Monday, April 25, 2011

Typography II - Journal Entry #12


She fascinated me when she talked about her design work for "Citi" Bank. She explained how she is not a refiner, most of her best work is done quickly and one the first or second try. When she was hired on to do the logo design for Citi, she met with the executive and then moments after leaving his office drew the logo on a napkin. It was done. Quick and simple. A problem with this, she say, thats a lot of clients like to buy process and she doesn't usually have it. But she had displayed that her talents with illustrative typography greatly outweigh the need for process. I would ask her if she has some kind of MENTAL process she goes through in order to come up with her creative ideas so it more than just "instinct?"


He shocked me when he said that his "lack of training" is what was his greatest aid. He started doing magazine layouts and just did what felt right to him, and was told later what his guidelines where. This was both a good and bad thing. He felt (and still feels) that ones work should be a reflection of one's personality, one's imagination, what is inside. To me his greatest point was when he said that design is n't about making something ugly, hard-to-read, pretty, or any physical attribute. It's about INTERPRETATION and what you do with it. I would ask him what kind of feedback he got from other professionals and readers in regards to his odd and interesting magazine layouts.


His video starts of with one quote that really hit home with me. "I believe that the life of a designer is the life that is very much between two sensibilities; that of a business man and that of an artist. And everybody kind of has a sense of where they fit in that spectrum." He also points out that if you have a relationship to art or art history you are blessed with a tremendous gift. You have the ability to give a precious gift to culture. A gift that allows people to have something in common: the love of art. This has potential to prevent war, hard times and hard feelings. It can pierce through any kind of hardship. His words really were moving and reminded me why I became a designer and an artist in the first place. If I could ask him one question I would ask him about his life and his work and see if I could determine the source and outcome of all his gathered wisdom and insight into the world of a designer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Typography II - Journal Entry #11

Who is Debbie Millman?
Debbie Millman is a partner and president of the design division at Sterling Brands, one of the leading brand identity firms in the country. Millman is president of AIGA, and chair of the School of Visual Arts’ master’s program in Branding. She is a contributing editor to Print magazine and host of the podcast “Design Matters.” She is the author of How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer (Allworth Press, 2007), The Essential Principles of Graphic Design (Rotovision, 2008) and Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design (How Books, 2009).

What is Design Matters?
It is a radio talk show, hosted by Debbie Millman, where she takes listeners inside the world of design and branding to talk to professionals about what they do, how they do it and (most importantly) WHY they do what they do.

What did you find interesting about the Interview?
I listened to the interview Debbie gave to Ann Whiloughby and it displayed a very tranquil and humble view. She talked about the inspiration she received when visiting a hospital that her mother was in. She talked about the raw emotion and tension and even love that is conveyed in an environment like that. People are not here by choice and are hopeful that everything will be okay, her mother was in the same boat. "It's difficult to see some of the situations people find themselves in when they visit a place like a hospital, but the love and care that they receive is oh so reassuring." She talks about how emotion and thoughtfulness fuels her design work and how the compassionate mind is a haven for brilliant ideas and new, more personal, methods of communication.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Speech: Releasing of the Watergate Tapes

Who is speaking?
President Richard M. Nixon, 37th President of the United States.

Why was/is the speech important to society?
It was a response to the unveiling of the watergate scandal that exposed government corruption in the United States.

Why do you feel in is important or interesting?
It is a display of his underhandedness in that it was later revealed to be totally true that he was involved and it sheds a darker light on the politics behind our government system.

What is the emotion, mood, tone, personality, feeling of the speech?
Very Serious, very tactful, nothing sugar-coated about it. Political and precise.

What is intonation, emphasis, what is loud, stressed, or soft. Where are there pauses...
All the numbers are emphasized and the towards the end him insisting that he is “not a crook” is emphasized too.

What do you FEEL should be loud or soft, long pause or rushed?
I think that the section about his mistake but what his virtues are should be a bit more powerful.

Is there a call to action? When listening to it what are key/emphasized words?
The only “call to action” may be the plea from Nixon to understand that he’s “not a crook.” Don’t believe him.

How does it make you feel?
I feel insecure about my established government and weary of trusting others.

How do imagine that the audience felt?
I’m sure that a majority of them wished to believe Nixon because they felt that they should be able to trust their leader. It’s a shame that they were disappointed.

Could there be another interpretation of the speech?
I suppose you could look at it from a believer and a skeptic’s point of view.

Write/find a short bio, of the person giving the speech.
Richard Nixon was the thirty-seventh president of the United States. He successfully served as a member of the House of Representatives and of the Senate and was vice president under Dwight Eisenhower (1890–1969). Despite all his political triumphs, Nixon will probably best be remembered as the first president to resign from office.

Young Nixon in California
Richard Milhous Nixon was born on his father's lemon farm in Yorba Linda, California, on January 9, 1913. Of the four other sons in the family, two died in childhood. After the farm failed, the family moved to Whittier, California, where Nixon's father ran a grocery store. Nixon had a troubled childhood. Raised by a sometimes abusive father and a controlling mother, Nixon adopted parts of both his parents' personalities. Some historians have believed that, as a result of his childhood, Nixon had a drive to succeed and felt he had to pretend to be "good" while using any tactics necessary to achieve his goals.
At Whittier College, Nixon excelled as a student and a debater. He was president of his freshman class and, as a senior, president of the student body. Graduating second in his class in 1934, he won a scholarship to Duke University Law School. Although he was a member of the national scholastic law fraternity, he failed to find a job in one of the big New York law firms. This failure, along with the views of his father, left him with a strong dislike of the "eastern establishment."
Reluctantly, Nixon returned to Whittier and began practicing law. Soon afterward, Nixon met Thelma Catherine Patricia (Pat) Ryan (1912–1993), a high school teacher. The two were married in 1940 and would have two daughters, Patricia and Julie.

Public service, then soldier
Shortly before the United States entered World War II (1939–45), where Americanled forces faced-off against Germany, Japan, and Italy, Nixon began working for the federal government in the Office of Emergency Management. Nixon soon left this post and entered the navy as a lieutenant junior-grade in August 1942. He was sent to the Pacific as an operations officer with the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command. Fourteen months later he returned to the United States to work as a lawyer in uniform. In September 1945 a group of Republicans in Whittier asked him to run for Congress. He jumped at the opportunity. Nixon left the navy in January 1946 and began his victorious campaign, in which he defeated a five-term congressman.

Congressional activities and national fame
As congressman, Nixon was assigned to the House Labor Committee and to the Select Committee on Foreign Aid. In 1947 he and other committee members toured Europe. Nixon quickly established a reputation as an internationalist in foreign policy, proving that he worked well with foreign nations. As a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Nixon became a leading anti-Communist crusader. (Communism is a political system where goods and services are owned and controlled by the government.) He first attracted national attention as a member of HUAC when he led the suit that resulted in the conviction of Alger Hiss (1904–1996), a former State Department official charged with Communist connections. While Nixon gained national attention fighting the threat of Communism, he also caught the attention of General Dwight Eisenhower (1890–1969), who chose him as his running mate in his successful presidential campaign of 1952. Eisenhower in part recruited Nixon in hopes of drawing valuable support in the West.

The vice presidency
As vice president, Nixon continued to please his supporters and anger his critics. He acted as the chief political spokesman in Eisenhower's administration. Among Nixon's assignments was foreign travel. In office less than a year, Nixon made an extended trip through Asia, visiting, among other places, Hanoi, North Vietnam, then under French control. He established many useful relationships on these trips and impressed critics at home with his knowledge of foreign affairs.
On a trip to Latin America in 1958, he was set upon by mobs but handled himself coolly. In 1959 he visited Poland and the Soviet Union, a former Communist nation made up of Russia and other states. While in Moscow, his meeting with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev (1894–1971) prepared the way for Khrushchev's later visit to the United States to meet with Eisenhower.

Running for president
In 1960 Nixon won the Republican presidential nomination and chose Henry Cabot Lodge (1902–1985) as his running mate. The campaign against the Democratic team of Senators John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) and Lyndon Johnson (1908–1973) was close from the beginning. In the first of four televised debates with Kennedy, Nixon did not sharply challenge his opponent and appeared cold and distant, a far cry from the charming Kennedy. But the election was still close, and he lost by some one hundred thousand votes out of the sixty-eight million cast.
After the defeat, Nixon returned to Los Angeles to practice law. In 1964, after the Republican defeat by President Lyndon Johnson, it became clear that Nixon again considered himself a serious presidential contender. In 1968, winning his party's presidential nomination, he picked Governor Spiro T. Agnew (1918–1996) of Maryland as his running mate. Nixon and Agnew ran against the Democratic team of Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978) and Edmund Muskie (1914–). Third-party candidate George Wallace (1919–1998) of Alabama, a threat to both sides, eventually drew support away from Humphrey and cleared a path for Nixon's successful election to the White House.

The presidency
Nixon took the oath of office on January 20, 1969. In his inaugural address, or first speech as president, he appealed for harmony among American society. At that time American society was divided over the issues of domestic racial unrest and the Vietnam War (1955–75; a war in which American forces were aiding South Vietnam's fight against Communist North Vietnam). He promised to bring the nation together again.
Nixon's first foreign objective—to negotiate, or bargain for, an end to the Vietnam War—was unsuccessful. Despite repeated attempts, negotiations with North Vietnam at the Paris peace talks were unproductive. Meanwhile, in June he began replacing American troops with South Vietnamese troops. After a conference with South Vietnam president Nguyen Van Thieu (1923–2001), Nixon ordered 25,000 American combat troops brought home. By the end of 1969, having ordered 110,000 troops home, he expressed hope that all American combat troops would be out of Vietnam by the end of 1970. It would take two more years until most American ground troops had been withdrawn from Vietnam.

International relations
In his second month in office, Nixon embarked on a tour of Western Europe. His official visit to Romania made him the first American president to visit a Communist country. While on an Asian tour, the president called for cooperative efforts and promised American material aid but said that Asian countries must defend their freedoms with their own troops. In his first year, the president signed a treaty with the Soviet Union that worked toward placing limits on the production of nuclear arms.
In 1971 Nixon made the dramatic announcements that he would visit Peking, China, and Moscow, Soviet Union, in the first half of 1972. He also announced progress in the negotiations with the Soviet Union on an arms limitation treaty. The visit to Peking took place in February and he was invited to meet Chairman Mao Zedong (1893–1976), a mark of high respect.

The fall from grace
In the presidential election of 1972, Nixon and Agnew ran against Democrats George McGovern (1922–) and Sargent Shriver (1915–). The election was a landslide for Nixon, but no one was expecting what would happen next. During his last election campaign, what first appeared as a minor burglary was to become the beginning of the end of Nixon's political career. A break-in at Democratic national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C., was linked to Republicans.
During the trial of six men charged in the crime, the existence of the cover-up began to emerge and government officials fell like dominos in its path. By October 1973, as the Watergate investigation continued, Nixon lost several top aides as well as his vice president. Agnew resigned before pleading no contest to federal charges of receiving bribes, failing to pay his taxes properly, and other crimes while serving as governor of Maryland.
Soon the U.S. Supreme Court forced Nixon to turn over tape recordings he made during the election. The tapes showed he obstructed, or blocked, justice in stopping a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) probe of the Watergate burglary. On August 9, 1974, in national disgrace, he became the first president of the United States to choose to leave office before the end of his term. He boarded a plane with his wife and returned to his California home, ending his public career. A month later, in a controversial move, President Gerald Ford (1913–) issued an unconditional pardon for any offenses Nixon might have committed while president.

Private citizen
Nixon led a quiet life until the criticism from the Watergate scandal had softened. Nixon then emerged in a role of elder statesman, visiting countries in Asia as well as returning to the Soviet Union and China. He also consulted with the administrations of George Bush (1924–) and Bill Clinton (1946–) and wrote his memoirs, or a book of his memories, and other books on international affairs and politics. The Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace opened in the early 1990s in Yorba Linda. On January 20, 1994, in what would be his last public appearance, ceremonies honoring him on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first inauguration were held. He also announced the creation of the Center for Peace and Freedom, a policy center at the Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace. Richard Nixon died of a stroke on April 22, 1994. A state funeral was held five days later in Yorba Linda, where President Clinton and others praised Nixon and his achievements. However Nixon is remembered, he will most likely never escape the shadow of Watergate.

Typography II - Journal Entry #10


I absolutely loved exploring this website. There are so many interesting and eye-opening articles and sections. The site is divided into a variety of categories ranging from videos to info-graphics to magazines. They explore a bunch of different topics in each of these mediums and these can be found along the left border of the homepage. These topics include Action, Business, Cities, Culture, Design, Education, Environment, Food, Health, Media, Polotics, Technology and Transportation. These are all important topics that directly involve current society and I feel like "GOOD" is a great place to go and get interactive and creative visual input on current issues and topics that play a significant role in our daily lives.

Typography II - Journal Entry #9

Jakob Trollback

Probably the most inspiring point Trollback made throughout his lecture happened towards the very beginning. He often refereed back to this point throughout the entire lecture. Design is a language of it's own, and, just like any other speaking language, we must learn it and learn how to make since with it. It's a shame to say that some people can make a living in this field without every having to "make sense." The joy of design in the opportunity to be creative and be able to have the power to make a statement that people will see! Eventually, as you grow you are going to want to make a difference. What better way to do it than through your design talents and creativity. Trollback believes that EVERY human is creative, so you have ample opportunity. It may be difficult though. The hardest thing to do is to change someones mind. Pressure, discussion and pleas often don't work and emotion only gets you so far. Trollback swears by participation in the understanding of the design. "It gives the viewer ownership of the knowledge and message," he says. It requires the viewer to use their imagination and unveil the hidden story within the design. Message, Imagination and Story are all components of language. See how it all is connected!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Typography II - Journal Entry #8

5 fonts that are similar to FUTURA, but can be better:

Helvetica Neue - Helvetica Neue has a more narrow stroke width and a slightly wider character width than future which is nice.

Gotham - Gotham's stroke width is even thinner and the character width is more wide. It stands out nicely against Futura.

Interstate - This font probably looks the most like Futura out of the bunch. However, it has some nice embellishes here and there.

Meta - Meta has a smaller stroke width and isn;t quite as geometric/blocky as Futura.

Univers - Univers has about the same stroke width but a wider character width which makes a lot of difference.


Choosing a typeface to use is far more than I (or anyone) can imagine. Mostly is boils down to how much we "like it." Which is all fine and dandy. However, there is so much more that we could consider when select what type we want to use for a specific project. Each typeface has a specific form, function, meaning, aesthetic and overall reverence that is attached to it. And anyone who is aware of these qualities will be able to pin point successfully selected type as opposed to the "plop and drop" special order type. Here some rules taken from the article by Michael Bierut on why we choose the type that we choose:

1. Because it works.
Some typefaces are just perfect for certain things. I've specified exotic fonts for identity programs that work beautifully in headlines and even in text, but sooner or later you have to set that really tiny type at the bottom of the business reply card. This is what Franklin Gothic is for. Careful, though: some typefaces work too well. Frutiger has been used so much for signage programs in hospitals and airports that seeing it now makes me feel that I'm about to get diagnosed with a brain tumor or miss the 7:00 to O'Hare.

2. Because you like its history.
I've heard of several projects where the designer found a font that was created the same year the client's organization was founded. This must give the recommendation an aura of manifest destiny that is positively irresistible. I haven't had that luck yet, but still try to find the same kind of evocative alignment. For instance, I was never a fan of Aldo Novarese's Eurostyle, but I came to love it while working on a monograph on Eero Saarinen: they both share an expressiveness peculiar to the postwar optimism of the 1950's.

3. Because you like its name.
Once I saw a project in a student portfolio that undertook the dubious challenge of redesigning the Tiffany's identity. I particularly disliked the font that was used, and I politely asked what it was. "Oh," came the enthusiastic response, "that's the best part! It's called Tiffany!" On the other hand, Bruce Mau designed Spectacle, the book he created with David Rockwell, using the typeface Rockwell. I thought this was funny.

4. Because of who designed it.
Once I was working on a project where the client group included some very strong-minded architects. I picked Cheltenham, an idiosyncratic typeface that was not only well-suited to the project's requirements, but was one of the few I know that was designed by an architect, Bertram Goodhue. Recently, I designed a publications program for a girls' school. I used a typeface that was designed by a woman and named after another, Zuzana Licko's Mrs. Eaves. In both cases, my clients knew that the public would be completely unaware of the story behind the font selection, but took some comfort in it nonetheless. I did too.

5. Because it was there.
Sometimes a typeface is already living on the premises when you show up, and it just seems mean to evict it. "We use Baskerville and Univers 65 on all our materials, but feel free to make an alternate suggestion." Really? Why bother? It's like one of those shows where the amateur chef is given a turnip, a bag of flour, a leg of lamb and some maple syrup and told to make a dish out of it. Sometimes it's something you've never used before, which makes it even more fun.

6. Because they made you.
And sometimes it's something you've never used before, for good reason. "We use ITC Eras on all our materials." "Can I make an alternate suggestion?" "No." This is when blind embossing comes in handy.

7. Because it reminds you of something.
Whenever I want to make words look straightforward, conversational, and smart, I frequently consider Futura, upper and lower case. Why? Not because Paul Renner was straightforward, conversational, and smart, although he might have been. No, it's because 45 years ago, Helmut Krone decided to use Futura in Doyle Dane Bernbach's advertising for Volkswagen, and they still use it today. One warning, however: what reminds you of something may remind someone else of something else.

8. Because it's beautiful.
Cyrus Highsmith's Novia is now commercially available. He originally designed it for the headlines in Martha Stewart Weddings. Resistance is futile, at least mine is.

9. Because it's ugly.
About 10 years ago, I was asked to redesign the logo for New York magazine. Milton Glaser had based the logo on Bookman Swash Italic, a typeface I found unimaginably dated and ugly. But Glaser's logo had replaced an earlier one by Peter Palazzo that was based on Caslon Italic. I proposed we return to Caslon, and distinctly remember saying, "Bookman Swash Italic is always going to look ugly." The other day, I saw something in the office that really caught my eye. It was set in Bookman Swash Italic, and it looked great. Ugly, but great.

10. Because it's boring.
Tibor Kalman was fascinated with boring typefaces. "No, this one is too clever, this one is too interesting," he kept saying when showed him the fonts I was proposing for his monograph. Anything but a boring typeface, he felt, got in the way of the ideas. We settled on Trade Gothic.

11. Because it's special.
In design as in fashion, nothing beats bespoke tailoring. I've commissioned custom typefaces from Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones and Joe Finocchiaro, and we're currently working with Matthew Carter and Chester. It is the ultimate indulgence, but well worth the extra effort. Is this proliferation? I say bring it on.

12. Because you believe in it.
Sometimes I think that Massimo Vignelli may be using too many typefaces, not too few. A true fundamentalist requires a monotheistic worldview: one world, one typeface. The designers at Experimental Jetset have made the case for Helvetica. My partner Abbott Miller had a period of life he calls "The Scala Years" when he used that typeface almost exclusively. When the time is right, I might make that kind of commitment myself.

13. Because you can't not.
Princeton Architectural Press is about to publish a collection of essays I've written, many of which first appeared here on Design Observer. I wanted it to feel like a real book for readers — it has no pictures — so I asked Abbott to design it. He suggested we set each one of the 79 pieces in a different typeface. I loved this idea, but wasn't sure how far he'd want to go with it. "What about the one called 'I Hate ITC Garamond?'" I asked him. "Would we set it in ITC Garamond?" He looked at me as if I was crazy. "Of course," he said.

These rules display that any certain typeface can have meaning (or multiple meanings) to a viewer. Whether this meaning be purely based on aesthetic and/or how much the designer like the look of the type or based on the history and fundamental backbone of the type; there is always reason behind why we chose the type we choose. A GOOD designer knows their history and knows what about each typeface makes them unique. Once you have all this information under your belt then you will be granted the ability to choose appropriate type for any given situation. It it WONT have to look like ass!