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THE TRUTH ABOUT DESIGN, NOT THE SPIN

650wde_2004WeblogAwardsLogo_DesignPrimer.jpg






Because of quite disturbed and disturbing comments being made by some on the planet in the past few days about the 2004 Weblog Awards process, using the logo I designed for the Awards as a pivotal point upon which to launch irrationally damaging comments — about the Awards process, about the contents of the Awards, about the logo, about me as a person (unknown to those making the baseless accusations), I decided to write a bit about design and about me as a designer, to clarify misperceptions attempting to be applied to record about this Awards process, and to attempt to return balance to a process that has been tipped into the dark and extraordinarily irrational by bad intentions, intentions without constructive qualities, contributing nothing to a process that many persons, me included, devoted a great deal of good energy and time and hopes and thoughts and hours in labor to create. Not to mention others involved in the blogs that are included and have been in the Awards considerations up to this point. A lot of sincere individuals write on the internet and seeing and reading a few extremists, for whatever their motivations may be, distort goodness just because they can is intolerable to me.

Thus, the Design Primer I share above, about the Awards logo design and the elements included in that logo, which should be straightforward in the graphic above, explained.

Interestingly, my design influences are somewhat affected not by “fascism,” as per the outrageous and quite ugly awful epithets written by some on our planet about this particular logo and about me and my work as a designer, but by Nippon, by Japanese traditional and modern design. I am fascinated by hieratics, all hieroglyphs, and to me, an American of Northern European heritage and culture (kind consideration here to my great Grandmother Lorenzen from Northern Italy), Japanese caligraphy and lettering reads as hieroglyphs, such that I feel motivated by their emotive aspects alone, regardless of what they may be communicating literally.

Something about the contrary movement of the eye that appears in Japanese visuals, reading opposite that of the English language and other earlier European languages, something about the influences of the graphics that are so efficient in Japanese traditional and modern visuals, combined with my love of Italian painting and English literature and you get who I am as a designer: someone based in literature and a theatrical use of a visual for purposes of making a “written language” statement.

I don’t do illustrations, well if at all — filling in the visuals to another’s curiosity or concept; and, I can’t decorate without adding story to the process, and I always abide by function first. I am someone who is fascinated by the gist or essence of the literary statement in graphics and all visuals in print, through paint and type especially, and so, I interpret a moment into a distilled singularity. That’s how I approach logo design: create a literary statement in a one-stop moment that is both evocative and unusually unique.

Others illustrate wonderfully, beautifully, others design graphics even better, but where my interests are is somewhere amidst the literary movement of visuals, akin to filmmaking, if not filmmaking itself. It’s the drama of the statement where my eye and heart and mind follow and finesse, and that’s what translates into type design when that is the task before me.

As to my person, I am a Christian, a Catholic — a devout Catholic — someone who lives by what I believe in, a quiet and kind creative person who is familiar with challenge and hardship and the essence that is the good. I can sense good in a moment as I can, also, the polar opposite of the good; and, what I know about some persons is that they really believe that their misperceptions about others represent those other, actual persons, and that when this takes place, such misperceiving persons accomplish destructive results based upon their misperceptions, and are unreliable as source, and are unrealiable as to information that they promote. Meaning, gossip kills. And most who gossip, do so based upon their own fears and paranoia, jealousies, resentments — it’s the stuff of madness, literally, madness.

Because, misperceptions and fearful, dark projections onto others counters the finer nature of others and creates very real and awful damage to the lives of others, if it is allowed by more clear individuals to remain unchallenged, to sit there like a rotten, foul air in the atmosphere, the gossip of madness.

As in, this logo of mine was designed with good intentions, to represent — with strength and presence — a process that some of us take seriously, and value. The logo is the work of me, a person who values life in all capacities, loves my plants, my animals, my family, my fellows, my life, values the vulnerable and the valorous, and who provided this logo as an act of generosity through service. The act itself of gifting this logo does not merit the nastiness based upon the paranoid misperceptions of others, and, the design itself does not remotely reference what their paranoid misperceptions project upon it, and upon me.

But, one thing that is academically quite obnoxious and inaccurate about the criticism of this particular logo — the 2004 Weblog Awards logo — is that the two typefaces (“fonts”) that are used in the logo design are quite entirely modern creations, not at all referential in style or copyright to anything ancient or even early (or mid) Twentieth Century, but are, rather, as new and contemporary as this:

–(1.) the font, “Old English MT” as I identify in the Primer above (which can be found at this website for those who would like to purchase it, in either Windows PostScript, Windows TrueType and/or Macintosh PostScript), is a creation of the original Mecanorma Collection, a French company in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s just before the Mecanorma Collection was sold (read about the typeface and the Collection here, and find many of their fonts available for purchase at RoosterType.com);

and,

— (2.) the typeface/font “MEO (CAPS [only])” is something so new as to be identified by Copyright, 2003 by designer Nico Hensel, available as a freefont download (isn’t that nice?) from fontkitchen.com.

Unless either of those two design sources are representational of “neo-nazism” as per the irrational naysayers at certain places on the internet about this logo in it’s entirety, then that makes all involved — me, the typefaces, my life and education and involvements and the font designers and sources and the websites from whence the typefaces were obtained and the Awards process itself — everything involved with the logo design process very much a part of the laudible deeds of generosity, kindliness and free sharing of information and resources. I dare say, nothing “fascist” and/or “neo-nazi” in that, not even hiding behind a letterform or a website, just absolutely nothing of relevance to the quite grisly gossip underway by some about this logo, except in the emptiness of their hearts and spirits, and, quite clearly, minds.

As to Japanese design, this website explains “Good Design” and/or the “G-Mark” with design criteria well explained, and is a worthy read. And, please, take a look at that G-Mark! the logo has force, which to my view, is a good thing, an emblem that represents the good, accomplishes goodness, bears nothing awful or potently disgusting about it, as to political motive.

As does, neither, my logo for this Awards process.

Someone of what I perceive to be quite disturbed personality wrote about my logo, the Awards Logo depicted above, that the four corner graphics are representational of “neo-nazism” and appear to be “swastikas”.

That graphic that I used in the four corners is a commonly found background .gif that is free for public use on the internet, turned on it’s edge to indicate “pages turning,” as in, webpages, blogs, turning, changing, rotating around, creating change. I assure the world here and now that I have no affiliation with “neo nazism” and my life proves that fact. However, the person who wrote such a ghastly accusation as that about the logo, and about me as a designer of that logo, also arrives at that conclusion because, in their mind, I voted for George Bush for the Presidency, so, < sarcasm on here > I must be a fascist < / sarcasm off here >, or so their irrational reasoning goes.

I suppose that they also conclude that the SPIDERMAN comic book series was drawn by a giant Arachnid with a set of pens and sheets of giant paper, hiding out in the spare bedroom, instead of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, hands to papers in actual sizes.

If there is any, any at all, cultural reference to the Awards logo, it is in my somewhat Japanese modernist approach toward type, also influenced, yes, by the Swiss and German appeciation of the use of white space, but there the cultural influences end. There is no political statement in the 2004 Weblog Awards logo beyond the fact that I voted for George Bush for the Presidency. However, I also voted for Ronald Reagan, George Bush the Senior and Bill Clinton.

What vote and for whom that I wish I could change if I could, I will keep to myself in this thread. And, my creative work isn’t about politics, it’s about emotion and about thought and about my own insights into, sometimes, the concepts of others.

For comprehensive reading about the awful abuses of this Awards process, read these threads that follow here. About the issue of cheating this Awards process, my opinion is that those sites that have hosted information as to how to violate an ethical voting process of these Awards without any denial of such a rotten process, that those sites should be disqualified from the Finalists and voting altogether. But, I’m not the editor of the Awards, my involvement with the process this year was the contribution of the design of the logo, and that I voted and voted once for the Categories I most value.

From Jay Tea at Wizbang:
“TOO BIG FOR HIS BRITCHES”

From Kevin Aylward at Wizbang:
“MORE DISAPPOINTMENT”

From Jay Tea at Wizbang:
“JAY TEA TO KOS: GET STUFFED”

From PowerLine:
“BALLOT BOX SUFFED?”

-S-

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3 C O M M E N T S

  1. -S- says:

    Yeah, yep, agree. I’ve read many discussions over the last few years about the various margins of political movements, and, Nazism is a strange tag to be being so misapplied by some liberals today about conservatives. I believe that they are without anything ELSE to say — not capable of self modification, it seems and perhaps now out of pejoratives, so they resort to this last ditch sluggo of “fascist” and “nazi” in various combinations.

    But, the design of this logo, it is downright embarrassing on an academic level alone that there is an attempt to equate the design with “neo nazism” as has been lobbed about it. It’s preposterously ugly from an intellectual point of view, much less all the other emotional issues involved.

    It bears out the point that, he/she who assumes their intellectual superiority, such as Democrats/liberals are very prone to do, if not certainly doing, indicates a lack of knowledge. Because, this is one case where they’re proving just how they’re failing quite basic definitions of what is what and why.

    Interesting parallelism:

    ‘Why Chomsky is Responsible for Terrorism’ from The Jawa Report.

  2. justaguy says:

    I was graphing political ideologies today…extremes…this is what I concluded. It’s obvious the Democratic party is becoming more and more socialist…so the extremes on that side would be…communism…and *Nazism* (nationalized socialism). On the Republican side….it would be completely unregulated capitalism and anarchism….since Republicans believe is lesser government. I find it amusing though…when Socialists call Republicans, “Nazis.” 99% of the nutball conspiracy theorists camp out in the Democratic Party as well.

  3. Bob Owens says:

    It is pathetic that people would try to stoop so low as to accuse you of supporting a cuase that murdered 11 million people (6 million Jews, 5 million other) becuase you designed a simple logo for an awards show.

    This may not be the height of liberal idoicy, but you can see it from here.