Sunday, July 30, 2006

Nir Adar & Crispy Cones

Food and design. Both delicious! For Nir Adar, it’s a living.

Adar has made his way as a commercial artist using food as his medium. He also exhibits installations of his food design and photography.

Winner of Environmental Graphic Award, 2005

His most recent venture is fast food restaurant Crispy Cones. Cones made out of crispy dough, filled with what they are claiming is “nutritious” and “healthy.” Packaging is not required. Environmental design you can eat!

Not sure if it is looking too appetizing to me—But I’ll try it because I am a sucker for this kind of stuff.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Faust Beer

Still digging my way out...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Type Crit Between Friends

Prejudice… Against Your Work

To John Baskerville
Dear Sir, Craven-Street, London.

Let me give you a pleasant Instance of the Prejudice some have entertained against your Work. Soon after I returned, discoursing with a Gentleman concerning the Artists of Birmingham, he said you would be a Means of blinding all the Readers in the Nation, for the Strokes of your Letters being too thin and narrow, hurt the Eye, and he could never read a Line of them without Pain. I thought, said I, you were going to complain of the Gloss on the Paper, some object to: No, no, says he, I have heard that mentioned, but it is not that; 'tis in the Form and Cut of the Letters themselves; they have not that natural and easy Proportion between the Height and Thickness of the Stroke, which makes the common Printing so much more comfortable to the Eye. -- You see this Gentleman was a Connoisseur. In vain I endeavoured to support your Character against the Charge; he knew what he felt, he could see the Reason of it, and several other Gentlemen among his Friends had made the same Observation, &c. -- Yesterday he called to visit me, when, mischievously bent to try his Judgment, I stept into my Closet, tore off the Top of Mr. Caslon's Specimen, and produced it to him as yours brought with me from Birmingham, saying, I had been examining it since he spoke to me, and could not for my Life perceive the Disproportion he mentioned, desiring him to point it out to me. He readily undertook it, and went over the several Founts, shewing me every-where what he thought Instances of that Disproportion; and declared, that he could not then read the Specimen without feeling very strongly the Pain he had mentioned to me. I spared him that Time the Confusion of being told, that these were the Types he had been reading all his Life with so much Ease to his Eyes; the Types his adored Newton is printed with, on which he has pored not a little; nay, the very Types his own Book is printed with, for he is himself an Author; and yet never discovered this painful Disproportion in them, till he thought they were yours.

Ben Franklin 1760

Type specimen from print collection at the University of Birmingham

Thanks to John Gruber at Daring Fireball for posting the link, and to History Carper for sharing this historical correspondance between friends!

Get Schooled by the Intern: Look What I Found!

Found Items
By Fiona Clark

I have a drawer in my room that is filled to the brim with random items that contain some kind of design element. Any of these elements could be image, type, composition, colour, etc. But these items also hold certain nostalgia for me. Where ever I go I pick up things intentionally or not and as a result, I have odd documentation of my life and who I was/am. Here are some things from the past year:

Last summer, I had been working at Five Below (essentially a store filled with useless junk for kids/teenagers) and thus, I was surrounded by the David and Goliath Collection. I decided to pick up a package of magnets before heading off to school. This is one of the many magnets that hung on the fridge of my on-campus apartment. The girls I lived with appreciated the humor and we referenced the magnets everytime we felt our IQ drop because of male friends.

I spent quite a bit of time in Oakland, New Jersey the past year preparing for my exhibition. Amongst all of panic Maria Doering and I experienced, her father called us wondering if we wanted to go through a few boxes of junk at his work (they had been preparing to the move company and wanted to get rid of it all). The pirate in me took over and we decided to go search for potential treasure. When we got there we found cute plate sets, plastic martini glasses and a broken toaster oven. The toaster oven got chucked out but I kept the cheesy 70’s instruction pamphlet.

Montreal, Canada is probably one of my favorite cities that I have visited so far. I have been quite a few times but usually make it out there for a spring break trip with friends (due to age restrictions and lack of cash flow to go to Cancun…right…). Everytime I visit I make sure to attend McLean’s pub on Peel Street, Juice Nightclub on St. Laurent and Brutopia on Crescent Street (they make the best raspberry beer). This years spring break landed on St. Patty’s day so the entire weekend was filled with drunken antics. One of which resulted in my owning this poster. I was chatting with someone at the bar and mentioned how I liked the silk-screened poster. He called the bartender over (who had had a few himself), asked if we could have it, the bartender produced what was probably the largest switch blade I had ever seen and we cut it down.

Every birthday I will expect a certain type of birthday card from certain people. Something hand crafted from art school friends, something so sweet that it is a tear-jerker from Grandma, and something hilariously stupid from my brother, Gordon. Take a guess who this is from. By the way the inside says “Thit”.

The CADC (Connecticut Art Directors Club) was kind enough to come to my school to review students portfolios, provide lecturers in different fields and give us plenty of free goodies. A particularly passionate woman spoke to us about Mohawk paper and provided us all with these sample books. She said “You will call Mohawk, ask for me and I will provide you with the best paper out there!” and she gave out her business card insisting we contact her for a tour of their facilities. Here is a spread from one the books.

You may be wondering after all this-what are the particular design elements in these that interested me. The “Stupid Factory” magnet’s imagery is so basic and childish that it makes a good system. David and Goliath’s use of the same little boy’s head throughout their entire system allows the viewer to recognize the character as the “stupid boy”. The toaster pamphlet’s silhouetting is actually appealing to me (plus those little sparkles-how could you not love it? …just kidding). I will give them credit on the details though because their text actually aligns perfectly. The Brutopia poster was produced through what is an attractive technique to me (silk-screening). It makes great use of the text by adding little symbols (the spade, etc), using hierarchy by making the headers bolder and by putting the text on a slight diagonal. The silly birthday card doesn’t have an incredible amount of design appeal but it all goes together. The picture is goofy and the text is comical. The Mohawk book has beautiful photos, enticing colour, nice typography and little surprises (did you see the “?” between the bat’s feet?).

Part of the joy of being a “visual person” is that you find inspiration and beauty almost anywhere. This is just a little reminder to keep your eyes and mind open.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I will be back to regular blogging by the end of July- what was supposed to be a slow month has turned out to be very very busy. In the meanwhile, take a peek at Arielle Toelke’s new FX web gallery (make sure you don’t eat first!!) and keep checking back for random posts by me, A Rant by Emily Lakin and of course Get Schooled by the Intern!