Category Archives: Typography

Facebook Page within a Facebook Page within a Blog Post

I’ve recently created a Facebook page for I Kern’t Stand It. Yeah…I’m shamelessly promoting it. You gotta’ problem with that??

I found a fantastic Facebook page about building a following on your Facebook page. This is getting a bit like Inception…a blog post about a Facebook page about a Facebook page.

I don’t want to be too harsh because this page has some really, really good content—25 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Fan Page. But I just can’t let the main picture escape its well deserved critique. This is an atrocity that can’t be ignored.

What's your social net worth

Not quite sure why her legs have been chopped off…Call me superficial but levitating torsos creep me out.

If I could summarize everything that’s wrong with this design into one word, it would undoubtedly be PAPYRUS!

On my very first blog post, I used this “lovely” graphic to express the essence of Papyrus:

words of the na'vi

If you want to be a good designer—or just a decent citizen—there are three principles that should be practiced at all times.

1. Never use Papyrus.
2. Never use Comic Sans.
3. Use drop shadows sparingly and with the subtlety of a cat burglar.

Papyrus

In a very early post, I explained kerning—hence the name of my blog. Kerning is the space between the individual letters.

Papyrus

That’s a lot of freaking space!

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Filed under Art, Branding, Business, Critique, Graphic Design, SEO, Social Media, Typography, Web Design

Journey to. Journey 2. This is too confusing.

Good design is more than aesthetic; It’s about good communication. Though this design has good aesthetic, it fails to communicate clearly.

Journey 2 the Mysterious Island

Until I went to IDMB.com and read the threads about this film, I was completely confused. I had no idea this was a sequel.

So here’s the rundown:

1st film: Journey to the Center of the Earth.

2nd film: Journey 2: the Mysterious Island.

Considering that this has a completely different cast, director, screenplay writers, etc…this is freaking confusing.

In my ever-so-humble opinion, I’m concluding that this is bad design.

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad film though. I don’t plan to watch it in theaters, but perhaps when it’s on Redbox or Netflix.

I’m a huge Michael Caine fan. I mean, come on…it’s Michael Caine! How bad could it be?

Michael Caine

He’s so cool.

By the way, I’ve created a Facebook page for I Kern’t Stand It. If you join, wondrous things will happen. WONDROUS THINGS!

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Branding, Critique, Graphic Design, Typography

What the heck is in that box?

My last entry ended on a phallic note. I had asked that you not think less of me and now I’m writing this post. Oh dear.

What kind of logo is this? Why is a man holding a box? I guess it’s because you put stuff in a box before putting it in a storage unit? Whatever the reason, it’s a poor concept…so poor…it IS the 99%.

Moving on to the obvious question: What is going on here, exactly? I don’t think one has to be perverse in order to wonder what the heck is inside that box. All I can think of is the iconic SNL digital short with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake. I won’t post the video or the title, I’m trying to keep this blog somewhat clean, but here’s an image from the video.

Can you guess what’s inside their boxes?

If we can go back to the logo, I’m also seeing two letter D’s as in double d’s. Look, I’m not trying to make this sexual, it’s just there!

Double D’s and a genitalia beckoning box, what does this have to do with a storage unit in Queens?

Do you see it? The arms make the D’s.

It’s kind of like one of those mom and pop gas stations in which one of the D’s in the logo is backwards for some inexplicable reason.

A designer shouldn’t have his mind in the gutter but he should be aware that many people do. If your designs can be easily turned into dirty humor, it’s probably not good for a brand image.

When it comes to a brand image, even if it’s something like storage units, clean professionalism is everything.

I had a professor in college who told a story of a student who designed a brand for a festival. I can’t remember where the festival was (my college had people from all over the world) but it was a grape festival. They called it the “Grape Fest” (creative name, huh?). This student wanted to give it an elegant look. I suspect he was inspired by something like a first edition classic book…you know how first letter of each chapter would be highly ornate? Anyway, the student’s presentation looked something like this:

Like I said, it’s important to be aware of how your designs can be perceived. This could have easily been highly, highly offensive!

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Branding, Critique, Graphic Design, Signage, Typography

Razorbacks, the AFLAC duck, and whatever Iago was

‘Tis a good feeling to know that I’m making a difference in this world. Here’s a message from a good ol’ Arkansan friend:

“Hey man, hope you’re having fun in the big city.

I’m sending you this picture because you seem to be a connoisseur of bad visuals.

It appeared in a flash ad on Yahoo, trying to lure me into attending Razorback basketball games.

But instead I was just scared by the accusatory guy with an angelic glow.”

He’s a good writer, isn’t he?

Just so you know, I’m not claiming to be Superman or anything…but you’re welcome. You’re welcome for making the world a better place—a more beautiful place…perhaps even a SAFER place.

Ooooh my, the Arkansas Razorbacks. Why do Arkansans care about this team? While we’re on the the subject of animals that make me want to punch through glass, let’s talk about Gilbert Gottfried (the former AFLAC guy).

You should be ashamed of yourself—not only for your repulsive voice, not only for agreeing to do the AFLAC commercials, not only for getting fired from AFLAC (loser), but you should be ashamed of having the comical depth of a teenage boy. “Haha” yeah, we all get it…the balls and the bottle are supposed to be phallic. Wow, the sexual subtleties of Gilbert Gottfried are so cunning. Shall I demonstrate that a group of college kids had the same idea several years ago?

Think about that for a second, Mr. 56 year old: a group of teens and early 20’s had the same joke…first. How embarrassing this must be for you.

Alright, perhaps I’m not maintaining my composure as I did with my last entry on Ray William Johnson, but that guy never made fun of the victims of the tsunami in Japan, a woman who was molested by her father, or 9/11 victims (not to my knowledge, at least). I wish ol’ Gilbert would do us all a favor and end up like his character, Iago, from Aladdin—crammed in a tiny lamp and buried in the Arabian desert.

The typography on the book is so grotesque, even Comic Sans would look away in terror (no pun intended, designers).

Gilbert Gottfried is sitting little a little boy in Indian Style. Sorry, I believe the politically correct term is now “criss-cross-applesauce”. It’s okay though, I’m like 1/64 Cherokee so I say “Indian Style”.

His clothes and hair look…well…dreadful. No self respecting 56 year old man should ever dress that way. This is just tacky design. I can understand giving a low-class guy a low-class cover for his book but as I discussed in my last entry, there is a difference between inexpensive and cheap.

Please don’t think less of me, but well done phallic humor can be funny. I think it’s deeply embedded within the DNA of a man (don’t quote my biology on that). Ranging from Homer, the ancient Greek poet, all the way to Disney—phallic humor is out there (that may have been an inappropriate choice of words).

When it’s representative of a struggle for alpha status, it’s stinkin’ hilarious. However, I think it goes without saying that we’ve reached well beyond Gilbert Gottfried’s intellectual grasp. Like any comedian who tries to compensate for his lack of intelligence—he simply goes for shock factor.

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Weird, hairy, abnormal growths of typography.

Big things have been happening on my blog. Because I am now advertising, the amount of traffic has more than quadrupled! Life is good.

If you’ll recall from an earlier post, I was in East Harlem the other day. I stumbled across one of the greatest atrocities that has ever happened to the world of typography.

Jokerman!…

I apologize for having such a poor quality photo, I had to use my phone. I wish I could go back and take a decent picture with my camera but…yeah…it’s night time right now. East Harlem is not the safest place to be at night! I could take my camera but “shooting someone” would have a very new meaning for me.

This is what it says though:

When I was in the 8th grade, my class spent a week in a sex ed class. At least, they claimed it was. Sex ed, is short for sex education. This usually entails educating about sex, right?

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited about the class. This was my initial reaction:

But it ended up more like this:

Scare tactics, that’s all it was. They tried to coerce abstinence by fear.

They showed us gruesome slides of STD’s. They never explained the benefits of abstinence. They never said that it would bring counterintuitive peace and simplicity. They just said, “Here’s a vagina with warts. Very painful warts! Do you want this, ladies? Then don’t have sex until you’re married. Here’s a penis that is turning black, fellas. It burns when he pees. Do you want this to happend to you? Then don’t have sex until you’re married.”

I’m going to shed a little light on my views (blogs are about transparency, after all). I am a big proponent of abstinence. But fear can not be the driving force. And you can’t coerce someone into being abstinent. If fear is your foundation, you’re going to fall…and you’re going to be uneducated on the subject. The stakes are high in that game.

If you’re wondering what in the heck this has to do with a laundromat sign: Jokerman is the STD slideshow of typography. It’s hideous. It’s scary. It doesn’t get the message across. It also looks like it has weird, hairy, abnormal growths.

Here’s everything you need to know about Jokerman:

Non-designers don’t know these things. That’s why this blog is absolutely imperative to your existence (designers also have a tendency to be a bit dramatic at times). But seriously, this does ensure the need and practical application for my industry.

Remember those people I surveyed for the Halloween costume logos? This is what they had to say about these typefaces:

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Critique, Graphic Design, Signage, Typography