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  • Watch Marta Bernstein defending those ugly typefaces we love

    “The types cut between 1810 and 1850 represent the worst that has ever been” or maybe not.

    Marta Bernstein, one of the founders of CAST digital type foundry and a partner at TM, an architecture and design studio based in Seattle was one of this year's Typographics conference speaker and now her talk which took place in The Great Hall at The Cooper Union on June 15, 2019 is live on Vimeo for all to explore. 

    Through her research on Italian Nineteenth Century type, Marta Bernstein builds a case in defense of loud, quirky, overly-decorated and extremely lively typefaces and the century that generated them.

    “Marta’s talk was one of my favorites at Typographics this year. The content and its presentation are great, and her love for weird typefaces is infectious. I also like her advice to break away from modernism more and embrace design solutions that aren’t necessarily timeless” notes typographer, typeface designer, web designer, typographic consultant, and Fonts In Use cofounder Nick Sherman of her insightful talk streaming online.

    Marta Bernstein's true passions are type and typography and they act as common threads of all her projects. Bernstein has a soft spot for 19th Century type, a topic she has been researching for more than ten years.

    She collaborates with international companies, several start-ups and public institutions and she has a decade long experience in developing identities across various media, and designing wayfinding and signage systems.

    A teacher as well Bernstein is an adjunct professor in Typography at Milan’s Polytechnic, visiting professor in Architecture and Design at University of Navarra and regular lecturer for the Interior Design master at Tongji University, Shanghai. Bernstein has completed her B.Sc. & M.Sc. in Graphic Design at Milan’s Polytechnic and her M.Des in type design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

    The live streaming and video recording of Marta Bernstein's “Ugly Fonts” talk were made possible by a generous sponsorship from Google.

  • Bernie for the win! 1,250 voters pick the best & worst campaign logos of 2020

    “If you aren’t familiar with the 2020 presidential candidateslogos and slogans yet, don’t worry: You will be soon enough. The two dozen hopefuls looking to replace President Trump have been raising money and hiring strategists to help them stand out in the crowded race. A good chunk of that money is set aside for branding and marketing” notes Crestline of its survey on the branding of next year’s US Elections.

    As noted by Crestline there are some features that stand out in next year’s US elections political branding.

    - The field is one of the most crowded and most diverse ever, putting more pressure on candidates to differentiate themselves through branding.

    - More candidates are abandoning familiar patriotic color schemes and flag-inspired imagery.

    - Digital communication is more important than ever.

    - Candidates are reaching out to voters via an enormous array of platforms and devices. Nearly half the hopefuls have put themselves on a first-name basis with the American public.

    - The costs are staggering. This election will likely shatter spending records.

    To find out how the Class of 2020’s branding resonates with the public, Crestline partnered with an independent research firm to survey 1,250 registered voters across the country and score the campaign materials. In every question and set of instructions, respondents were urged to focus on the graphic design or slogan, not the candidate.

    In the survey voters were asked to score each logo on a scale of 1 to 10, setting aside their personal feelings about the candidates and judging solely on the effectiveness of their logos. 

    Sanders’ clever “glasses logo” topped the list of voter favorites, and his more conservative “swoosh” logo landed in third place. Biden’s logos traded off the other top spots at second and fourth place. They shared the top five with a surprise showing from Tulsi Gabbard’s unusual “sunrise gradient” logo, which beat out the Donald Trump solo logo, in sixth place.

    The best-received logo overall made creative use of Bernie Sanders’ uncool attributes — a silhouette of his unkempt hair, and glasses adorned by the stars and stripes. Survey takers voted Bernie’s logo Most Likely to Succeed with an overall score of 7.16 out of 10. It also ranked first for qualities like “memorable,” “dynamic,” and “clever.” Sanders and Biden shared the top five spots with Tulsi Gabbard, who ranked high in “modern” and “dynamic” categories and finished just above Trump’s solo logo. (The president did not win for Best Hair, alas.)

    The top rankings for positive qualities were dominated by logos for front-runners Biden, Sanders, and Trump, exhibiting “memorable,” “polished,” “confident,” and “powerful” qualities (also highly associated with the traditional red-white-and-blue color palette they all used). But a few wild cards sneaked into top spots for other categories, such as Yang, who ranked high for “dynamic,” “clever,” and “sporty” qualities, and Castro, whose logo was in the top 3 for “polished” and “modern” qualities. Williamson’s pink logo ranked among the most “friendly,” and O’Rourke’s stark black-and-white logo placed third in the “powerful” category.

    Sanders’ “swoosh” logo, which rated an overall score of 6.84 out of 10, ranks third behind only Biden and Sanders’ own “glasses” logo. The font used for both is Jubilat, styled by Revolution Messaging. Respondents gave descriptions from “crisp,” “clean,” and “sharp” to “average,” “generic,” and “traditional,” the consensus being that it has everything a classic campaign logo needs. 

    Explore many more insights on US Elections 2020 political branding through Crestline Custom Promotional Products here.

  • Eye 99: check the video, buy the print

    Eye has always been both a cultural journal and a business-to-business magazine. Though we value work that is both beautiful and effective, the ecology of graphic design rests on a transactional network – from client, to studio, to final output – that is underpinned by friendly relationships with ‘suppliers’ such as photographers, illustrators, printers, developers, repro houses, paper companies and type foundries” writes John L. Walters in his editorial for Eye's latest issue, Eye 99.

    “Though it is a cliché to say that the client-designer relationship is what distinguishes design from art, we know that the art world, which benefits immensely from studios such as Apfel and Mues Design, can be driven by financial wizardry and whims as mysterious as the business of fashion. In ‘Normcore inferno’, Elizabeth Glickfeld investigates what she calls the strange ‘double speak’ of the new wave of logo design for luxury brands.”

    “Gottschalk+Ash’s Sascha Lötscher believes that for business to take design seriously, designers should do their best work for commerce, not culture. But he decries the confrontational format of ‘the pitch’, in which a potential client says: ‘impress me.’ Happily, much of the work in this issue, cultural or commercial, stems from friendly partnerships – with clients and consumers – that develop slowly over time. John Ridpath’s article about ethics in the digital age is a timely reminder that designers have responsibilities that go far beyond what we regard as effective or ‘good’ design.”

    Also in this issue, Jason Grant, of Brisbane’s Inkahoots, explains why he brought his New Anthems project to Berlin.

    Check the issue in the video below and support one of the industry's true originals, Eye Magazine, here.

  • Bold typography is a winner in the inaugural Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards

    A new initiative for 2019 celebrating excellence in arts publishing the Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards is an innovative collaboration between Whitechapel Gallery and the AuthorsClub celebrating the best in international arts publishing in the English language.

    Named after Richard Schlagman, whose vision and drive transformed Phaidon Press to become a world-class publisher and revolutionized modern and contemporary arts publishing, this new initiative, newly launched in January 2019,  “highlights the fertile relationship between the art world and publishing, recognizing a diverse genre that encompasses art, architecture, and design." 

    The Awards celebrate “the importance of books in the dissemination of knowledge and learning about art around the world, addressing a vital need to champion the visual arts publishing sector” and the innovation and verve of contemporary graphic design and print production.

    Challenged to create a new visual identity for the awards, Pentagram “produced a clear and instantly recognizable design. Led by a bold, typographical motif it is a brand that is both flexible and elegant in its simplicity. Recalling and inspired by the image of book spines as they sit upon a bookshelf, this subtle approach also conveys a timeless quality.”


    “Encompassing easily-recalled elements from the art, design and printing worlds, Pentagram’s new identity can stretch across the diverse genres recognized by the awards yet is malleable enough to fit alongside and complement the Whitechapel Gallery’s longstanding brand identity. For the design of the trophy, Pentagram collaborated with the Swedish industrial designer Björn Dahlström.” 

    Pentagram's Astrid Stavro is the official partner on this project.

    Last but not least these are the winners for each category -plus the overall winner- which were announced earlier this week. 

    History of Art/ Dubuffet And The City: People, Place, And Urban Space by Dr. Sophie Berrebi (Hauser & Wirth)/ Editor: Jennifer Bernstein, Tenacious Editorial/ Designer: Mevis & van Deursen, with Marius Schwarz

    Contemporary Art/ Thomas Demand: The Complete Papers by Christy Lange (Mack)/ Editor: Christy Lange/ Design: Naomi MisuzakiHistory of Architecture/ Toward A Concrete Utopia: Architecture In Yugoslavia 1948-1980 by Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić (MOMA)/ Authors: Martino Stierli, Vladimir Kulic/ Designers: Bruno Margreth, Martina Brassel

    Contemporary Architecture/ Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture For The People by Jolanthe Kugler, Khushnu Panthaki Hoof, Meike Wolfschlag (Vitra Design Museum and the Wüstenrot Foundation, in collaboration with the Vastushilpa Foundation)/ Editors: Jolanthe Kugler, Khushnu Panthaki Hoof/ Design: Double Standards, Berlin

    History of Design/ Victor Papanek: The Politics Of Design by Mateo Kries, Amelie Klein, Alison J. Clarke (Vitra Design Museum and the Victor J. Papanek Foundation, University of Applied Arts Vienna)/ Editors: Mateo Kries, Amelie Klein, Alison J. Clarke/ Design: Visual Fields, Bristol

    Contemporary Design/ Embodiment by Naoto Fukasawa (Phaidon)/ Author: Naoto Fukazawa/ Design: Asami Koga, Nana Fukasawa
    Best Book Design overall/ Dubuffet And The City: People, Place, And Urban Space by Dr. Sophie Berrebi (Hauser & Wirth)

    Outstanding Artist’s Book/ A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions by Arthur Jafa (Serpentine Galleries, the Store X, Julia Stoschek Collection, and Koenig Books)

    More here.

  • Id24: Eleni Beveratou on accessible typeface and typesetting

    Inclusive Design 24 (#id24) is back and tomorrow your date with this free 24-hour online event for the global community is set.

    Id24 celebrates inclusive design and shares knowledge and ideas from analogue to digital, from design to development, from planners to practitioners, and everything and everyone in between and if you are one of the many who would like to learn every bit of details and insights tune in Inclusive Design 24 YouTube channel, no need to sign-up, no registration needed.

    All Id24 sessions are streamed live and publicly on YouTube and live captions for each session will be available.

    Last but not least, if you have a question for a presenter tweet it to @id24conf using the #id24 hashtag and the event's moderators will make sure they get them answered for you.

    This is how it all started. “Léonie Watson came up with the idea and the name Inclusive Design 24 in 2011, but it didn't become a reality until Karl Groves had a similar idea (when he and Léonie were both working at The Paciello Group) in 2014, and Mike Paciello offered to support the first conference. Léonie was joined by a team of regulars (Adrian Roselli, Billy Gregory, Henny Swan, Ian Pouncey, Patrick H. Lauke, and Steve Faulkner), who between them make sure that Inclusive Design 24 happens every year.”

    “The inspiration behind Inclusive Design 24 (#id24) was to bring together the global community to share knowledge and ideas without the difficulties of attending a traditional conference. From the beginning, #id24 has only been possible because of the community. It took just three weeks to organise the first conference, and everyone gave their time generously. We had no budget, but many respected and notable people gladly agreed to give a talk because they wanted to help. That generosity has continued over the years, with Barclays Access, Intopia, Microsoft and others, joining The Paciello Group as supporters of #id24.”

    As of 2019, Inclusive Design 24 is set up as an unincorporated nonprofit association, dedicated to “running #id24 as an event that is free to all participants, open to everyone, and as inclusive as we can make it.”

    In tomorrow's event Eleni Beveratou, a typeface designer from Athens, Greece who studied Communication Design at Vakalo Art & Design College and focused her studies with an MA in Typeface Design at the University of Reading, and is currently a Creative Director at Dalton Maag will discuss accessibility in typesetting

    “The purpose of typography is to convey a message to an audience in an accessible way. Within any given typeface, certain shapes and styles will generally be more accessible to certain audiences. Unfortunately, by over-simplifying implementation, guidelines for accessible type tend to ignore the major components of better readability and legibility. In this talk, Eleni will walk us through the elements of an accessible typeface and typesetting, putting an emphasis on those which are targeted at visually-impaired readers, and the wider audience” note the organizers.

    Explore the entire playlist of the scheduled talks here and set your alarm on time.