Two New Guild Member Discounts: Art Licensing Services & Products, and Brush Calligraphy Workshop
Posted by Rebecca Blake on October 28, 2016
We have two new member discounts to announce! To retrieve your discount codes, log in to Member Central (upper right corner of our website), and visit our Member Discounts page.
Guild Member Discount: 25% off Art Licensing Products and Services
J’net Smith of All Art Licensing has extended to Guild members a generous 25% off of her art licensing products and services. This includes her intensive coaching sessions, SmartStart consultation and evaluation, contract negotiation services, video and audio classes, and her presentation package with product templates. The discount is offered through December 31. Smith is extending the offer to Guild members because they “actually have the chops to be successful in this exciting business.” To retrieve the discount code, log in to Member Central on the Guild website, and visit our Member Discounts page.
For those unfamiliar with J’net Smith, she is the licensing professional who made the cartoon character “Dilbert” a household name. She conducted a Guild webinar in September, “The New Art Licensing: Beyond the Basics.” Artists unsure of whether they should consider art licensing are encouraged to watch the archived webinar (available to members for free). Smith will also be offering a more advanced art licensing webinar with the Guild this Spring.
Florida Guild Members: Discount on Brush Calligraphy Workshop, Nov. 19 in Miami
Missy Briggs of M2B Studio will be teaching the basics of brush calligraphy in her workshop November 19: how to hold the brush pen, simple drills to follow, and an overview of suitable tools. Attendees will receive her Getting Started Guide and Upper and Lowercase Worksheets. All levels of experience are welcome, although Briggs requests that left-handed writers let her know in advance.
The workshop will take place on Saturday, November 19, from 1-4 p.m. at Creative Cove in Miami. Guild members receive $40 off the $140 price tag. To retrieve the discount code, log in to Member Central on our website, and visit our Member Discounts page. You can reserve your spot in the workshop on M2B’s Eventbrite page:
An Open Letter to Political Candidates on Copyright
Posted by Rebecca Blake on August 03, 2016
The Copyright Alliance has published an open letter to the 2016 political candidates, advocating for a strong copyright system and a safe and secure Internet. The letter asserts that strong copyrights protect free speech by “...preserv[ing] the value and integrity of what one creates,” and that protecting copyright is complementary to Internet freedom. The letter also warns that entities claiming to be pro-creator are funded by online platforms and have worked to block efforts to protect creative content from infringement and piracy.
The letter stresses that stronger copyright protection is a non-partisan issue: “The creative community stands united in support of a copyright system that will continue to make the United States the global leader in the creative arts and the global paradigm for free expression.” Individual creators are encouraged to show their support for the letter by signing a petition on the Copyright Alliance's website.
Graphic Means: Film Project Explores Pre-Digital Design Production
Posted by Rebecca Blake on March 18, 2016
A film trailer released in early March has received a lot of attention, particularly among designers of a certain age (and with the Xacto knife scars to show). The trailer is for a film currently in production: Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production. The film is the labor of love of designer and educator Briar Lovit, and explores the pre-digital era of graphic design, when design tools included T-squares, Letraset, amberlith, and a good relationship with a typesetting studio. Recently, Lovit talked with us about how the project came about.
Lovit never intended to produce a film. Her background is in book design, and she came of age as a designer in the mid-1990s, well after design schools had migrated their programs to be primarily digital. However, as she collected old design manuals from the 1970s and 80s – Lovit is an avid thrift shopper – she became fascinated by the step-by-step processes described in the books. Doug Wilson’s film Linotype gave her the inspiration to pursue a film about pre-digital design production. (Wilson is more than just a role model; he’s been actively mentoring her on the Graphic Means film.)
The timing is perfect for such a film. The revolution from manual production to digital design is fairly recent, and many of the people who made the transition are still around. She’s pulled together an impressive list of interviewees for the film, luminaries such as Steven Heller, Ellen Lupton, Tobias Frere-Jones, Ken Garland (creator of the iconic peace sign), and James Craig (author of Designing with Type). But what will give the film texture and weight are the unsung production heros she dug up: Gene Gable, who for many years ran the pre-press trade show Seybold Seminars; Frank Romano, the design historian and former editor of International Paper Pocket Pro (an indispensible resource for designers preparing print files); and a group of former cold typesetters in New York City, among others.
While young designers will be amused by the unrecognizable artifacts of a bygone era, Lovit feels there’s a larger story about how the creative process has been altered, and not necessarily for the good. She by no means rejects the ease that digital tools bring to design. However, as she put it, there has been a loss in contemplation, and inexperienced designers skip steps to rush to a final product. In her design classes (Lovit is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State), she asks her students to ideate on paper before proceeding to the computer. The skill and labor that the manual techniques required, from creating comps on board to preparing color separations with amberlith film, meant that designers had to make much more deliberate, well-considered choices – something she hopes to impart to her students.
The film got its initial funding through a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised one quarter of the total budget required for completion. Currently the film is in post-production, and Lovit is enjoying the collaborative process with Dawn Jones Redstone, her director of photography, and editor Emily VonW. Gilbert. She’s also been getting a lot of positive press, and was invited to run a session at the Portland Design Week on April 20th. Participants will be able to view “live paste-up demos” (mechanical artists would roll their eyes), rub their own Letraset letters, and view the Graphic Means trailer. Lovit is also actively fundraising, in part by selling calendars, buttons, and a pre-order for the film’s DVD off the film’s online shop.
Typetester Online Tool Permits Comparison of 2,000+ Webfonts
Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 09, 2015
For the past decade, Typetester has been an online resource for website designers. Users could compare up to three fonts at a time, and customize size, line height, alignment, color, and spacing. As versatile as the tool was, the limited number of fonts available made it of limited value; only websafe, Windows default, Mac default, and Google fonts were selectable. That changed earlier this year, when Typetester partnered with Adobe Typekit. The result is a robust library of over 2,200 fonts, including Typekit and Adobe Edge fonts.
Typetester also debuted Inspritation Gallery, a selection of staff picked web typography. Both the sampled fonts on Typetester’s homepage and the Inspiration Gallery examples are linked to the font’s webpage, permitting the user to easily purchase and/or download the font.
Below: Typestester's interface permits users to compare up to three different webfonts from Google fonts, Adobe Edge, and Typekit.
Speech on Type: Typography Podcasts by Typeradio
Posted by Rebecca Blake on March 10, 2015
Now in its eighth year of netcasting, Typeradio is an internet radio stream with a wealth of material. The website offers a truly global view of typography, with in-depth interviews conducted at studios, offices, and conferences from around Europe, the United States, India, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition to the interviews, Typeradio features a few delightfully cheesy music selections from type conferences (such as “CMYK” sung to the tune of “YMCA”). Other oddball offerings are the “One Minute of Type” workshops, in which students were asked to translate a typeface to one minute of sound. That project was further developed into Chinese Whispers, in which a second generation of students took the sound recordings and translated them back to typefaces, often with surprising results.
The real value of Typeradio lies in the range of interview guests. The podcasts are not just limited to prominent designers, such as Marian Bantjes, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, and Michael Beirut. Lesser known, but equally fascinating, professionals from a variety of backgrounds provide insights into their inspirations, work habits, and belief systems. Many of the interviews begin with a rather intrusive question – often “Are you religious?” – and evolve into comprehensive discussions. (For example, Michael Beirut reveals that, driven by his OCD tendencies, he feels compelled to post his Design Observer blog posts with time stamps only ending in a “5” – 11:45, 1:15, etc.)
Since the podcasts have been collected over several years – Typeradio was founded in 2005 by Donald Beekman of Dutch design firm DBXL, designer Liza Enebeis, and type studio Underware – the list of podcasts is dauntingly long. Fortunately, visitors can sort the offerings by guest speaker, date, type of podcast, and location, or search for relevant interviews by keyword. (The search feature is somewhat buggy; typing a partial word seems to yield better search results.) Typeradio continues to broadcast—their most recent interview dates back to early March – and asks that supporters donate a small fee to support their work.
Below: clicking onto one of Typeradio’s podcasts triggers a dropdown menu with information about the interviewee and relevant links.
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