Weekend Heller: Street Type, Tattoo Brands, Grafico Stuff

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For typophiles who have a thing about ugly glass rings on their wood type cases, these urban typographic images from Manhattan-based photographer Joanne Dugan, are available as coasters. Many of the images are of handmade signs and markings on now-demolished landmarks.

Coasters Alphabet City S26

Dugan’s company, The Alphabet City was founded to create teaching games, today she produces books, signs, tabletop accessories and the coaster set that chronicles NYC’s rich typographic history. Included are 28 coasters, one of each letter and two symbols. Made in the USA and a portion of the proceeds from this project benefit literacy organizations.

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The recent issue of the German design bi-monthly Grid has a strikingly beautiful cover for its Liquid Branding issue. What could be more branded than a woman with a full body tattoo (or Gridattoo). And don’t miss the placement of the UPC bar.


Inside a fascinating article traces the evolution of branding from Corporate Identity (CI) to Liquid Branding today. Alex Buck describes how branding in fact developed and highlights the differences between the disciplines. Hint: It is the “backstory.”

To find samples go to the Grid website here (in German and English).

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Progetto Grafico Sono Buono

The recently reinvigorated design journal, Progetto Graphico. published by the AIAP (Associzione Irtaliana Design Della Communicazione Visiva), the AIGA of Italy, and edited by Riccardo Falcinelli and Silvia Sfigiotti, has produced a series of recent issues that are worth reading (in Italian or English). Here are a few of the articles in the most recent “How Images Are Used” #23 issue:


New Iconologies and Visual Design:An image’s primary significance is how it’s used: its selection, cropping, and end use are practices with multiple, widespread implications. Iconological taxonomies adapt to the times, and perhaps also shape them.

The Square and the Specter: Kolář’s Dictionary:Cut and paste is now standard practice in image creation, so it’s especially timely to look back at the work of Jiří Kolář, who used collage not as a mere technique, but as a method for constructing a system that encompassed both graphic design and contemporary art.

Seeing, Sensing (and Manipulating) Photographic Images:A look at how digital photography transforms the “terms of use” for referencing, and how the decreasing trust in references’ relation to the real world anesthetizes us, in spite of any alleged “new realism.”

Rebus Design:In a rebus, images don’t mean what they portray: figures refer to phonemes instead of representing reality, and sometimes typographic characters exist not as sounds but as things. Here we explore the rebus via the history of an exceptional publication, La Settimana Enigmistica, a magazine that over the past eighty years has set the standard for puzzle publications in Italy.

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