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125. So, You Want to Create a Font...

font.jpgOver at I Love Typography, they are posting a new series for those of you wanting to create your own font. It's just in it's initial stages, but based on the first installment it looks like it will be a fairly concise and user-friendly tutorial. (I have yet to try out FontForge, and would recommend FontLab Studio if you can swing it.) Most importantly, I highly recommend reading (more like using) the fantastic book, Designing Type before and during your process as well. Its focus is more on individual letter structures as opposed to combinations and process, but it's quite helpful nonetheless. Have fun.


124. Ad of the Week: The Economist.

economist.jpgI'm a big fan of The Economist. I have also been a big fan of the Economist campaign over the last decade or so. Their proprietary type on that bright red field always delights with an intelligent take on the world. Having said that, I present the latest Economist work coming from AMV.BBDO London. Now, I think these are really striking. Graphically speaking, the work opens the door for them to do a lot of interesting (intelligent?) variations of the white/red on black theme in the future. Apparently, the strategy for this campaign was to attract a younger audience using a slightly more modern approach - which to me is somewhat condescending, as if a younger person couldn't appreciate the sophistication of their prior communications because it wasn't paired with 'a pretty picture.' However, this shaky rationale for change is saved as a result of the beautiful work led by the art director, Paul Cohen. His direction to the illustrators was simple and elegant: interpret the lines written by Mark Fairbanks. And their interpretations are inspired and in their own way, intelligent. I do hope the copy for this new campaign remains as strong as when it was the only thing on the page. Then, the artwork can simply up the ante and continue to surprise. No word on whether or not the campaign here in the states will go in this direction or not.

Here are some of the first pieces: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

(In true graphicology style, here are a few links to some of the featured Illustrators: Seymour Chwast ('Looking for the Herd...'), Matthew Green ('Disection...'), Mick Marston, Fine ’n’ Dandy, Geoff McFetridge contributed while Non-format illustrated two executions.)


123. Favorite Recent Links, Design or Otherwise.

officedoors.jpgI've been on travel for a few projects over the last couple weeks - so apologies for the inactivity. This week promises to be better with two new editions of the Art of Presentation series about to be posted. Look for those but in the meantime, check these out:

1. Awesome Dead-Letter Offices via AceJet170. 2. The Waterhobo via Boing Boing. 3. Switch Lightbulbs via CommonCraft. 4. Arrogance and Humility. 5. Why is Design Important? 6. Flatbush Pavilion Messages via H&FJ. 7. Right or left-brained? via 8. Awesome Infographic about Retail Footprints. 9. Yee-Haw Industries shop. 10. Bookcarvings via The Serif. 11. The Third Installment of the Bravia Campaign. 12. The Typophile Film Festival. 13. Embedded Web Fonts? 14. Advertising By Design. 15. And good lord, someone built their own letterpress.


122. Your P's and Q's Parts 2 – 5.

psqs2.jpgHaving received so many positive comments to scan the rest of this amazing book, I did just that. It's located here. I'll even put it in .pdf format over the weekend, if you would prefer to wait for that.

I found a 1945 edition that's available here and here. I have not re-found the source I used to purchase my 1923 copy, in bad shape though it may be. Let me know if you find it somewhere else. Enjoy.


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.

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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.

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