Elvis + Helvetica? Hellsvetica yes!

Firstly: Elvis + Helvetica = brilliant.


{by Hulk4598 on flickr, via FFFFOUND!}

This girl approves.

Now, for a bit of waffle. (Err… waffle).

Note Exhibit A, above. Young Elvis* all dolled up for the film Roustabout, in too-neat leathers with too-tidy hair . Movie tagline: “Elvis Presley as a Roving, Restless, Reckless, ROUSTABOUT”. [Insert sceptical looks here].

But also note Exhibit B:


{also by Hulk4598 on flickr, via FFFFOUND!}

Young Elvis in a rather naff suit, with an acoustic guitar that he never really played much, and a messed-up coiff that looks like he’s just come off stage after this:

(Skip to 1:00 and press play. Watch to the end. DO IT. Honestly. Just trust me on this, okay? You won’t regret it.)

Now isn’t it ironic that despite the extra “L” in Exhibit A [“Hell for leather[s]“, anyone?] Elvis was actually at the peak of his corrupting deviance not as a “Roving, Restless, Reckless, ROUSTABOUT”, but as a cheeky, messy-haired rockabilly boy?

Clearly, the 1950s were hella good for the Rebellious Youth, in music and typography.


*[as opposed to Old Elvis: let's just not go there, okay?]

PS. Much as I appreciate the sentiment, I’m not such a fan of Helvekitty.

PPS. Whatever happened to Elvis movies on Sunday afternoon TV? Oh well, at least we’ve still got:


Plastique Fantastique: Typographically accessorised

THIS. This is what awesome looks like through the eyes of a typophile.

Laser-cut acrylic necklaces…


…and rings

for the ultimate in beautiful, witty, typographical (okay, nerd) accessories.

Okay, uber nerd:


All from Plastique’s etsy store.


Now hurry along with credit cards a-flashing, dear fontgeeks. Stocks are limited, and I need someone to buy them out before I surrender to temptation.

Verdana is IKEA’s font of the futura.

03.09.09 UPDATE:

  • Great coverage of the issue on idsgn.org, which, I have just discovered, is a Bloody Brilliant Blog (BBB).
  • You can sign the anti-Verdana “IKEA please get rid of Verdana” petition here.
  • And TIME.com has even cottoned on to the debacle: The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume Over Verdana.


{ from Please Copy Me, via user Raumschiff on Typophile }


After 50 years, IKEA is changing its font from Futura to Verdana.
{ Follow through for the full story & discussion on  Typophile.com }


I love IKEA. I can honestly attest that almost every item of furniture I have ever owned (since childbirth) has been from IKEA. IKEA is the Helvetica of the furniture world. It is a blank canvas. A neutral. Sufficient character to stand up on its own (pun intended), but muted enough that it doesn’t drown out what you’re really trying to say * .

I also love the kooky IKEA language, and the crazy nomenclature around which it is built. A mirror known as FRÄCK; a tiny plush owl toy called SOT; a computer table that answers to the name DAVE. Every book I’ve ever owned has lived on a BILLY bookcase.

Part of me worries that none of these will look or sound quite so Scandinavianly edgy when printed in Verdana


*Probably something along the lines of “I like low prices, simple lines, white-on-white,  and am handy with an Allen key“.


Hellvetica (and the fundamental interconnectedness of all things*)

“Helvetica as Metallica”, by Yann Serandour, via The Triumph of Bullshit, via FFFFOUND!, via Any Given Name, via VVVORK.


Severally reblogging like this really puts the “inter” in interwebs.

“Rather than connecting all things eventually, the Internet makes us realize that all things are, by nature, interconnected”

@fadereu**



* “The fundamental interconnectedness of all things” was how Douglas Adams defined holisticism in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. It’s such an apt summation that whenever I encounter the word “holistic” all I hear/read is “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things”. It’s like a special breed of babel fish, translating regular words into the more lyrical phraseology of Douglas Adams.

**Incidentally, I first saw this lovely iota of wisdom as a retweeted retweet via @wildmonkeysects, via @BinarySeed.

Periodic Tables of Everything

Periodically, the design world picks up on something and runs with it. Holding up a poster for the camera. Keep Calm & Carry On (and various parodies: Get Excited & Make Things, Now Panic & Freak Out, Ignore The British, Keep Spending & Stay In Debt).

Recently, I’ve noticed an upsurge of periodic tables.

1: A marginally useful and seriously colour-coordinated Periodic Table of Adobe Creative Suite Shortcuts*:


{ Periodic Table of Adobe Creative Suite Shortcuts, Design By Vent via FFFFOUND! }


2: The joyously punilicious Periodic Table of the Elephants:


{ by Lauren Hill Academy/American Chemical Society. Click for full-size/detail }.
Note, for example, that the Helium elephant is flying, the Zinc elephant is sunbaking, the Aluminium elephant is a roll of tinfoil, and the Nickel elephant is, well, a nickel. Joy!


3: And, of course, the Periodic Table of Typefaces:

…where Helvetica (H) — like its elemental counterpart, hydrogen — is, of course, the most abundant typeface in the universe. { by Squidspot.com via Lifehacker. Click thru for full-size/detail }.


* Speaking of colour-coordinated, see my bookshelf:


( And please excuse iPhone image quality. )

A rather paltry effort, inspired by this amazing display:


{ ADD OCD DIY? via Dornob Designs }

Swoon.

I believe in Helvetica

For Daniel Brooks, Helvetica doesn’t even exist.


{ via FFFFOUND! }


For me, this artwork is like lettuce. Mostly it’s just dots (or water, if we’re talking about the lettuce). Only a very small percentage of it has any meaningful substance.  And in both cases, it’s that little bit of something that makes it more than just nothing.

I believe in Helvetica.

(I also really like lettuce).

What do you believe in?


A very OED Christmas, with beautiful books

Yesterday’s yuletide OED Word of the Day was ‘manger‘. Today, for the ‘Feast of Stephen‘ (of ‘Good King Wenceslas’ fame), the WOTD was ‘left-over‘, proving once and for all that the fine people/bots at the OED also have a fine sense of humour.

Speaking of Christmas indulgence, I’ve been book-lusting after these for some time now:


Penguin Classics, Waterstone’s Hardback Set. Clothbound cover design by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Full Flickr gallery here.

Thanks for bringing them down my chimney, St. Nick (and never mind that I live in a mid-storey apartment, about as sans chimney as they come).

Namaste and festive felicitations to all!


PS. Here’s a fabulous Penguin blog interview with Coralie Bickford-Smith, the designer of said gorgeous book covers. The Q & A is a battle of Helvetica vs Futura, and Bickford-Smith answers in graphics as well as text. Online media publishing at its best.