This advert for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra has been linked from several design related sites (I can’t remember where I first saw it), but all of them were linking either to Zapp Internet or to YouTube, both of which only had low quality and low resolution versions. For animations with such fine detail as this has, you really need to see the clean, high-res version to appreciate it fully. So, a good few Google searches later, and I’ve found this article on Llámame Lola, which not only carries a link to the MPEG but appears to be the originator of the Zapp upload. My paraphrased translation of their description, which is, to be fair, a bit random:
Here’s a great commercial for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra made by the agency Euro RSCG Zürich. Recently the orchestra carried out a concert in Spain with the Swiss flautist Emmanuel Pahud, at the Palau de la Música in Valencia. For the opening night last week, Emmanuel Pahud performed with the ZKO under the direction of Giovanni Antonini, the Flute Concerto nº7 by Devienne.
Also, I was intrigued by the ZKO logo, and not immediately finding any PDFs containing a high-res version of that either, I decided to redraw it, as is my wont. It’s a beautiful logo, and probably is the subject of much jealousy by other orchestras.
You may need to download VLC to play the video from Llámame Lola as Quicktime claims it’s not a valid video file. Go figure.
A fair few sites have linked to this recently, but I’ve only just got around to watching it and I can’t recommend it enough. As well as Fry’s flawless presentation of the story of Gutenberg and his invention, there are a few examples of nice lettering to pause the video for too. Mention of the Gutenberg Bible reminds me of this article, from a while back.
It’s the first time I’ve used iPlayer, as it’s the first time my internet connection has worked at a reasonable speed (thank you Virgin Media, it only took you years). I rather like the way its laid out, it’s a bit like my other site, which has looked like that for years, I hasten to add.
Also, for those of you who’ve ever watched the original TV series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, having Fry present this is just perfect; it’s like a chapter from the Guide itself.
Update: I hadn’t realised that people outside the UK had no iPlayer access at all. Kottke provided these links to a YouTube version in six parts, which unfortunately weren’t encoded to take into account the original widescreen format, so everyone looks a bit narrow: One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Six. They may be removed if the BBC requests it, however.
Part of my job involves developing websites in multiple languages, and earlier this week the decision was made to produce an arabic version of a particular very flash-heavy website we did. It’s going to be an interesting challenge, as the website in question is one of those that emulates the action of turning pages in a book (needless to say it’s a pure marketing ‘teaser’ style website) and so the entire site will need to be reconfigured to right-to-left reading and page turning. Anyway, those are fairly straightforward technical details and shouldn’t take too long. What really occupies my time is selecting a new typeface for the site - we use Arno Pro for its wide range of language support, especially Cyrillic and Greek, and so the new arabic face should work well with it. And lo, just this evening I find Palatino Arabic in the Type Director’s Club 2008 winning entries. Perfect.
In 2005 The Royal Mint announced a competition to design six of the eight kinds of coin in circulation in Britain, the first full redesign of the coins since decimalisation in 1971. Open to everyone and with a top prize of £30,000, they received 4000 designs from 500 people, and I just saw on the news that the final designs have been completed and the first coins ready for issue. Not only that, but the £1 coin is now included in the redesign, and somewhat appropriately becomes the uniting element of the set.
You can tell they were done by a graphic designer; even with the complexity of the Royal Arms, the designs are clean and sparse, with pleasing variation in placement of the inscription, and on the 20p there is a sense of refraction through the thick border of the coin. Just take a look at them though, they’re fantastic, in fact, they’re astounding - I can hardly believe that these are actually official coins of the real United Kingdom, instead they look like they’re from some sleek, efficient, science-fiction alternate-universe version of the country.
The one thing that gives me pause in the whole process is the thought that we won’t be seeing any more of the beautiful 50 pence designs. I’m not exactly a numismatist but I do enjoy seeing the new designs every couple of years or so. I suspect that the one coin not included, the £2, will continue to have commemorative designs on it. I wonder when we’ll get a £5 coin actually in circulation?
While researching this article, I was looking through earlier coin designs on the Royal Mint site, and I notice the 1948 Half Crown used the Royal Arms as well, but with a more elaborate shield design. I think it’s rather attractive, and I’m intrigued by the crowned GG ligature either side of the shield.
David sent me a link to this, somewhat appropriate for April Fools Day, about an H&FJ spoof font, estupido. I find the idea of creating swashes for OCR A hilarious, but I thought, shouldn’t robots have fancy type too? One day, our machine comrades will be attending theatres and poetry recitals, and instead of programmes set in flourish-heavy Regency scripts like we do, maybe they’ll want something a little more evocative of their earlier eras; Simpler, slower times before 100 Exabyte connections ruined the slow pace of digital romance… And who says computers can’t read swashes? It’s discrimination I say! Discrimination!
There’s a great collection of 3D type designs on You The Designer. I was looking through them and was reminded of the long-neglected Atlas Magazine, which is sort-of still going (well, it’s there but not being updated from what I can tell). I remember Atlas having a new design with each issue, which was what kept me going back, and looking through previous issues you can see how fast the technology was developing in those years. One of them even offers a link to the Netscape Plugin Finder, using a pop-up window. Still, it’s stuck on the last design now, though you can look at previous issues by clicking the roman numerals floating about on the left, if you can. It’d be interesting to see how it would have developed, had it avoided the big-time of IPOs and say, a merger with Slate or similar. I wonder if it would still have navigation that tries to run away from you?
I was looking through my site earlier trying to find an article about Ian Kim’s work, and found that somehow I hadn’t done one. I’ve admired his work for a while, especially the piece below. I was doing some work today that needed illustrations of books flying around (right) and wanted to look at it again for inspiration.
As you can see, my style is rather different (I love working with vectors) but it’s always good to acknowledge your inspirational sources! The similarity in colours is entirely coincidental - the project I’m working on has a scheme of red and blue already!
Make sure to have a look at the ‘personal’ section on the site too, as there are some powerful images, some on some emotive and important subjects.
There’s a design agency near where I live called Eighth Day, and when they put up their sign I enjoyed the use of the numeral ‘8’ to form a lowercase ‘g’. I’ve seen some hand-drawn examples of it in the past, but not in a logo. I’m sure plenty of examples must exist - it is after all an effective and yet straightforward typographic trick. I thought this example was even more intriguing, with all the letters formed from part of numeral eights. I’m especially loving the neat positioning of the trademark symbol - it’s unusual to see it nicely integrated into a logo.
I’m feeling pretty glad right now that I have the perfect project where I can use this new script face. It’s an astonishingly complete script, with 4280 glyphs in each weight, covering Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. I don’t know of any other script that comes close. I work on projects where the work is localised into many European languages, often including Greek and Russian, so having typefaces and type systems that work for all of them makes life a hell of a lot easier. We make heavy use of Arno Pro nowadays for that very reason, but I was thinking we needed a script face to back it up on this particular project. I think Champion Script Pro fulfils that role perfectly. The “making of” blog post is fascinating, as is the set of examples on the Parachute site itself. I’ve nabbed a few examples for Latin, Greek and Cyrillic as a taster. Beautiful:
Typographica’s annual review of type releases has just been published, and I’m very pleased and honoured to have been asked to contribute to it! There are fantastic reviews of 2007’s notable releases on there, so go and take a look. My review of Meta Serif is available here. Thanks to Stephen Coles for asking me, and for the nice compliment in the link!
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