Typography

Graphic Design Can Change Your Life: Vimeo

There are many many people who I have utter respect for. Beyond that there are others who I am more than a little in awe of. Erik Spiekermann is someone in this latter group. I guess though, that this page was exactly what I exactly what I expected and merely serves to reinforce my respect.

It is easy to overlook typeface design, this video (more of a mini-documentary really) gives a great insight into the process.

Erik Spiekermann talking with Gestalten TV about the process of designing typefaces. Listen to him finding handy analogies to music, the rhythm of spaces and the silence between characters.

edenspiekermann Vimeo
edenspiekermann

A Brief History of Film Title Design: Vimeo

Presentation video for the SXSW “Excellence in Title Design” competition screening.

Editor: Ian Albinson

Initial concept: David Horridge (davidhorridge.com)
Special thanks: M. Keegan Uhl (mkeeganuhl.com), Bill Simmon (billsimmon.com)

Music: RJD2 “Ghostwriter”

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[reveal align="left" title="The Films" ]Intolerance, Phantom of the Opera, King Kong, Modern Times, My Man Godfrey, Make Way For Tomorrow, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Gun Crazy, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Lady in the Lake, Fallen Angel, The Thing, Singing in the Rain, The Man with the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder, Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo, Grand Prix, To Kill A Mockingbird, Dr. No, The Pink Panther, Goldfinger, Dr. Strangelove, Bullitt, Barbarella, Soylent Green, Mean Streets, Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever, Superman, Alien, Raging Bull, The Terminator, Brazil, The Untouchables, Do The Right Thing, Forrest Gump, The Naked Gun, Cape Fear, Reservoir Dogs, Delicatessen, Natural Born Killers, Freaked, Se7en, The Island of Dr., Moreau, Mimic, Donnie Brasco, Mission Impossible, Dawn of the Dead, Fight Club, Catch Me If You Can, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Fall, Casino Royale, Six Feet Under, Carnivale, Dexter, Mad Men, Iron Man, Juno, The Kingdom, Wall•E, Sherlock Holmes, Up In The Air, Zombieland, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Buried, Robin Hood, Machete, The Social Network, Enter The Void [/reveal]
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Nike: Just Doing It


It’s a while since we flagged up some great shop design but the Nike shop on Oxford Circus is worth a mention.

With strong design that includes 3D typography and sculptural installations this is an impressive shop.

What added to the experience was the staff, helpful polite. Often it seems that organisations forget that Brand is about so much more than a neat strap-line. Brands are complete holistic expressions, if your organisation is best expressed by a group of people huddled smoking by your front doorway then, well, good luck to you.

Further down the street we ventured into Hamley’s. I’m sorry, I’ve been there once before and it was the same experience repeated, where’s the magic? Hamley’s were well and truly rounded on prior to Christmas for their decision to put live penguins in the shop, much of this opposition was very public by people using social media, principally Twitter. People do care, people have opinions, and beware, people are increasingly empowered to express those opinions.

Anyway, well done Nike for your great and creative use of design.

Exeter’s Design Credo Creates New Logo for London’s Perfume River

Perfume River Logo
Exeter based Design Credo have created a new logo for London’s Perfume River. This logo will be applied over the coming months to their dress labelling and website which is currently being re-designed.

The online retailer of flower girl dresses approached Design Credo having seen the recent rebrand for Sarah Treble Couture now based in the South West. Ha Ngo of Perfume River said that she was impressed by both the crisp clean design of Sarah’s new brand as well as the new Sarah Treble WordPress based website designed by us.

The brief was to create a simple clean logo that expresses “wedding” simply and effectively. This logo will need to be applied across a range of media, from websites and print to stitched dress labels. In order to accommodate the latter, a simplified version of the logo has been created.

It was felt that the existing logo (below) wasn’t suitable for Perfume River’s planned future developments whereas the new design will support future developments

Old Perfume River Logo

Old Perfume River Logo

Welt aus Schrift – World as Words

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Welt aus Schrift – The 20th Century in Europe and the USA

At its heart, this exhibition, organized by the Art Library, explores the sign system formed by the many alphabet fonts used in Europe and the USA since 1890, and how that sign system was variously dissected and recreated over time in books, magazines, advertising, posters and printed matter of every kind. With more than 500 objects on display, visitors are granted a comprehensive insight into the linguistic diversity of graphic design.

Photos of the Welt aus Schrift posters outside the Kunstbibliothek, Berlin. An excellent exhibition focussing on European and American fonts and applied graphics.

Satisfying my love of Bauhaus it was great to see works and artefacts by Moholy-Nagy, Mies van der Rohe and of course Herbert Bayers’ Universal.

Whilst physically compact the exhibition covers a lot of ground with high walls covered. It would be great to see this exhibition travel.

Kulturforum Berlin

Kulturforum Berlin

In Helvetica, big brands trust, but not GAP’s Logo

Gap Logo?

Gap Logo?

Let’s make it very clear, I have far too many shirts and in my collection, towards the ‘lower’ end of the selection there are some from the house of GAP, one of which I quite like, the others not. Yes they really ought to be taken back to the charity shop from whence they came.

Now some of you may have been aware of the Gap Logo issue this week and some may agree that Gap were just playing with the crowd, us. Whichever way it does seem to have opened up the Anti-Helvetica flood gates a bit recently.

Helvetica Grrrrrrrrrr

There is no doubt about it, Helvetica is very prevalent in logo deign and visual branding. This isn’t really too surprising given Helvetica’s popularity. I for one am willing to stand up and be counted along with the others who voted it top of Die 100 Beste Schriften. I have previously posted Michael Bierut’s marvellous comments about life before Helvetica.

OK so I am seeming a bit of an enthusiast, yes my Twitter Avatar is a photo of me at the Barcelona exhibition about the font, and yes I have watched the film and enjoyed the evening when TV celebrated this typeface.

In Helvetica, big brands trust,
BrandGuardian – Twitter

In many ways we really shouldn’t be too surprised by all this. Helvetica is indeed very easy to read, a prerequisite of a good logo. It is available in a wide variety of weights and indeed variants. What does reassure me though is the fact that when applied these logos, to my eyes anyway are distinct and different.

You will find more examples here.

Familiarity Builds Contentment

I used to teach a Yr9 graphics lesson that used a brilliant starter courtesy of Fi Darby, you can have a look here. Basically hide most of a known logo or brand with a box and see how little of it the viewer needs to see in order to identify it. It is almost shocking how little of a logo one needs to be seen in order to be able to identify it.

I have always considered that there are a couple of lessons to be taken out of this. Firstly we are actually quite visually literate, we understand logos and icons and for whatever reason we remember them. However further to this we carry quite complex associations about brands based on form, shape, colour. This is all very useful to the brand owners.

Hold an iPod up and people will tell you that it is an iPod whether or not it says iPod or Apple on it, they tend not to. As I sit looking at this MacBook there is no logo to be seen (unless I close the lid), the keyboard that I am using has an Apple key (it’s an old Apple Pro Wireless) but other than that there is no overt branding, the form and colour says it all.

So, the logo is just part of the brand story and the font is just part of the logo. The font that Mac use now is Myriad a relatively recent one from the ’90s, it features at number 31 of the top 100. Of course until recently Mac were branded with Apple’s version of Garamond, which is number two in the list. Garamond (my second fave) dates from the early 1500s and for me, paradoxically that is a greater achievement than the popularity of my fave Helvetica)

Gap? I think the problem that most people had was the silly blue box, and that suggests to me quite a discerning audience.