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121. Your P's and Q's.

psqs.jpgA colleague of mine introduced me to this great resource - a 1923 edition of P's and Q's - A Book on the Art of Letter Arrangement, by Sallie B. Tannahill. (A former teacher of lettering at Columbia University and a friend of Vojtech Preissig – the Czech typographer and book designer – whose work gets sampled frequently throughout the book.)

The goal of P's and Q's is to show the infinite variation and approach to letter design through an artistic lens via examples. In the introduction Tannahill states, "Well-selected letters, drawn with force and quality, arranged in good proportion, tone and color, and grouped . . . may be as fine and as complete as (any) design." My version of the book is badly in need of repair (notice the 'discard' stamp on the inside cover,) but I still posted scans of the entire Part I (chapters 1-4) on flickr, here. If there is enough demand, I'll post the other Parts. I hope you enjoy this resource as much as I have.


120. Sanna Annukka.

sanna.jpgYet another example of someone else having a far better designer name, Sanna Annukka's portfolio is simply amazing. (I need a few double consonants in my name.) A lot of times digital and vector art comes across as easy or even software-produced - technically called computery - but here you will find inspired, whimsical layers of design and bold colors with a unique indigenous composition. You might have seen some of her work for the band Keane - but you should really check out these three screenprints: Arctic Lake, Autumn Garden, and Sunrise. Awesome.

The half-finnish, half-english artist has been profiled in Vogue, Computer Arts and Wallpaper magazine and considers herself a printer as well as an illustrator. Keep an eye out for her new projects which include a picture book, clothing and stationary.

(Thanks to Draplin Design, co. for the tip.)


119. The Old School Press.

oldschool.jpgWhen checking my usual links and blogs, I chased down a link on The Old School Press's site. That one link is great (though I can't remember where I got it from), about the making of a book on typographer Harry Carter,but the entire site – and their work – is worth a post all its own. The Old School Press, in their own words, "... prints and publishes new texts in limited editions with specially commissioned illustrations. We use traditional letterpress printing techniques, metal type, fine papers, and hand-binding." Located in an old school house (the reason for the name) near Bath, England, they produce beautiful books (example 2); works of art that combine the best of typography, letterpress, content, bookbinding and illustration. Sweet lord, It's almost too much. Since their site is a touch confusing to navigate, here's a few sublinks to get you going.

1. The Western Proof Press.  Their main press for printing books and posters.
2. The Monotype Composition Caster - somehow manipulated to be run off of a PC!
3. The Printing of The Brick of Venice. A step by step gallery of their process. So cool. 
4. A link to other private presses in the UK.



118. Designer Fishing Lures?

finkbuilt.jpgThat's right, designer fishing lures. One of my favorite non-design blogs, Finkbuilt, recently completed a little project where he asked, "What would happen if you shipped 20 unassembled old-timey wooden fishing lure kits off to be finished by a bunch of artists?" The results are great and certainly worth a look. Each piece is accompanied by a little Q&A with the respective artist. It's always interesting to see how different people approach the same materials in various ways. Enjoy, and if you like tinkering and building things, bookmark Finkbuilt's blog.


117. Timberland & Carhartt. A Tale of Two Brands.

clearview.jpgBoth of these companies have been making quality, blue-collar 'work' clothes for many years - Carhartt for over 115 years and Timberland for over 55 years. This outdoor gear has been the foundation and backbone for both companies, their profits, their personality and their brands throughout this time. Though not exactly the same brand; Timberland leans more towards an outdoor (camping) lifestyle and Carhartt more towards the cowboy ethic; they are very similar in that they have always been perceived as a supplier of long-lasting, well-made gear worthy of all the demands of manual labor and the great outdoors. Similarly, both brands have recently (using this term very loosely, and with perspective to both company's histories) had the good fortune of gaining a new demographic that was quite different than their core customers.

Click to read more ...


116. More on Clearview.

Updated on Aug 14, 2007 at 08:45AM by Registered Commenterjj

clearview.jpgAs several of the major blogs have reported today, this past week's New York Times Magazine has a great article, The Road to Clarity, about a 'new' typeface that will be used more and more on Federal Highway Signs. I thought I would try to post a more comprehensive set of links around this subject as is Graphicology's style.

Click to read more ...


115. Ad of the Week: Hondamentalism.

honda.jpgThis campaign comes from the Wieden & Kennedy office from across the pond, for their client Honda. The print manages at once to be both an homage to old school layouts and an example of modern design while introducing their new campaign.

Click to read more ...


114. Liebe Athletic Lettering.

uni.jpgI'm not sure how this slipped past my attention, but's Page 2's Paul Lukas' Uni-Watch (got that?) has an awesome article about the company that produces a lot of the lettering for the big uniform manufacturers; Liebe Athletic Lettering. They've been doing this stuff since 1923 and their past has some of the same endearing craft qualities as that of letterpress – most of the work is still done by hand. Though this falls between the cracks of design and typography, it's still definitely worth a look, especially the images of the old castings and the video tour.


113. D&AD Success.

dandad.jpgCongrats go out to three teams from a class that I taught at the Miami Ad School (San Francisco branch) for their success at this year's D&AD show. They worked hard (and on a completely unrealistic timeline) and deserve the recognition. Soak it in - recognition doesn't come often enough in this business.

Niklas Hertzberg and Samuel Moore were awarded a commendation (third place) for their 'Red and Black' work on the Capital One direct mail brief. This was an ethical take on the increasing levels of consumer debt.  James Beikmohamadi and Jake Blumenau were awarded a Pencil for their 'Eulogy' solution to the same brief. (This was an invitation to actually bury your old high-interest rate card.) A third team of Bryan Denman and Jess Davis were also awarded a commendation for their copy solution 'Notes' to the Lonely Planet brief. This creative featured the notes of the popular travel guide authors as they explored a particular country. If you are looking to hire young ADs/CWs - all of these guys are solid individuals with talent. Of course, not all have graduated yet.


112. Crosshair Silkscreen Co.

crosshair.jpgI'm really loving the stuff coming out of Crosshair silkscreen printing in Chicago. Sure, I already have a weakness for industrial buildings and rough cityscapes but when combined with design, silkscreening, and a lot of craft – it's almost too much to keep myself from buying a bunch of these prints. A lot of the work has an 'old-sign' feel to them which certainly adds to their charm. Check out more of Crosshair's portfolio here.