Monday, September 28, 2009

The Unkindest Font (a designer's rant)

The perception of good design is that it is deceptively simple, so simple in fact, that most people question it's credibility and challenge its elemental process.
"Process,what process? It's just three squares, I could do that."
In other words there an awful lot of people out there who feel qualified to practice without an artist's license.

This is for all the people who: have a knack, have a good eye, know what they want when they see it, want it to match the couch, want to change that one color to purple instead of green and then it will be perfect...

This is a rant that is as old as our profession and yet, still has the power to strike me dumb and curse the anathema that is desktop publishing.

The perfect logo in this business is the holy grail, and as rare as the perfect poem sprung word for word in one sitting, whole and unedited, pure in prose and emotion, each word measured and spot-on with no extras, clean, direct, and evocative, no more- no less-

So, when a client called recently with the problem of not being able to open and rearrange a few things in her final identity assets files, so that she could "lay out a new business card and flyer" I was a little upset.
I was able to maintain an outward calm and asked if she would send me her attempts so far-
I wasn't surprised at the Frankenstein document that was intended for the printer, but I admit to a total meltdown at her suggestion to the printer that they use COMIC SANS, instead of the subtle and elegant Garamond for her business card and  flyer.
"Do you want this to look like a ransom note?"
"Do you realize that there are even tee shirts that advocate the destruction of that ridiculously cheesy font?"
"Do you want your logo to be followed by a punch line?"
"It IS called COMIC sans"

To my client's credit, she did not hang up on me and admitted that Comic Sans was the only typeface on her computer that was the right size and weight.

In the end, she got ten minutes of free design work and I got the logo in it's original form- without the punch line.

Actually the punch line came later, in a follow up call-
as I said in my sternest, most professional voice "Please don't try this at home"

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Circus Obsession

Well, I just could not leave it alone, I printed out my postcards and they looked so plain, I designed a back so they are more like trading cards now- but I am happy- I have covered every square inch and there is no turning back-

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

for BMC

Congratulations and thank you, BMC, for your voice, your courage and your frank discussion in defense of us all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The last postcard

Well, here's the last one, I wanted a group shot so that all the bodies would show-
I still have three characters to make, but if I waited until I was through with the entire group, I'd never be able to keep up my nerve to send my proposal to Mr. Waits-
Next is the storyboard scrapbook and then it will be ready to send-

Friday, September 4, 2009

Postcards from the Circus

Here's the latest on the 'Circus' project... four out of the set of five character postcards.
This is is as close as I get to running away.