I’ve always suspected as much, but research shows (and this time it’s actual journalistic research, although Cracked beat ‘em to the conclusions in a satirical way) that the average football game has just 11 minutes of action. The rest is people standing around.
The knock on baseball, from people who like to make pointless dualities like baseball vs. football, is that it’s a whole lot of guys just standing around. Which is true, apart from the pitcher-batter duel, which is what makes baseball interesting to many baseball fans. But it turns out the football is just as boring.
Judged by the metric of continuous battle and physical play, the best sport would have to be cycling. It’s best viewed on television (it’s tremendously exciting first hand, but you can’t really get the overall feel of the race), and it combines team and individual competition. Kind of surprising that it’s not more popular here. After all, cycling practically invented the steroid scandal, there are plenty of colorful logos on the uniforms (just like NASCAR!), and it can be quite dangerous. What’s not to like?
Yeesh. This isn’t calligraphy, it isn’t typography, it isn’t even legible* – it’s just a jumble of vaguely letterish-formed computer shapes.
That’s in the first place. In the second place, why? What does this look have to do with the 00′s, with obituaries, with anything? I totally appreciate the Times’ dedication to innovative lettering, but come on. Just, yuck.
*Look, we live in the modern world of the Internet (or as I like to call it, the “cyber” age). It might look good big on your own screen, or printed out, but if it’s this pixellated at the published size (and these are the actual published sizes), it’s just wrong.
No, it isn’t. It’s not that bad, really. Smack dab in the middle of the road, sure. Boring, even? Yes. But this isn’t about the boring, middle-of-the-road choices that were made, or whether it’s better than Paula Scher’s previous logo. This is about how they screwed up the execution.
The r-t letterspacing is, however, total dogshit.
I don’t know why, but everyone seems afraid to properly letterspace the r-t connection. It’s as though there’s a force field keeping them from ever touching. It’s tricky, I’ll admit, but there are at least two strategies for letterspacing a word with a lower case r-t. This dogshit is now a teachable moment. And we’ll all pause to vomit at the term “teachable moment.”
One option is to keep the force field in place. It’s a bad option, but if you are the sort of a person who, like a chaperone at the junior prom, just is not gonna ever have no letters touching, then go with it. All it means is that the overall tracking will be a little wider.
You should treat letterspacing as negative space, not linear spacing between the letterforms themselves. So, if we’re keeping the r-t space (the black line above), we realize how that affects the space between the outer edges of the r and t (the green rectangles above). It’s a difficult area to translate to the other negative spaces in your word, and there’s lots of room for individual interpretation. But it will help pull your mark together into a cohesive design. Unlike the original, which looks like a gap-toothed hillbilly.
Above, a comparison, with the r-t space used as a guide for the rest of the tracking in the mark. The yellow is mine, the pink, original.
Option 2 – a.k.a. the better option:
This one connects the r and t, and allows for a tighter tracking across the mark.
It requires a little drawing and a little finesse, but it works much better. Nontrivially better. Because I do think the tighter tracking in the original is the better way to go. So, don’t be afraid to have the r and the t touch. Even though, if you compared the r in Art with the one in Director, they’d look different, they are similar enough that the difference disappears. The thing about tricks like this is that, generally, people don’t notice the little cheats. They notice that everything works together better, perhaps in ways they can’t articulate, but better.
But not to be a total curmudgeon, there is some nice craftsmanship. I’m not sure if they used a different digitization of Franklin than mine, or if it was custom made, but it’s a nice version. I especially like the rounded joins (rather than the angled join shown in the blue circle below) and overall character. Frequently, in a logotype, I’ll sand those edges off, too, because it’s just nicer and adds a little craft to what could otherwise look like just another typed-in word. So, they get some points for the subtleties.
BTW, I redrew everything in like, nine seconds (because I’m not getting paid to do it), so, yes, it’s not perfect. (Man oh man, the trolls have made me preëmptively defensive. Thanks, trolls). Anyway.
Dang, I’ve been busy. But I’d like to pick this back up (Although there’ve been over a hundred posts in just over a year; one every three days ain’t so bad, really). It might have less of a single-ish focus on the Fortune (though there are plenty of pages left to scan, so it’ll still show up) and will include random blatherings, plus some examples of my work. Because I like to blather about work.
Integrity is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Also dignity. And my thought is that these are things that have gone the way of the mimeograph.
Writing the words up there, they even sound quaint, if not stupid and ridiculous in the way that kvetching about the modern world makes you feel like a grumpy, out-of-touch old man (and old people are no good at everything).
There are several threads involved in this (which is how my brain works for better or worse) including:
- that the bar for celebrity has now been lowered to a point that we can be famous for… well I was going to say willingness to embarrass ourselves on camera, but I’m not even sure what this person has done;
- sub rosa shilling for companies via personal essays (now regulated by the FCC and who even remembers that once, product placement in a novel was grounds for much sturm und drang?);
- that we never apologize for anything (“sorry if someone was offended,” and “lapses in judgement” are not apologies);
- and, to get back on topic, Shepard Fairey. But I should keep this simpler and just go with the Fairey thing.
My point with the other things was that integrity seems to boil down to saying “no” to money; to there being some one thing at least that is, at bottom, not for sale. Or some one instance where you will forgo money that you could’ve taken, just because it’s the honorable (another dusty word) or at least fair thing to do. Which all seems like anachronism these days. It’s money and money is good!
Why would anyone ever say no to money? Which is why I’m wondering if dignity and integrity have any place at all in a country that has seemingly eliminated the last vestiges of “society” and now operates purely in an “economy.” But anyway.
So Fairey lied in his court documents and destroyed evidence and his lawyers have now abandoned the case. Which is something I did not expect to happen. He was (imo) hiding behind a mendacious concept of fair use to defend his image theft and the resulting badly-rendered (also popular) poster, although that was to’ve been a matter for the courts.
That he’s a cheesy copycat* is one thing. That he’d go so far to manipulate the case this badly is another thing entirely, and something I never saw coming.
The point about integrity might be something like this: if he had just paid the photographer – forgoing, really, a miniscule percentage of whatever money he’s gotten from the poster (he says none, but he’s said a lot of things that aren’t accurate) none of this would’ve happened and he could continue blithely LiveTracing photos for Nike** and whatnot (why is he called a “street artist” again?). So that’s your economic argument for doing the right thing. Hooray! We still live in an economy.
Here’s a link to the AP’s story (and bear in mind that it’s the AP reporting on a lawsuit against the AP, so, you know).
* Do click that link. Glaser rocks.
** Ugh, that’s so horrible. And it’s in my neighborhood.
Mike Webster, the longtime Pittsburgh Steeler and one of the greatest players in N.F.L. history, ended his life a recluse, sleeping on the floor of the Pittsburgh Amtrak station. Another former Pittsburgh Steeler, Terry Long, drifted into chaos and killed himself four years ago by drinking antifreeze. Andre Waters, a former defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, sank into depression and pleaded with his girlfriend—“I need help, somebody help me”—before shooting himself in the head.
Looks like Gladwell‘s getting his ideas* from this blog now. Or maybe I’m just part of the tipping point.
- Gladwell views head injury as implicit in the game of football, and I’m tempted to agree, but I also wonder how much helmets have to do with it. There is research showing that cyclists take more risks when they’re wearing helmets, feeling somewhat more immortal with the protection (anecdotally, I know I sure as shit do – at least until I frighten myself enough to take it easy). Which is not to say that cyclists shouldn’t wear helmets, just that it’s complicated.
Watching Gladwell’s slide show, I wonder how much the head-on attack style comes from having such a convenient battering ram in the form of that hard plastic globe on top. Would there be as much injury if they were wearing the old leather helmets (okay, I just wanted to button up that cool image of the football player – I don’t really think they should go back to leather)?
- That said, do rugby players (unhelmeted) suffer as many head injuries? I do not know. But helmets don’t help them, according to this study.
*Except with, you know, reporting and analysis and other stuff beyond my trademark lazy, blank ranting. By which I mean of course he isn’t getting his ideas here. But still. Hooray for football!
This isn’t great. Good, but not great. I’m including it because it’s a nice variation on a script. The w especially is noteworthy. But other than that, let’s face it – who gives a shit about New Zealand? Though it would’ve been kind of fun to address a letter to “New Zealand Government” – the whole government – asking about pony treks and hotel amenities.
I’d thought this was going to be a one-off rant, but the awesomeness of football is unstoppable.
You might think that’d be enough to doom an activity to the fringe subcultures lurking in the darker corners of craigslist, but add to that the actual experience of watching it (as reported by the fine journalists at Cracked) and it’s kind of amazing that we’d all watch (and love!) something so boring. Yes, it’s violent. We love violence. But other than that, what’s the appeal? That I do not know the answer makes me feel like an alien.
I do like the lettering, and love the noir look. But the dawn of the ID Bracelet Age seems a forerunner of some kind of nebulous post-war American arrogance. Which makes little to no sense. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is definitely some triangulation of the rise of identity bracelets and the decline of Western civilization.
No doubt in my mind.
Here’s the full ad. And I will say that at least Hadley was an innovator. I’m not sure what the deal was with Speidel Idents (remember that shit?).
Interestingly (somewhat) is how ’50′s this looks. We’re only at 1938, but the esthetic boundaries are definitely blurred.