Posts Tagged ‘typography’
This friday a group of students from Kayce’s Typography class and others took a trip all the way to Two Rivers, WI to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. Here are some pics from the trip for you to enjoy.
Go check out this show:
TYPEFORCE : The Annual Chicago Show of Emerging Typographic Allstars
In my previous post, I mentioned the new documentary Typeface about Hamilton Wood Type. Well, turns out it is at the Siskel Film Center this week for $7 a ticket. If you are interested in going let me know – I can’t decide which day to attend…
The Gene Siskel Film Center is also showing American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art.
This documentary covers everything from the Art Deco inspired designs of the pyschadelic 60s to the Indie Rock posters of today
This morning, in History of Graphic Design, we discussed the Industrial Revolution and its affect on graphic design and typography. Everytime I talk about wood type and traditional type setting, I get a tiny burst of energy. I am constantly inspired by historical design processes – it is a driving force to my own work and interests.
Most of the students I have had, know how much I enjoy Hatch Show Print out of Nashville, TN. Hatch is one of the oldest surviving and continuosly running print shops in America. They opened their doors in the late 1800s and have designed posters for tons of famous musicians and events. There is something about the purity of letterpress printing. It takes time and thought to lay out, but also breaks many of the typography rules we are taught as designers. Letterpress, in my opinion, is design meets art meets history. It is amazing that traditional letterpress, like Hatch, Standard Deluxe and Hamilton Wood Type, is done exactly the same way as it was done 100s of years ago.
Another great letterpress shop is in the tiny town of Waverly, Alabama. Standard Deluxe is a small print shop in a converted barn in middle of nowhere Alabama (about 20 minutes away from where I went to school). They have gained national recognition for the prints and posters, and are worth looking at.
Hamilton Wood Type Museum is the last traditional letterpress I am going to share. It is a true American treasure since they cut a lot of the wood and metal typefaces used throughout history. It is located in Two Rivers, WI and has been converted into a museum full of type and printing. Sounds like fun – maybe we should get a group together for a road trip???
Hamilton has a new documentary out titled Typface. It is in limited release right now, but I am so excited to see it. I will keep you all posted about when it comes back to Chicago.
Here is the link to the trailer!
As a maker of things in between the design and fine art worlds, I have long admired handicraft of all kinds, physical or virtual. Current trends in contemporary design reveal the imperfections and implications of “the hand,” in ironic contrast to the mechanical process of designing. This is especially true for type.
I recently purchased the book Hand Job, which catalogs hand-drawn type by 55 designers and typographers, cataloged by Michael Perry. It is an incredible collection of artists who strive to use their hand in most of the work they produce. They are getting away with it beautifully, creating a larger want (market?) for this kind of manual design, while carving themselves a niche career. Here are a few of the designers featured:
And in my own collecting of cool handmade lettering, I came across other artists pushing the boundaries of type design. One of my favorites is Jessica Hische. She collaborated with Sagmeister on a project for Urban Play for which they tediously arranged euro-cents to spell out a phrase that appropriately speaks to both of their practices: “Obsessions make my life worse, and my work better.” We all know about Sagmeister’s play with experimental type, but Hische’s heed notice, too, from a more traditional font-nerding perspective. Below is an example of her original lettering solutions. Check out more on her site: http://jessicahische.com/
Another fave: FLAG is a couple of dudes from Zurich incorporating hand-drawn techniques in their design work and book-publishing. And if their site isn’t evidence enough, here is an example:
I also find it pleasing to discover that Emigre Font designer John Downer is also a sign-painter by trade (specializing in gold leaf lettering!). While his type designs are fairly conservative, I can certainly see the influence (or nostalgia) of the hand-painted. So I’ll ask you…What is the attraction to hand-qualities in design? To me, it gives voice to a very personal expression, lending a human element to a design industry that is often driven by corporate negotiations . It shows skill that isn’t always championed in our fast-paced product-centered economy. It creates character. And most importantly, it continues to ride the boundaries of what makes art, craft, and design.
While searching one of my favorite sites: FFFFOUND! I found these really cool posters that visualize design quotes from famous designers and artists. What I love about these is how much you can learn from such a small piece of text.
This quote from Pablo Picasso is one of my favorites but It can easilly be misunderstood. For example, some people might think that its okay to steal images from the web and use them in your design but that is not “stealing”, its copying.
When Picasso says “stealing” here he means to take something and make it your own. Anyone can copy and paste something into a design but it takes a smart designer to steal an image or an idea and make it their own. Ideally, you should try to make it better!
This quote makes me think of all of my students who change their ideas because someone else has already done it before. This really makes me sad. I think we sometimes worry too much about making something so unique, something that nobody has ever seen before, that we forget about the rules and time-tested formulas for design.
Think about the design for super fancy clothing stores like Armani, Gucci and Prada… Do they have really crazy vector shapes with graffiti splatter brushes and gradients everywhere? Of course not, they use simple, elegant typography with simple grid-based layout for their designs.
I love eye-candy and really intricate design but sometimes a bit of centered text on a black background is all you need.
Want to see more? These images originally come from a site called Fresh Bump where they commissioned ten designers to visualize these quotes.
If you really like quotes on design check out this list of 50 Inspirational Design Quotes.