Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

On the Road Again & Again

Foreign editions of Jack Kerouac's book, On the Road, continue to multiply. You can view an amazing assortment of more than 200 of the covers designs here. Dave Moore, the curator of this collection, began buying these editions in the 1960s, often swapping copies with other collectors. The covers range from the eerily evocative to the outright goofy. And see Jack's own book jacket design he created in 1952. He was a far better writer than he was a book designer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Try to Do This With an E-Book

The New Zealand Book Council (yes, they have a council to promote books and reading) made this spectacular ad which makes a book come alive. Books are not even close to being dead! They're not even sleeping! Thanks Justin!

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Never Too Late to be Punctual

Aldus Manutius, the Venetian typographer and printer who gave us portable books and italic letters in the late 15th century, is also known to be the inventor of the semi-colon. (Wouldn't you like to have that on your resume!) Manutius also was an early proponent of using a period to indicate a full stop at the end of a sentence and a diagonal slash to represent a pause in reading. Consider punctuation as the signposts for written language. Just as the period at the end of a sentence is like the stop sign; the semi-colon, which signals a pause to separate a long list or two independent clauses, is the yellow blinking light. Punctuation assists us when reading and navigating any written text. Use it with care and travel safely!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heavy Metal

Find free stuff and great deals on metal revival fonts from ArchiveType. All fonts available in OpenType.

A Font of Knowledge

We're confronted everyday with typography. From advertising, road signage, instructions, books, media - yet how often do you stop to consider how most fonts are explicitly designed for reading and emotional effect? Listen to Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones talk about the design of their Gotham font and it's use as the font of Change and Hope during the Obama campaign. Learn about the career of master font designer, Matthew Carter and Verdana, his font designed for the internet. Discover why handwriting is becoming a lost art and why some say the book is becoming a relic of history. Really? Novelist Nicholson Baker doesn't think so. Listen to all this and more on Wisconsin's Public Radio show, To The Best of Our Knowledge.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

El Vetica

At last, a t-shirt to celebrate the career of Mexico's only typographer/luchador. Get yours now at The Feed Store.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Photographic High Drama

Paolo Ventura on Winter Stories from Aperture Foundation on Vimeo.

Italian photographer, Paolo Ventura is a virtuoso storyteller. He does it all with the aid of sophisticated small props, dramatic lighting and the meticulous detail of a magician. Using large format Polaroids with a minimal color palette, Ventura constructs dreamy, Fellini-inspired sets to recreate scenes of a war-torn Italy or the saga of an Italian clown's melancholic reverie during his dying days. His narratives are often dark and alluring, yet they invite us inside the frame where we are allowed to explore a time in history found only in black and white movies and photographs. Truly mesmerizing!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Books While You Wait

The Espresso Book Machine - it gives new meaning to tall, short or skinny. Care for a tall tale, short story or a skinny novel? It can print and bind a perfect bound book in a matter of minutes. Look for the Espresso to be installed at nearby Third Place Books in Bothell this coming November. This machine is going to dramatically change the book publishing industry in the coming years. It's your ATM for books!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where Old Art Supplies Go

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies looks like a glimpse of my art studio if someone turned it upside down and shook it all out. There is stuff in there I haven't used for decades, but I am unable to part with. Two of my favorite old tools happen to be very useful to the Bookbinder for fixing unsightly errors and book blunders. They are the fun little kneaded eraser, which you can disguise as a favorite art animal, and the rubber cement pick-up - yes, commonly used for cleaning those nasty rubber cement messes gumming up your old paste-ups. Time and again I have used each of these tools to clean marks from pages and bindings - often without leaving a trace. These tools are yesterday's version of command z. Some tools never go out of style.

Has anyone seen my old Chartpak Type Burnisher Stylus? I left it somewhere in 1983.

Daily Drop Cap

Initial caps are capital letters at the beginning of a chapter which are set larger than the rest of the text. They can be adjusted to make a raised cap, where they sit on the same baseline as the rest of text, or can be set below as a drop cap where they rest on the lines below. They can be very useful if chapters are not named or numbered and can alert the reader that a new chapter is beginning. As in most things with traditional book design, initial caps work best when there is not a lot of different levels of subheads or other ornamentation on the page. Take a look at some of the beautiful handcrafted initial caps provided by the amazing typographer and illustrator, Jessica Hische in her Daily Drop Caps series which are updated nearly everyday until she completes the alphabet. They are yours for downloading to be used on blogs and websites so long as you kindly provide a credit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to Nail an Interview

Tip No. 17: Be honest but not too honest.
Would you hire this guy? For more tips on how to nail a job interview, check this out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

xType Culture Show

The rules of engagement for my experimental typography class were an "about face" from classwork of the previous quarter teaching the fine typography skills required of book design. Here are just a few of the 37 great examples currently on exhibit in our school's art gallery through end of April.

From the top: Emi Buckmaster: Ephemeral (Suminagashi) | Shinya Iwaki: Cityscape (Handmade letterforms of architecture) | Sean Fischer: Dance Team (video of dancing girls, a pirate and a cat) | Adam Curtis: InterAction (Flash animation and lots of coffee) | Atticus Waller: Dreamgasm (Handmade letterforms) | Reis O'Brien: Toypography (cheap plastic toys) | Jordan Dailey: Micron Font (100s of Micron pens) | Mike Holm: ABC Gum (26 pieces of gum) | Anna Goldstein: Typuccino (26 lattes) | Jen Pearce: Rind (Oranges).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not My Type

It's The Visual Enforcement Kit. Don't leave home without it.

Antonio Frasconi Exhibit

I just saw an exhibit of the master woodcut and poster artist, Antonio Frasconi at Davidson Galleries in Seattle's Pioneer Square and came away so inspired to learn the craft. Frasconi has illustrated many books including children's books and his work is in the collection of several major museums including MoMA, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Brooklyn Museum. This is his first exhibition in the Northwest. The show is up until May 2, 2009. Don't miss it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Designing Typefaces

The question has often come up this quarter about how to design your own typefaces. My first thought is to ask, how experimental is this? Are you talking 26 letters, or 700 glyphs? A good place to begin would be to read this reference book, Designing Type by David Earls. Then sit down and begin drawing. Oh, and notice how the book title so nicely mimics the font in the title above it!

Marian Bantjes Business Card

She just continues to amaze!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Paper Letters of the Other Kind

London design consultancy, Johnson Banks, created a series of nice posters in the mid-nineties based entirely on letterforms made from folded or 'found' paper-related objects. Very inspired!

Monday, February 9, 2009

CD Album Cover Artwork Assignment

1. Go here and choose the third photo, no matter what it is, as your album cover.

2. Go here and select the last four words of the very last quote as the title of your album.

3. Go here and select the first article title on the page as the name of your band.

4. On a separate layer, produce all the text as either handmade letterforms or altered digital fonts. Merge layers together to complete your album artwork.

5. Send me a jpeg.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

Maira Kalman is back on the blog with her charming handlettered paintings portraying her recent experiences at the inauguration in DC.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Nose

The Nose No. 18 (published, illustrated, and conceived by Seymour Chwast, and edited by Steven Heller) is now online for the first time. The Nose is a publication designed to draw attention to relevant social issues as well as trivial ones. Each 24 page issue is designed and illustrated by Seymour Chwast, lovingly handlettered in his most charming and endearing style. This issue is devoted to "Cults and Superstitions". You'll love the new sustainable, digital version. Each page is worth the price--which, since it is online, is nada. So this is your lucky day! Join The Nose cult now. Or if you prefer the hardcopy subscription, order it directly from Seymour Chwast at