Politics, Typography, and PETS!

ER's picture

I think everyone needs a place to vent and talk about the issues of our very complex world. This thread could help that discussion. How to start? Well, are typographers and designers responsible for how their work, especially fonts, is used in propaganda and communications by governments, the military, and the media? You are also encouraged to post pictures of your pets! We can talk about them too!

jselig's picture

I'll start off by saying that I feel a lot of problems are related to one culture not understanding another and trying to force one over the other; but I guess that is a rather oversimplified; if not vague and obvious answer.

timd's picture

America, not USA, is that to spread the blame?

Don McCahill's picture

Oh, good. Like we can't have enough flaming and wars in threads about type, now we have to have some good old America-bashing threads launched.

Don

(not an American)

ER's picture

The song's called "America, The Beautiful", stop splitting hairs! :)

I will put one of these :) at the end of everything. I think it keeps it light and not so confrontational. :)

ER

timd's picture

So, to quote Hrant, “Where’s the type?”
Tim

Paul Cutler's picture

I blame myself for all my problems.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

peace

pattyfab's picture

I don't see how this thread is relevant to this forum. There are plenty of political blogs out there. And tempers have run high enough lately on this site not to encourage more bad blood.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'm with Patty. It is one thing for politics to be brought up in context of another topic, but this is not the place for threads specifically about politics. Go find another site/blog/forum if you wish, but let's at least try to keep Typophile on topic.

crossgrove's picture

I'm avoiding the CA cover thread for a reason.....

fontplayer's picture

I don't wanna say ITOLDYASO!... (ok, that is a lie)

ER's picture

Tiffany,
This is a good place for people to come when politics intrudes onto the type threads. People could be sent here instead to discuss their issues.

About trying to keep Typophile "on topic" there is a lot of stuff that doesn't belong here then. Maybe you can delete "who are the rock stars here?", "hey, what are you listening to?", "happy birthday, such and such", or "most recent issue of CA", no type on that cover at all.

Here is a link that brings type and politics together, maybe we can discuss that: Do you think this protest sign is successful? I think a better solution would have been to put the peace sign in place of the "O" in "NO WAR". And the "W" seems a little strange looking. Also, if people would have moved closer together, I think the kerning would have been more successful. What do you guys think?:

http://lmno4p.org/images/01.04/state_of_the_union.jpg

ER

ER's picture

>I’m avoiding the CA cover thread for a reason…..

Crossgrove,
Then you can avoid this one too!

ER

ER's picture

Hmm.... I see a new problem with my solution to this protest sign:

http://lmno4p.org/images/01.04/state_of_the_union.jpg

If the peace sign moves over to where the "O" is in "NO", then one poor schlub is left holding the blank space sign. What self respecting protestor would want to do that? So therefore, I think they sacrificed typographical integrity for the needs of the individual to feel some sense of importance.
Do you think that is a worthwhile pursuit? Are there times when a person's need to feel like they "count" gets in the way of good design?

ER

timd's picture

>no type on that cover at all

no?

ER's picture

Oh Tim, you got me there, good catch! We could discuss if after a while logos on magazines are still seen as "type", but don't take this damn thread off topic! This is politics, and the world, and bad Peace signs. I beg you, please. :)

ER

ER's picture

http://lmno4p.org/images/01.04/state_of_the_union.jpg

I mean, this really reads as "NOO WAR" to me.

ER

ER's picture

Also, here's another link, not really about politics, but it can teach us some things about getting along. And it does have type (which needs a little work).

I think Miss Tiffany will really love it and it will get everyone in a great mood for the weekend:

http://cuteoverload.com/

ER

paul d hunt's picture

Tiff, I don't agree with you that there shouldn't be threads like this on typophile. in fact, i was contemplating making a similar thread dedicated strictly to politics to refer folks to if that's what they want to discuss, Edel just saved me some trouble. My hope would be that people who want to discuss politics could bring their discussions here and keep other threads on typophile clean of politics insofar as they deviate from the main subject of said threads.

ER's picture

Thanks Paul, my thoughts exactly.

ER

Miss Tiffany's picture

The problem with threads like this is there is no context. The fact that politics does arise in other threads doesn't always bother me as there is sometimes context for it.

Paul Cutler's picture

I agree with Miss Tiffany.

peace

ER's picture

Well, this is here for people that forget about the context or don't care for it and would just like to talk endlessly about armed conflicts, or issues, that have nothing to do with the original subject.

You, as moderator, can come in and say, "this is very off topic, I will not censor you, but I suggest you can go here for random political thought:", and paste the link. Will this thread take up that much room that you can't bear its existence? Why can't people loiter here, they've been loitering somewhere else for quite a while.

ER

pattyfab's picture

I'm with Tiffany. We're people, we have opinions, and there have been some very lively off-topic discussions lately. This thread just seems provocative and unnecessary. The subject line suggested it would have some relevance to typography - for example we could discuss those hideous logos the networks use for their political features - but the opening post just seemed like another potshot at America.

Not saying we don't deserve it but still...

ER's picture

Tiffany,

It could also just be a place to hang out and say stuff like "I like hummus, do you?" or "I like grape leaves with rice. But then again I love Unagi, Tako and Tekka-don." That kind of stuff IS way out of context in other threads and you are fine with that. Actually, I think you might have said that in another thread.... :)

ER

ER's picture

Patty,

What about "Those Hideous Logos" the networks use for political features? I think they're dynamic! I mean "THE WAR ON TERROR" has a great ring to it. And you know you gotta put some flames in there, the producers love that kind of stuff. And it's really great when it comes out at you in 3-D, really grabby. I especially love the ones of FOX News, those are awesome. How else would you do it?

ER

Miss Tiffany's picture

Edel, it is the subject matter that most bothers me. A discussion about politics in this crowd has proved before to be more than they can handle.

The music thread is fine as an off topic thread as music create claw bearing moods in most people. Same with food.

There has been plenty bashing of people and the politics which they support. I just don't see a reason for another thread to give those people more of an excuse.

ER's picture

Tiffany,
I understand your concerns, and it has been my concern for a long time. But you can't stop people from reading whatever may be said and replying with "This Empire is crumbling", or here's a link to a bbc website with something that has nothing to do with the topic, or "here's a link to pictures of cute bunnies". Random stuff that people are obsessed with. These things come in and the ---- hits the fan.

People are itching to talk about this stuff. They hang out here because they're with friends of similar interest in design so they may feel more comfortable than going to some wacko political site. And maybe they feel with time they can enlighten some of their type friends, with whom they have so many other things in common. They will continue to talk about politics and it "will be more than they can handle" here, or on another thread, so just give them a place.

>Same with food.
The food talk went on in a thread about a magazine cover that had nothing to do with food whatsoever. That was my point about people not sticking to the context, including yourself.

If this thread doesn't stick around then I'll go with Patty's suggestion of the cable news graphics, put them up and people can discuss politics in that "context". It'll just take me some time but in the end we'll be right here all over again.

ER

Miss Tiffany's picture

I think you miss my point. I have nothing against random threads. I have something against threads which breed negativity.

ER's picture

From what I see I think you mean that music or food are fine threads to have because they inspire or have something to do with people and their work. I don't listen to music while I work, and don't cook. I eat, but don't think about food while I work at all. I do think about politics, and at times it inspires me. There might be some others that are inspired by the same thing and they should have a place as well. Everyone's work is not quiet or apolitical or simply about aesthetics. There should be room for them and their negativity, or what I like to call their reality.

But, as moderator, you run the place, so it's really your decision to make in the end I suppose.

ER

pattyfab's picture

Edel -

Seems you're new to the Typophile scene but I think Tiffany and I and some others are particularly sensitive right now because there has been some real hostility on display here recently, some of it personal, a lot of it centered around politics. It's driven some people away which is a shame.

So your thread seems particularly provocative in that light. There's always room for good thoughtful dialogue, but it seems wise to at least try to avoid deliberately pushing those buttons.

Maybe this forum needs a thread called "can I vent?" or something where people can go to blow off steam.

ER's picture

Tiffany,
Is it the title of the thread that's bothering you? How about something like this:

"What are you inspired by"
So many things help us be creative every day. For some it's music, or movies, or the scenery out our window. And for others, it's politics and the state of the world. So, maybe we should share, what are you inspired by?

It's all in how it's packaged I think, It has a ring of "What are you listening to?" I think that could work, Would that be o.k.?

ER

ER's picture

> It’s driven some people away which is a shame.

yep, I'm right at that point, and I think many people wouldn't mind it a bit. :)

>Maybe this forum needs a thread called “can I vent?” or something where people can go to blow off steam.

This is what I am trying to do here!

ER

fontplayer's picture

Maybe this forum needs a thread called “can I vent?” or something where people can go to blow off steam.

How about the Axe Grinding Forum. I still think religion and politics is asking for trouble, as I said months ago. Especially when there is so much misunderstanding of intended communication. It was too confusing for me to follow, but it seemed like no one was really getting anywhere in expressing themselves.

pattyfab's picture

Edel,

The title of your thread is "the world, politics, and typography". Where's the typography? If you had opened the thread with a comment on, say, the use of typography in political propoganda I think we might have a lively discussion going on here. Going for the jugular with a line about America being to blame for the world's problems - true or not - just seems inappropriate to the topic you purport to introduce and to this forum in general.

I'm bowing out of this one.

ER's picture

>don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Now we're talking! that's pretty good for a personal attack, keep it up.

>Going for the jugular with a line about America being to blame for the world’s problems

I mean, they are, look around the globe, they're taking over every country. If not through war, then through the Capitalism they export. And what is the tool of Capitalism if not Typography and logos and graphics. So, to some degree, I think designers should take some responsibility for creating fonts that the military can use in their e-mails, papers the Pentagon prints up, etc. Fonts are used by all the television media to promote war and mayhem on a constant basis. So, I think designers should take some responsibility for that too.

When you design a font, is there a way of stopping someone from doing something malicious with it, such as promote war?

> If you had opened the thread with a comment on, say, the use of typography in political propoganda I think we might have a lively discussion going on here

check out the image I mentioned above: http://lmno4p.org/images/01.04/state_of_the_union.jpg

It's typography and political propaganda, and it's ineffective. It's just confusing I think. The peace sign kind of gets in the way. It's a statement upon a statement. Maybe just type would have read better, don't you think?

ER

ER's picture

Patty,
I edited the subject line about America being to blame for the world’s problems, now it partly blames designers. I think it's more appropriate to the forum and could elicit better and more "lively" discussion. Does that make better sense?

ER

j_polo9's picture

lol too much bickering in the thread about polotics so i stopped reading. Someone should start a thread on whethar or not it is right to start a thread like this. So that this thread can remain clear of the discussion of whethar or not someone should start this thread.

fontplayer's picture

Someone should start a thread on whethar or not it is right to start a thread like this. So that this thread can remain clear of the discussion of whethar or not someone should start this thread.

Yeah, cuz around here we're known for keeping our threads as pure as the driven snow. Of course I don't know much about snow, being from SoCal. Mt. Hood had some good snow going on when I was there, but no one told which parts were driven, so I can't say how pure driven snow is compared to regular snow. But regular snow looked pretty pure to me.

Norbert Florendo's picture

Edel,

I have found your comments, interviews and samples of your work on other sites not only engaging, illuminating and insightful...
which makes it a wee bit troubling seeing that insight turn to incite!

This thread is a little too rambling (yes, I've lurked) and has lost (though never had) central focus. Your contribution to the graphics and illustration world is too significant to be mal/misaligned through knee-jerk reactions, and I believe your contribution to this forum can be formidable when grounded with more of your own true being.

ER's picture

Norbert,
Thanks for the compliments, from what I can glean you are probably one of the old sages around here. And yes, you're right, I'm not a raving loon.

Unlike others here, I did not put up my work for discussion. I found that it was being discussed and thought I'd bring something to the table of learning by giving some input and some of my "own true being", which is what I thought people where interested in.

Instead, I have just spent a couple of weeks on a thread where my work has been called "utter cliche crap", the work of a 16 year old, or a college freshman. My opinions, which are farely educated ones, have been called those of "someone half my age". Some of my simple questions have made some "want to puke". So, I've lost some of my initial respect for this place. Unfortunately, one thing I do, is that I don't leave an attack unanswered. Usually with some comedy, which at times isn't "gotten" by some.

I thought a little satire would be in order and I started this thread as a silly provocation to just get these subjects going on here. I thought it could become everyone's bathroom wall, a place they can come to vent so that other threads could remain cleaner. But, hey, we're people, so let's keep on keepin' on hijacking other threads with our personal politics.

I also believe my contribution to this forum can be an addition. Since I'm actually a purchaser of what you make and have a track record of good work, I thought my opinions could bring something to the place. However, sometimes it seems like people, even many that are in college and could actually learn something from experience, could care less.

ER

Norbert Florendo's picture

Thank you, Edel, I am heartened by your reply.

> So, I’ve lost some of my initial respect for this place.

This is a point shared by some other forum regulars. Myself, I've been here for scarcely over a year and found Typophile to be one of the few forums with depth and breadth for those of my ilk.

Typophile has in the past and is currently beset with occasional but intense rants and bashing. You happened to enter during one of "slug-fests" and some of that blood lust leached into topics unwarranted.

I wouldn't want to see more action taken by moderators, but I also wouldn't want to see active and viable contributors retreat from posting for whatever personal reasons they have.

What has made Typophile such a unique site is the level of free assistance the experienced and learned contributors are openly willing to give any newcomer, noobie, novice, lurker, student, teacher, et al, without being condescending. It's tough enough for some of these folks to post a reasonable or legit question (silly or not). The fear of being bashed or trashed will only cause a dwindling down of actively inquistive membership, the result being a small camp of closed minded cumudgeons.

So I'm not really sure where this particular topic thread will go, or if the bashing will subside of its on avail. I just hope individuals such as yourself and others who frequent the forum, those with a passion for the craft, a love of art and who are in awe of life, continue to mix it up for the greater good of all.

Norbert Florendo's picture

HEY!
... and watch who you call OLD! ;-)
"Sage" will just do fine, thank you very much.

j_polo9's picture

ahh I think pure as the driven snow means snow carried by the wind. Seems like it would be pretty clean, A lone snowflake drifting casually in the cold white winter with a gentle breeze. Sounds like it would be a good place to be, today it's 105 degrees here and I am outside coaching all day. But then I'd rather be in SoCal with a nice cool breese surfing in San Clemente... What was this thread about again?

Wheres the thread with Edel's work?

ER's picture

Norbert,

Well, when the "sage" comes in and says "kid, take it with a grain of salt", I listen. So, there won't be any ranting from me anyomore I think. Pretty hard, came from the "if you get hit, hit 'em harder school". I don't think there are problems here when you talk about the "how" work gets made. It is a wonderful resource for everyone. Occasionally the "why" we do it will come up, which I think is a great subject. That's when things could easily go bad.

So, when that happens, I encourage everyone to write "Hey, get Norbert over here", or send him a message to come over on the double. I think that's the best solution I can come up with so far. You could become a very busy man. Or, we can just have better, more constructive, and thoughtful comments on the forums.

In the meantime, I hope this thread becomes more of a hangout for some abstract thought, mindless discussion, a place to figure out where the "right" side of the bed really is, if driven snow is really pure, whatever. This is the stuff that brings inspiration.

j_polo9: the thread you seek is somewhere, but I shall not guide you there from here. Seek and ye shall find.

Thanks,

ER

fontplayer's picture

But then I’d rather be in SoCal with a nice cool breese surfing in San Clemente.

We recently had some "experts only" surf conditions. There was overcast most of the day in San Clemente, which makes for cooler weather.

liquisoft's picture

Type is a tool, much like a finely crafted horsehair paintbrush. We cannot control the use of our tools; we can only put love and care into them and hope they are appreciated and purposeful.

+
Ryan Ford

timd's picture

Driven snow covers the snow where I have spelt my name, its purity is ephemeral and concealing, and will not taste very nice:)

Tim

oldnick's picture

Ryan is absolutely right: type is a tool, which can be used and misused. A hammer is a tool, which is mightily handy for the purposes for which it is intended; a hammer can also, equally mightily and handily, be used to bash in someone's skull. Do makers of hammers get asked inane questions about the misuses of their products? Maybe you ought to take your question to a land-mine manufacturers forum...

ER's picture

O.K., I'll venture in on this one. I agree that type can be a tool such as a hammer. What I see is that makers of hammers or land-mines generally do not speak or write of their work in very lofty humanitarian ways, such as typographers have done throughout history. I could be very WRONG, I am just trying to learn something here.

ER

pattyfab's picture

When the only tool you have is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail.

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