Archive for Education

Jan Wilker Lecture

Jan Wilker lectures at Michigan State

I went to a lecture last night in East Lansing sponsored by Michigan State University and the Detroit chapter of the AIGA. Jan Wilker, half of the New York design team of karlssonwilker inc. was the speaker, and he did a fine job. It was so nice to be able to go down and see him speak. To go from a complete barren wilderness of design lectures (with the notable exception of Tasmeem) to a 1 hour drive is heaven. I will be going back down in February to see Stuart Bailey from Dot Dot Dot.

Jan had some interesting work and ideas, and it was a pleasure to hear him speak. I will leave you with my favorite quote from the evening. The context was a story about all of the interviews he and Hjalti were giving in Belgrade, Serbia while working on a project there. “It’s so exhausting, trying to be smart”

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A Fine Farewell

Drawing of leaving faculty

A teacher often wonders if the work they do actually helps their students in life. At least I do. That question was answered a little bit yesterday when a group of my students gathered together to give me and the other faculty of the Art Department and farewell party. They had a cake with the above image (can you guess which one is me?) on the top and these cards that they all signed. It was great to know that they all learned something from me and will miss me when I am gone.

The drawing was done by a student named Kulood who goes by KiKi. Left to right is Michael Rodriguez, Terence Dowse, me and Sean Hottois.

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The Roots of My Profession

Albrecht Drurer print

Jason Kottke linked to a wonderful BBC Documentary the other day on the development of Gutenberg’s printing press. Stephen Fry goes on a quest to discover how and where the original press was created. He also works with master printers and a type founder to re-create a copy of the press and cast some type. I have seen pictures of a matrix used to cast lead type, but have never seen how one works.

You can’t watch it on the BBC website (unless you are in the UK) but it is available in six parts on YouTube: part one, two, three, four, five, six.

I hope to somehow get this all in one place and show it to my students how this whole thing started. Without Gutenberg, I wouldn’t have a job.

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Turns Out I Was Wrong

I can admit when I am wrong, and I admit, I was wrong. After reading a very nice comment from Mr. Richard Grefe himself on my previous post, the Adobe® Font Folio® Education Essentials might not be as shady as I had first suspected. As Mr. Grefe states in his comment the AIGA isn’t going to make any money form the deal and there is no small print restricting usage after graduation. And thanks to Mr. Armin Vit at Speak Up, we now have a list of the the font families included in the collection. It is a well rounded collection that will serve students well in school and after graduation.

Only two complaints remain. First, I still find fault with the way Adobe is numbering the fonts. Would it really be so hard to say 25 font families for only $149? That is still just $6 per family and a great deal for the fonts included with the collection. And second, what is the deal with including Rosewood? I guess being able to produce a cowboy retro piece or a Hatch Show Print-esque poster is important. Oh well, nothing is perfect. And to echo the words of Armin, it is a step in the right direction after all.

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AIGA and Adobe’s Fleecing of Design Students

I just saw a link on Quipsologies pointing to a “new” font collection from Adobe and AIGA called the Adobe® Font Folio® Education Essentials and gave it a click. It promises nearly 500 fonts in Open Type format, is available for pre-order and will begin shipping in April. This sounds like good news for the design students of the world (or at least North America), right?

I have to admit that I am skeptical.

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Observation One


We had a discussion in my History of Design class a week or so ago about plagiarism and “borrowing” ideas for work. A day or two later one of my students sent me a link to the NY Art Book Fair asking me if it looked familiar. Indeed it did. Just 2 months ago the identity for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair was all over the city. Very similar. Plagiarised? Borrowed? An Homage? We may never know.

Good eye Fatima.

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