An educator bloogging about graphic design.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

All the Whos in Whoville

Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas,
Come this way!
Yesterday I filed my grades. As I clicked “submit” I thought I heard the distant sound of all the little Whos in Whoville singing for joy.

Last night Karen and I celebrated with the chicken fajita quesadillas special and a pitcher of margaritas at our favorite Mexican dive Senor Tacos. Chloe performed interpretive dance and practiced her 4-year-old spanish on the waitress. Stella fussed, but nobody complained. Despite the strangely spring-like weather, we were ready to deck some serious halls.

When we got home Chloe and I wrapped presents. She is learning to tuck the corners of the wrapping paper the way my mom taught me, and she’s getting pretty good at it. This morning I’m working on DIY Christmas gifts. More on this later — I don’t want to tip off anybody who’s on my gift list. But I will say that it involves grocery shopping and dumpster diving. Two things that don’t normal go together.

I’ve mailed my AIGA holiday cards. I’ve helped Chloe email Santa. I’ve listened to the Blue Hawaiians’ Christmas on Big Island. I’ve watched my neighbor Ethan’s DVD of White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. I’ve read How The Grinch Stole Christmas to Chloe. There’s a a week and a half of shopping days left.

Welcome Christmas, come this way!

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Links

zoomIt’s exam week, and I’m catching up on a few things here…

Threadless MySpace meets T-shirt design. The participants submit, view and vote on designs, then they are screen printed and sold via the same site. I want all these shirts!

The Design EncyclopediaThis would have come in handy for the Typography review last week. Want to know whether Bauhaus is a style, a school, or a magazine? You can find out here. it looks like a work in progress…

Carbonmade Nifty free portfolios in a social online space. Looks good for my students. Cute graphics, DIY interface, tagged by category. Suggests freelance work but probably doesn’t attract that much. Lots of wannabes.

Good is Dead Chip Kidd’s personal website. This is the only place I’ve ever seem web so much like print design, all the way down to crop marks and a CIP page. I’ve got to get Chip Kidd: Book One

Research Studios The studio that Neville Brody founded that has redesigned the legendary London Times, rebranded Macromedia before Adobe bought them, and lots of other nifty projects.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

ka-chink. RrrrrrrrrrrrrCHUNK!

vander4I heard the sound of a Number Four Vandercook proofing press in my car this week during the commute home after teaching. It was recorded as part of the NPR Sound Clips series on All Things Considered. When I was an MFA student at Cranbrook we had a Vandercook in the basement, right next to a MacIntosh loaded with Pagemaker and hooked up to a dot matrix printer. They made a strange pair: an outmoded printing machine and one still coming into its own.

A few years later I was designing books at University of Illinois, where larger letterpresses and linotypes were still in use. A trained operator gave me a tour, setting my name in 18 pt. Futura and tossing me the heavy, hot slug of metal fresh out of the typesetting machine. Ouch. That’s why they call it hot type, kid.

For more on letterpress, check out…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

George Lois Interview

Esquire.Ali.St. SebastianI just heard a terrific interview with the creator of this 1968 magazine cover. AIGA Design Legend George Louis depicted controversial boxing legend Muhammad Ali as the arrow-pierced martyr St. Sebastian. Lois had to persuade Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad to allow Ali, a converted Muslim, to appear as a famous Christian martyr. After he managed that and they were shooting the photo, Ali started astutely named each fake arrow after one of his critics, beginning with Lyndon Johnson. Lois has edited a new book on Ali. And speaking of books, Lois’ Ali cover appears in Megg’s History of Graphic Design.