Design Politics

New font based on Lithuania’s Act of Independence

Eimantas Paškonis made a beautiful new font based on the manuscript of the Act of Independence of Lithuania, passed in 1918:

The whole project took more than 6 months. First of all, a high-resolution scan of the Act of Independence of Lithuania had to be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then the person who wrote the Act had to be identified because some characters were missing in the resolution of February the 16th. When the handwriting was established as Jurgis Šaulys’s, the missing characters were created according to other documents written by J. Šaulys and found in the archives. It took a highly skilled typographer over 120 hours to construct the font.

Previously under Russian rule, Lithuania was occupied by the German Empire during the First World War. It used the distraction of the war as another bid for independence, which Germany surprisingly agreed to with hopes Lithuania would “detach itself from Russia and establish a closer relationship with Germany.”

Indeed, they went for full independence, adopting a resolution “that an independent Lithuania should be established and that a closer relationship with Germany would be conditional on Germany’s formal recognition of the new state.”

Baller move, Lithuania. And cheers to 100 years!

Books Review

The Guns of August

I like books with spunk, and Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August has it. Published in 1962, it’s too old to be considered the definitive historical work on the First World War, as I’m sure more modern books have benefitted from a more widely available historical record and emotional distance from the events now a century past. But damn, The Guns of August comes out firing and just doesn’t let up.

I must admit that I haven’t finish it. To me the play-by-play of battles and movements of armies is a lot less interesting than how and why they got to the battlefield. Perhaps I’ll pick it up again and get a better sense of the Great War’s nitty gritty, but for now I’m satisfied and impressed by the sniper-like precision Tuchman wields in her dramatic reenactment of the political, diplomatic, and military machinations that triggered a catastrophic war between and within the great European powers.