Remembering Massimo: SEGD Pays Tribute
Posted by Rebecca Blake on May 29, 2014
Iconic designer Massimo Vignelli passed away May 27, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of work, from the original branding for American Airlines, to brochures for the National Park Service, to stacking dishware. A hallmark of his aesthetic was an adherence to simplicity and clarity, most notably expressed in his groundbreaking work in redesigning the map and signage for the New York City transit system.
SEGD, the multi-disciplinary organization of environmental designers, has long recognized Vignelli’s impact on the discipline. In 2001, he was named an SEGD Fellow. Upon hearing of his passing, the organization posted an eloquent tribute titled “You Can Design Everything.” In it, they state that Vignelli’s “modernist sensibility lent new clarity to signage and information in public spaces... he stamped all of his work – from his controversial New York City subway map to books and corporate identities and even church pews – with signature clarity, simplicity, and rigor.”
The organization included tributes to Vignelli from SEGD Fellows and his peers in the environmental graphic design community. The memories paint a picture of a visionary who had an impact on the way ordinary people manage their commute, a passionate speaker who balanced eloquence with a delicous sense of humor, and a generous, enthusiastic colleague and mentor.
Top right: Massimo Vignelli at an SEGD conference. Used with permission.
Art Licensing: Free Teleclass and Member Discount on Webinars
Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 30, 2014
J'net Smith of All Art Licensing has announced her Summer/Fall schedule of licensing webinars and teleclasses, and is offering a mix of free and discounted events. Her “Ask J'net” free teleclasses are open to anyone, and are a live phone event in which participants can submit their questions on any aspect of art licensing. Upcoming “Ask J’net” teleclasses are scheduled for May 14 and July 16. Smith has also extended to Guild members a deep discount on her licensing webinars. Her next scheduled webinar is “Character Licensing,” taking place on May 21 from noon to 2 p.m. PDT. The discount code for this webinar can be accessed by logging into Member Central on the top right of our website, and visiting the Professional Discounts page.
The summer schedule of All Art Licensing events is:
Ask J’net Q&A free teleclass
Wednesday, May 14th, 12 noon – 1 p.m. PDT
Wednesday, May 21st, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT
Sales & Trade Show Follow Through Techniques that Close the Deal
Wednesday, June 25th, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT
Ask J’net Q&A free teleclass
Wednesday, July 16th, 12 noon – 1 p.m. PDT
Designing Product Lines that Manufacturers Want
Wednesday, July 30th, 12 noon – 2 p.m.PDT
Getting the Million Dollar Deal
Wednesday, August 13th, 12 noon – 2 p.m. PDT
Happy World Communication Design Day, and Happy Birthday Icograda!
Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 28, 2014
Break out the cake. April 27 marked both World Communication Design Day, and Icograda’s 51st birthday. The organization marked the anniversary by soliciting graphics on “What a Designer Does,” and posting them on the event’s Facebook page. The submissions – from around the globe – speak to designers’ ability to create, connect, problem solve, amuse, and envision. For long-time members, perhaps the most moving submission was by former president Robert L. Peters. He incorporated text on a black-and-white photo of Guy Schockaert, the visionary former president and long-time supporter of Icograda who passed away last year. The French text translates to “Competition stimulates, cooperation reinforces, and solidarity unites” – a fitting tribute to the organization’s goals.
Skip the Rage: Jessica Hische on Dealing with Ripoffs
Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 17, 2014
Lettering and illustration rockstar Jessica Hische is also the author of warm, witty treatises on working and thriving as a creator. Her most recent article deals with the thorny issue of ripoffs. A designer wrote about discovering imitators – some working for large campaigns for major companies – and asked Hische “…how you personally deal. Frankly, I'm flattered and simultaneously depressed at any given moment and try not to think about it.”
Hische’s counsel is her typical blend of humor and practical advice. In describing the typical sequence of outraged reaction followed by regret and a more formal communication with the infringer, she recommends skipping the rage. She also distinguishes between an individual who is copying an artists’ style versus a designer or agency actually reusing work without permission. In the former case, Hische points out that the imitator may be inexperienced, and she advises educating them about the inadvisability of copying someone else’s style.
In the case of a work being outright infringed, Hische recommends sending a stern letter to the artist or agency that produced the infringing work. However, she cautions that taking on a large company can be expensive and time consuming, citing Modern Dog’s recent successful case against Target, Disney and Jaya Apparel Group. She sums up by stating that her best advice is to register the copyright on your creations: “While you of course ‘own the copyright’ to the images you create unless you're transferring them to the client in a contract, it’s difficult to pursue copyright infringement cases without having filed for copyright of the images officially.”
Note: While original images are automatically copyrighted to their creators, registering the copyrights confers a extra degree of legal clout: it creates a public record of authorship, it’s required before an infringer can be taken to court, and it enables the creator to sue for damages and be awarded legal fees. For more information on copyrights, visit our article in our Resources page.
The issue of fan-copying is a topic Hische addressed in a much earlier article, “Inspiration vs. Imitation.” The article was directed towards aspiring artists and fans who openly plagiarized Hiche’s work. In this article she makes a clear distinction between copying as a learning tool, versus passing off work which closely replicates another’s as original work. She advises new artists on how to move past simply imitating their role models: draw from many inspirations rather than a chosen few; dig into historical references; train your eye to spot differences and originality; and be aware that passing derivative work as original will ruin your reputation amongst your peers and potential employers.
Name that Typeface from 1932: Advanced Font Search
Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 07, 2014
Designing a poster for a production of “Ragtime” and want to achieve typographic authenticity? Visit the Advanced Search feature on Fonts in Use. The search parameter will permit you to search for fonts by publish date, or covering dates before or after a particular year. Additional search fields will let you select by foundry, designer or agency, published format (including tablet/iPad), location, etc. The results are displayed in thumbnails with the typefaces used listed underneath. Clicking onto the font name will take you to a page listing the designer and foundry, with links to their websites, and a list of related faces.
The samples displayed are pulled from examples submitted to contributors to Fonts in Use, and are limited to that database. Searching by multiple fields can yield little to no results. However, Fonts in Use is soliciting contributions to their collection. To do so, you must create an account. Once that’s done, you can upload samples from your computer, or add images directly from the Web or Flckr. Submissions are reviewed by staff, who can also identify the submitted fonts. (Custom lettering is not accepted.)
While the material on the site is published under the doctrine of fair use, the website encourages contributors to include the source, designer, and photographer, if possible. The site also asks that they be notified if any work is identified as infringing on copyright. A full description of how to contribute to the collection is included in their FAQs page. Fonts in Use is a public archive of typography founded by Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman. It exists independently of any type foundry or corporation. In addition to the collection, the site includes a blog with articles written by contributors such as Roger Black and Indra Kupferschmid.Previous Page Next Page
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