Friday, December 28, 2007

H is for holiday

Thanksgiving is gone. My favorite holiday. My favorite time of year. Leaves. Crisp air. Pumpkins, harvesty candles, and candy corn. And quickly following its wake was Christmas. I can't figure out what happened to Christmas. I was just starting to discover the most intensely festive lit houses in our neighborhood and practicing my "Merry Christmases" to anyone I possibly may make eye contact with. The bells of the salvation army bucket ringers were just getting in sync with the holiday bustle. I was starting to warm up to all the possible Christmas present ideas for my suddenly much larger family and figuring out the best stores to shop at without getting mauled. Now I am late. Christmas has come and gone. I'm still looking for some peoples presents and figuring out how to ship others. And New Years is just around the corner. Perhaps I can still blame all this on the "newly married" part of my life.

I do love the holidays. I just wish I could remember them this year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

double spacing after a period

On a typewriter, all characters are monospaced; each letter takes up the same amount of space—the letter "i" takes up as much space as the letter "m" and a period takes up the same amount of space as a capital "W." Because all characters are monospaced, the tradition was to type two spaces after periods to separate sentences.

Computers use fonts that are proportional, each character taking up a proportional amount of space—a typical letter "i" takes up about one-fifth the space of the letter "m." So you no longer need extra spaces to separate sentences. Pull down any book on your shelf—you won't find two spaces between sentences. We don't need the extra space to tell us when a new sentence has started. With the creation of fonts and computers, the extra space is actually distracting.

Yes, this is a difficult habit to break, but it must be done. If you don't believe me (or my sources in graphic design training), check with the "goddesses of all things editorial" The Chicago Manual of Style.

[There are a couple fonts (Courier and Monaco) that were created to resemble typewriter quality and are still created monospaced; but they are few in number and not very pleasant looking.]

Most of this is paraphrased from The Mac is Not a Typewriter by Robin Williams

Monday, June 18, 2007

looking for the why

Full-time graphic designer has been great. In-house graphic designer has not. Unexpected challenges arise when one Creative exists in an office of many… well, not creatives. I am piling up quite a paragraph of relevant experience. I have a heap of responsibility—there is actual back-strain involved most days (correct posture in front of a computer for 8 hours a day is really important). I also have some great projects, a handful of new and wonderful people and a growing curiosity for the growth of design, branding and my knowledge of it all.

However, I'm not going to sit here and recap a lot of unimportant details on how I got here or what I'm doing now that I am here.

Another print project has landed on my task list. I excitedly dove into this project with research and thumbnail ideas only to discover the intended content is grossly in need of a face lift. The content reads much like the fine print on an exciting ad, yet is missing the exciting part that brought the reader to the fine print in the first place. There is no "why."
A reader would glance at this piece, never finding an interesting word to begin with and leave the piece never knowing exactly what it was. My latest hero and brand guru, Marty Neumeier, discusses the packaging design natural reading sequence in his impressive book The Brand Gap:

1. Grab attention. 2. What is it? 3. Why should they care? 4. Why should they buy? 5. Finally, the then necessary buying details.

The content in this piece bypasses the first 4 and beelines to #5 as it cancels out the "then necessary" part.

So here I sit, looking for the "why," and pondering how it could be possible to lose it in the first place.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

what am I doing?


I graduated December 17. Wahoo!

I recently moved. Just across town. I now live in a beautiful little townhome with 2 stories, brick outside and 2.5 baths. Amazing.

I am very psyched that I will be going to Laguna Beach, Florida in May for an RUF conference.

Mark graduates in 2.5 weeks. Woohoo!

Matt is leaving The Soderquist Center. Sad day.

Oh, by the way, I have a full-time gig at The Soderquist Center as their first designer. It is most often a roller coaster, but I love the work I do and am growing a ton.

I have a new little niece. Name: Mariana (not pronounced Mary-Anna, but a long "a" on both the "Mari" and the "ana") Perhaps that makes sense. She is adorable. Recent pictures of Maggie and Mariana are on my photo site (link on sidebar on right).

I am loving life outside of school. Lots of decisions and working. But I love it. Why didn't I do this earlier?