Pet Your Printing

There is a new publication for the Northern California the visual media and graphics communications community. It’s been a long time coming. Indeed, I have often struggled when looking for such a vehicle in which to dialogue with my local peers and colleagues. Other than surfing the net which I readily admit to enjoy, I’ve missed the hold-it-in-your-hand, all-in-one-place, page-flipping, ink-smelling, quick-finding resource of past and future happenings in my local business world.

The first issue of Process Magazine, a collaborative effort of Jim Nissen, Switch Studios and Visual Media Alliancewill hit

Process Magazine

Process

mailboxes throughout Northern California, this week. That is, real mail boxes, not email boxes. If you are fortunate enough to be among those special people on the mailing list you are in for a treat. The eye candy on the cover was created by the Bay Area’s own Michael Osborne, a well known designer and branding genius, President and Creative Director of the San Francisco based MOD/Michael Osborne Design, Inc. His design is a nod to his Hearts in San Francisco sculpture and his 2002 USPS Love stamp. Inside, we get to know Michael a little better as he answers questions about his work, his life, his life’s work.

Michael Osborne Heart Stamp

Michael Osborne Heart Stamp

But the cover is not eye-candy alone. As the title of this blog suggests, it’s irresistibly touchable. Printed by DOME Printing on 98# Topkote Gloss, the craftsmen at DOME applied Aqueous coating with Soft Touch technology to the entire sheet after the 4-c process and metallic silver printing, then high gloss spot UV was applied to the graphics which together make the magazine totally irresistible to curious fingers. Fingers, once finished caressing the luscious cover, are bound to flip open to the front page, in search of more wonders. And they won’t be disappointed. The inside front cover is a playful die cut foldout strategically located to “UNVEIL” the story of the upcoming VisualMedia012 conference with the mascot character in his Houdini-like manifestation. The event will appropriately explore the magic of technology as used in marketing today. This process will be discussed in Daniel Dejan’s seminar Special Effects in Printing & Finishing: Sappi’s Standard #5.

What a pleasure to absorb this creative, professional and REGIONAL publication. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the local design scene; review the many events I’ve missed and even a few I’ve attended; find out what else is coming up and where I need to be next; and finally, feel like I’m part something bigger than myself but not so big that I become irrelevant.

What Ever Happened to Typography?

Triste | 45 x 35 x 25 cm | Molded books | 2011. @ Ana Sánchez.

I’m going to sound like an old curmudgeon. I’m sorry, but I miss the days when typography was an art. The days when we would struggle to decide if the point size should be 7.5 or 7.25. (Today I probably can’t even see either . . . so small.)

Coming from a creative background, typography was often the focus on my designs. It provided a solid foundation when other creative resources within me were stifled.

I have fond memories of the hours spent proofing hot metal galleys, scraping off imprints left by the lead slugs or re-kerning letters to my own satisfaction. If I wanted the type to follow a curve or a circle I would carefully slice between each letter, making sure to leave the base connected, and then play and replay with the placement so that it wouldn’t look as sliced and reset as it really was. How many hours were spent deciding on the correct visual white space between each letter? What satisfaction when I felt it was right.

Today, as I create for the web, read on my Kindle Fire, or view the posting on my Facebook community, I don’t look. I forgive. And every now and then, I am thrilled when I see fonts displayed artfully.

This brief look back in time was inspired, admittedly, by a class Visual Media Alliance will be producing in conjunction with Houlton Institute called The Provocative Life of Type. Beginning April 9, Professor Alex W. White / @alexwwhite will attempt to bring typography back to the design playing field in using a uniquely hi-tech education format that combines asynchronously presented seminars, social interactions, videos, take home exercises and more. He will introduce ways to reveal meaning and add spirit to display type. The design processes used to elicit typographic feeling is an integral aspect of this course. Understanding these dynamics can inspire more expressive, dynamic, and stimulating design. I look forward to bringing the past back to the future! If you’d like to learn more click here.