As you'll have seen (if you're paying attention at the back there), I was on out on the road yesterday morning. And as well as seeing Angie tootling by, I got stuck for a while behind a Waitrose lorry. And there was something that caught my eye. Something that wasn't quite right.
Can you see what it is?
Well I'll tell you: whoever had applied the vehicle graphics had managed to get the s in the logo upside down. And more to the point, it was bugging me. And it bugs me still.
You see, only a typographer would know that there was anything wrong. The rest of you don't know how lucky you are.
And if you don't believe me, this is how it should be:
After my silent wiz around the streets of London on Saturday I wandered along the riverside for a peek at the Design Museum. Now first of all I have a confession to make, which shocks me just as much as it will probably shock you: this was my first ever visit to the Design Museum. It's not that I've been trying to avoid it - it's just that it's in a part of London that's a bit off the beaten track for me. And that's been a big mistake on my part, really. Still, things will be a little easier in that respect once it moves to its new home up west.
I'd specifically wanted to catch the Wim Crouwel exhibition before it closed - so I managed to do that by the skin of my teeth. And I'll give you a rundown on that another day. Meantime I'm going to tell you about another little display in the foyer there: the work of some of the high achievers in the International Society of Typographic Designer's Student Assessment Scheme. It's easy to overlook, but well worth stopping for. But this is a tale of why it sometimes doesn't help to be a graphic designer: because when we look at anything related to typography we never simply take things at face value. And such is the case with this excellently-presented proposal from Jun Kwon: a wayfinding system for cyclists in central London.
Because I looked at this and all I can think is that there isn't a road junction in London where you would carry straight on in a northerly direction to get to Holborn, turn left to get to Picadilly Circus, and take a north easterly turn to reach Covent Garden. Or are you going to prove me wrong?
You see, that's just one of the drawbacks over being a designer: thinking too much about what you see in front of you.
Yesterday I bid bon voyage to family who were embarking upon the next leg of their journey around the globe. And as the mighty ship shed its moorings and slid slowly off into the night my mind turned once again to typography.
And I couldn't help thinking "oh, I'm not sure that upper and lower case Gill Sans is quite the right choice for a vessel that size" and "with all the money it cost to build that thing, you'd have thought they could have paid a little more attention to the kerning".