Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cemetry Gates

Buffalo graphic artist Don Keller is having a cool art opening this Saturday (Oct 27th) at The Allen Street Hardware Store Cafe in Allentown, Buffalo, NY entitled Images of Horror and Imagination.

Don, a kindred spirit (my 1st advertising firm job @ Steve James Design- followed Don leaving...), who has always had a taste for the offbeat and sublime, offers some season-appropriate digital illustrations. Built in Illustrator and Photoshop-- printed on large 30 x 24-ish Epson archival paper-- the images are very graphic and haunting, starring classic horror characters/themes including "The Witch", "Nosferatu" and the "Bride" (of Frankenstein). The show will feature some of Don's pop-art images and some paintings as well.

Buffalonian's might immediately recognize some of the images which have appeared as Artvoice Halloween issue covers. The art, which has an airbrushed softness, is paired with a dark-edged starkness & bold colors. The Witch features an enchanted figure with rich red stringy hair, a soft green complexion and a small hint of cleavage-- there is usually a bit of sex in Don's work. Behind her are some unsettling faces floating under a glowing forest sky. Seeing these digital images at full size-- as compared to the small samples here or the standard AV cover-- will give many of them a possessing & creepy man-size scale.

The show opens this Saturday, October 27th (9:00 PM) with the exhibition continuing through Thanksgiving, 2007 at The Allen Street Hardware Store Cafe which is located at 245 Allen Street in Buffalo, NY (at the end, before the curve, across from Nietzsche's).

Bonus Beats: Don was one of our Living With Fame graphic artist interviews from way back when (flashback).

All images copyright ©2007 Don Keller.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

City of The Dead

RIP- our big tree.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Down at The Tube Station at Midnight

Print Magazine online has an article about the expanded font set Johnson Underground, designed by local font gurus P22.

The article speculates about the popularity of Gill Sans over Johnson Underground- a font famous to all London train riders, designed in 1916 for the London Transit Authority by Edward Johnson. This font had a popular rebirth with the digital remix years ago by P22, which was again remixed on it's latest addition (2007) of a super, powerful pro pack. It's like getting all those bonus tracks/beats on your extended music CD.

I have always loved the font, and it's delightful curves- it was like riding on the subway or a mountain pass highway. But it was clearly missing the extended faces, specifically an italic (I always slanted it in Illustrator- yuck) and bold (same deal, adding a stroke to beef it up).... but now we got it all including: thin, medium, heavy, small caps, light, demi and more.

The P22 website states that the Pro font collectively contains over 5000 glyphs! Holy extras, Batman!!

Was the font designer Eric Gill just trying to improved on the original Johnson Underground font with his Gill Sans- a very popular font? Let the type-geek discussion begin at Printmag.com....

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours

Communication Arts online has posted a great feature on designing with type- Type is a Many Splendored Thing. For some designers, type poses a great and difficult task- the balance of light and heavy, the space between characters, between sentences, between block of copy and headlines- but a satisfying challenge worth conquering. The CA piece states:

Typography is complex, an intricate science. To the designer, and connoisseur of type, choosing to use a particular font in one’s work is a big decision. The implications are huge; the characters carry weight in terms of how they are perceived as well as what they are referencing.
This is exactly why I love to especially design posters and logos. A lot of the logos we design are built upon type-- often merging a symbol with text characters. The fun part for me is always the careful balancing of the individual characters. The same with posters, using bold and visually strong fonts, it is often about the perfect space between the characters, not just the characters themselves.

Read the article online- it features a really cool gallery of examples including last year's Typecon poster art designed by Roy Burns & Clifford Stoltze. The tagline was "Boston T Party" and featured multiple variations of the the letter T on tea bag shapes. Designing a type poster for type people- could this be one of the greatest challenge of all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Who Needs Forever

Another one of those clever top ten lists for no particular rhyme or reason... just needed something.

Top 10 Things I Have Learned This Past Month (though some of them I already knew....) --

10) The Wiggles have absolutely no-talent and are weird old guys (similar to Jay Leno).

09) Rock is not dead.

08) Getting older is not bad. It gets better- look at wine.

07) Some girls are bigger that other girl's mothers.

06) Getting out of the office is good.

05) Don't sit and wait. Do.

04) Meat is murder.

03) Helvetica used to seem awfully plain-- but it is not, it is very cool.

02) The past lives in cyberspace (at least the last 10 years or so)

01) Don't say 'yes' when you really mean 'maybe....'

00) Don't trust the internet. She lies.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Waiting For The Sun

Waiting, wait, wait, wait.......

This Friday is a waiting day.

I am waiting for our development team to deliver, so I can present to a client.

I am waiting for a freelancer to finish a project.

I am waiting for some clients to get back to me, so we can move forward on a few jobs.

I am waiting for the drop of the puck for today's 1st Sabres game of the 2007-08 season.

I am waiting to hear color-man Harry Neale call his 1st game as a member of the Sabs broadcast team.

I am waiting to see that 1st Sabres goal of the regular season- who will it be? Any guesses...? (I saw ex-Sab Danny Briere score for his new team- Philly- last night on CBC).

I have been waiting 6 weeks for the tree executioners to come back like they threatened they would- they have not. Are they not coming.......??

I am waiting for design inspiration to strike like a bolt from today's clear blue (and extremely warm for Oct. 5th) sky.

I am waiting for my lost friend 'Uncle Rico' to finally contact me- it has been over a year!

I am waiting for that new client to call back like he said he would.

I am waiting to get paid on SOME PAST DUE invoices (but alas, the mail already came today with no ducats).

I am waiting for it to snow like it did that one October Friday- right about this time, I believe last year (very scary prospect)!

I am waiting for Saturday- I hope the weather is as nice as it is today! I won't have to work and can spend the day with the family.

I am waiting for an email back from a friend.

I am waiting for the song title to pop into my head.. what is that song I keep hearing!?!?! it's got a hip-hop I beat and you can really bug out to it.

I am waiting for a call back (there's the phone now!... false alarm).

I am waiting to have lunch- I think I'll just do that- one less thing to wait for.....

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World

INDEX: is a global non-profit network organization that focuses on Design to Improve Life – e.g. design that substantially improves important aspects of human life – worldwide.

Every two years in Copenhagen, awards are given in five categories and the winner in each category receives a prize of €100 000. The winning designs are chosen by an international jury consisting of leading designers, design researchers, design writers and design thinkers from Europe, Asia and the U.S.

Announced August 24, the winners include:

BODY: Mobility for Each One
A super-cheap to produce ($8 US dollars!!!) prosthetic leg created by this Canadian designer.

HOME: Solar Bottle
An easy-to-use water decontamination system. Contaminated water is filled into transparent plastic bottles that when exposed to full sunlight for six hours, the crap in the water is destroyed- making it drinkable.

WORK: Tongue Sucker
A simple-to-use, on the spot medical device designed to stop unconscious folks from dying inspired by the London terrorists bombings in 2005. Designed by industrial engineers team from the Imperial College and the Royal College of Art in the UK.

PLAY: Tesla Roadster
The Tesla Roadster is a 100% electric vehicle, with zero emissions and zero-to-sixty acceleration in four seconds. Full electric and sporty too! Zippy!

The XO Laptop is aimed to increase computer literacy around the world-- 99 % of children in developing countries leave school without having touched a computer. It is about the size of a textbook and lighter than a lunchbox, making it easy for children to carry. XO is designed to be used in parts of the world where many classes are taught outside, and therefore it is sunlight-readable as well as shock and moisture resistant. Very Mac-looking...

Winner of the 2007 People's Choice Award: Antivirus – a cap to protect against needle infections.

For full details, photos and information about the organization view the website.