Magnificent new show of Scott Albrecht's deconstructed, typographical art opening in San Francisco on Saturday

This Saturday (6/30) in San Francisco, Brooklyn-based artist/designer Scott Albrecht opens "A Forgiving Sunset," a large solo exhibition of new woodworks, works-on-paper, and steel sculptures. Scott continues to amplify his blend of artistic vision and exquisite craftsmanship in captivating works that are based in simple typographical forms but manifested from his puzzle-like assembly of numerous individual pieces of paper, wood, or, now, steel.

“The work for this show pulls from a range of experiences and inspirations over the last two years," Albrecht says. "A recurring point of reference in the work was the social climate and the growing gaps I was seeing among relationships — both on a cultural level as well as a personal level — and my own desire to return to something more connected. When I began this collection I developed a somewhat daily habit of listening to the poem, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Although it was originally written in 1927, it is, among many things, a fairly timeless call for empathy, compassion and understanding, which seems just as relevant and needed today as I’m sure it did when it was written.”

A Forgiving Sunset hangs at the First Amendment Gallery until July 28. The opening reception is Saturday, June 30, from 7-10pm.

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Stellar collection of 1980s tech company logos (also available as a slideshow!)

Available free on Archive.org, the 1985 Electronic Engineers Master Vol 2 contains page after page of excellent technology company logos, many of which have been lost to the obsolescence of hardware and business plans. Marcin Wichary the designer/typographer/writer behind the Segmented Type Playground and the Pac-Man Google Doodle, turned the logos into a beautifully haunting slideshow.

(via Kottke)

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36 Days of Type's annual crowdsourced submissions did not disappoint

36 Days of Type is a long-running collaborative design project where different artists render letters and numbers in a unique style. This year's entries are as delightful as always. Read the rest

Play with letters in this fantastic Segmented Type Playground

Marcin Wichary, a wonderful designer/typographer/writer who I had the pleasure of working with at Medium years ago, created this fantastic "Segmented Type Playground." Learn more via Marcin's Twitter thread about the project. (Among many other prior projects, Marcin created the playable Pac-Man Google Doodle back in 2010.)

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Study: two spaces after a period makes reading easier

Amongst people who care deeply about typography and fonts -- which is, in our typographic age, probably a reasonable chunk of people online -- there's been a low-level war about spacing after a period. Specifically: When you finish a sentence, do you type one space, or two?

There are many heated views on this matter.

But recently, a couple of scholars decided to science this one out, and ... things did not turn out well for the one-spacers.

As the Washington Post reports:

So the researchers, Rebecca L. Johnson, Becky Bui and Lindsay L. Schmitt, rounded up 60 students and some eye tracking equipment, and set out to heal the divide.

First, they put the students in front of computers and dictated a short paragraph, to see how many spaces they naturally used. Turns out, 21 of the 60 were “two-spacers, ” and the rest typed with close-spaced sentences that would have horrified the Founding Fathers.

The researchers then clamped each student's head into place, and used an Eyelink 1000 to record where they looked as they silently read 20 paragraphs. The paragraphs were written in various styles: one-spaced, two-spaced, and strange combinations like two spaces after commas, but only one after periods. And vice versa, too.

And the verdict was: two spaces after the period is better. It makes reading slightly easier.

Mind you, the reading-speed improvement with double spaces was only 3%, so we're talking about a pretty tiny delta here.

Small enough, in fact, that this study has not so much resolved this debate as fanned its eternal, eldritch flames. Read the rest

2,000+ awesome hieroglyphs, coming soon to Unicode

Unicode pioneer Michael Suignard has submitted a "Revised draft for the encoding of an extended Egyptian Hieroglyphs repertoire" in Unicode, trying to replicate the expressivity of the 7,000 hieroglyphs used in Greco/Roman times. Read the rest

A list of all 8 fonts used on the Srirachi bottle label

Fonts in Use took a stab at identifying all of the fonts used in the Srirachi bottle label, which breaks all design rules but still looks awesome.

Both the packaging and contents of tương ớt sriracha hot chili sauce bottles from Huy Fong Foods, Inc. have become condiment icons in recent decades. Sometimes referred to as “rooster sauce” because of the rooster on its label (the illustrator of which is unknown), the chili sauce features a chaotic jumble of elements on its packaging in multiple writing systems.

The most prominent Latin text elements are rendered in a variety of informal script typefaces released by American Type Founders in the 20th century, namely Balloon and its shaded counterpart, Balloon Drop Shadow, as well as Brody. Smaller text on the back of the bottle is set in Impress and Tekton.

Unfortunately my skills with recognizing fonts for Chinese text aren’t good enough to identify those used on the label. Any insight is welcome.

[via Kottke]

Image by Guilhem Vellut from Paris, France - Song Huong @ Paris, CC BY 2.0, Link Read the rest

All the fonts on a sriracha bottle, except one

In a tweet that's gone viral, Amsterdam-based designer James Cullen referenced a 2015 Fonts In Use article that uncovers the many typefaces on the iconic Huy Fong sriracha hot sauce bottle label.

Nick Sherman, the author of the article, writes:

Both the packaging and contents of tương ớt sriracha hot chili sauce bottles from Huy Fong Foods, Inc. have become condiment icons in recent decades. Sometimes referred to as “rooster sauce” because of the rooster on its label (the illustrator of which is unknown), the chili sauce features a chaotic jumble of elements on its packaging in multiple writing systems.

The most prominent Latin text elements are rendered in a variety of informal script typefaces released by American Type Founders in the 20th century, namely Balloon and its shaded counterpart, Balloon Drop Shadow, as well as Brody. Smaller text on the back of the bottle is set in Impress and Tekton.

Unfortunately my skills with recognizing fonts for Chinese text aren’t good enough to identify those used on the label. Any insight is welcome.

Naturally the internet did its thing:

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A typography historian shares his favorite typefaces

Paul McNeil just published his comprehensive typographical overview, The Visual History of Type. To celebrate, he also published a list of his six favorite faces for It's Nice That, starting with the first compact italic:

The Aldine Italic / Griffo’s Italic / 1501

Few typefaces have had as great an influence on Western culture as Francesco Griffo’s Italic. At the end of the 15th century, when most books were large and heavy, Aldus Manutius commissioned Griffo to cut this compact, inclined letterform. Easily legible at small sizes, the Aldine Italic permitted the production of small, affordable, portable books suited to the requirements of an educated, mobile class of literate individuals. Over the next three centuries, the practice of publishing changed everything. By allowing texts to be reliably reproduced and disseminated in an almost limitless time frame, it triggered new ideas that profoundly challenged all forms of institutional control, leading to dramatic religious reforms, radical socio-political changes, and to the scientific worldview that initiated the modern era.

The Visual History of Type (via It's Nice That)

Image via ilovetypography.com Read the rest

In 1913 T.J. Cobden-Sanderson threw the most beautiful type in the world into the river Thames

In March 1913, Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson threw the most beautiful typeface in the world off of London's Hammersmith Bridge to keep it out of the hands of his estranged printing partner. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll explore what would lead a man to destroy the culmination of his life's work -- and what led one modern admirer to try to revive it.

We'll also scrutinize a housekeeper and puzzle over a slumped child.

Show notes

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The Design Deck teaches graphic design as you play cards

Ben Barrett-Forrest created The Design Deck, a nifty set of playing cards that each have facts about graphic design on them. Read the rest

Watch: Cool typographic metaphors using vintage typewriter come to life

Illustrator Greg Condon uses a Smith Corona Galaxie Deluxe typewriter to give metaphorical shape and movement to words in this awesome short, "disillusionment of ten point font."

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Preventing typography disasters, from the Oscars to prescription bottles

This Vox video illustrates the fact that type design was the true culprit in last month's Oscars cockup, and how easy it would have been to prevent. But backslapping award shows are only the beginning of bad design when it comes to type.

The 2017 Oscars ended with a pretty shocking mix-up. Announcer Warren Beatty incorrectly named La La Land as the Best Picture winner, and the mistake wasn't revealed until crew members had already started giving their acceptance speeches. A lot of things went wrong for the snafu to happen the way it did. But what if typography was one of them? A better announcement card design could have made for a very different Academy Awards show — not to mention a much less embarrassing Miss Universe show for Steve Harvey back in 2015. But the implications of bad typography don't end there: poorly designed ballots in the 2000 presidential election arguably could have swayed the outcome, and illegible type on medicine bottles could be causing nearly 500,000 cases of drug misuse per year in the U.S.

The way pill bottles are turned into incomprehensible ads for the pharmacy--and how graphic designer Deborah Adler proposes to fix it--is intriguing, not least because there are always a lot of unseen pressures and constraints that design is bound by. Nothing will ever be done to fix it: informational text gets perverted by conceit, branding, regulation and corporate bikeshedding until it is worse than useless for any purpose.

Except one, perhaps! I'm especially fond of how manuals for electrical appliances are mostly regulatory safety warnings that succeed both in limiting liability and making the device less safe, because they are so forbidding and badly written no human will ever comprehend them. Read the rest

Suggestion for improving the design of the Academy Awards cards

Benjamin Bannister has a good idea about the design of the Academy Awards cards.

That’s horrible typography. I will emphasize horrible again. Horrible. Or to be nicer, not good. Look at it again. Of course, anyone could’ve made the same honest error!

The words “Best Actress” is on there — at the very bottom — in small print!

You are on television with millions of people around the world watching. You are a little nervous, and you have to read a card. You will most likely read it from top to bottom (visual hierarchy) without questioning whether the card is right. That look on Warren’s face was, “This says ‘Emma Stone’ on it.” Faye must’ve skipped that part and was caught up in the excitement and just blurted out, “La La Land.”

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Fanciful embroidered typography and birds

London-based designer Katheryn Benedict-Perri takes embroidered text to the next level with intricate overlapping letters using multiple colors. Read the rest

New show of Scott Albrecht's exquisite deconstructed typographical art opening in L.A.

My friend Scott Albrecht, a Brooklyn-based artist and designer who creates fantastic typographical illustrations and hand-crafted, puzzle-like wood sculptures, has a show of remarkable new works opening on Saturday (11/19) at Shepard Fairey's Subliminal Projects gallery in Los Angeles.

"(Scott's) abstraction and deconstruction of type forms combined with his sophisticated color theory and surface treatments yield artworks that are immediate, yet command a deeper and closer look," Shepard says.

The exhibition, titled "New Translations," runs until January 7. Below is a preview of the show. Valley Cruise Press has also published a hardcover, full color book of Scott's work, available here. From the gallery:

The works are largely based in typography but have their legibility masked in a variety of techniques; bold color-blocking, varying depths, non-uniform grids, or a lack of spacing between words. This manipulation can make the work appear pattern-based at first glance; however, on further evaluation the viewer discovers there is no repetition. While his works are constructed from a literary idea, Albrecht's approach is mainly visual. In a series of new pieces for the exhibit, this process is underscored when he overlays two words on top of one another, and in some instances reverses the order of the characters. The end result renders the characters illegible with the exception of small moments or clues from the two words, visually presenting two ideas that are at odds with each other, hindering any idea from manifesting.

Albrecht's woodworks are the result of an extensive process that starts with a hand-rendered drawing and requires hours of precision production work.

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Fine examples of the typographical sin of keming

"Keming" is a nickname for bad kerning, and the fine folks at F**kYeahKeming have gathered some of the world's finest examples. Lots of "flick" and "click" kerning disasters, but some novel ones, too. The veracity and provenance of these have not been verified, but as long as we want to believe they're real, that's all that matters online. Read the rest

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