Splat!

It’s been near­ly 24-hours since I relaunched this weblog, and the feed­back has been encour­ag­ing. Thanks to every­one who emailed or left a com­ment.

I talked last night about my desire to use a typo­graph­i­cal grid for this design, but I also knew that this had the poten­tial to look quite anti­sep­tic and ster­ile. I thought of the com­ment that David Car­son makes in the Hel­veti­ca film, as he points to the word “caf­feinat­ed” that has been print­ed out in Hel­veti­ca Black and hung on the wall next to oth­er iden­ti­cal look­ing words: “This doesn’t say ‘caf­feinat­ed’!” To avoid the trap, I need­ed to work in a design ele­ment that would make things a lit­tle more inter­est­ing.

A while back, I start­ed play­ing with the drip, spray, and splat­ter images pro­vid­ed by ka05 in his splat­pack. There are some great tuto­ri­als and exam­ples on Design Melt­down, too. You’d nev­er know that the splat­ters you see on this site are actu­al­ly derived from pho­tos of real-life sprays. They’ve been reduced in com­plex­i­ty and detail, and lay­ered on top of one anoth­er, to arrive at the splats that you see.

Speak­ing of the Hel­veti­ca film, those kids at Exper­i­men­tal Jet­set have the anti­dote to crit­i­cisms lev­eled at Hel­veti­ca by Car­son and oth­er Post-Mod­ernists who flung Hel­veti­ca in the trash, in favor of more expres­sive type. They’re doing fresh, inter­est­ing work with Hel­veti­ca, and I was shocked to see that they even used splat­ters and drips on their We are The World work:

Experimental JetsetNow, my design was com­plete before see­ing the film at the IFC Cen­ter last week — and I wasn’t aware of the group’s work pri­or to see­ing the film. Still, pret­ty cool stuff.

Here’s a clip from the film, in which Dan­ny van den Dun­gen explains why mod­ernism still mat­ters:

Amen.

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