Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Blunders in Typography and Design

I would like to have been in the meeting when the boss called in the art director on this cover.

Boss: When was this cover designed?
AD: Oh, back in the summer when you were on vacation. Why?
Boss: Well, there's a little problem with it. Who approved it?
AD: I did. I think it looks great. Big type, really puts Handke's name out there to a public that isn't aware of his status as one of the best new writers in German.
Boss: Yeah, yeah. So here I am, one of the public and I see this book in the store. I don't know Peter Handke. Do I want to buy a book titled Peter Handke?
AD: Peter Handke is the author of the book, not the title.
Boss: And I would know this how?
AD: Oops, Oh @#$%, that got right by us!
Boss: You moron, fix it in the next edition. If there is one, since I don't know why anyone would buy a book with no title. And before you say it, I don't want to hear a word about the "integrity of the design." PUT THE TITLE ON THE COVER!

And here's how they fixed it--squeezing the title into the lower left corner so the printer could do a "surprint" and they wouldn't have to do a whole new layout.

Here's one I like even more. I can just hear the designer selling the simplicity and boldness of an all type cover, no pictures or graphics, just classic Caslon type, black, white and gray against a brilliant blue background.

I have no idea if anyone at Scribner's ever noticed that Mr. Wilson (who was, happily for him, dead when this edition was printed) spelled his first name Edmund.

Probably because the type is so big and in all caps, acting more as graphic than a word, no one did.

But if they did notice the typo and let it go anyway...what the hell, Wilson was dead and he'll never know and it is his first name not the last, and it would cost a lot of money to reprint the whole book (my copy is the 10th printing, though that doesn't mean that the cover was the same for all the printings), it isn't like we can tear off the cover and slap a new one on.

But fire the proofreader.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

4 Words, 3 Languages

All American Gourmet Delicatessen 

Mount Loretto 7/10

I took a 2 1/2 hour walk around Mount Loretto this morning--32 species on a mid-summer day isn't too bad. The overcast skies made the lighting terrible. A lot of birds looked like this:

Green Heron

The tide was low, so I walked the length of the beach. Not much to see aside from a Spotted Sandpiper.

Whoever it is that does these rock sculptures has become very ambitious--there are now paths delineated by rock around and through the piles. Depending on your mood is all looks very mysterious,   humorous, or stupid.

I was in a pretty good mood this morning.

I always wonder if the fire hydrants scattered about the grounds still work. They apparently weren't of much use when the orphanage burned down.

The List
Mount Loretto Unique Area
Number of species:     32
Canada Goose
Wood Duck     3     One drake in eclipse
American Black Duck     4
Mallard     3
Double-crested Cormorant     15
Great Egret     3     Pond, beach, flyover
Green Heron     1     On telephone wire over pond. 
Black-crowned Night-Heron     5     All on one pond.
Spotted Sandpiper     1     On beach
Laughing Gull     20
Herring Gull     12
Great Black-backed Gull     5
Mourning Dove     4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     1     Wetlands Trail
Empidonax sp.     1
Blue Jay     3
Fish Crow     1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     15
Tree Swallow     9
Barn Swallow     4
Carolina Wren     1
American Robin     5
Gray Catbird     9
Northern Mockingbird     1
Brown Thrasher     1
European Starling     7
Common Yellowthroat     5
Song Sparrow     3
Northern Cardinal     4
Red-winged Blackbird     20
Common Grackle     3
Orchard Oriole     2
American Goldfinch     1