The briefing is WAY late this month so I'm doubling up-two newsletters in one. I hope you'll take time to look deeper-there's lots to see.

Be well,
Chuck

Design malpractice

You have doubtlessly heard some of the discussion regarding the logos created for the 2016 United States Presidential Campaigns--thus far, those for Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz.

To me, before we even begin to discuss the merits of a design, we must first address whether or not and how a logo fits within a square or a circle. If you can't easily identify the brand in those formats, to me, the logo is failure.

Surely, like it or not, anyone designing logos in 2015 knows that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, and so on, use squares and circles to display logos. Yes, you can work around it, but even if you don't use your "full" logo in those formats, you must have a plan for when you are required to.

Anything less, to me, is design malpractice.

The field as of today...


Have you seen my InDesign Ideabook?

315 template files in 19 different categories -- Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...

For Adobe InDesign
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/the_indesign_ideabook_59.html

Meet illustrator and caricaturist Tiago Hoisel


Tiago Hoisel's primary software tool, at least as of the interview I'm pointing you to, is Photoshop. Who'd have guessed that? Not me. It goes to show that someone this gifted begins with a sense of what they want the tool to do, not necessarily how most folks use the tool conventionally.

A video portfolio...
Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
Hoisel's creative process...
Hoisel's CGSociety portfolio...
An interview with Tiago Hoisel...
An introduction to engraving

Here's a nice introduction to engraving from the folks at Neenah Paper. In this context, engraving, refers to an intaglio printing technique accomplished by cutting groves into the surface of a copper (or another metal) plate, inking it, and transferring the image to paper.

About the engraving print process...
Example 1: From Blanchette Press...
The stationery...
Example 2: From Bernard Maisner Calligraphy & Fine Stationery...
Example 3: From Arzberger Stationers...
The Beauty of Engraving website....

Meet Graphic Artist and Illustrator Javier Jaén

The first piece of Javier Jaén's work below is from The Money Issue of The New York Times Magazine. If I didn't know better, I'd look at the second piece, a cover for Dinero Magazine, and think it was designed by a different person.

He describes his work as "related to a symbolic language with double meanings". I like the fact that he confident enough in his thinking to reinvent his approach and technique for each project.

Thanks to Jim Green for pointing us to it.

Example 1...
Example 2...

Example 3...
Javier Jaén's website...
Here's an interview with Jaén in his studio. If you don't speak Spanish, you can still get some insight by resetting the YouTube caption translation...
Some of the most interested, inventive people I've known are copywriters

I've known a lot of copywriters. A few that pop to mind are Andy Ellis, Leslie Clark, Sean D'Souza, Mel Bryant, Susie Burtch, and Dick Grant-what do they all have in common? They are interested and inventive. You have to be to make a living immersing yourself in a subject so completely, that a client is willing to pay you for YOUR storytelling about THEIR product.

It does not surprise me then, that when I stumbled on this unique collection of greeting cards, that it turned out that they are an invention of a very talented copywriter. No less than the Creative Director of Copy for iPhone and iPod at Apple, Inc.-Lane Foard.

He calls them Squibnocket Cards. Simple design, nice ideas.

Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
You can read more on Pinterest...
You can purchase the cards through Arcadia...
An interesting sidelight about Foard...
No matter what you think about the Apple Watch, THIS is advertising

No words, no flash, just people demonstrating the uses of an Apple Watch in everyday life. Three spots, three themes, beautiful...

"Rise" is about beginning the day...
"Up" is about the dimension of physicality...
"Us" is about communication..
From MacRumors.com: Apple Debuts Three Apple Watch Ads: 'Rise', 'Up'. and 'Us'...
The Watch page on the Apple website...
Got free time? EveryAppleAd on Youtube...
From Periscope: Nice package design: Harry's Truman Razor Set...

For anyone using the Periscope APP...

I recommend following "Penguinsix". He's an American APP developer living in Hong Kong who takes you on tours of the city. A very articulate, interesting guy.

Designer Ed Fella was crazy before crazy was cool

In or around 1987, having spent 30 years in advertising, designer Edward Fella retired from doing commercial work (almost entirely). He would become, what he called "exit level" designer. As he explains in a recent interview with Typeradio, "That meant I would no longer do and kind of professional, or commercial or remunerative work. But I would still stay in the profession, and just do personal work (but not client work), and teach and inspire, enable, help, everything for the next generation but not compete with them for jobs or money."

To that end, I think of him as more of an artist than a graphic designer. His typographic experimentation and collage work is an exercise in expanding the boundaries of a profession that, by its very nature, require lots of work within very defined boundaries. A little crazy before crazy was cool.

Three examples of his "exit level" work: Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
Fella was a commercial artist between 1957 to roughly 1987...
Ed Fella's website...
Fella's bio (16.6MB PDF)...
The first of a two-part interview with Fella on Typeradio...
He designed two typefaces for the equally eccentric type foundry Emigre...
The wonderful (and somewhat strange) world of Victor Vaissier

Illustrator and typographic designer Daniel Pelavin points us to an exhibition of packaging and products produced under the tutelage of Victor Vaissier in the late 19th century.

Now, having read a good deal about Victor Vaissier I remain unsure if he was himself a designer, or if the Victor Vaissier packaging was create by a staff. Clearly, even if he did not have a hand in its design, Vaissier had an eye for it.

On Wikipedia, under the Trademark listing, I read that, "The first modern trademark laws emerged in the late 19th century. In France the first comprehensive trademark system in the world was passed into law in 1857 with the 'Manufacture and Goods Mark Act'." It occurs to me that Vaissier's products must have been among the first branded for consumers in ways similar to current branding practices.

Daniel Pelavin's post from Drawger: Victor Vaissier, Le Roi du Congo...
An in-depth look at Vaissier's business, an extensive collection of its packaging, Vaissier's castle, and his life...
A letter provided by the City of Roubaix Digital Library (Bibliotheque Numérique de Roubaix)...
In case you'd like to have an original, this seller on Ebay has a collection...
A post about Pelavin from 2010...
Roger Black is terrifying

In his recent talk on "The Reading Experience" from the Quo Vadis Editorial-Design Conference 2015, in Munich, Roger Black, seems to still be asking questions. And I find that terrifying. How, I ask myself, is a designer with my comparatively minuscule skill set going to discover the answers to contemporary design questions if a guy who knows more about publication design than any other designer on the planet, still hasn't nailed them down. Answers to questions as foundational as...

How do we keep readers reading?
What is a workable publication business model?
How do we make advertising work?

The reason, of course, people like Roger Black are who they are is because they are forever asking questions-not presumptive enough to think that they have all the answers. But, that said, I sure wish we (collectively), had a clearer idea of where publication design and all other things digital, were headed.

Roger Black on "The Reading Experience"...
Don't know Roger Black? (Seriously?)...
His Twitter feed...
Black, of course, co-founded Font Bureau with type designer David Berlow...
Mixing the best of digital and the best of traditional drawing techniques

This is SO smart. Architect and illustrator Jim Leggitt, FAIA, shares his techniques for making computer-generated architectural drawing, look like they were hand drawn.

Why would you want to do that? Because hand drawn renderings leave something to the imagination. They leave room for the warmth of story and interpretation that is not apparent in the rather stark lines of a SketchUp or CAD drawing.

He puts it this way, "I went ahead and spent 10 minutes or so adding a splash of colored marker and a little bit of colored pencil to just soften it up and give it a little more of that in-progress look. Some clients are scared when they see a SketchUp model and they think you've pretty much finished the design. And so by backing off of that just a little bit and adding a little bit of pencil work you can take the SketchUp and give it that real hand drawn look."

Here's and in depth piece with lots of examples...
And a very specific step-by-step look at how he transforms a SketchUp model...
In case you are not familiar with SketchUp...
Here is Leggitt's website...
And his book, Drawing Shortcuts: Developing Quick Drawing Skills Using Today's Technology...
This booklet explains the services offered by visionINSITE, an in-house studio attached to Leggitt's firm, studioINSITE, that is focused exclusively on producing effective 2D and 3D graphics. (1.3MB PDF)...
From a real press release:

"Today, businesses are using more and more tools to enhance and better manage various business functions--from marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and Marketo, to email providers like Mailchimp, to ticketing platforms like Eventbrite, to CRMs like Salesforce, to payment platforms like Recurly. Data--everything from potential leads and current customer information to sales history to marketing campaign results, to back-office administration information and so-on--are stuck in these silos, duplicated, conflicting or outdated, difficult and time-consuming to manage--with gems of opportunity potentially missed and/or lost."

I hope the goal was not to simplify the idea...

Who's stealing what design from whom?

This post by Juli Clover for MacRumors.com tells us, "Pop artist Romero Britto last week filed a lawsuit against Apple over its "Start Something New" campaign, for using Craig & Karl artwork that allegedly mimics the design style that Britto is famous for."

Evidently, Mr. Britto believes he invented bold lines, dot screens, and bright colors. He must have been absent the day the teacher covered that thought from Bernard of Chartres (circa 1130), which asserts, "We are like dwarfs standing upon the shoulders of giants, and so able to see more and see farther than the ancients." You decide.

Thanks to Jim Green for pointing us to it.

The lawsuit...
After Romero Britto (Born: 1963) sues Apple and Craig & Karl...
I guess Peter Max (Born: 1937) could sue Guillaume Cornelis Beverloo...
Then the estate of Guillaume Cornelis Beverloo (Born: 1922, Died: 2010) could sue Roy Lichtenstein...

And the estate of Roy Lichtenstein (Born: 1923, Died: 1997) could sue Pablo Picasso...
Then the estate of Pablo Picasso (Born: 1881, Died: 1973) sues one of his predecessors...
Type design with reason

In some ways, type design looks easy. Then you look at the curriculum vitae of Laura Meseguer, a type designer from Barcelona, Spain and teacher of Advanced Typography at Eina Escola d'Art i Disseny, and you begin to appreciate the knowledge and skill necessary to make it look easy.

I like that most of her work is casual looking, but has a professional finish to it. There is seemingly, nothing out of place or added without reason.

Laura Meseguer's CV (300KB PDF)...
Example 1...
Example 2...
Example 3...
The Laura Meseguer website...
Meseguer also contributes typefaces to the Type-Ø-Tones digital foundry...
She also has some fonts on Myfonts.com...
Meseguer's Pinterest feed...
So, how low will you go to make a buck?

With the launch of its new beer "Oculto," Anheuser Busch declares, just about this low.

Oculto means "hidden" in Spanish, but I'm guessing, the millions of folks who see the displays in English, (as it did to when I walked by this display at a local 7-eleven), will conjure up the term "occult" (and all its associations). You think?

So I got curious and discovered some of the stimulating repartee by AB InBev vice president of U.S. marketing Jorn Socquet from an article in Fast Company Creative...

"The marketing strategy for Oculto will be primarily social and experiential, to meet millennial drinkers where they are-in the clubs and on Instagram. Socquet says it will involve sending 'seductive individuals' wearing masks into bars and nightclubs to whisper secret messages into your ear. 'If you're up for it, you'll have an interesting experience,' Socquet says, cryptically. 'Some people will be up for it, some won't, but we can guarantee it will be an Instagrammable or Facebook-worthy moment that people will be proud to put on their social feed.'"

Thanks for that Jorn.

Call me judgmental--but in this case I am being just that. What occurs to me is this: is the use of the "occult" idea good or bad for our society and world in 2015 (yes, I believe that is the intention)? Personally, I think not. Isn't there enough "bad" floating around without folks like Mr. Socquet and companies like Anheuser Busch using it to sell another vat or fermented liquid?

Do they have the right to do it? Of course they do. But at what point do we hold each other accountable for what we're adding to the conversation? At what point do we say, come on folks, do we really need to go there?

But that's just me.

This is your brain. This is your brain on type.

The Type Directors Club claims to be the "the leading international organization whose purpose is to support excellence in typography, both in print and on screen." That would sound a little obnoxious if it wasn't true.

Here's a treat: the club posts recordings of its recent events on Livestream.

Redesigning Vanity Fair: Chris Dixon and Christian Schwartz...
The Livestream: Redesigning Vanity Fair...
Grafica della Strada: Louise Fili...
Livestream: Grafica della Strada...
The Crossroads of Should & Must: Elle Luna...
Livestream: The Crossroads of Should and Must...
The Type Directors Club Livestream...
The Type Directors Club website...
Taco Bell gets ugly with MacDonald's

I don't get how this is effective.

Who recommends that their client go around bad-mouthing and demonizing its competition? It makes Taco Bell look manipulative and angry. "We can't compete so let's berate the leader." (I assume MacDonald's is the leader.)

I believe this kind of stuff, ultimately, becomes intertwined with the brand that creates it. That after people see the message a few times, that they'll start associating the negative imagery with Taco Bell as much as they do with MacDonald's.

Obviously, Taco Bell's agency wants to position it as the little guy, the David who slays Goliath. But that seems like a pretty tough spot to grab when you're part of Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and others) and you have 6000 Taco Bell restaurants.

Demonizing MacDonald's...
From Adweek's Ad of the Day: Taco Bell Launches Cold War Against McDonald's With Propaganda Imagery...
Stats on Yum!, Taco Bell's parent...

Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Don't forget, it ain't all Adwords...

About this newsletter

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. I am an affiliate of Lynda.com and MyFonts.com -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green