Ten years ago, my girlfriend flew home to celebrate new year’s eve in San Francisco, but I had to stay in New York to work, so we spent the turn of the millennium apart.
A friend of a friend threw a party. I attended, grumpily, as shown here.
Ten years ago, but it may as well have been a thousand. Everything is different now. Everything except that I am once again separated from those with whom I would most wish to mark the falling away of old things and the luminous beauty of new beginnings.
Internet Image Control
In 2010, you are whatever the Net says you are. Deal with it. Let’s assume that you want to deal with it; that is, you care about the picture the Net paints of you. I think that most of us should care, and I can think of three approaches to influencing the Net’s view: Branding, Offending, and Spelling. The first probably won’t work and the second stinks, so that leaves Spelling; more precisely, spell-checking and what it stands for.
My marriage resulted in a daughter, Ava, and a dog, Emile. My daughter, thank God, is fine. But Emile has become ill, first with pneumonia, which he survived, and now with pulmonary hypertension, which is going to kill him.
The pneumonia manifested as coughing, fainting, dramatic weight loss, and lack of energy. A week in a veterinary hospital’s intensive care unit saved his life. And, for a few weeks afterward, although still underweight, he seemed to be recovering.
Then he began fainting again, often falling into his own urine and feces, sometimes while emitting what sounded like a scream of terror. The light would go out of his eyes. Grabbing his feet, patting his side, I’d lie on the floor, coaxing him back from the other world. Then it was back to the veterinarian, or, as two days ago, to the veterinary hospital’s ICU.
At the hospital, they prescribed a new medicine, which he starts today. They also told me, in doctor language, that he won’t be with us much longer.
It’s too soon to give up hope, too soon to pull the plug, but the day of horrible choices is approaching.
Not everything that happened in the 2000s sucked. Los Angeles writer and design gadfly Alissa Walker looks back at a decade in which the design field redesigned itself, “transforming from an industry that created better objects to one that created better experiences.”
Philadelphia is a happening little city, the cradle of liberty, and the site of Happy Cog East. It’s also a city that gets unfairly overlooked—like a beauty whose sisters are supermodels. But I have a plan.
I want to rebrand Philadelphia as !adelphia.
I can see the logo. I can see half a dozen ad campaigns, some of them even good. I see a decent theme-line and sense that a much better one is out there. I see commercials and bus posters, I hear tourist board tie-ins and radio spots. I see Kottke, Joe Clarke, and Design Observer trashing the campaign on various intellectual and typographic grounds. I see contests where designers submit how they would have done the logo.
Maybe it’s the meds talking, but I think we’re on to something. Viva !adelphia!
When I moved to this teeming borough of painters, drunks, junkies, queers, nudie photographers, novelists, girlfriend-supported guitarists, bikers, drummers, sax players, gang members, and ad folk, I little imagined that it would one day be considered a safe, boring island of stockbrokers, playing straight man to Brooklyn’s hipster.
Real Fonts and Rendering: The New Elephant in the Room
My friend, the content strategist Kristina Halvorson, likes to call content “the elephant in the room” of web design. She means it’s the huge problem that no one on the web development team or client side is willing to acknowledge, face squarely, and plan for….
Without discounting the primacy of the content problem, we web design folk have now birthed ourselves a second lumbering mammoth, thanks to our interest in “real fonts on the web“ (the unfortunate name we’ve chosen for the recent practice of serving web-licensed fonts via CSS’s decade-old @font-face declaration—as if Georgia, Verdana, and Times were somehow unreal).…
Put simply, even fonts optimized for web use (which is a whole thing: ask a type designer) will not look good in every browser and OS.
If the geek on your list loves playing The Rather Difficult Font Game by Kari Pätilä, and if that geek owns an iPhone or iPod Touch, she will adore The Font Game app, created by Kari Pätilä (game designer, web stuff), John Boardley (ilovetypography founder), and Justin Stahl (iPhone development). With 657 font samples, three levels of difficulty, and the ability to post your results to Twitter, it’s the perfect way to test or show off your type chops, or just learn.