Kickstarting Classics: Reissuing the Standards Manual

Curator: Peter McClelland
date: September 29, 2014
Categories: Brand & Identity Design, Information Design, Typography
Tags:

We probably all think of kickstarter as an outlet for wacky new inventions. Luckily some design nerds (no offense to Jesse Reed & Hamish Smyth) saw an opportunity to share a piece of design legend with the world. They’ve rebuilt Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda's signage and way finding system, the NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual. 364 pages of perfectly crafted letterforms and information design. So if you’re an admirer of Vignelli and you’ve got some money lying around—hurry up and back it.

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Helsinki's 2014 Flow Festival Branding by Finnish Studio Tsto

Curator: Dan Blackman
date: September 19, 2014
Categories: Advertising, Brand & Identity Design, Design in Music, Environmental Design, Typography
Tags: branding, identity design, music, signage
Recently on a trip to Finland I happened upon the amazing design work for Helsinki's Flow Festival by local studio Tsto. The banners and event posters enticed my girlfriend and I so much that we decided to go and check it out.
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Moniker Designs Herman Miller's Illustrative Advocacy Report

Curator: Dan Blackman
date: September 16, 2014
Categories: Book & Magazine Design, Illustration, Information Design, Typography
Tags: branding, illustration
San Francisco studio Moniker, which is run by one of my favorite designers and illustrators, Brent Couchman, recently designed Herman Miller's report on environmental advocacy, inclusiveness and diversity. 
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"Do Not Open It," Erik Marinovich's Beautifully Hand-Drawn Letter

Curator: Karan Singh
date: August 27, 2014
Categories: Packaging Design, Typography
Tags: Lettering, Typography
San Francisco-based Erik Marinovich is kind of hard to ignore on the contemporary lettering scene. Not only does he have a respectable roster of previous clients as well as some incredible accolades, but the guy carved type into a tree stump with his bare freakin’ hands (okay, maybe he used tools, whatever). I use a Wacom every day and still struggle with chopsticks, so to go from brushes to chisels is just showing off. 
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Handwritten "Insta-therapy" with "Content Creator" Timothy Goodman

Curator: Gemma O'Brien
date: August 22, 2014
Categories: Art, Typography
Tags: branding, calligraphy, graphic design, Typography

In the last few years, designers and non-designers alike have embraced typography and lettering in social media to illustrate inspirational quotes, song lyrics, declare their love of coffee and complain about Monday mornings. In Didot all-caps, fashion mavens proclaim “Dress Well or Die Trying,” while avid travelers urge us to “Seek Adventure!” in  a loose-hand written script. 


For budding letterers, readymade quotes are the perfect starting point to apply technical ability, show your calligraphic prowess or experiment with a new lettering style. But there’s only so many times you can see “stay hungry,” “follow your dreams” or “quit your day job” before these affirmations become empty phrases that simply look nice.  


I'm always looking for examples of lettering or type that  illustrate content that's self-generated and honest. I believe the best thing a designer can do with typography when not limited by an advertising brief is to take something personal and make it universal or remind us of the realities of human experience. 


With this in mind, my final Design Envy post was inspired by a series of handwritten Instagram posts from Timothy Goodman (of "40 Days of Dating" fame) titled “Insta-therapy.” They take the form of quotes or stories based on past relationship experiences, fears and memories. In the flurry of cool, over-stylized type and recycled quotes,  these represent a refreshing starting point to consider ideas about the designer as author and the idea of authenticity in lettering and typography.  


I interviewed Timothy Goodman to find out what the Insta-therapy project is all about.

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