Awful Type

The world of typography is a vast landscape of letterforms and history, advertising and revolutions. In 1450 the Gutenberg Press changed civilization like the internet changed our civilization. Information became available to the general masses, moving the center of knowledge from the elite class to the middle of culture. Today, information and culture have merged and is filled with typography and will likely remain so until some from of mind-to-mind communication is pioneered.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be illiterate, or what it would be like to see words for the first time if the first time were right now. To look at letters and not understand is beyond my frame of reference, I don’t remember a time before I could read, but for most of my life the content captured my attention more than the type. Mark Z. Danielewski’s book House of Leaves is visually compelling yet I still did not see the letters, the fonts for themselves. (By the way, if you haven’t at least looked at House of Leaves, you should immediately find a copy and check it out.) I finally began looking at type while enrolled in the Graphic Design program at ACC. Typography with Linda Smarzik opened my eyes to the level of detail possible in type design. I began to see billboards and magazines and newspapers differently. I realized every piece of type I saw in the world was placed there by someone for a specific purpose. Mostly. Sometimes it appears no thought entered into the design of a sign. My friend James Benavides started a blog called Awful Type designed to not only point out less than crafted typography, but also as a source of inspiration for anyone who must intimately consider the finer details of designing typography to communicate as clearly as possible.

Check us out at awfultype.com and be sure to appreciate the world around you because it has all been designed for you.

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My Friend Flickr

I was never much of a photog before when taking pictures meant having to lug around a camera. Now I have a camera in my pocket all the time and a different problem has arisen, too many photos. I use iCloud and Dropbox to store photos to free up memory on my phone. Problem solved. I spend a fair amount of time commuting on foot which provides ample opportunity to snap pictures of found art or graffiti. This is an artsy town so I started a Flickr account to store photos of graffiti I come across in my wanderings.
This link to my Flickr photo stream is a direct line to the graffiti I find around town. All of the pictures (except the one of Jimi Hendrix with a bushy afro) I took myself. I could elucidate more here, but I include fairly detailed descriptions of each photo on Flickr.
Save the URL from the link a above to check in from time to time as I’ll add more shots of art around town as I find it.
Or, here’s the RSS link if you’re into that sort of thing.

One mans trash is another mans art

Recycling doesn’t have to be boring. Besides the ecological benefits, recycling can also mean repurposing and the repurpose doesn’t have to be for any purpose other than art.
There is a great amount of art which finds itself relegated to the junk heap, but these folks are making art from the junk heap.

Here is a collection of great art made from the detritus of our civilization.

James McNabb uses cast away bits of wood from his designer furniture shop to make art reflecting on the transition from rural to urban culture.

In my own backyard, the Cathedral of Junk is a structure built entirely of junk. This is no pile of trash, this is a look at America and our culture through the lens of our no-longer-wanted stuff. Blind to the inherent aesthetic and cultural qualities, the city wants to tear it down.

Not all trash is created equal, some wil merely end up in a landfill, some will become valuable works of art.