TypograFriday: Microcosm

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Every once in a while, a sample set presents itself which offers a fascinating glimpse into the trends and influences of the day. This flickr set of 35 posters for the Flight of the Concords 2009 North American tour is one such example.

The disparate designers of these posters had no unified design spec, though of course they had the same band/tv show/season of year to reference. And yet looked at as a whole, a shocking number come back to the same overall colorschemes (midtone blues, greens and tans, very few dark colors). And in terms of type trends, the set reflects a terrific microcosm of what’s going on in the world of “indie”-flavored typography right now: filled-counter letters are inexplicably still super-hot across many subcultures, lifting from the 70s is perfectly OK, and innocently irregular hand lettering conveys a sense of rakish charm second only to Bret and Jermaine themselves.

Credits for type collage (for each artist, the first link goes to an image of the full poster on flickr, and the second goes to their own site)
Row 1: Diana Sudyka (website), Eyenoise (website)
Row 2: Doublenaut (website), The Silent Giants (website)
Row 3: Nate Duval (website), Mike Davis of Burlesque Design (website)
Row 4: El Jefe Design (website), DKNG (website)
Row 5: Tyler Stout (website), Delicious Design League (website)

anthropologie + hatch show print

The June Anthropologie catalog is stunning! The beautiful use of type and colors are absolutely wonderful. The creative team at Athropologie collaborated with Hatch Show Print to create the amazing piece. Check it out!

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TypograFriday: Tuscans

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Did you like the giant S from French Vogue Kirsten pointed out a few weeks ago? Us too!

This style of type is called Tuscan and it originated well before printing. Tuscans can be identified by bifurcation of the terminals — some have speculated that the bifurcation in the earliest examples may have been a typographic equivalent of the sign of the fish, an attempt to signify Christian faith in the letters themselves. Tuscans really hit their stride in the 19th century, during the age of handbills (each trying to outdo one another in typographic excess). This is when the form started mutating like crazy: the ends trifurcated, bulges or spikes erupted mid-stem, letters split into two, swashes and flourishes sprouted out.

Tuscans can be extended or condensed, rigid or expressive: some of the newer digital ones are hand-rendered. So versatile a type style, it’s a shame it’s rarely used contemporarily outside of circus- or western- themed work.

Credits & analysis, after the jump. Continue reading TypograFriday: Tuscans

Fun with Crayons

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Here is a great collection of the evolution of Crayola’s packaging from the dieline. I love the vintage boxes. Below is a limited edition set of reproductions of some of the older boxes. I wasn’t able to find all three, but I did find these and these.

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transit map abstraction

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Tokyo Rail Map Poster and Calendar, zero per zero, 2008. Click for larger version.

I got really excited about this map of Tokyo’s complex rail system by Korean designers zero per zero today. It establishes a new abstraction vocabulary (arcs) for railway maps, which since Harry Beck’s 1933 Tube map (more on which below) have tended to use variations on his circuit-boardy angle system. And it uses chocolate brown, which I hope against hope will never go out of style again. And it has an underlying 12×31 grid and comes packaged with post-it notes sized to the grid squares: that’s right; you can use the thing as a calendar! It’s available straight from Korea here — San Francisco friends give me a shout if you want something, we’ll combine shipping! along with smaller folding versions with great info backs. And New York, Osaka and Seoul editions.

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A little discussion of some more great rail maps featuring Messrs Beck, Vignelli, Hertz, Jabbour and Good Magazine after the jump.

Continue reading transit map abstraction

Evelin Kasikov

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I first became aware of Evelin Kasikov last week when some of her work was featured on Black Eiffel. I was completely blown away and contacted her immediately to see if she was interested in being the first of our mini-interviews with artists, designers and crafters. Evelin graciously accepted. After reading her responses to our questions, I think I might love her work even more. I definitely recommend spending some time looking at her site and exploring some of the other pages of her beautiful books.

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Read the complete Q & A and see more work, after the jump.

Continue reading Evelin Kasikov

TypograFriday: Wayne White

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Todd Oldham has a book coming out in a few days, entitled Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve. It’s not about himself; he’s got respect aplenty after all. It’s about Wayne White, and honestly it’s a hilariously appropriate title for the first comprehensive monograph of an artist who’s been making awesome and original art for 30 years.

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Beauty’s Embarrassin!

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What’d I Tell Ya?

His M.O. for the last decade has been basically painting giant, usually funny typography “realistically” into mass-produced “kitsch” landscape paintings — that is to say, using their perspective and lighting and often reflections and gravity too. This, years before things like Panic Room‘s opening titles made a trend of floating type in physical perspective, or for that matter before indie artists made upcycling/overpainting found art cool.

Oh, and he used to do sets for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and directed Peter Gabriel’s video for “Big Time” — possibly the best video ever. Several more paintings [PG-13 for language], and the Big Time video (because we both know it’s been too long) after the jump.

Continue reading TypograFriday: Wayne White

Portland TONIGHT: DDC at Office PCX

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In case any of our readership is in Portland, we’re so jealous that you get a chance to see the solo show of DDC/Aaron Draplin. Not just an art show but “Portland’s greatest selection of cool office supplies.”

6-8pm at Office. Read all about it.

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Draplin’s aesthetic — which you might recognize from Field Notes, the new Recovery.gov logo*, or his lovely hair organizer — is a mix of working-class Americana and 50s – 70s modern graphics, with occasionally an amazing burst of maximalist minimalism. I am so down to get one of the “career spanning” posters for the show (which features pretty much every project DDC has done since its inception and has today’s date in the title) when they go on sale next week (click for gianter version).

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We are lucky enough to own an earlier iteration of this sort of thing that Draplin did for the Wurst Gallery’s We Heart Gocco show in 2006. It’s all sorts of design-geeky (8: Pantone 123, 42: Futura Bold, 45: CMYK misregistration) and a great introduction to this singular designer.

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*It’s unclear how much of the recovery.gov and TIGER logos was done by Draplin, how much by Mode and how much by Chris Glass but he has both on his poster. In related news, have you seen Chris Glass’ He-Man and the Masters of Univers shirt concept? Can you believe that these are the guys making our federal logos these days? Our new president is so rad.

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Cardon Copy

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Cardon Copy is a pretty awesome project from designer Cardon Webb in which he redesigned found fliers and tear-offs and then replaced the originals with his redesigned posters. Conceptually I think it is a pretty neat project, but I also like that each poster was designed in a distinct style.

More posters after the jump.

Continue reading Cardon Copy

TypograFriday: Rubik’s Cube Font Generator

I thought this was so cool, it just begged to be a second Font-y Friday.

For the assignment, “Produce a visual representation for the word ‘Move’,” Jas Bhachu created a rubber stamp set that can be used in varying combinations to create type. I love the packaging and instruction booklet too.

I wish it were available to purchase, because I really wanted to buy one for Owen (he was always a huge fan of using the letterpress equivalent when setting metal type).

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via Design Observer.

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