An article posted on the “AIGA Eye on Design” site asks whether or not a font (typeface) choice can make a product or service appear either “cheap” or “luxurious”. Using information from a recent survey by author and typographer, Sarah Hyndman, the article attempts to answer that question, but as the text progresses there are even more questions raised than answered—at least as far as I am concerned.
Putting aside my personal bias against the misuse of the word “font” as a replacement for “typeface”, I find fault in the experiment itself in that it tests the typefaces out of any design context. While it is certainly true that some faces—Comic Sans or Papyrus come to mind—will make a design look cheap, even a “luxurious” face like Hoefler & Co.’s “Didot” (picked as the “diamond of all fonts” in the survey) can’t save a design that is badly done.
Madeleine Morley, the article’s author seems to reach the same conclusion: “Perhaps the overall quality that creates a sense of luxury isn’t necessarily based on font characteristics, but rather the skill and craftsmanship behind the rendering of a final design.”
Typefaces are like anything else in our society; influenced by the culture’s zeitgeist, typeface’s fall in and out of favor with designers and the public. But to try to decide a face’s worth in the vacuum of a survey makes for nothing more than an interesting read and perhaps a source of debate among typophiles.(more…)
The serif vs. sans serif typeface debate has been a long and exhaustive one, with advocates for each side proposing numerous theories for why theirs is the better typographic solution. We often have clients request one or the other, citing legibility concerns. In these cases, we endeavor to educate them about the facts so we can come up with the best presentation of information possible.
Most of the argument centers on readability and legibility. Many people believe that sans serif text can be more easily comprehended than serif type designs.
Serifs are the small projections finishing off a stroke from certain letters and symbols.
Sans Serif is a typeface that has no serif, or projection, at the end of letters and symbols.
Though there could be an argument to be made that sans serif may be easier to read on a digital medium, there has been little research to suggest that sans serif is more reader-friendly in the print medium.
Metropolis V.P. and Creative Director, Kevin Boynton teaches a class on Fundamentals of Typography at Valencia College. He tells us that there have been many type readability studies that have found that the two types are virtually the same when it comes to reader cognition. Though he does note that a sans serif may be better suited for the digital world due to technical issues, there are types with heavier serifs that make reading on a screen a user-friendly experience similar to sans serif.
There has been some research to suggest(more…)
Remember the show, Will & Grace? Aside from two of my all-time favorite TV characters, Karen Walker (aka Anastasia Beaverhausen) and Beverley Leslie, the thing that most stood out to me was the episode in which they showed the inside of Grace’s apartment. Her character was an interior designer, and this was not what you’d expect from someone in her line of work. Art and decorative objects were still in boxes. The floors were bare. The storyline was that she was so busy making other people’s spaces perfect, that she never got around to her own space.
I’m reminded of Grace and her neglected apartment every time we open a job to update the website of “a certain agency which shall remain nameless,” just to realize six months later that we haven’t gotten around to it. We’re fortunate to be busy designing other people’s websites that we aren’t able to spend time on our own.
When I realize the blog hasn’t been updated since the 90s, I tell myself that we’re too busy. Then, I advise a client, “Don’t put up a blog or social media account and neglect it. That’s worse than not having one at all.”
It’s a new year. We’re motivated, energized - and holding ourselves accountable to regularly updating our blog and our website (check out the new creative we’ve just added to our portfolio!). It’s right here in black and white – this won’t be the last post of 2015. How could we deprive our friends in cyberspace of our musings about life, design
It was my first day of interning at Metropolis. I set aside my high top Converse shoes and put on some nude high heels. I was wearing a bright yellow blazer that matched my emotions as I walked into my first day of interning on the corner of Peachtree Road.
I was excited and slightly nervous - I had been a hot mess all morning long. I rolled out of bed on the third alarm snooze and dropped a bagel slathered in cream cheese on my shirt. I ran out the door, stockings in one hand, sandwich bag in the other and got into my car only to see that aggravating orange light on “empty.” (I have to admit this is a reoccurring habit with me.) I was slightly overwhelmed and felt like punching the steering wheel like they do in all the romantic comedy movies.
After a gas station visit, a battle through the downtown traffic and a calming phone call from my mother, I had made it. I was a big girl and I had the heels, stockings and almost punctual behavior to prove it.
As I rode up the elevator to the second floor, my mind started wandering. “What if they don’t like me?” “What if they make me go get them coffee, dust their plant fixtures and rearrange their pencil collections?” All valid thoughts! I was first greeted by Kevin, who welcomed me with a warm smile. I looked down only to realize he was wearing Converse. I giggled my nervous laugh and said “nice shoes.” I quickly realized this was no ordinary dry cubical space and these were no ordinary business people.
This is not a modern logo. It is actually a colophon ( a printer’s mark added to a book to show who printed it—so it is actually a kind of logo if you want to debate the issue). It dates back to the incunabula period of typography and printing—so before 1500. It was designed by one of the great, early type designers, Nicolas Jenson, as the symbol of the Society of Venetian Printers in or around 1481. Jenson, who was actually French, made his home in Venice, which had become the premier printing center of Europe before the turn of the century, taking over from Mainz, Germany, the home of Gutenberg. We owe the Venetians a debt of gratitude for this because they influenced the look of our current letterforms—which they based upon Roman and Carolingian models—instead of the dark and almost unreadable blackletter favored by the Germans. Thank you, Nicolas
Last month, Thai communications provider TrueMove H released a truly touching commercial that plays out like a short-film rather than a typical advertisement. The three-minute ad follows the story of a young boy caught stealing medicine for his sick mother and a kind man who pays for the stolen goods to keep him out of trouble. Fast forward some time, the kind man falls ill and is in the hospital racking up some steep medical bills. The one who does the saving this time is the same boy, now a doctor, who covers the costs. It ends with the TrueMove H logo and a simple message: “Giving is the best communication.”
If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to! View it here!
When watching it, we don’t realize right away we’re actually watching an advertisement. We become so immersed in the story that we’re almost caught off guard when the logo appears at the very end. This seems to be a trend lately among major brands, and I like the approach a lot. The latest GoPro commercial, also released last month, is made entirely of real footage of a fireman reviving an injured kitten after a house fire. Google’s most recent commercial features the story of Saroo Brierley and his journey to finding his Indian hometown using Google Earth 25 years after he was orphaned at a train station. You wouldn’t know it was an ad for Google until the logo flashes at the very end. Watch it here.
People trust the opinions of other people, and that trust influences the decisions made when(more…)
Yahoo is making headlines this morning, not for anything as juicy as Miley Cyrus’ recent VMA performance, but for its newly updated logo which is causing quite the uproar. The company unveiled its new mark on Tumblr at midnight on Thursday after 18 years of sporting the same funky logo, minus a minor update to it in 2009. The crowd reaction isn’t one of applause, but mostly of boos - consumers say the logo does not impress.
The new logo seems to be inspired by the font Optima Regular and is styled with a slight beveled effect, thinner and more modern looking than the previous one.
We took to a vote here at Metropolis to see if the new Yahoo logo or the old one was preferred. Most of us agreed with the majority of the Internet that the new logo isn’t anything amazing but a couple of us did agree that it has some nice qualities to it too. I wonder if Yahoo will stay strong and hold their ground with their new logo choice or take it all back like Gap did in 2010?
Usually around this time of year, we proudly share our annual ranking on the OBJ’s Top Advertising Agencies list. We’ve been ranked in the top 10 pretty consistently for a number of years.
Until now. No, we haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, we’re still here in College Park, working away and enjoying the view of Lake Concord. And no, the agency hasn’t been sold to the highest bidder by one of our auctioneer clients. Far less exciting….the call for entries was tagged as ‘spam’ and was lost in the great abyss otherwise known as the Outlook Spam Folder.
Yep, the true spam e-mails hawking the 30-Day Cleanse, Nursing Degrees and Match.com make it through about 30% of the time, but unfortunately one we look forward to every year did not.
So just a post to say ‘hi,’ in case you missed us and to let you know to look for us in the Book of Lists this winter (the kind folks at OBJ have offered to let us submit our entry so we can be properly counted).
In the creative department here at Metropolis, we have our heads in the Clouds. Not just Apple’s iCloud, but now the Adobe Creative Cloud as well. Changing from software delivered on tangible objects packaged in a box to an Internet subscription seemed a bit odd at first. The whole thing is almost unreal. Adobe is paid automatically so the only evidence of a transaction is the credit card bill we get at the end of the month. The software, and the dozens of updates that have already been made, are all downloaded with little or no fuss. No more disks to keep track of and no more mile long serial numbers to deal with. All we are required to do is connect with the Internet once in a while so Adobe can tell our Macs that we’ve paid our bill, but this is not a problem since everyone here lives online anyway.
The best part is we not only have access to our traditional triumvirate—InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop—but the rest of the Creative Suite as well. Now all we need to do is find the time to learn all of these new applications.
By the way, old application CDs make excellent drink coasters—except for that bothersome hole in the middle.
After a 10-day hiatus from my internship and the city of Orlando, I’ve returned from my road trip to St. Louis and Chicago and am back in action. Everyone loves a nice break from reality but I’m happy to be back in the “Sunshine State.”
As I was browsing some of my favorite websites for interesting industry-related news, I came across a very peculiar marketing strategy developed by Kentucky advertising agency, Cornett-IMS. Introducing Beardvertising! Created by Whit Hiler of Cornett-IMS, Beardvertising involves people with awesome beards to get paid up to five dollars a day for hanging a BeardBoard, which is a mini-billboard clip, in their beard. Yes, this is real. So far A&W Restaurants and Eagle One Automotive are using Beardvertising. Maybe some of the men of Metropolis will consider joining the Beardvertising network. After all, look how snazzy they look with beards!
Check out the Beardvertising website to learn more.
One of my duties as an intern is updating the Metropolis team on the latest buzz and trends in this ever-changing digital world - keeping everyone ‘in the know.’ This week I stumbled across these two great finds that I couldn’t help but share:
By now, everyone knows about Google Street View, which gives us the ability to view places and roadways through a 360-degree panoramic imagery view. Google Business Photos now brings us the power to step inside businesses and get a tour with the same awesome 360-degree view. But some companies had a little too much fun with the ability to give viewers a tour of their place and staged shocking and confusing scenes to be photographed. Check out what this British creative agency called Ideas By Music did: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/man-killed-and-stuffed-down-toilet-ad-agency-google-photos-suggest-149052. Creepy right?
Dreams just came true for Facebook users who wanted an easier way to up their friend count while out at the bar. Budweiser Brazil recently introduced its Buddy Cup, a cup with a built-in chip that connects to your Facebook profile and sends a friend request to that person you toast and clink cups with. So now it’s even easier for random strangers to gain access to your Facebook life! But don’t fret, this hasn’t made its way overseas to the U.S. just yet.
Read more about the Buddy Cup here: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2013/04/budweisers-buddy-cup-bump-beers-become-buds-on-facebook/
Posting on behalf of our UCF Intern, Amber, again. One day, we’ll get around to setting up an account for her, but until then….
As the spring semester comes to a close for me, I’m excited to announce that my internship here at Metropolis will not do the same just yet. I’ve been welcomed aboard for summer and couldn’t be more thrilled to continue learning the ropes of the world of advertising from the Metropolis team. With that, Monday morning status meetings are going to get just a little more interesting here. Starting next Monday I’ll be given the task of presenting a few of the latest “what’s hot” trends in the design and digital world that we should all be made aware of.
Speaking of what’s hot, have you checked out the Metropolis Instagram account yet? Follow us!
And better late than never, shoutout to Metropolis for taking home two ADDY awards at this year’s Orlando Addys. Website design for Green Coat Catering and graphics for Marriot Vacation Worldwide’s bell-ringing at the New York Stock Exchange both took silver.
John Foster posts “Accidental Mysteries” on the Design Observer site (designobserver.com). He recently posted some images from a 17th Century German book on calligraphy entitled (I kid you not): The Proper Art of Writing: A Compilation of All Sorts of Capital or Initial Letters of German, Latin and Italian Fonts from Different Masters of the Noble Art of Writing. Or as it is known in German: Kunstrichtige Schreibart allerhand Versalie[n] oder AnfangsBuchstabe[n] der teütschen, lateinischen und italianischen Schrifften aus unterschiedlichen Meistern der edlen Schreibkunst zusammen getragen. Yikes! Where does that fit in the Dewey Decimal System?
The images are quite striking and I have posted a couple here. For more go to: http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/accidental-mysteries-030313/37723/
We were happy to welcome our new UCF intern, Amber Perkins, last week. She’s already making a contribution, not the least of which is helping us dust off the much-neglected blog. Until she gets her own user name, I’ll post on her behalf (and no, we don’t have any say in her grade in the class, so her kind sentiments are not bribery!) – AW
Monday, January 7 was a big day for me for two very different reasons. I turned 22, officially entering the time of my 20s where birthdays are no longer exciting and I began my first day of my internship here at Metropolis. I will have to say the latter was much more thrilling.
The morning started off with a tour of the office followed by a brainstorming session the group always does at the beginning of the week. It was interesting to see how ideas come together during these meetings and how a collaborative effort makes all the difference. Afterward, I was put to work with my first intern tasks. Everything I’ve been assigned to work on so far has helped me grow as a student interested in the advertising and marketing industry. No boring and pointless ‘busy work’ here! Metropolis “ain’t got time for that!”
Today marks the sixth day of my internship at Metropolis and I’ve never been more excited to wake up at 6:30 a.m. and fight morning traffic three days a week up until now. I look forward to every day of my internship because I get to sit at a fancy desk with an incredibly comfy chair in a beautiful, decked out(more…)
My dear friend, Steve Casella, started taping interviews with some of his fellow designers and has issued them as audio podcasts via iTunes—for free; always a good thing. One of the interviews includes illustrator and mighty fine, fine artist, Larry Moore, and yours truly. Our interview—more like a weird conversation with microphones on— has been posted today. If anyone is interested, or has no exterior life, here is the iTunes link:
There are several other podcasts in the series, all of which I am sure are more interesting than mine (although Larry is great). Tim Fisher and Chris Robb talk about their early days together; the guys at Lure talk shop and Julio Lima may, or may not, explain his obsession with the color orange. If you are interested in design and want to hear what some of Orlando’s finest have to say about it, in a very conversational way, subscribe to the podcast.
I feel proud to be included with some of our local heavyweights… even though I know Steve was just throwing me a bone because I’ve paid for lunch once or twice.
Most of us here at Metropolis will readily admit to a few ‘reality show guilty pleasures.’ With the breadth of topics out there, it was just a matter of time before someone came out with a show about advertising agencies. “The Pitch” premiers this month on AMC – It’s basically a behind-the-scenes look at two competing agencies facing off to pitch for the same account, complete with all the melodrama and infighting that keeps us tuned in.
There’s been a lot of press lately about the “big agencies” shying away from the show. The reason: they don’t want to reveal their proprietary methods (the dreaded “Secret Sauce” phrase. Urgh).
Please! There is no “secret formula” to good work. What we enjoy about our jobs is the challenge of solving a client’s problems, identifying what makes them unique and communicating it clearly. There are many ways to go about this, and everyone has their own ways of getting there, but effective creative stems from good ideas.
So, while you won’t be tuning in to see anyone from Metropolis flipping tables or racing through the back roads of Budapest on your flat screen anytime soon, you’re more than welcome to stop by and take part in a brainstorming session with us. We have a pretty good time and generally come up with some great inspiration. What’s in our “secret sauce?” Bad jokes and caffeine, for starters!
Here’s a link to a sneak preview of “The Pitch.”
Just for giggles, match your favorite(more…)
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the new website for the prestigious Central Florida law firm Winderweedle, Haines, Ward and Woodman. Metropolis was responsible for both the design and programming/development of the site, including a Content Management System (CMS) administrative tool that allows the firm to make text changes via an easy-to-use web-based platform. Additionally, much of the photography used on the site was taken by talented members of our creative team.
The new site showcases the firm’s areas of practice, spotlights the attorneys and gives visitors a glimpse inside the corporate culture through the News and Events page. Winderweedle enjoys a stellar reputation for community involvement and the new site allows them to showcase that.
Metropolis has enjoyed a long relationship with WHWW, which included the opportunity to update their logo several years ago in commemoration of their 75th anniversary.
Take a minute to visit the site at www.WHWW.com – we think it serves as a shining example of our web team’s creativity and strategic design.
In Fall 2012 I will be teaching the “Fundamentals of Typography” course in Valencia College’s graphics program. This is the same course that Glenn Bowman taught for several semesters before becoming a dad—which seems to take up a lot of his time and energy now. Thanks to Glenn, I already have a lot of insight into the class and a folder full of course materials that I won’t have to create from scratch.
The technical aspects of typography have changed greatly from when I started in this professional about a million years ago, but the principles that have been discovered and evolved over centuries of lettering and typography have remained virtually unchanged. Whether type is set with metal, developed on photo paper and pasted to a board or digitally displayed and printed, the same issues of optics, legibility, layout and design are going to vex my students just as much as they did me when I was in school. The difference, however, is that my students will have available to them an arsenal of technology and a catalogue of fonts that were beyond my wildest dreams at the beginning of my career.
When I started working with type it was almost entirely for printing on paper—or environmental graphics and displays. Once in a blue moon I had to deal with the transmission of type via the television screen but that was not often and usually for only a couple of seconds at the end of a commercial. Now, type appears electronically almost everywhere. Computer displays, HD(more…)
Often when meeting with clients, we hear a familiar statement: “We know we need to be on Facebook, but we don’t really know how to get started or why we should be there.”
Social media is much more than Facebook. It’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube…. The list goes on. Do you need an account with each one of these sites? Probably not. Can selecting a few and doing a good job of maintaining them help grow your business? Most definitely.
We see the mind-blowing stats every day:
- If Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd most populated in the world
- 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute
- More than 36 million people visit LinkedIn each month
- Pinterest has over 10.4 million registered users and counting
Social media is a Christmas present to savvy marketers, wrapped in shiny red paper with a beautiful bow on top. It allows you to speak directly to your target market with a minimal investment.
Already have a loyal group of followers? Social media can keep them engaged and even make them ambassadors for your business.
Looking to grow your business? Affordably reach your target market in a comfortable environment. Control the message and tailor it to meet your goals.
How do you get started? That’s where we come in. We’ll take a look at your marketing goals, analyze any existing social media accounts and make recommendations on how you can make social media an active tool that helps(more…)
The Belgian surrealist, Rene Magritte—the artist who gave men in bowler hats apples for heads—created a painting in 1929 called “The Treason of Images” (or “The Treachery of Images” depending upon the translator). It is a realistic rendering of a smoker’s pipe in oil paint. It is iconic. This pipe might be seen on any tobacco shop sign anywhere in Europe—even today. However, at the bottom of the painting Magritte wrote “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”
This is not a pipe.
Of course it’s not a pipe. It is a picture of a pipe. This is the treason of the image. It is a lie. There is no pipe. The painting betrays our eyes and minds into believing that we are seeing a pipe but it is really just paint on a substrate.
Consequently, when you hold up a family photo to ask an elderly relative, “Who is this?” you are participating in more treason. When they answer, “Why that is your great Aunt Edna,” the process continues. This is not your Aunt Edna. Once again, it is a picture of Aunt Edna.
I realize that most people understand that a picture is only a representation and not the real thing. We do this shorthand. When we say, “That’s a pipe,” on some level we know it is a painting but we often take this knowledge for granted. We forget what is real and what is an illusion. Our own brain is in collusion with the image maker and we see what is not there.
In graphic design we know that the image is an even greater illusion. In print the image is(more…)
From everything I’ve read and from trends posted for 2012…two main thoughts seem consistent.
One: Prepare now.
The economy is improving and those businesses who are prepared will ride the incoming tide. As everyone has impatiently waited out this dour, sour economy, there will be a mad rush for every spending consumer. The time is now to build momentum in your marketplace. There won’t be an opportunity to ramp up later. Your competitors will have already made eye contact with your consumer.
“As the economy improves, businesses will have more chances to improve sales and profits. New technologies and marketing tools are constantly discovered, making more exciting to promote today than before. But just the same, trust, value, and good branding is crucial. You need to adapt now to the changes and improvements in order to get ahead of your competitions.” writes M. Killian, ezinearticles.com.
Two: Click to it.
Of the advertising trends posted for 2012, the majority, if not all have to do with myriad (yes, probably 10,000) electronic/new media opportunities. Whether it be a corporate blog or SEO website – paid, social and earned media are replacing traditional media as the foundation of a successful company’s marketing plan. Traditional media (television, radio, print), while not obsolete, is now viewed as more of a targeted support directing consumers to localized internet marketing. Take a look around. Doesn’t it seem there is a smart phone in just(more…)
Recently I lost a family pet. It was tragic and made a huge impact on me.
Now that I have had some time to heal, I have become retrospective of the whole process. Isn’t it wonderful that we have the opportunity to share our lives with these wonderful creatures? The unquestioning love, the silly tricks, the cookie obsession, they all weave a rich and complex relationship with our psyche.
Sometimes we question if a pet is worth it with a torn up, expensive shoe or another puddle on the carpet, but these are small prices to pay for the rewards we get back.
Pets are good for the human condition, we have lived side by side with animals from the dawn of time and for good reason, that makes us whole.
I’m all about ROI– Return on Investment…If you have the time, resources and compassion to invest in a pet, I guarantee the return will be great.
Adopt a pet, save life. Who knows? You may even live longer too.
Thanks Thor…miss you.
As another political year is well underway, I just wanted to share some thoughts. We can never forget that all the posturing, all the clamoring for attention, all the advertising being spent is about one thing only…you.
It has never been more important that we as individuals take the time to get involved in the election process. Volunteer, communicate your feelings, educate yourself and take action…VOTE.
Washington is counting on the vast majority of Americans to sit on the sidelines and not care. Freedom and the political process is a right of every American, it is also a responsibility and a civic duty.
Remember, if you don’t get involved and take action, your frustration for the process or distain for a particular politician means nothing. It’s about issues and our future.
SPEAK UP, DAMN IT!
Here’s to putting an X where your mouth is.
Thanks for checking out Metropolis’ new website. We’re super excited about everything that is going on here at the agency and are ready for 2012 to be a banner year.
Our new website will help you keep up to date on all the things going on. You’ll find new blogs, personality profiles, agency news and a whole lot of examples of how we solve problems for our clients.
So tell your friends, tell your plumber, the new site is up and better than ever.
Props to all of our supporters, we couldn’t have done it without you!
Just about every work week at Metropolis begins with the Monday morning status meeting. The official purpose is to review each job in the shop and tentatively schedule the week’s workflow. Some meetings are more lively than others, depending on the amount of caffeine that’s been consumed, humorous stories from the weekend, and whether or not KB can successfully slip in one of his “oldie but goodie” jokes.
One Monday in September 2010, waiting for us on the conference table was not the typical bagels or doughnuts, but our very own Betta fish. Brent thought they’d be a good way to “stir things up” and provide the occasionally much-needed stress reliever (“You need it WHEN?! Oooh, pretty fish…”).
Kevin claimed the most colorful one, distributed the others and we each commenced with naming them and finding them a perch in our office. It was a fun idea, and some of us really embraced our new pets, purchasing upgraded fish condos, accessories, and, in KB’s case, a fully-functioning aquarium with bottom-feeders (no advertising jokes, please!).
Having once been part-owner to a Betta named Blue Jean, I thought their lifespan was a few months, a year tops. More than once, I thought “the Beav” had gone to that big fish tank in the sky, only to realize she was just sleeping.
She’s not the only one still kicking. Brent’s fish, “Greg Brady” has been upgraded to a MUCH larger bowl, complete with a coral reef. He’s pretty feisty – we can’t fill his