Posts Tagged ‘art direction’

Weekend Hot Links

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Happy Friday! Get creative this weekend with recent art, design, and culture stories shared by the SVACE faculty and community.

Image via New York Times

Image via New York Times

Daily Drawings (New York Times): Every NYT front page begins with these drawings. (via Steven Heller)

Boss Blues (Advertising Age): The Chief Creative Job has a murky future at big brands. (via Debbie Millman)

Steven Bomb (Slate): Steven Universe Is “Purple Lesbians From Space.” It’s Also Love, Pain, Support, and Struggle. (via SVA News)


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Faculty Updates

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

What have SVACE faculty members been up to? We have exciting updates from Ruth Marten, Barbara Segal, Ilene Strizver, and Steve Brodner.

From "Fountains & Alligators" by Ruth Marten

From “Fountains & Alligators” by Ruth Marten

Ruth Marten was featured in The New Yorker for her illustrated collection, Fountains & Alligators. For the series, Marten uses ink and watercolor to seamlessly transform Victorian prints into “crocodile cohabitation” and other surreal, waterlogged tableaux.


Barbara Segal, “Black Candy” (Image via the New York Post)

Barbara Segal carves Hermés Birkins from stone, as described in the New York Post. The Post writes, “Her ‘bags’ are true to size and bear immaculate detailing, including the status tote’s signature leather folds, tight stitching and even the lock.” See her work in person in a group show, Emerging to Established, on view at Krause Gallery in NYC from Sept. 7 through Oct. 5.

From Ilene Strizver's "TypeTalk"

From Ilene Strizver’s “TypeTalk”

Ilene Strizver updated TypeTalk, her excellent typography blog at CreativePro. In “How to Work with a Lettering Artist,” Strizver consults leading lettering artists. Each artist describes a creative process that includes research, sketches, and digital output. The artists also share ideas about what they need from art directors: “Tips for a good job with me.”

Steve Brodner for the L.A. Times

Steve Brodner for the L.A. Times

Steve Brodner illustrated The Home Stretch, an Op-Ed parody for the L.A. Times of the last days of campaign 2016. Despite this election’s ceaseless absurdity, Brodner’s chronicles always find room for more.

See more updates on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages!

Weekend Hot Links

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?


Image via Tech Insider

Logo Losers (Tech Insider): The worst logos of all time? (via SVA News)

Turtle Power (Vulture): How TMNT hatched a comics media boom, and bust. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Sister Cinema (New York Times): This year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival looks at women’s rights around the globe. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Lois Legacy (Print Mag): Granted a major award, George Lois speaks truth to power. (via Steven Heller)

See more updates and stories on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.


Monday, February 22nd, 2016

The Met’s new logo has inspired divergent criticism from the art and design press. It’s a “graphic misfire,” writes Vulture, while WIRED explains how its ligatures create “a metaphorical moment.” The capital E’s “look like butts,” quips GQ.

To build our own informed opinion of the logo, we sought answers from Ilene Strizver, a longtime SVACE faculty member who teaches Gourmet Typography.  She also writes TypeTalk, an ongoing and deeply informative blog for Ilene responded with some valuable insights. She writes:

The New Met Logo
Ilene Strizver | The Type Studio

The new Metropolitan Museum of Art logo has everyone talking – and it’s not all words of praise. The new logo is the work of global-branding firm Wolff Olins, scheduled to be unveiled on March 2016. This design is a rebranding, with a totally new look, feel, and concept compared to the previous logo. While there is certainly nothing wrong with rebranding a highly revered institution such as The Met, I’m not sure this one accomplishes what they set out to do.

Old and new logos for The Met

Old and new logos for The Met

At first glance, the connection the new logo has with the overly tight type treatments of the 60s and 70s was unmistakable. This style was first employed by Herb Lubalin, who started the whole tight type movement during the transition from metal to phototypesetting which made it possible to do things that were not viable with hot metal. Lubalin was known for his extremely tight spacing and type tailoring (as we called it then), where two or more characters were often blended into each other, creating a ligature of sorts. The new Met logo uses this technique to create extreme ligatures out of each of the three-letter words. Unfortunately it is overdone to the point where the ‘tricks’ catch the eye and take visual precedence over the meaning of the words and the great institution it represents, in effect reverting back to the “bellbottoms and tie-dye shirts” of typography of the 60s and 70s.

This cover of U&lc Vol 5, No 4 was designed by Herb Lubalin in 1978. It epitomizes the overly tight type that was the revered style of the 60s and 70s.

This cover of U&lc Vol 5, No 4 was designed by Herb Lubalin in 1978. It epitomizes the overly tight type that was the revered style of the 60s and 70s.

“Our new logo no longer relies on symbols and, instead, is based on our commonly used name ‘The Met,’ which has an immediacy that speaks to all audiences. It is an original drawing, a hybrid that combines and connects serif and sans serif, classical and modern letterforms. In this respect, it reflects the scope of the Museum’s collection and the inherent connections that exist within it.”

This statement by the museum explains that the hybrid forms are intended to symbolize the broad scope of the museum’s collection. Unfortunately the logo doesn’t ‘read’ that way. If the viewer needs an explanation in order to ‘get’ or understand a logo that is not easily recognizable, it is missing the point.

Both revising or rebranding a logo should take an identity in forward-moving direction, but this does not do that. It is a caricature of a style gone by, and does not accurately reflect the greatness and broad spectrum of the institution it is designed to represent. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finessing and type tailoring typography to either draw attention to words or letterforms (having lovingly created many in my days working on U&lc), but going overboard with too many tricks makes the tricks the star attraction, not the word mark or the institution itself. If this logo consisted of these same letterforms without the ‘triple-ligaturization’ it might have been more successful in achieving the intended goal.

-Ilene Strizver