April 2008

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes

The threat of dangerous climate change and the subsequent focus upon how human activity impacts Earth has brought about interesting and innovative times. It seems that a flurry of new ideas and outcomes comes at one from a range of interesting, and unexpected places. At a recent function lunch was served on plates like this one.

From Ecovsion‘s website — eco vision bioplates are formed from the outer sheath casing of the Areca Palm tree. (Betel Nut) Known for its medicinal Properties Betel had been extensively cultivated for export for many years. Areca Palms grow in abundance, extensively In South India, where the fallen Sheath was formerly a waste Product that littered naturally occurring forests in the Area.

For a simple, effective, useful and beautiful outcome — find a waste product, develop a simple form and add a shot pressure. Nice one, it is a shame to think that this product is disposable.

Visit Ecovision here.

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Stephen in progress

The studio has been working on new promotional material for a paper called Stephen. The grade has enjoyed some recent changes including — FSC Certification, recycled content upping from 25 to 50%, a new cover weight 330gsm across the range and sexy suite of new white shades — Spicy, Scrambled and Chilled.

So we are madly making images, writing, collaborating and inventing content, like Derek Myna here. Derek, along with other imaginary concoctions, will soon be singing a happy song of the new and always improving ways of Stephen. The new stock is ready to specify now, and promotion materials will be swooping on your studio soon.

Read all about Stephen here

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A curious font called FF Mt, or FF MEtA

As this space enjoys a segue, or two, from time to time, the MetaDesign SF post prompted one to bring to light another project developed by Metadesign‘s founder Erik Spiekermann. Meta offices can be found in several corners of the globe, outputting works that include information design, brand, signing, packaging design and type design. Erik Spiekermann during his Metadesign period was responsible for the design of the Meta type family, among other fonts.

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Meta, the font that is, along with the Rotis family of typefaces was one of the most popular fonts used by designers in the 1990s. Many projects requiring a “design“ look and feel often used Meta or Rotis at the time. That was until Helvetica Neue Light, Swiss and Din Schriften family pulled on the boxing gloves in the mid 1990s and slugged for their share of the designer space too. One recalls Dr Anthony Calahan‘s excellent PhD thesis titled: Type, trends and fashion: A study of the late 20th century proliferation of typefaces, references these type heavy weights.

Andrew had the pleasure of visiting Meta‘s offices in Berlin; an impressive studio that had a boardroom large enough to accommodate around 100 people (attested by the AGI congress in 2005). During Andrew‘s web trawling, researching Berlin and design related topics, he came across a free font in one weight designed by Erik Spiekermann (now CEO at SpiekermannPartners), — called FF Mt.

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FF Mt is one many fonts that pushes the fundamental design elements of type readability. Spiekermann on his blog states — this font is an exercise in saving space — because it ignores the vowels when entering text. One can force a vowel, if necessary, by using the capitals — which is a complete alphabet. One is grateful that such exploration exists, even though at this time one doesn’t feel compelled to use it. It reminds one of Wim Crouwel‘s new alphabet, and it presence will invite other type designers to better the experience in the future.

FF Mt is a free font, so give it a go, it is curious, and as Erik states in his web log — Save space! for yourself. Download FF Mt from here

Visit SpiekermannPartners here

Visit Erik Spiekermann‘s web log here (like all good Euro sites it is at least bi-lingual)

Visit a Dutch bio of Wim Crouwel here

Visit Dr Anthony Calahan‘s website here

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Apologies, it was MetaDesign SF.

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Nowality is a web blog funded by Studio Pip and Co. to develop a forum that explores people, process and outcomes of the communication design relm. This activity is often done while most people are sleeping, or enjoying their weekend. From time to time, within limited resources, we will make errors, and will continue to make errors. In these instances, we truly appreciate all reader comments and feedback which assists us with the process of ensuring that our content is correct.

On behalf of the Nowality I would like to apologise to Neville Brody and Metadesign for incorrectly crediting the design of CS1 graphics to Mr Brody instead of MetaDesign SF on the post titled Nag, Nag, Nag, Brody, Brody, Brody.

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At the time of writing the piece we wanted to show the diversity of Brody‘s output. When the graphic treatment for CS1 in our image search appeared, was written about in three websites, unauthorised, we blindly went for effect.

The contrast in Brody‘s work was always the driver for images included in this post, never-the-less we continued checking. We then accessed adobe.com to clarify this credit. Adobe had no reference to our knowledge. We then inspected the programme credits within the software itself, among the hundreds of names listed, no reference to Brody, or MetaDesign SF. We conferenced, we posted.

Again, we apologise to Brody and MetaDesign SF for any inconvenience, and thank comments from “DC“, who first brought this our attention (even though we fobbed DC off), and the comments from Brett Wickens from MetaDesign SF, for making himself known (web blogs have an multitude of lurkers and few contributors), and assisting further. We have now updated the Brody post with the correct information.

As stated by Wickens the CS1 image was developed by the team at Metadesign, San Franscisco.

One big oversight brought to light during the process of developing this correction is that Adobe has credited everyone down to the staff‘s family and friends, except for, surprise, surprise, the design group that developed the product‘s public image design. What is that?

Why do contracted design consultants seem to slip of the credit list with many large public projects? Try researching public graphic design output, at times it is like pinning the tail on the donkey. It is very difficult to discover who‘s done what project when many large organisations obscure such information, without having inside knowledge — DC, Mr Wickens, please step forward.

Visit MetaDesign SF here

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Law and Design, Ballarat Des. Vic. lecture, 13.05.2008

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Design Victoria commissioned the studio to develop this invite/poster for their up and coming Law and Design lecture with Trevor Choy in Ballarat. The poster is being printed modern version of rustic — the new FSC approved Stephen Scrambled White by Spicers Paper. Thank you to Design Victoria for this opportunity and Spicers Paper.

Tuesday 13 May 2008
9.30 am – 12.30 pm
Registration: 9.15 am

The Alexandria on Lydiard
30 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat, Victoria

Free with RSVP

Visit Design Victoria here for details

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