Chamblee54

Egress Over Logos

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on March 25, 2017


This story starts with a break. When listening to a podcast, there usually comes a time to pause the show. Do you go back and finish, or do you let it slide? The show today is Negative Space: Logo Design with Michael Bierut from 99 Percent Invisible.

The graphic designer interviewed has a delightful way of talking. He avoids cheap obscenity, but gets the point across. An example is the first Trump-Pence logo, which many observers saw as depicting a naughty activity. “For many, the T/P ligature in particular called unsavory associations to mind, quickly resulting in animated versions (and ultimately the disuse of the logo itself).” In talking about implied sex, and in drawing logos, less is more.

It turns out there was not much of the interview after the break. The designer, Michael Bierut, used the exit sign to discuss the cosmetic nature of graphic design. “if you can read the exit sign then you can find your way out of the building, whatever typeface it happens to employ. But if the exit door is nailed shut, you may have a serious egress problem.”

Show notes for this episode linked to a related episode, Good Egress. This episode dealt with the issue of getting out of a burning building. A prominent incident, in the evolution of fire evacuation, was the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. This tragedy took place March 25, 1911.

While stumbling in the breaktime wilderness, PG found this week’s five minute writing challenge. The photo prompts this week start with a children’s party, seemingly set in Eisenhower America. The other picture has a travel bag, lying in the middle of a dirt road. Just set the five minute timer, and go.

Why did I loan the bag to Alphonse for his photo shoot? He is off somewhere, on a dirt road, taking pictures of my bag for a client. What I should have told him was that there was a birthday present in that bag. The party is going on right now, and I can only stall for so long. Maybe a costume jewelry ring is not a good idea for a little girl. It wasn’t my idea, nor was it my idea to put it in a vintage makeup kit bag. The birthday girl … why can’t I remember her name, they all sound alike anyway … is not going to appreciate how cool that bag is. Maybe it should stay in the dirt road, and let somebody run over it with a tractor. Which does not solve the problem of this birthday party. Maybe if they blow on those party favors long enough they won’t notice.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. John Collier took the pictures in November, 1942. “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (vicinity). Montour no. 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. Coal miner at end of the day’s work”

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