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Discovery: Jacek Utko

September 7, 2009

So this is actually an old discovery I made by listening to the TED podcasts that has rearisen due to the good type/bad type assignment. Podcasts are actually the one effective way I’ve found to better myself — it’s so hard to force myself to read books in my free time! and I sort of think that’s fine! — but podcasts have proven ok to listen to while doing handiwork. My big two useful ones have been Debbie Millman’s Voice America Design podcasts where she interviews designers and the TED podcasts where people in technology, education, design (??) give short talks on matters of common interest (their motto is “Ideas worth spreading.”). (I have seriously mixed opinion about the Debbie Millman podcasts but that’s a different story; for someone like me, it has given me some exposure to less popular designers.)

ANYWAYS. Jacek Utko gave a pretty good TED talk about redesigning newspapers. I have some *extremely* limited experience suffering over magazine design, so even though all that stuff is a lot less sexy than posters (I mean, who doesn’t love doing those? It’s like a delicious ice pop) I’ve begrudingly gotten into it — quite frankly, it’s just. so. damn. hard. And I believe — or rather suspect — that most people are doing it shitty and if I spent enough time on it, I could do it better. So he talks about redesigning some newspapers of Eastern Europe and all the examples he gives are pretty slick — I wish he’d give the before examples, so I’d more thoroughly understand what we’re talking about — but still. Plus the English on his site is totally not proofread — and even though I’ve moonlit as a proofreader and could out grammar you anyday of the week and have a creeping distrust of people who can’t spell — I’m a TOTAL sucker for things not being super polished, and he as a Pole, totally has a right to it.

So to sum up: his talk, some interesting ideas though maybe too vague (?) , but I wish his site had a little more meat for design analysis. But still. Seems like a pretty cool dude.

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