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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