25 Random Things about Graphic Design (and stuff)

scene from my childhood. note: I’m on the other side of the picture.

At a dinner party the other night, I decided to take advantage of a lull in conversation to discuss what I thought was a pretty interesting topic. “Facebook is on its last legs,” I said. “Soon it will become Myspace.” A conversation topic it did not make. The most I got was a shrugged shoulder. Not even two shoulders but one singular shoulder. Defeated, I changed the subject but I still stand by it; Facebook has indeed gone the way of Myspace and nothing supports my theory more than the 25 random things meme.

The idea goes as follows. You post 25 random things about yourself, preferably unknown facts from your childhood. You tag 25 of your friends. They in turn post their own note and tag 25 more people. As everyone on Facebook knows by now, it’s really caught on. So much so, in fact, that the backlash has already found its way into TIME Magazine – err website…whatever.

Well, despite my belief that Facebook has reached its tipping point, I still find myself on the site several times a day. Funny enough, the 25 random things are what keep me coming back. In honor, I’ve decided to do a 25 Random things about Graphic Design post. Why? Because it’s what Paul Joshua Pfeiffer would have done, you know, if he wasn’t busy being Marylin Manson and everything(I honestly don’t know if this is true. Wiki says it is not, but you have to wonder where the whole thing got started).

25 Random Things About Graphic Design

1. Claude Garamond, publisher and legendary type designer responsible for designing the letterforms that led to some of the most widely used typefaces throughout history, died in poverty at age eighty-one.

2. The Michelin man has a name, Monsieur Bibendum. He’s also a century old.

Monsieur Bibendum

3. The Nike swoosh was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971, while she was a student at Portland State University. She was paid $35.

4. Woody Allen uses the same typeface in the titles and credits of nearly all of his movies. The typeface is Windsor.

5. Peretz Rosenbaum is one of the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century. He is responsible for the IBM logo, the old and arguably most recognizable UPS logo, the Westinghouse logo, and many other design icons. You know him as Paul Rand.

6. According to Salary.com, the median salary for a graphic designer in the United States is $45,704.

7. The worlds first website(as we know them today) was launched in 1992. You can still visit the URL here.

8. What we now call sans-serif typefaces were once known by a number of names: Egyptian, Antique, Grotesque, Doric, Heiti, Lineale, and Simplices. I think sans-serif works just fine, thank you.

9. Walker, the sans-serif typeface designed by Matthew Carter for the Walker Arts Center has up to 5 “snap-on” serifs that can be attached to each letterform using keystroke commands.

10. Georgia, another typeface designed by Matthew Carter, is named after a tabloid headline which reads “Alien heads found in Georgia.”

11. Baseline magazine, first published in 1979, was originally intended to be a promotion vehicle for new typeface designs.

12. Newly defunct The Designers Republic was hired to design the in-game artwork, packaging and manual for The Wipeout video game series as part of a carefully marketed ploy to position the game among the “fashionable, club-going, music-buying” audience the publisher was trying to attract. The results make Wipeout games some of the most visually stunning ever.

13. Due to the incompatibility of the letterforms in the title of Avant Garde magazine, Herb Lubalin first created the typeface Avant Garde, with its many ligatures, out of necessity. It wasn’t until later that he created a full set of glyphs.

14. The term “Web 2.0” emerged sometime in 2002 (despite the claim that Tim O’ Reilly coined it in 2005) with Dermot A. McCormack’s book Web 2.0: the Future of the Internet. . .

15. The Coca-Cola logo was made using a style of hand lettering called Spencerian Script. (thanks for the correction Nick)

16. Jerry West is the silhouetted player in the NBA logo.

Jerry West taking it to the hole

17. The late Tibor Kalman once had a party in a supermarket to commemorate the arrival of his book Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist. As party favors, he gave guests signed canned goods.

18. The Great Seal of the United States was designed in the 1770’s by the then secretary of congress, Charles Thomson.

19. The Red Cross is known as The Red Crescent in Muslim countries. Its logo also changes from a cross to a crescent.

20. Raymond Loewy, known primarily as an industrial designer, also designed a crap-ton of logos including the logos for Hoover Vacuums, Exxon, and Shell.

21. Vince Frost is the shit.

22. Facebook uses a modified version of the typeface Klavika for its logo.

23. Myspace, Arial Rounded Bold.

24. Thank God this is almost done. *bangs head against wall*

25. I leave you with this.


30 Responses to 25 Random Things about Graphic Design (and stuff)

  1. C-dilla says:

    Fascinating! On #2 – you should read “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson, the main character has a severe allergy to images of Bibendum and Tommy Hilfiger logos. I think you’d dig it.

  2. tishon says:

    That sounds amazing. I’m adding it to the cue. Thanks for the rec.

  3. Nina says:

    I can’t believe i didn’t know paul rand’s real name.
    And i thought Egyptian was the name for slab-serifs… I’m confused now.

  4. jeffstaple says:

    great post Tishon. Thanks for the heads up and nice to hear from you.

  5. Jimmy says:

    haha, awesome dude.

  6. David Airey says:

    I wonder how accurate the median salary for graphic designers is. I’m pretty sure it’s lower than £31k here in Northern Ireland.

    The Wonder Years was great.

  7. xouat says:

    re no. 21.

    Frost rules the known universe

  8. Joann Sondy says:

    Thank you.

    Some industry history + comedic observations = one darn good post.

  9. Trés Bon – Merci!


  10. addverb says:

    Facebook is not dead! Facebook is just getting started. I personally am always drawn to the 25 things meme. Always. And this one combines graphic design and 25 things. I love it.

    Great post!

  11. dassit says:

    Facebook and MySpace are 2 different beasts. MySpace represents user controlled design aka ‘Design as a Deadly Weapon’. Facebook represents ‘Invisible Design’ everyone’s the same, you dont realize design is even there, aka Internet Communism. One cannot become the other. Pick your poison.

  12. mrmarkrobson says:

    hey tishon! another quick note about designers republic, they developed alot of their feel by working with the band Pop Will Eat Itself! It’s pretty cool to see them develop through their work there.

  13. Nick says:

    The Coca-Cola logo is not made using a typeface. It is an example of hand-lettering (for more on the difference, see http://www.marksimonson.com/article/251/not-a-font ). “Spencerian” is a style of handwriting developed by a guy named P.R. Spencer.

  14. tishon says:

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I’m glad folks are enjoying the post. I had a good time putting it together.

    Thanks for the correction on Spencerian Script. I guess the term should be “style of lettering.” I’ll be sure to correct the post.

  15. Joe says:

    The Red Cross has a third symbol, the Red Crystal.

  16. […] you go. 25-random-things-about-graphic-design-and-stuff. via designobserver [PR] Share and […]

  17. Namdnal Siroj says:

    Red cross uses 5 symbols at least.
    Cross, shield of david, crescent, lion + sun, diamond.

    If I’m correct this is the story:
    The red cross was the first symbol and was meant to express neutrality, mimicking the swiss flag but reversing its colors.
    They started using other symbols in places where the cross had a non-neutral religious connotation and ended up with cross, crescent, shield of david and lion + sun.
    The plan is now to consolidate and drop those 4 and for only the diamond, which is the 5th symbol.
    The diamond is meant to restore the expression of neutrality wherever it’s used.

  18. tishon says:

    Wow Namdnal! I hadn’t heard of that. Sounds like a good idea to me. I definitely have to look into that. Thanks for the info!

  19. […] you’ve probably noticed the uber-obnoxious 25 things. Blogger Tishon has wrote his own 25 things as relating to Graphic Design. – – – – – And finally for today, yet another reason to get an […]

  20. I used to love Wipeout! Such a great game. They hit the nail on the head.

    Oh yea, great post too!

  21. […] seinem englischsprachigen Blog hat Tishon, ein Designer aus Brooklyn, Interessantes & Kurioses aus der Welt der Grafik […]

  22. […] Story found via KitBlog. I found this and 24 more Random Things about Graphic Design on this Tishon’s post […]

  23. […] 25 Random Things about Graphic Design (and stuff) […]

  24. Awesome, I feel so much more knowledgeable after reading this! What a great idea for an article. I wish I could learn 25 random things about graphic design every day!

  25. […] 25 random things about graphic design is totally random..and […]

  26. John milton says:

    Indeed a very nice post,before going through the article i knew very few things related to graphic designing, but now i feel that i have learnt more about graphic designing.
    So thanks for the post..would be certainly waiting for the next article from you.

  27. Karen Marie Hollaway says:

    Leave it to lame MySpace to use Arial.

  28. This topic is quite trendy on the Internet at the moment. What do you pay the most attention to while choosing what to write ?

  29. Mit so vielen guten Beiträgen kann man sich eine Meinung bilden.

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