I know I'm going to regret this one day, but in the spirit of 52 fonts you could use instead of helvetica (which hopefully will get through to Z) I thought why not try another subject? Now, you know there's only one davidthedesigner, don't you? But what about all the other professions? Do they have bloggers with names? Maybe they do, maybe they don't.
I like to do a bit of walking when I can. And I'm lucky enough to live somewhere where escaping from the city is not that difficult. But there's something that I come across, almost on a daily basis, that completely mystifies me. Take the one in this picture, for instance. It's at least a mile from from the nearest (farm) house. Someone's taken their dog for a walk, picked up it's poop in a plastic bag, carried the poop for (I'm guessing) a fair stretch, and then thrown it down beside the path. Other favourite places, I've noticed, are bushes, where they dangle from branches just about three feet off the ground.
Most of us who (by which I mean those that do) end up going to art school do so because we were good at art at school. Not necessarily good at drawing (that's a common misconception), because some of us can't draw to save our lives. I think I ended up at art school because I was completely rubbish at PE (physical education - ie sport - if you're reading this from abroad). Plus I didn't fancy being either an accountant, teacher, dentist, social worker or hairdresser.
But after we've been at art school for a year (that's after the foundation course) we have to start making choices: do we follow our hearts and choose to become 'fine' artists, which means a probable life of poverty, absinthe and bad teeth; or do we sell out and follow the commercial route by choosing a subject which will eventually allow us to label ourselves 'designers', and thus charge our 'clients' exorbitant fees? But between that stark choice are the 'crafts': those funny things like printmaking, pottery and calligraphy. Subjects that people choose - I sometimes think - because it gives them a foot in both camps (though often they end up in neither).*
But I've got some good news for you calligraphers, at least. It seems that London Underground are falling over themselves to employ staff who are also adept at the craft of penmanship. At least on the basis of these pictures, that would very much seem to be the case:
If any further proof were needed as to why it's well worth the effort of blogging, I arrived home from Interesting 2008 on Saturday to find that the postman had delivered me my brand-spanking new copy of O.K. Collections, published by my good (virtual) friend William and the team over at the ok-blog (and yes, before you ask, I did pay for it).
And what a lovely piece of design and print it is (though very Dutch, mind you). But don't worry, the text is in English. Now William had invited me a while ago to make a contribution, but unfortunately I'm simply not a collector. So, sadly, I had to decline: but William has promised to invite me to contribute to their next publication (once they've decided what that will be).
But I tell you what: even though I might not be a collector, I'm fascinated by the things that people do collect. Like these salt-and-pepper sets from George Sponselee, a retired teacher from the Netherlands.
And Vitorre Baroni from Italy (who describes himself as a counter culture explorer) collects mail art.
Emily Darnell, from the US, collects - among other things - the bits that are left behind when holes have been punched into card packaging. And I begin to understand why, when I see them displayed like this.
And this collection was the first to catch my eye. Lovely aren't they?
And do you know what they are? They're bread tags. Collected by Ralf Steegs, who's a web administrator (oh yes, now I'm beginning to understand).
Get your copy now - it will cost you a mere 10 Euros (only 8 if you're in the Netherlands, although quite a bit more, I'm afraid, if you're ordering from outside Europe). Just go here.
By the way, William's asked me if I can recommend any London bookshops who might like to stock O.K. Collections: I've already suggested Koenig Books in the Charing Cross Road, and Artwords Bookshop in Shoreditch. Anybody else got any ideas? Email me davidthedesigner (at) celsius.eu.com if you have.
OK, so we all get blogger's block, I'm sure. Those days when you wake up and can't think of a single thing to post about. Or the days when you wonder 'why on earth am I doing this?'. But Saturday proved to me exactly why it's worth the effort: for I had a very interesting day out. And if Russell decides to organise an 'Interesting 2009' (which I'm sure he will - won't you Russell?), I suggest you push yourself to the front of the stampede for tickets. Because you won't be disappointed. And you'll see and hear lots of interesting people telling you about lots of interesting stuff that you don't already know.
Now I'm not going to bore you with a run-down of the highlights - there are lots of bloggers out there who are going to do that much better than I can. But what I will say is that I reckon Michael 'Slowhand' Johnson (seen here tuning up) gets first prize for posting his wonderful presentation the fastest. In fact, I reckon it was up on line before the rest of us had left the building. Well done, Michael (though I was just a little disappointed that you made no mention of Neil Young).
But, apart from the interesting speakers, you get to meet lots of interesting people. I had the great good fortune to sit next to, and have lunch with, Annie Mole. A real pleasure to meet you, Annie. Plus, there are those who you already know in a 'virtual' sense. So James (who's done some excellent work for me via this blog) came over and said hello. As did David, who I didn't know, but is a reader of this blog and a contributor to Richard's Found Type Friday project. Sadly, Richard wasn't there (or I don't think he was): but Richard, everyone who told me they remembered this little blog of mine, immediately told me how great AceJet 170 is. And then, of course, I met the noisy, decent Ben.
In fact Ben told me (when we'd all toddled off to the pub afterwards) that Wil Freeborn was there (yes, that's one of Wil's drawings at the top). "Oh, I'd really like to meet him", I said. "He's Oriental-looking" replied Ben "In fact, that's him over there in the white and black top". But it wasn't. So, sorry to have missed you Wil - maybe we'll meet up next year.
Oh, and if you're the Japanese lad in the white and black top and you happen to be reading this: sorry, and I wasn't trying to pick you up.