and type design in general.

I began my foray into documenting cities at Simtropolis with this same, exact idea, the Journal was still in its relative infancy (around 10 updates) when the events of the past week (from 24/05/2008) occurred. This is by no means an end of Typographia at ST, but is simply a way for me to continue with this project of mine and in effect seek out a new audience who might come to appreciate type in a new light. Differences between these two homes of Typographia will be more pronounced later on in its life, not so much to include or exclude either community as widening the platform on which I can indulge in creativity.


P01 Introduction of Typographia + the City of Garamond + the City of Didot + the City of Lucida + the City of Grotesque

Direct Links

Garamond 001

Didot 001

Lucida 001

Grotesque 001


Columbus Terrain Mod & Meadowshire Terrain Mod by cycledogg (aka c.p.)
SFBT Street Tree Mod by Andreas
PEG Rock Mods by pegasus
El-Rail Facelift Mod by the NAM Team

Seasonal trees from SFBT Cycledogg Random Seasonal Woods & Rural Development Kit by Kant01
Bike paths are SA Cycleways by shadow_assassin
Retaining walls are JRJ New Modern Concrete Walls by jeronij
Medians and roadside eye candy are Marrast Avenue Dividers and Roadside Kit by Marrast (aka Criquette)

Typographia is set on the Map of St Louis by Beskhu3epnm of NHP
Assortment of civic buildings by anubis89, gshmailsmattb325, SBSimio, Simgoober & vicgon
Assortment of residential buildings by c.p., mattb325 & Simgoober
     Lucida CBD Parking Garage is Downtown Parking Garage by Simgoober
Typographia - Type as Cities" border="0

Types as Cities | Now Showing: Lucida


Interesting Idea, will be keeping an eye on this MD..

Copperminds and Cuddleswarms



And wonderful start there of Typographia!
Looking forward to more...


Very interesting way to present a new MD!  And the pictures show a very pleasant town.  :thumbsup:
Check my MD:               


I like the start here of Typographia!! Etherian I can't wait to see more and how this will devolp further...

Don't forget the SC4D Podcast is back and live on Saturdays @ 12 noon CST!! -- The Podcast soon to Return Here Linkie


Great pics and an unusual way to present your MD  &apls &apls

Lots of greenery and Bike paths - Yeah :thumbsup: I like  :D :D

Will pop back to see how your doing :thumbsup:

Kettle's on. Milk? Sugars?    ps I don't like Earl Grey  $%Grinno$%
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - If you're not part of the solution , you're part of the problem!
"Never knock on Death's door: Ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!"
Tales at TeaTime      Now A proper NUT      TTC plays GRV II


Hello, etherian!

This has got to be one of the most creative and interesting themes for an MD that I've ever seen!

And if the typeface theme isn't enough, your work in the game is just as wonderful! Garamond looks beautiful with all the seasonal trees and the neighborhoods.

Typographia is off to a splendid start here, my friend! You're onto something and I'll be following along every step of the way!




Thank you to everyone for a very warm welcome, hopefully I can continue to keep this amount of interest with each update! For the next few updates, I will be posting what was seen at ST, however, it will give me a chance to repair some of the truncated posts and fix up the odd typo now and then. I had thought about switching around some of the order in which the typefaces were revealed, it seems to be a novel idea and could be a point of difference between its home here and the one at ST.

As mentioned, the post below is NOT a new update, its simply to keep the very first post clean and tidy for the all important credits and index.

The first city of Typographia is Garamond.
This is a serif typeface that has extended ascenders (example letters: b, d, h) and descenders (example letters: p, q, y). Its curves are quite organic and rarely features ruled straight lines.

As such, Garamond will be a rural town, however, its residents would be of mid to high income families and the landscape filled with grass, bushes and trees. The land is to be sparsely populated, with small to medium neighbourhoods dotted around the expanding city. It will also have a developed town centre, complete with bureaucratic agencies and commercial service in accordance to the wealth of its residents.

A scenic drive with towering trees sheltering nearby residential areas.

Higher education is a priority of Garamond, this local college services a wide range of student from surrounding neighbourhoods.

The Mayor's Residence

A small local church to service out of town families.

A well-to-do cluster of residents who own several farms and businesses within the town.

A cross section of Garamond, from North to South. The new elementary school is near the top, also notice the rural highway creeping into view in the lower right corner.
Typographia - Type as Cities" border="0

Types as Cities | Now Showing: Lucida



In its most basic sense Didot was made as a high contrast typeface, with great exaggeration on the width of its vertical strokes compared with the hairline delicacy of its horizontals. Like Grotesque, Didot is also used as a classification for a group of typefaces that have similar characteristics - most notably its Italian cousin Bodoni.

Didot's most interesting aspect is that it defined modern society in the era when it was widely used in printed publications, however, fast-forward two, three hundred years and its now described as classical, or neoclassical. But the amazing thing is that these descriptions can be used in conjunction with each other, as Didot is both classical in its use of serifs, as well as the overall aesthetics being modern with its clean edges and straight lines.

One ideal that was relevant then - and still is now - was its undoubted relation to the Age of Enlightenment. In a condensed and concise manner, the Age of Enlightenment can be explained as the turning point in which reasoning was prized as a basis for guiding the development of European and some Eurasian countries. This philosophy, in part, was to undermine the class-divide and the power of the churches, some of these ideas carry over to a majority of Western cultures in the form of democracy and equal rights for all.

For today's digital world, Didot was most successfully revived by Adrian Frutiger, someone who we will begin to know very well in the course of this Journal.

Didot's Town Hall, built on the outskirts of its main commercial district, it is surrounded by parklands that allow its residents to transverse to work without criss-crossing traffic on the city's major roads.

The upper-class living within walking distance of the commercial district, yet its surroundings quiet enough for relatively low density housing.

The local aged care facility, close to Didot's youngest citizens - this allows a successful community service program where the children will take time each week to visit the city's older and wiser population for some fantastic story-telling and less rigourous sporting activities.

François Heights is a prime location in Didot, with exceptional views of the city's surroundings and within walking distance to a thriving commerce centre. Nearby is Pierre Station, a beautifully constructed TransContinent Rail terminal.

A relatively new suburb located near Didot's connection to its rural counterparts.

A cross-section of Didot's most developed areas, from East to West

Due to the increasing population and relentless demand for commercial services, parts of the old city centre has been rezoned for their development. Tarmac roads have simultaineously sprung up to meet the changing traffic conditions.

The new city centre as a corporate world.

Residents of the urban sprawl spreading along the arterial roads has asked for new educational facilities away from the busy city centre, the construction of this large capacity primary school is phase one of a new major civil project.

Tightly packed residential zone just outside of the commercial centre.

Typographia - Type as Cities" border="0

Types as Cities | Now Showing: Lucida


etherian, this is gorgeous work here.  Very clean and stylized, yet in a way that retains an overwhelming sense of the natural (versus built) environment.

We are fortunate to have you grace our MD section with Typographia.

D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


I can see the evolution ofyour plugins folder throughout this MD, and it is an excellent MD all  the way.  Your first posts show a lot of Maxis content, but very well-done, and your later images show a lot more BATs, along with a new road-line style, and it all works out very well.  In addition, you have uniquely planned your suburbs in an way that I haven't seen, in a CJ or in real life, and I like it.

And may I recommend THIS? ;D It would make your rural highways blend much more smoothly with your roads, but I should mention that it was made for right-hand drive setup.  (You can still use it with lef-hand drive, but some of the highway markings will be on the wrong side or pointing the wrong way)

EDIT: Now I read your first post, and I am starting to understand the premises of thsi MD.  It is very unique, i don't think anyone has thought of basing a MD on various fonts! I like it!
My days here are numbered. It's been great and I've had a lot of fun, but I've moved on to bigger and better things.
Glory be unto the modder and unto the fun and unto the city game!


Didot has certainly picked up where Garamond has left off, my friend--lovely work!

One little suggestion, though: What about giving us an example of the typeface your presenting with each update? I believe you have it in the each picture, but perhaps a larger example? Just an idea, completely up to you!

Can't wait to see more!



Looks interesting, I'll be back on this one fo' sho'


This is a very different MD compared to what I have seen, there seems to be an atmosphere in here, a nice one. Oh well, it must be the realism coming from your perfect pictures. Your transportation network is so smooth and curvy - I love it! Keep up the gorgeous work my friend.

Visit my Warsaw, Poland MD.


dedgren: Hi David, thank you dropping by with your kind words, you give me too much credit.

nerdly_dood: Hey, thanks for the link, they are great textures - I've been using them for a while already - those pictures are almost two months old now so they don't show every plugin that I currently have :P I hope Typographia will become a regular destination for you ;D

thundercrack83: Hello Dustin, thanks for the support right from the start! I've taken your suggestion and came up with a simple visual showcase of the typefaces, gave me a chance to chip off some of my design rust. I hope Lucida does not disappoint ;)

rushman5: fo' shizzle man, thanks for hanging. ;)

warszawa: Thank you Alex, your comment will no doubt encourage me to keep on improving this Diary and the cities that are to come!

Lucida is a rather large family of typefaces that encompass a majority of styles we are familiar with. The particular focus of this city is Lucida Grande - Mac users will no doubt be very, very fond of this (although it is a PC I am currently typing on, with design being my trade, I am also quite comfortable dealing with OS X). But PC's are also not forgotten, with our old friend, the Blue Screen of Death! That particular typeface is Lucida Console.

As such, the connection between Lucida and High Tech industries within SC4 was a no-brainer, and just in time as well, as I have refrained from allowing these to develop in the cities already presented here. Its come to the point where they spring up as soon as I zone the land for their development.

This typeface was designed in 1985 by Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes - also credited with the creation of Wingdings (don't expect to see that in this Journal ) - and is one of a few families of fonts that has a complete set of mathematically related symbols and correct spacings.

With the technological advancement of the city driving an almost unsustainable growth rate, a minor problem could suddenly become a catastrophe. As is often the case, a city's external appearance may be pleasant, but underneath this lies a less than enviable layer of society.

One problem leads to another, first to surface was the almost stagnant traffic that (tried to) move through the Central Business District during peak times. This was due to poor, early city planning, and the residents were paying the price. Next was the failing health of Lucida's general population, largely due to the frustrated drivers and the city's continual reliance on the car. Compound this with the steady rise of petty crimes and no real response from the police - except a pay rise or two for the few senior figures.

A major proposal was ordered by the mayor to combat these issues, it required a big response and the result was nothing less than dramatic. Although unpopular as soon as it was released for public comment, the mayor knew that unless it was put into action soon, Lucida would descend into an unlivable and unwanted city loved by none.

In the year 33, the CBD was almost completely demolished. Residents were relocated, businesses were paid to move to another city temporarily, old roads were dug up and new tarmac laid. It was a hard few years as Lucida continued its slide towards anarchy, but as fortune favours the bold, the fruits of the mayor's labour was realised when the new CBD was opened for business. First a trickle of the businesses returned, then it became a flood as the new and old came to carve out a place for themselves.

Coinciding with this major project was the expansion of the Intercity Rail, with two new lines and five new stations commissioned. One of the most important features is its focus on line flexibility, loops were constructed throughout the network to allow effective and efficient looping services that would stop only at selected stations.

As of the year 45, Lucida is on its way to a milestone of 20,000 residents. taking the mantle of the most-populous, and arguably most livable, city in Typographia.

Although most suburbs were not included in the proposal, the dense residential zone around the Intercity Rail terminal was partly reconfigured due to its close proximity to the CBD.

The old location of the city hospital, deemed to be taking up valuable real estate better suited to commercial services. Also note the layout of roads and small commercial blocks of the old CBD.

One of the most problematic areas in Lucida included the residential areas along the Intercity Rail line. The straight roads and dense housing combined to create hazards for pedestrians and drivers alike. Although public housing was offered to these residents in the proposal, they expressed their displeasure at having to forfeit their houses and having to leave the neighbourhood.

The new CBD is punctuated by The Grande, allowing a dual lane two way traffic avenue to pass through has worked wonders to the traffic - also note the more pedestrian friendly streets.

The City hospital conveniently relocated closer to residential zones, although the technology sector was not affected directly, the reduction in crime and pollution has made it much more desirable to start a business in Lucida.

The eastern end of The Grande has already been marked for extension with the CBD requiring for room for expansion.

Whats better than walking to work in a crisp and clear morning?
Typographia - Type as Cities" border="0

Types as Cities | Now Showing: Lucida


Lucida looks stunning, etherian! And I like the graphic depicting the font, too--very professional! That must have taken some time to put together!

Keep up the good work, my friend, and I'll be back around for your next update!



thundercrack83: Thank you for the compliments. A question for you as a moderator, what should I be doing to increase interest in this Diary? Comment on other Diaries? Post a little more often on other areas of the forums?

Grotesque or Grotesk as a typeface is German in descendence, and is more usually a term used to describe a group sans-serif typefaces - including the well-known and much loved (or hated) Univers and Helvetica.

Being as it may, however, Grotesque is indeed a typeface all to its own. Its characters are fuller in width (as to fit better in a square than a rectangle) and its design quite minimalistic, it almost seems to have the philosophy that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line (but with adherence to the basic look of curvature based letters). This is especially apparent in the no frills appearance of its J, Q & R.

To note is the irony of the typeface to its uses in other areas of culture. Most surprising of which is that it is used to describe ugly and contorted forms more associated with the styles of gothic-era architecture (gargoyles and chimeras) and characters in literature complex in its interaction with "normal" people because of their appearance and/or personality. It is perhaps hard to induce irony into a city - without it being too obvious, but it is one of the end goals of the creation of Grotesque. It is probably useful to say that the city should embody the idea of "ugly beauty", as a basis to create an urban jungle that is hard to understand at first glance.

As of this post, Grotesque has been demolished (and had been demolished once before already) and rebuilt with renewed vigour, mainly because it had some of the problems that were apparent in Lucida before its reconstruction. The images in this update come from the first reincarnation of the city, some of the elements still exist in its current form so they are worth showing, however, the industrial and commercial districts have since been relocated and now boosts a residential population of over 50,000.

Harbour crossing ferry terminal built on a small, man made peninsula that also acts to protect the port against the rough weather.

The lawns on these gentle slopes are not only indicators to the wealth of the city but is a showcase to one of the most important exports of Grotesque - grass.

Another side of the city, another source of export for the city - oil.

A well hidden rural highway cuts through the city, this is one of several rest stops along the way.

By minimising intersections, the city has effectively reduced traffic accidents along some major roadways.

These reserved green spaces separate the main industrial sector from the less polluted commercial district.

Recreational boating piers have began to appear in the inner harbour, away from industrial ports and traffic.

The recently constructed Berthold Bridge, a monument to mark the entrance of the main harbour of Grotesque.

An arterial overpass that funnels traffic to and from semi-urban areas everyday.

One of the most sought-after addresses within the city, the prestigious Aerezk Manor is home to a world-class restaurant and many influential decision-makers of the city.

Aspiring entrepreneurs snapped up a few pieces of land in this developing suburb and have transformed it with their bold architecture.
Typographia - Type as Cities" border="0

Types as Cities | Now Showing: Lucida


The pictures takes for ever to load. Here 10 minutes after opening the page, the picture has loaded fully.
And NO its not the connect. Have 6 mbits connect.

You could open them in IrfanView and resave it again, with the save quality setting set to 70 %, the file size will go down dramatic, sometimes to 50 %. That without you can hardly see it.

Here is one of your pictures resave with IrfanView. The picture original was 219 kb, now its 125 kb.

EDIT: The pictures loaded without a problem for me, but either way, your point was made without the sarcasm, my friend. - Dustin (thundercrack83)


Vester: It is probably not that they are large pictures, but that they are on Imageshack, which seems to be having trouble some times...

it is most probably because there are 4 updates on 1 page...

Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Grotesque looks great, my friend! I'm especially impressed with the "arterial overpass" that you've created with the bridge, it's very clever. I'm going to steal...I mean "use" that myself!

As for bringing more folks here to view and comment on your work, posting elsewhere in the MDs and throughout the forums wouldn't hurt your cause, but the best advice I can give you is to keep doing what you're doing. Your work is of good quality, so if you update regularly to keep your MD visible, and give it a bit of time, folks will come around. It's tough starting out, since there's a lot going on here at SC4D to divert people's attention.

But don't worry, worst-case scenario--I'll be around to check out every update!

Hope I could help, my friend!