Archive for July, 2009

Industrial Park Typography

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Took a lil trip to Fenton, MO with a friend. We were looking for an abandoned train car we had seen years and years ago. We found it again, along with some great typography. Loving the sans-serifs all around the industrial park. Designed for purpose. Designed for readability from a distance.

Here’s a sample: Helvetica Bold


Check out the flickr set here

Here is another set

I’ve never used Avant Garde in any of my work, but I do love the roundness of the “C” and how the leg and loop of the “R” meet at the same point. See this photo for an example. I think I’ll give this font a chance soon.

I’ve got some interesting plans for the train car pictures. Copper, Etching and Ink will be involved.

- Randy

Itinerary pack from my lil trip.

Sunday, July 26th, 2009


Earlier this summer I took a lil leap over the pond for a short jaunt to see some of Europe.  Fly into London, out of Paris.  8 museums in 8 days.  To keep straight and on the path I thought an itinerary would be in order, and, inspired by the rich past of travel went with the vintage pocket itinerary type.  

The whole feel of them is supposed to be something you might see in 1950s travel.  The itinerary consists of a package of cards with varying information; hotel info, museum hours, maps, and so on.  Some cards that share similar information from 2 cities would be templates to be filled in.  For typeface I stuck with Futura for trip logos and base text on templates.  Its an earlier type but was still very much in use in the 50′s and 60′s.  For the bulk of the text I used Courier.  As it was made for typewriters it has a very accurate feel to the period.  Even though they are all computer made, I made a lot of uneven lines and crooked type to give the appearance of being typewriter made.  

Also, the envelope was made by me using the same paper as the cards and the same bottom right LONDON | PARIS logo with simple black lines for modern design ornamentation.  

As dorky as they may be, they came in pretty useful and I dont care what you say I’m happy I made them! 

For pictures of the set, click here.


Working On A Grid

Monday, July 20th, 2009


Started to work on a grid system for a friend’s business plan book. Going for a two-column layout with six divisions. The wide column is for body text and large photos. Narrow column for page numbers and additional information like captions for photos. This is the third grid layout I have mocked up and it seems to be the most dynamic. Who knows, it might change again, a tad, as I get closer to finish.

Book dimension will most likely be 7 x 9 inches portrait. It was originally 6.5 x 8, but after much thought and trying out a slightly larger dimension, the 7 x 9 feels less like a greeting card and more like a book.

This is all trial and error for right now, but definitely progressing.

I’m going to play with halftone screens for section dividers and background to photos…something I’ve never experimented with. Hoping it will add some visual interest.

Many, many thanks to this book, Grid Systems in Graphic Design, for the needed reference. I encourage any professional or student designer to pick up this book. Definitely worth the price tag.

Stay tuned for updates, should be finished pretty soon and available for you to downlaod a screen quality pdf.

- Randy

Found Some Floor Plans

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


Searching through my parents’ basement closet and found some floor plans from my highschool years. It’s your classic 70′s one-story ranch house. It was my first complete floor plan, what did you expect, a mansion?

Check out the Flickr set here.

I’m most proud of the North symbol.

Here’s some background:
I was really into architecture during highschool. Also mechanical drawing. I loved figuring out how to draw those isometric diagrams of…well actually…not sure if I ever knew the name of the object…something machine-like for sure. Learned about 10% of AutoCad Lite on the Windows 95 system. All key commands, by the way, no mouse! I actually enjoyed this method…I didn’t know any better.

Here’s what I miss:
1. Green paper.
2. Learning how to letter properly and neatly – all caps.
3. The plotter machine for printing diagrams – It was fun to watch.
4. The ammonia of the large floor plan printer.
5. Six-sided ruler for figuring out scale.
6. Mr. Evans – total blue-collar architecture teacher. And I respected him for that.

There are renderings of the outside of the house somewhere…gotta find em.

- Randy

All Souls Mid-Century Church

Sunday, July 12th, 2009


Hey, I know almost nothing about this church or their beliefs – and really, I don’t care. From the sign out front I gathered that it’s the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, which, I mean, could be a cool thing. I’m sure its members enjoy it. I just saw it across from the Kemper and took its picture.

Mid-Century design, architecture – furniture – advertising, is a huge interest of mine and the All Souls building fits in with that.  Some of the things I love about it are its straight clean lines. The flat roof, divisions in the windows and doors, the balance between the large flat space of the brick on the left and the short but with more visual interest entrance, all speak to aspects of Mid-Century modern that I love more than anything in this whole world!

- Rich

IE Developer Toolbar

Saturday, July 11th, 2009


I’m still forced to deal with Internet Explorer issues. So I decided to add the IE Developer Toolbar. It’s very similar to Firefox’s developer add on, Firebug, but with less features. By the way, if you don’t have Firebug, and you’re a web designer/developer, get it now! I can edit CSS and HTML and see the changes right away. If I make a mistake, no big deal, just hit refresh.

Finally I can edit CSS in IE on the fly without having to use Dreamweaver on the PC. I hear IE 8 has this extension built in. Maybe I’ll see about that, maybe not. Not sure I care that much.

Take a look at these current browser statistics. Looks like Firefox is finally leading in usage. Until IE’s usage drops to a total of 10%, I’m going to troubleshoot for it. I have to, no doubt about it.

- Randy