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Tag Archives: Mass media

15 August 1
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Meet Your Type – a field guide to typography

Under - Design, Resources, Typography

FontShop created this fully illustrated typography booklet with useful info in collaboration with students at Brigham Young University. The booklet is available for free to download along with several other docs filled with typography tips and tutorials from experts.

Why settle for casual flirtation when looking for a long-lasting relationship? Finding the perfect match is easy if you know the rules. Meet Your Type will help you overcome common obstacles, and keep your heart thumping for your one true love: typography.

Culture, identity, and media

Under - Geography, Media, Miscellaneous, My Musings
A young mother and child in Hongtso.

Photo source: Claire (http://picasaweb.google.com/Hattoc/BhutanNov09Top100#)

I was watching a documentary on the telly the other day on Bhutan about the challenges people facing there having their country opened to the world and their GNH (Gross National Happiness) preference over GDP and asked myself a conflicting question: should media be censored or even banned to save cultures and societies?

To be honest there’s no definite answer to this and if so then it can’t be generalised. To me our identities come from cultures that flourish in our societies, and societies form civilisation that changes from geographic region to region with our planet’s curvature.

When we talk about preserving something we accept the fact that it is in danger or endangered. In my 36 years of life I’ve seen the impact of globalisation (along with some positive aspects) eating up people’s individuality, their identity, their cultures, beliefs, languages and their whole way of life in general from Australia to America and from Africa to Europe. As human beings our cultural differences are like our faces that are different from each other for a reason – to mark our physical identity and individuality. Our differences are the colours of this world.

Through the blessing of the media in our age we see popular cultures heavily influencing not so popular cultures by all means and, if a culture tries to protect itself by distancing itself from the mainstream then it is very negatively branded. I fail to comprehend why it is an issue? Why accepting someone’s individuality is difficult as long as it is not intrusive?

Political mumbo-jumbo aside I’d support the idea (if it actually exist anywhere) of screening the media – not to deny it access, but to preserve its intended and unintended audience from its negative influences especially when we see how polarised and politically influenced it is. I’m not the one to define media’s negative influences here but, like any medicine, there are side effects therefore the target audience is the one to decide about it freely and we need to accept and respect it.

Future of UI by John Underkoffler

Under - Design, Industrial Design, Inspiration, Media, Technology, Usability

Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak — the real-life version of the film’s eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow’s computers will be controlled?

Shape My Language – a typographic exhibition by Bruno Maag

Under - Design, Inspiration, Typography
Shape My Language - Bruno Maag

Shape My Language - Bruno Maag (Photo source: Oliver Schöndorfer)

Some amazing typographic work by Bruno Maag (Dalton Maag Studio) goes on display at the Walking-Chair Design Gallery in Vienna, Austria.

There are dozens of different script systems in use in the world today, giving shape to thousands of spoken languages. A typeface designer’s task is not only to visualize the emotion with which a message is spoken, but also to ensure that the reader can absorb the message with a minimum of distraction.

Shape My Language - Bruno Maag

Shape My Language - Bruno Maag

Shape My Language - Bruno Maag

Shape My Language - Bruno Maag (Photo source: Dalton Maag)

13 December Share your
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Marley & Me – Grogan’s done it better

Under - Literature, Media

I read John Grogan’s best-seller novel Marley & Me around three years ago and liked it very much. I had the same expectations from the movie but it completely disappointed me and my wife when last night we eventually got to watch it.

marley-and-me

Those who have read this novel have a completely different view of the movie. The book is about Marley (the world’s worst dog) and Grogan’s life around Marley – not about Grogan and his wife and their life with Marley. The presence of the two A rated actors (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) overshadowed the whole story, their characters looked overwhelmingly stronger than the main subject – Marley.

The overall dramatization of the novel was also a bit commercially spiced up that didn’t go well with the story. Those who are still planning to watch this movie I’d suggest don’t bother – it’s better to read the novel and you wouldn’t miss a thing.

26 August 1
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Face behind typeface: Alejandro Paul

Under - Design, Typography
Buffet Script is based on fantastic calligraphy by Alf Becker. Designers: Alf Becker, Alejandro Paul.

Buffet Script by Alejandro Paul is based on Alf Becker's calligraphy from 1940's.

Latin American graphic design, illustration and typography have its own style and flavor. Myfonts.com recently interviewed Alejandro Paul, a Buenos Aires (Argentina) based type designer who setup Sudtipos foundry with three other associates. Read the interesting interview here. It is always great to see who is behind some of the loveliest fonts that we work with.

Learning from an Institution

Under - Design, My Musings, Usability

After my graduation from NCA in 1998 in Graphic Design, I decided to build my career around interactive media rather than following the mainstream. Having decided that, I found it quite difficult to find inspirational and motivational work within ‘New Media’ locally and/or regionally. At that time things within digital media space were taking shape and the industry itself was without a clear identity. I had done my very first website design project a year earlier in 1997 for a Lahore based IT firm called Techlogix, this was my entry point into interactive media design. My relationship with computer graphics actually started in 1992 with Harvard Graphics, Corel Draw (that I still prefer to use over Illustrator), layer-less Photoshop (that I initially didn’t like) and when we used to run Windows 3.1 from DOS to be able to run all those graphic applications!

Back then in Pakistan the IT industry itself was very small and scattered, and was mostly around hard-core software development than anything else. Pursuing my interest abroad wasn’t an option back then so what I left with was – Internet.

Oregon TimeWeb  by Second Story, © Second Story

Oregon TimeWeb - Second Story

Things changed around the time when dot com bubble burst but, by that time, I was on solid grounds within digital media and that’s where I owe a ‘thank you’ note to two design studios – ‘Second Story’ and ‘Terra Incognita’. Their work inspired me to keep going within interactive media when I felt creatively trapped. Both studios specialise in online storytelling and building engaging user experience within a carefully chosen segment of digital marketplace, where I hardly find any mainstream digital agency’s presence. That might be because you need to have a kind of technical and design intellectual edge over others to be able to churn out the kind of projects these studios specialise in. I indeed learnt from their online projects, half a world away, that what a ‘user experience’ is actually like – when most of the design studios at that time were busy building fancy Flash intros.

Music Genres Table - Second Story

Music Genres Table - Second Story

Gettysburg Address - Second Story

Gettysburg Address - Second Story

Their contribution to interactive media design is deeper than skin – away from commercial glitter, design nonsense and digital media clichés. They are those who took user interaction design to another level and pioneered online storytelling. It has been over 10 years since I first visited their websites and portfolios, but I still have the same level of respect to their work which even grows when every time I visit their new projects. These two studios formed an inspirational institution for me at a time when I was in a real need to look at something. They are like Bauhaus to me.

Brad Johnson (Second Story) and Bart Marable (Terra Incognita), thank you very much for the wonderful and inspiring work!

Churchill and the Great Republic

Churchill and the Great Republic - Terra Incognita

28 April 4
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Meet the Kluge letterpress

Under - Art, Design, Media, Technology

Letterpress is a specialised and over five centuries old form of printing. It is also one of the inspirational elements behind this blog design. Fiction produced a small interesting video on this.

Meet Nick Sambrato. He runs a print shop in Orlando, Florida called Mama’s Sauce. A 2,000 pound, cast iron, electric powered monstrosity of vacillating rods, giant spinning wheels and pneumatic hoses.

Let Nick take you on a trip back in time as he runs through the process of turning an ordinary piece of paper stock into work of art.

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