Tag Archives | Graphic Design

ZXX: A Typeface To Resist Surveillance

zxxAvailable for free download, designer Sang Mun’s ZXX fonts are examples of how to elude character-recognizing artificial intelligence in style:

During my service in the Korean military, I worked as special intelligence personnel for the NSA, learning first-hand how to extract information from defense targets. Now, as a designer, I am influenced by these experiences continue the evolution of my own thinking about censorship, surveillance, and a free society.

Over the course of a year, I researched and created ZXX, a disruptive typeface that would be unreadable by text scanning software. It takes its name from the Library of Congress’ listing of three-letter codes denoting which language a book is written in. Code “ZXX” is used when there is: “No linguistic content; Not applicable.”

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Frustro: The Impossible Typeface

Imagine the experience of reading something printed in Frustro…a font that captures the illusory nature of our daily world. Hopefully available for your use soon, it was conceived to perfectly embody impossibility. Via Jeannie Jeannie:

Hungarian designer Martzi Hegedűs has created a single typeface, titled Frustro, on the sole premise of making it impossible. He imagined each letter as an extension of the Penrose triangle (an impossible object whose creator deemed it “impossibility in its purest form”) the type appears to be facing two different directions simultaneously.

frustrotype

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A Guide To Getting Lost

Maps and directions are virtually worthless, as they have become ubiquitous. But what about the incomparable sensation of being lost? Much harder to come by. That’s where this guide comes in. (Eventually taking you back to where you started.) Via Pop-Up City:

Recent Chelsea College of Art & Design graduate Dan Cottrell has created a guide for the sole aim of getting lost. Pyschogeography is nothing new, but AWOL provides a beautifully simple design approach to the subject.

AWOL comes as a pack, consisting of a compass that doesn’t work, a simple poster and and a map that feature algorithmic walks, which always lovingly return you to your departure point – ensuring you can explore your surroundings worry-free.

lostguide

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The Semi-Genius Of Illusion Illusions

Is the center circle at left larger than the center circle at right? How about this: are there gray spots between the corners of black squares?

Illusions are tricks that play off of the ways our brains typically process sensory information. The problem is that many of them have become clichéd. Hence illusion illusions — illusions that play off of the illusions we’re used to seeing. See the angry-comment-provoking Flickr set.

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Iran Says Olympic Logo Spells ‘Zion’

iran-claims-london-2012-olympics-logo-spells-the--4621-1298971679-1London’s much-maligned logo for the 2012 Olympics is a bit of a Rorschach test, as large numbers of people have claimed it resembles everything from a swastika to Lisa Simpson performing a sexual act. Now Iran has logged a formal complaint and is threatening to boycott the Olympic Games, as word spreads that the graphic in fact reads, “ZION”, the Guardian reports. (To me, it is clearly the Twin Towers collapsing.)

In a formal complaint to the International Olympic Committee, Tehran has called for the graphic to be replaced and its designers “confronted”, warning that Iranian athletes might otherwise be ordered to stay away from the London Games.

According to the state-backed Iranian Students News Agency, which is frequently used to convey official pronouncements, the letter says: “As internet documents have proved, using the word Zion in the logo of the 2012 Olympic Games is a disgracing action and against the Olympics’ valuable mottos.

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The Space Jam Website: A Surreal Slice Of Internet History

liveanim8In 1996, Warner Brothers was on the cutting edge by building a “web site” to promote its new blockbuster film Space Jam. Since then, the site has been neither updated nor removed, but remains gloriously preserved, a fascinating museum piece showcasing what the internet looked like in its dark days fifteen years ago. There’s GeoCities-style web design, a slightly hallucinogenic swirl of animated graphics, goofy audio clips, garish patterns, screen savers, and difficult-to-navigate frames within frames — it’s amazing to think it was created for a billion-dollar, multinational media conglomerate. Gather any nearby teenagers for a history lesson and explore one of my favorite recent online discoveries, the Space Jam homepage.

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Hitler’s Graphic Design Manual

Nazi-2_525The spookiest graphic design instruction book ever? Steve Heller of Design Observer recently hunted down the Third Reich’s 70-page, full-color style manual for the proper use of Nazi insignia, graphics, and typefaces. This is how fascism created its appealing visual identity:

Designers and design historians told me over the years that they had heard about the existence of a Nazi graphics standards manual. No one could say they actually saw it, but they knew of someone who had. So it grew into something of a Big Foot or Loch Ness Monster tale, until one day I actually saw it too – and it had been right under my nose the whole time.

I had envisioned a manual of the kind that Lester Beall did for International Paper or Paul Rand did for IBM, showing acceptable logo weights and sizes, corporate typefaces and colors. I was so familiar with these standards manuals, that it never even occurred to me they were postwar formats — and decidedly modern.

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