Day to day, my type tastes tends to run pretty utilitarian. A little typographic charm is fine, but how does it work in different roles, and at different sizes? What's it language and glyph support like? Is it in line with the platform's existing identity, if they haven't declared a brand typeface yet?
So sometimes I need to spice things up in my personal work. Get abrasive. Uncomfortable. Maybe even a little aggressive. This week I stumbled across Bluue Suuperstar, fairly radiating fight milk energy. It's edgy—literally. It's got serifs like meat cleavers, and little eye-gouging in the stems & ascenders. The heavier weights could sink the Titanic. It's vicious as all heck and I love it.
In my experience, books on design often come in to two types: practical industry-focused manuals or dense academic theory. That’s why when I finally picked up The Shape of Design this week (late to the game, I know), I was pleasantly surprised by the way it sits between these two categories. Chimero’s writing has a narrative quality that I haven’t encountered in design writing before. His thoughtful articulation of the experience of design—the process, creativity, and craft—are almost a meditation of sorts. If you haven’t had a chance to read this little book, I'd say it’s well worth your time.
Gradients are back. Haven't you heard? Not just any gradients, mesh gradients especially. If you dont know what that is, you're not alone. As designers we tend to be limited to play within the confines of what our tools allow us to do, and most design tools only work with linear and conic gradients, so many of us have never heard of mesh gradients. But that all changed when the North Star of web design, Stripe, unveiled their redesigned website. As is common on these occasions, a lot of us asked 'how did they do that' well, the answer is mesh gradients. With this Figma plugin, the masses can also experiment with this new flavor of gradients to our hearts content.
"Hey, would you like to make a suggestion?"
Browsing used bookstores is a pastime my wife loves. I have to admit, it’s pretty exciting to uncover a rare find that can bring some much joy for a couple of bucks. A few weeks back, we were checking out the new store for Pourings & Passages in Danielson, CT when I came across “Suggestion”, by Illegal Art. It’s a take on the classic “suggestion box” where you typically leave feedback to help improve an experience, but in this case normal folks on the streets of NYC were promoted to offer up literally anything and drop it in.
It’s an interesting glimpse into the daily lives of our fellow passerby, and a work of art with the 300+ handwritten messages each taking on their own unique personality and expression. Some of the notes you’ll find yourself agreeing with, others will inspire you, and there are even some that might make you upset.
I couldn’t agree more with this one from a person on the Brooklyn Bridge:
There should be a time everyday when people in offices all over the city should stop work, go outside and scream REALLY LOUDLY. (A moment of noise rather than silence.)
And this person on Wall Street obviously has no clue:
Don’t wear plaid.
For $1.50 this book has become part of my morning routine over coffee and a chair in the sun to help start my day. Check it out on Amazon, but it’s $34.90, and I’m sure you can find it cheaper if you get out there and hunt a bit ;)