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> Play games--make better creative decisions
> Being talented is hard work
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Ellen Lupton's Thinking With Type is online
If you are as hopelessly addicted to letterforms you're already well aware of this typographic primer authored by educator and historian Ellen Lupton. What's new is this new, online version of the book.
Here > Ellen Lupton's Thinking With Type...
Here > Type Families (190KB PDF)...
Here > It even includes some teaching tools for educators...
The current state of typography on the web
If you started out in print, you are (perhaps) more aware of the value of typography as an element of design. In print we have near-complete control over type-the choice of faces, glyphs and special characters, kerning and leading values, and so on.
Web design, as you are doubtlessly well aware, has been an entirely different story. You have much less control and to exert what little control there is requires a fair bit of technical expertise.
As the web matures, those of us who design for it have been yearning for a universal, user-friendly system that gives us that control and in recent months, its looks as though we are closer than ever to realizing it.
Last week, I set out to write a short article pointing to some of the many sources I have happened upon lately-some are listed below. And then I found an excellent article by Richard Fink that explains it all in a way that is much more informed and thoughtful than anything I could have written myself.
First Richard's article, and then some links to further explanations and solutions.
Here > The big picture: Web Fonts at the Crossing by Richard Fink...
Here > The big picture: Jeffrey Zeldman, Dan Benjamin, Ethan Dunham of Fontspring and Font Squirrel and Jeffrey Veen of Typekit...
Here > See some web fonts in action...
Here > THE Web Font Awards...
Here > Solutions: Font Deck...
Here > Solutions: Fontspring...
Here > Solutions: Font Squirrel...
Here > Solutions: Google Font Directory...
Here > Solutions: Typekit...
Here > Solutions: Typotheque...
Here > Solutions: Webtype...
Here > Fink's excellent blog-Readable Web...
Play games--make better creative decisions
You may have read recently about an upcoming study that reports how video game play can speed up reactions in other real-life situations-"Improved probabilistic inference as a general learning mechanism with action video games".
It got me thinking about how important it is to exercise your mind. To explore areas of interest and pursue paths simply to get you thinking more creatively. An engaged designer is a more creative designer.
I want to point you to two resources that are certain to spark fire. First, the home of IdeaSPOTTING author Sam Harrison. In addition to his thoughtful books he offers some actions to take that will improve the creative process.
And second is a site called Lumos Labs, a "cognitive neuroscience research and development company that builds software tools for improving brain health and performance." I have played around with their iPhone App for a couple of months and, though it is difficult to connect it to a specific improvement in my creative problem solving skills, I've have seen a marked improvement in my scores.
I'm curious to hear if you have experienced creative spurts you can attribute to some type of neurological or intellectual stimulation.Here > It's Your Move from Sam Harrison's zing zone...Here > Lumosity's scientifically designed Brain Games...Here > The aforementioned study on video game play and its effect on reaction time... Comment
If you had few wants, what would you spend your time doing?
Imagine that you are a person who wants for little. You are loved, you have well defined beliefs, you are secure, have good health, and virtually every physical comfort you can dream of. You are also confident that if you place a call to just about any other person on the planet, they are going to take your call.
Such is the happy dilemma (it would seem) of Bill Gates. Now that he a has left his full-time gig at Microsoft, he is spending his time learning. Wouldn't you love to have his kind to access? Aren't you curious about what such a person would find so compelling that they would devote there time to learning about it?
Here > It is called Gates Notes...
I think it's worth noting too that this is the web site design chosen by a guy who could have anyone in the world design it and could include any functionality possible. To me it is clean, a little technoid, rather simple. Comment
Recent Tweets from http://twitter.com/ideabook
IGap Inc. Press Release on the withdrawal of its short-lived new logo... http://ht.ly/2UBIm
The logo... http://ht.ly/2UBJw
Adobe InDesign on Facebook page http://ht.ly/2UBfK
Intimidating yet lovable -- grammarphobia.com http://ht.ly/2Uw1q
The Library of Congress has a massive catalog of old images--some of which can be reused (see restrictions) http://ht.ly/2SnBY
Lovely wood type exhibition site--not
This is a wonderful design, but unfortunately it evidently does not exist. Wow--if this is the loser, what the heck was the winner.Here > Example 1...Here > Example 2...Here > Example 3...Here > Example 4...Here > Jaime Van Wart's site (the designer)... Comment
Being talented is hard work
I'm a long-time fan of designer Von Glitschka so, when he was scheduled to speak nearby, both my sons (Jeff and Rob - also designers) gave me a heads up. Last night we sat in on his presentation sponsored by the Richmond AIGA.
The message I came away with is this: Being talented is hard work. By that I mean Glitschka is clearly gifted - he's one of those designers whose work looks near-effortless. His ideas are clever and the execution of his layouts and illustrations are crisp and tight.
But I think the tendency is to look at "talent" (his and that of others) as some sort of magic sixth-sense, something that is bestowed on a few, not something that can be learned or earned. Glitschka's message reveals something quite different.
He tells, for example, about the two-foot stack of notebooks he keeps that catalog his doodles of the last twenty years. And he talks at length about the importance of learning about marketing, about the many tools and techniques he uses to spark ideas, and the importance of growing intellectually through reading, travel, and study.
He must have referred to at least five people he interviewed to prepare his presentation and did not even mention the time or energy it must have taken to write, design, and produce the 250-plus slides he uses in this one presentation.
To me, he is proof of the fact that "talent" takes hard work, that "simple" is complex, and that great design requires great dedication. If you think, "I don't have what it takes" - you're wrong. Being a solid designer takes passion, practice, tenacity, commitment, leadership, and lots of study. If you are willing to pursue it, you'll find a place and an audience that values what you do. If you want to write that off as talent, so be it.Here > Here is a page that details Von's Creating 5five Alarm Concepts...Here > Glitschka's entire presentation - script, slides, and diagrams (80MB PDF)...Comment
About the briefing
I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless otherwise stated, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org