“Counter” a typography shirt I don’t understand from Typography Shop

by Andy on April 18, 2012

typography t-shirt

When I say I don’t understand this ‘Counter’ t-shirt, I mean it, I’m not trying to be cute and giving you guys a wink and nudge to post the answers or what you think it means, I genuinely don’t know since I don’t have a typography background beyond “hey, those words look nice.” Here’s what Typography Shop have to say about the shirt:

Typographic anatomy with at least a quadruple entendre.
We’re pleased to announce a new shirt on TypographyShop. Counter is our latest release. A simple term of typographic anatomy, “Counter” and the “O” surrounding it are full of meanings beyond the intended one. As with our Sans design, the ambiguity of the shirt’s message for the typographically challenged will be sure to elicit many an interesting conversation.

I’d wanted to release a design about type anatomy for some time, but there are dozens already on the market illustrating all aspects, dissecting several letters and their respective terms. We thought we’d go minimal and define just one. Set in Futura Bold and printed in white and grey on a black tee or tank.

Having written all that, I’ve now gone and looked at the product page and have a vague understand of what ‘counter’ means in a typographic sense, but there’s at least four more way to attack this design, so have at it in the comments, take me to school guys!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-King/546955284 Patrick King

    Hey Andy, thanks for featuring the new shirt. There is an explanation on the product page, I guess you didn’t see that:

    Some designers and all non designers weren’t familiar with the term “Counter,” which among the many terms in typographic anatomy is perhaps the simplest to explain as any fully enclosed space within a letterform. Uppercase A, B, D, O, P, Q, R and lower case a, b, d, e, g, o, p, q and the numbers 4, 6, 8, 9 and 0 all contain counters. And let’s not forget the & ampersand.

    Or should I have waited to see what your followers weighed in with?

  • http://twitter.com/FreshRag Fresh Rag

    I see the head honcho chimed in, but I was going to say it’s the white space of any letter/character that is completely surrounded by the body of the letter/character, like an O.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Abelson/100001777732000 Adam Abelson

    I think we all have dictionaries. Andy was asking about the “other four” meanings, which I would be just as curious to know about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-King/546955284 Patrick King

    Other meanings. You’ve got the word “Counter,” which could mean someone who counts or a statement about being against something. 3rd would be the intended typographic term. And I can’t see where I referred to four meanings.

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