Toucan play at this game

It’s been a busy couple weeks for graphic design and typography in the news. The thing is, I often miss the news because I’m busy watching baseball and old episodes of Battlestar Galactica, so I appreciate it when IBD readers send links to interesting stories. Here are a few items that landed in my in-box recently.

Maya Archeology Initiative vs. Toucan Sam
Personally, I am tired of Guatemalan nonprofit organizations using scare tactics and lawyers to bully defenseless multi-national food conglomerates. So I was glad to see Kellogg’s defend its signature Toucan Sam against the Maya Archeology Initiative’s logo’s blatant trademark infringement. (In case you can’t tell them apart because they’re so similar, the one on the left above represents an organization devoted to defending Mayan culture, the one on the right is Kellogg’s Toucan Sam.) According to news articles about the case, Kellogg’s objects not only to MAI’s use of a Toucan, but also its use of Mayan imagery, because, it turns out, Kellogg’s uses Mayan imagery, too.

Fight the good fight, Kellogg’s! Before you know it, MAI (which was *this close* to stealing the acronym of the association I work for) will be spelling fruit with two Os and trying to pass off high-fructose-corn-syrup styrofoam balls as cereal, just like you do.

Thanks to Friend of IBD Kirk Mona who alerted us on Twitter to this story on Forbes.com, and my co-worker Jamie King, who sent a link to this story on TechDirt.

A Book About Type
This story from NPR, sent to us by Friends of IBD Jeff Miller and Brent Erb, uses the words Font and Type in its headline, so it was pretty much guaranteed that I was going to hear about it.

The article is about a new book called Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield. (Simon is the really talented part of this author’s name. Garfield is just riding Simon’s coattails.) The book is about the history, trends, and cultural impact of certain fonts, and it is on my Amazon wish list.

Ahem.

Titling Gothic
New York City’s Central Park, a large urban nature area named after a coffee shop in the TV show “Friends,” made the news recently when it debuted its new identity on more than 1,500 signs (seen above in a New York Times photo by David W. Dunlap). And when it did, Friends of IBD Adrianne Johnson and Bob Brzuszek let us know about this article on the New York Times blog.

The new identity features a palette of warm green with red highlights, a heavy dose of pictograms, and a typeface called Titling Gothic. The story quotes the typeface’s designer, David Berlow of the Boston-based Font Bureau as saying, “None of the styles of Titling Gothic exude the kind of authoritarian insistence of Helvetica, which I’m sure was considered in the selection process.”

I love this for all sorts of reasons. I love the discussion of the nuances of type, the carefully considered decision-making process, and that New York City had to go all the way to the home of the hated Red Sox to find a type foundry with just the right typeface for their park.

Thanks to everyone who sends these stories! I’ll make you a deal: If you keep sending current, relevant news items, I will keep you apprised of developments in six-year-old episodes of Battlestar Galactica as I watch them.

T-Shirts for Designers

Caution: If you read this post and consider any of the following articles of clothing stylish, cool, or even moderately acceptable your membership in the nerd herd is accepted, valid, and there is no turning back for you.

Several posts ago I wrote about the American Apparel Image as well as their popular t-shirts. Friend and reader of IBD, Joe Jacobs, referred us to another blog on design (not that he should be reading any other design blogs besides IBD) with a post on t-shirts for designers. After searching through the shirts, here are my favorites.  If you are looking for that holiday gift for that nerd in your life this post may help you (hint to my wife…I wish she read my blog).

Anatomy of A

Vonroxy has a nice “Anatomy of the Letter A” shirt that is sure to swoon as well as provide an interpretive opportunity discussing the ascender, mean line, and bowl of a letterform. IBD does not guarantee that this shirt will actually improve your chances with swooning. Based on actual results, the above shirt and typeography discussion could impair the swooning process.

Helvetica

They also offer the classic Helvetica shirt that is almost too mainstream for me now.  Just kidding, I really like it.

Kern

Collapse Design is offering an interesting collection of t-shirts with slogans based on design terms intertwined into pop culture phrases.

words_arent                                                                                   

UG Monk provides a great example of message within a message. They’ve got some great oversized letterform shirts too.

300

Who needs a drop down menu with a list of sans serif typefaces when you can wear them? Turn Nocturnal has a shirt with 300 sans serif typefaces screen printed in a interesting design.  Their “huge type looks sweet shirt”  is sweet too.

Whitespace

Veer (which happens to be great online source for various design needs) is offering more whitespace in your life and who couldn’t use more whitespace. They also offer an entire line of other products for nerd herd members like us. That’s right.  Accept your official membership into the herd.