Category Archives: design

The naming of products is a difficult matter. Or is it? Just look at the typefaces!

 

There is a time and a place for every typeface. Yes, even Comic Sans. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t typefaces that I despise with a passion. For many, it’s Comic Sans.  So much so, that there are entire websites like Ban Comic Sans dedicated to it’s atrocities. I don’t personally mind Comic Sans that much. My ‘Comic Sans’, if you will, is the typeface Giddy Up. Something about the fake cowboy motif and the stars just kind of irks me. I realize there’s a time and a place where it works as display type, but I hope I’m never around for that time or that place. Which led me to be completely floored when I came across this:

Giddy Up & Go Granola Packaging

Giddy Up & Go close-up

The Giddy Up & Go granola from Thoughtful Foods was pretty good. But I can’t figure out what happened with the name! How does a product end up with the same name as the prominent typeface that’s used on it’s packaging?!? There are two possible scenarios that I was able to come up with:

Scenario #1:

“Our product is called Giddy Up & Go granola. What typeface should we use for our packaging?”

“Oh hey! Look! There’s an awesome typeface that has the same name as our Granola!”

“We should use that! And be sure to put a drop shadow on it too!”

or

Scenario #2: We have this product, but we can’t figure out what to call it. We have these typefaces that we like for the packaging.

“Ooh! I like that swirly typeface… what’s it called?”

“It’s called Giddy Up.”

“That’s a great name! Lets call it “Giddy Up Granola!” and give it a drop shadow!”

I’m flabbergasted and dumbfounded. How does this happen? And why did it need that drop shadow on top of it all? The food might be ‘Thoughtful” but I’m not convinced the design is.

The importance of Proofreading

I’ve recently found myself editing papers and looking at heaps of copy. Which has reminded me of the importance of writing. Which then lead me to re-read (for a countless time) Zinnser’s On Writing Well. If you don’t have a copy, you should. Regardless of what you do. Get a copy on Amazon.

Recently, two stories have caught my attention that remind of the importance of proofreading. And that spell-check, while nice and convenient, is not the be-all end all.

First:


$2 Billion bail

The story itself is not a cheery one. But the headline printed in the local Eugene Register Guard But the headline borders on shockingly absurd and reminds us of the need for good proofreading. And it reminds us that spell-check has become a taken-for-granted crutch that apparently doesn’t always work well.

Second:

Man Charged with Threatening to Bomb State Office Sign over Typo

This story is exceptional. It gets even better and goes beyond the sign with this:

The man also complained that the instructions he downloaded to make his pressure cooker device contained misspellings, Chamberlain said.

Just proof that it’s always a good idea to proofread before submitting/sending/printing/distributing. You never know who might be reading.

Food, cityscapes, and photography: three things that don’t usually go together so well

I’m a fan of food. Not just eating it, but making it, crafting it, and yes, even photographing it. Which is why I find this so awesome:

Swedish art director Peter Johansson teamed up with Swedish food lab Atelier Food to create this amazing foodscape that comes shockingly close to resembling a city.

From Johansson’s website:

The Atelier Food still life is built on a grid. The still life
represents the work of Atelier Food and the connection between food and
society. It links the playfulness and creativity within the project with
the ambitious goals and long-term challenges. In the spirit of the
whole Atelier Food project it is also a creative co-operation between a
chef, one Art Director and one Photographer.

Photography by Henrik Petersson. More photos at Johansson’s website. Now I’m hungry.

[via Its Nice That]

The new Threadless Boston benefit shirt

As many of you know, I’m a fan of Threadless. And I’m even a bigger fan of the benefit shirts that they turn out, teaming up with local or pertinent artists to create shirts that they then donate all of the proceeds from. I was a huge fan of the Gulf Coast spill relief fund shirt when it came out, and this new shirt for Boston is no different.

Threadless designers (and Boston natives) Thomas G. Sullivan and Ross Zeitz teamed up to create this clean design. A few more details from Threadless:

The unicorn is the official symbol of the Boston Athletic Association
and appears on the Boston Marathon medals. 100% of sales benefit The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.

Analog in a digital world? or How to get the full TSA pat down

For those who aren’t aware, I got a BFA in Photography what seems like eons ago… which means that I actually shot a good deal of photography on film. That clear stuff that had images on ’em, before digital photos. Remember that? yeah… probably not. I barely do.

As my previous post mentioned, it was Worldwide Pinhole Day, and even though one can put a pinhole lens on a digital camera, it just seemed wrong… kind of like watching a Milli Vanilli music video in Dolby 5.1… just not quite appropriate for the situation. So I resolved to bust out a film camera to appropriately capture the decisive moment. However, I was traveling that weekend, and had to travel via air. And apparently, asking to have your high-speed film hand-checked to avoild x-ray machine fogging, is an automatic ticket to a full TSA pat down, complete with swabbing inside the waistline of the jeans. I didn’t realize film was that offensive.

And what’s more surprising – or rather, disappointing – is that it’s near impossible to find a good place who will just develop a roll of film. Most drugstores either charge an arm and a leg or require you to buy a full set of prints – which I wasn’t really needing. I ended up begrudgingly heading to Wally World, where they promptly developed my film, complete with gobs of residual crap gummed up on the negatives, and about 50% of them with scratches.
So in summary, I wanted to remain true to traditional photography and shoot film – which left me with a rather uncomfortable TSA patdown and an expensively developed roll of negatives that may or may not be salvageable. Milli Vanilli in Dolby Surround isn’t sounding all that bad right now.

“Lapin”: proof that simplicity can still kick ass

Whoah. Action on Questioning Reality. I feel like I’ve entered another dimension. Or maybe a past one…

Either way, eight months is entirely too long for this blog to go un-tended. And while I can’t guarantee anything new will come of this revisitation, a career change, a location change, and a mentality change may be just what this blog needs to get back into the swing of things. And on that note, I present you with “Lapin” (which is french for “rabbit,” in case you were wondering):

I’ve been a longtime fan of Kuntzel+Deygas… and their footwear collaboration with Lacoste I wrote about eons ago blew me a way. They did the title sequence to Catch Me If You Can (yeah, the one with Leo), and there’s something about their visual dynamic, style, and simplicity that I’ve always been drawn to, hence my undying love for Caperino and Peperone.

There’s just something so simplistically enjoyable about this rabbit clip that I can’t quite put my finger on, but that’s okay, because I love it. And it’s proof that things don’t always have to be crazy. Yeah, a million bouncing balls or a giant King mask are cool, but a simple pencil and paper drawing can be even better.