25 Random Things about Graphic Design (and stuff)

February 6, 2009

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.