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Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

In memory of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I figured now would be a good time to take a look at some vintage WWII propaganda posters.

👁❤⌨

If you’ve completed the latest update on your Apple mobile device, then you’re bound to notice the new (and, in my opinion, improved) integration of emojis in the Messages app. Sure, the emoji keyboard has been available since previous updates—big whoop, right? Well, now when you’re crafting that perfect text, if it contains a word that could be portrayed as an emoji, it automatically underlines. When you tap on that word, the appropriate emoji (along with options if available) takes its place!

For example, if I were to text someone, “How was the apple orchard this weekend? Probably not nearly as good as it could have been had I been able to go! Haha!” then both the apple and the Haha! will appear in red and underlined. If I tap them, then my text is transformed into, “How was the 🍎orchard this weekend? Probably not nearly as good as it could have been had I been able to go! 😂!” How great is that!?

As a fan of visual communication, I think emojis are👌. And apparently I’m not the only one, since the original emoji set, developed under the supervision of Shigetaka Kurita and released for cell phones in 1999, has been added to the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. Read more about the beginning—and also the impact—of this visual language that has become near and dear to my ❤, or if you’re feeling frisky, check out this realtime twitter emoji tracker.

En Guete!

“Culinary achievements by the Swiss,” says Swiss Ambassador to the United States Martin Dahinden, “are as little known to French and English readers as they are to German-speaking ones.” So, naturally, he’s published a bookSchweizer Küchengeheimnisse: Gesichter und Geschichten hinter bekannten Gerichten (Swiss Kitchen Secrets: Faces and Stories Behind Famous Dishes).

“People very often reduce Switzerland’s culinary footprint to a few traditional dishes like Fondue, Raclette, or Müesli,” says Dahinden. Apparently, there’s more. He includes recipes for Potage à la Guillame Tell, Kappeler Milchsuppe, and Spanischbrötli. There’s even a Helvetia-Cocktail, which we’re guessing contains generous amounts of kirschwasser.

So far, Dahinden’s tome is available only in German, but hey—how hard can it be to figure it out?

 

Bauhaus + Swiss Style = Something Beautiful

Bauhaus vs. Swiss Style

There are clear differences between the two, but many similarities as well. Both use similar layouts and motifs, rely on a grid, implement minimalistic designs with geometric shapes, and use simple fonts and color.

The differences only become apparent when you dive a little deeper and recognize that, at its heart, Swiss style is concerned with communication, believing that design is socially useful.

Why the lesson, you ask? Because this Instagram account, a solid mix of the two, is perfection. Though it’s clearly meant to be more representational of Bauhaus style, I see a little Swiss in there as well.

Show-and-Tell

There are many that would critique Helvetica as being bland or invisible. Though at times I can understand where these people are coming from, below is may perfect examples of Helvetica’s ability to adapt and form to content. On the popular website, Dribbble.com (basically show-and-tell for designers), all you need to do is search “Helvetica” and watch your screen flood with designs using the font in fun, bright, engaging, and fresh ways. This typeface, no matter your feelings about it, has legs that can stand up to any design scenario.

 

All Growed Up

On February 18, 2015, CK and Linda Anderson launched a little philanthropic enterprise they called Helveticahaus. One year later, their homage to great design and impeccable style has become a global phenomenon. I mean, just look at the map. No, seriously, look at it! Wherever there’s a Swiss flag, you’ll find someone of discriminating taste – someone who, by proudly wearing an Hh Tt, has contributed to a worthy cause. Happy birthday, Helveticahaus. You’ve done your parents proud. Feeling left out? Wanna join the throng? Start here.

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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Helvetica is, at the very least, known as a pragmatic typeface. But we at Helveticahaus had no idea how deep its blue-collar work ethic could go. That is, until we discovered Helvetica Bold on an operator’s manual inside the mine’s hoist control room – 5,000 feet below the earth’s surface. Clearly, this typeface is a true Swiss workhorse: a perfect fit for Hecla Mining Company’s rough-and-tumble Lucky Friday mine in Mullan, Idaho.

hecla_helvetica-bold_blog

Trends Come and Go, but Principles Remain the Same

Throughout the day I hop on various social media outlets to see whether there’s anything that grabs my attention long enough to initiate a deeper dive. Most often, though, I just hit “Like” and continue – without following up, commenting, or even opening the link. I guess I’m more of a devourer of social media than a participant, which allows me to peruse a lot of information, photos, and articles without truly absorbing them. Whether that’s good, bad, or ugly isn’t the point; it’s that, as a devourer, I’m able to spot trends in feeds that more active participants are likely to miss.

In steps knolling.

Apparently, that’s the name of this “new” technique of arranging related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization. (Cough…grid…cough.) Here’s a little history from an oh-so-trusted source.

The term was first used in 1987 by Andrew Kromelow, a janitor at Frank Gehry’s furniture fabrication shop. At the time, Gehry was designing chairs for Knoll, a company famously known for Florence Knoll’s angular furniture. Andrew Kromelow would arrange any displaced tools at right angles on all surfaces, and called this routine knolling, in that the tools were arranged in right angles – similar to Knoll furniture. The result was an organized surface that allowed the user to see all objects at once.

Now, it’s hard to deny the fun that can be had with a little knolling from time to time – not to mention the satisfaction that comes from an ordered world. I mean, just look at this!

 

knolling_test

 

But let’s be honest. This business of “arranging related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization” is nothing more than the tried-and-true Swiss Grid, developed in the 1940s, perfected in the 50s, and now co-opted by a bunch of obsessive-compulsives who apparently have way to much time on their hands.

BRB – just gonna go empty my purse out on my desk.

Nice Hills You Painted There

june11

Denver’s James Niehues has created more than 240 different ski trail maps for resorts around the world:

In his heyday, Niehues put in an eight-hour shift at the board, seven days a week. “I was painting so much that my muscles would cramp up and I couldn’t hold my arm up,” he says. “I developed a sling that hung from the ceiling that would hold up my arm so I could paint.” Let that sink in: The next time you’re feeling tired mid-project, remember—a sling, just so he could keep going.

Ironically, the “Monet of the Mountain” never skied before he started making trail maps in 1986—and has rarely done it since. We’re guessing it’s because he hasn’t spent much time in the land of watches, brown cows, and modern type.

That’s right, we’re talking about Switzerland, which utterly destroyed the competition in Outside magazine’s “Top 10 Ski Resorts in Europe”—as if there were any doubts. So give us a call, Mr. Niehaus. We’d love to take you “schussing in the shadow of the Eiger.”

Unfixable Helvetica

2000px-HelveticaSpecimenCH.svg

Michael Bierut talks to Gary Hustwit about Helvetica in 2006:

“…[I]t somehow has this kind of inherent rightness. You know, the rightness of the way the lowercase a meets the curve, the rightness of the way the G has a thing that comes down, the rightness of the way the C strokes are like that instead of like that. I wouldn’t have believed that those things actually could be right or wrong as opposed to someone’s taste, yet you have 50 years of history of the thing just sitting there daring people to fix it. It seems to be unfixable.”

The quote was taken from this book, which would make a swell gift for that designer in your life. Likewise Mr. Bierut’s manifesto, released just last month.