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  • IKEA's Soffa Sans is definitely the world's comfiest free modular font

    Earlier this year IKEA appealed to lovers of pop culture by creating famous fictional living rooms entirely from its own products - including the apartment from Friends, and the iconic Simpsons lounge. Now the company -which was recently rebranded for the digital age- has revealed Soffa Sans aka the “world's comfiest font”. 

    It all started when IKEA launched an online tool allowing customers to play around with configurations of sofas using the Vallentuna planner. Leaving restrictions up to the user, it led to many ambitious creations, including words and phrases. In reaction to this, IKEA engaged Proximity London to help it create Soffa Sans, which uses solely sofa units to map out the letters of the alphabet.

    If ordered as a real product using the planner, it would cost 118 244 euros as well as taking 1,434 individual products to create notes The Drum.

    “We’ve been really enjoying seeing the fun that people are having with our sofas, and the innovative solutions they are creating. Inspired by their creativity, we’ve launched Soffa Sans: the world’s comfiest font. Its modular form and relaxed letter-spacing makes it one of the most versatile fonts out there and we’re looking forward to seeing where it’s used” said Marcos Tejedor, Living Rooms Sales Leader at IKEA UK & Ireland.

     

     

    01Jul
  • Debate: an Olympics logo that wasn't and the ongoing drama of Tokyo 2020's emblems

    When Darren Newman posted his concept logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Instagram his design went viral. Eventually designers from around the world entered the debate game for the conceptual idea of Newman which morphs the Olympic rings to read '2020' reports Creative Bloq.

    For some the designer's creative take on the branding of Tokyo 2020 is “a masterclass in design”. For others the Tokyo 2020 logo that wasn't “is really terrible – it would look awful next to the actual Olympic rings logo (which it would appear alongside 99% of the time, so double-boring) and would never be authorised because the IOC is NUTS about protecting the rings branding.”

    “There has been a lot of positive response to it which is great. There have also been a fair few negative responses, which I’m more than willing to accept – I’m just overwhelmed with the response to it” said Newman of the massive reaction which takes place on several Reddit forums.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by Daren Newman (@daren_newman) on

    Well, designers, this viral post and the reaction it followed is nothing compared to the very official Tokyo 2020 logo plagiarism drama which took place four years ago.

    The initial design for the official emblems of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled on 24 July 2015.

    The logo resembled a stylized 'T': a red circle in the top-right corner representing a beating heart, the flag of Japan, and an “inclusive world in which everyone accepts each other”; and a dark grey column in the centre representing diversity. The Paralympic emblem was an inverted version of the pattern made to resemble an equal sign.

    Shortly after the unveiling, Belgian graphic designer Olivier Debie accused the organizing committee of plagiarizing a logo he had designed for the Théâtre de Liège, which aside from the circle, consisted of nearly identical shapes. Tokyo's organizing committee denied that the emblem design was plagiarized, arguing that the design had gone through “long, extensive and international” intellectual property examinations before it was cleared for use.

    Debie filed a lawsuit against the IOC to prevent use of the infringing logo. 

    The emblem's designer, Kenjirō Sano, defended the design, stating that he had never seen the Liège logo, while TOCOG released an early sketch of the design that emphasized a stylized 'T' and did not resemble the Liège logo. However, Sano was found to have had a history of plagiarism, with others alleging his early design plagiarized work of Jan Tschichold, that he used a photo without permission in promotional materials for the emblem, along with other past cases. 

    On 1 September 2015, following an emergency meeting of TOCOG, Governor of Tokyo Yōichi Masuzoe announced that they had decided to scrap Sano's two logos. The committee met on 2 September 2015 to decide how to approach another new logo design.

    Eventually, on 24 November 2015, an Emblems Selection Committee was established to organize an open call for design proposals, open to Japanese residents over the age of 18, with a deadline set for 7 December 2015. The winner would receive ¥1 million and tickets to the opening ceremonies of both the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

    On 8 April 2016, a new shortlist of four pairs of designs for the Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled by the Emblems Selection Committee; the Committee's selection—with influence from a public poll—was presented to TOCOG on 25 April 2016 for final approval.

    The new emblems for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled on 25 April 2016; designed by Asao Tokolo, who won a nationwide design contest, the emblem takes the form of a ring in an indigo-coloured checkerboard pattern. The design is meant to “express a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.”

    Note to oneself: this logo drama of Olympic proportions is still going strong. 

    26Jun
  • Juan Carlos Pagan X New York Times Magazine for 50 Years Of Pride

    In honor of 50 years since the Stonewall riots the New York Times Magazine asked acclaimed New York based designer, typographer, and creative director Juan Carlos Pagan to design the cover art for the #50YearsOfPride. “This is my first New York Times cover, and I cannot fully express how humbled and honored I am to have been given the opportunity to design this year’s section cover” notes Pagan of his collaboration.

    Pagan turned his cover into a limited edition of 50 signed and numbered 24”x 36” artist prints available for purchase. Pagan is donating the money from the sale of these posters to the New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. “Support an organization doing good for people” writes the designer. 

    Pagan received his BFA from Parsons School of Design in 2006, and completed his postgraduate studies in typeface design at The Cooper Union in 2011. He has been honored for his work by The Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, The ADC, One Show, Graphis, Cannes Lions, Clios, Fastco, and Print Magazine among others. In 2013 Juan received the prestigious Art Directors Club Young Gun Award. In 2018 He received the Type Directors Club Ascenders Award which recognizes the work of designers who are 35 years of age and under for their remarkable achievement in design, typography, type design, and lettering. Currently the founding partner and Executive Creative Director of Sunday Afternoon, Pagan is more than proud to work with NYT for good reason.

    Support his cause here.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by (@juancarlospagan) on

     

    24Jun
  • Common Sans: the humanitarian typeface made for humans, not refugees

    Founded on the premise that “being a refugee is a temporary status, being a human is permanent,” Common Sans is a typographic answer to the ongoing global migrant crisis.

    Designed by Swedish design firm Essen International and Solvatten, Common Sans scans all digital text and automatically replaces the word “refugee” with the word “human.” 

    “Humans are amazing. A stamp on their passport should not let us believe otherwise. Rewrite, retype, rethink” note the designers Denisse Ariana Perez, Linnea Friberg, Maximilian George, Robert Holmkvist, Rasmus Löwenbrååt & Sara Svensson. “We decided to design a reminder that this is not a refugee crisis, but a human crisis,” said the creators in the video below.

    Four years since Europe's biggest humanitarian crisis this year's World Refugee Day is a reminder that the world still struggles to find solutions for those in need. 

    70 million people in total are displaced from their homes, double the number from twenty years ago according to the UNHCR. The UN blames the issue on persistent conflict, wars and persecution.

    It's a fundamentally important day, because we should all be aware that there are now more than 70 million refugees and internally displaced people across the world,” said Jan Egeland, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian refugee council.

    We haven't had such numbers since the Second World War, it's a wake-up call for leaders across the world. International diplomacy is failing these people, there's no effective conflict resolution, and more importantly, there is no way out from this, for many of the people who flee.... There's a notion in Europe that we are overrun by refugees. Reality couldn't be further away from that. Most European countries do not take either refugees or internally displaced people. Number two, Europe is not giving that much support either, to those who do receive assistance. Europe is neither giving protection in Europe, nor giving enough in supporting countries which give protection.” To mark the day, the UN is organising walks worldwide as part of a campaign called #StepWithRefugees.

    The Common Sans typeface is available to download for free online because we are all humans -by default.

    20Jun
  • Got 30 minutes to spare for a sustainable creative industry? Creative Confessions needs you

    Beating yourself up every time you fall short of own expectations? Doubting your own abilities every time you have too little work? Feeling like your leaders are taking you for granted? You are not the only one, which is why a handful of award-winning creatives are putting together an initiative with a mission to change it.

    “To be honest, I find it very strange that mental health and work psychology isn’t a part of every creative education,” says Veronica Mike, founder of Creative Confessions. “I mean, first of all; creatives are up to four times more likely to develop mental health problems, and their job is based on their own thoughts, ideas and emotions — and to have them judged by others. Secondly, many will at one point end up as leaders or be self-employed, and everyone will for certain be working closely with a bunch of complicated people! No wonder this industry is full of incompetent leaderships, rough work environments and struggling freelancers and entrepreneurs. Right now it’s a dog eat dog / save yourself industry. It’s time to build a space that takes care of its creatives, instead of working against them.”

    It was through her previous job as Chief Editor of design magazine A New Type of Imprint at Oslo based ANTI, that Mike started noticing the patterns that eventually made her quit the job to start developing Creative Confessions — a project on mental health + the creative mind, with the ambition of building a more people-friendly and sustainable creative industry.

    The mission of the project which Typeroom totally endorses is to promote openness to fight feelings of loneliness and abnormality, and to develop tools for schools, hubs and offices that can help prevent mental health issues.

    “We want all creative schools to include at least one lecture on mental health and work psychology, so that students can both prepare themselves of what might come (not feel alone or abnormal), but also so they can become good/competent creative leaders in the future,” says Mike. “We also want to teach lead creatives of today (CEOs, Exces, CDs, Educators etc.) basic knowledge about human psychology, how the creative mind works and how they personally can prevent mental health problems at the school, hub or office.”

    To kickstart the project the team have develop an anonymous survey on creativity + mental health, with the purpose of giving creatives half an hour of valuable self-reflection, and at the same time figure out what seems to be the biggest challenges in the industry, and most importantly: how to change it. All the research will be released later this year.

    “We got more than 100 answers during the first two days, and so far there is no doubt that it’s an initiative that is much needed and can create a positive change for many,” says Mike. Got 30 minutes to spare / ready for some soul searching / wanna help build a more people-friendly and sustainable creative industry?

    Do answer the survey here and be part of the solution, not the problem. 

     

     

    20Jun