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Trajan at the Movies!

April 19, 2012
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In the blog I Love Typography (which has only a slightly less cool name then my blog) John discusses the prevalence of the typeface Trajan in movie posters. Whether movie posters designers are getting lazy or not doesn’t seem to be the sole reason for this. Trajan is a very great choice for many movies that need a strong typeface for the title with a nice sharpened/angular serif. Here are some examples from the past.



There is an entire set of photos on Flickr devoted to finding movie posters that use Trajan. However, after looking through them, it seems the 163 posters they have is blown out a little too much. Many of the posters in the collection aren’t even close to Trajan.

Looking at this trend, I have to believe that movie poster designers need to get more clever with the typefaces they either chose to use or have made for the movie. Movies these days are huge endeavors, often with budgets in the nine-figures. The movie Avatar had it’s own typeface designed for the films native language that was used for subtitles (which looked surprisingly akin to Papyrus). Trajan is a beautiful typeface that has been around for over twenty years, but it is absolutely time to move on.

When looking at a new movie, I would imagine it would be easy to use Trajan. The great weight distribution on the stems of the letters, the beautiful serifs that scream edginess and sophistication all at once, and finally the fact that it’s completely in caps and small caps. It really does make a great type for a movie. But with the money being tossed around in that field, there is no reason that more thought shouldn’t be put into them, resulting in less similarity among typefaces chosen.

One of my recent favorite typefaces is a beautiful serif typeface named Archer. I tend to resort to it when designing something for myself, or even writing something. It has nice even weight serifs that are modern, yet classy. Really a beautiful typeface. But when I see myself using it, I force myself to examine why I’m using it, and if not for a good reason, to examine a new one to select. It’s all part of the process of expanding your design repertoire.


Just because a typeface looks good in a situation doesn’t mean it’s the right one for it. All type faces had personalities, and just like people, you have to make sure the personalities of the type and the project mesh, or you will get a chaotic final product.



May 27, 2010
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So I’ve decided to start using Tumblr instead of WordPress. You can follow me at See you on the other side!

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Control With My Mind?

January 30, 2010
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While Apple just released the multi-touch Magic Mouse, the next generation of mouse technology is just around the corner. The Airmouse, a “lightweight durable fabric that seamlessly aligns itself with the ligaments of your hand and wrist” has been in just about every tech blog in the last month or so. It does look a little uncomfortable though, just holding your hand in midair. But first generations of new tech releases always have a lot of bugs to work out. However, for people interested in the Airmouse, they should start looking in six to twelve months and should expect to spend upwards of $125.

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Hard To Ignore

January 29, 2010
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While I am as devout an Apple buyer as anyone I know, it’s hard to ignore the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ability to give far more than anything else you’ve seen. Today, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $10bn over the next 10 years to create vaccines for children. Gates announced this at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He wants to see a total of 90% of children around the world immunized against typical deseases.

GPS for the Human Body

January 28, 2010
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Announced by the University of Twente in the Netherlands, researchers had designed a virtual GPS system for the body to be used by surgeons. The TLEMsafe System would give surgeons and doctors a complete 3D view of the body before they would have to perform surgery. However, another team at the University of Colorado is also developing a similar system that would allow surgeons to see complete 3D versions of arteries and any blockages there may be. And while the University of Twente team says it should be ready for human testing in four years, the University of Colorado team is already doing human testing. This seems like a huge step forward in surgical technology. Courtesy of Engadget.

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It Was the Best Night Ever

January 28, 2010
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Every Monday night on CBS is my favorite show of the last decade, and the follow-up to last decades biggest sitcom, Friends. How I Met Your Mother is one of the most uniquely written and produced show in the last few years. It follows the story of Ted, a man searching for his eventual wife and his four best friends. They are all in their mid-twenties and live in New York City. What the show does so uniquely is use cut-scenes, flash-backs and alternate telling of stories.

What the show also does so creatively is creating internet add-ons for any sort of website that has been created in show. This has not happened on just one or two occasions, its happened a total of fourteen times through the shows creation. Some of the websites created to coincide with the show are: Barney’s Blog, Barney’s Twitter, Swarley, Ted Mosby is a Jerk, Lily and Marshall Sell Their Stuff, Guy Forces His Wife to Dress to Dress in a Garbage Bag for the Next Three Years, and several others. The show drove so much traffic to these websites that several of them went down because of too much traffic. One of my favorite ones though, has to be a music video created for a music montage on a season 4 episode.

The shows creators actually released two books to go along with the show, one being The Bro Code, a thing often referenced in the show by Barney, one of the shows main characters. The other book was The Playbook was the second book released, which chronicles Barney’s different “plays” when trying to pick up women. CBS does a fantastic job at creating other venues for the show to publicize it, and if you check out the Wikipedia article for the show, all of the websites are laid out for you.

Video Games are No Longer Just Games

January 28, 2010
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Having received a PS3 for Christmas, I am being reconnected to the world of video games for the first time since I owned my last system; an N64 in 7th grade. However, things are not what they once were. Games are not just games, they a franchises. One of the biggest Ps3 franchises is a game set titled Uncharted. Both games have been given the respective title of “Game of the Year” in the respective year they were released (07 & 09). Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was the first game, and it follows the quest of Nathan Drake, a fortune hunter who recovers the coffin of Sir Francis Drake, an explorer. The game is following the themes of Indiana Jones and Laura Croft. Drake himself is modeled after a young Harrison Ford and Johnny Knoxville. In the second outing of the franchise, Uncharted: Among Thieves, Drake is again thrown into action and adventure when he searches for the Lost Treasure of Marco Polo. With the release of Among Thieves, not only was it declared the best PS3 game of all time, but the franchise was voted the best that the PS3 had to offer.

The praise that this franchise has had has led to many other opportunities, including a movie deal with Colombia Pictures that will be put together in the next few years. While this may be the time of the comic book movies, very few video games are made into movies, and even less into successful ones. But Uncharted is taking the plunge into moviedom, and with the popularity of it, it may become the next big thing.

Case 1. Mass Customization

January 27, 2010
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Nike ID and Puma, two of the largest providers of athletic footwear in the world, and seemingly, two very different methods of creating shoes. With the passing of mass production comes the rise of mass customization. Allowing customers to chose every little aspect of a product allows them to identify far greater with it and makes them more likely to make a purchase. Consumers like when they can see themselves in a product, and with the inovation of Nike ID and Puma’s Mongolian BBQ, we have that not for the athletic shoe industry, but with athletic products in whole.

Nike ID: With literally dozens, maybe hundreds of base models of shoes to start with, I am immediately impressed with that fact that you can customize the color pattern for any time of Nike shoe. I have gone with the limited edition Jordan, being a Michael Jordan fan and liking the look of the shoe. The Nike ID process does not fall short on my expectations, except with maybe color options, not providing any ‘Celtics green’ color. For the shoes I selected, you can customize the color on about 12 different parts of the shoe, as well as inserting a custom ID tag on the side or back of the shoe. There was the option to get (RED) laces and donating money to the charity, which I thought was a nice touch. One of the nicer features of the Nike ID program was the ability to take your show, add a cool graphic background, and make a wallpaper out of it. Not only does it allow you to look at the show until you want it so bad you cry, but  it presents the shoe in a professionally graphic looking fashion that looks good on Nike. Here is what I created.

Puma Mongolian BBQ: First off, I did not understand the name at all. After looking at the website, it seems that they are attempting to differentiate themselves from the competition, but it seems out of leftfield to me. When I got past that, you realize how much more simple this is to navigate, asking you right up front what size your foot was, if you were a male or a female, and then giving you the options. This is the weak point of the Puma shoe customization. Where at Nike you have probably a hundred options, you have only three for Puma, all with very different looks. When you do pick a shoe model, you than move into picking colors and patterns. Puma’s customization allows you to get far more in depth with color choices, making 20 or so spots that needed choice. And with Puma, you are not getting typical colors of red, green and blue. There are a lot of patterns, metallic colors and textures. It creates a very interesting show when all put together. And now you can see what I did with Puma’s Mongolian BBQ.

What you can’t see from the photo of my Puma shoe above, is that I had to copy a screenshot of my completed shoe onto my desktop and that crop out the rest of the page. It was far more of a hastle that getting a nice, professional looking wallpaper from Nike.

While seeming doing the same thing, customizing athelic shoes, Nike and Puma have found ways to do it completely differently. It seems to me that Nike has taken a slightly more complicated fashion of customization, that ultimately gives the consumer a lot more options to work with in all areas.

However, I believe both systems are good ways of conveying this interesting product model to the consumer. It is just a matter of brand preference which company you should go with, and while I like Puma, I have been a Nike user for most of my life.

But the model of mass customization should be greately payed attention to, with technology and apparel being at the front of this. I see many industried following in their footsteps, while many have already made the change over.

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