the newsstand in Berlin

Posted by sol in images, prattle

I love magazines, so every time I get out of my god forsaken town and find a proper newsstand I’m like a kid in a candy store. No scratch that. I’m like a kid in the iPad store. Anyway, I also love to look at shitty magazines:

1993? Hello! It’s 2012, we found one of your magazines here in the future, we thought you might want it back!

There’s a magazine for everyone, *everyone*. Cat lady? I’m talking to you.

Not one, not two, but THREE magazines about wristwatches. Because, you know, knowing what time it is is not enough.

And, in all fairness, I also spotted some gorgeous stuff, with lovely typography, so here, wash that cat smell off your eyes:


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TYPO Berlin 2012

Posted by sol in designer, globe-trotting, images

After 7 years I managed to go back to Berlin, and I had a perfect excuse to do it. The Typo conference is one of those things that the cool kids go to, all the designers and typographic heroes, including those whose fault it is that I got into this mess in the first place. So I indulged in a long weekend of design talks and I’m really lucky I could do it—I blame my amazing husband. Ok, here are some pictures:

As I left Thursday morning from Innsbruck Airport. SNOW!

The house der Kulturen der Welt, where the conference took place.

One of the first talks I attended, from Yves Peters, Belgium’s finest dancer and typography writer. Open Type features + Scripts = type porn. Also, made me think I have to redesign this blog which has looked like this since 2007.

Ruedi Baur, you might remember when I went to Paris to shoot this video here. Well, he’s the one who made me fall in love with the universe of wayfinding systems. His stuff is astonishing.

“Less with the necessary needless. Less with the necessary imperfection. Less with the necessary complexity”.

This was a superposter designed by Michael Schirner to promote the use of condoms in the times of the HIV epidemic. His talk was about art and design in advertising. It was entertaining but I’m always a bit uneasy about the boundaries between design, art and advertising. 

One of my favorite talks of the conference was by 2 of my typographic heroes, Paul van der Laan and Erik van Blockland and it was about the super fun TypeCooker. A random set of parameters to apply in drawing a font. Therapeutic and it really made the creative juices flow free. We were invited to hand in our drawings, which were then discussed on stage. I was so excited and I took a video of their critique of my monospaced-slab-serif-no-descenders-short-ascenders-flared-stems-one-ligature font. [I had *such* a great time drawing this, I will definitely develop it into something, perhaps my new uauage logo? yes, probably that]

I also won this jar of tipp ex and I was proud as a peacock.

The main theme of the conference was sustainability and there were some very inspiring things out there:

Ahhhh probably the best of the whole conference was this presentation by Andy Altman of Why Not Associates, about the Comedy Carpet Project in Blackpool (do yourself a favor and watch the video) which had the audience laughing hard and also clapping a lot. For me it was the whole new level of typesetting that was truly inspiring. And the saucy british humor.

[...] the Comedy Carpet is a celebration of British comedy on an extraordinary scale. The carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. Sited in front of Blackpool Tower, the 2,200m² work of art contains over 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete, pushing the boundaries of public art and typography to their limits. Why Not Associates co-founder Andy Altmann will present the sometimes not so funny story of the five year journey that led to it’s creation.

type setting. Like, really.

Matthew Butterick aka Typography for Lawyers did a great talk, in true American TV-preacher style about web typography, and though it was slightly OTT it was inspiring because it was about life and one’s expectations and hard work as much as it was about web fonts. And now I really have to redesign this shoddy blog.

Lupi Asensio and Martin Lorenz of showcased their work, and it was interesting to see how with potatoes, egg and onion you can either get tortilla de patata or kartoffelpuffer, all depending on the process you use, and how design is all about the process. I loved this design for the Helsinki Design Lab based on the idea of the common denominator (concept which, 6 years prior, Ruedi Baur used at the Beaubourg), and how they took inspiration for a visual identity of a somethingsomething in Jordan from the walls of common flatbed trucks in Amman.

I didn’t get to see much of berlin this time around and I have to say that DIN platz should’ve been Futura platz.

The closing talk of the conference was by Jessica Hische, who is a force of nature and in spite of her borderline annoying ultra american-ness, one cannot help but love her. And what she does is done with such passion and dedication it’s truly inspiring.




Posted by sol in designer

“where do ideas come from?
from looking at one thing and seeing another
speculating, changing, pulling, transforming
and if you’re lucky
you come out with something maybe worth saving, using and building on
that’s when the game stops and that’s when the work begins…
and if you’re patient
there will come that moment
when you’re eating an apple
the solution presents itself politely
and says

‘here i am.’

saul bass —

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Off season ornaments

Posted by sol in craftulence, my sons are smarter than me

Pinterest has saved me in more than one occasion. This time, it saved me from greasy counters and an inmoral waste of butter and sugar.
My kids love making cookies, I think cookie cutters are their favorite way of making things right now, but I’m always hesitant about making actual cookies because a)I end up eating them and b)a is enough.
This salt dough is amazing. It’s one part salt, one part water, 2 parts flour. It becomes rock solid and it’s much cleaner to work with. Also, cheaper.

The cookies are baked for 2 hours at 100°C

We actually made these a week ago, and this week we finally painted them.

The monochromatic ones are mine. I think what kids love most of painting is mixing the colors into shades of brown unknown to the human eye.

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Posted by sol in craftulence, designer, I wanted to be an architect

I know it is insane to nourish feelings of love towards an inanimate object, but this sofa does exactly that to me. I’m not sure if it was the simplicity of the frame, or the fact that it’s soft without being blobby, but I think it’s an amazing design. (It’s such a shame that it costs what a worker makes in a year. I think the Bouroullec Bros or Vitra or both just lost their marbles.)

Anyway, for technologies class (if you think it’s my favourite class ever, you guessed right) I’m making a little… replica? It’s just a case study, don’t sue me. Today I made a version of the love seat on a scale of 1:10. It’s my new baby:

I used Quicksteel to put the frame together. I also drew a 3D version and I’ll threedeeprint it tomorrow.

I used light foam rubber and a 1€ ikea fleece blanket to sew the cushions and walls.

The zippers that hold the walls together are a great touch and I wanted to keep it in my model so I.wentout.and.bought.two.tiny.zippers.

I can’t wait to make an actual love seat like this for the boys’ room. They saw this tiny one and Damiano approved.