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  • 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.


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  • 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.

  • 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. 



  • Kinetic text to rule the world: Liliane Lijn in conversation this July

    The University of Leeds has commissioned a public artwork Converse Column by internationally renowned British-American artist Liliane Lijn to mark the new south entrance to the University, adjacent to its new Nexus innovation hub. To celebrate the launch of the artwork, Lijn will discuss her work, influences and major new commission for the University of Leeds, with Leeds Art Gallery’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nigel Walsh in the Liliane Lijn in Conversation event on the 3rd of July.

    pioneer in the interaction of art, science, technology and language Lijn works with kinetic text and her new work for the University is designed to represent communication and to inspire collaboration and innovation with real world impact. The work is a nine metre-high revolving column of transforming words, to which staff and students have contributed ideas. 

    “Liliane Lijn’s work covers a large spectrum of interests, from Light and its interaction with diverse new materials to the development of a fresh image for the feminine. Lijn has taken inspiration from incidental details both man-made and natural, mythology and poetry, science and technology. Lijn is interested in the development of language, collaborating across disciplines and making art that is interactive, in which the viewer can actively participate” notes the artist's site. Typeroom pays a small tribute to this ground-breaking creative with a selection of some of her heavily typographic-infused art experiments.

    Alphabet, 1962. “The word accelerated loses its identity and becomes a pattern pregnant with energy. It is pregnant with the energy of its potential meaning should it once again become a word” said Liliane Lijn back in 1968. Six years earlier, in 1962, the British-American artist Letrasetted words onto the surface of cylinders and cones, then fixed them to motorised turntables, and made them spin at different speeds. “She wanted the word to be seen in movement, dissolving into a pure vibration until it became the energy of sound. When Lijn puts words on cylinders and cones and makes Poem Machines, she wants the word to be seen in movement splitting itself into a pure vibration until it becomes the energy of sound. These were the first in a series of works with text and Lijn called them Poem Machines because she made them to give power back to a depleted language” notes the artist's site. 

    S/HE, 2014. “A linguistic intertwining of gender in nine languages. In S/HE, Lijn discovered nine languages in which the feminine pronoun SHE contains the masculine pronoun HE. These eighteen images indicate how cosmic motions can transform meaning.” Collection of the artist.

    First Words, 2000. “What are the first words we say and could they have an influence on the rest of our lives? Lijn was regaled with the apocryphal anecdotes of famous men’s first words but was unable to uncover even one anecdote relating to famous women until she began her own search for first words. It is widely believed that most children begin their relationship with language by naming their parents but Lijn has found that many children will try to name anything that interests them. Bird, tree, plane, colour are a few words which she has already collected from mothers. She is equally interested in the sounds made before complete words are pronounced. Lijn’s plan is to collect 2000 first words: a word for each year since the birth of Christ. The ‘children’ in question can be grownups now as long as their first word is either remembered or documented.”

    Way Out Is Way In, 2009. “The physicist David Bohm, whose seminars Lijn attended in the early 1970s said that ‘Matter is ‘frozen light’. Light, defined as something travelling at the speed of light, contains all information.’ This led her to understand that light and language were indeed inextricably interconnected. In Way Out is Way In, Lijn combines the two main elements of her early work, light and text, in a column of luminous words made from points of light, borrowing a phrase from William Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch considered to be Burroughs’ seminal work. In common with Burroughs, whom Lijn met in Paris in the early 1960’s, she has a lifelong interest in science and technology. Lijn’s interest in science, again much like his, was connected to her early interest in ancient civilizations and their myths and rituals. The 3-meter column is made from used industrial drums that are programmed to rotate at steadily increasing speeds until the words, a tracery of drilled holes, blur into vibrating pulses of light. In Way Out Is Way In, the word becomes light and light slowing down appears as the word.” Collection of the artist, photographs by Klaus Wehner.

    Am I Who, 2010. “In these recent text works Lijn wants words to be interchangeable with colour. Whether Lijn work with a poet’s words or her own text, she wants the words to float into the viewers mind in continually changing sequences. Meaning, like a river, is always in flux.” Collection of the artist.

    Poem Game, 1970. “In 1970, Liliane, Liliane Lijn created a deck of 54 of word cards. Each card had one word to a side, ‘the words themselves having come to mind as I wrote them on the cards’. She originally called the cards Keysand invented three games to play with them: a game of power, a game of poetry and a game of divination. Invited by John Dugger and David Medalla to participate in the International Festival for Democracy in Chile at the Royal College of Art in London, Lijn originally staged Power Game in the autumn of 1974, in collaboration with her friend, the art critic, Alistair McIntosh. Power Game, was restaged by Lijn on the 28th of July 2009 at the ICA, as a socio-political live performance set in an imaginary casino. More recently, Power Game has been performed at BALTIC (2010), The Arches, Glasgow (2011) and at the Zabludowicz Collection (2012) and Southbank Centre (2016) London. In 1974, Lijn used the Poem Game cards to write Six Throws of the Oracular Keys. A book of poems and drawings, it was published in 1981 in the xeroxed edition Unifinitude by Edition de La Nepe, Paris. Poem Game was played at the Poetry Marathon, Serpentine Gallery (2009), at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre (2013) and Art14, London. The aim of the game is to write a poem. On receiving their cards, each player may automatically put together his/her words into a sentence. However, when it comes to playing, each player in turn can only place one word down at a time. This means that no one player manages to write a complete phrase. Each player must continually adapt their prepared or imagined word sequences to the changes that occur during each round. The intention of Poem Game is to free the players from preconceived ideas of what a poem might be. To this effect, the players use the word cards to collaborate at writing a poem. The game may be played by 2 to 10 players but a small group of up to 5 is best.” 

    Get Rid of Government Time, 1962. Letraset on painted metal drum, plastic, painted metal, motor. Words from a poem by Nazli Nour. Frame altered in 1965, private collection. Photographs by Richard Wilding 2014.

    All images via Liliane LijnThe Liliane Lijn in Conversation event is organised by University of Leeds and Yorkshire Sculpture International. More info here.

  • Visual poetry alert: Dovneon and his explosive neons light up the sky

    Swedish conceptualist artist David Stenbeck aka Dovneon on Instagram has been featured in many visual feeds and URLs which crave for pure pop sensation. Filled with poetic takes in neon format Stenbeck practices his art in the digital 3D realm. A lover of pink -"the strongest abstract and emotional hue for bridging interhuman communication, and the agent of so many sentimental values" he told RedMilk- Dovneon expands his artistic flavor through type and more, nurturing Instagram with visual poetry against the tides of ugliness. 

    A neon in the sky never harmed a soul so explore his pink as a rose, adventures in here