In an effort for our site to be even more “group” oriented we are going to have a group post called “Be Aware” twice a month. This is the first of many to come. Half of our authors will be in the post at the first of the month and the other half in the middle. Each author on our site will consistently write about a chosen subject that they are passionate about. It is amazing what you can observe if you are aware of your surroundings. Enjoy!
Paul Berkbigler: Design Education
It’s still early in my practice as a teacher, so my fervor for the subject of typography and drive to nearly hammer it into the brains of any student I come into contact with may still mellow as my career continues. All that aside, though, if you have a need to brush up on typography basics or find yourself faced with a classroom of folks looking to know more about it, Ellen Lupton has again been prolific and generous enough to compile an excellent type primer and a great website companion to it - take a look at a copy of Thinking With Type the next time you’re in a bookstore, or browse the fairly extensive content that she’s also offering on thinkingwithtype.com.
Among my personal favorites that she’s included are the “Crimes against Typography” section and her “Tools for Teachers” section - simply terrific little supplies to dole out in the classroom.
Clinton Carlson: Design Quotes
“Designers can no longer only be concerned about the interaction of word and image; they also must be concerned about the interaction between the audience, the content of the communication and the outcome of the design. In order to create dialogues that effectively persuade the viewer to adopt a new belief or change behavior, the communication designer can no longer rely solely on intuition.
Designers have to devise methods for creating empathy with the viewer who will play a part in constructing meaning from the message.”
Jodi Forlizzi and Cherie Lebbon. “From Formalism to Social Significance in Communication Design” in Design Issues. Autumn 2002.
Kyle Heinemann: InDesign Tip
Do you know how much InDesign guides can do for you? You’ve probably already realized you can select one, and enter an exact (x,y) value in the Transform window. You can also select multiple guides of the same orientation and align/distribute. Or, just move a bunch of them at the same time by selecting only guides (although once you select an object, your guide selection will be lost) and either drag or type a new value. This is particularly helpful for adjusting book layouts to new spine sizes.
Bennett Holzworth: Letterpress
If you happen to be in north central Kanas anytime soon I would recommend visiting what I would like to call the “ghost” letterpress shop. Jewel Kansas has a little history museum with an old practically untouched letterpress printshop in the back. It is sad to see the rollers melted on the ink plates, but it is fascinating to look at the tympan paper and still be able to see what the last job printed was. Just be sure to call and make an appointment before you go, because that is the only way to get in.
Nate Voss: Grunt Designer
Stock Photography is saturating the world with tameness. A quick search of stock-site Photos.com for “Anger” gives you near-emotionless, unevocative, frowning portraits. The problem? In order to sell photos, the shots need to fit as many applications as possible. My “Anger” photo could fit the square-hole for “Need a New Printer?” just as easily as it could fit “So You’ve Committed Murder?”
There’s such a glut of non-specific imagery in the world right now that it may-well become this decade’s design trend.