Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Image of the Day: Gargoyle Among the Peonies

Business Cards: Page XXX


via brainpickings
“French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) made significant contributions to the development of cardiology and physical instrumentation in medicine, but he is best-known as a pioneer of chronophotography — an antique Victorian-era photographic technique that captures several sequential frames of movement, which can then be combined into a single image. In 1882, Marey invented a chronophotographic gun that was capable of taking 12 consecutive frames per second, recorded on the same picture. He used these pictures to study the gallop of horses, the flight of birds, the gait of elephants, the swim of fish, and the organic motion of many more creatures, and his work served as the foundation for Eadweard Muybridge‘s iconic animal locomotion studies and directly influenced the development of early cinema. Yet the background of his landmark images remains obscure…”
Learn more here.

Geometry of Circles: Philip Glass + Sesame Street

via brain pickings
“…In 1979, the makers of Sesame Street commissioned Philip Glass to compose music for a series of four unnumbered animation pieces titled Geometry of Circles, designed as a primer for visual thinking — something at the core of both Sesame Street itself and Jim Henson’s original vision that predated his creation of The Muppets. The combination, beautiful and eloquent in a multisensory way, feeds into my obsession with synesthesia and various visualizations of music.”
Read the rest, and watch one of the videos here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Images of the Day: Mimeograph

Spotted at the Brooklyn Flea by my son and daughter-in-law. This makes me smile.

Business Cards: Page XXIX

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

via bibliodyssey
“Peter Pan first appeared in a section of The Little White Bird, a 1902 novel written by JM Barrie for adults. The character's best-known adventure debuted on 27 December 1904, in the stage play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up' The play was adapted and expanded somewhat as a novel, published in 1911 as Peter and Wendy (later as Peter Pan and Wendy, and still later as simply Peter Pan). Following the highly successful debut of the 1904 play, Barrie's publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, extracted chapters 13–18 of The Little White Bird and republished them in 1906 under the title Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with the addition of illustrations by Arthur Rackham...”
Read the rest here, and see the fifty Rackham illustrations for ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens’ from Harvard University Library here.

1940s NYC Destination Subway Scrolls

via accidental mysteries
“These incredibly graphic New York City destination subway scrolls were used to direct subway commuters in the early 1940s. I love the way the fonts are condensed and expanded to fill the space— from the school of ‘make it fit!’
Read more here.

Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling Color: Synesthesia Pt. 2

via imprint
“[Part II digs] into a hot-topic among scientists in recent years: is synesthesia useful to those who have it? What can studying it yield?
Read part two here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Images of the Day: Glassfest

We loved the bright little spray painted runner on the course signs.

Close-up of the spray runner wearing a double-brimmed hat.

Interesting typography treatment for this jeweler’s sign.

A restored Whizzer bike

Mail slot in a darkened corner along Main Street in Corning, NY

There was even a old ampersand spotted along the way; you can see it here.

Business Cards: Page XXVIII

Andrea Stark Poster Series

via FPO
“The things we place value on; the things we hold most beautiful, are of our own accord. This project reminds people to step back and consider every object or mark as an opportunity to create something new or improve upon the existing. This poster series was part of a wider research project exploring the value of decoration. The designs were created using everyday objects, residues and ephemera. Each A1 print is double-sided, with the original objects printed on the reverse of the decorative design that was created from them…”
Read the rest here.

Graphically Evoking Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”

via @Issue Journal of Business & Design
“Our musical notation system follows a convention that dates back centuries. By reading it, musicians can get an aural sense of melody, tempo and all the other instructions on how the score should be played. But what if the notations were shown in graphically different colors and dot sizes? This is a study done by graphic designer Laia Clos of Mot Studio in Barcelona. Clos explains that the self-initiated project started with a woman in her studio who has a knowledge of music. From there, they created a new graphic musical notation system called “SisTeMu,” which translates a musical score into simple geometric forms and basic printing colors, exploring the rhythmic and melodic harmonies found in the musical composition. The system somewhat simplifies the complexity and mathematical structure, making it accessible to the viewer through a visual narrative. For their first translation, they used the musical data for the lead violin part of Antonio Vivaldi’s baroque concerto, The Four Seasons (or Lesquartrestacions)…”
Read more here and here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Business Cards: Page XXVII

Seeing Color (and Hearing, and Smelling It)

via imprint
“The number 1, for example, is a brilliant and bright white, like someone shining a flashlight into my eyes. Five is a clap of thunder or the sound of waves crashing against rocks. Thirty-seven is lumpy like porridge, while 89 reminds me of falling snow…”
Read the rest here.


via swissmiss
Letterpress from Naomie Ross on Vimeo makes me smile. Watch it here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Image of the Day: Rainbow Cats

Business Cards: Page XXVI

The Octothorpe, part 2 of 2

via shady characters
“Bell Telephone Laboratories, one-time research subsidiary of American telecoms giant AT&T, has produced some of the 20th century’s most influential developments in the worlds of science and technology. It boasts seven Nobel Prizes in Physics awarded for, among other things, a demonstration of the wave nature of matter, the invention of the transistor and the discovery of background cosmic radiation. Other notable products of this storied research centre include the laser, radio astronomy, the first communications satellite and the UNIX operating system, which forms a key component of the internet and of modern computing in general.

Most relevant in terms of punctuation, though, is a small linguistic innovation which emerged in the wake of a much larger technological one. Engaged in the 1960s in reinventing the world’s aging telephone dialing system, one of the many Bell Labs engineers working on this mammoth task was almost certainly responsible for coining the term ‘octothorpe’. And though the octothorpe’s birthplace is well recorded, the question of exactly who created it is somewhat more contentious…”
Read the rest here.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cinderella Stamps

via letterology
“A Cinderella stamp is any non-postage stamp. The oft-neglected stepchild of the postage stamp, a Cinderella may look like a stamp, but it won't carry the mail. The category includes locals, labels, tax stamps, fiscals, poster stamps, charity seals, forgeries, fantasies, phantoms, revenues, etc. Some are more elaborately designed than the postage stamps they imitate. The hard-core philatelist scorns any stamp that didn't carry the mail, but others find these philatelic by-ways fascinating and rewarding. Philatelic Exhibition Seals are a popular sideline among stamp collectors. The heyday for Cinderellas in the U.S. was the 1920's and 1930's, when many beautifully designed engraved examples were produced…”
Read more on Cinderella stamps here and here.

Business Cards: Page XXV

Image of the Day: Footprints in Cement

Crow Thought

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Business Cards: Page XXIV

[Middle Row] The middle card in this row uses the maximum numbers of typefaces and point styles; it is so bad you can't stop looking at it. The card next to it, The Bird Net, harkens back to the early days of the internet and modems.

New York Public Library’s ‘Find The Future’

via the morning news
“As some Christians prepared for the Apocalypse, Elizabeth Kiem and 499 questers spent Friday night locked inside the New York Public Library with game designer Jane McGonigal…”
Read the rest here.


Ampersand Rapture Looting

via imprint
“A lovely little experimental web application, Textify, re-renders any image you feed it as a text version of itself. The app uses the typeface, colors, and scale that you specify to generate the image. Your result: a gorgeous little piece of generative art with historical ties to old ASCII art of the Usenet period.”
Works with Firefox, visit the site here to play.

Image of the Day: Rite Way Demolition

A Visual History of Famous Mac Icons

via maclife
“Mac OS 10 has given Mac users a slick GUI full of fancy visual goodies, and with the release of Lion right around the corner, it's only going to get slicker. However, we must not forget that Apple's attention to detail hasn't just been limited to their most recent releases -- they've always been pioneers on the interface front. This gallery features Apple's most humble beginnings -- their most famous icons you're sure to remember with fondness, and a few current updates as well...”
See them here.


via creativepro and make
“TypeFacebook was a booth at the 2011 Bay Area Maker Faire that was organized by the People's Republic of Paper, a loose collective of designers, type casters, paper makers, printers, and book binders. The TypeFacebook concept was simple: Using moveable lead type, people were asked to respond to the prompt Facebook uses: "What's on your mind?" Each character of your answer was a piece of metal type, which you carefully picked from a job case. You set the characters in a job stick (also called a composing stick), making sure they faced the right way. The press owner and operator, Pam DeLuco, set three people's answers into one forme and mounted the forme on a small platen press. Each participant then laid paper that would become the book cover on the press, pulled and released the press's handle, and the printing process was done. If you made typos (as I did), you either had to live with them or go through the entire process again…”
Read the rest here, and see some wonderful photos there as well.

The golden age of comics color palette

via wizzywigcomics
“Once upon a time before Adobe Photoshop, the color palette of comic books was very limited. Instead of the millions of colors that you can blend and gradiate and add filters to, there was a time where you were limited to 64 colors on average (that number is liquid if you’re a nerd about the printing process. Ed Piskor located an ‘antique’ chart of the exact mixtures for the 64 colors which were used in comics and newspaper strips for decades and then created a PSD file to share so that people can use these hues digitally."
Find out more here; there is even a link to download a ZIP file of the old comics 64 color guide PSD.

Cheryl Sorg’s Thumbprint Portraits

via liquidtreat
“Meet Cheryl Sorg. The Cincinnati-born, San Diego-based artist specializes in work inspired by and made from books. In addition to elaborate sculptures and breathtaking text collages, she has carved out an artistic niche in thumbprint portraits. Sorg enlarges her subject's thumbprint and then recreates its unique pattern. The whorls, loops, and archs are made from text and imagery that have special meaning for the subject, such as snippets of favorite books, songs, films, or, say, weekly e-mail newsletters…”
Learn more about these, here.

The Octothorpe, Pt. 1

‘lb’ as an abbreviation for libra, or ‘pound in weight’. On the left, a handwritten ‘lb’ from the pen of Isaac Newton, and on the right, a printed ‘lb’ crossed by a bar denoting its status as an abbreviation.

via Shady Characters: The secret life of punctuation
“The ‘#’ symbol is something of a problem child. It seems at first to be quite innocuous, a jack-of-all-trades whose names and uses correspond in a pleasingly systematic manner: ‘#5’ is read ‘number five’, leading to the name ‘number sign’; in North America, ‘5#’ means ‘five pounds in weight’, giving ‘pound sign’, while the cross-hatching suggested by its shape leads to the commonly used British name of ‘hash sign’. Dig a little deeper, though, and this glyph reveals itself to be a frustratingly multifaceted beast…”
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mimi and Eunice: “Nina” Font now Free

“Several people have asked if they can use ‘the Mimi & Eunice font’ for translations. It happens I don’t use a font – I actually hand-letter these suckers, trying to be messy. Apparently I haven’t succeeded, because even my messy hand-lettering looks a lot like my cleaner lettering from the late 1990′s, which I do have a font of. It’s called ‘Nina,’ and I made it with Fontographer on my very first Mac – in fact it was my first Mac project ever. At long last I’m sharing it freely with everyone...”
Read the rest, and download the font here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nina Paley’s 4 Elements Quilt Series: Air/Nude

via ninfa paley's blog
“My latest quilt is Capital-A Art. Know why?
1. It’s white on white
2. It depicts a nude
3. It is on canvas stretchers
Ladies and gentlemen, I unveil the fourth and final installment of my 4 Elements quilt series: Air/Nude!”
Read the rest, and see more images of this and the other quilts in the series, here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mapping the Human Condition

via brainpickings
“…There’s something about cartography that lends itself to visualizing much more than land and geography. [Presented] are seven cartographic interpretations of the human condition, using the visual vocabulary of classical maps to interpret various facets of the human psyche — a genre that came of age during the late Renaissance, when it became known as “sentimental cartography.”
Read the rest here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

God is a concept by which we measure our pain

via quotes

The Music of Philip Glass, Visualized in Fractals

via brain pickings
“What fractals have to do with classical music and the secret of Einstein’s genius: I’m obsessed with synesthesia and the visual language of music, and love the work of Philip Glass, often considered the greatest living composer. Naturally, I’m head over heels with these spellbinding fractal visualizations by Russian artist Tatiana Plakhova, abstracting Glass’s music graphically….”
Read the rest here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wood Type of the Month: Balloon

via international printing museum
Read this month’s wood-type column to learn what typeface was created for use in comic strips…

Glagolitic script

via typonine
“The Glagolitic script didn’t evolve from any older orthographic system, it was created as a completely new and original script. At first the Glagolitic script was rounded in shape and in that form came to Croatian ground in 9th century. From 12th century Glagolic script exists only in Croatian area and it evolves to a new angular style which is called Croatian Glagolitic.

The basic shapes of Croatian Glagolitic are determined by a few basic strokes mostly horizontal and vertical. The architecture of characters is very symmetrical which enabled the creation of numerous two-, three-, even four letter ligatures. Croatian Glagolitic is consisted of 32 alphanumeric characters. The script got its name in the 19th century from a verb glagoljati — to talk. This script was used in holy books, poems, legends, novels and legal documents…”

Read the rest here. The Typonine Glagolitic font is free for download.

Llama Font

“Avery Oldfield created Llamafont.com, a site that allows you to type a message in a font made of llamas and share it with your friends. Why? Because llamas make everything better...”
Makes me smile.

First Solar-Powered Engine

‘Eventually industry will no longer find in Europe the resources to satisfy its prodigious expansion. Coal will undoubtedly be used up. What will industry do then?’
Augustin Bernard Mouchot (1825-1912), French inventor of the earliest solar-powered engine, converting solar energy into mechanical steam power

I love that the industry used in the image is a letterpress, which looks very much like the one we have at work.