Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And again on fonts...

This article gives 23 good examples of bad font choices. For those of you in Allison's 501 (or 02?) class last semester- we did an exercise where she showed us pieces like this in class.

This article is called "A Few Good Fonts." The list looks like a good one, though I am still on a search for a list that tells me flat out what scenarios are appropriate for each font. (For example, a list of good body-text fonts, or headline fonts, etc.)

A list of (some) fonts organized by class, modern, typewriter and headline fonts.

More on fonts

This is a handy little infographic that tells us what fonts to avoid.

What font should I use?

How many times have you asked yourself that, this semester?
Having never taken a typography class, I wrestle with how to tell a good font from a bad one on a daily basis in the class. I would love a list of everyday use, easy-to-read, for-print fonts, and a list of 'no-no' fonts, as there seems to be some common understanding of both in the design world-and it's an understanding of which I'm not yet in tune.

So I've been Googleing this like "good fonts vs. bad fonts." The hardest part is trying to find blogs and articles from credible sources. But, after a lot of skimming and filtering, I've come up with a few links that I think might be helpful for everyone.

The first is from Smashing Magazine which I think is a good source (correct me if I'm wrong) for design topics. This is their list of 40+ free fonts that they thought were 'excellent for professional designs' in 2008. I plan to download all of them.

This is a list of 30 'free but professional' fonts from SloDive-- a blog site that claims to be for "design and resources." Although the overwhelming and busy look of their website concerns me, I'm confident that you can find some gems there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Football & Infographics

If I'm going to dissect an infographic, it might as well be about football. Even better to be about the SEC. I was excited to come across this little gem... Ampersand Design and Technology has a few football related infographics on their site, starting with this one. Visit the page to read the background info.

Cats on Groupon

A friend of mine sent me this a few weeks ago -- I don't know if it's something she just found, or if it was a funny clip going around, but this is serious example of the power of advertising. Check out this groupon ad from Santa Cruz. Is this guy kidding? Or maybe a genius... it's easy to do the math and see that he made $3,000 for this. $3,000. For drawing pictures -- bad pictures -- of cats. CATS! With the right advertising, ANYTHING can be made into a novelty item. Hilarious.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My First Holiday Card

So I sent out my first Christmas cards last year in what I thought was a very 'grown up' move, and this year, I decided to do the same, but make my own. A few weeks ago my boyfriend and my parents and I went on this bike/train ride thing- you ride an old train up to Frostburg and then bike back. Very scenic. Along the way, we passed this really cute farm with a big red barn. It was so cute I decided to test my photoshop skills and try to put it in a winter scene for my holiday card. I added a wreath to the barn and followed online directions (about a million different times to get it right) to add a snow scene. I experimented with snow on the roof, and snow on the ground, but in the end this is what I went with.
To finish it, I tried to upload it to one of those "use your photo on these holiday card template" sites, but I couldn't find a template that worked. I found one with text similar to this, but it was in a funky color, took up too much of the photo, etc. So, I decided to take that inspiration to finish the job in Indesign myself and have them printed like 5 by 7 flat photos.

I'm pretty excited about the way it turned out! Luckily though, I don't have any designers in my address book :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BOR 90, aka DoGZilla, BMW Oracle's America's Cup Ticket

I'm working away on my America's Cup infographic and to be honest, when I got the idea of creating the graphic, I really didn't know that much about the event. I had some ideas and had heard a lot of talk about it living in Annapolis, sailing capital of the U.S., but I didn't really know the details. I thought I'd share a little about what I learned as a preview to the infographic crit, and some background information on design in a very 3D sense.

The aerodynamics and research that must have done into this the building of these racing yachts is unreal, let alone the cost of the actual construction. Overall, we know know that Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle and owner of the winning yacht, BOR 90, spent over $400 million dollars on his team's America's Cup campaign- that's twice what they spent in 2007 when there were eliminated in the Louis Vuitton series. The boat itself is rumored to have most more than $50 million, including the backup and spare pieces that were produced and never used. Apparently with pieces of this size, the team had to build backup sails in case any were damaged. The initial budget was said to be somewhere around $10million when planning began in 2009, but that number quickly sky-rocketed. Each sail was said to have cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, and each has a life-span measured in hours.

BMW Oracle made headlines everywhere when they decided to go with a fixed wing- only the second to be used in an America's Cup race. Also taken into consideration was the number of hulls on the boat-- three for this trimaran, as opposed to its competition (Alinghi of Switzerland)'s catamaran with two. According to a variety of articles I've read, the fixed wing was initially designed to be 80% the size of a Boeing 747 wing, but in its final production was over two times the length measuring in at more than 220 feet. The vessel is the size of two basketball courts.

There is so much more that goes into the design of one of these things, I am hardly knowledgeable enough to go on, but this article does explain a little more about the technology
they have been developing and are using.
*Sources: CNN.com, Wikipedia, AmericasCup.com, SailingWorld.com