Are you a bookfuturist?

Old news but good news:

I also want Bookfuturism.com to be a kind of social network for Bookfuturists like me. There are clear markets for writing by techno­logical triumphalists (I call these guys and girls technofuturists) and doomsayers (when it comes to reading, this group can be called book­servatives). It’s easy to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to new technology; it’s a lot harder to try to engage with its strengths and weaknesses, to think of ways it could work better, to situate it in his­tory, to study its effect on a culture.
Continue reading “Are you a bookfuturist?”

Do circuit diagrams count?

DrawMo! thumbnails

Yes, folks, once again it’s that magical time of year: only six days until DrawMo! 2008!

Who: People of the Internets
What: Try to make at least one drawing a day for a month
Where: Offline, online, on blogs, on Flickr, wherever
When: November 1–30
Why: Because it’s fun

To join the DrawMo! group blog, send me an e-mail or leave a comment here or there. You can also join the Flickr group.

I have no idea how I’m going to make time for it this year, since I’m already, like, totally overscheduled, but I’ll certainly try.

The Charles Montgomery Burns Award for Blogging

Last week Stephen Tiano was so kind as to select this blog as one of ten he rated “Excellent,” as part of a pay-it-forward linky thing. Thanks, Steve!

I’m not sure I like the Enron-style logo for the project—

Excellent blog logo

—but I certainly appreciate the kind notice.

Some of the relevant sites that I follow have already been flagged for this thing:

I Love Typography
words / myth / ampers & virgule
Publishing Careers
The Penguin Blog

and I’ve discovered a few new ones by clicking back through the previous honorees. Yay! That’s the point.

But here are ten that I don’t think are duplicates:

  • Cozy Lummox — Eric Skillman’s design process blog. Eric is becoming, like, totally famous.
  • Zina Saunders @ Drawger — Not only beautiful artwork, but also interesting interviews with artists and art directors
  • Right-reading — Tom Christensen’s eclectic mix of mostly book-related stuff
  • Smashing Magazine — Is it a blog? Is it a magazine? I don’t know, but it’s been really useful.
  • Bittbox — Strangely impersonal—posts are written in the first person, but I can’t figure out who that “I” refers to—but, again, who cares? Lots of useful stuff.
  • Copyranter — Possibly the only upside to the world’s being plastered with advertising is that it fuels a constant stream of criticism from Copyranter, much of which amuses me. (As a bonus, his office is somewhere within a block of mine—maybe in the same building—so I’ve winced firsthand at many of the ads he skewers.)
  • Coudal Partners — “If browsing around here while at work has had a negative effect on your productivity we’re sorry but imagine what it’s done to ours.” No kidding. I find it hard to believe that they’re actually a functioning design firm, with all the blogging they do.
  • Chris Glass — I don’t know how Chris gets any work done, either, but he’s got a great del.icio.us feed, and now also a glass tumblr.
  • Elisabethsblog — Okay, so it’s in Norwegian (how peculiar!); but most of the sites she highlights are in English, so just click each link and see where you end up.
  • Throwing Music — Totally off-topic, but as I mentioned over at Clusterflock, I am really in love with the writing of Kristin Hersh (of the bands Throwing Muses and 50FootWave, as well as a distinguished solo career). She sends out gorgeous letters to her e-mail list, too. Today’s was brilliant.
  • Clusterflock — Which it’s “a group blog dedicated to pretty much everything; by people you would like to meet at a party; . . . dedicated to culture: art, design, music, food, architecture, science, travel, movies, books, typography, politics, etc.; inclusive of geezers!; a delightful mixture of orange words and pictures of well, the insides of a stuffed animal—delightful all the same.” Something for everyone, though perhaps not all on the same day.

Um, okay, that was eleven. But this kind of thing is extremely difficult for a scatterbrain who has more than 400 feeds in her RSS reader. Ask me again tomorrow; I’ll have a different list.

Yap, yap, yap

Operator by Jeremy Brooks, at Flickr

John Oliver Coffey dropped me an e-mail the other morning about a new discussion forum for typesetters, aptly called . . . Typesetter Forum. It’s

a new (and free) forum for questions, answers and opinions related to the publishing industry with particular emphasis on typesetting.

Its not exactly a free-for-all (will be lightly moderated) and is oriented towards collaboration . . . and solving common typesetting challenges whether in applications or techniques. We will also post jobs, contracts, news and resources for everyone interested in the industry.

So, of course, because I was supposed to be getting ready for work, I decided to check the site out instead. Continue reading “Yap, yap, yap”

Start sharpening your pencils!

Ceci n’est pas un oignon

Only two weeks to go until DrawMo! 2007, the project wherein interested parties try to make at least one drawing a day for the month of November. A dozen brave sketchers joined me on the group blog last fall, and I know that several others followed along at Flickr, on their own blogs, or (gasp) offline.

You, too, can draw more during DrawMo!

You do not have to participate publicly; it’s just more fun that way. To join the group blog, send me an e-mail or leave a comment over there. You can also join the Flickr group.

Become a Drawmonaut today!

[Cross-posted to Clusterflock]

Why join AIGA?

clubhouse sign

A few weeks ago, I got a wild hair you-know-where to join AIGA, “the professional association for design.” I figured I’d join for a year, go to all the NYC events, participate as much as I could stand, and then reup only if it seemed valuable.

So I poked around on the AIGA and AIGA/NY websites to refresh my memory on what they do, and then I went to the membership sign-up section. And then my wild hair totally unkinked itself.

$295 a year? Oh, never mind. I guess I’m not serious about design, after all.
Continue reading “Why join AIGA?”

TypeCon 2007 in 100 words or less

detail of typo-peppered map in Freeway Park, Seattle

“I love Quark, but . . . at some point you gotta stop hitting yourself on the head with a hammer.”

Calli means ‘good’ and graphy means ‘writing,’ so calligraphy means ‘beautiful writing.’ Isn’t that neat?”

Because some users don’t know how to type curly quotes instead of straight ones, you should make fonts whose straight quotes are the same as the curly ones—are you !@#$% kidding me?

Cabarga talks softly, is clever with Illustrator.

Elements 3E signed by Bringhurst!

Hotels with lousy Internet must die.

Many pretty Mexican typefaces.

Anything is interesting for only twenty minutes—almost.

See you in Seattle?

Elephant Super Car Wash

Anybody going to TypeCon?

Despite saying last year that “I probably won’t go again,” and despite adding a mental “and especially to the one in Seattle,”* I just registered for, oops, the conference in Seattle. Because I realized that the way things are shaking out, otherwise I’ll end up not taking any summer vacation, and that’s just sad.

So I’ll drag myself out there for a week, see some friends, and maybe visit Vancouver. But also, because I’m already committed to flying across the country, staying in a hotel, and taking days off from work, this year I will be attending two full days of workshops (including “Bezier Curves for Cowards”!!), which I think will make the whole expedition much more fun and worthwhile.

And you?

Photo: elephant car wash by Jason Brackins; some rights reserved.

  • Lived there for a year. Didn’t like it.

How do you find out about design-related stuff?

Advice

Book designer B., soon moving to New York, wrote today to inquire,

  1. How do you find design jobs?
  2. How do you find out about groups to join for discussing design, books, etc., and for going with to conferences/seminars/talks?
  3. What are your favorite sites for knowing when design-related things are happening?

I get asked this first question every few months, and perhaps you do, too. My answer is always something along the lines of—

I also sometimes recommend that people contact the Lynne Palmer agency, which is a headhunter specifically for book publishing. I’ve never gotten a job through them, except through the power of Magical Thinking—whenever I contact them, I get offered a job by someone else—but I do know that they get cool listings that you will not find online.

For the second and third questions, I have no idea. I skim so many design blogs’ RSS feeds that if something worthwhile is going on, I assume I’ll get wind of it. But maybe I’ve been missing out on all the fun. Are you all going to events and not inviting me?

Please discuss. Tips on entering design communities in other locales also very welcome.

Photo: Advice by NineFingers / dustinotariumatron; some rights reserved.

Extracurricular Activities

Dress Code

Yesterday when I asked, “What does an ‘art director’ do?” Erin replied, “I dunno, exactly, but I do know they have a club!” To which I replied, in turn, “Those directors, and their clubs!”

Then, after work, I went out to have some beers with my club.

Which brings on this public service announcement: People, if you don’t live near a professional club, or if you don’t feel like the professional clubs in your area are the sort you’d like to join, start your own damn club. It doesn’t have to be clearly defined. It doesn’t have to be defined at all. It doesn’t have to even meet—maybe your blog friends constitute a club, as I like to think that mine do. But do try to have some kind of professional group you can call your own, however informal. It tastes good, and it’s good for you! Continue reading “Extracurricular Activities”