Feast your eyes on over 40 beautiful, ugly, torn and tattered hand-painted & hand-made signs from Vietnam. Images hail from such cities as Saigon, Hanoi, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang and Can Tho just to name a few. View the thumbnail gallery or the slide show. Enjoy!
Finally, I’m getting these photos up for your viewing pleasure! Some beauties and some real dogs, but all hand-painted and hand-made with love, spite, anger, ecstasy or indifference. Feast your eyes on 189 (for starters!) new-old signs located in and around New York City and get ready for a LOT more from Vietnam, Turkey and elsewhere. View the thumbnail gallery or the slide show. Enjoy!
I’m looking forward to seeing Typeface, a film by Justine Nagan, which recently premiered at TypeCon2009 in Atlanta. The film’s tag line say that it’s “charting the intersection of rural America and contemporary graphic design.” Well, that’s right up our alley here at NoRelevance.com! The preview images and synopsis look and sound great and all of its early press seems to indicate that it’s a wonderful film. Hopefully more interesting than that other film about type that came out not too long ago. Speaking of the synopsis: “Typeface focuses on a rural Midwestern museum and print shop where international artists meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique.” You had me at “typeface.”
File this under “I don’t know who you are anymore.” From Duffy & Partners, the folks that brought you the Gattica-esque, futuristic redesign of, um, Fresca, comes the likewise 3D modernity of yet another “huh?” brand. Jack-in-the-Box franchises have existed under the now-retro-looking brand for some time now and, well, doesn’t everything need to be redesigned every so often in order for it to remain relevant? Take the departed Paul Rand-designed UPS logo that was ultimately replaced by the 3D shield design or the latest Pepsi logo that looks more like an outtake from a previous redesign than a finished piece, IMHO. Personally, I feel nostalgic for older brands and that probably makes me less objective as a designer or re-designer. The new Jack look seems to be hesitant to decide which century it wants to be a part of. On the one hand, the script type feels like a bit of a throw-back, but then the “in the box,” which has now been reduced to tag-line status, could easily say “x-box.” I think Duffy has done some good work, but this is not among its best. Just look at their Knob Creek suite of labels and try to compare the quality, relevance and messaging of those to this one.
War Posters (flickr set)
I’ve got a victory garden going, don’t you?
Surely by now you’ve come across Metroscript–a relatively new OpenType script typeface that’s being hailed as “one of the most complex digital script systems on the market” and rightfully so. Designed by Michael Doret of the Alphabet Soup type foundry, Metroscript takes full advantage of the OpenType format, which makes possible and incredible number ligature combinations and, thus, lends a more hand-made look to headlines and copy. My particular interests in it are from the standpoint of the computer-generated, cut-vinyl signage industry and its new tool for getting that hand-made look. Will it displace some old-fashioned hand-painters? It’s possible. Metroscript essentially presents the designer with a Rubik’s Cube of ligature options–most of which look good enough to print. So, I imagine many designers might end up wanting to use their comps as the finished product.
I once again bow in humble submission, this time to two Flickr groups, Signpaintr and Faded Signage, the latter sporting over 7,000 photos of hand-painted/hand-made signs taken by over a thousand members from all over the world. There are active discussion boards within each group as well as RSS feeds to keep up with all the latest additions.
This tome of Ed Ruscha’s word drawings should satisfy both lovers of contemporary art and designers alike. They Called Her Styrene collects almost 600 ‘word’ artworks created by Ruscha since the early 1960s onward, which he executed in a variety of mediums including pastel, graphite, acrylic, gunpowder and even vegetable and fruit juices. While some pieces are as deadpan as the image on the book’s cover, others are stunning renderings of three-dimensional ribbon-like words. Shaped like a good sized brick, you’re sure to have enough room for this must-own monograph on your coffee table.
It took me long enough to write about this most “handy” tool. The Type Selector, created by Michael Wörgötter, is the Pantone swatchbook equivalent to typography. The 226 specimens, which are grouped as Serif, Slab Serif, Sans Serif, Script, Black Letter and Display, fan out allowing you to compare multiple faces at once. It’s quite solid, in fact, and will stand up on its own allowing you to keep your selections sticking up for easy reference. I’d call this the most useful design tool of 2006. Good on ya, Michael!