Category: Typography

22 May 2017
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For those who say, ‘Design doesn’t matter’

Recently, someone asked me what I like about being a graphic designer. My wheels started spinning because there are so many reasons. Besides the fact that I’m obsessed with color and typography, design, in my humble opinion, affects almost every aspect of our lives. Design is not just about making things look pretty (although, that is part of it). Design is about functionality, making things work or read a certain way so anyone can understand.

For instance, have you ever seen a parking sign that had so many words and symbols on it you couldn’t read at a quick glance if you’re allowed to park there? That’s because the sign was poorly designed. What about a door that says “Push” but has a pull handle? Bad design. Or the image above where the insect poison and cooking spray look the same?

Very. Bad. Design. I’m all for brand consistency, but that’s just dangerous.

Remember in 2015 when Steve Harvey announced the wrong name for the winner of Miss Universe? Look at the card he was reading from…

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At first glance, it’s a bit confusing. And whether the card was the reason for the screw up or not, there probably would have been a lot less confusion if the card was more appropriately designed and laid out.

Poor design leads to confusion, frustration, and even embarrassment in Steve Harvey’s case. If your brand is associated with flawed design or faulty functionality, it could cost you, in more ways than one. I think good design often gets overlooked because it does what it’s supposed to do: deliver the right message or function properly. As a designer, I constantly try to be more aware of what good design looks like and how it functions, and can appreciate it more.

Being a designer is both a blessing and a curse. I flip through a magazine, and I don’t look at the pictures or read the articles. I applaud the layout, column, and grid structure. I buy certain products over others because I like the packaging design. And I can’t go to a restaurant without admiring or gawking at the typography and hierarchy on the menu (it’s a sickness, really).

Putting my design-related OCD aside, I love being a designer because design impacts our lives positively or negatively every day, and I want to be a part of creating positive experiences. I’m relatively new here at bloomfield knoble, but I’m glad to be a part of a team that supports and understands the intricacies and importance of good design.

 

12 Aug 2014
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Look Out Below!

Choosing a typeface for any project can sometimes prove to be a cumbersome task. Not only do you have to identify the type of typeface (e.g. serif, sans serif, script, display, slab serif—the list goes on and on), but you also have to make sure you don’t pick a dud! A poorly chosen typeface can really sandbag your creative efforts. It’s almost as important to know the bad typefaces as it is to know which ones are great. Truthfully, the design world is almost over-saturated with thousands of different typeface choices, but luckily, a vast majority of designers actually agree on the worst typefaces to use. Below is a short list of what we think are the ones you should avoid.

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 About The Author

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Andy Edwards is an Associate Art Director with bloomfield knoble. His interests include shredding on the guitar, pumping iron and, of course, beer. At bk, he is the wearer of many “hats” (figuratively, not literally, of course), in which he especially contributes his creative eye to design and video production. The Force is strong with him.
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

04 Mar 2014
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One Helvetica life

One of my greatest inspirations, Mike Parker, died last Sunday, February 23rd at the ripe old age of 85. He has been described as “the font god” which, to be fair, is probably an accurate description for the man who helped bring Helvetica to the world. However, he is also credited with the development of more than 1,100 typefaces while at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company.

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Image by Ben Blinman – DeviantArt

What is it about the Swiss and their sans serif typefaces? Helvetica emerged from Switzerland in 1957 and went out to shape the modern world. The Helvetica typeface would sort out not just transport systems, but whole cities. The font appeared as Europe emerged from the shadow of World War II and was already making strong contributions to midcentury modernism. Helvetica was perfectly suited to this period, and its use reflected another pervasive force of the age–the coming of mass travel and modern consumerism.

Helvetica is a font of such practicality and beauty that it is both ubiquitous and something of a cult. The typeface even inspired a compelling and successful movie (Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica), whose premise is that on the streets of the world, the font is like oxygen; you have little choice but to breathe it in.

To entrench something so deeply into a society takes a level of understanding and passion that is hard to describe. So I will not begin to try. I will simply let Mike Parker do it himself.

“When you talk about the design of Haas Neue Grotesk or Helvetic, what it’s all about is the interrelationship of the negative shape, the figure-ground relationship, the shapes between characters and within characters, with the black, if you like, with the inked surface. And the Swiss pay more attention to the background, so that the counters and the space between characters just hold the letters. I mean, you can’t imagine anything moving; it is so firm. It is not a letter that bent to shape; it’s a letter that lives in a powerful matrix of surrounding space. It’s… oh, it’s brilliant when it’s done well.” Helvetica (2007), directed by Gary Hustwit

Every person is affected by Helvetica in some way. Whether you’re taking the bus, shopping for clothesenjoying a meal, or even decorating the offices here at bloomfield knoble (see below), Helvetica is part of your life in some way.

Thank you Mike Parker for making the world easier to read.

 

 


 About The Author

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Clark Bachelot is a Senior Art Director with bloomfield knoble. His passions include cajun cooking, the outdoors and beer. In his role at bk, he likes to inspire audiences with his design and focuses on “usability” to make sure the targets of his creative understand what action to take. He is not very good at Fantasy Football.
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Las Colinas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.