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The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
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~ Vol. 40 ~

Warm yourself with this edition of Quipsologies.


Noted without comment. [Thanks to updating victim John Stephenson for the screen shot]


Designer designed T-shirts for a cause at support.whoiscarrus.com.


The Anholt-GMI City Brands Index, released late last week, ranks the top 30 cities. Based on attributes like “Presence” (contribution to culture/science), “Place” (physical aspects), “Potential” (job/education opportunities), “Pulse” (urban lifestyle) and “People” (welcome/diversity), London kicked every city’s ass. The cities, in order of ranking, top to bottom: London, Paris, Sydney, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Madrid, Berlin, San Francisco, Toronto, Geneva, Washington, Brussels, Milan, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Prague, Hong Kong, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Mexico City, Moscow, Johannesburg, Cairo, Mumbai, Lagos. [Via Gothamist]


Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style is a must read. Now, Richard Rutter brings its principles, accompanied with HTML and CSS examples, to typography on the web.


Alec Wilkinson profiled Matthew Carter in the The New Yorker’s December 5th issue. The telling article paints a picture of Carter’s rise from apprentice to well-respected artisan.


Switzerland is to host a diplomatic conference next month aimed at approving a third emblem for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The long-standing controversy focuses on the symbol the Israeli first aid society — Magen David Adom — could use to identify itself for humanitarian missions in armed conflicts; so far the authorities have rejected the red cross used in most countries and the red crescent preferred by Muslim countries. And the winner is…


Xmas carols to keep gangs away.


One of my favorite Paul Rand-isms — used at least once a week — in response to statements like “I don’t know… I don’t like lime green” is to suggest that the other party is practicing “Magic and Superstition”. Well, it seems that I may need to reconsider.


Attention branding firms: The Consumers are Revolting!


Gay and Lesbian paperback artwork from the 50’s and 60’s.


Good architects borrow, great architects steal.


It’s most likely a hoax; but just imagine future versions with improved, um… sampling.


What dire offence from am’rous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things

Over the weekend on eBay, a collection of poetry by Alexander Pope (with an *ahem!* intriguing fore-edge painting) failed to meet its reserve.


Just be careful with the nuclear waste dump: how to turn your home into Moonbase Alpha.

A propos recent (and redundant) comments on the value of entering design competitions:

Established professions, academic disciplines, and other organized forms of cultural production periodically bestow honors and distinctions upon some of their members. These annual events represent more than just rituals that call the attention of specialist audiences and the interested public to the names of distinguished individuals. They are exercises of autonomous authority, by which the symbolic gatekeepers of each specialized field try to preempt the judgment of outsiders with their own.

Even in the most insulated fields, producers of culture seldom hold the ultimate “purse strings.” Symbolic rewards are therefore easier for them to control than material ones. If, as is often assumed, lack of control over material resources compromises creative freedom, symbolic rewards administered by creators themselves should, in contrast, encourage innovation. However, symbolic gatekeepers have their own personal standing and ideological positions to defend.

How the elites of a field deal with innovation may test their objectivity, but the autonomy of symbolic rewards systems resides elsewhere. Organized producers of culture affirm the superiority of their judgments by striving to establish a “feedback link” between that which they do control and that which they do not. The symbolic rewards that elites grant to their colleagues are intended to impress the elites’ judgments on relevant outsiders and to make the acquisition of material rewards more likely. In turn, achievements that bring fortune and public fame are reinterpreted in terms of a field’s specialized discourse so as to bring more symbolic recognition.

Magali Sarfatti Larson’s Behind the Postmodern Facade: Architectural Change in Late Twentieth-Century America is available online at the Callifornia Digital Library.


Also of interest in the Callifornia Digital Library are Writing Signs: The Fatimid Public Text by Irene A. Bierman (an exploration of Fatimid public text, or signage) and Victorian Literature and the Victorian Visual Imagination edited by Carol T. Christ and John O. Jordan.

Via Boing Boing comes this wonderful flickr set of old book and magazine illustration.

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ARCHIVE ID 2492 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Dec.12.2005 BY The Speak Up Authors
pedro vit’s comment is:

AdobeReader = Supercalifragilisticspiralidocius !!!!

On Dec.12.2005 at 01:37 PM
Ravenone’s comment is:

The elements of typographic style as applied to the web is definately going to be reading for me tonight. There are a lot of links here I'm going to have to look up, too. Always something interesting in the Quips topic, something unexpected, and possibly something educational.

...it's like my room when I'm trying to clean it. you never know what you'll find. Although, unlike my room, there seems to be some order to it.

On Dec.12.2005 at 03:28 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Curious synchronicity, Armin. Just this last week someone at lunch was trying to insist I read Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style". Of course, I was concentrating on the sushi instead. Damn good tuna.

I'll read it once I finish the manual on my new bafflingly complex fax/telephone machine. (the Chinese to English translation is so confusing.) I wish they would make it simple but that's asking for mercy...

On Dec.12.2005 at 10:38 PM
Plamen’s comment is:

I would go for the Red Cross issue and publish my opinion from elsewhere almost unedited.

The Red Cross / Crescent / Crystal symbols discussion would be conditioned by one very strong factor - the stupidity of humans (and religious extremism in particular). The cross as displayed in the Red Cross logo is not a symbol of the Christian church as religious denomination, yet the need and the existence of the red crescent symbol shows that in many parts of the world it is seen as such... and now comes the crystal to add to the belief that the cross stands for some religion.

It is caused by Israel's unwillingness to use the cross (and the crescent, which is understandable): vehicles marked with the Star of David, as ambulances in Israel currently, would supposedly not be welcome by people of other religion (Islaam), therefore the coming to life of the 'crystal'. But would a symbol as the crystal be better accepted by muslims, provided that they know it is a jewish medical help? IMHO, this is just another symbol of segregation.

On Dec.13.2005 at 03:45 AM
Ravenone’s comment is:

Re: Red Cross Symbols. Why don't they just change it to a giant red band-aid? Or a smiley face?

-- too tired to think further--

...Yes. A giant red Smiley. I'd go for that...I'd plaster it on everything first-aid related. Crosses are boring. SMILEYS ARE FRIENDLY, HELPFUL! UNIVERSAL. Foreget the red cross. Let's change it all to the RED SMILEY.

On Dec.13.2005 at 05:03 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

The Red Cross should have just changed their name to the Red Plus Sign

On Dec.14.2005 at 11:12 AM
Ravenone’s comment is:

But the Red Smiley would be a much Friendlier sign! Everyone loves smileys, and can recognise that Smiley=GOOD! Plus signs have the asosciation with Math, which if you're like me, is a stressfull thing; or with Christianity, which, well, the religious problems have been pointed out. So yes:

Let us forsake the Red Cross for the SMILEY!

On Dec.17.2005 at 03:52 AM