Monday, November 26, 2012

Friends Don't Let Friends Use Comic Sans

A long running joke amongst designers is to never ever use Comic Sans. Heck, even Google made fun of Comic Sans last year for April Fool's Day. If you searched for "comic sans," the whole page would be in the font. Though the real reason for the annoyance over Comic Sans is because people have been using it for everything.

The man who created the font, Vincent Connare, is known for designing a number of child-oriented fonts. Funnily enough, the reason he created Comic Sans was because he saw Times New Roman being used in the speech bubbles of cartoon characters and wanted to make a more appropriate font. Now his own font is a victim of being used incorrectly. And as a result, it has become a joke.

"The Comic Sans Project" involves taking famous logos and redesigning them with Comic Sans

If you want to see more, you can check out the blog:

There's also a website called Comic Sans Criminal, which is dedicated to showing people the error of their ways and also providing some free alternative fonts. They even have a pledge to sign.

So the lesson to be learned is that all fonts have characteristics of their own that can change the whole tone of the message you're trying to convey.


So take the pledge!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wolfgang Weingart

Looking at various different typographic artists, I noticed Wolfgang Weingart’s work which I really liked. He is known to be the father of Swiss Punk typography. He was an educator that spread the typography style of the Swiss and he received awards for his work in typography. He was awarded by Swiss Federal Minister Mark of Excellence and a Doctor of Fine Arts honorary title.
Swiss punk typography
His work shows his mastery typographic rules and the sense attained in breaking them. He does his works mainly out of curiosity and experience rather than learning and he loves to experiment and the visual enjoyment of it.

In his early work, Weingart created abstract patterns along with type and soon went further to become more unconventional. His ideas and explorations became a type of style which later became more apparent in his work.

He experimented with the type by legibility, repetition, masking, overlaying films, enlarging, blurring, distorting and much more.

Friday, November 16, 2012

August Express!

August Express

I found this blog called August Express that has great patterns, textures, and ideas about type! Jo Klima,  a graphic design started this blog as a way for designers to get inspiration. She is a freelance graphic and web designer at "The Darling Tree" which was established in 2008. August Express was a dream of hers to create since she began freelancing in 2004. Much of her design work fuses patterns and textures. This blog is a way for her to bring those things to her readers, to inspire them, motivate them, and also provide resources to help their creative endevours.

You will find things you can download, helpful resources and design inspiration. A lot of the work is hand done and very inventive. For example, this piece below creates letters out of food.  I found it really interesting to create type this way. Garret Steider created a whole alphabet with pieces of food and carving letters into food. Check out more of Garrets work on Flickr!

There is also something quite nice about the way the designers apply a hand done feeling to packaging!

designed by Ali LaBell for LaBelle Famille
designed by Hardhat Design for Coffee Supreme
designed by Jillian Barthold for Chile Beach Jams

designed by Brandever and Dana Tanamachi for Nagging Doubt

Check it out! August Express

We dont work we play

To find a good topic for my blog post I was searching and found a posting called “we don’t work...we play” which took me to a blog article about an exhibit put on by four German graphic design students.  HERE! They are students at the Köln International School of Design, they created this exhibit to celebrate hand done typography and invited many different designers to submit pieces.  Here are a few that were selected as the best from the exhibit.

 Designed by: Hannes Hummel, Thilko Limbec
Designed by: Yanik Balzer, Max Kuwertz
Designed by: Yanik Balzer, Max Kuwertz
Designed by: Tobias Nickerl, Emma Gautier
 Designed by: Miriam Becker
Designed by: Miriam Becker

After finding this i started looking into other student work and through the Type Directors Club in their student awards section HERE, I found this student designer Niko Skourtis.  I wanted to check out the work of students who are current and are being recognized by these large associations to see what students at other schools are producing. So I checked out his website...its awesome check it out HERE.  He has a great body of work and I think its really important to check out what other students are doing and get inspired to work more on your own!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


 When looking for a designer to write about, I came across a group of artists who had a show up in Australia. This designer, Luke Lucas, is actually from Melbourne and had some type pieces up that show that stood out. Although he has a lot of 2D work, Luke's other pieces move into the 3D realm and experiment with various textures and effects. His type is often very fluid and colorful, which I think is a good contrast to a lot of the modern typography that is seen in posters and other logo types of projects. 

I think his work is pretty relevant because he is often hired to design a type for a magazine spread that combines his illustrative style and the message he is trying to portray. When he isn't using bright colors and flowing type, he is designing specific typefaces that are initially created in plain black and white. His style is very apparent, yet fits to each project he is hired for. International design is always a good change from what we are faced with everyday, and the show he was in displays other amazing Australian designers who have a different outlook on what design can actually be.

Luke Lucas:

Gemma O' Brien

Videos:  | |

The Art of Signage

Signage is a visual graphic that is used to display a certain amount of information to a certain group of people. Signs are things that we see everyday and often don’t realize unless we are looking for something. Todays signs although some are beautiful they have left the golden age of signage behind. That golden age for signs that are considered vintage today is the 1940’s 1950’s and the 1960’s.  Signs of those days were neon signs as well as porcelain enamel signs and metal signs.

 I often look at vintage signage from this time period because it was all about the type because of this there are some really beautiful signs that use type in really interesting ways. Some are simple and understated and use type in a really clean and beautiful way, while others are flashy and use every trick in the book to draw the customer in.

Another thing that is really interesting to look at with these signs is their use of typographical hierarchy. Some use all the same typeface and vary size, weight, and color. While others mix typefaces, size, weight color and imagery.  These signs often have to have a certain amount of information on them and often a logo or logo type and it’s interesting to see how the designers of these signs handled that.

Here are some links to some other sites with some more signs.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Advice From Paula: Great Design is Serious

I decided to take this post as an opportunity to share a video that has inspired me since I saw it. Being a fan of the "TED Talks" videos, I tend to watch a lot of them. They are lectures from accomplished people from all areas of study, this one from the one and only Paula Scher. In this video she shares her experience in design. "Great design is serious, not solemn" is the theme of this lecture. She shares that she plays when she designs, thus, being "serious."  Being "solemn" would be the opposite, and thus creating works that are not produced from such a fun and inspiring mindset as that of "serious" work. For more of an explanation, take 20 minutes out of your day and watch this. 

My goal in sharing this video was to inspire us designers. I think this is a hard part in the year when we tend to lose our momentum. Hopefully this inspires some of you to have fun with design and design "serious." Look how far Paula Scher has come from her days as a student at Tyler. This is just the beginning of our journey as designers. In the humorous words of Paula: "let yourself grow and play, and really be a brat, and then accomplish things." We have this time not as students to play and experiment why while we can. Lets take advantage of it. 

Erik Nitsche

Erik Nitsche (September 7, 1908 - November 14, 1998) was a pioneer in the design of books, annual reports, and other printed material that relied on meticulous attention to the details of page composition, the elegance of simple type presentation, and the juxtaposition of elements on a page. His hallmarks were impeccably clear design, brilliant colors, smart typography, and an adherence to particular geometric foundations.
Erik Nitsche was born and studied in Lausanne, Switzerland, and moved to the United States at the age of 26, where he had a successful career as graphic designer and art director. After 1960's he worked mainly on children's books.
Nitsche is best known for his historic relationship with the engineering company General Dynamics. He designed a breakthrough series of posters, in addition to designing their corporate image, annual reports, and advertising. He was hired as art director for General Dynamics and savored designing technical data for such things as hydraulic systems and cross-sections of airplanes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I was searching for unique typography videos, when I found these two videos created by "Kinetic Typography". These two videos were particularly inspiring cause it shows the type in motion with minimal effects to tell a story. When I say minimal effects I mean that they really only use the movement, scale, orientation, and color of the type to express the emotions within the story. Both these videos were very inspiring especially preparing for interactive and digital narratives. It shows that instead of using images typography could possibly tell the same story.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is less really less?

I might say so, but spanish illustrator/typographer/designer/god Alex Trochut would say otherwise.

In my opinion, and from what I've seen, the philosophy amongst most designers these days is to focus on simplicity and minimalism. I personally prefer to work in this way; I think that because graphic design is essentially visual communication, whatever message you are trying to get across should be easy to read... it really shouldn't take long to figure out. The worst thing is losing a viewer's attention. That's when you know for certain that the design has failed.

But what can you do to entice the viewer? To make it so that it's not so easy? You need to have great artistic ability to pull this off, and when if you do, it's actually a good way of bragging. "Hey. Look how good I am with letters. It's going to take a minute for you to see this."

When does illustration become graphic design? Is there a concrete distinction? I guess graphic design can be considered a raw process. We deal a lot with layout, systems, grids, etc. But the integration of illustration into clean design is a great way to be unique. Alex Trochut is a mastermind at this. His works demonstrate so many skills and styles that it's impossible to call him simply a designer. Trochut most certainly believes that more is more. His brilliantly detailed execution of clever ideas set him apart from all modern typographic artists. It's hard to see how he ever can stop working on a single piece. He goes over the top and thinks completely outside the box. He has worked for as many big-name clients as you can think of. This is because his work is ever-changing and always progressing.

If you want to want to lose track of time for a little while, take a look through his impressive portfolio.