The words “typeface” and “character” are fitting terms to describe fonts. When listening to good designers talk about them, you would think they were gossiping about people. They talk about their emotional qualities, complain about what they perceive as their flaws, get blushingly specific about their physical beauty. For them, some typefaces are casual flings, good for a quickie when the mood strikes and the lighting is right; with others, they are in love and ready to commit for life. For many designers, a studying letterforms is more engaging than reading what the collected letters have to say.
Some of you know that seven years ago I wrote a book called “The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946,” published by Ten Speed Press/Random House. As usual, it was designed by Kit Hinrichs (Kit’s origami flag assemblage below) and photographed by Terry Heffernan. After more than 30 years as a corporate writer, I suddenly found myself propelled in another direction and immersed in a subject that I largely avoided my entire life. Although I had no thought that it would make a good art exhibition, I began receiving requests from museums across the U.S. and the array of objects made from scrap and found materials by people imprisoned in the camps were exhibited in some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. and the International Folk Art Museum of Santa Fe. Today it opens at the University Art Museum (Geidai) in Tokyo to kick off a one-year tour of Japanese cities. If you are in Japan, I hope you’ll take the time to see it. I’ll be back in my San Francisco office next week with more new posts. — Delphine
In the U.S., July 4th is a national holiday commemorating the day in 1776 when the tiny 13 American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, instigating a revolutionary war that lasted eight long years. From a graphic standpoint, the American flag is unique because change is built into it. Each time a state joined the Union, it got its own star on the flag. The 50th and most recent star was added in 1959 when Hawaii won statehood. The flag’s appearance has remained constant since then. This video, produced by Kit Hinrichs, presents a chronology of when states entered the Union, how that changed the look of the flag, and which Presidents served under each version of the flag. Yes, we did run this video last Fourth of July, but we thought the John Philip Sousa’s tune “Stars and Stripes Forever” would be an invigorating way to celebrate the holiday. By the way, Sousa who was born in Washington D.C. is a classic American “melting pot” story. His father was born in Spain of Portuguese parents and his mother was born in Bavaria. Happy Fourth, enjoy the hot dogs and watermelon but don’t light fireworks if you live in a fire zone.
We don’t know how to wish you a happy new year in multiple languages, but we found several cats that do. From the team at @Issue, we wish you all the best in 2012 — peace, friendship, health, great collaborative clients, a free flow of creative inspiration, and many many moments of joy and laughter. Thank you for following @Issue throughout the year.
Pssst! Need a legitimate business reason to go to Las Vegas? Come to the AIGA Las Vegas “Return on Design: Business + Design Conference on November 17-18.
According to Patty Mar Simmons, event co-chair and president of AIGA Las Vegas, “We are uniting designers and business leaders to foster a better understanding of how good design can help drive tangible results for any size company.”
On the business/marketing side, speakers include Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts International; Jamie Naughton, Zappos.com; Richard Worthington, Molasky Group of Companies; Vince Alberta, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Christina Barr, Nevada Humanities; Brian Gordon, Applied Analysis, and Luke Heffron, Shutterlfy. Design side speakers include Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands and AIGA National board member; Andrew Naudin, ExhibitForce, and yours truly – Kit Hinrichs, Studio Hinrichs and design director, @Issue, and Delphine Hirasuna, editor, @Issue.
The cost to attend is $175 per person and includes a reception on Thursday evening, plus the conference sessions, breakfast and lunch on Friday. Come early, spend the weekend. Support the Las Vegas economy. For more information, visit returnondesignvegas.com.