Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Copyright it...

Yea... If the Bulls can copyright "three-peat", you should be able to copy something that actually took work to do. I'm suprised you can't copyright it. I actually thought you could copyright everything. I wouldn't think paying for typefaces it not that bad for a business, but I could be mistaken. At least you would supporting your profession. Yeah, that's what I think.

-Chris Ritter
(c) 2005


I believe whole-heartedly in grids. I find myself using some form of grid each time I go to design anything that involves type. I feel like a good grid is comparable to the human skeleton; vital to an organized anatomy. When a grid is used improperly, it is like seeing someone with way too many vertebre or tiny femurs.

I do find myself using very simple grids, however. I typically don't use increments smaller than an eighth of an inch, because too much math makes my head spin.

Although I think most students will acknowledge the importance of a grid system, I can't really think of a single class that extensively covered the subject. I'm not really sure where it introduced, because obviously the majority of us understand the concept.

It sometimes becomes irratating to me when a grid is too apparent. I'm not really sure why, since it technically means the design is well-organized, but if every single object is perfectly aligned to the same guideline, it is too easily visible and drives me nuts.

This response is really less a cohesive writing as it is a series of thoughts tied together poorly. Sorry to whoever reads this, I am having a poor writing day.

Troubled type

I had no clue that type could not be copyrighted. I am impressed by the people who spend their time making a typeface, knowing that it is just going to be copied over and over again, while they do not get any credit for it. I admit that I have downloaded typefaces for free off the Internet; I even downloaded Kabel for my poster. I am not sure how I feel about this whole issue. On one hand I am pissed that people aren't get recognition where they deserve, but on the other hand it kind of sucks having to pay an ass load of money every time I want to new font. But maybe that is the way it should be.

A little late

Tim said he might be a bit late on finishing his blog...


Its hard to comprehend why someone would spend so much time creating a new typeface when "The United States is one of the few, if not only, industrialized nations in the world that does not extend copyright protection to typeface designs." Almost everything else I can think of has copyright protection, so why not typeface design. As stated in the article, typefaces are expressions of an idea. "And as expressions of an idea, they constitute orginal works of authorship." Its sad to say, but like we have discussed before, morals and values are thrown out when money is involved. Some companies dont care who they rip off as long as their making money.


A grid system can be used for alot of things including good ole graphic design, I agree with whats said, grids can make layouts easier to organize and easier and cleaner to present information. Grid systems are easy ways to create a good compostion, but then again some grid layouts can be extremely boring. I read something somewhere sometime, and dont know why I remember it, but someone said that life and society is like a grid. Everyone living in a society lives in their own grid area and normally no one leaves their boundaries of the grid. Life is has certain layouts that the norm follows. But he continued to say that, the people who leave their grid boundaries are the ones that make an interesting difference, good or bad. Someone might do something great with their life by leaving the normal boundaries, but then people can end up in bad positions. I think this is similar to to design. Grids are good, but sometimes when you break that grid the design can be that much better. Thanks to Tim he let me see a book called Making and Breaking the Grid, or something like that, and it showed ways that a grid system can be used good when the boundaries of the grid are followed, but then it also showed ways that breaking that constraint can make the design so much strong. Thanks Tim. Anyways, thats really all I can think about to say for this. And me unlike some others are only 30 minutes late. Oh well...I guess we'll talk more tomorrow about this wonderful topic.

Troubled Type

After reading this article, I started to realize how often people download type from the internet and use it over and over again without ever paying...myself included. Now thinking on that, is it okay to use it for your design work if you're a student? I guess my opinion on that would be long as your not getting paid for that design, but it is really unfortunate for the person who designed that specific typeface and never get the benefits of people using it...

Another point I'd like to mention is the part in the article when it talks about how the design of type isn't what it used to be...people today are so caught up in making money, they don't care if their craft suffers. It has become more about how much you can produce in a short amount of time to get lots of money, which sounds good, but looking back at our history of type, the pride in the work isn't there anymore.


Grids and such

GRIDS are Great, but chaos breads creation— everyone strains to see the twisted mess of a car accident as they drive past. A grid is a basic box, a formation for constraint. I think that if we as designers find the middle road (what we are best at) and what is our personal nich we we ultimately fit into the society of design. I do not mean that we should stick to a formula. Everthing eventually comes to a point of evolution, design or otherwise. Maybe being a chameleon in the design world is not a bad thing? It is too early in our design life, we need to explore our creativity - find the best solution for ourselves as creative thinkers and designers.

The grid system is present in all things around us and it may be practically used in all types of design applications, but thinking outside of the box is a great for expanding your the mind. Things like information design feels like it is the right place for grids to be used, because obtaining the proper information is vital for communication and commerce. There is a time and place for everthing [in design] especially grids, and even chaos.


There’s an adage that goes something like, “With chaos comes order, and with order comes chaos.” And this essay began to give me nervous tics. Frankly I found it a little annoying when Muller-Brockman began going on and on about measurements, Pythagoras, proportions, and mathematics (the source of my tics, I’m sure . . .), and felt my whole life in graphic design flash before my eyes. That could also just be this migraine but I digress.

Yeah, I’m all for grids. Go grids. Woo! God knows we need grids to herd the sheep from home to work and back again. Without organization in design, I can understand perfectly how grids are “vital in sociopolitical life,” you adorable constructivist you. “Constructivist design means the conversion of design laws into practical solutions.” (198) Agreed. The less we have to explain ourselves, the better.

(In the meantime, I find it funny how with all this talk about grids and structure, Muller-Brockman refuses to implement correct punctuation in spots, just thought I’d point that out and now I’m done.)

But if there is so much structure to design, where’s the risk taking? Where’s the swashbuckling adventure? Where’s the guts? “Work with the grid system means submitting to laws of universal validity.” Eh? The universe is all order and no chaos? I like a healthy teaspoon of chaos with my cup of order in the morning, thanks, I don’t know about you. “The use of the grid system implies . . . the will to adopt a positive, forward-thinking attitude.” (198) So without grids we’re backward emos?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for grids. Go grids. But I’m wondering about monotony in design if everything was plotted down to the last dotted I and crossed T. If you plan everything precisely to solve a visual problem without experimenting outside of grids, you lessen your chances to discover something new. I think you need to find a balance between order and chaos here, to keep your design organized and communicative—but also keep your viewers on their toes.


Ok...I agree? This essay about the limitless uses for the grid system would be very informative for the uninformed, but since I already know everything, I got kinda bored and kept playing with my dogs instead of reading. Sure, the grid brings order and makes things easier to lay out, but is it "the basis for democratic behavior"?

Then he starts talkin bout Pythagoras and the Greeks and the Golden Section, and it kind of starts to make sense. I think about what I know about these thinkers (then I think about that movie Pi) and it becomes clear to me that the grid IS necessary for the continuation of life! Just like the spiral and the Golden Section can be found everywhere in nature, so too can the grid be found in all that is good design. If there were NO grid there would be BAD design and

people would be pissed off all the time from looking at ugly stuff all day
they would take it out on everybody else and there would be all kinds of domestic abuse
people would start fights with strangers cause they get no lovin at home, wars would break out over stupid shit, those in power would manipulate all that the public knows, civil unrest would run rampant, and everybody would die all because some jackass designers refused to use the grid to make things pretty and make people happy...

...or is this happening already?

troubled rudy

First, I don't think we should worry so much. "Type is only half the story and how type is used is what really counts. Educate users and crummy rip-off versions will simply disappear." I agree with this, and think it expresses my beliefs as well.

I think it's ridiculous that typefaces cannot be copyrighted. why would anyone spend a whole lot of time to make a fantastic typeface, only to not be able to protect it and have everyone steal it. i know i'd rather make a copyrighted illustration myself.

Where do we draw the line though? I honestly don't know. It seems almost as impossible to define what a typeface is as it is to define art. is type utilitarian, and when does it become too illegible to be called a typeface? I really don't know and don't think there will be a solution. just make em copyrightable, and we won't have the problem.


The one thing about this essay that really bothered me, and even had me talking to myself was on page 225 when the author asked ". . . if a typeface is considered illegible, is it still a typeface?" Huh? Well, if you can't distinguish a typeface as being letters, I would say no, it definately is not a typeface. If you can't makeout the alphabet, then it is just a series of pictures. It still maybe good design, but not a typeface. Now, if a designer uses a typeface (that was originally legible) in a design in such a way as to make it illegible, thats a different story.

I really had no idea that typeface designs weren't copyrightable (is that even a word?) and while I do understand the logic behind it somewhat, it still seems pretty stupid. I mean, what person with reasonable intelligence can't see the obvious difference in design between say helvetica and garamond? Do they really think that someone could claim the copyright to the alphabet itself just because their typeface design was copyrighted? Would someone? Hm. People are pretty much jerks these days, maybe someone would. But anyhow, it seems that VanderLans' main argument is that we need to be able to copyright typeface designs in order to prevent people and companies from ripping off pre existing typefaces and to save the beauty and integrity of type. Unfortunately, I don't think that it would work that way. First of all, even if the copyright laws were changed, wouldn't it be pretty easy for someone to just change a typeface ever so slightly and then say "Eureka! It's my own, completely original typeface!"? Seems like they probably would. And also, even if you did prevent people from stealing typeface designs and making cheaper, uglier copies, that doesn't neccessarily mean that the original ones that were produced would be any better. Unfortunately, people are always looking for the thing that is easier, faster, cheaper. And as long as these "knockoff companies" are producing typefaces that anyone can easily buy over the internet for cheap, theirs are the ones that will abound.


CRAP! ok tobias i swear i had this done on time. i did it at like, 3:00. but chris just called me and said "i can't read your thing, it is green and says draft" so now i am going to try to send it again as the real thing. i hate fucking technology. fuck blogs. blogs and text messaging make me feel old and incompetent:

that is total bullshit that you cannot copyright a typeface. whose idea was that? i would like to kick his ass. at first i thought this was going to be a napster-esque sob story about copyright infringement and stealing and whatnot. i mean people are always going to take shit that isn't theirs and take credit for it. but the fact that in the united states it is perfectly legal to do that with a typeface is just ridiculous. the argument about type being "utilitarian" and one typeface not being artistically different from another just doesn't make any sense. i mean yea yea, a lot of typefaces look really similar, especially to people who aren't nerdy design majors, but there is still enough difference in them that they can be considered individual artistic creations. thereore they should be copyrighted. this is not rocket science. i mean i don't really have that much to say about this article other than i totally agree with it, but i do think it is sad that type companies are having a hard time staying open because they can't make a profit because everyone is stealing their shit. and i mean i guess you could say that we don't need the big companies just to have people who want to create new typefaces. i mean in the past, typeface design was an individual endeavor. However, i doubt if somebody like baskerville or whoever would have been inspired and motivated and kept churning out type if he new that his shit was going to get jacked and he would get no recognition for it. i mean the process of creating a typeface is long and frustrating and i would not really want to do it if i new all my hard work was just going in the toilet because some asshole in new jersey or wherever can just copy it and be like "yea, this is my original type design, what bitch?". ok i have to go on a field trip. later.

yea, so that was it, and i swear it was totally done on time.

Monday, October 24, 2005

More than two people read it but at least one of them was dead this weekend

Hello all this is really late I know I debated on whether or not to post it but in the end turning it in late annoyed me less than not turning it in at all.

I really couldn't get my head around this yes as designers we could rise as one and omit capitals from our designs, but we are not the teachers we do not teach English to the young ones and that is where the traditions start that is where they are entrenched into the minds of the people. I just don't see the relevance of removing part of our language yes I understand that can be considered unnecessary but in the same right (as stated before) they give emphasis. I feel they allow you to comprehend faster and frankly I like them. This debate is really in the vein of society and not in the vein of designers so as the culture changes we will see but this article was written in 1929 and they haven't left yet so I do not believe they will anytime soon because L33t is not as elite as most believe it to be and is having quite a backlash on the net a lot of people are returning to the traditions just to make them different. But who knows maybe one day we will lose our capitals just as it seems we have lost our handwriting it is all in the evolution of society.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Ok, Ummm I really didnt know what to say to this. Lowercase letters...hmmmm well i think they are easier to read than capitals. Is that enough? Is that all I have to say for this one? Well I read this wonderful critical writing on the use of using all lowercase letters ahnd really nothing came to mind. I have seen several poems though that use all lowercase writing. There's also a book called the House of Leaves, I believe that was what it was called. Well this book was really messed up. Stuff was written on the page diagnally, vertically and just jumbled on the page at parts, really crazy page layouts. But anyways there was a few pages where everything was written in just lowercase letters. Also sometimes the author even left out the punctuation. Now that was hard to read, but over all i think everything in lower case is just easier read than capitals, even though when i print I rarely use lowercase letters. Usually all caps. I think this is kind of coming back though. I've noticed in stuff my little sister types, esp when she sends an email or stuff like that, that she never uses caps, and rarely uses punctuation. I think it comes from all her instant messaging to friends. I think when people instant message people they rarely write correctly, and after doing that often they just get used to not capitalizing stuff or using correct punctuation. Hmm.... I think that's all I have to say. Maybe ill think of some more before Tue. It was just too hard to write or think, or anything like that after being at a Bengals game and watching a nasty slaughter. damn them steelers, damn them in lower case letters.

I crave brains!!!

Wow, I completely forgot about this. Sorry to all of you who were anxiously awaiting my deep thoughts and witty comments on this essay. Right.

Honestly, the first thing thought as I read this essay is that I can say with one hundred percent certainty that I have never ever thought this in-depth about design. So while on one hand I'm glad to be thinking critically about design and all, on the other hand, my head kinda hurts. Something random: it amuses me for some reason to think that design is so relatively new as a profession that its roots are called "modernism."

This really seems to be a continuation of something we always end up discussing in class; do you need to have concrete reasoning and logic behind your design, or is it okay do do something just for the sake of style? There seems to be a fine line between appreciating the past and being controlled by it and letting it constrict your choices. A lot of the modernist principles of design still seem relevant, but should we be constantly evolving and moving foward rather than still using the old standards? Really I think I need to go back and read this essay at least one more time in order to fully appreciate it. Maybe I should take notes this time.


The past is everything to our future. How are we to learn how to make great designs if we know nothing of our past? You cannot ignore the things of the past- you might wind up looking like an ass. It is better to learn from other peoples mistake than your own, if you can help it. But the past is also one of the best places for inspiration. I think that Keedy is to interested in putting a label on what design is. It is not important to be in a category, it is important that design makes you feel something. I am very uninspired by this essay, why is everybody so down on design?




Seriously folks, I don't know what to think about the ommission capital letters. Like Mr. McMurtrie says, we've been conditioned to read and expect a cap to start a sentence, to begin a proper name, and to EMPHASISE an important point. Many written languages exist without any form case differentiation, but Western languages use the Cap. I guess we could get by without them, but do we need to?

So what's the big deal? Do we NEED them? No, but it makes typography a little more colorful right? When I capped out "need" you read it and gave it a little emphasis didn't you? I guess I could have put it in italics or underlined it, but big caps make a strong impression. I am guilty of never using caps when I email or text message somebody because I'm a lazy dude. When I write or type my name I rarely capitalize the t or the j, but I could if I wanted to. There is far more typographic versatility when you have 26 extra letters to play with, and people like to play.

(one day later): What the hell? Are Sam and I the only one's who read this thing? You wankers...


Well as i read this article I am not really sure what to think of it. I didnt really get much from the reading.

First I wanna say that i dont care whats postmodernist and what mondern its all part of the evolution of design. However, there are a few points that i agree and disagree with.
Mr. Keedy says "We don't need to conserve our past and resist change. We need to construct our future theoretical discourse, carefully, around the particular and exciting context of design. We must allow ourselves to look at design in new and challenging ways, we must look for-ourselves." I agree that we should push design and look for new ways but, I think that it is immature to say that we dont need to conserve our past. The past is where we evolved fromand we should respect that and learn to grow from that. Designers should grow and take what they have learned and continue pushing design or start pushing design.

I never have much to say so this is it. And im at work so i gotta get back to watching the Bengals game.

Zombie Mondernism

This was a hard one to get throught...who cares about Modernism or Post-modernism. What is all the fuss about? This article just went on and on and on about pretty much the same thing. Why should it matter if you are referred to as a Modernist or a Post-modernist as long as your design is good. It isn't like either one was a huge movement in the art world anyhow, so I say just let it be.

Alicia Combs

zombies....blahghg BRAINS!

As I read this article, all I kept thinking was "why is it so important whether design is modernist or postmodernist?" I don't care how you label my design or illustration. As long as you like it, I don't care where you think it fits in or doesn't fit in.

As for conservative values in design, I think that's understandable. Everything is about money. Sure there are always going to be radicals who make their millions by doing something totally off-the-wall. Neville Brody sure tried some new things and he's at the tippy top of things, right? But people like to play it safe, especially with their money. Big businesses don't want to spend shit-tons of money on advertising that might be too edgy or different for the paying public to understand. It just seems that tradition and conservatism don't scare people, so companies stick with conservative design, so that's where the money is.

I do think, however, that experimentation is important. I think that Michael Rock is crazy when he says "Perhaps the most socially irresponsible work is the overdesigned, overproduced, typographic stunts that serve no real function, speak only to other designers and the cultural elite, and through opulence and uselessnessrevel in a level of consumption that glorifies financial excess."

I think that's nuts. Typographic stunts can be particularly amazing. I think making design for design sake is absolutely necessary. Looking through collected books, the interesting images are usually nice to look at because it's experimental. We see beer and bank advertisements everday, but seeing design that resembles a painting or collage begins to be more interesting. That's why I love some of my favorite illustrators. They push the limit of the page, but sometimes it's almost like they're pushing the limits of design. They include type and layouts in their illustration, and often end up being better "design" than most Design that I see, even though they're purely visual and often hardly conceptual.

I hate elitism, but I do think it's important for designers to make things that may confuse the general public, but might inspire other designers who know this "language" and care about these values.

However, I look forward to this zombie outbreak. I read my survival guide and I'm heading to super walmart to stand my ground. anyone who wants to come with me, that's cool. they won't get my brains....god damn zombies.

Zombie Modernism

This essay is a bunch of bull and repetitious.
“Univers as not a dyed-in-the wool san serif. The range of strokes was greater, though remaining within the overall sans serif format. Univers walked tall alongside jobbing sans serif and Helvetica, and outmaneuvered them simply because of its concessions to roman type.” Come on, what the hell.

Anyway from the Author’s stand point.....

Mr. Keedy seems to be saying. . . One can appreciate the past but to stay in the past is to become stagnate and die. One must accept change and evolve to grow to survive. And that is all that I have to say.

From Debbie

Saturday, October 22, 2005

5 Snaps

The essay “The Cult of Lowercase” mentioned various poets who experimented with typography and practiced their craft by using all lowercase letters. The author failed to mention e.e. cummings, who declared himself as being “an author of pictures, a draughtsman of words.”

Now it’s true cummings didn’t eliminate capitals entirely, but he certainly did have unorthodox ways of applying them. I guess what strikes me about the capital letters and their use debate is that throughout his career e.e. cummings printed his name in lowercase, but many publishers of his work insist on printing his name E.E. Cummings, my point being that even in art it seems capitals are dear to tradition.

There is some evidence that the poet only used lowercase letters when he was writing to close friends and “may it not be tricksy” on a title page. Some publishers that print his name in lowercase think they are maintaining the legacy of the writer in more than just his work but also by the presentation of his name. I could never bring myself to write correspondence in sans serif typefaces and in lowercase because it is not me (please disregard the fact that this blog is in sans serif). Picture this:

This is Sam Reno giving a shout out to the Advanced Type class!
this is sam reno giving a shout out to the advanced type class

Although you may disagree, the latter sentence just does not feel like me. On the other hand, the only reason why I remember a damn thing about e.e. cummings from high school is because of the way his name appeared in his poems. Like Emily Dickenson, he had frankly annoying ways of utilizing type but they are still two of my favorite poets today, partly because their unique typographical identity made their work more memorable.

I think McMurtrie is right in his idea that capital letters have only been around so long because of tradition. Personally I don’t mind sentences without capital letters—but only where there’s a purpose. The following AIM scenario drives me nuts:

A. sup foo
B. n2mh
A. word
B. u goin 2 mikes
A. dood yea gettin smashed did u see jill dancing on the table
B. yea got pics
A. wat did seth say 2 u last nite
B. he came up 2 me and wuz all like sup woman and i wuz all shut the f*ck up i aint yo woman dis wman got a name and yall gonna use it and i gave the mofo 5 snaps
A. 5 snaps????????
B. dats wat i said 5 snaps
A. lmao

Really, people. I can appreciate a general bastardization of western alphabets and languages but the above makes me grit my teeth (speaking of which, did you know that design students have a habit of grinding their teeth more than other demographics, according to a local dentist office?). Even so I realize that typing this way is indicative of personality and *gulp* culture. Ergo, the same way THAT USING ALL CAPS IS LIKE SHOUTING IN CYBERSPACE, using lowercase can also bring across personality, emotion, and a particular je ne sais quoi in communication.

I don’t think we’ll get rid of capitals any time soon; they'd be really difficult to phase out in practical terms. Besides that they’re much too fun to design with.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Did I miss something? I don't think I got the memo stating that it matters how your design work is labeled. It must be important to the "Modernists" and "Post-Modernists" because it's comical that these people really get their panties in a bunch when you don't call them by the correct name. If modernism is really just claiming everything they see that's appealing to their eye is modernist, I don't see how it can be claimed as a movement in the first place. Post-modernists seem to me like they haven't really done anything special to be claimed as a movement either because if they had, there wouldn't really be an argument going on, would there? All in all, I still am confused what the big labeling conflict is all about in the first place.

Although I'm stuggling to find many things to bring away from this article, there are two things I found interesting. One, I don't believe there is a certain style of design that is universally suited for all clients (contrary to the modernist's thinking). Two, I was really happy with the usage of the word "retarded" in the article.

So there's my modernist essay, since everything's modernist (just ask a modernist).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Rumors....sorry this is so late

I agree with some of the points that Fraterdeus made, but I have to say that his jet ski metaphor is a little out there. With the development of the internet and computers it has made it easier for designers to use trashy fonts. But if the designer knows what they are doing, well thought out type will still be used. Because font software is accessible to just about everyone, trashy type will continue to be created everyday. Good type is still designed everyday, but since the computer it makes it easier to be lazier and produce trashy type.

Apologize for being late. Rumors...

Sorry for being late. Last night when i went to post it said there was a scheduled down time for reconstruction, or something like that. I swear I'm not lying. Any way, I didn't get much out of this thing really anyways, so its ok if you didn't get a chance to read mine. Like some others said, I totally missed the jet ski comparison. I understood what he was saying about anyone can make fonts now with font making programs, which at times manages to create trash type. But then i wonder, how can you call something a person made, as in a type face trash. Yeah it might not be as nice as fonts that have been made by hand years ago, but that "trash" type face that an amateur might have made, could have made a design he was working on 100 times better. Yeah it might not be a good typeface for every project, but who knows when you might be working on a project and you might find that crappy font to be perfect for what your trying to make. I think if you can find a use for a type face, or even if you make a few dollars off a typeface, then how can you call it trash? Obviously its good for something. I think some people are afraid of embracing technology and letting it become a part of the design world. It's going to happen, and this wave he talks about, I feel is just going to become a bigger and bigger wave, which might not ever crash. I do agree that there are type faces or fonts that have been created that look so much nicer than a typeface a 10 year old came up with on a creating fonts program. That doesn't mean his font is crap. It could have a use who knows. It's time as designers to realize the world we live in changes, and yeah some changes are bad and some are good, but I think we need to experience all changes to realize which are good and bad, and if that means using some shitty type faces, well then damnit use them, don't just bag them before trying them.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Due dates are hard, chaos is easy (according to Newton)

Death of Typography

It really frightens me that someone who is in an art-based field could compare grunge typefaces and distorted letters the death of typography. Where is this guys mind? I’m sure everything he’s ever made is done in Futura and Garamond because they’re more like “programs” than any kind of typeface that might push the limits. If there isn’t someone constantly pushing the limits and testing what you can get away with, who’s to say what the limits are? Weather you like alternative design or think it’s ugly, it helps us all, even the Garamond lovers. Without all the so-called “jet-skiers”, who would move the industry forward? Conservatism in design risks becoming stagnant. You never know what you can get away with until you try. Trash type is a trend. I don’t think many people think it will be popular forever, but I do think many people can appreciate it for its experimentation with legibility.

I thought Newton’s quote turned up some interesting ideas. Order is important. Even trash design has to have some kind of order to be successful. Even in the Dadaists you can find some kind of order and their movement was based partially on randomness. But I don’t think order is as difficult to make as the author makes it seem. There is even order in chaos, even if Newton is a tough sell on the principal. The human eye likes order and right now the human eye likes trash type… Interesting concept, thanks to all the jet-skiers out there we can find out what kind of order is in trash type that makes it so appealing. I’m down for trash type so don’t be a hater.

-chris ritter

Rumors of Death

Sorry guys i know its a little late, but better late than never.
Anyways, while I was reading the article by Peter Fraterdeus on the Rumors of Typography, I thought, what the hell does Jet ski's and northwestern Washington have anything to do with typography. I just really didnt make the connection besides we are all "terminally immature kids who are rebelling against their eternally authoritarian elders". Besides that, I do feel that Fraterdeus did have a point and that there is alot of bad fonts, however i feel that if the font, weather it be good or bad fits the context that you are working in and helps your design, then use it. If a font is truly a bad font, then im sure it wont be used and it will disapear and the good fonts will stay. Peter says "The wave of trash type and grunge "typography" is just that- a wave" Well, this article was written in1996 and I think that if trash fonts were just a wave, then i think that the wave would have passed and we would be on to something else and people like Fraterdeus would writting articles saying how the new generation of designers are crap and we will all suck.

Well, i have nothing else to say. Then first two pages of this article ment nothing. I got more information out of that last couple of paragraphs then the whole article.

A little late... but WHO DEY!!! Oh yeah... Rumors...

After I read the article, I opened up Suitcase on my Powerbook… 2,041 fonts. I have over two thousand fonts on my computer. Now, for most projects, about 2,020 of those fonts are completely useless. But I strongly feel that at some point, if the font suited the project, any of those 2,041 fonts could prove to be extremely useful. Lately I have been filing all of those fonts into categories (sans-serif, serif, dings, dirty…) and I have over 100 stressed/dirty fonts. I have found myself using more and more of these types of fonts lately. I plan on using some of those fonts in my senior project (motocross apparel company). I have even found a way to sneak some stressed/dirty fonts into a package design for Old Spice (and it is in the final round, along w/ 2 other designs). Am I using them because they are trendy? Sure, maybe a little bit. But mostly I am I using them because they fit.

Downcome, a typeface by Misprinted Type, is a modification of a typeface called Alternate Gothic designed by Morris Fuller Benton. So, they question I raise is should Downcome even be considered as a separate typeface, or should it be in the Alternate Gothic family?

And sure there are thousands upon thousands of shitty fonts out there. But like Oliver said, who cares? It doesn’t bother me. There are people out there who think they are type designers because the computer has enabled them to crank out a type in a few hours. There are also people who think they are graphic designers because they made a logo using a pirated version of Photoshop. Who cares? Bad design only makes my work look better.

And Oliver, I agree… what ever happened to the “fine” in fine art?

I know I'm late but here is my take

The New Typography

I have now read through this piece five times and I'm still scratching my head a little. Laszlo was of course talking in the year 1919 so this is a piece of theoretical writing which is one of the reasons it is so confusing. I know it has been said before that he was a forward thinker. Yet we are in the time beyond what he was thinking forward to. But what I really felt ( and the only thing I could really glean from the piece) he was saying is that with the dawning of new technique typography will be a form of art and not just function as communication.

As noted in this quote,
" The new Typography is a simultaneous experience of vision and communication"

The New confusing.

Our man Moholy-Nagy is quite oppinionated in his views on typography stating "It MUST be communication in its most intense form." and "The emphasis MUST be on absolute clarity...".

"That's just like, your opinion man..." -the Dude.

It just depends on what your goals are in creating something with typographical interest. It doesn't necessarily have to be completly legible to be interesting and to convey a message just as a painting doesn't have to be representational to be appreciated. I guess it should be noted that dear Laszlo couldn't have known how far the boundaries would be pushed in the world of typography in the years following the early 20's publication of his essay.

However, it is hard to grasp Moholy-Nagy's concept that photography will replace painting and illustration, that film and motion picture will replace books, and that the telephone will render letterwriting all but obsolete. It is the year 2005 and thanfully none of these things have happened! Using photographs instead of paintings and illustrations on posters gives you the advantage of "clarity", but what about expression and feeling? This not to say that photography is lacking in this respect, but if "...the effective poster must act with immediate impact on all the psychological receptacles..." then isn't painting and illustration just as effective in evoking emotion and encouraging thoughtful reflection?

At the time of Laszlo's (can I call you Laszlo? It's much easier..) existence, photography was the hot new ish so it is understandable why he was all about it, but his comments were obtuse and a little short sighted.

And what the hell is an "individual-exact/collective-exact" relationship to the world? Am I missing the point here?

Sorry. My life's soundtrack is a bunch of random hip-hop lyrics. Here's one for today:

[Aesop Rock]
"I start my city with a brick (one brick)
Then add another brick (two bricks)
Brick by brick, I manufacture homes for fallen angels
I ain't no great Samaritan, that's just the way the game goes
Respect the polars but acknowlege middle-value rainbows..."

Rumors of the Deathof Typeography...

This article had some good, valid points. There are many people who believe that just because they have manipulated a typeface, they've created a new font. I understand that many typefaces have variations, which indeed was a transition from the root, but it was just that...a transition from the ROOT. People who try and change type that was produced years ago by letterpress isn't exactly authentic in my opinion. I like the quote by Eric Gill: "Letters are things, not pictures of things". Then when describing the difference between a fontographist and a type designer, he says it is simple: Ask a fontographist to draw a three-inch high roman S with a penci, without tracing. Then it will soon be known that there's isn't any real knowledge of the shapes of leters there. This is the problem I have with people today trying to create a new typeface by simply mangling an old one.

Unfortunately, I do agree that some graphic designers are attracted to this improper use of type, and have a hard time getting away from it. But to say "Graphic Designers..." insinuating that all designers do this, I don't agree with. It is sad that because there are some with no idea, sometimes as to what they are designing, that all designers get put in this category. But the other part of this paragraph is also unfortunate: "..since our visual circuits are so overloaded with snap, crackle, and buzz, people don't even notice letters anymore...". Though this may be true to an extent, it should be our duty to fix it. Lets weed out these bad fonts and they will eventually evaporate. There is no way this kind of type will succeed.



As I read this article, I was saying to myself "yeah yeah, this whole dirty type thing is just a trend. he's right.." but then when I saw that the article is nearly 10 years old, I started to think differently.

I like the grungy type. I think for the right design, there are lots awesome dirty fonts that look just great. Is it a trend? I dunno. It depends on what defines a movement and what defines a trend. I would say that dirty, grungy font is still popular, so that would mean we've been worrying about this for like, 10 years already. seems a little long for a trend.
I dont' really care much about the flood of shitty fonts being made by 15 year olds on their pirated software. I don't care if i pay a shit-ton of money for the type, or if i download it off some shitty font site. if the typeface looks good and fits the design I want to make, then I'm going to use it. The good fonts will float to the top because people will use them. the shit fonts that 15 year old Billy makes at 3 in the morning with blood running em and spikes everywhere will disappear because no one wants to use them so people will stop providing them. If you're the idiot using those fonts, you probably won't make it as a designer anyway, so we won't see your awful work with awful fonts and it will all just basically disappear.

I will agree that making stressed dirty typefaces is probably easier than making a nice super-measured out font (I've never done it, so i really wouldn't know). It's just like my opinion of fine art. I think all the shitty artwork out there is just because making really good artwork is too hard. It's too hard to draw and paint really really well, so people bullshit about their art and make it seem about a "message" when really, it's just because the asshole can't paint or draw for shit. That's another story though.

Grunge fonts....use em if you like em. don't if you have them.
don't worry so much about the idiots pumping out crappy fonts on their home computers. if they really are bad fonts, dont use em and don't worry about the idiot who does. their work will look stupid because of it, which just means less competition for you.
....can we just talk about nazis again?

Well it has not happened yet

I know that Moholy-Nagy was a great designer, but this essay is a little far fetched for me to wrap my head around. I think that typography will always exist in some form or another. It is in our human nature to write or use letters to communicate and even design with. It may be in a different form that we see typography. Take the internet for example, it is a wide world full of type ( good, bad and sometimes very bad ) that we see almost everyday. I know that not every person owns a computer but there are so many people that use them at work or at school or at the public library. I think that now in 2005 we have an ever larger forum for using type and making quality designs with type just inside the internet realm. I do believe that typography will continue to be very prevalent in our lives because of the constant technology that demands it to be present for communication purposes.
The internet is a fairly new form of communication, so I feel that it will only get better over time, and so will the use of type inside of the internet. The internet might have been a si-fi novel like idea to Moholy-Nagy, but I think if he was around today he might retract his "New Typography" theory. The world will always use type, and new inventions will need type to fuel the evolution of technology.
It is hard for me to grasp the concept of not having books, magazines, newspapers or any other type of paper with words on it. But you never know anything is possible. I see the world in the future having typography but the surface that it lives on has changed. I think that is what it is all about, we will not change the way we use typography it will just come in a different format.

"Rumors of the Death of Typography..."

The first thing that comes to mind about this article is that the title is just a tad over-dramatic, don't you think? Whether or not I like the typography and fonts the author is talking about, it makes me giggle a little to think of how many different generations of artists (and probably people in all sorts of other professions as well) have lamented over the new generation's ruining of their traditions and fundamental principles. As I read the article, I was reminded of our last discussion. This author really seems to be making the same argument about the sanctity of type and the travesties these computer-weilding "font designers" are creating. I was relieved to read however, that he does go on to speak about the second part of his title: "...Have Been Greatly Exaggerated." I agree that all this "degenerate type" is fashion. The majority of them will fade away leaving little evidence that they even existed. Now helvetica, trajan, gill sans, futura--these are the typefaces that will obviously endure no matter what the current trends are. I do understand the author's irritation at the glut of self proclaimed type designers armed with only a computer and some software churning out annoying, useless fonts, but I think it's really just not worth getting all worked up over. Bad design is out there, its going to happen, and it can happen whether someone uses helvetica or burner. And while I do tend to think most of these typefaces are pretty stupid and ugly (yes, those are technical industry terms) I have seen a few designs using them that I think were pretty successful. So to me the moral of the story is that people have to get used to the fact that things change, and not always for the better. But as the author points out, that does not mean that good typography is dead, you just might have to wade through a lot more shit these days to find it. P.S. I feel like a dummy because I still don't know how to insert a page break on this thing!


Sigh. Although comparing degenerate type to jet skis is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard, I have to say that I kind of agree with the guy. Not about jet skis, people should be able to ride their jet skis wherever the hell they want. But I do think that the whole ugly, illegible type thing is just a trend. Obviously whenever you have any kind of new technology that is widely available to the public you are going to have unqualified people creating things. People didn't create typefaces like "Burner" back in the day because of the huge amount of time and expertise it took to create a typeface when you are using a letterpress. Now that everything is on computers, people can bust out a font in a few hours. So of course there is going to be a lot of crap out there. I think everyone knows that. I also agree with Fraterdeus that it is ridiculous for the people that create these typefaces to claim that they are "changing the nature of legibility".I tried to go to the website listed under the quote where someone is arguing that, "Burner allows the reader to become part of the message by forcing him or her to understand the type...", but it said it was no longer available. Whatever. I mean I'm sure that someone somewhere had used the typeface well. I'm not saying that all new type is crap, I just think that the people that are creating it and the amount of time that goes into it are nowhere near what they used to be. Therefore, Burner will never have the same legitimacy as say, Baskerville. Then again, people in his day thought his stuff was crap. So who knows. Anyway, I totally agree with the author that clarity and elegance will always have sway over trendiness and kitsch when it comes to type. Seriously though man, get over the jet ski thing. I have to go to work.

The New Typography (As Of 1919)

I occasionally pride myself on having a rather extensive vocabulary, at least in comparison to the average American's linguistic capacity. I did, however, find myself struggling to comprehend the majority of this essay. It seemed Laszlo Moholy-Nagy must have cross-referenced every word with a thesaurus. It was due, I presume, to the translation from German to English, as many specificities are lost in translation, but I digress.

The article, I admit, at first appeared extremely narrow-minded. Here again, we are subjected to a designer dictating limitations and regulations on typography, telling us, "...Legibility-communication may never be forced into a preconceived framework, for instance a square."

I recouped this original hypothesis slightly, however, when I read the specifics of the original publishing date and reprinting adaptation. This shed new light on the article; a minute epiphany, if you will.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy all of a sudden seemed very forward-thinking. He expresses looking at new developments in design and embracing them. His downfall, in my own humble opinion, is that he seems to discard what has come before, stating that photography had replaced poster-painting.

This is the modern day equivalent of designers disregarding past processes and procedures such as the letterpress and hand-made designs. Or the equal of photographers turning their proverbial backs on film and only embracing digital functionality; painters disposing of oils for acrylic.

While there is immeasurable merit in new technologies, we should not place limitations on ourselves. To view a computer as the only source for design would be irresponsible and asinine.
A computer, no matter how complex, will, one can only hope, never be able to replicate hand-made intricacies, hand-rendered illustrations, or human control over aesthetics. Nor would we want it to. The day a computer can recreate the precious marks of the human hand and visual decisions of the human mind, we will be replaced with design-robots and made into human fuel to power their creative processors. The end is nigh! Repent, sinners!

-Adam McIver

"Rumors of the Death of Typo"

The whole idea of moving on in the world and experiencing new things enhances our growth mentally. When designing a type, one should always start from the foundation to appreciate the art form of clarity and elegance of a type design that was skillfully drawn to perfection. Incorporating the knowledge from history of type helps one develop a scence of direction and a focal point of where to start. Starting a font or design takes patience as well as involvement with the visual image itself. One might find that the clear visual signs are widely understood methods of messages that are transmitted quickly and if not seen visually accepting or understood, it will quickly evaporate in time. Those new fonts "Trash Type" in some aspects can carry some lasting value that we may learn from and develope our own ideas with exposure for new creative designs. Good or bad, these fonts should not be dismissed so easily because learning from good and bad art designs enhance our ablity to become a better designer.