Filed: What the…?
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…)
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/
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.
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…)
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…)