Posted on December 3, 2013
Loving all things vector (and poly) at the moment. I’ve always loved vintage vector video game graphics from the late 70s and early 80s, mainly from Atari. Games like Asteroids, Tempest, Lunar Lander, Battle Zone and Star Castle were amazing, and kept me pumping in quarters. I actually owned a table top Tempest arcade game around 1987 (last two images above). Kept it in my bedroom! I can’t believe I traded it for a crappy Sony Watchman. As way ahead of it’s time as it was…what was I thinking!
The games were great, but these days I also admire the linear typography that was a product of mathematics as much as design. Simple and uniform in their weights, the letterforms are reminiscent of mid-century stencil lettering used by draftsmen (and women). Amazingly, those things are still for sale!
For a nice, concise history of video games, enjoy this site.
Posted on October 4, 2013
Just got a great tip from No Film School about the amazing Lantern. It is essentially a search engine from Media History Digital Library, that allows access to an incredible wealth of vintage film & tv mags like Variety, The Film Daily, and Photoplay, with high resolution scans of each and every page. These are mags from as early as 1914, in the case of Photoplay, and as late as 1964, in the case of The Educational Screen. This is a rare treat, and great resource for vintage type, ads, articles, images, and opinions from another era.
The repository is deep, but slightly tricky to navigate – here’s a tip: once you’ve clicked on a cover on the home page, you’ll be taken to a list of issues, that in most cases look like plain dark covers. Those seem to be the archive covers, but inside, is all the good stuff. The secret is to click on “Read in Context“. That takes you, inside the magazines, which you can flip through (really), page by page. Lovin’ it!
Posted on June 13, 2013
I’m about to launch a new product into the world – fully customizable, typopgraphic car toys, based on the name of a child. The site where they will be for sale will allow all sorts of customization of the toys, starting with the child’s name, which will form the body of the car. But more than that, the wheels, “face” and car style (6 styles in total, including Monster Truck, Racing Car, and Pick-Up Truck, all made from typography) will all be options for each toy.
Featured above it my super cute nephew Finch, with the world’s first Finch-mobile.
If these customizable toys sound interesting to you let me know. I’m taking pre-orders now. The site will launch this summer, in time for Christmas 2013.
Posted on December 2, 2012
Just stumbled across this curious typographic experiment, and found it quite inspiring. It’s a kind of bokeh type effect Ruslan Khasanov. I’ve featured Ruslan’s work in the past. He’s a ceaseless experimenter, and I love what he’s doing.
This bokeh lumen type is really quite fresh, and I’m not sure how he’s accomplished it. There is a clue in one of the images he provides (see below). A lens and light set up. Does he create each circular shape one at a time, then assemble the full letterforms in post. I think not, because seeing them in motion (see below) all the circles in each letter react to changes together… curious…
You can see the lumen type in motion here:
Posted on September 9, 2012
Life imitates art or maybe it’s the other way around, and in this case, marketing imitates art. Fifty years after Andy Warhol created his now iconic soup can prints, The Campbell’s Soup company has issued special edition cans (via Target stores) that emulate his abstract “interpretations” of their labels. You can read more about Target’s coup here.
Posted on July 20, 2012
Interesting typographic experiments from Jinhwan Kim involving spinning letterforms. What makes these more interesting is that they are not simply animated on the computer, they are shot through a lens, with a light box, which reveals a chromatic aberration of colours beyond the pure black letterforms themselves. You also get that lovely “wagon wheel effect” as the motor accelerates and decelerates. That can be seen best with the full alphabet below.
I think “J” is my favourite!
Posted on July 5, 2012
Like spotting a rare bird, I’d seen the beautiful, new London double decker buses from afar for the past few months. With only a few on the roads (started with 7 in Feb 2011, now up to ?) I would narrowly miss one as it drove off from a bus stop, or chase after another to take a photo. They had eluded me until yesterday – I had my first ride, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Designed by the inspired Heatherwick Studio in London (this post has just had an Olympic update, because Heatherwick also designed the beautiful Olympic flame caldron – see below for a video), its the first time in 50 years that London has commissioned the design of a new bus specifically for the city. The result is a beautiful homage to the curves of the old Route Masters but with a definite future facing ethos. Utterly contemporary in look and feel (asymmetry abound) but also utilizing the latest in hybrid technology (40% more efficient than the current London diesel buses), they are most certainly a confident and intelligent solution, but not without some sentimentality for the heyday of double deckers, the complete combination of which, I find very pleasing.
The interior’s are simple and slightly underwhelming, though what more would they need? Probably nothing. The highlight is the restoration of the hop-on, hop-off, open rear door, like the old Route Masters had, and with it, a second bus man (again) looking after that rear door. The bars for holding on to disappear into the ceiling in with a pinched profile that I really like. The fabric on the seats is as ugly as ever, though better-designed-ugly ; ) which also feels entirely appropriate. The London underground tube car upholstery has always been “unusual” slash ugly.
The exterior, however, is wonderful. Diagonal windows that follow the stairs upward (or downward), a diagonal slash of red on the front face, revealing a black under-colour, like Robin (Batman’s Robin) lowering his mask to reveal his true identity, and another widening slash of window on the rear leading to the hop-on/off door. Truly beautiful and imaginative, while being completely functional at the same time. More light in the bus, more views of the city, and better visibility for the driver.
We now have at least 3 (maybe 4) generations of double decker buses on the London roads, including the old Route Masters that still have a few token routes. Most of them, regrettably, have been relegated to Wedding transport!
Thomas Heatherwick writes:
“It has been 50 years since a bus was last designed and commissioned specifically for London. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a team to look again at the opportunities for a new open-platform bus. It has been an honour to be asked by London’s transport authority to take an integrated approach and design everything that you see and experience from the outside down to the tiniest details of the interior.”
Olympic Update: Heatherwick studio design the incredible Olympic torch caldon. Quite a year for Heatherwick Studio: a retrospective show at the V&A, the new London bus, and now the Olympic caldron. To see it action watch this BBC footage from the Opening Ceremonies below: