Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blue painter's tape



Museum in Brooklyn covered in blue painter's tape. How cool is this? Photos sent by Joe Shouldice. Thanks Joe!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Typographic Furniture

There seem to be some interesting furniture/decor options for type lovers out there.
Below are a few of them:

Letter Cabinets










Grab Bars

















Dharma Chair











Alpha Coffee Table

















Anti Clock Wise Wall Clock

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Are you there Fonts? It's me, The Mayor

This week I take on God.
.
.
.
Well, the Godfather of Technical Typographical Terminology; your good friend and mine, Robert Bringhurst. Although I suppose I'm not really taking on Robbie B-R-double-j'zee; I'm going to take on his rather lengthy and exhaustive glossary of typographic terms. Ugh, I promise no more alliteration; it's just too much this early in the week.

Although I suppose you are curious as to why I have decided to write a whole post on a glossary of terms, terms you all know inside and out. Well, just as it's fun to ask someone whos never so much as looked at a pencil crayon to draw you a picture (or someone whos never held a drill to build you a deck) it's fun to listen to someone who knows nothing about typography to discuss terms with such little knowledge that it makes them sound like a bumbling idiot. The things I do for you people.

Now, in no particular order, here are a few of my favourites.

Aperture
I think it would have been better to name the openings in letters like C, S, and e the things which make the letters look like they have mouths (well, when you add little googly eyes to the top of the letters, anyways).

Bicameral

I like this word because it sounds like caramel. Bicaramel.

Crosshead

This is nothing like the 1980's board game.

Flush and Hung
This sounds a little ruder than it should. Kind of a combination of toilet humour and 90's Mark Wahlberg.

Gutter
Wow. You guys really like your insulting terms, don't you. Gutter. You couldn't just call it Spacie-space or Type'lers.

Kern
Oh, this word I know. I used to be a copywriter for an advertising agency and I had to Kern the hell out of my work. I'm no pro at it; I just did my job. Every time I say Kern, it reminds me of Kearney from The Simpsons.

Pica
What Pikachu says. Oh dear, that was punny. I'm sorry.

Slab Serif

Serifs are sort of like a family. Sans Serif is like the Mom, because she is tall and slim. Serif is like the Dad because...well...he has certain external extras on his body (if I ain't being too subtle). Slab Serif is like the spoiled son who eats too much McDonalds and is a little more than portly. Sort of like the fat children on Maury Povitch.

River
Do you ever look at a collection of rivers in a big piece of text and start to see pictures? Like Magic Eye? Is it just me? I think I may need to cut back on my permanent marker useage.

Thick Space / Thin Space
Depending on who you ask, this is the technical measurement between my skull and brain.

Widows and Orphans
Wow, again with the bleak terminology. Who looked at an errant word or a lonely line and thought "yeah...dead parents and/or spouse".

Friday, December 5, 2008

What should be the next typeface documentary?


(photo from helvetica website)

Jenn was getting annoyed that the VILLATYPE ASKS... section hasn't asked anything lately. She posed a few possible questions I could ask and this was one of them:

If another documentary was made on a typeface which would you like to see?

Okay, maybe talking about the Helvetica movie is getting a little tiresome but I thought it would be interesting to find out what typeface villatypers think is worthy of a documentary style discussion. I would suggest Franklin Gothic as it seems to be a necessity for many graphic designers, like an extra limb that you cannot live without. Or, more than a documentary on another typeface, I would rather see a full feature film on Massimo Vignelli.

Some links on Helvetica the documentary:
Here is an interview with Gary Hustwit from I.D.
The Helvetica website

So, what do you think? Or is there even another typeface worth talking about on the same level that Helvetica was?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Are you there Fonts? It's me, The Mayor

Bonjour moppets! It's that time again, where we pull up a chair to the fire, put on our winter socks, snuggle up with a mug of hot vodka, and talk type. This week I have decided to touch on a subject that many of you are uncomfortable discussing. Now would be the time to send the kids to bed. Those of you with weak stomachs might want to turn away from the computer. Persons with heart issues or a history of stroke should consult their doctor before proceeding with the following article.

Are we good? Okay, this week we're talking about the design of, the reason for, and the horror that is Oh dear, I seem to have vomited a little in my mouth. Which conveniently brings me to my next thought; why is it that Comic Sans causes us to much distress? I mean, it's only a typeface. It could be so much more repulsive, like popular pedestrian face Curlz (I abhor Curlz). But even Curlz doesn't have a website dedicated to how terrible it is.

That still doesn't explain why Comic Sans is considered one of the most repugnant faces. Since I am not an expert (clearly) I asked a few Graphic Designer friends; it turns out they dislike it for more reasons than simply it's hideous.

- It is overused. Now, you and I know that using Comic Sans says many things. I have no taste, for example, or I'm going blind. But to your average Joe Sixpack or Jane Box-of-Wine, Comic Sans says I need to make a price list for my small business/daycare/bar & grill with wacky crap on the walls, and I'm not going to use something boring like Times New Roman, gosh darn it!

- It isn't entirely readable. Well, that's one I'm going to call Shenanigans on. I think that setting an entire book in Comic Sans is a little much, but how difficult is it to read Comic Sans was forged in the bowels of Hell? Exactly.

- It is used in highly inappropriate ways. Wow, this is very true; there has been many a time I have received a job application or parole hearing notice set in Comic Sans, and it just seems so declasse. How many times have you seen this


or sadly, this



Oooh! The chills I get! So where do we go with it? We know that Graphic Designers don't use Comic Sans, and that it's the average idiot who keeps Comic Sans alive. Obviously we can't outright ban it; so how do you discourage people from using it? Are you fighting the losing fight?

I wish I had an answer, but I clearly don't. I mean, I still don't know much about anything (I've only been here for about a month. I know, I should start reading Robert Bringhurst. I can't promise I'll try, but I'll try to try). So what do you have to say about Comic Sans? You could leave your thoughts in the comments or you can send me an email and school me on Comic Sans and all things crappy. Send your thoughts to mayor.villatype@gmail.com. I'll consider it your Festivus present to me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are you there Fonts? It’s me, The Mayor

Hello, Typeheads! I certainly hope you’ve all been well since my last post 2 weeks ago. I sincerely apologize for my absence, but I’m afraid I came down with a terrible cold. I know that being a little ill has nothing to do with my ability to type, but being ill makes my tabloid television increase exponentially, which severely limits my ability to type. So there you have it.

If you recall, there was a comment left by reader Jack Gordon asking if I would discuss the Antiqua-Fraktur Dispute. I would love to say that I knew what that was, but sadly I had to research it. Of course I am notoriously lazy, so where else did I go but Wikipedia. Can you believe that they actually have quite an extensive page on this topic? It surprised me quite a bit; I assumed that Wikipedia’s more lengthy pages were reserved for Battlestar Gallactica Episode Lists and Jonas Brothers trivia (did you know he oldest one’s name is Kevin? I blindly assumed he didn’t have a name, but now I know).

So this is what I have gathered on the topic of the Antiqua-Fractur Dispute:- It was considered a Typographical Dispute. Apparently there is such a thing.

- The dispute was somewhat confined to 19th and 20th Century Germany, who at the time should have been spending less time arguing over type and more time watching out for disgruntled artists with silly moustaches. Hey-o! I’ll be here all week.

- From what I can tell, the main point that was argued in this dispute was that Fraktur was the more readable typeface. The article also states that Fractur was favoured by the Nazis. Then the Nazis thought it was “Jewish script” and they changed their tune; Antiqua now became the Nazis favourite. Then Hitler changed it back. I know, I know – nothing about the decisions made in early 20th Century Germany makes any sense.

- Did You Know?? Otto von Bismarck would refuse gifted German books that were printed in Antiqua typefaces. I, however, will never refuse a Bismarck (but that is because I love doughnuts).

In conclusion, I think the long and short of it is that the Antiqua-Fraktur Dispute is a case of Who Gives a Crap. Kidding! Typography disputes seem to really divide people. In my humble (and extremely un-educated) opinion, I don’t know which I prefer. While Antiqua reminds me of Grimm Brothers’ stories, it also seems sloppish to me (not a real word, but I’m keeping it). Meanwhile, Fraktur is fantastically German and reminds me of Beer, Chocolate, lederhosen, and dirndls (cute!). Sadly, it also reminds me of Nazis (erp…not cute).

So really, I need your help – which is better? Should there be a dispute over which is the ultimate German font? Is Antiqua the Comic Sans of the early 20th Century? Please let me know! Till next week, auf Wiedersehen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008