Saturday, February 28, 2009

Top Ten Typefaces Used by Book Design Winners

FontShop has an interesting article about the recent Book, Jacket & Journal Show sponsored by The American Association of University Presses (AAUP). The annual show catalogs the best in book design and exhibits it around the country. Below is a list of the most popular typefaces that were used in the designs. I can't help but notice that a couple of those near the top are fonts that come bundled with software.

The top ten:
1. Minion
2. ITC New Baskerville
3. FF Scala & 4. FF Scala Sans
5. Adobe Garamond
6. Trade Gothic
7. Electra
8. Fournier
9. Dante
10. DIN

Other popular typefaces used in AAUP winning entries:

Gotham, Helvetica Neue, Akzidenz Grotesk, Futura, Sabon, Bembo, Bodoni, Filosofia, Monotype Grotesque, Interstate, FF Quadraat Sans, FF Clifford

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Too Bad I'm Not in NYC

There has been a lot of discussion recently about Shepard Fairey's work. (More here and here.) I am sure almost everyone has heard about his run-in with the Associated Press. Now it seems he is preemptively suing the them. Oh the trials and tribulations of Fair Use! Regardless of where you stand on the subject, if you are a designer (or lawyer) you have to admit, it is an interesting story to follow. And tonight there is a great panel discussion at the New York Public library featuring Shepard Fairey, Steven Johnson and Lawrence Lessig, who is a Professor of Law at the Stanford Law School and founder of the Center for Internet and Society.

I think much of what he has done is sampling, but I'm not so sure I wouldn't change my tune if he "sampled" my work and made a bundle off it. And apparently, Shaepard Fairey, himself, feels the same way.

The People vs. George Lucas

This looks fun, if not anything else. I don't know if we'll ever see it though. Their website was launched in 2007 and still says that it's coming soon to a theater near you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Instinct - Illustration Friday

Sometimes something just feels right… or wrong…

Intuition is the ability to know things without reasoning or inferring… simply put… you just know something to hold truth. Right now our economy is a mess. We know this. We can't help but knowing this. Everywhere we go we are told how bad things are. And while it may be true, I think most of what we are dealing with is greed. Unfortunately, due to the Bush bailout and the Obama stimulus package those who created this mess don't have to live with the consequences of their greed. The banks and financial institutions who got more and more creative in their interpretation of the laws and basic good sense are now the happy recipients of our money. The automakers who refused to look at the big picture and keep mass-producing SUVs and trucks are facing ruin and the gift of our money. Then there are our neighbors who made a bundle flipping real estate… who bought way more than they could afford… who drive those big SUVs because we are Americans dammit and have the right… the stock traders who drive Wall Street with rabbit's feet and fly balls…

And through it all… good people suffer… hard working people lose their jobs because someone higher up in the food chain got greedy or lazy or just plain stupid… people who made good decisions and saved and didn't double and triple mortgage their houses to buy a new car or take a trip now get to pay the mortgages of our neighbors…

And through all of it… our intuition tells us that this is all very, very wrong… does anyone have an answer?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Battles

Coudal Partners launched a serious Friday afternoon diversion last year with the very special Layer Tennis. Every Firday, it pits two creative types against each other in a design battle with a writer providing colorful play-by-play on the action as it happens. The basic premise is that the competitors swap a file back and forth in real-time with only 15 minutes to add their own touch. Most of the work is down in Illustrator and Photoshop and that only makes sense since Adobe has become a sponsor this year. The match lasts for ten "volleys" and after much commentary from the guest writer and the Season Ticket holders a winner is declared.

This week pits Mitch Ansara (Space Sick) against Rod Hunting with pLAYER-by-pLAYER commentary by Matthew Baldwin of defective yeti.

It's fun… it's raw… and it shouldn't be missed!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Gong Xi Fa Choi!
Holding a part time job and starting a business is a lot of work… and time… especially shifting back and forth between the two. The good news is that the freelance clients have been knocking on my door and I haven't yet had time to hang my shingle out… and that is reason to celebrate indeed!

The artwork above is my second woodblock print. The first one I did was a year ago for our annual Chinese New Year card. That one was cut from a cedar tree that I cut down in our front yard to make way for a couple of live oaks. This year, I added another layer in the red "O". The "O" for a lot of reasons… ox, O'Connell, the hope that our new president brings… I cut this year's wood blocks from a camphor tree that came down during Tropical Storm Fay. I carved both pieces back in January and my thumb is still numb!

I did a limited run of 75 prints. I do have a few left… if you are interested… I'm interested in a possible trade…

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Best of Times… The WORST of Times…

… a Couple of Fraud Alerts…
In these hard times, we need to be ever more vigilant. Below are two frauds that are so very clever. The best way to fight this kind of fraud is to say thank you and call whoever is calling you back by using a trusted phone number. Call your local clerk of the courts. Call your credit card company with the number on the back of your card. Check out Snopes. And most of all, remember, if you receive a call from anyone, do NOT give ANY information out to the caller no matter how legitimate they sound. If you have caller ID, write the number down and send it along to the authorities. Stay safe.

Jury Duty
Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado . This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

"Credit Card Scam" Scam
This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA ', and I was called on Thursday from 'Master Card'. The scam works like this: Caller: 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Arizona ?'

When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?'

You say 'yes '. The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should ca ll the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security.'

You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?' Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'. He'll ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?' After you say No, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do, and hangs up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Late again… as usual… but not as bad as last week…

I know that as I get older, time moves by quicker. A minute compared to my entire life is minuscule so, essentially, a minute is shorter for me now. I get that… but come on already! Not this fast! Even small children complain that there is not enough time to do what they need or want to do. I think people are really sick of the pace. From Steampunk to Slow Fashion, the revolution is alive and well. We have so many modern conveniences to make our lives easier that we are drowning in them. On a personal note, we have forgone the landline in favor of our cell phones. And now we are all wired 24/7. I'm not sure if that actually slows the pace but we did do away with cable television. It is amazing just how much I don't miss it. Sure I miss a few shows but my life is slowly getting richer. I read more and have more time to work on the house renovations and, most importanty, more time to spend with my family.

Maybe this economic slow-down is God's answer to our prayers. And that would lead me to remind everyone the we need to be careful what we wish for.

I know a lot of you probably already know about this one… I haven't been able to catch the eyes of the judges yet… I know some of you can.


The Art of Puro has tagged me as a creative blogger. Of course I am honored, but I sometimes feel like I should pack it all in as I just can't stay consistent. As my upcoming post for Illustration Friday rants, "There is just not enough time!" Then along comes something like this.

So thank you Monica for bringing me back in and giving me the encouragement that I needed. Here are a few others that are more deserving of that honor:
Waldo Walkiria
Carmen Saldaña
Visual Viscera
Go Flying Turtle
Fuhzen 3
Greener Pastures

And in the past I tagged the following people and while I still greatly enjoy the work and their words, I'll pick on a few other great and talented bloggers. yes… tagged again…

And as for seven things I love? With Valentine's Day just a few days away how could I not start the list with
1. my amazing wife
2. my equally amazing daughter
3. my mother who showed my what the love of a spouse and parent could be like
4. the rest of my family
5. friends (many who are often thought of but are not seen near enough!)
6. creating
7. quiet time

Monday, February 09, 2009


TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.

TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

TEACHER: Sarah, give me a sentence starting with 'I.'
Sarah: I is . . .
TEACHER: No, Sarah . . .. Always say, 'I am.'
Sarah: All right . . . 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No, sir. It's the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher