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We’re All Winners!

According to this infographic, every country in the world is best at, or has the most of, something. Like Senegal and it’s gasoline bunkers, for example. Or Argentina’s horse meat production. I’ll let you see for yourself how the USA shines.

Pronouns Are Sexy

Jessica Love (seriously, that’s her name), a PhD candidate in cognitive psychology at Ohio State University, talks about how she’s fallen hard for pronouns. Me? I’m more of an adverb guy, but I totally see where she’s coming from.

Near Rosa Butte, West Plains

Spokane County does a great job maintaining a number of conservation and natural areas; some are even within a few minutes of downtown. This one—the James T. Slavin Conservation Area—is a favorite of the intrepid Lily, my 12-year-old border collie. I’m not cool enough to own an iPhone, so you’ll have to make do with this picture, captured with my lowly Droid.

Quote of the Week

From Tom Holt: “Count no man’s life wasted if there is a beautiful, mysterious woman weeping at his funeral.”

What the–?!?

Granted, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I honestly don’t get what this sign, on the corner of Sprague and Post, is trying to tell me. Has the City of Spokane generously set aside an entire district for “entertainment parking,” whatever that is? (Though, to be fair, watching certain individuals try to parallel park their ginormous SUVs does, in fact, qualify as entertainment…perhaps that’s what they mean.)

If, on the other hand, the City is trying to convince us that there is, in fact, a thriving entertainment district in the downtown area, and that this is the place to park if you’re going to partake of its many wonders, shouldn’t the sign read, “Entertainment District Parking”?

Then there’s the scary “TOW-AWAY ZONE” sign below. Kudos to whoever in the planning department remembered that compound modifiers generally require a hyphen, but still.

Somebody please explain this to me.

New Logo, Website Launched

Integrus Architecture launched its new website and brand identity today—both of which were created by the brilliant minds at AMD. Take a look.

Bonus Post!

The wailing, rending of garments, and gnashing of teeth continues at length over the dearth of posting of late. I blame CK; the truth is, we’ve all been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

Or is it simply another sign that the apocalypse is upon us?

Either way, it’s the first time we here at AMD Headquarters have offered two blog posts in one day. So you’ve got that going for you. Which is nice.

Nobody’s Prefect

Joseph Epstein writes about one of my favorite pastimes: finding typos in published work.

Apart from the smug self-satisfaction that comes when I catch the vaunted copy editors at The New Yorker asleep at their style guides, it’s a sobering reminder that mistakes often do, in fact, get printed—despite the best efforts of people a lot smarter than I. (Or is it “me”?)

“Planes are shifted off the orthogonal…”

Because it’s Thursday, I bring you Couch Cushion Architecture: A Critical Analysis.

Print Is Dead! (Or…is it?)

All of us in the design profession have heard about the eventual, slow death of print. It began in earnest in the 1990s, and, according to some folks, it already has a tombstone. This is what keeps printers up at night.

So I was pleasantly surprised as my oldest daughter—a senior in high school—began searching for a university to attend a little over a year ago. Upon visiting several colleges, our mailbox has been inundated with print promotions, one after the other, not only from the schools we visited but also from unknown colleges around the country.

Having worked with college admissions departments, I can attest to the fact that these groups are typically very sophisticated in their approach to recruiting high school students (and their parents). So it must work very well to mail nicely designed brochures, post cards, and letters. Given that print still has far fewer restrictions than online design, higher-ed print pieces are often more visually pleasing that their websites. And in the case of my daughter, even after she committed to a university, they’ve kept sending her beautiful print pieces.

Print may be slower that it use to be, but it’s far from being on life support. In fact, I’d suggest that, given society’s appetite for all things online, print has become even more relevant: as a tangible, tactile, near-novelty that communicates emotions distinct from any click of the mouse.

3.5″ Floppy, RIP

Something tells me that approximately 93 percent of those who read this story will be shocked to learn that someone—anyone—is still manufacturing these things. (And will continue to do so until 2011!)

Lowest Prices EVER on Embarrassing Musical Genres

It’s one thing when you see a misplaced comma or apostrophe in a hand-lettered sign. But this cryptic announcement is something else entirely. The missus found it in the frozen foods section at Super 1 Foods on 29th.

Imagine, if you will, a giant icebox with the likes of Donna Summer, Rick James, and every member of the Love Unlimited Orchestra slumbering away in cryostasis, their prices slashed on accounta their sell-by dates have long since passed, and you have a pretty good idea of how my mind works when I see this sort of thing.

Fonts and Money

Recently, our very own Spokesman-Review ran an AP article on how fonts can actually save you money.

Yes, it’s true. As the article suggests, “because different fonts require different amounts of ink to print, you could be buying new printer cartridges less often if you wrote in, say, Century Gothic rather than Arial. Schools and businesses could save thousands of dollars with font changes.”

The article goes on to list the fonts that use “different volumes of ink to print”. Does this mean that even a dull, plain-vanilla font like Times New Roman actually has an advantage over say, the more classic sans serif font, Franklin Gothic Medium?

Now, no doubt the printing savings is real. But in these recessionary times, when every marketing dollar is being scrutinized—if not reduced or removed—do we designers now have to contend with clients expecting to squeeze a little more out of our font choices? Let’s hope not.

I suppose the good news is that nobody is reading newspapers these days anyway (which, coincidentally, use quite a lot of that dull, plain-vanilla font). So until then, I’ll continue to select fonts that provide the personality required, rather than less volume.

Proofers of the World, Untie!

Proofreading is one of those under-appreciated skills that people too often dismiss as mere pedantry. But it’s not easy. Evelyn Waugh, in fact, wryly noted that “now that they no longer defrock priests for sexual perversities, one can no longer get any decent proofreading.”

Waugh’s quote came to mind when I read this story about “freshly ground black people.”

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

I took part in a presentation today, and…I wore a tie. Not exactly blog-worthy news for most folks, granted, but anyone who knows me understands that they’re far more likely to catch a glimpse of Bigfoot than they are to see me in a tie. Or a button-down shirt, for that matter.

So there were a dozen people in the room, nearly two-thirds of whom were men, and I was the only one wearing a tie.


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