Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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.
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
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
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
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.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I think that we'll probably be seeing a lot more of campaigns similar to these now.
Check out the video.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I found this little nugget by google-ing "bad infographic."
First of all, I feel like if you are going to use percentages and circles, let's put them in one. Isn't that why we have circular graphs? Yes, I think it is. Also, the colors are awful and arbitrary, and finally- let's talk about the side-by-side size comparison. Why make the 25.5% bigger? Why? This is just poor, poor planning.
This one below I think is a little gem, but I'm not sure if it's because of the subject, which creeps me out as equally as it does intrigue me, or if it's because I bleed orange. (Go Vols!) Whatever it is, I think the information is laid out as simply as it could be (there is a lot of information here), the graphics are clean, and I don't feel overwhelmed by numbers. Also, I'm happy to see that the numbers correlate with the sizing of the color blocks.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Yesterday I drove by the store again and there was a giant, yellow, "Going Out Of Business Sale, Thank You For 20 Great Years" banner draped over their pretty sign. Haha. Ohhh irony.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I especially love (other than the killer good deals) the tiny blurb that Groupon writes about the company on the bottom left half of the page - you know, after the list of deal details.
Anyway, more than all of these things I LOVE Christmas advertising. So when I read Groupon's little sarcastic/morbid tagline for Ethan Allen I was caught off-guard and laughed out loud. Today's groupon read:
"Every time someone sleeps on a floor, eats dinner off a cardboard table, or uses a Rubbermaid tub as an ottoman, an angel gets sucked into a jet engine."
Don't get the Christmas connection? Think 'It's A Wonderful Life.'
"Every time time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!" (Sweetest line from a movie ever.)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Otherwise I think the two components: narrative and color, work well together. The design and color of the packaging is toned-down, it's not too crazy and it helps to broaden the consumer scope, and not alienate older, (or younger) or more serious consumers. I also appreciate that the narratives are different on each bottle, so you might be more likely to experiment with their different flavors to read them all. Also, the narrative really kind of makes a certain segment of consumers think they need the water. Like it was produced specifically for their set of needs. In reality, the vitamins in each bottle aren't that different and all really do the same thing. But if you read each of the labels, you might think you need to buy the whole lot of them for all your different hydration scenarios.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The first, with the pig crying wee wee is pretty popular, but I actually didn't really get the humor until I saw the woodchucks, which I think are hilarious. Now that I get the humor I think the entire campaign is awesome- I wish I'd gotten it sooner.
Funny though, how some pieces of a campaign resonate with different people.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
This week's deviation from the design path is pretty awesome. I'm sure you've all seen this as it's gone totally viral in the past week, but in case you missed it, here it is.
In Texas football is so huge that even middle school football is huge. Granted, I get paid to follow middle schoolers (and younger) around in their athletic endeavours but trust me when I say in Texas, it's ten times the deal it is here. You can tell, even, because this video is shot so high up I'd imagine these kids were playing in a legit high school or college stadium. If not- they have sick middle school fields. There are no "stands" from which to shoot footage from such an angle where our little tikes play here. Anyway... the QB told the line to hold really still, and the rest you can see here.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Anyway, there are several topics this blogger touches on, and posts can be searched by category. It looks like right now he/she is doing a typography series, and this week's post is on Baskerville which I love (thanks, Marie).
An earlier post the blogger compares Conan O'Brien's old logo and his new one. How did I not see this before? I absolutely love (not just amy-love) the new logo. Normally I hate more than one text color (especially on the same line) and I also usually hesitate to use white text, but I think both work great here. I think playing on his iconic red hair is brilliant and the design is really clean and simple.
I'm a big fan.
Every issue, there is a section called "Good Dog" in the magazine. I'm not much of an animal person myself, but this particular story really tickled my fancy.
The Canine Criminal is a about the writer's childhood dog, Max, who was particularly mischievous. The smart, witty but kind of dry, sarcastic humor made me laugh out loud. Several of the writers in Garden and Gun have this same tone/style, and this story was no exception. The conclusion is definitely cute and funny, although I do wish it had a little bit stronger; I wish it rounded out the narration a little stronger, or gave me an indication of what eventually happened to Max. I have more questions about the little guy. What else did he do? How long did he live? Did he have any Max Jr.s? So maybe the conclusion is fine and I just wanted to hear more about the pup. You can decide.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
When I think of an infographic, the first thing that comes to mind is this creepy chart that used to hang in our health classes, and on the back of the door of the nurses office in high school. I'm not even sure that it's an infographic exactly, but it's a visual representation of health information, so I assume it fits the bill. Basically it is supposed to show you how when you have sex with one person, you are having sex with everyone they've had sex with. Think they've only had a few partners? Don't let your fear and investigation stop there. You've not only had sex with them and everyone they've had sex with, but also with everyone that their former partners have had sex with, and so on. I can't speak for everyone, but I thought it was pretty effective in high school, though it almost crosses that line of being so creepy that you don't want to look at it, or you do, and think "that's ridiculous" and ignore it. Eight years later it still makes me wrinkle my eye brows, that's for sure.
Apparently this little gem is huge in the UK, and a pharmacists there has even gone as far as to create a calculating device. Factoid: The article says that the average Brit has slept with 2.8 million people, indirectly. Didn't think I'd leave you wondering, did you? Just FYI: the article, links to the calculator.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I also say 'dang' a lot which I've said all my life, (pre-having lived in Tennessee or North Carolina) but is apparently a southern thing.
And random other words that I love and use often are:
Love (so often that my friends clarify "Wait, you love him/that/those? or you 'amy-love' him/that/those?")
Pickle (the tough situation, not the food-- although I like the food itself, too.)
Boot (both the shoe and the verb of kicking out/getting rid of.)
Whistle (which is strange because actual whistling sounds make me instantly mad)
Anyway, I had to look into it... apparently since the article was posted (it's on the MC website), the company has fielded something like 30,000 angry emails -- that number obviously growing. The comments and news reports are everywhere -- and from both sides: that of the angry reader and those upset that she is being attacked for voicing her opinion. (More so angry readers, though.)
Anyway, this is the article (with an apology note attached, and about 500 pages of comments).
Also, this is just one of the many articles written about it. (If you want to see what the papers are saying...)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
I will write more following class on Saturday, but I wanted to post these two PETA ads from two different campaigns. The first is the Go Naked campaign and the call to action is to "be comfortable..." and to "Let animals be comfortable." Basically, don't wear fur.
The second is the "Go Vegetarian." I think they use the same style, slant and concept but with two different subjects: wearing fur and eating meat.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I thought this was interesting... Car logos over the years. In class we discussed the idea that if Gap wanted to update their logo, they could have just changed the GAP to a sans serif font. It looks like for the most part, that's what car makers have done. Almost all of the brand names get cleaner (except for maybe Ford). Personally, I think BMW's progression is the best- very small changes to a cleaner, fresher look. Although, I'm not sure what's going on with logo four, but maybe that's because I don't know what Motorsport Roundel is?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Last week I think she/you mentioned using fast food as the topic of project 3, and I thought she/you might want to see this.
Apparently, a photographer left a McDonald's happy meal out on her kitchen table for six months (this bothers me in itself. Does she not have bugs or mice where she lives?) Anyway, it didn't decompose, or mold, just got hard and plastic-like. Gross. I don't eat fast food either(except for Chick Fil A and Taco Bell-- but don't ruin those for me, haha), but now I have another reason not to.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
A friend of mine forwarded this to me a few months ago. Had I not started the Pub Design program I would probably not have gotten the humor at ALL. My roommate, a social worker, didn't think it was funny. I tried to explain for about three seconds but it was useless. Still, I laugh out loud every time.
This is not exactly graphic or even visual design, but because I googled it, thought about it all week, and decided it is designED to be as it is, I thought I would blog about it...
At a football game a few weeks ago, I was walking down the stairs to the stadium and I noticed a woman with a child in front of me taking their sweet time. As per usual I was running late and needed to rush but I didn't want to be rude and rush around them.
Anyway, as I was trotting down the stairs, I noticed that they were uneven. Equal in height from one step to another, but every other step was about a foot longer than the others, which were pretty shallow, front to back. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I looked up, trying to find a pattern or a slope in the natural hill that would warrant such a design. Nothing.
So, I called my boyfriend- he loves all things architecture and is a wealth of otherwise useless information. Turns out, there IS a reason.
What?? I hope you all comment to tell me whether you've heard of this concept before, because I'm interested to know if it's a common peice of knowledge-- I'd never heard of such a thing.
Apparently, studies have shown that women can climb stairs of unequal lengths and patterns exponentially faster than their male counterparts. Apparently it is nearly impossible for a man to run up unequal stairs. According to Aaron (boyfriend) nine times out of ten a guy would "eat it" by the third stair, whereas a women would skip right up them, essentially escaping the wrath of a predator.
Because of this information, colleges, schools and universities everywhere are starting to replace crumbling old stairs with the kind with uneven steps- making them safer for the women on campus.
Surely there is a better name for them-- but after extensive Googleing, I found information to confirm Aaron's answer, but I didn't find a better name. Let me know if you know of one.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
New York Street Signs to Receive a $28 M. Copy Edit
By Dan Duray
The new font is called Clearview, and was designed for this purpose. The changed signs should be easier to read, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who also pointed out that "on the Internet, writing in all caps means you are shouting."Read the rest...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Anyway, I LOVE this element.- The one to the left, I mean. I am so intrigued when I see things like that, it's so nerdy, and I can't explain it. Incidentally I got really excited this week when I was a recipient of an email forward that is closely related. The forward contained a parable, which I'll attach to the bottom of this post, but it's the pencil projects that I think are really neat.
The projects themselves are pretty cool- some more abstract than others, but the fact that they are exclusively out of pencils is really creative.
I saw something similar to this a while ago- I can't remember if it was in class or online, but it was a series of projects done for a marketing company, for which the artist took those paint sample strips you can get at Home Depot, and such, and made really interesting designs. (I'll try to find photos of them for another post one day.)
This is the parable that came with the photos:
A PENCIL MAKER TOLD THE PENCIL 5 IMPORTANT LESSONS JUST BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE BOX :
1.) EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK.
2.) YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.
3.) WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.
4.) IN LIFE, YOU WILL UNDERGO PAINFUL SHARPENINGS, WHICH WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.
5.) TO BE THE BEST PENCIL, YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE HELD AND GUIDED BY THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU.
And more on the topic of Garden & Gun magazine, last week in class I mentioned that I didn't know exactly who the target audience is for the publication, so I did some research this week. The median age of readers is about 45 years old- and the median income well into six figures- I think just shy of $200,000/year. 33% of readers own more than one home. So I'm thinking that I probably couldn't pinpoint it earlier, because I'm not in it, ha. Still, I do love the magazine. I love the layout and the photography, and I do love to read it. The slogan says the magazine represents the "Soul of the New South," and the human interest stories are always interesting. I'm not as big a fan of the fashion section, but I also usually love to thumb through the travel guides and restaurant reviews. The recipes though, are always the best part.
Monday, September 13, 2010
This business card is one I collected recently from a photographer at one of the football games I went to. She was sweet, young- probably in her 20's and very spunky- blonde hair with bright pink streaks. Lo and behold, her business cards- which she'd let the person on staff where she bought the cards design- are black on both the front and back, with pink text/designs and irredecent (not sure if you can see that on the photo) accents. Voila! I imagine the designer didn't have a tough time trying to figure out a color scheme. The card is very cute, with definite spunk. Not something I'd choose for myself but based on my own first impression, very fitting for the photographer.