donny nguyen.
donny nguyen.
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#bryony gomez-palacio

the elements of typographic style

so i’ve been reading elements of typographic style by robert bringhurst. it’s quite technical and thorough and i’m really enjoying it. honestly i wasn’t sure if i should get it when i first came upon it in the bookstore but the endorsement in armin vit and bryony gomez-palacio’s book, graphic design referenced, along with a strong recommendation from a friend convinced me. check it out if you’ve any interest in typography.

i’m not completely through it but i came across a line that gives me hope for print. i love printed posters, illustration, design, etc. and it seems like there’s this huge forecasting of the death of print. in the case of wall hangings, it doesn’t make sense to me since people seem to love to have nice art on their walls but they say it’s too expensive. get a nice print! i think it’s great that there’s a contingent of people out there keeping it alive, especially since i feel like i’m joining the party (uninvited?) so late.
bringhurst’s words were:
“because the Web, like the subway, is not a destination. Printing is still what type is for.”
what’s funny / ironic to me is that this is the exact punctuation on the page (209). although, the text before this is:
“Now that type is principally a digital commodity, printed type specimens are quickly disappearing. Yet they remain an invaluable resource. because the Web, …”
perhaps the original quotation is not a complete thought then. either way, the grammatical error might’ve made this stand out but i like the statement. i should say that i don’t completely agree with his sentiment though. i’m sure many people would love to see proper typography on more, if not all, websites (which i do see as digital analogues to printed matter – the web is merely the ether) but i do like the encouragement to keep on printing. i would guess that because of the inaccessibility to use nice type and apply one’s preferences in support of it, bringhurst believed this to be true at the time he wrote this. maybe he still does. even apple still haven’t fully gotten type right (exhibit a) and maybe that’s a good thing.

i was just given this great book by bryony gomez-palacio and armin vit. among the great examples of design throughout history, i find a sample of this project. so i guess i got scooped on this concept and it probably wasn’t the first time.

now let’s get one thing straight. i’d never go on to assume that anything i’d ever come up with is even close to original or revolutionary. but it still feels funny when you come up with something, no matter how good or bad it really is, only to see it done already. richard holley originally fueled this re-imagined project by daniel eatock.
having seen what i (presently) think is good graphic design and looking back at my poster, i can see the things that could really be improved in my first poster (sorry lpci folks!), especially the type. i still think the concept is ok though. and as i said, it’s been done. so humblepied i have been, albeit ignorantly at the time. and not for the last time i suspect, so this is round one.
exhibit a (the basis for my poster):
reunion paw concept
exhibit b (some of the holley portraits on eatock’s site):
i guess on one level it’s nice to know that i came up with my thing independently and in that sense it’s a bit validating. but i can also see how that could be seen as a defense mechanism or worse on some level. this, like everything, is part of the learning process and i like to think (hope?) that even the most experienced and professional designers go through the same thing. it probably isn’t accurate to label this round one, ha ha.
i’ve come to terms with the idea that there’s always someone better but there’s always some worse out there. i guess all one can do in the ensuing rounds is aim to land on the former side of that little credo.