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robbman21

A Question For All Designers Here

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For about the past year now as I'm driving I find myself looking at Billboards and other signs and saying to myself, "Aapex Bold" or "Sofachrome" or trying to name the font right off hand.And I do this everytime I see an ad on TV,a sign for a store in the mall,or a graphic on ESPN or any other TV channel or show.So what I'm wondering is if this is common among my fellow designers here?Not really breaking down the art or design as a whole,but seeing and recognizing fonts almost out of habit.Anyone??

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I do have a fairly good friend that happens to do that on a daily basis. In fact, he's got a nickname from it too. Mr. Font. I'm sure everyone knows who I'm talking about by now, and if you don't, you'll have to figure it out on your own.

:P

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Not only the font thing, but I find myself seeing graphics and printed stuff and saying how it was produced. (300 dpi on a Vutek, 3M control tac vinyl, thermograph printing on deluxe parchment, etc.) Its actually annoying to even myself.

Sometimes I look at logos and make notes on where the points are to myself. I need another hobby...

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Thank god im not alone on the font thing... my girlfriend has called me a geek several times when i blurt out a font name as i figure out what it is... then she makes me explain it... and tunr red... damn persuasive women...

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I coulddothat

morethanI do,But I try not to show off--and I'm sure there are those here who could easily out do me.

There was a BC Sunday comic many years ago where the character Grog spoke font names and that was quite humourous--and I used to copy & adapt fonts out of Letraset catalogs (anybody else remember those?).

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Yes, I can pick out the fonts from other printed graphics and uniforms. It's a curse and a blessing. And it goes beyond fonts?

If I come across a vehicle that's covered in those vinyl graphics, I get up close to look at the resolution.

If I see a billboard or other printed advertisement, sometimes I can tell if stock photos were used (my company has a big library of stock photos from Photodisc, and a few of the pictures are used all over the place).

and from what I can remember, here are what the major networks use for the fonts in their sports graphics?

NBC: Interstate

CBS: Frutiger

Fox: Helvetica

ESPN: Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk (similar to Helvetica)

ABC: I think they use Univers, but sometimes they mimic ESPN's graphics

FSN: Helvetica Condensed

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It's fascinating how a certain font becomes hot and trendy, and gets used everywhere for a year or two to the point of tedium. When the Macintosh came out and desktop publishing exploded, Apple's corporate font, ITC Garamond Condensed, was aped by everyone who tried to acquire Apple's design cachet by imitation. Several years ago, it was Frutiger. The past few years, Interstate and Janson Text (the font used on The West Wing's title cards and credits) are everywhere on TV and print. Eurostyle became faddish the past few years, after a decade of underuse, except for the cliché sci fi TV or movie application. Helvetica is always the safe choice for non-designer clients, and often by my TV clients due to its legibility at small point sizes. I do a lot of work for the Outdoor Life Network, and they're about to launch a new "look" in July, dumping Tahoma as their standardized font (thank gawd, a standard MS computer font for a network signature???) and going retro with Franklin Gothic?a font that was ubiquitous on TV in the mid-80s as a standard Chyron character generator font.

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Around the time "Casino" came out I noticed a large percentage of movie studios displaying their movie titles in Trajan Bold. It's still used now by a lot of films, even "Star Wars III".

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I do it a lot aswell....I even sometime see font and the next thing I know it becomes my new favorite, and have to fight not to use it in everything that I design.

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After taking 2 semesters of typography class in college and basically living in an eat-sleep-design mode, i find myself doing that a ton. Just at the Jays game the other day, i looked to the outfield wall and said "that hotel ad is set in Futura Condensed."

A running joke with me and my friends is the overuse of the most hideous typeface every designed, Brush Script. Once on the way into Downtown T.O. on the streetcar, we counted how many sad, sorry wannabe designers used Brush Script. I think it was somewhere in the 20s.....pathetic.

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Around the time "Casino" came out I noticed a large percentage of movie studios displaying their movie titles in Trajan Bold. It's still used now by a lot of films, even "Star Wars III".

Trajan is actually the West Wing font I was referring to as being everywhere, not Janson Text. It certainly is the serif title font of choice in TV and film for the past few years. It had been one of the originals in my font library back in the day, but I'd ignored it for years. Now I use it all the time. It makes me want to go back to my library and dig out an "oldie" and make it a trendsetter again...

Nuptial Script, anyone?

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Around the time "Casino" came out I noticed a large percentage of movie studios displaying their movie titles in Trajan Bold. It's still used now by a lot of films, even "Star Wars III".

Trajan is actually the West Wing font I was referring to as being everywhere, not Janson Text. It certainly is the serif title font of choice in TV and film for the past few years. It had been one of the originals in my font library back in the day, but I'd ignored it for years. Now I use it all the time. It makes me want to go back to my library and dig out an "oldie" and make it a trendsetter again...

Nuptial Script, anyone?

go with Wingdings

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Back in '92 or '93, there was a magazine called "Ray Gun". It was a music magazine, like Rolling Stone, and the art director was David Carson. It was definitely function over form, and many of the articles were designed in a way that they were illegible (black on black type, multiple overlaying on text upon other text, text set up at 4 points, etc.) But when that experimental age of design fell out of favor, the magazine soon folded after. Unless it's really obscure, but I haven't seen a new issue of it for about 6 or 7 years.

One interview (I think with Peter Gabriel, not sure) stood out because of the font that was used. Which font?

Zapf Dingbats.

The whole article in Zapf Dingbats. Although I think it was also published in a more legible typeface elsewhere in the magazine.

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Back in '92 or '93, there was a magazine called "Ray Gun". It was a music magazine, like Rolling Stone, and the art director was David Carson. It was definitely function over form, and many of the articles were designed in a way that they were illegible (black on black type, multiple overlaying on text upon other text, text set up at 4 points, etc.) But when that experimental age of design fell out of favor, the magazine soon folded after. Unless it's really obscure, but I haven't seen a new issue of it for about 6 or 7 years.

One interview (I think with Peter Gabriel, not sure) stood out because of the font that was used. Which font?

Zapf Dingbats.

The whole article in Zapf Dingbats. Although I think it was also published in a more legible typeface elsewhere in the magazine.

Ah yes, Ray Gun. Definitely worth picking up, even after Carson left it. I still may have a few copies buried in my magazine file somewhere. I think it folded 3 or 4 years ago. Carson was THE revolutionary in the early 90s who initiated the "grunge font" era. His "The End of Print" is a seminal work for anyone interested in commercial graphic design, whether you agree with his ideas or not. He certainly was and is influential.

For anyone interested in keeping in touch with the pulse of what is hot and cutting edge in magazine and logo graphic design, I would highly recommend that you make a habit of picking up a variety of Surfing and other extreme sport magazines (Carson was responsible for the modern surf mag look, being art director for Beach Culture as well as Ray Gun). Even the ads for the various surfboard apparel and shoe companies are on the vanguard of commercial art design, and should be required reading.

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ray gun was a cool mag....definitely groundbreaking in design style, but suffered from overdesign....could barely read any of the articles in it.

i still bought just about every issue.

also Big Brother, TWS, and others.

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