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Stability In Detail

Doyald Young

A legend amongst logotype designers, Young was happiest when sitting at his desk drawing letters. His love of detail made the hours put into the beautifully delicate typefaces that he designed seem not a chore but a genuinely enjoyable task. “Despite the fact that I call myself a logotype designer, I’m delighted to say that my life revolves around typography.” A man truly involved in his career, Young’s fascination with script and typography as an undeniably important part of the history of mankind carried through in all that he read and talked about. It became such an intrinsic part of who he was that he went as far as to describe it as a source of stability in his life; typography being something that has remained, at its core, unchanged, for centuries. This desire for stability apparently stemmed from the fact that his father moved them around much when Young was little. Now, why design a completely new typeface for each logo, what with the hundreds of fonts that have already been done? Besides a series of technical reasons, Young put emphasis on the importance of “custom”. After all, to provide a unique logo, oftentimes there is a need for a lettering that is tailored to fit the exact design. It’s all in the details.

“I love to draw letters! I found out that I did; it pleased me. I think it goes back to basic personality. For instance, I have a love of detail.”


“It shouldn’t have a meaning of its own. The meaning is in the text itself.” “Type should be neutral.”

“Don’t confuse legibility with communication.” “There’s a very thin line between simple and clean and powerful, and simple and clean and

I find it interesting that such a neutral font could become so controversial in the world of typographic design. In the documentary—sadly, I can’t remember who it was that said it—, one of the designers, who clearly has little if nothing against Helvetica, said that you whether you write I love you, or I hate you, the phrases will be equally expressive to the viewer.

What I found especially interesting, however, was the radically different opinion of designers on the other side of the spectrum. Some of my favorite quotes from the arguments they made (once again, I don’t have any names) were like a counterattack against the previous quote.


I find it interesting how one can take refuge in their own insecurities. Go around in circles, as if the graceful avoidance of a direct answer was satisfactory as much for the one asking the uncomfortable question as for ourselves. “Where am I going with design?” Starts Milton Glaser, “That’s a hard question, because none of us has really the ability to understand our parg until it’s over.” Profound. And yet I can’t help but feel like it was Glaser’s way of dancing around the issue. However, as much as his previous statement left me hanging, he came back with one that I really did like. “If you can sustain your interest in what you’re doing, you’re and extremely fortunate person.”

ING “EVERYTH

I DO


O ME.” T K C A B COMES ALWAYS

I especially liked the part where Stefan Sagmeister listed a list of things he’s learned in his life. All menial things; all things that apply to everything and nothing. None of them are specific to any particular person, but all of them are applicable to everyone’s daily life. For this reason, I chose to see his list of things learned under the light of a writer and an art student. From the lessons that Sagmeister recited, a few of my favorites were: “Assuming is stifling.” “My dreams have no meaning.” And then, of course: “Everybody thinks they are right.” Carlota de Caralt


Marian Bantjes I think what really stuck with me after watching the documentary was her self-confidence. She obviously knows what she’s doing, and is certain that she will do a good job. She trusts herself. What was most surprising was that it wasn’t arrogance. She wasn’t bragging about her work. If anything, when she talked about how fantastic an idea she’d had was, her tone was more excited at the thought than self-indulging. Someone with that kind of self-awareness who doesn’t need to throw their accomplishments in other people’s faces in order to feel superior is extremely rare. Marian Bantjes is well known in the graphic design world for her unique and innovative style. Some almost go as far as to call the amount of care and effort that she puts into her projects obsessive. And yet despite her fame, the positive response to her work only seems to fuel her confidence without letting her arrogance get in the way. Of course, it still does wonderful things to her ego. But that is not such a bad thing. After all, ego is only a word to express ‘self ’; whether you allow that ego to swell and take over your objectivity is a completely different matter. — Carlota de Caralt


Margo Chase I used to watch Charmed when I was younger, so needless to say I was equal amounts of surprised and excited to find out who had designed the title for the show. It was interesting to see the workspace of a designer, to have them explain what they do to get inspiration.

companies with the services that they commissioned, but also trying to make them self-sufficient once their job is done. It’s a risky idea. However, like Margo later mentioned, it’s a risk you have to take, and hope that they use what you gave them well, and that it will not result in embarrassing your own company.

She is clearly partial to Gothic style, even though it scares her to to be stuck as the graphic designer that only makes logos in that particular style. It’s an understandable concern, no one can really help their own preferences. The system they explained that they used to understand what the client wants, trying their best to disregard their own bias was very interesting.

It was interesting to see behind the scenes of a business like Chase’s, I learned much about the details that are easy to overlook without the experience they had. It definitely got me thinking about what my work will look beyond the last touch in the computer. Very educational.

Psychographic maps, they called them. A way to get inside the client’s head and figure out their “sweet spot”, their aspirations. It had never occurred to me to create a persona that is specific to each commission. I for one, can agree that it would be hard for me to come up with ideas if I didn’t like the colorscheme I was given to work with. Beyond the thinking process that Chase talked about, I found that their “teach them how to fish” mentality is an admirable idea. Not only are they providing the

Carlota de Caralt


KIT HINRICHS Illustration is something that I’ve been interested in for some time now. I used to read comics when I was younger, and it always amazed me how much could be conveyed with the images alone. Half the time, I didn’t even bother reading the speech bubbles! Kit Hinrichs uses illustration in a different way; it’s typographical. And yet, it still serves the same purpose, which is why I really find the fact that they titled his biographical poster as “The Storyteller” very appropriate. It fits him. Besides the fact that he has the right face for that kind of character, it really conveys his fascination with faces themselves. Storytelling works so much better when you have a face to put to the story, after all. It’s not a style that I can say I would use, but it has definitely gotten me more motivated to try and find a way to illustrate that is more personal and unique to myself.

OF FACES AND STORIES


STEFAN G BUCHER “Whenever I hear people talk about their characters as real things, it’s so [...] annoying. But now that I make these characters every day, it’s hard to resist because they do have a life of their own. I’m just the caretaker.” Out of everything Stefan G Bucher said in the documentary, this is what stood out the most to me. It’s something that I personally can relate to, since I’ve had people look at me weird when I start talking about the characters of my story like I just met them for lunch and had a little chat with them about what’s going on in their lives. I may not have a unique style like Bucher, and my characters may not be as quirky, but to me they are as real as any person I see walking down the street. I think that’s one of the things I love about illustration. Once you put a character down on paper, it suddenly becomes something more than an idea. It’s out there. It’s real. Just like everyone else.

Carlota de Caralt


R&R—Carlota de Caralt