fall break.2009.great bend.ks

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Helvetica by Gary Hustwit was a great film showing how today’s culture uses type, both successes and failures. The typeface that consumes the majority of today’s typography is Helvetica. This film shows this typeface in the most uncertain of places and emphasizes its timeless quality through its over usage and by interviewing several notable designers. Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Hermann Zapf, Stefan Sagmeister, David Carson, Alfred Hoffmann, Otmar Hoefer, Leslie Savan, and Lars Müller are only a few of the designers who give their opinion of Helvetica and how they define their own design. I found it interesting to see the old, charming Haas Type Foundry in Switzerland and its transfer to the big business Linotype.  
I thought this was a really great film. I am so much more aware of typefaces in everyday life. A lot of the designers from this movie talk about how there are so much horrible signage and the only thing they need is to change their type to Helvetica. Design needs to be simplistically timeless. Max Miedinger designed Helvetica in 1957 and in 2011 it is the most used typeface in everyday signage. This shows how good design is timeless and has no expiration date. Its helpful to reemphasize these foundational concepts in my own work and by using Helvetica it can strip away any distractions and shows only the big ideas that need to be communicated. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

typography journal 6.

#1 "Contemplation" Augustin Garza
Augustin Garza chooses a small statue figure that has sat on his desk for years as his inspiration. It has a gesture of pointing to the earth and on the back it suggests giving offerings to the universe. This simple piece incorporates good design, function and meaning. The biggest problems design needs to touch on are water, energy and health problems. Garza says that designers have an insight that can be valuable for finding solutions for these problems. Design will make the world a better..more efficient place.

#2 "Bound Together" Ami Keolatia
Ami Keolatia chooses rubber bands as her item of inspiration. They hold everything together. They are thrown away, randomly found, and she is always re-buying them. Rubber bands are all about the material - rubber - they are multipurpose not designed for a specific purpose. The biggest problems that need design help are noise and light pollution; she also mentions that general health needs smart design.

#3 "The Heart" Deborah Adler
Deborah Adler picks the Pieta in Rome as her inspiration. She was struck with emotion and felt empathy for this figure of Mary holding the crucified body of Christ. She thinks design should be all about the person you are helping and their needs and what is the best possible solution. She says there needs to be a "love affair" with the project. Then when you continually think about people's problems it will become a habit which will lead to better design...but without this love affair you will never reach this second step.

#4 "Do More with Less" Emily Pilloton
Emily Pilloton chose the process of design as the most inspiring thing for her.  She says inspiration started early and she only realized this when she became a designer. The childhood fictional character Macgyver was and is her inspiration for good design. Macgyver was the original design thinker. He always had minimal materials but came up with a genius outcome that always solved the problem at hand. Pilloton says that design needs to affect the public education system. K-12 specifically needs help. She says that learning is all top down. Design can offer the best parts of design to reform education system and the experience and positively affect how children learn and maybe spark more success in the education system.

#5 "Something For All" Georgia Christensen
Georgia Christensen says its impossible to find just one source of inspiration because there are so many beautifully created things in the world. But she chooses a chimney which her father constructed. She thinks design needs to affect transportation. Everything from lighting, the overall experience, accessibility and style need to be changed to fit with the 21st Century lifestyle.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

typography journal 5.

Jonathan Harris - "Cold & Bold"

Harris speaks about how to make art and simultaneously write his own code and if this is possible. (Physical + Digital)

He spent months and months are elaborate oil and water paintings within his sketchbook until he was held at gunpoint and his sketchbook was stolen. He moved to digital work that couldn't be taken away from him.

He worked on websites such as "we feel fine" and "universe iraq" and his most recent finished project "matchmaker" which was exhibited in MoMA.

This project took over 28,000 lines of codes which he wrote himself. This is where his struggle begins with  trying to escape dehumanization while writing code.

He says that "we have to live to work...to work boldly we have to live boldly.." he goes on to say that he felt that by living boldly through these codes he became cold - his mind was inside the machine and he removed himself from physical social life.

People stare into technology rather than talking and communicating because the technology does it better and more efficiently.

-We are smart and ambitious but not wise.

-We are not seeing what technology is doing to us...its like the fast food crazy. we immerse ourselves into the latest fastest technology without thinking about the underlying consequences.

-We live our lives online

Harris goes on to give 8 points:

#1 EMPATHY - once we fill up our minds with technology code there is no more room for people. It is finding the mix between our work while maintaining life with people and the outside world.

#2 RATIONAL BEINGS - there can be a bug messing up code just as there can be things that make a relationship go awry.

#3 THE ACT OF EXPRESSION - how can you be an artist and write code - its not possible - by writing endless hours of code you forget how to express yourself.

#4 HOUSING CRISIS - people don't know how to make their online home so these "homes" are being mass produced while having tons of ads being shot all around.

#5 OUTCOMES OVER IDEAS -the goal is the goal not the idea...everyone has ideas but the outcome determines the greatness

#6 SOCIOPATHS - small groups of men who technologically dictate how we as people evolve and grow...do we need more involvement and voice?

#7 INDIVIDUALITY - is it possible to be entertained by technology --can it help with self reflection instead of just self promotion