I recently received an email from my graphic designer friend, with the subject line commanding me to “VOTE!”. Assuming that it would have something to do with politics, I was rather surprised to find a link to the Threadless website, featuring pictures of my friend’s latest design project.
Threadless is a website that allows visitors to rate and provide feedback on t-shirt designs from creatively-inclined individuals. Designs that receive the best ratings win money, notoriety and the chance to have their shirt produced and sold on the Threadless website.
Be sure to check out the Typetees. These tees feature slogans submitted by Threadless users and set in a typeface provided by foundries and typographers from around the world. My personal favorites include:
Last week was Google, and this week it’s Scotch Tape. I like Tim Siedell’s blog, and he posted about this recently. He got it from AdFreak (a site I enjoy), and both of them linked to 3M’s own site in honor of such an anniversary.
In fact, 3M’s site is kind of cute. You can find 75 ideas for Scotch Tape, you can find old ads (both print and television), and even get a good look at Scotty McTape, their old mascot. I liked getting to read The Story Of Scotch Tape which is pretty interesting (I think). It’s funny how they sort of lucked into being the kind of “generic” brand name I talked about last week.
September 26th, 2007 by Jim Kidwell
The newest issue of Adobe’s design magazine has just been published. They always include a number of interesting articles, but for me the most interesting part is seeing all that can be done in the PDF format. I’m still not entirely convinced that a stable rich PDF can be easily developed and debugged quickly, yet it’s always fun to see how far mothership pushes the envelope.
If type is your thing, you might want to check out the new book by esteemed graphic designer Roger Fawcett-Tang, New Typographic Design.
As printing and design technologies have evolved over the past decade, so too have designers’ approaches to type design and typography. Today’s innovative designers have overturned established rules about type, turning letters into images and using typefaces in increasingly experimental ways. New Typographic Design covers a wide variety of applications from design for print–ranging from books, magazines, and brochures–to signage systems and screen-based typography, presenting the most current trends and directions of modern typography.
According the the book’s publisher, Yale University Press, “this lavishly illustrated volume will provide a rich source of inspiration for both practicing designers and students.” Sounds like my kind of book, a little inspiration can go a long way.
I’m wandering a round a local odd-ball store (“Hello!” in Portland) looking for the perfect creative inspiration to kick-off our Marketing team offsite.
Behold. There they are: indescribably strange, totally addictive creatures from UNKL. They are vinyl- how hip. Have you noticed how everything ‘vinyl’ is cool again? And it really is. I’m falling for it big time. Vinyl toys are the new “must-have” desk accessory for the creative type (or wanna-be). Consequently, I just had to have them.
So each person got their very own Unipo (there are dozens of variations)- and was tasked to feature them in a story about their place in the world. The rules were simple: 5o words or less, incorporating several terms. I don’t recall them all, but 2 of them were squishy and emulsify. Definitely got the juices flowing. Now the Unipo live proudly among us at Extensis. (Mine is the one below with his very own beanbag chair).
To get your vinyl fix in the UK, check out Urban retro.
If you want to float me a Unipo story- 50 words or less- we’ll send you something cool (maybe even your very own Unipo).
Since I work with words for a living, I try to pay attention to changing conventions with words. Typically, I try to follow the conventions put forth in my Little English Handbook, yet as the times change, the way that we write also changes.
Take for example the hyphen. Typically this punctuation mark is used to create compound words out of unrelated words. Yet, as those unrelated words become more closely entwined, the hyphen is often dropped. The time that it takes for that hyphen to be dropped is shorter and shorter. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary recently removed over 16,000 hyphens from the newest version of the dictionary.
This of course has design, layout and typography implications. I find that hyphens visually clutter the look of a word, and definitely prefer “email” to “e-mail” any day.
Of course, you’ll still find a wide variety of usage out in the wild, so it’s by far best to create a style guide for your own organization – whether it’s one for yourself or your team of writers. I maintain the Extensis style guide that covers everything from common word usage to patent and trademark issues. It’s great reference material to make sure that everyone stays on the same page, and keeps us from perpetually asking the same questions.
If you’re not sure where to get started, I recommend reviewing the Apple Style Guide (PDF) as well as the Microsoft Manual of Style. Since much of our documentation is cross-platform, we have to serve these multiple masters. We start with both of these guides, and where they conflict, the Extensis Style Guide steps in. Believe it or not, there are fewer conflicts than you’d think!
Avast ye… oh hang on, that was Wednesday.. darn..
Anyway, welcome to my once every other Friday official posting gig! I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be posting on, but I imagine it will either be something Canadian, or something involving development here at Extensis.
Today I wanted to mention this really cool article by Joe Clark on Type In The Toronto subway system (found via Daring Fireball). Joe goes into great depth about the history of type in the Toronto subway, and how it seems the folks that run the subway – the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) – seem to be going a little crazy with their type.. and designs, judging by the Egypt renderings at the end of the article.
It’s long, but very interesting. Worth the time to read or at least skim in my opinion. Ok, back to finishing this next generation font management product. Hopefully soon I can say the actual name.
(Image credit: Donna Cymek)
You know you’ve made it when your brand becomes a “generic” name for what you make (see: Kleenex, Bandaid, Xerox).
On the tubes, you know you’ve made it when you become a verb, like Google has. You’ll notice nobody says they’ll “Yahoo” something, or “I really need to Amazon this.” And not only do people say it, but when they do, other people know what it means. My personal adoption check: If you say it to my mom and she knows what you are talking about, then it is officially EVERYWHERE, and my mom uses “Google” in sentences all the time.
I had a friend of mine tell me in 1999, “Check out this site-google.com. You need it, it’s way faster than Yahoo! and you get results you are actually looking for.”
Well, I never went back. So when those Google guys started inviting folks to use their email service, I signed up as fast as I could, and as cool as my Gmail was when I got it, it just keeps getting cooler. Then they added documents and a calendar and so on, and all of it works really well.
As I heard in a presentation a couple of years ago, “In 40 years we’ll all be getting in our Google to go to the Google to get some more Google.” Which gets more and more likely as time goes on.
They seem to be a really cool company that hasn’t lost their coolness just yet, even though they keep getting bigger (they have even expanded into Oregon!), and in Internet time ten “people” years equates to the rise and fall of an entire civilization!
September 19th, 2007 by Paul Krummenacker
Avast ye mateys, I be Paul Krummenacker, t’ head bilge rat ‘ere in Extensis Technical Support. I be workin’ ‘ere goin’ on 5 ‘ears.
Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So, if you call into Technical Support you might be greeted with an ‘argh’ or an ‘aye’.
Yarr!! Support be here t’ answer your questions and assist you with your problems. All too often people be afraid that t’ Technical support person you’re callin’ be located across t’ seven seas. Not us, me hearties, we’re located portside here in t’ home office in
We’re staffed by actual lubbers, 8am t’ 5pm Pacific time. Thar be 11 o’ us here t’ help you and keep your sailin’ smooth. We’ll steer you clear o’ any asset management rock outcroppin’s and help ye avoid t’ undersea monsters that corrupt font caches can become on your machine. We’ve got a lot o’ combined experience and together we can work t’ keep you headed in t’ starboard directions. “
You may also notice that we’ve been addin’ more knowledge base articles and resources t’ help you find answers t’ your questions, or get other tips and tricks t’ help you along your journey. If thar be thins you’d like t’ be seein’ us address, please drop us a line and let us know.”
Fer a little more pirate fun, visit:
Hello Extensis blog readers, I am Paul Krummenacker, the manager of Extensis Technical Support. I’ve been with Extensis almost 5 years.
Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. So, if you call into Technical Support you might be greeted with an ‘argh’ or an ‘aye’.
It’s our pleasure here at Extensis Technical Support to be here to answer your questions and assist you with your problems. All too often people are afraid that the Technical Support person you’re calling is located overseas. Not us, we’re located right here in the home office in
We’re staffed by real live human beings, 8am to 5pm Pacific time. There are 11 of us here to help you and keep your sailing smooth. We’ll steer you clear of any asset management rock outcroppings and help you avoid the under sea monsters that corrupt font caches can become on your machine.
We’ve got a lot of combined experience and together we can work to keep you headed in the right directions.
You may also notice that we’ve been adding more knowledge base articles and resources to help you find answers to your questions, or get other tips and tricks to help you along your journey. If there are things you’d like to see us address, please drop us a line and let us know.
Treat yourself to some back-to-school (or bummed-that-summer-is-over) tunes. We have a great offer going on the Extensis site. For every $49 you spend, you will receive a $10 iTunes certificate. Offer good thru next Friday on Suitcase Fusion, Portfolio, and others. So stock up and whistle while you work.