One year ago today, we asked the question “Why do we think the world needs another blog?” and with that, the Interpretation By Design blog was born. We have yet to achieve our stated goal of eradicating the world of clip art and Comic Sans, nor have we overthrown all world governments in order to impose our own merciless rule. But we have enjoyed the opportunity to dialogue with and learn from readers, as well as to rant incoherently about whatever random thought pops into our heads every Monday and Thursday.
We have gotten to brag about our respective favorite baseball teams winning the World Series (the Phillies earned their title in 2008; the Yankees purchased theirs in 2009). We have discussed design pet peeves (drop caps for me, the typeface Papyrus for Shea), and we have revealed our deepest, darkest secrets (I used to work in TV news, Shea likes Walmart).
We have learned (to our surprise) that our readers are passionate about grammatical and typographic minutiae like the difference between less and fewer and whether to single space or double space after a period—and whether they’re setting that type on a Mac or PC.
We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to use the phrase “Friend of IBD” often, not to mention that our respective marriages are still intact even after our families vacationed together during a blog-intensive week in Chicago last August. We’ve enjoyed (nearly) all of the comments that readers have left (even the one telling me that “life is too short” and that I should “get over it” in my post about drop caps).
In that first post exactly a year ago today, I wrote, “We don’t want your Social Security number, credit card information, or first-born child. You don’t even need a username or password. All you need is an interest in interpretation and/or graphic design and a moment to share your thoughts with us.”
Since then, we’ve enjoyed interacting with readers, especially when you send entertaining links and photos like this one from Friends of IBD Lori Spencer and Don Simons, who wrote after a trip to Hawaii, “Hi guys, You’ve got us noticing signs now.”
And that’s really what IBD is about. We know we’re never going to shut down a server because one of our posts goes viral on the Internet, but we hope to have found a niche of readers who find beauty in the quirky, who care about type and design, and who enjoy the way our natural and cultural heritage is presented visually at interpretive sites. We write this blog because we enjoy discussing interpretation and design. (If we didn’t have the blog, we’d probably end up writing all of the same content in emails to one another, only probably with even more snarky baseball-related comments, so it’s best for our mental health that we do have the blog.)
If we have changed the way you look at the world—noticing worn-down signs while others might be soaking in a beautiful rainforest or seascape, wondering whether a specific typeface was appropriate while others enjoy the content of an interpretive exhibit, or cringing at the use of a double space after a period while others read happily along without a care in the world—then our job is done, and we are truly sorry.
And finally, an announcement: For the next year, Shea and I will use the typeface Helvetica every day until a major Hollywood studio makes a movie about us called Shea and Paul and Max and Eduard. The movie will span seven decades and tell the parallel, touching stories of the creation of the typeface and our use of it. Shea will be played by Meryl Streep.