Archive | November, 2010

Field Trip!

29 Nov

My typography class visited the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin last Tuesday. A good time was had by all, and some lovely work was printed by students in a relatively short span of time.

Special thanks to Museum Director Jim Moran, who always does such a great job hosting us each semester. I think it’s fair to say that we all learned a significant amount about both the history and the potential of wood type. During his thoughtful and informative tour, Jim stated that “preservation through production” (a concept borrowed from Hatch Show Print in Nashville) is a major component of the museum’s mission. And we produced some beautiful things. View on.

Jim Moran uses the pantograph to cut a piece of wood type.

Work by Katie Scott, drying in the rack.

Fresh composition by Todd Johnston.

Those are definitely Megan’s colors.

Good advice from Mai See!


Need an internship?

22 Nov

Res Life at UW Oshkosh is looking for graphic designers. Interested? Apply here.

Sometimes ads make me grumpy…

22 Nov

…especially when they feature a woman in stilettos walking down a snowy (and likely icy) sidewalk carrying a baby. And her eyes aren’t even on the road ahead! As a sometimes clumsy northerner who wears sensible shoes, I may very well be biased. Or maybe I’m just jealous that she got something fancy from Tiffany’s. (I’ve never gotten over that Audrey Hepburn movie.) Who knows. I just can’t help but predict a spill in the near future.

I (Heart) Little Golden Books

22 Nov

I can’t imagine that anyone reading this hasn’t encountered a Little Golden Book at least once in their lifetime. I bought a small stack of vintage titles for Rinn this weekend, and it only renewed my love for this venerable series. Every book features the distinctive golden spine and (in my humble opinion) the best script font ever, as seen in the logo/wordmark.

The first twelve titles were published (during wartime) in the fall of 1942, and new titles have been coming out ever since. Though the parent publisher has changed several times (LGB were started by Simon & Schuster and are now owned by Random House), Golden Books were printed for many years by Western Publishing in Racine. According to Random House, Little Golden Books were designed to be affordable at a time when most children’s books were considered to be a “luxury” for many families. Nearly 70 years later, they remain among the most affordable of children’s titles — especially when you buy them second-hand.

Of course, I also find them to be a fascinating record of recent history. See, for example, the images below. And compare Gordon’s experience as an airline passenger with your own! (And is that a gentle stab at train travel? Hmmm.)

“Designed to produce a rich crop of Wisconsin design talent.”

17 Nov

Attention recent design grads…and those about to be. ( I’m talking to you, Portfolio Review class.) The AIGA Wisconsin Education Committee (of which I am a member) is about to launch the second offering of its “Cultivate” program, an undertaking that connects recent college graduates with experienced mentors in the graphic design field. Official information and registration will be posted on the AIGA Wisconsin site soon, but I got a sneak peak of the poster comps the other night at our monthly meeting. The application process will close in mid-January, so you’ll want to act fast.

After an initial kick-off event, paired mentors and mentees will establish their own schedule and level of commitment. Experienced mentors will offer advice, career guidance and related resources. What a deal. And what a way to get your foot in the door.

Ten centuries in five minutes.

17 Nov

I am really excited about the potential to add motion/time to maps. Here’s a riveting example. To think I’ve been feeling a little guilty that our globe at home features two Germanys!

But can we do something about that color scheme (and maybe the type)? Always the designer….

“You can say ‘I love you’ in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy.”

16 Nov

I just showed Gary Hustwit’s documentary, Helvetica, in my type class this afternoon. I have now seen it six or seven times, and I never fail to learn from it. What I most appreciate about this film is the breadth of perspectives and emotion relating to what was first called Haas Neue Grotesk: acceptance, reaction, re-acceptance, boredom, satisfaction.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines from the film (thanks to IMDB):

You can say, ‘I love you,’ in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy. Or you can say it with the Extra Bold if it’s really intensive and passionate, you know, and it might work. Massimo Vignelli

The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface, and that is why we loved Helvetica very much. Wim Crouwel

It’s air, you know. It’s just there. There’s no choice. You have to breathe, so you have to use Helvetica. Erik Spiekermann

I think I’m right calling Helvetica the perfume of the city. It is just something we don’t notice usually but we would miss very much if it wouldn’t be there. Lars Müller

I’m obviously a typeomaniac, which is an incurable if not mortal disease. I can’t explain it. I just love, I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it: they are my friends. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I get kicks out of looking at type. It’s a little worrying, I admit, but it’s a very nerdish thing to do. Erik Spiekermann

When you talk about the design of Haas Neue Grotesk or Helvetic, what it’s all about is the interrelationship of the negative shape, the figure-ground relationship, the shapes between characters and within characters, with the black, if you like, with the inked surface. And the Swiss pay more attention to the background, so that the counters and the space between characters just hold the letters. I mean you can’t imagine anything moving; it is so firm. It not a letter that bent to shape; it’s a letter that lives in a powerful matrix of surrounding space. It’s… oh, it’s brilliant when it’s done well. Mike Parker

It’s The Real Thing. Period. Coke. Period. Any Questions? Of Course Not. Michael Bierut