Archive for the 'design' Category

Boston Globe article about font designer

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

This Globe article about local font designer David Berlow is sort of interesting. Maybe worth 20 seconds of your life. But it’s ultimately kind of disappointing.

Why does the lede assume you don’t know what a font is? (”Unless you’re in the design or publishing industry, David Berlow won’t bother explaining his line of work to you.”) I mean, honest to goodnes, it’s 2008, chances are, if you’re living in the US, you have used a computer, and if you’ve used a computer in 2008, you probably know what a font is, even many may quibble with the exact definition. And you have Steve Jobs’s short stint at Reed College to thank for it.

For my 2 cents, The Boston Globe is due for some kind of feature on local typography superstar Matthew Carter, designer of many many digital fonts including Georgia, Verdana, Tahoma, and Rainy Planet fave, New Century Schoolbook.

Portsmouth, 16 Feb 08

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Terri and I have traditionally taken a one- or two-day getaway sometime around Valentine’s Day or President’s Day, for a little romance and to help stave off the winter blahs. This year, just having come back from a pretty heavy-duty vacation in Germany and France in January for April’s wedding, we decided to keep it simple (and cheaper) and just make a day trip to Portsmouth, NH. Which as many know, is sort of a favorite T&E spot, having been the site of an early non-date and also where I popped the question.

arboretum.jpgSaw a couple of interesting things (but bought none) at RiverRun Books. Not so sure why I’m so into David Byrne lately, but happened upon Arboretum, a nifty short book of tree diagrams of… well, basically abstractions. Says Byrne:

I see recent news photos that (unintentionally?) mimic Caravaggios, others that look exactly like images from Star Wars, the body attitudes of the Loas of Vodou or of classical Greek sculpture. Postures, poses and perspectives keep recurring over and over. As if Jung’s archetypes—characters, relationships and stories imbedded in our thoughts—unconsciously urge us not only to psychologically label situations and relationships, but also to gravitate towards certain images and specific angles in our image choices. The picture editor in our heads. I don’t think every photojournalist, for example, has a childhood memory of classical art that they once saw on a school trip that they use as an unconscious reference, though some might. I think rather the journalists and the classical artists are more likely drawing on the same deep internal sources.

I ended up not buying anything. We walked around a little and ended up at the Portsmouth Brewery for lunch. I had a sampler paddle of beer because there were so many things on tap that I wanted to try. We stayed for a couple of rounds while Terri knit and I doodled for a potential Rainy Planet printing project.

odd showroomI sort of love the Odd Showroom on Market St, even though it’s mostly vintagey women’s clothes and original paintings that aren’t really my taste. The proprietress is usually sitting behind the counter with her sewing machine working up new originals. It’s not quite my aesthetic (lots of creepy doll heads with big eyes), but I get a charge out of going there; it’s always sort of fun to go somewhere where someone had a vision to do something and just did it.

elmer gnomeThere was a great little art show going on in a shop called Nahcotta which seems to be a gallery and designery home goods store. There was a show on called The Enormous Tiny Art Show. Some of my favorites were the Amy Ruppel paintings/beeswax etchings(?), Matte Stephens‘ very 60’s cartoony paintings (pictured is his “Elmer Gnome”), Rachel Austin’s paintings, and Scott Campbell’s “prison” paintings. prison2.jpgA lot of it was very cartoony and design-y (which is totally up my alley). So much good stuff that we decided to buy some original art. We did not realize, though, that most of what was still up was sold, including the small painting that we settled on after a great deal of time and handwringing. It was deflating enough that our first and second choices were gone that we ended up not quite being able to settle on anything. I feel a little bad that I enjoyed the show so much and didn’t end up bringing anything home, so that is why the excessive linkery here.

Somewhere in there we also ended up at Bull Moose music and I bought the extended edition of X-Ray Spex’ “Germfree Adolescents”. I’ve been making so many exceptions to my “I hate punk rock” pose lately that I probably have to finally suck it up and admit that I’ve been… less than truthful with myself.

Had a lovely dinner at the Blue Mermaid, and then coffee, knitting/doodling, and sitting-out-the-effects-of-the-wine at Popover’s, and then home.

Charley Harper

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

I’m cleaning up our dreadfully dusty and cluttered bedroom, and came across a promotional postcard for Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life that I picked up at Book Soup in LA, when we were in Southern California in August for a friend’s wedding. I picked up the postcard to remind myself to blog about it, so here you go! The book is a huge oversized coffee table book, the kind that if I were wealthy enough that I never had to think about money I would be utterly unable to keep myself from. Borges fantasized about infinite libraries; I fantasize about infinite coffee tables.

Anyway, I was totally unfamiliar with Charley Harper, and just thought his illustrations were so creative and gorgeous, and totally evoked a particular time and spirit.

Design*sponge has a more informational post about this.