Posts Tagged ‘ Bloomberg Businessweek ’

Balloons and bread

A witty cover using balloons and bread instead of helvetica. I enjoy this very much.


Bad(ass) typography

A bizarre mixture of typefaces and colors. This looks to me like the designer ran out of time. The textura typeface has come to symbolize rebellion and it’s often seen in tattoos, but making it glow and three dimensional just looks bad not badass.

Handwriting = street cred

According to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, the young, and out of work, who voted for President Obama in 2008 may not be running to cast their vote for him at the next election. However that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be voting for the opposition either. According to the article, only 47 percent of 18 to 29 year olds say they will definitely vote this year, down from 64% in 2008.

Take a look at the design of the supporting graphics. BBW’s designer lends an unusual visual perspective to the magazine’s frequently imaginative treatment of statistics. And the fading out of the photos suggests the young voter’s evaporating participation to the electorate, in a subtle but effective way.

Europe … a big headache

Idiot proof

What’s effective is the big bold type across the entire spread as a foil to the graphic icon representing a tweeting bird. But the juxtaposition  of the typefaces and the seemingly arbitrary relationships of the words from The Man Who Fell to Earth are baffling.

How two such different designs come to be in the same magazine is quite a mystery.

The large condensed typeface is Compacta and is ideal for the large headlines displayed in the first spread. The tight kerning leads to both a legible headline and a pleasing typographic texture. But why Compacta was used for the initial letters in the second spread is less clear. And the rhythmic alternation of alignment, where the initial hangs from the top on one word then sits on the baseline in another does not support the idea of something falling, but more of bouncing.

Gestalt theory talks about how objects that are in close proximity are grouped. And so the two words in the center, Man and To, will be read as a group which disrupts the natural flow of reading which is left to right. In typography we’d say the “readabiltiy” of the headline is poor because of that. And the smaller the letters become, the more illegible they are. The M is a particularly difficult letter to read.

No doubt I’ve spent far more time considering these details than the designer of the spreads. But that’s ok. Another lesson for the classroom.

Bloomberg gets it wrong

I have been a huge advocate of the typography and design work that goes on at Bloomberg Businessweek. But the opening spread of this article about Italian law professor Pietro Ichino is an example of really bad typography. If I were to look for an example of badly kerned type, well, this would be it. It’s surprising, coming from the same magazine that produced these spreads I feature recently.

I have no doubt this is just a small bump in the road and I’ll be calling out great new work in the near future.

Illustrating with type

This lovely illustration of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is drawn largely from letterforms. The artist is Sarah King. She has a wonderful blog of her work here.