Whoa… you damn well can’t do that anymore!
This is what graphic design looks like
Dyslexie, A Different Kind of Beauty
Well, if it isn't the old typeface bait-and-switch
Seeking a full-time position in hurricane logo design
Today I am a Red Sox fan (did I just say that?!)

Category Archives: graphic design

Everything really has already been done before

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Via: This Is Colossal

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book

In 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use of color in painting, but would go on to explain how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two, or three parts of water. The premise sounds simple enough, but the final product is almost unfathomable in its detail and scope.

Spanning nearly 800 completely handwritten (and painted) pages, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, was probably the most comprehensive guide to paint and color of its time. According to Medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel who translated part of the introduction, the color book was intended as an educational guide. The irony being there was only a single copy that was probably seen by very few eyes.

It’s hard not to compare the hundreds of pages of color to its contemporary equivalent, the Pantone Color Guide, which wouldn’t be published for the first time until 1963.

The entire book is viewable in high resolution here, and you can read a description of it here (it appears E-Corpus might have crashed for the moment). The book is currently kept at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France. (via Erik Kwakkel)

Susan Kare, Iconographer | EG8

The  EG Conference | May: 2014

Susan Kare walks us through some key points regarding the design of icons and symbols. Kare is an artist and designer and pioneer of pixel art; she created many of the graphical interface elements for the original Apple Macintosh in the 1980s as a key member of the Mac software design team, and continued to work as Creative Director at NeXT for Steve Jobs.

Why Apple’s New Font Won’t Work On Your Desktop (according to Tobias Frere-Jones, and who the hell am I to argue with Tobias Frere-Jones about type)

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Via: fastcodesign.com:

For the first time ever, Apple is ditching Lucida Grande as the OS X system font in favor of Helvetica Neue, which also happens to be the iOS system font. For an operating system that’s used by 80 million people, that’s no small thing. Will it make reading on desktop computers easier? Harder?

We asked Tobias Frere-Jones, the famed typeface designer who has worked with some of the world’s best publications and design shops, to offer his insights on what this change means for consumers. In his view, Apple might have made a mistake. Here, he highlights some of the challenges of deploying Helvetica Neue onto an OS abundant with small type and devices where non-Retina displays are still the norm:

Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems have been gradually converging for some time. So it was inevitable that one typographic palette would displace the other. With OS X 10.10, Mac desktops will sport Helvetica everywhere. But I had really hoped it would be the other way around, with the iPhone taking a lesson from the desktop, and adopt Lucida Grande. Check the lock screen on your iPhone. You’ll see Helvetica there, a half-inch tall or larger, and it looks good. Problem is, there aren’t many other places where it looks as good.

Despite its grand reputation, Helvetica can’t do everything. It works well in big sizes, but it can be really weak in small sizes. Shapes like ‘C’ and ‘S’ curl back into themselves, leaving tight “apertures”–the channels of white between a letter’s interior and exterior. So each shape halts the eye again and again, rather than ushering it along the line. The lowercase ‘e,’ the most common letter in English and many other languages, takes an especially unobliging form. These and other letters can be a pixel away from being some other letter, and we’re left to deal with flickers of doubt as we read.

Lucida Grande presents open apertures, inviting the eye to move along sideways through the text. It has worked really well–for years, and for good reason. For any text, but particularly in interfaces, our eyes need typefaces that cooperate rather than resist. A super-sharp Retina Display might help, but the real issue is the human eye, and I haven’t heard of any upgrades on the way.

Seeing as Helvetica Neue was not universally well-received on the iPhone, it will be curious to see how Mac users react this fall when OS X Yosemite goes live. Until then, maybe try and get your eyes in peak working order.

Century: 100 Years of Type in Design

Via: aiga.org:

Interest in type, typefaces, typography and fonts has grown far beyond the graphic design community, yet few truly understand how and why these vital components of design are created and applied. This exhibition, organized by Monotype and designed by AIGA Medalist and Pentagram partner Abbott Miller for the AIGA National Design Center, celebrates 100 years of type as a constant influence in the world around us.

Gathering rare and unique works from premier archives in the United States and London, “Century” will serve as the hub of a series of presentations, workshops and events held at the AIGA gallery as well as the Type Directors Club and the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at Cooper Union in New York City. The “Century” exhibition features a range of artifacts representing the evolution from typeface conception to fonts in use. Typeface production drawings by the preeminent designers of the last 100 years, proofs, type posters and announcement broadsides are supplemented by publications, advertising, ephemera and packaging

Dry cleaning? Yes, dry cleaning.

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Good Design Can Make Anything Sexy. Even Dry Cleaning.

Via: Wired.com

Dry cleaning shops are inherently unglamorous places. They have a few distinct purposes, none of which are to be trendy. We don’t begrudge them; it’s hard to be sophisticated when your job is to banish unidentified stains from a stranger’s clothing. Their branding usually reflects this. Take a stroll around your neighborhood, and you’ll probably see laundromats with haphazardly designed logos and improper use of clip art. And yet, leave it to San Francisco’s blossoming bougie tech scene to give birth to Nordic House, a dry cleaning shop that looks primed for the Jony Ive set. Though Nordic House isn’t slated to open until later this year, the shop already has a beautiful, buzzed-about visual identity, courtesy of Mexico City-based design agency Anagrama.

Inside The World’s Hippest Underground Newsstand

About The Newsstand: An independent media take over of the Newsstand at the Metropolitan Avenue station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Located at the intersection of the G and L trains, the Newsstand sees thousands of commuters pass by every day. This new shop will feature independent magazines and zines from around the world, curated by Lele Saveri of the 8-Ball Zine Fair especially for alldayeveryday.

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From The New York Times

The rumble of trains and the beeps of swiping fare cards don’t seem to distract shoppers huddled inside a tiny newsstand at the Metropolitan Avenue subway station in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Some customers squat, flipping through literary magazines and novels with titles like “Killing Williamsburg.” Others thumb through booklets of photocopied Polaroids. There isn’t a daily paper or a gossip magazine in sight, and almost no one looks up when a curious commuter asks, “What is this place?”

This place is the Newsstand, a pop-up shop that has transformed an ordinary subway space into a store for independently published magazines, books, comics and zines. In a digitalized world, it is a small haven for printed media.

Continue to the full article

The Pixel Painter

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Via: ThisIsColossal.com

Meet Hal Lasko, mostly known as Grandpa, a 97-year-old man who uses Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 to create artwork that has been described as “a collision of pointillism and 8-Bit art.” Lasko, who is legally blind, served in WWII drafting directional and weather maps for bombing raids and later worked as a typographer (back when everything is done by hand) for clients such as General Tire, Goodyear and The Cleveland Browns before retiring in the 1970s. Decades after his retirement his family introduced him to Microsoft Paint and he never looked back. Approaching a century in age, Lasko is now having his work shown for the first time in an art exhibition and also has prints for sale online.

Watch this touching documentary short directed by Josh Bogdan which tells how Lasko discovered an entire new artistic career well into his 80s.

MOCAtv | The Art Of Punk | Dead Kennedys + Winston Smith

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From MOCAtv:

On this episode of The Art of Punk we hit head on with the art behind the legendary Dead Kennedy’s. From the chaotic, surreal, madness, of collage mixed with political folly that blazed their LP’s and gig flyers; to the razor edge ultra simplistic four simple line DK symbol. In San Francisco we corner founding Dead Kennedy’s member Jello Biafra, and discuss his own warped inspiration for the many sleeves and posters created in the early days of the band. Back in Los Angeles we talk with pop surrealist artist Tim Biskup about how the DK’s affected and twisted his own young mind, and Steve Olson graces us with a few words of wisdom. Finally we meet up with master collage artist, and designer of the DK’s symbol, Winston Smith in his North Beach art studio, and talk about how he was drawn into the early Bay Area punk scene – and his long and creative artist relationship with the Dead Kennedy’s and Jello Biafra.

Behind the Making of ‘Born & Raised’ art by David A. Smith

You just would not expect this level of craftsmanship for a commercial job — especially now that packaging for 12″ vinyl is long gone.

The Making of John Mayer’s ‘Born & Raised’ Artwork from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

David A. Smith is a traditional sign-writer/designer specialising in high-quality ornamental hand-crafted reverse glass signs and decorative silvered and gilded mirrors. David recently produced a wonderful turn-of-the-century, trade-card styled album cover for popular American singer/songwriter John Mayer.

This film captures the ‘Behind The Scenes’ creation of the ‘Born & Raised’ and ‘Queen of California’ artwork, as well as 2 unique reverse glass panels, hand-crafted in England by David A. Smith.