Friday, December 31, 2010

Table Dancing

Every time I watch this clip it makes me smile. Chaplin was a genius. Enjoy and Happy New Year all!

Story Time

A Hell of a Good Time via PopKulture.
The Evil of Time via S.Wallace.
The Time Machine (Classics Illustrated) via Michael Vance.
The Time Machine via Austin Gullixson.
Gift of Time via Christian Montone.
Cover and page spread from How Long is it? via Hillary Lang.

To Bring Back the Clocks of Time

It is after midnight somewhere.
Happy New Year all from the Letterology management!

Nelson clocks via Joel Pirela.
Old clock via Judy Watt.
Cuckoo clock via Monica Z.
Swiss made clock via Bob AuBuchon.
Story Time via Erin Reynolds.
Peter Pan clock via doe c doe.
Tick Tock clock via Vintage Takout.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Requiem for Kodachrome

I am mourning the loss of Kodachrome today. 1935 - 2010. The last lab, in the country, Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas will be processing the last roll of it today. Good-bye Kodachrome. You were a good teacher. I learned so much more from you than all that crap I learned in high school. Even all my wrong ASA settings and + | - exposures were good lessons. All I have left now are 1000s of old slides, an old projector and screen, and this lousy t-shirt. (Modeled by Dwayne). Farewell.

For a walk down memory lane, take a look at Dan Bayer's Kodachrome Project site and blog. Sigh.

The Big MacBook

McDonald's introduces the McBook Burger.
Advertising Agency: DDB, Budapest, Hungary.
Creative Director: Péter Tordai
Thanks Michael, over at Book Patrol!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jack Stauffacher's 90th

Just before Christmas I had the honor to attend the 90th birthday celebration for master printer and typographer, Jack Stauffacher, held at the San Francisco Center of the Book. Many of his friends in the typography, design, book and printing community gathered from all parts to celebrate the life and career of Jack—a remarkable career which began nearly 75 years ago when he set up his first press in a garage in nearby San Mateo. (Beat that, Jobs and Wozniak!) For most of these years, Jack has been engaged in a long tradition of printing fine books, teaching, collaborating and continually experimenting with typography. A series of some of his experimental prints using large wooden letters were the subject of a 2002 exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2004 he was selected as a recipient of the most distinguished award of its kind, the AIGA Medal for exceptional achievement and contributions to the field of graphic design. Stauffacher has been a teacher, a scholar, a collaborator, a seeker and an innovator throughout his career and he continues to produce and explore at his same Greenwood Press in San Francisco. I hope to have the honor to attend his 100th birthday celebration in another 10 years.

Above: Jack (on left) is presented a wonderful 90th birthday souvenir printed by good friend, Patrick Reagh (center). The large wooden J & S letters bookend a charming personal message as only Patrick can do. KIS refers to Nicholas Kis, who Jack has determined to be the original designer and punchcutter of his favorite typeface, Janson.

Above: Beautiful stone-carved tablet with gilded silver letters and numbers of J, S and 90. Designed by Chris Stinehour and presented as a gift to Jack in a very nice handbound case.
Below: The keepsake designed and handset in Janson|Kis by Jack and printed on a Vandercook press at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Last photo below: Archive photo of Jack.

My Type of Kleenex

Covering Covers


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cap N

Initial cap N from 1667 Spanish book printed by Diego Diaz de la Carrera. Via El Bibliomata's photostream.

A Heartwarming Work of Staggering Genius

I don't know what took me so long to come across this McSweeney's-at-a-glance video, but it is not-to-be-missed. Nor is the book, Art of McSweeney's from Chronicle Books, published as a retrospective to mark the 12th anniversary of McSweeney's. It chronicles the history and design of their beautiful books and journals, and you can find it at your favorite neighborhood bookstore if it still exists anymore. In addition to staff at McSweeney's, it is designed and edited mostly by Brian McMullen and Michelle Quint. Be sure to read Dave Eggers' Acknowledgements in the back where he provides some interesting production notes and pays credit to others involved in the design of this book. In case anyone is still wondering whether books are still on life support, this book should put those claims to rest.

From top down: Book cover spread | Dust jacket which is printed as poster on 2 sides | Several other McSweeney titles included | Interior page spread of McSweeny's 1 | Random inspiration on the shelves at McSweeney's Inc.

A Stitch in Time

Cross stitching skills are not in my toolkit, but I do appreciate these amazing patterns from a small French company, Long Dog Samplers. Their design patterns are some of the nicest I have seen. Most of these patterns average about 30000 stitches, but can go up to 60000 stitches or more. I suppose it's just a matter of time before someone designs a pattern using Frankfurter, Hamburger or dare I say that Comic font.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Leo Lionni on the Printed Page Design

Art director, magazine designer, sculptor, teacher, critic, painter, children's book author and illustrator Leo Lionni (1901-1999), left a remarkable legacy of celebrated work. As an entirely self-taught designer, he received many awards throughout his long career, including a 1955 Art Director of the Year from the National Society of Art Directors and numerous Caldecott Honors for his childrens' books. In 1974 he was included in the Art Director's Hall of Fame and received the AIGA Medalist award in 1984 in recognition for his distinguished career and exceptional achievement and contribution to the field of design. Early in his career as an advertising art director, he commissioned artwork from Saul Steinberg, Alexander Calder and a very young, Andy Warhol. It was in 1957 during his tenure as art director at Fortune magazine when he produced this promotion on design—his treatise on the immense variety and pliability of the language of design, and the power of the printed page to evoke a multitude of moods with ever unexpected means. Among his claims:

+ Variations within repeated symmetries add vitality.
+ Although one page is a full-color design and the other a two-color one, the effect is of a four-color spread.
+ Unexpected variations in a regular pattern, no matter how small, dominate the design and catch the eye.
+ Rhythmic repetition can make a relatively uninteresting form memorable.
+ Using the outer or inner edges of the paper, seems to make a spread look larger.
+ In competition with the customary complexitites of the advertising pages the courage to be simple is ofter rewarded.

Lionnis' claims are just as relevant today.
Special thanks to Kindraishere for the images. You can see more of the page spreads here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's About Time

Make a long-term investment in the year(s) ahead with this perpetual calendar shown above which promises to keep you on track until 2036. By aligning the year on the wheel with the current month, you will never be out-of-date. Designed by Jacquie Van Keuren at Rubber Design in San Francisco and printed with 5 colors on Mohawk Renewal paper, it is available on Etsy for $9.50 (US) + Shipping.

Below is a nicely designed 2011 calendar from Eleanor, of e.m.papers, and it is available as a download for just $10. Eleanor not only is a great young designer living in Germany, but she just happens to be the daughter of my good friends, Patrick and Maxine Reagh. This design and several others are available on her site and you can download it once and print as many as you like. She also has an entire line of other holiday, wedding invitations and other printable gifts to download. Check out her blog while you are at it.

This seasonal calendar below is designed, illustrated and printed by Yun Chung of Boston, features a cat wandering with an umbrella and is available here.

Oakland based designer, Bryan Kring has printed this very nice broadside calendar below in 4 colors on Fabriano Rosapina Heavyweight paper and available here.

Below is the daily typographic inspiration from the Typodarium from Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz, publishers of books about typography, design and creativity. This is the first tear-off calendar with 365 different fonts: bread-and-butter types and typographical baubles, character sets and punctuation marks, old masters and wild youths, favourite fonts from all over the world. With 365 fonts from 140 foundries and designers, it is a tear-off calendar which can hang or stand and it comes with a box to collect each sheet. Order your copy of Typodarium 2011 early as last year’s copies sold out quickly!