Archive for the ‘typography’ Category

isotype & literacy learning box

August 10, 2012



Sometimes I create teaching materials for primary school children. Usually they are in German, so not very interesting for this blog here. But this picture domino can be understood and used by all people who know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The domino follows the events in the fairy tale, based on the Grimm version. The idea is, that every child has to narrate the next bit of the story, before they put the next domino piece down. Sometimes essential details have to be filled in such as the wolf devouring grandma and the little girl, but these story elements will rarely be left out anyway. So it is an exercise in sequencing and story telling. But I think it could be fun for grown ups too.

The graphics used are mostly from http://www.thenounproject.com or in the public domain. These images have been designed in the tradition of ISOTYPE and other signs, which are forming an international visual language in their own right. (Think of the signage on airports or the Olympics.) The image of Red Riding Hood is by Emma Pelling and can be found among many other educational resources at http://www.earlylearninghq.org.uk.

I am very much interested in developing Isotype-like icons for children, to be used in the context of literacy, or rather for developing multimodal literacy. I believe that abstracted and well crafted icons can be a stepping stone to alphabetic reading, as the reader has to make inferences. They also could help to communicate very efficiently to children of all languages, for example, in games or websites or other places. Of course this is happening already to some extent – children learn to read emoticons, icons and symbols in contextual menus of games. But I am sure there is more to be achieved.

The pdf is in German. The last page is meant to be a cover for a DVD storage box. I have been thinking a long time about the most practical and efficient way to store and organize learning games in the classroom. I have come to the conclusion that empty DVD covers without the DVD tray are the most simple and elegant solution. They can be stored on a bookshelf, next to books or with other DVDs, so they can be associated with both books and games. This way they can be easily retrieved and put back to where they belong. They are cheap. The boxes shut tightly, so hopefully cards and small game tokens will not be lost too quickly. The instructions can be written on the back cover and as they are protected, they will not be lost or torn. Where appropriate, a booklet or a game plan can be included (often DVD covers have little clips to hold the booklet down). For example, the story of Red Riding Hood could be provided with this game.

I am happy to borrow, steal and promote good teaching ideas and ideas for classroom organization from wherever they come from. However, I claim to be the first to use DVD covers for literacy learning boxes! Here is the printable pdf. You are free to use it. CC: BY-NC-SA

ROTKÄPPCHEN ERZÄHLDOMINO

alphabeasties

August 9, 2012

E is for Elephant

O is for 

Great twist on the animal alphabet book.

type tales

August 7, 2012

In contrast to the previously posted rendition of Little Red Riding hood this one by  Lauren Kaiseris entirely done with stunningly expressive lettering.

summer snowflakes

August 6, 2012

How Do You Cut Your Snowflakes?.

I don’t know why I am posting about these winter themes in the middle of summer. Well, I guess I have had very little time for blogging this year and so there is a backlog. Anyway, this is a lovely idea for a simple project, cutting snowflakes out of junk mail by Michele Pacey.

phone camera and image search

May 19, 2012

Some things I love about digital culture:

1. Phone cameras are great. I use my phone camera more for taking pictures than talking to people. I am considering an upgrade, not because I need it, but because I heard the camera is even better. This funny picture with caption sums it up.

2. Google image search. I use it for lots of different purposes. I sometimes pluck images from the Internet, but forget to note down where they came from. Google image search helps me find the source. If I am lucky, though not in this case. The image has been reposted way over 50 times, so that it would take some serious detective work to find the original. I wish Google had a function where you can list results by publication date.

the electro library

April 27, 2012


Another serendipitous find: This is a page from an issue of MERZ, the Dada journal published by Kurt Schwitters in 1923. ( I was actually looking for merz, a German journal on media education.) It features extracts of El Lissitzkys text “Topography of Typography”. El Lissitzkys proclaims pen and ink dead and stresses the importance of the relationship between content, typography and the mechanics of print, and the predominance of the visual over the phonetic. Ah, I just found a translation here. The text ends with this enigmatic sentence:

“The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the infinity of the book, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.”

Its odd, no?  It sounds like he is talking about the internet and world wide web  – in 1923.

a house of dust

April 27, 2012
A house of dust
on open ground
lit by natural light
inhabited by friends and enemies
 
A house of paper

among high mountains

using natural light

inhabited by fishermen and families
 
A house of leaves
by a river
using candles

inhabited by people speaking many languages wearing little or no clothes

Here are some stanzas of a poem I came across when looking for poetry which may inspire young children to write. The simple structure of the stanzas could be used as a model, offering endless possibilities for new poems.

Then, to my surprise I realized that this may well be the first computer-generated poem. Artist Alison Knowles (b.1933) and James Tenney used programming language and word lists for a poetry project  in 1967, creating a poem of the following structure:

a house of (list material) (list location) (list light source) (list inhabitants)
in which combinations of the variables were randomly generated.

Alison Knowles’s A House of Dust is an early example of computerized poetry that plays on the unlimited possibilities of the random juxtapositions of words. To create this work, Knowles produced four word lists that were then translated into a computer language and organized into quatrains according to a random matrix. Each of the four lists contains terms that describe the attributes of a house: its materials, location, lighting, and inhabitants. The computer program imposed a nonrational ordering of subjects and ideas, generating unexpectedly humorous phrasing and imagery, such as “A house of dust, in a hot climate, using all available lighting, inhabited by all races of men represented, wearing predominantly red clothing,” or “A house of broken dishes, on the sea, using natural light, inhabited by vegetarians.”

Printed on perforated tractor-feed paper common to dot matrix printers of the time, Knowles printed out numerous pages of these phrases in the form of a long scroll. She then created a book of sorts by tearing off a block of approximately twenty pages at a time, folding it in the manner of an accordion, and placing it in a plastic pouch. Hundreds of variations of houses are possible, as every version of the poem begins and ends with a different set of quatrains. Knowles’s collaboration with the computer highlights the underlying arbitrariness of language, demonstrating how words acquire different meanings through structural relationships and shifting contexts.

via: Reinhard Döhl Computertext zur Netzkunst. Vom Bleisatz zum Hypertext. More on it in English here on Calarts, here at Kemper Art Museum and here Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities.

A couple of years ago I found some of this green and white perforated paper with some kind of “computer art” among my dad’s things.  It gave me such a weird flashback. All over a sudden, I was transported back to those days when computers and photocopiers were new and people started experimenting with their affordances. Remember the many photocopied hands and faces or other stuff, like … cats? I am digressing. Way back then, the computer paper stood for everything that was ugly, in my eyes. I like the poem and so I am reconciled with the computer paper. Now its retro.

bubbles

January 7, 2012

I cannot remember where I found this. Must be written in the tradition of Christian Morgensterns Fish’s Nightsong from 1895.

more writing magic

October 14, 2011

by Arturo Carmassi via gramatologia 

love poem

October 14, 2011

by Marian Bantjes via  gramatologia: 

drama

January 30, 2011


Exterior view of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, designed by Paula Scher, Pentagram, New York.

altered books: tree of codes

January 21, 2011


JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER

JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER

Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer is the second book published by Visual Editions, according to S.Oliveros “Tree of Codes has done something no other literature has done before, and that is; every page has a different die-cut. It is a sculptural masterpiece as well as being an incredible story.”

I did not realize altering book is part of a contemporary trend, when I started blogging about them. There is a growing collection of altered books on my blog, so I am considering atarting a new category.  This one looks particularly interesting as it becomes a sculpture while remaining a readable book. So delicate.

art and maps (9) Bombus

January 15, 2011

British artisans Bombus use découpage cover all sorts of items, which can be bought at notonthehightstreet.com. I have been meaning to cover a chair like this for ages, but of course will never get around to do this, it would be great to have a set, maybe one for every city I lived in!

via Words & Eggs.

how to brighten up your walls

January 7, 2011

poster - how to brighten up your walls“How To Brighten Up Your Walls” Poster by Mike Arnold is a 16.5″ x 23.5″ screenprint, has an edition of 50, and is £15.

OMG Posters!

pipe or not to pipe

September 18, 2010


Martin Klasch: Controversy: Ceci n’est pas une pipe!.

How fascinating! I guess, we may safely assume that Magritte’s idea goes back to the time of his early reading experiences. Who knows what kinds of traces primary textbooks leave in the minds of children.

making things

September 18, 2010

YES – The Big Art Project.
Campaign concept and creative direction for broadcaster Channel 4’s initiative ‘The Big Art Project’. The series set out to create six pieces of art across Britain with the input of the general public. A 15ft typographic sculpture was designed and fabricated to represent the art that would be created throughout the series. The identity was used in print and and for 20, 40 and 60 second TV spots directed by James Griffiths.

Which reminds me, David Gauntlett has posted excerpts of his new book “Making is Connecting.” Looking forward to this.

give real love

June 4, 2010

These and more handsprayed prints by Above are available on Studioochrome for  150 Dollars each.

if I made art

May 2, 2010

I would like to make art like David Spiller.

initials

April 9, 2010

Lovely initials to use for your blog can be found on The Daily Drop Cap – an ongoing project by typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische.

the letter O in film poster design

April 9, 2010

I enjoyed reading the “The letter O in film poster design” and flipping through this collection of film posters. And here is a blog post about the use of guns as letterform.

I could have sworn I had seen another interesting take on a letter on a movie poster by a film of Shyamalan, but could not remember the title. A quick search revealed –  it was the movie poster for “Signs” which I had remembered. So much for my memory – I could not remember the word, but remembered the play with typography.

neon boneyard

April 9, 2010


Check out the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. via trendland


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