Ever marvel at how a particular font can totally change the tone or meaning of your text? You’d never write, say, an academic research paper in Comic Sans (see “I’m Comic-Sans, Asshole,” for a strong rebuttal) because it would make your thesis seem flaky or unserious. Nor would you choose Cooper Black (a big, bulky typeface) for a casual e-mail to your boss, lest he or she think you were trying to outmuscle them…
Type-o-Matic: Feeling frustrated by the aesthetic limitations of your email account? Drop a line to ‘Type-o-Matic,” a wacky new service that types up your emails on vintage typewriters and postmarks them for a small fee. They say it’s terrific for “special correspondence,” but I think it would be kind of funny to use it for more mundane messages, like “check out this YouTube video.”
Although they’re primitive and rudimentary in design (not that I could ever make such a thing) built with household object à la Make, Japanese artists So Kanno and Takahiro Yamaguchi are the creators behind what they call the “Senseless Drawing Bot.” Reflecting the artists’ interests in typography, from the formal (calligraphy) to the recent (graffiti), they built and programmed a robot that merges these forms.
Article: Best of Kickstarter, 11/21
We scoured the pages of Kickstarter to bring you this week’s best projects. Have a great Kickstarter project of your own or see one you think deserves some extra attention? Let us know about it the comments and we may just feature it in our weekly roundup.
Desktop 3-D Printer: The 3-D craze continues with the first personal three-dimensional desktop printer. As it turns out, a 3-D printer is not something that makes weird images you can look at with 3-D glasses, but it actually prints out three-dimensional objects.
Capta: I’m a major dropper/smasher of iPhones, so this weird octopus-like contraption, the “Capta,” seems like an excellent solution for clumsy folks like me. Rigged with a magnet at the back, you can mount the suction cups to different surfaces to keep your phone out of the way but still accessible…
Article: Wim Crouwel, a revolution in design
There’s been a lot of buzz around the design blogs lately about the Wim Crouwel exhibition that just opened at the Design Museum in London. “A Graphic Odyssey” spans over sixty years of the venerable designer’s career and includes his sketches, iconic posters and magazine covers. Known for his grid-based layouts, nowhere is his nickname “Gridnik” more obvious than in his innovative “New Alphabet.” Designed in 1967, the font is based on Cathode Ray Tube technology and contains only vertical and horizontal strokes. As such, it’s almost unreadable. Crouwel said as much himself, describing “New Alphabet” as “over-the-top and never meant to be used.”
Article: FONTS: Looking back at Gill Sans
After much ado and delay, my website is finally ready to launch. Don’t worry, this post is not about me, but about an important decision I had to make during the web deign process, a dilemma most of us have faced at some point. I’m talking about font choice. The struggle to choose the perfect font almost feels like taking a personality quiz. Am I a serif or a sans sort of person? Am I simple, minimal, unadorned, light, heavy or possibly italic? The stress of discerning the subtleties between Garamond and Goudy or Baskerville and Bookman is not totally unlike that famous scene of the business card-obsessives in AMERICAN PSYCHO. But instead of sweating the competition around the board room Christian Bale-style, I sat alone in front of my computer screen, scrolling through my options. Futura is played out. Frutiger is awfully nice but it’s just not right for me. After hours I finally decided upon a venerable favorite, one I seldom get the opportunity to use on a regular basis, the streamlined yet friendly, direct yet inviting Gill Sans.
Article: Conan O'Brien Kinetic Typography
Conan O’Brien Kinetic Typography from Jacob Gilbreath on Vimeo. For his Digital Design course at Oklahoma State University, Jacob Gilbreath created this impressive “kinetic typographic” video of Conan O’Brien’s farewell speech on his final episode hosting The Tonight Show. In the same way that the Internet provided a means for various fans to coalesce and…
Article: House Industries vs. Eames
I’ve always adored the guys at House Industries, the font foundry in Delaware that makes really great fonts. Yes, I said fonts. I am a nerd. I know. Anyway, House Industries in recent years has brought fronts from famous designers/architects, like Richard Neutra and Alexander Girard, to life. Now they’re about to unleash a new project with the most iconic of all Mid-century Modernists.
Article: Factory Records
A friend of mine recently was explaining his obsession with Factory Records. The label was a Manchester-based independent record label in the influential in the late 70s and 80s and still today. Their roster included some groundbreaking artists: Joy Division, New Order, James, OMD, and Happy Mondays. And not only was the label focused on curating a beautiful,…
Article: Designing Obama
Designing Obama from mas / menos on Vimeo. Barack Obama’s campaign, which led to his election last year, was groundbreaking for many of the obvious reasons. One element that is sometimes overlooked is the visual imagery crafted by the campaign. Obama created a movement among many designers and artists inspired by his message of hope.…
Jackie Lay animates the lyrics of Tom Waits “Eggs and Sausage” from his 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner. She captures the familiar typography of the neon signs and menus that one finds in nearly all diners regardless of regions. Watching this makes me nostalgic for the Village Inn diner in Anchorage, Alaska that my…
If you love letterforms and especially love to find them in unexpected places then you already love Lawrence Weiner. One of the first to introduce typography to the world of fine art, Weiner became a major figure in the conceptual scene in the late 60s when he released his “Declaration of Intent” in response to Sol LeWitt’s “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art.” Weiner stated simply that as far as his art goes, he may construct them or someone else must be able to construct them or they need not be constructed at all, existing as text-only recipes for artworks that live in the mind’s eye.
Article: ABC Yo-yo
“Kinetic fonts,” including the sounds, was created with just yo-yos. This is quite an astonishing video. ABC YO-YO (full version) from abcyoyo on Vimeo.
Check out this amazing ad for Inlingua, an international language-training company. It’s a spot for the company’s Business English service, and it presents the English language as a literal battlefield. This is some of the best motion typography I’ve ever seen: