Archive for the ‘Design’ Category
If you think the design of the cover looks like something from the early 1950’s you’re correct, actually it’s ’53.
Was doing some housework and rearranging of shelves (as astounding as that may seem,) and came across this beautiful book I had forgotten. Not sure which I enjoy more, the cover and illustrations (in similar style) or the recipes. One of three slim volumes published by Peter Pauper Press in my small shelf of cookbooks.
Will enjoy the illustrations while deciding which of the recipes I like best. I’ll share the results, but warn you now, Devilled Eggs are likely to be near the top.
As a long-time employee of IBM, the famous blue logo was an integral part of my identity: it was on much of the mail, both electronic and paper, which I sent and on most of the vast number of documents I wrote. It was on luggage tags of bags I carried all over the world. I displayed it proudly on my time-stained Hartmann briefcase which seemed to travel a million miles with me on the trains to work and the disintegrating backpack in which latterly I lugged around computers.
But what about the time when I did not want to be identified with IBM? How would I identify myself? Which one of my many interests or hobbies could best represent me? And, after I decided that, how would I display it visually? I let the questions rattle around, unanswered, in my head.
Standing at the bus stop one snowy night after calligraphy class I found the answer: a signature stamp, an inkan or hanko as it is also known. Briefly, a hanko is a stamp used with red ink as a signature. I decided to create a digital version which could be inserted into a document or used as an avatar.
Hanko designs can be very elaborate but since I would not be able to control the display medium I drew a single character within a square box using a stylized hiragana form of the character shi, the first of my name. The enclosing box was a set of Bézier curves and I saved the drawing as a PNG-file to preserve transparency such that an underlying image or background colour would be visible.
Although I initially intended to use the hanko only in digital form, recently I printed calling cards which included it. Peter Sherk of Haddon Press submitted three designs of which I chose the one below.
Although I have been interested in graphic design since childhood, my hanko project reminded me that there is much to think about before any work is begun. To anyone embarking on a similar activity I recommend two articles on the topic of Logo design written by Steve Naegele in February 2010, in his blog, A Sumtyme Blog of Knowthing. Whether you are thinking of doing it yourself or sending it out to the pros, read this first; you are tying your life to the results.
In August 2009 I bought a guinomi (ぐい吞； sake cup) in Seto, Aichi made by a local potter named Yamaguchi Masato (山口真人). Masato is the sixth generation of a family of potters. Their pottery is named Western Kiln and is located in Akazu, just outside the town of Seto. The cup, named Summer and shown in Fig. 2, below, is glazed with abstract oribe colours of green, orange and beige. The surface texture is rough and the colours are bright. It was the first in a small collection inspired by Steve Naegele. I returned in December and bought a second piece, Autumn.
The morning of December 5th was cool and cloudy as we boarded the Kintetsu train for Nagoya at Saidiaji. I enjoyed a decadent breakfast of curry donut and coffee; my treat as this was my last full day in Japan of this visit.
The train has a camera at the front and screens in the carriages so one could enjoy the views both from the front and windows at the same time. The scenery in the mountains between Yagi and Haibara was spectacular: muted autumn colours and mist-shrouded peaks.
At Nagoya I bought an umbrella for Naoko while transferring trains and we continued the journey to Seto, arriving in the early afternoon. Gone was the eye-burning sunshine of August, replaced with rain which alternated between drizzle and downpour. Calling Western Kiln we found it would be necessary to take a taxi from the train station to their studio. My plans for a photographic essay of the numerous Art Deco bridges of central Seto would have to wait until next time.
Western Kiln consists of three buildings: a cafe and showroom, a Meiji-era house used as a showroom and a studio. We were greeted by Mrs. Yamaguchi (mother of Masato) and taken into the cafe for coffee, conversation and a look at some of the wares. On a table just inside the door I saw a guinomi very similar in style and form, however much more subtly coloured to the one I had purchased last August. I instinctively knew this was the one. The notion of the artist struggling in adversity vanished in the rain as Mrs. Yamaguchi informed us that her son was in the studio watching surfing videos in preparation for an upcoming trip to Hawaii.
After viewing the entire selection, as expected, I settled on the first piece, the subtle oribe guinomi. Naoko gave it to me as a present. Mrs. Yamaguchi drove us back to the train station, showing us the clay quarry which has supplied the region’s potters for hundreds of years along the way.
It was not my intention to acquire a matching set, but when placed beside the original, one could quickly see the similarities and truly appreciate the subtle beauty of the form and colour of the new piece. The green and orange, so prominent in the first are found only in small patches close to the foot; it had captured the colours of a rainy autumn day in Japan.
Despite the differences between the cups I can attest that sake consumed from either is delicious. Kampai!
I am designing a personal website and have made the following notes on design and layout topics.
The primary purpose of the gallery is to hold a small number of photographs which I feel are worthy of attention.
- High resolution and quality images.
- Minimalist layout. Black with grey navigation objects and numbers.
- No notes or text, but figure number only on photo pages.
- One photo per page.
- Index of photos on the last page. To show location and date only.
- Technical data to be available on other photo collection pages.
An informal collection of photos.
- Notes and technical data included with images.
- Small, medium resolution images.
- Grouped by dates, subjects or topics as appropriate.
Site Notes (About?) Page
This page will contain a general description of the site.
- Explanation of site navigation.
- Contact etc.
Should be standardized throughout the site.
- Forward/back arrows.
- Link to topic main page and home page.
- Can be flexible to suit topic.
Using minimalist templates (few as possible.)
- Slight variations accepted for content.
- Colours and navigation object position.
- Used for explanation sites.
- Identified in my site.