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.

Venn Redux

Okay, remember when the internet started leaking a steady supply of hilariously reworked periodic tables and I developed a tiny obsession (then revisited it) despite a distinct lack of real scientific knowledge?

Well, it’s happened again, this time with Venn diagrams. Usually, I try to avoid anything remotely mathematical (unless of course it’s Craig Damrauer’s New Math).

But there are Venn diagrams, and then there are Venn diagrams. These are the latter:

{ Douglas Adams loved giant, spotty, placid whale sharks, and so do I. via Behance }

{ I love both unicorns and narwhals, and this is genius. My original favourite, by ArgyleWhale via horkulated }

{ I’m also a fan of colour standards, so CMYcake is my new favourite, via FFFFOUND! }

There’s also something rather nice about memes that are gradually exuded throughout the ether like this. As opposed to those high GI memes that burn twice as bright but half as long, before hitting maximum saturation and maximum irritation at almost precisely the same moment (see also: Rickrolling, Squirrel Crashes, and — as much as I hate to say it — Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat).

PS. For a permanent source of often puerile, seldom unfunny, and not at all mathematical diagrams and graphs, you might like to bookmark GraphJam:

…but only if you can afford to fritter away vast swathes of time on a regular basis)

PPS. This one is conclusively prescient:

{ Enough said! via BuzzFeed }

Ampersand another thing…

I was asked last night how often I update my blog. I couldn’t think of a word that meant “seldom, but only while I’m stupidly busy: when I’m less busy… more often”. In retrospect, maybe “erratically” would have been a good response. & so, to atone for  my neglect, in the words of Blue Peter, here’s one I made earlier

I really think that the ampersand is underused, underrated, undervalued, underappreciated, &, well, underloved.

{Bark chip ampersand, by Sarah France, via the blog The Ampersand, via Behance, via FFFFOUND! }

Once upon a time, & was deemed such a natural part of the alphabet than when children recited their ABCs, they concluded with “et per se and“. As in, ‘X, Y, Z… and, for that matter “and”, because it too is a letter’. After time, this was garbled into “ampersand”, in much the way that L, M, N, O, P becomes elemenopee in the mouth of a 5-year-old. Now I know all this to be true not only because of the eternal font of unvalidated wisdom that is Wikipedia, but also because I was told the same story by the other most authoritative of unauthoritative sources, My Father, years before the internet was around to sully our ‘Did You Knows’ with false folklore.

& so… here are some ampersands… &c.
MUST HAVE! A deluxe carrying case for an ampersand! { more adorableness by Marc Johns }

Ampersand cushion at loremandipsum‘s etsy store (sold out, but they still have CHOUETTE ampersand tees for sale!) { via FFFFOUND! }

Handmade clay ampersand by Lestaret { via NOTCOT }

Ampersand cookies (“They exist.”) { via The Ampersand again }

Veer did have these rockin’ ampersand cufflinks, once upon a time. Blogger’s remorse: I should have posted these when I first saw them on NOTCOT (a long time ago), but instead filed it away under “For When There Is More To Say On The Topic Of Ampersands”. So now (and for a long time) the Veer merch shop has ceased to exist, and  by necessary deduction, also ceased  to have the cufflinks. It’s probably for the best. I was always tempted to the verge of covetousness by unshippable Veer merchandise. [ EDIT: Veer store most certainly does exist at the above link. Ampersand cufflinks for all! (er, if you live in North America) ]

& on that note, it’s back to work.

Font Poetry: Starting a meme

Confession: I have fallen head over heels in love with the delicate, poignant, meaningless poetry of typeface samples.

Designer: Nikola Djurek.
Print Foundry: OurType.
Found: via FFFFOUND!, via AisleOne

Mainly this calls for no effort from me, and is therefore a greedy, parasitic indulgence on my part. But sometimes the prettiest words need to undergo a bit of picking and choosing to turn them from Joyce into something bite-sized, like Bashō. Case in point: this sample grid for Gotham Narrow from Hoefler & Frere-Jones could be a ballad of epic proportions…

…but I like it better paraphrased into this charming little verse:

Hawkweed Foster House,
Collective Gingerbread;
Copperware Gothic Revival,
Gourmand Gristmilling,
Corinthian Order.

Gotham Narrow (abridged)
Designer: Frere-Jones (from the original Gotham, circa 1930s)
Print Foundry: Hoefler & Frere-Jones
Found: via Seannamon

Now, as far as filler text and typeface samples go, typographic poetry runs rings around the quick brown fox, and has far more individual character than the oft-repeated, famously nonsensical lorem ipsum.

It did get me wondering, though: Who chooses the content of these beautiful little odes? Is it a matter of science and reason, or just a happy mish-mash of randomly chosen words? Can someone from the world of typography please put an end to my ignorance?

Colour me Crayola (or Derwent)

It’s a generally accepted fact that I am, generally speaking, a tiny bit of a nerd. I like the Pantone scale, chromatic coordination, and whimsical nomenclature.

So it’s no surprise that when I plugged myself into the intermesh this morning, I was tickled pink* to find 120 Crayon Names, Colour Codes and Fun Facts:

Click the pretty picture to see the whole blog posting on COLOURlovers.

But as much as I love looking at the pretty chromatic arrangement (and I do) I love the names even more.

Some read like the Ben & Jerry’s flavour list: Macaroni and Cheese. Neon Carrot.Wild Watermelon. Jazzberry Jam.

Others make me think of a ModCloth catalogue: Unmellow Yellow. Mango Tango. Mauvelous. Wild Blue Yonder. Purple Heart.

Some are eloquently evocative (and evocatively eloquent): Wisteria. Asparagus. Shamrock. Robin Egg Blue.

And others still are so very, very Derwentine: Aquamarine. Cerulean. Pine Green. Raw Sienna. Magenta.

Speaking of which, I was much more a Derwent fan when I was growing up. Oh how we young girls coveted the timber double-tray box of 120.

Oh yeah. That’s the stuff.

It was the ultimate sign of prestige: all the cool kids had a set. We hoarded them greedily in Year 4, waiting desperately until art class when we would put one tray on the desk, one in the under-desk cubby, and one on our laps. It was an unspoken pact among friends that one could borrow no more than 3 colours at a time. “Pressing hard” was forbidden, for fear of snapping the lead (but it was perfectly okay to colour over several times in order to achieve the same opaque effect). And under NO circumstances was anyone other than the owner ever allowed to sharpen the pencil, EVER.

Ah, the social mores of a nascent stationery fiend.

* That’s hex code FC89AC, by the way.

PS. This morning the internet (clearly on a roll with the technicolour awesomeness) also introduced me to this crazy Ray-Ban-fan chameleon:

Chameleons are pretty incredible anyway, but this is one wild child colour junkie.

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”


* “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.

PLEASE don’t let your website resize my browser window


Squint for the (slightly NSFW yet somehow very polite) fine print.

Oh and to all those web designers out there, while you’re at it, if you don’t mind terribly, and it’s not too much trouble

a) EVERYBODY clicks ‘skip intro’. EVERYBODY.

b) NOBODY wants to hear your company jingle playing on repeat. NOBODY.

So just don’t bother, and we can all be friends again. And you’d have so much more time to spend on doing nice things for yourself, like having tea and biscuits in the sunshine. And I wouldn’t have to mute the sound on my computer. Now doesn’t that sound nice?

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 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 }


The aesthetic twilight zone

The Unfinished Body: Aesthetic Judgement
by Vandling

{ via FFFFOUND! }

Things that are conceptually ugly but visually beautiful, balancing in the aesthetic twilight zone.

A research-based series  investigating our concept of beauty and ugliness. Inspired by Immanuel Kant’s idea that beauty is what promotes life. Finding subjects that symbolise death, and finding beauty in them.