Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pissy little rant on misconceptions about old printing styles

I’ve been chewing over a font that is getting under my skin lately. Take a look: Photo of Old Printing Press font from Font Factory

It’s Old Printing Press, created by Font Café in 2011, or as I call it Olde Printy Presse (OPP for short). I’ve used some of their fonts in the past, and like their work, they do great stuff, except for OPP. They promote it with this “Stop the press! Bring back the Renaissance with this old style typeface, great for documents needing an enduring antique look”1. ARRRRGGG! Nothing in Olde Printy Presse is remotely similar to Renaissance printing. Here's the font table:

Old Printing Press alphabet

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Another corporate logo update - Sears

I’ve seen a bit of chatter this week about Sears’ new logo so I decided to wander yonder and take a look. Here’s the old:

 Sears logo  1994 2004

Ok, yes, the new logo is better. Sears went with a clean, simple font that is nicely spaced.  At first I was underwhelmed:

New Sears Canada

After seeing the two on the screen, side by side, I have to agree, it's quite an improvement. The new logo is far easier to read, especially on a computer screen. The old blue logo was a neonesque nightmare on computer screens. So this is a nice move. It remains legible on small screens unlike the previous blue one which was a nightmare to look at.

I don’t think there’s a Sears in Toronto anymore, they’ve pretty much gone the way of the dodo in Canada and I doubt this logo is really going to help much. The thing is, when I think of Sears I think of a place my mum shopped  … and I’m in my 50s. The old logo screamed outdated and stodgy. Not that my mum is stodgy … this entire paragraph just didn’t come out right.  Apologies to my mum. At any rate, Sears feels old and tired - nothing about the store or their new logo has that come hither feel to it. The company has way too much baggage for a logo to make any real impact.

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My giggles are now your giggles - the Rio Olympic logo

I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with me. The first time I looked at the Rio Olympics logo I snickered.  I didn’t see the people holding hands I saw …

... a condom being unrolled:

Rio olympic logo

 The two people look like they are trying to contain the .. er ... extension.

And then I thought this:

Olympic logo and baby pacifier

Apologies to all. I doubt you’ll see the logo the same way ever again.

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Filters on Flatiron building - Classic Toronto architecture

I was back downtown, around the St. Lawrence Centre and the Flatiron building last week. I have dozens of photos of the Flatiron, none really turn my crank and I don't post many of them. But I love the building. I took a few more photos when I was down there, sweltering in the heat and looked at them over the weekend. I have a nifty filter on my phone that applies some great special effects (I'll review the app this week) and made me start thinking about what filters would bump up a rather mediocre photo into a posterworthy one. 

I really like photos that have slightly over saturated reds and the Flatiron lends itself beautifully to this: Toronto Flatiron building - filtered and posterized

I upped the reds along the building using a NIK filter first.  I focused the saturation on the right side between the 4th and 5th and 2nd and 3rd floors. I pulled the orange on the sign way down so it didn't stand out like a sore thumb. I tossed in a filter to bump up the edges and then posterized it a bit. Then used a couple of Photoshop tricks like multiply and overlay to get the effect. I especially love the little tourists at the foot of the building.  They lend something to the photo, giving it a bit of life. I'm playing withg throwing in a large TORONTO along the bottom or on the left side. So far, I haven't found a satisfactory font, I think it needs to be a classic older one. I'll let you know if I wander down that particular path and show you the results.

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Refreshing a classic logo – Mastercard gets it right

I stumbled across the new Mastercard logo recently and have given it a bit of thought. Well, to be honest, I kept looking at it trying to figure out what was different – I knew something was, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Can you spot the difference?

Mastercard's old logoMC newLogo

I even pulled out my card to look at the logo before the penny dropped. A couple of subtle changes have refreshed the old logo. The words across the logo, with all the stripes created a bit of visual noise. By removing them, MC has created a clean, simple and leaner logo. Shifting the words off the logo and underneath, squares it up, creating a nice sense of symmetry.

I’m pleased they kept the classic design and didn’t make huge changes. If a logo doesn’t translate well over time, ok, make that radical shift, but this is a case of “don’t fix what isn’t broken” - the two circles are instantly recognisable around the world. These small changes create a clearer visual when shrunk down on a smaller screen or on a credit card itself. Even if the word is cut from the logo, it’s immediately understood.

I have to say, changing the lettering to black and moving it off the colours, makes the wording easier to read as well. Nice touch of clarity. However, I really like the change in typography the most. The new font ditches the hard edges and now flows with the circles. The combo of lower case, rounded edges and complete vertical alignment has fresh feeling. Don’t know if their intention was to create a slightly friendlier logo, but that’s the end result. Keeping the old, but giving it a bit of a facelift has worked well.

Small changes sometimes create the boldest impact.

 

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"To make my meal in a box taste better, I decided to tweak the logo, rather than the ingredients."

- Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale


If you'd like to be a guest writer, drop me a line using the contact form

 

I've left some content in their old categories. Instead of having readers hit the dreaded 404 Not Found error, I'd rather leave the pages where they lay. Here are the pages:
- Poster Design 2 - breaking out of a rut
- Something a little different - a poster for the site
- Slide show confusion - another candidate for Ring of Hell
- First Ring of Web Hell - the never ending slide show

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