James Pratt has written a cracking thriller novel set in the near future. A resurgent Russia invades an unprotected Europe, with only a small group of special services veterans standing in their way. If they are able to bring an extraordinary secret weapon to bear, they may be able to save Western civilisation. Our cover incorporates some of the elements of the story and uses dramatic colours and high contrast to attract reader attention. Typefaces used include National and Franchise. Published by Silverbird Publishing.
New Zealand type designer Kris Sowersby (National, Tiempos, Caliber) has some interesting things to say about type design and originality in this talk, given at TypeCon in 2018. He vigorously rejects any suggestion that type design is played out, and that new versions of old standards are a bad thing.
Women Who Draw attempts to redress a perceived imbalance of female/male illustrators. According to their website:
Whatever the politics of the site, it showcases many excellent designers working in a wide range of styles.
Melbourne has its own series, so if you're interested in designers talking about designy things (there's a different theme every month), then consider going along. At the price of free, how could you miss it? In a section impishly titled "convince your boss", the organisers advance the following argument:
When IBM commissioned a typeface family for their own internal use, they also released it for general use. Clean and practical, Plex also has some style and warmth. With sans, serif and monospaced subfamilies and many weights, one might wish that many businesses relying on dull typefaces such as Arial and Times New Roman might make the switch and use something much better for free.
Another free offering, Overpass is not quite a grand as Plex, but with eight weights and true italics, it is a fine and generous offering. Very smart and highly readable, and more space efficient than Plex.
Reground is a grassroots initiative to divert the tonnes of coffee grounds generated in Melbourne each week from landfill into people's gardens. I've booked in a consignment, and also pledged their Pozible campaign to help them purchase a van to facilitate collections and delivery. Check out the nicely designed minimalist website and spread the love (and caffeinated compost).
The CIA has recently released a large number of formerly classified maps. According to accompanying notes, "The mission of the Cartography Center is to provide a full range of maps, geographic analysis, and research in support of the Agency, the White House, senior policymakers, and the IC at large." In an era of digital online maps and very detaile satellite photography, it is interesting to view these hand-compiled attempts to summarise all known information about a particular area. Many of the maps are rather well designed and aesthetically pleasing.
Ray Scott writes hard-bitten thrillers with plenty of action and skulduggery. His latest effort gets going in the sunny Wimmera, with a salesman facing hitmen from his murky past. With a touch of North by Northwest, we depicted a rather worried man against a field of wheat and a merciless blue sky. Typeface used: Tablet Gothic Compressed.
Type guidance for web neophytes.Read More
A cover design for a book discussing judicial executions in Victoria, Australia.Read More
As usual, our recent book design projects have featured a wide range of subject matter — a book of sonnets, a novel dealing with a huge telco and a guide for beginning singers. Projects currently in the works include a handbook for stroke sufferers, a novel about cultural contact between China and the West and a history of judicial executions in Victoria.
A great catastrophe is afoot in this sweeping saga set in Ancient Egypt. We used a beautiful 19th century illustration with vivid saturated colours and combined it with a hint of the Egyptian desert and a meteorite trail (essential to the plot). Title type set in Yana.
Christian Jenkins designs amazing outdoor living spaces for his clients across Victoria. He wanted a brochure to showcase his recent work and introduce his design philosophy. We kept the layout very clean, the focus on his design and the wide variety of possible themes and solutions.
A funny/serious look at options open to modern designers — choosing between autonomy and going corporate, making an impact with something socially responsible or going for a potentially lucrative start-up, doing something you love versus trying to find something secure. Julie Zhuo shows how a host of choices and assumptions can determine one's path through the extremely dynamic design landscape.
With the Ashley Madison hack in the news, comparing a font matching service with a dating service is probably not a great move. Fontflame brings the matching aspect of Tinder to typefaces. At present all of the typefaces matched are from the Google stable. This means they are free for any use, but the overall selection is rather limited. Also, the type sample shown on screen is rather small, making it difficult to make an informed selection. A more full-featured service would be great, with typefaces from large and small foundries and the ability to input one's own text string. That would be very useful for designers looking for inspiration.
The Henry Parkes Centre is located in Parkes, NSW. WorkingType Design worked on the exterior and interior signage units — the emphasis being on colour, boldness and scale. The Centre houses a rather diverse group of exhibits: The King's Castle Elvis Exhibit, Parkes Motor Museum, Parkes Museum and Antique Machinery collection.
A bit of a blast from the past — three posters from a multi-poster series designed for internal use by the Australian Red Cross. Using simple, bold typography configured to reflect the message of the particular poster and an open, friendly feel. Quite an enjoyable project to work on.