July 6, 2009

Please, Mister Postman

Posted in advice, humor, Rants, typography at 2:26 pm by India

post office

Oh, I think I need to make a field trip to the 11215 post office . . .

Dear Postmaster Potter:

I am writing to ask if you would please consider redecorating my local post office. Maybe you have heard of it: 11215. It’s the Park Slope Station in Brooklyn, New York, and I believe that a great many novelists spend time there, waiting to mail their manuscripts and galleys and quarterly estimated tax payments and whatnot, so perhaps it is the source of a great many written complaints. Or perhaps not. Anyway, may I elaborate on the nature of the problem?

The nature of the problem is choice of font.

Rudolph Delson, “An Open Letter to John E. Potter, Postmaster General” (PDF, 127 KB), February 12, 2007

Oh, but that is not the only problem, as it turns out. And these issues have been observed not only at the 11215 post office, as I’m sure many can attest. I particularly recommend the 10009 (Tompkins Square) location for psychotic signage (not to mention patrons).

I think I also need to get a copy of Mr. Delson’s novel, Maynard and Jennica.

(Via Manhattan Users Guide)

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March 27, 2009

The future of publishing is here today!

Posted in books, Design, hardware, humor, production, technology, Tools at 9:43 pm by India

wire-sewing machine

The oddest thing about the newly announced winner of Bookseller magazine’s annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year is not its title, The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais, but rather that its author, Professor Philip M Parker of the French business school Insead, has produced more than 200,000 books,

thanks to his invention – and patenting – of a machine which writes books, creating them from internet and database searches in order to eliminate or substantially reduce “the costs associated with human labour, such as authors, editors, graphic artists, data analysts, translators, distributors and marketing personnel”.

I think the graphic artist–eliminating part of the machine may need a bit of work, since if the competition had been based on covers rather than titles, I feel certain that Fromage Frais, for all its charm, would have lost out to either Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring or Curbside Consultation of the Colon, which were merely shortlisted.

The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring Curbside Consultation of the Colon

More: “Oddest Book Title prize goes to treatise on fromage frais” by Alison Flood, Guardian, March 27, 2009

January 12, 2009

Wrong, all wrong!

Posted in books, business, Editing, humor, Video at 10:53 pm by India

The didn’t mention anything about how each character of the book is placed on the page using tweezers.

Also? That guy at the 2:54 mark is really scary.

(Via BoingBoing)

January 9, 2009

We love Vanessa Davis so much

Posted in art, art direction, Drawing, humor, illustration, Work at 3:50 pm by India

at my workplace that we asked her to do a monthly column. The first installment was posted today:

Vanessa Davis, 'Stranger in a Strange Land'

Vanessa also did a holiday comic for us that I was too frazzled to blog when it went up: Crispy Christmas.

December 2, 2008

Hitler’s subtitler gets a cheap font CD

Posted in humor, Rants, typography, Video at 4:24 pm by India

One of dozens of Downfall parody videos. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, but if you haven’t been subjected to them yet, you may find this instance amusing.

September 6, 2008

Ed Rondthaler

Posted in humor, Off-topic, Video at 3:29 pm by India

Ed Rondthaler film still

House Industries is making a film about Ed Rondthaler, founder of Photo-Lettering, Inc., and they’ve posted a short video of him giving a presentation about the nuttiness of English spelling. I saw Mr. Rondthaler do this schtick at TypeCon a few years ago, and somewhere around here I have an entertaining tract that he wrote. He’s a centenarian and so has an awful lot to say; I look forward to the extended version.

(Via Boing Boing.)

August 1, 2008

Yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question

Posted in advice, Editing, humor, Reading at 6:00 pm by India

disgusted cat

Even though their CD-ROM and its tech support suck, I still love the Chicago Manual of Style Q&A:

Q. I’m editing a textbook that references a play. Should it be “Act 3,” “act three,” or “act 3”? A solution to this mystery would be greatly appreciated. I’ve looked at CMOS a hundred times for help with this issue.

A. Wow—a hundred times? If you can suggest how we can make section 8.194 more clear, we’ll try to do better in the next edition: “Words denoting parts of long poems or acts and scenes of plays are usually lowercased, neither italicized nor enclosed in quotation marks . . . act 3, scene 2.”

 

Q. At the annual meeting of our local PBK chapter, dispute on the pronunciation of “archival” arose: whether the stress falls on the first or the second syllable. Give us your wisdom. I will pass it on in the column I write weekly in a local paper about any subject that pops into my head.

A. As a style guide for writers, CMOS must resist the temptation to weigh in on an issue of pronunciation. We are editors, absorbed in our manuscripts. We can go for days without even speaking. I suggest you consult the linguists who write dictionaries for this purpose. (I’m sorry this won’t give you anything to put in your column, but thanks for your help with mine.)

 

Q. Is it “cell phone” or “cel phone”? I am working on a crash deadline, and would appreciate a quick response. Thank you so much!

A. Any writer who has deadlines should also have a dictionary. I always swear I’m not going to look up words for people, but it’s like being a mom and picking up socks—something just makes me do it. It’s “cell phone.”

Please buy a dictionary—and pick up your socks.

  Read the rest of this entry »

April 28, 2008

Ha, ha, ha, . . .

Posted in Editing, humor, typography at 2:36 am by India

a row of commas

“This, is an unsettling trend,” columnist William Sa,fire, told reporters. “We’re seeing a collapse of the grammatical rules that have, held, the English language, together for, centuries.”

—“Commas, Turning Up, Everywhere,” The Onion

Photo: a row of commas by moirabot / Moira Clunie; some rights reserved.

April 26, 2008

Need a quick C-note?

Posted in humor, typography at 1:46 pm by India

Sanskit grammar

Kevin Pease of Designrants points out the following excellent opportunity—which, oddly, he doesn’t wish to take!—for an up-and-coming type designer to make a few bucks and gain some experience for his or her résumé:

The project is for outputing a variant Typeface from an existing open source Typeface, where the variant is replacing only 1 alphabet (upper,lower case, basic and italic) and putting a sanskrit alphabet (upper,lower case, basic and italic) that will have to be designed.

. . .

The budget is about $100 via Paypal, Moneybookers. Delivery for early/mid-next week.

Um, I don’t know much about designing typefaces, and nothing about Sanskrit, but that sounds . . . how shall I put it? . . . extremely challenging. Still, if you’re really hard up for cash and selling your spinal fluid isn’t working out for you, perhaps this is your dream project. If so, see Kevin’s post for more details!

Via Ultrasparky.

March 20, 2008

The first time a bong has appeared on Nextbook?

Posted in art direction, humor, illustration, Work at 1:45 pm by India

golden throne

The lovely Vanessa Davis has drawn a three-page comic for Nextbook.org to celebrate Purim. You do not need to know much about Purim to know that this is awesome.

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