Helvetica vs. Arial
30 July 2008, 11:25 am
Filed under: Design, Things We Like, Typography | Tags: ,

Time for a post on the age-old battle between Helvetica and Arial! As you may know, Arial is a rip-off typeface developed by Microsoft that is based very closely on Helvetica. Sadly, Arial has become the standard desktop typeface. Designers who wish to champion Helvetica will enjoy these items. The first is a role-play game in which you are the Helvetica letter and are trying to crush the Arial letter. Hours of fun! Here is the link: Helvetica vs. Arial, and I’ve also included a screen shot. The second set of images are information graphics from the article “How to Spot Arial” by Mark Simonson Studio. They show the key characteristics that distinguish Helvetica from Arial. When you are done with this, you might want to take this quiz to test your knowledge. The third set of images are stills from the movie Helvetica, which we also posted about in December 2007.


Drawing with Light
28 July 2008, 9:06 am
Filed under: Design, Things We Like, Typography | Tags: ,

Check out this really cool alphabet I found on the blog, Balla Dora Typo-Grafika. I love the idea of using light as a material and how it compliments the angular qualities of these letters, though I’m not exactly sure how these letterforms were created. (perhaps I will post a comment on that blog to find out) My first instinct would be to say they are timed exposures. In other words, the shutter of the camera was left open as the letter was “drawn” with the flashlight. I have done this before, but I don’t think that is the case here, since the hands are completely in focus in all of the photographs. Any ideas? 

Campaign Finance

Have you wondered how Obama actually got all of the money to finance his campaign? I know that I didn’t know the full story, so I was very excited when I found this fun, informational poster created by X-Plane. In a nutshell, the poster explains how Obama has raised a lot of his money through online social networks. X-plane has done an amazing job combining hand-drawn type, cartoons, graphs and charts to create something that is dynamic and unique, yet informational at the same time. Take note of the stylistic differences between this poster and the maps created by History Shots, which were posted earlier. The maps by History Shots are more formal and elegant, while this doesn’t seem to take itself as seriously. Nonetheless, both are equally powerful.

Info is Beautiful
27 June 2008, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Design, Things We Like | Tags: ,

Here’s a firm that creates informational posters with style! Each of the info-graphics is a tour de force of mapping the history of a particular subject. From a design standpoint, it’s interesting to think about the power of informational imagery, and how it can replace large chunks of text that are often boring and hard to get through. Instead, posters like this force learning to happen faster because viewers read less and look more, which allows them to make sense of big ideas more easily. This is information design at its best. Bravo to History Shots!



Poster Flip-book
23 June 2008, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Design, Things We Like, Typography

We recently heard the Baltimore-based studio, Post Typography speak at the Art Director’s Club. Upon looking at their website, we found this really cool poster that is perforated and folds into a flip-book. What an extremely innovative approach to concept and execution! I think what’s most impressive is how the poster manages to display the information clearly in its static format, even with the somewhat fragmented type. It’s also an interesting example of how the content represented dictated the form of the communication, which can operate on two distinct levels depending upon the level of viewer interaction. The firm describes the poster as something that “literally converts from static broadside into an example of the time-based media showcased at the festival.”



Fashion Designer on the side!
16 May 2008, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Design, Things We Like | Tags: ,


lemental threads is a company that allows you to design your own bag, from a selection of funky cotton and canvas fabrics. You can even even choose the color of the lining (and the prices are reasonable)!

An ambiguous animation painted on public walls
15 May 2008, 10:29 am
Filed under: Aart, Design, Things We Like | Tags: , ,

Six days ago Blu posted Muto on Vimeo and since then it has been watched a quarter of a million times. Personally, I would love to know more about the process.