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Typography + Putting Away Childish Things + Zines

September 7, 2009

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

-1 Corinthians 13:11

For typography, we have an assignment to find three good and three bad examples of typography. Embarrassingly enough, I’ve had this assignment two times before in my life, but I’m trying to really find examples relevant to where I’m at now, rather than rely on old examples. So I’ve been looking all around for the good examples. Today I was at some community art space — I finally got the hook-up to the poor art scene here in Bk! — and I was looking at a table full of zines. It’s nuts — I love handlettering and zine aesthetics as much as the next chump (check out my portfolio if you don’t believe) — but I was SO  SO struck with how the ONLY one I was vaguely interested in reading was one that was laid out nicely, simply, with a basic text font. There was a bike maintenance one — with special hints for the ladies, dammit!! — but the thought of reading it, with its Courier 9 pt somehow crookedly slopped on — filled me with despair.

It’s tough. This is the challenge of typography for me right now. Being expressive is such a joy — doing handlettering is probably my absolute single favorite thing to do. But I think the time for it is past. I mean, I know it is — that’s absolutely why I’m here, that my type was such a travesty — but the zine example really rubbed it in. Whatever handmade affair you are making — ESPECIALLY if it’s some political zine you want the people read  — it is time to put away our childish things and do typography like adults.

That goes without saying for not handmade things, obviously. But I really want to keep the standards high here. I mean, I’m tired of cool/fancy/confusing type that makes no sense. I read somewhere recently that things must be packaged in the ways of their times so that they appeal to that generation — and I love that: a very plain, common-sense way of putting it. But sometimes WIRED/Esquire/etc — they just confuse me with their out of control type, especially. Am I the only one?? I think more and more I turn towards the internet to read magazines because it’s easier to understand what’s going on.

Also let god strike me down if I indulge in bled over type. It’s OVER. It’s DONE WITH.

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