Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Ingeniøren's (Engineering Weekly) web site - ing.dk - has changed both platform and looks today. The slogan for the relaunch is "I'm a nerd and I'm proud", and the people behind have also been given new clothes, with the slogan printed on a t-shirt on top of the typical engineers' mm-paper pattern.
The new platform is a modified version of Xoops, whatever that is - I guess I'm not nerdy enough, but some of you nerds out there will know what it means.
The new design will bring ing.dk up to date and give room for a lot of new content, among other things: more news, more visuals, and more blogs. ing.dk's specialists are blogging about all aspects of energy, science, innovation, technology, and then some.
Ingeniøren was the first Danish media to launch a news website 13 years ago - at the time called Ingeniøren|net, and the url was ingenioeren.dk (which actually still works!). Since then, all other media in Denmark have followed our good example. On the left you can see the first text-only version of the website, and it certainly does not look sexy by today's standards.
Now we upgrade to a more functional and more visually appealing website on a smooth technology (so they tell me), and in September the printed sister product, Ingeniøren, will also relaunch in new clothes.
See 13 years of different ing.dks in a picture gallery here - and check out the newest design at the same time!
So much room for improvement, and so little to do. At least, that's what it looks like! But actually, Ann-Britt is just taking a break. At Ingeniøren, we do have a nice big room for the redesign process, and here, a few days before the holidays, we're quite content that we are in no hurry. Things are beginning to fall into place, and we will make it in time for the launch in September.
A few details need to be worked at, however, like the logo, for instance - and these two little squares above the "i" in the nameplate (below). Wonder where they will end up eventually?
Ann-Britt Broström fiddling with the logo, in the background Connie Jönsson working with some other detail.
Thursday, 21 June 2007
The catalogue for my graduation from Design School in Kolding in my design. Helvetica in combination with handdrawn lettering, which - years later - materialized in the font family Tolleone.
I really used to hate the Helvetica typeface. Why? Because it is so simple and pure that it has absolutely no personality. Because it is so simple and pure that it is absolutely perfect. The latter is the reason, of course, why everybody is using it, and this, I think, was the main reason I got off on the wrong foot with Helvetica.
In all my years (11) at Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, one of my primary missions was to force Helvetica out of the newspaper, and I actually succeeded, first in the Sunday supplements from 2001, and in the rest of the paper three months before I quit my job there in 2006.
In my memory, the last time I used Helvetica in any kind of printed matter totally in my control must have been in the posters and catalogues for my graduation in design school in 1987. That's twenty years of trying to avoid Helvetica.
That was before I started digging through the archives, though, just to see what fonts I had actually chosen instead. There were a few more cases of Helvetica, it turned out, but for most projects, I have tried to find alternative classic sans serifs with more personality or character: Frutiger, Gill, Futura, Officina Sans, Avant-Garde, Goudy Sans, even, the new Gotham - or Congress Sans, which was my elegant choice for Jyllands-Posten to go with Stone Serif. Unsurpassed.
Helvetica has its fans, of course, one of them has even made a film about it, and when a typeface survives as the most popular and widely used font for 50 years, I salute it. I may even try to use it creatively some time in the future! The strength of being a neutral, perfect design is that it will never steal focus from whatever you put beside it. Happy birthday, Helvetica!
Helvetica - the film
BBC News: Helvetica at 50
Helvetica at MyFonts
There's also an aggressive ad for next conference, which will be in Copenhagen next year. [more]
Apart from doing the layout of the magazine (including the Copenhagen Crash ad), I wrote a single article for this issue - about the typographic one-day seminar at DGH (The Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark) in April. The text is below in this post, below a preview of the article, and I even published a Danish version some time ago also on this blog.
Type summit Copenhagen
On April 26th, six stars on the typographic sky met in Copenhagen to speak to 100 people from Danish design companies, media and design schools. The Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark hosted the TYPO:07 seminar.
By Lars Pryds
German designer Verena Gerlach was the first speaker, taking us on a fascinating trip through the city of Berlin, where she had studied the street signs in both East and West Berlin.
The East German signs were characterized by very narrow typography, in order to make room for the long names of the communist members who the streets were named after. Gerlach’s study had resulted in the font families FF Citystreet Types East and FF Citystreet Types West.
Another Gerlach font, FF Karbid, was inspired by the lettering of store signs and advertising, painted directly onto the wall. Most of the East Berlin signs disappeared when the Berlin wall fell in ‘89, but fortunately “Frau Gerlach” managed to photograph many of them before that.
Gerlach’s last project was Blinkenlights, in which the façade of an empty building were transformed into a large matrix, with a powerful lamp behind each window. The lamps were turned on or off by the public’s email or sms, controlled by a website and a large computer setup. With the right timing, anyone could actually send a message to one’s loved one and have it displayed in the windows, when “coincidentially” crossing the Alexander Platz next to the building. Gerlach was not the initiator of the project itself, but designed a font that took the name from (and based its design on) the Project Blinkenlights by the Chaos Computer Club
To read or to see, that’s the question
Dino dos Santos from Portugal gave a short introduction to his new typeface Leitura, which is the Portuguese word for reading. One of Dino dos Santos’ main concerns is that the font itself should be invisible, or at least – the type design should not shout louder than the content itself.
“What is invisible? If you use [the type], it is not invisible anymore.To read or to see the type, that’s the question. And Leitura was designed to be read, not seen”, Dino dos Santos said.
Fred Smeijers from Holland is well known for classic fonts like FF Quadraat and FF Arnhem. The latter is a.o. used in the Danish Book of Psalms, used in all churches in Denmark. Smeijers showed his very first hand drawn sketches for letterforms, and told us how – many years later – he only designed the sans version of Quadraat because a good friend teased him by saying that he “probably couldn’t do it”. That got him going…
The title of his presentation was “Why do we design and need new typefaces?”, but the answer to this question drowned somewhat in his walking us through interesting design examples. One suggestion could be: “Designers always look for new typefaces to make their work easier”.
When QUOTE – a modern lifestyle magazine – asked Smeijers to update his own design for their logo to match the content of a special luxury issue, he simply told them to “build” the logo in caviar, instead of having him redesign the very recently redesigned logo. That was his way of making his work easier!
Smeijers’ website www.ourtype.be is one of the advanced and elegant type websites this writer has seen in a very long time. In a user interface that mimics the look and feel of QuarkXpress or Indesign, it is possible to try out the company’s typefaces in a text field, capable even of holding different weights and/or fonts at the same time. An extremely useful “try-before-you-buy”-feature.
The Guardian – in many weights
Over the last few years, British newspaper The Guardian has won all possible design awards for the redesign carried out in 2005. One of the reasons for its success is – without a doubt – the very thorough typographic work, done by the American type designer Christian Schwartz in cooperation with Paul Barnes. Schwartz told us how.
What was originally meant as a simple format change, including a minor update of existing fonts, turned out very different. The project saw the birth of possibly the most extensive and most varied single typeface family ever commissioned by a newspaper, when old time work horses like Miller og Helvetica were replaced by Schwartz’ and Barnes’ 200 variations of Guardian Egyptian and Guardian Sans.
Sebastian Lester of Monotype Imaging in England also showed us examples from his early days of designing letters, some of which had the pure joy and optimism only student work can have. In adult life, Lester has worked at Monotype with far more precise designs – among these the Expert Sans and Serif, developed for the British bank Barclays. A TV commercial for the bank was especially dear to Sebastian Lester – as Jennifer Aniston played the leading part in the video – together with Lester’s typeface, of course!
Two speakers finished a long day in the company of fontaholic nerds by giving the audience two versions of typographic overview.
Vítor Quelhas from the Porto Polytechnic Institute in Portugal revealed his project dyntypo.com – a research heavy website with a large collection of works in the category “Moving type” – or interactiv typography. One example could be letterforms projected to the wall, but “sticking” to the silhuetto of a person walking by, others exercises to make type come to life on screen. All possible by intricate technology. Oddly, all of Vítor Quelhas’ presentation was in the form of very static slides, not one letter moved anywhere on the screen.
From Italy, Alessio Leonardi told the 120 year old story of Linotype, taken from his recently published book “A Line of Type”. The story of the inventor of the Linotype setting machine, Ottmar Mergenthaler, who revolutionized book printing in the 1880ies, told in the language of a cartoonist can be very entertaining, especially if you knew just a tiny bit about the history beforehand. If not, this was indeed a history lesson that never experienced a dull moment.
Verena Gerlach: www.fraugerlach.de
Project Blinkenlights: www.blinkenlights.de
Dino dos Santos: www.dstype.com
Fred Smeijers: www.ourtype.be
Christian Schwartz: www.christianschwartz.com
Sebastian Lester: www.seblester.co.uk - www.monotypefonts.com
Vítor Quelhas: www.dyntypo.com
Alessio Leonardi: www.buymyfonts.com
Den Grafiske Højskole (The Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark): www.dgh.dk
Note: Læs artiklen om TYPO:07 på dansk her:
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Saturday, 9 June 2007
This one has to be the photo of the day (or rather, yesterday) - Eva Lone in my sister's bike trailer. We had gathered friends and family to see Nina Maja's performance at Dansescenen, and on the way home Eva Lone squeezed herself into the narrow space of the trailer. The rest of the photos are from our home afterwards - wine fruit and cheese is almost always a good combination... Thanks for coming!
Design consultant Koos Staal, chief designer Ann-Britt Broström, and editors Lis Issa and Rolf Clausen discuss details and design elements in a Dutch tabloid, brought by Koos for inspiration.
Issa, Broström, and Editor in Chief Arne Steinmark look at design sketches for the front page.
Koos Staal, Ingeniøren's Chief of Production Ole Thomsen and Ann-Britt Broström discuss the possibility of going from a 6-column grid to a 5-column grid, and how this will work with the ad formats.
Thursday, 7 June 2007
The Hedy Lamarr-painting in the right window is mine.
Jan Gralle and Lisbeth (wearing new glasses) in front of three of my paintings.
Svend Bruun closes the door to the gallery securely.
The vernissage ended under the trees in the restaurant "Sommerhuset" with a t-bone steak and a beer.
Karina Bjerregaard - who designed and illustrated a book about Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen, written by Jan Gralle (above) - exhibits her work in Gallery Lisse Bruun for the first time.
Angelika Nissen, another of the gallery's artists.
The exhibition is open until June 30, 2007. More info
Wednesday, 6 June 2007
Tonight was the opening night of the show "Vaskeægte" by the Junior Company, in which our youngest daughter, Nina Maja, is one out of nine dancers. The premiere went just perfect - and in this photo*), Nina Maja is relaxing in front of the theatre ("Dansescenen") after the performance. The show Vaskeægte (or: Colour Fast) will be playing at Dansescenen on 6-9 June 2007.
Dansescenen is the centre for modern dance in Copenhagen, and Vaskeægte is ”a performance for the young with young performers – or for those who were once young… One looks forward and another looks back, No one really knows what the point is. They lose interest and begin to disperse. But they must and so they force themselves”, as the choreographer, Jannik Elkær Nielsen, puts it. More info at dansescenen.dk
The Junior Company ("Juniorkompagniet") was founded in Copenhagen in 1999, and is for dancers at the age of 14 to 18. The young dancers are challenged technaically, in stage performance and creativity. Apart from two annual shows in Copenhagen, the Junior Company has performed in Germany, Greenland, The United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Many of the dancers prepare themselves for the professional education at the Danish National School of Contemporary Dance
*) The show itself is, of course, protected by copyright, so there was no chance of taking photos. Too bad, really, because it was a great performance!!
Monday, 4 June 2007
"It is time for me to do so. All organizations should have a certain amount of rotation in order to get new ideas. Having the same people in charge too long, things may stagnate. And I don't want this to happen to the SNDS", Anna says.
The General Assembly in Stockholm unanimously elected the candidate of the election committee, Anders Tapola of Swedish newspaper Smålandsposten, as the new President of the SNDS. Congratulations, Anders!
New members of the board are Lars Andersson, Upsala Nya Tidning (Sweden) who will be in charge of the SNDS seminars, and Sissel Bigset Leira, Sunnmørsposten (Norway) who will be the organization's secretary. Remaining in their seats from last year are Vice President and Marita Granroth of HBL, Finland, tressurer Frank Stjerne of JP/Politikens Hus, Denmark. Auditor is still Knud Refsing Andersen, and the secretariat is still headed by Lone Jürgensen, both of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, Denmark, and deputy members of the board are: Lars Pryds (Denmark), Elin Madsen (Norway), Petri Salmén (Finland), and Anna Tjurfell (Sweden).
The photo (above) shows the new and the past president of SNDS. Anna is dressed in a traditional Swedish dress, sewn by her mother in cloth woven by her grandmother. The dress was given to Anna 25 years ago, and she wears it at very special occasions. This was indeed one!
Anders is in a t-shirt that was made for the Xtreme Dalahorse Makeover competition!
The Annual General Assembly is not a session that attracts many people (this year about 20) - but the spirits are high! And the real power lies in the right to elect the board. Think about that! In this photo, Ole Munk, Chairman of the Election Committee, presents the proposals of the committee.
Friday, 1 June 2007
Guests at a Remmen Hotel in Copenhagen are entitled to have a free copy of the hotel's 220 page magazine, with introductions to the art millieu in Copenhagen. Among others, the latest issue presents the galleries in the vicinity - among them Galleri Lisse Bruun. In the full page introduction to the gallery, one of two paintings is my "Hedy Lamarr" painting, which the gallery holds on commission.
The timing is great for the release of this publication, as I am one of the artists in Lisse Bruun's Summer Exhibition (and I even made the exhibition poster), and in August-September, I will have a solo show in the gallery, situated only about 100 m from the most prominent of the Remmen Hotels, the Hotel D'Angleterre at Kgs. Nytorv.
Remmen Hotels Magazine is a lifestyle magazine offered as an exclusive complimentary gift at Hotel D'Angleterre, Hotel Kong Frederik, Sophie Amalie Hotel, Restaurant Copenhagen and M/Y D'Angleterre II de Copenhague.
The magazine's editorial profile is an inspiring combination of background articles on Copenhagen, Danish design, classical lifestyle products, cars, movies, beauty, etc. Adding to this, there are articles on prominent people within the arts. Recurrent features are the extensive 'concierge section' with information on coming events in Copenhagen, an exclusive shopping guide, and a gastronomic voyage including signature recipes by the hotels' head chefs.