Beautiful / Ordinary

Another collection of small, beautiful and singularly useful objects: the clothespin.

"Numerous reasons can be observed for the different variations in form and functional interpretations - it is exciting to see how many variations can be generated for such a minimal structure - a lesson in the evolution of products, a lesson in change as inherent human need, as well as the need to interpret, to innovate, to say the same thing differently."

They're very typographic. 

Type Meeting


Pencil Perfection

Bob Truby's Brand Name Pencils website is an amazing place. With over 100 catalogued pencil brands cross-referenced by ferrule type and era, it is a great resource for the pencil collector. At first you might think that a "pencil collector" is a rare breed, but with just a few short clicks and searches, you will discover many people sharing this obsession. Certainly, the skilled and sophisticated design of Truby's site is one of the best (designed by his graphic design friend, Jeff (hey Jeff, what's your website?).

Truby is a highschool art teacher in Oregon and his intention with his website is to create "a visual encounter with the incredibly diverse world of brand name pencils. I hope you will be amazed at the sheer number of pencil brands once produced in the USA and abroad. Sadly those days are over and the craftsmanship, skill and pride once put into the ordinary pencil is but a thing of the past."

I asked Truby what the appeal is of collecting pencils. He replies, "The appeal is truly a mystery. All I can say is that I know other pencil collectors and they feel the same way. I think the pencil in and of itself is a great collectible.  Cheap, almost endless names, model numbers, manufacturer names, countries.....and of course they can be very old indeed." He grew up in a family of collectors (beer cans, match packs, coins, stamps, baseball cards and Hot Wheels), but his focus is now on the pencil collection.


Here are a few more places worth a visit: How a pencil is made and Doug Martin's Pencil Pages (the advertisement above is from his gallery). (below) celebrates the drafting pencil and its history.




Book Trade Labels

I've always loved books — they're the reason that I became interested in graphic design as a profession. To design books, own a bookstore and, most recently, to publish my first UPPERCASE book... these are all dreams come true.

Here's a link to an excellent site detailing one tiny aspect of book culture: the book trade label.

"Anyone who handles old books will have come across these small and sometimes beautiful labels pasted more or less discreetly into the endpapers. Publishers, printers, binders, importers, distributors and sellers of books -- new, second-hand and antiquarian -- used to advertise in this way their contribution to bringing the book to market."

I'm compelled to design a small label for the books we sell at UPPERCASE. I'll post the results here.

Lightboxing with Alejandro Paul

lightbox.jpgIn Veer's Lightboxing matches, two designers are given a theme and a selection of stock photos, illustrations and fonts in a lightbox chosen by Veer. The designers then go head to head for creative supremacy.

I'm up against Alejandro Paul... the theme? Mad Scientist! Click here to watch the fight.

Alejandro has designed a beautiful collection of typefaces for Veer. He is exceptionally talented at script faces.

Typewriters on flickr