October 16th, 2011 by Sean
I love numerals. I don’t know why, but I love the chance to use them. Maybe I like them because they are another language than letters that is pure and universal. Or, perhaps I just think anything looks better with a big numeral. This attraction leads me to photograph numbers around the world. As usual, while other people are photographing their families, I am taking photos of the gate numbers at the Honolulu Airport, or a street number in New Orleans Square. The title sequence for Lost in Space is a number lover’s heaven. Last week, I worked on a spread of only numbers for the Academy’s annual report. That was a good day.
October 11th, 2011 by Sean
Niece Izabelle Adams
I’ve been working on a lecture for the AIGA Pivot Conference in Phoenix this week. I’m scheduled to talk about the history of AIGA, which is kind of like a lecture about the history of the United Auto Workers. So I’m working doubly hard to find great images. And now I have them. Charles Dana Gibson was one of the founders in 1914. Charles Dana Gibson is know for creating the “Gibson” girl. He based this illustration on my grandmother’s great-cousin Irene, who was his wife.
This led me to think about all the amazing stories I’ve heard about the women in my family. For instance, one of the earliest distant grandmothers to come to America was Cicely Reynolds, who arrived in 1610 abroad the Swan when she was 14. She was married five times and is credited as bringing “flirting” to the new world. There seems to be a very strong gene that runs along the maternal line. The women all look alike, going back generations. They all seem to be rather intelligent and witty, and dangerously beautiful. Since this is my blog, I can indulge myself and talk about this.
The latest addition is my niece Izabelle. She’s only thirteen, but 5’9” and beautiful. I’ve recommended that my brother and sister-in-law build a closet model on the closet in Carrie, but they are too nice. Like generations before, she will likely break many hearts.
My mother, Sylvia Adams Thomson
Grandma Janice Anne Booker Flint
Sister Heather Adams
Aunt Barbara De' Artez
Cousin Anne Moen Bullitt
Cousin Amelie Rives Chanler Troubestkoy
Cousin Sarah Landon Rives
Cousin Nancy Witcher Langhorne (Lady Astor)
Cousin Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (Pres. Chester Arthur's wife)
Gibson Girl, Irene Langhorne Gibson
Great Aunt Sally Cary Fairfax (President Washington's great love)
October 6th, 2011 by Sean
Bauhaus newsletter, 1929
Somehow by attrition, I have become the “go to” designer when color is involved. This amazes me because my color theory is pretty simple: everything works with everything. Just don’t be wimpy. I love hateful combinations such as almond, maroon, and teal. I’d make every project avocado, burnt orange, butter yellow, baby blue, and magenta if I could. But, oddly, I love black and white. It’s the color combination used the least. Everyone assumes it’s ubiquitous, so everything is full of color. When was the last time you saw a stark black and white ad, billboard, or television commercial? Color is an evil temptress; we attempt restrain, but are lured with the promise of excitement. Be brave. Try black and white. This isn’t black and white with a splash of orange. No. No splash. You must deny any additional color.
Beverige Byrd Seay
Josef Muller Brockmann
Josef Muller Brockmann
Sister Corita Kent
October 3rd, 2011 by Sean
The tool for your salvation
I hate bad punctuation. There is no reason to set anything in all lower case letters, unless it is a website or you are E.E. Cummings. Obviously, actual quotation marks are always necessary with dialogue. And there is no excuse for hyphens used where an en dash is required.
In the time before, when people spelled correctly, editors used proofreading marks to catch typographic and content errors and changes. As a young designer, I received corrections or revisions to the text on something called a “galley” with the date and time. The galleys were marked up with funny marks that indicated changes. These were proofreading marks. As I made the corrections, I marked each one with a highlighting pen. The galley was then set aside as a “foul galley.” This had nothing to do with chicken or “fowl.”
This may seem antiquated and overly detail oriented, but it saved time and mistakes. Today, I receive pdf. files with long comments such as “change shortcut to “detour” and move the third line of the second paragraph to the fifth paragraph after the last sentence”. As a limited individual, I am left confused. Consequently, I do my best to understand the request and make the necessary change. Of course, it is typically wrong, and the client is sure I am negligent or deliberately not making the change. If only I received a clear document with legible proofreading marks. But, perhaps this is like asking people to leave calling cards when they visit. Yet another example of the decline of western civilization.
In the spirit of giving back, I share the AdamsMorioka proofreading chart. Feel free to distribute it to the next client who suggests, “replace the a in the subhead with an e, then move the line to the left. Change the fifth telephone number to a 310 area code, except the one on the back which should be 212.”
AdamsMorioka proof marks
September 29th, 2011 by Sean
Coca Cola Terrace and Matterhorn, 1969
One of my favorite objects is a piece of tile from the Coca Cola Terrace at Disneyland. While we were working on the Encounter Restaurant project, I mentioned that I was heartbroken about the refurbishment of the Terrace. The team at Walt Disney Imagineering graciously retrieved a tile from the construction debris and gave it to me.
The 1967 Coca Cola Terrace was magnificent piece of architecture. It combined modernism with a touch of California levity and space age forms. When I was young, we went dancing at the Terrace on weekend nights. During the day, it was a great place for cheeseburgers and chicken fingers. Oh, yeah, I’m that fancy. The ceiling was fantastic. Like stars in the night sky, it had a random pattern of lights rather than symmetrical ordered rows. The crowing jewel of the Terrace was the stage. When not in use, it was a sculptural planting bed. As a band began playing, it rose up from the ground and became an elevated stage. It’s still there, and is used for the Jedi Training Academy. If only the New Establishment were still together.
Many of these images have been sent to me over the years. Consequently I don’t know the correct provenance. Gracious thank you to those who have shared these. These sites are great resources and most probably the original owner.
Coca Cola Terrace, The New Establishment, 1968
Coca Cola Terrace, 1967
Ticket booth, Disneyland Tomorrowland, 1968
Coca Cola Terrace, 1968
Coca Cola Terrace, 1970
Coca Cola Terrace, 1968