Certain quotes lodge themselves in your head. So many of the ones in my head come from the fourth edition of What is a designer by Norman Potter published by Hyphen Press in 2002.
p.23, on design education
The words by which people describe themselves – architect, graphic designer, interior designer, etc. – become curiously more important than the work they actually do. In one respect this is fair, because under modern conditions it may be very difficult to find one word to identify their work, but such words tend to build up irrelevant overtones of meaning which are more useful as a comfort to personal security than as a basis for co-operative enterprise.
p.30, wrapping up his thoughts on design education
All we can do is make good work possible, and be alert to its coming; never fooling ourselves that all good things come easily. To work well is to work with love.
p.57, on recognising the value in nuance
In raising consciousness of these matters, it should be remembered that our civilization sells itself through sensation, preferably with the volume turned up. This is good reason for designers to learn how to speak quietly, and to understand how it is that conversation becomes possible between people and things.
And nearly every point in chapter 18, “Advice for beginners”, and 19, “Questioning design”.
Early last year, Sarah Kate Wilson approached Musarc with a concept for a performance involving coloured mirrors. Around the same time, Toby O’Connor and I were mulling over ways of working with Beata Viscera, a conductus by medieval composer Pérotin. These experiments merged to become Rainbows. In April 2017, Musarc opened and closed the third Do Disturb festival at Palais De Tokyo with Rainbows. Watch a video documenting Musarc’s various PDT performances on musarc.org. Rainbows was performed again as part of MK Gallery’s 2017 CityFest and at Rochester Square’s Open Day on 24 June 2017.
The composite photo above is Musarc rehearsing Rainbows at Central House just before the building was sold by London Met Uni.
Did some research on Chinese web font best practices a while back when working on Memory Machine for Tyler Coburn + Asia Art Archive with Luke Gould. It was an interesting challenge. This was my overall takeaway from the research:
- Self-hosted fonts are out, the font files are prohibitively enormous due to the number of characters
- The Great Firewall can cause issues with most font services, so no Google Fonts or Typekit
- If you need to render a mixture of Latin and Chinese characters and want them to use different fonts, the font stack structure and naming is critical (see article by Kendra Schaefer for more info)
- Bold and italic should never be used for emphasis on Chinese characters since it distorts their meaning
The e-newsletters we made for Penguin Classics got a mention in a recent newsletter from The Better Email [✉ ∞]. Made me smile. Here are a few newsletters from the Penguin Random House team that I particularly like.
This idea began as a bit of a joke of course, over whiskey in Nicosia late at night we said “Hey, we should run a book store with this stuff.” And like most things that are worth doing, the jokes are worth following through because they’re fun.