29 June 2010

[net liff] Email Lottery Spam Goes Freudian

My favorite email subject line just came in a few minutes ago:

Your Email Id Has Won!

You see, that's going to be a problem. My Email Id is always winning, and my Email Ego is more than a little bruised about it.

Well, I guess my Email Superego will mediate. Like it always does.

And so it goes.

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[pdx] The Bicycle Diaries: The TriMetanic Verses part 1

A composite of four days trips to and from my place of employ via bicycle and bus. Though, it must be said, that I've ridden buses before. This is not exactly terra incognita here.

Line 71. To Clackamas Town Center.

One thing that has changed in the few years since I've had to use TriMet to get anywhere is the sheer amount of info there is about when the next bus is coming. All I need to know is the stop id number and whip it up on the TriMet website, which I wish existed back in the 90s this way.

Ever hear of the TriMet Shuffle? This is a dance one sees people doing all the time. It's a relative of the Hokey Pokey, as near as I can tell:
You put your whole body in
You take your whole body out
You put your whole body in
And you look all about
You do the TriMet shuffle
And the bus ain't still in sight
Then you're back on the curb
It may be some sort of earth-magic dance that is supposed to make the bus come a little sooner, but since it ain't getting there before it gets there, it's usually a waste of time.

On second thought, maybe it's more like those pilot's superstitions.

Southeast Oak. Transfer. To Line 20.

The bus has gotten downright chatty. Not only do you know what line you're on, you know what stop you're coming up to and what line serves it. It's a combination of nifty, annoying, and Blade Runner for the poor man.

East Burnside. Transfer. To MAX.

It's at this point that I realize that I  had not, in fact, shut off the flashing tail light on my bicycle, but had left it on. I'm sure I'm not the first one who had ever done that.

I found mounting the bike on the front of the bus easier than I'd thought, even though the part where you "squeeze the handle" wasn't at first clear. But it's up into the rack, hook over the front wheel, et voila. Though I feel like I'm performing to get credibility in the bus driver's eyes, which is actually a little awkward.

Five Hundred Block. Northeast. One Hundred. Twenty Second.

Northbound buses on 122nd after this time are pretty quiet. There are quite a few people who get on and only go a few blocks, a distance I'd be walking (or wheeling, since I got the bike). I can't criticize, though. We call have our reasons.

Northeast.  Hossey. Transfer to Line. Seventy Seven.

The voice of the bus is designed to be flat and uninflected, from everywhere and nowhere. It does it's job nicely, except when announcing Halsey Street: it sounds distinctly like he's saying Hossey. And by the way it impinges on my psyche, I know I'll hear that voice in my head whenever I cross Hossey ... eh, Halsey ... for pretty much the rest of my time here on Earth.

Northeast. San Rafael. Transfer to Line. Twenty three.

I like the way most of the routes out here are twenty-something. Reminds me of the old Blue Snowflake service sector, which this area was the west side of.

At the Taco Bell at NE 122nd and San Rafael, three large-and-in-charge teenage girls get on the bus, all with music plugged into thier ears and chattering anyway. Many times between here and Shaver Street they'll be asked to turn the music down, as the volume in the 'phones is so loud that it can actually be heard at the front of the bus.

Heh. Kids today.

Northeast Stanton.

An attractive slim blonde lady wearing amazingly skinny jeans gets on. Though she seems a bit too poised for the mien, she does not seem out of place. Has a sort of a gentle presence.

Northeast. Shaver. Transfer to Line. Twenty Two.

The young ladies exit the bus by the Rossi Farms fields. They walk off, their whole stride an incarnation of the phrase "Whatevah, whatevah".

The sunset is quite beautiful. I'm no stranger to watching sunsets, but it is actually pretty nice to watch one without having to keep one eye on the road. I'm enjoying this even though I'm missing the 72 Beetle very much. As I still am.

Northeast. 121st Place. And Prescott.

This is right next to Parkrose High. A young black man gets on, resplendent in modern hip-hop couture. Flashes his bus pass like a seasoned pro, sticks his wallet in his back pocket and heads straight to the back of the bus, eyes scanning everything but his fellow passengers in the front. His eyes scan without challenge and without suspicion, but they scan just because that's what they do.

Well, after all, he's just looking for a seat.

In front of me there's a teen girl, probably Japanese. She's got skinny black jeans, scarlet sneakers with black-and-gray leopard spots, an Ocean Pacific flannel top, and is endlessly scanning her iPod, eyes looking through those skinny-frame glasses that are all the rage these days. She has a septum piercing. She is something of a teen cliche in either North America or Asia.

I pull the cord just as we're crossing I-205 on Prescott, and the bus drops me at 92nd. I have to go down the hill from here.

Despite the lack of any shoulder on Prescott going to the light at Sandy, I'm not crowded by the motorists. I'll never meet you guys in person, but mad ups to you for being excellent. It's only really on the news when all motorists seem out to get cyclists ... and if you want to argue about taxes paying for bike access, I've paid gas taxes many a year, bucko. Now that my car's inoperable for the forseeable future, the way I see it, I'll take it out in the use I get out of the road on my bike, because I still have to get to work on time.

Ever notice how TriMet drivers are taciturn even when they're happy? I guess having to worry about the safety of so many people will take it out of you.

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27 June 2010

[logo] The Portland Timbers Logo System - The Full Monty Debuts

The system has debuted.

On Friday, 25 June 2010, the Portland Timbers organization rolled out the complete logo and identity system. The whole system consists of four parts in toto, called the primary, secondary, and tertiary crests, along with the wordmark and a baseball-logo-like ligature. Credit the Timbers for the following, in order:

1. The Primary Crest. Looks almost identical to the logo debuted earlier, but with simpler lines, less fiddly stuff, and relieved of all the yellow high-lights, looks a lot less cartoony, a lot more down-to-earth. Very much an improvement over the original.

2. The Secondary Crest. Remove the words crossing the symbol and allow the circle to trim the chevrons. Of the whole system, this looks the most like the old crest

3. The Tertiary Crest. Remove all but the axe, and you get something which reminds me of the 70s era AT&T logo:

4. The Ligature. The ligature mark ... a ligature being a word that describes what happens when you tie two letterforms together ... combines a stylized letter "P" with the axe in a way which not only shows off the signature axe but also suggests the letters "PT", and whose overall effect reminds me of baseball and hockey team logos:

And rounding this off is the Wordmark,  which, simply put, is the "PORTLAND TIMBERS" lifted from the primary crest and used on its own.

Whatever anyone might think of the new logo, I must admit, it's kind of grown on me. If I can be so bold as to say that, as far as logo and identity systems go, it's a pretty solid group of symbols, all of which hand off to each other with a nicely-done visual logic.

I know that a great many Timbers supporters are unhappy with the primary crest, and I'm not about to tell anyone else how to feel about it. However, in my view, it updates the whole thing very aptly while - and I imagine that I might not get a great deal of agreement here - pays proper homage to the image's and the franchise's past.

The new marks have a visual logic, a clean and modern sense of style, a sensitivity to what amounts to local tradition, and a clear link with the past (deftly done by making the axe the centerpiece of the circular design).

According to the Timbers press release, some of this was influenced by fan input. I'm guessing, based on what I've seen on that message board, the secondary crest was very much influenced by Timbers Army input. The primary crest is improved - there seems to be a lack of yellow highlights and some of the more "fiddly-bits" seem to be gone, and playing that down does the mark a great deal of good. Tighter and cleaner is the way to go.

I don't know about other Timbers fans, or if they think this is that much of an improvement, but it's a system of marks I can certainly get behind.

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25 June 2010

[bloggage] ScribeFire Image Uploading Down, Again. Waah.

Well, I do complain a little. But it's hard to run a blog that fancies itself fixated on visual issues if the uploading of pics becomes a pain.

I still adore ScribeFire, and will still use ScribeFire (remembering the debacle with Flock the last time this happened, irritating thing) but I wish the developer would get ahead of this somehow. It repeats, this "Unable to acquire authorization token" thing. Makes me cry and die inside.

I'll have to upload pics some other way, I guess.

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[liff] The Bicycle Diaries: Reborn Of Necessity, TriMet Truths

Tonight, I get back on the bike.

It's a move born of necessity. Long story, won't tell right now, a bit depressing. Trying to hone accentuating the positive as a survival skill. For someone who usually has the deck stacked agin' 'im, that's not an easy thing to do. Infer what you will from the following words: economy, strained budgets, deferred car maintenance.

Yesterday night I chanced a communte on TriMet. Now, in this era of reducing service, I've found that TriMet is still head and shoulders above most other transit agencies (yeah, I know!). You can trust me on this; our housemate recently returned (gratefully) from his old hometown (Sacramento) ad complained quite heartily about the Sacto system, which, apparently, doesn't even give transfers anymore ... you have to pay to board every bus.

I'm near one of the magnificent TriMet crosstown routes, the 71, which describes a big inverted U across the east side of PDX, tying it together ... kind of like The Dude's rug and that room, running up the East 60s from downtown Milwaukie, connecting across the north end via Prescott Street, and making it south along 122nd, eventually ending up in the vicinity of Clackamas Town Center. And, from a point near my house, it's a quick 20 minute ride to a point near my work. So, in this way, I'm luckier than most.

Last night's go was a misfire; the bus was running about 5 minutes early. I watched it go past my stop just as I got across the street from it.

Tonight, we use the bike to shorten the leg part of it.

We'll note our results.

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24 June 2010

[art] Where To Get Your Art Supplies In PDX (Updated)

(Updated 0300Z 27 June 2010 with a listing for Utrecht. Thanks to Ben Lukoff for the tip!)

As an extension on the last chapter, since one of the reasons I do a blog is to share the nifty things that I do find sometimes, this being a very human thing to do, I've created a list of art stores that I know I'll find what I'm looking for in PDX, and which I believe readers will have a good time simply going to. It's on the sidebar down under "My Favorite Designers and Illustrators", or just do a search for Where to get your art supplies in PDX and the browser should take you right there.

Right now there are five members to the list. They are listed in the order we usually look. When it comes to Muse/I've Been Framed, we usually go first to whichever one we're closer to. Either one is a great experience, though I've Been Framed has a lot of closeouts and their prices aren't better 100% of the time - only about 98% of the time. But they'll give you good value for money. Anyway! On with the show (visit websites for info, call for hours. Most are open until about 6:30 pm):
  1. Muse Art + Design, 4227 SE Hawthorne Blvd, PDX, http://museartanddesign.com. Good little shop, good selection, run by artists for artists and for those who want to do art, reasonable prices, great selection of paints.  503.231.8704
  2. I've Been Framed,  4950 SE Foster Rd, PDX. Good selection of paints and graphite media, marvelous prices on paper, wonderful selection of good-priced papers and canvases, Good quality closeouts. You'll never know what you'll find here some days. 503.775.6651
  3. Art Media, two locations-downtown and Clackamas, http://artmediaonline.com. This is the grandaddy of local art supply stores. Between the two locations, they got a lot - if you can't find it, you probably don't need it. Best selection of art instruction books outside Powells or your nearby megachain. Online ordering available! 1.800.990.3364 x4
  4. Utrecht Art Supply, 1122 NW Everett St, PDX, http://utrechtart.com. (reviews via Google) PDXers can feel fortunate that they are in the good geographic luck to be near one of the 38 nationwide locations of this art supply company. It's been a while since we
    personally have visited, but I recall the shopping experience there was a nice one, and it comes highly recommended by art acquaintaces. (Thanks to Ben Lukoff from Seattle for pointing this one out)
  5. Aaron Brothers Art and Framing. Two locations-Tigard and Beaverton. http://aaronbrothers.com. Plan B if you can't get to any of the other three because it's open like a chain store, at least until about 8pm. They really market to people looking for frames, but they have a Good selection of mass-market materials, prices about what you'd expect.
  6. Michael's Art and Craft, http://michaels.com, various PDX locations - check the websites. If all the others have closed you can always hit Michaels. Though the market to primarily the crafty sorts, the art supplies are unexpectedly plentiful and feature brands that you'd use seriously - Grumbacher, Winsor & Newton, good selection of graphite media, worth checking out if you work on the lower-quality end too.
About the only place the quality gradient really matters is in those last two, but if you're shopping at Aaron Brothers or Michael's, your probably just looking for a place to get "some paint and a brush". This is not necessarily a bad thing, just one of scale; those two stores market to the craft community as a whole, and it's hard to be and "artist's" store when you spread your net that wide. We find unexpected good things in those two stores, so they're worth the stop.

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[pdx, art] Singin' More Of The Praises Of Muse Art + Design

I know I've written about Muse Art + Design before, but every time we go in I find my happy place with regards to east side art supplies, and I just want to tell more people about it.

The east side of Portland (and regardless of what your local alt-weekly may or may not say, deep eastside PDX - and by that I mean east of I-205, is in Portland) is sadly lacking in any real artist-centered art stores. So, when we go westward in search of art supplies, we like finding places that make our art-store dollar count for something.

Muse, at 4224 SE Hawthorne Blvd, is located near the ironic end of the Hawthorne trend zone, but its prices are just as reasonable as you could want. My favorite non-Pilot Precise V5 pens, which are now the Copic Multiliners, are 7 bucks a throw (but they're refillable and the points are replacable, just like any good Copic markers. Great selection of paint at great prices. Less elite pens and markers are priced accordingly.

The thing I like the most about Muse is that it, in its way, and like I've Been Framed over at Foster and Powell, is by artists, for artists, and all about artists. Each April, they have "An Artist A Day", a fundraiser when each day of the month an artist works in the front window, producing one piece, which is then hung above the product in an impromptu gallery show and silent auction.

They even have Testors enamel paint! How many art stores stock that? I haven't used Testors since I was ruining model rockets and polystyrene model kits as a kid.

I've noticed that Muse is Twitter enabled - http://twitter.com/MuseArtDesign -  and of course they have an elegantly designed web page, http://MuseArtAndDesign.com. Between them and I've Been Framed, you pretty much have your east side art material needs nailed down.

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[art] Heraldry: More Coats Of Arms Of My Own Divising

On Wednesdays, thanks to our long standing activities within the An Tir College of Arms, we do a Heraldry Night. A few very fine and intellectual individuals come together from the local area ... it's a semi-formal group. We have ties in mutual respect and commonalities in some amazing heralds who have shaped and directed us in the past. Some are still with us. Some, sadly, are not.

And that's for another program. What happens during these meetings is that I get a chance to do some drawings. And I got to do two tonight, with the intent of the peoples for submitting them to the An Tir College for hopeful passage and registration. Here's one of them:

This is for a recent recruit to our group named Rahir. Rahir likes him his word play. that creature on the middle of the shield is an ermine - a member of the weasel family which looks rather much like a ferret.

The groups of uniquely-shaped spots that populate the field are also ermine. The spots are a stylization of a fur patter. Ermines were nicely put to use to make fur accoutrements, and were typically sown together in such a way that they formed this patter of dark spots on a white background. This is a field treatment that is, in fact, called ermine.

I display my creations uncolored, as that is how they are produced for the client. The client's vision is that the background should have black spots on white on the viewer's left, and white spots on black on the left. Now, since black-on-white is called ermine, white spots on black is called counter-ermine. Also, in order to contrast against the background, the ermine-spotted ermine on the left side of the line is black with white spots, whilst the tail end of the ermine on the right is black spots on white - reversing where the spots cross graphical boundaries (as the spot over the beast's tail. Flipping the colors respectant a line is, in heraldry, called counter-changing.

The blazon for this therefore, is per pale, ermine and counter-ermine, an Ermine, counter-changed.

Ermine, ermine, baby ... vanilla ermine, ermine baby.

The proposed arms for his lady are thus:

There are, as you can see, two scales in the chief, and three lionesses in the lower two thirds. There's significant visual punnery here, and you don't need to know the colors for this (though the chief is and the cats are black (sable) and the scales and field are white (argent). To get the joke, it's helpful to know that another word for balance, libra, gives us by an indirect route, the word pound. Also, a word for a heraldic cat is ounce.

You may already see it but if not, while the blazon might be correctly said Argent three ounces rampant and on a chief sable, two scales argent it can offhandedly be quipped as Two Pounds, three ounces.

Like I said, our client does like him his wordplay.

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23 June 2010

[liff] Your Do-It-Yourself, All-Purpose, Top 10 List

Okay, everyone, today, I'm declaring it a Sarcasm Day.

Oh, I see the trend. Everyone comes up with a list of 10 or whatever this-or-that's, and either names it the "Top 10" of something, or, just 10 of something.

It's getting kind of tiresome, but this trend shows no signs of deservedly flaming out. Therefore, in this bid to get some sort of meagre Intartubez famousness and a ton'o'hits, I give you the original, official DIY, all-purpose, top-ten list. Here's how it works.
  1. I supply you ten numbers, ideally from one-to-10. They're typically integers, though I'm not going to let anyone hold me to that.
  2. I supply you ten words or names, maybe drawn from current events, maybe not, maybe generated by my free-floating ennui.
  3. You cut and paste ... no, no, get your X-Acto knife away from the fershlugginer MONITOR, use the command from the Edit menu ... them into your own top-10 list, supplying your own theme. Or not.
Do you all think you can handle that? I do! I believe in you! So, here we go:

  • 2
  • 4
  • 1
  • 7
  • 3
  • 6
  • 8
  • 5
  • 9
  • 10
  • BP Oil Spill
  • Lady Gaga
  • Large Hadron Collider
  • iOS4
  • iPad
  • Toronto
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Lost
  • Crayolas
  • Barry Bonds totally used steroids.
Good night, and good luck!

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22 June 2010

[comic art] Elementary Tintin: "Tintin In the Land Of The Soviets"

Tintin, the young boy Belgian reporter character invented by the great Belgian artist Hergé, is known for an illustrative style so signature that I've heard people describe some other comics as Tintinesque, much like a high compliment for musicians would be, say, Beatlesque.

Hergé's drawing style is the best known (along with the Asterix comics) of the famous Belgian "clear line" style, or ligne claire. In clear line, all lines are as simple as possible and of more or less equal weight, the communicative job also handled largely by the areas of tone, texture, and color. Despite the lines all being created equal, the illustrations themselves are hardly simple - most panels from Tintin albums are a pleasure for the eye, quite detailed and naturalistic.

But we all start somewhere. The character of Tintin was based on an earlier boy scout character called Totor that Hergé drew, and evolved for a while before becoming the polished representation the American reader would obtain. But very little of this interim stage seems to be very available; as times changed, early adventures were redrawn and polished up, giving the whole series a very stable look, and omitting all the slow evolution we seem to see in comics characters as the artists grow with them.

One work does exist from the Halcyon times, though, and that's the singularly atmospheric Tintin in The Land Of The Soviets. The story in and of itself is a different thing from most of the other Tintin adventures, featuring stock sinister eastern European characters scarcely deeper than the paper they're printed on.

In the beginning, presumably not wealthy enough to travel, Hergé depended on books and popular conceptions of life elsewhere to craft his stories, and in particular in this one, he drew his information from a single book written by a Belgian diplomat. Add in Hergé's reputed distrust of the Soviet government and his penchant for satire, and the resulting story comes off more as an anti-Soviet propaganda tract than an actual adventure.

In reading it I felt I was reading a character who was actually not completely formed yet. In style as well as in substance, Hergé was still clearly finding his way with Tintin. Though he was already exhibiting the beginnings of the wit and the wisdom that would be his trademark later on, they seemed simpler, half-formed. Tintin himself came near death and dismemberment more times than he seemed to in later adventures, at one point not only surviving a plane crash in the most unlikely way, but carving not just one but two new propellers from a nearby tree, which he felled - all with nothing more than a pocket knife and an apparent innate knowledge of aeronautical engineering.

Of course nobody's perfect. He had to make a second propeller because the first one was pitched backwards causing the plane to fly in reverse.

And one thing that Hergé had clearly not had a hand on yet was pacing; on his return to Brussels, ten square frames taking up one and one-third pages rather plod along, lost in exposition and an apparent attempt to build up anticipation for a throng of welcomers:

Compared with the smash-bang pace of the rest of the story, the last two pages were astoundingly plodding and self-indulgent.

It was going to be a while before the artist would become the master we Americans are familar with, creating believable yet fantastic locales uncommonly drafted, and amazing yet charmingly human characters. But this is where it all started.

It's said, in the reading I'm done that Hergé withdrew the album from the market early on. Of all the Tintin adventures, this was was the only one never redrawn and colored, and updated for the times. Regardless of the precise reason (though, given the roughness of the tale, we can make educated guesses), it's our benefit that he did withdraw this and leave it be. One of the most fascinating and illuminating artifacts that an artist can leave us about their own life is the trail of artistic evolution - and the evolution of their outlook (and certainly this was true with Hergé who, starting with The Blue Lotus, did more and better research and created better stories as a result) sort of gives everyone an accessable way of learning that all our lifetimes are about growth and change ... and sometimes arrive at beautiful and sublime destinations.

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is an object study in beginnings and, knowing where Tintin went from there, the possibilities of where they might end up.

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[type] Font Squirrel ... Truly Free Good-Quality Commerically-Licensed Fonts At Last?

Today's find is a site called Font Squirrel. Font Squirrel's logo proclaims that it provides 100% free fonts for commercial use, which is a boon for anyone who avails themselves of "free" fonts only to find them actually being shareware or "free for personal use only".

Wanting more license info, I downloaded a font called "Sansation", which looks like this:

It's kind of nifty, no? Looks like a refined Eras Bold.

Anyway, the designer, as all good designers should do, included a license. And here's Bernd Montag's license readme, in full and in toto:

This font is freeware for personal and commercial use.
Feel free to distribute this font.
You are permitted to but this font on CDs, websites,... with the following restrictions:

    -Editing is only allowed for personal use,
     don't distribute an edited version of this font!
    -Do not rename this font!
    -Do not sell this font!
    -Do not handle it as your own work!
    -Do not pass the font without this textfile!

I hope you enjoy this font.
If you have further questions, please contact me.

Bernd Montag © 2008 - All Rights Reserved

In short: use it however you want. Don't rip him off with your own mildly-edited or renamed version. Don't pass it off as something you did. Don't ever charge anyone for it.

Man, it can't be simpler than that, cannit? That's just one of them, of course; no matter what promises anyone makes you, be sure to read your font license! Protect yourself and the kind soul who designs your letterforms. That said, Font Squirrel looks like it connects you with the goods - and helps you put together @font-face kits, for remote web embedding via the CSS @font-face atrribute.

Font Squirrel can be found here: http://fontsquirrel.com. Lotta good looking fonts there.

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21 June 2010

[art] On Discovering My Copy Of Scott McCloud's "Making Comics" Happens To Be Autographed

Happy accidents. This would be one.

Very recently, I was gifted with one of Scott McCloud's excellent books on comics theory and philosophy, Reinventing Comics. Nifty read, you bet. I was subsequently able to isolate, for my very own, a book I was really hankering to get - McCloud's book on the nuts'n'bolts of comics, Making Comics. Presumably, you know what the cover looks like, if you don't, here it is:

Now, as any owner of one of Scott's amazing books is aware, whether you agree with or disagree with what he says, they're simply fun to read and excellent to look at. I myself never get tired of looking at them.

The title page looks very much the same, of course. But there is something unexpected that I only found after I quit gluttonously-indulging myself of the content within for a few minutes (this being a hard thing to do, especially with this book) and glanced at the title page. Can you find it?

This copy was autographed (I keep wanting to say autographed by the author, but that's redundant). To Joe, whoever that fellow is. The dedication is about halfway down on the left hand side:

... and the signature of the artist, right by the avatar at the bottom of the page:

... each one with at Zot!-esque lightning bolt.

The really cool thing about this is, the way Scott's made himself into a comic-ly avatar who talks to the reader throughout his books on comics makes you feel as though you're in a conversation - albeit one way - with an admired expert.

Discovering that this was, in fact, autographed, made me feel like the man stopped by unanncounced - which would be excellent, if it happened in reality.

Although Scott called me "Joe", but we'll let that go by. When someone like Scott stops by, some things seem too petty too get hung up on.

Funny thing is, this is not the first time such a thing has happened to me. I own, despite my conflicted feelings about the man's method, the late Bob Ross's The Best Of The Joy Of Painting:

which was bought for a song at Goodwill, or Powells. Imagine my glee when I got it home to find this:

Yes, it's an autographed copy too. As far as I'm aware, that, yes, is actually Bob Ross's handwriting and signature.

But letting go of your autographed Bob Ross is one thing ... why anyone would let go of an autographed Scott McCloud book is a little beyond me, except perhaps in a case of direst fund needage. Other than that, I don't think I'd do it.

Bob Ross said there's no such thing as mistakes; we make happy accidents.

I think that's about half right.

Joe made the mistake.

I had the happy accident.

Thank you for writing these books, Scott. They've made my year and inspire me muchly. And they're fun: and while I'm at that, thanks for Zot! too. I haven't loved a story like that for a very long time.

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20 June 2010

[logo design] The Look Of KGW Channel 8 In 1995ish

Alert reader Casey Buck (thanks!) pointed out a logo treatment that KGW TV used in about 1995, and didn't stay around too long apparently. Either that, or I just wasn't watching much KGW TV at the time.

Portland's Channel 8 has had probably (as memory serves) more logo looks than any other Portland television station. In 1995ish, they settled on the approach of "Northwest Newschannel 8", whose signature look stablized in 1995-6, beginning with this arrangement by designer John Christopher Burns (who accomplished the visually-enjoyable "KOIN Local 6" rebrand approach last year):

PDX designer Jeff Patterson refined this look later on into an identity that stood for more than a decade, as memory serves:

Before that, there was a new look at KGW every few years or so. I remember 70s-licious and the big burly 8 that looks like it was carved into the side of a block.

But this look (following) didn't stay around very long. With my logo obsession, I'm sure I'd of remembered this one:

Good points: Nice colors, appropriate to our cool green NW; cute pointer in the upper right, pointing to cardinal NW: the eyeflow gets guided through "Northwest" to "NewsChannel", down through the 8 and arriving at last at the call letters. Aside from the 8, there's nothing but straight lines and 45-degree angles - notice that green (I'm assuming) mountain peak behind the 8.

Bad points: overall, it's kind of cold and way formal. JCB's NewsChannel logo mixed up the fonts, but not too much, and had a big of whimsy in the triangles - and the dash of warm colors is just enough. Jeff Patterson's design sleeked it up and kept the warm splash in and added a bit of dynamism by obliquing the whole deal.

The general pattern started by JCB and refined by Jeff Patterson is obviously a winner: the current now-KGW NewsChannel 8 logo is further refinement of Jeff Patterson's take. But this poor forlorn in-one-door-out-the-other look must be regarded, I think, as a noble failure. It is polished and accomplished, but looks like a logo that belongs in a smaller market than PDX.

And, for your logo design viewing, here are two links to YouTube videos: PDXers, be ready for a blast from the past with Kathy Smith, Bill Lagattuta (probably blew the spelling on that one), and ... Guistan Dart?

Thankfully the "overly-memorable name" trend in news anchors has apparently passed.

Oh, yes, the videos:
And here is a post I did a long time ago collecting Channel 8s from wherever I could find them:
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[liff] Jane Austen's Mafia!

Via a couple of Facebook friends, here's a marching band detachment I have no intention of getting in the way of:

The Regency will never know what "hit" it.

If the photog finds me showing this off and wants credit, let me know who you are and I will comply. I wouldn't want any  of these ladies coming after me. They look like they mean business.

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[art] Artists Trading Cards and Adventures In Precise Handrwiting

One thing I do better than anyone I know is handwrite.

This is not mere smug pride. I have had people come to me to handwrite notes and rewrite lists in the workplace so that they are more readable. I have hired myself out a couple of times to do calligraphy, which I take to with very little need for models.

It's something I just do. I've never understood why it comes so easily, but I don't stop to wonder. I enjoy the pure creative act of writing. Sometimes I simply write out the alphabet just to feel the pure joy of creating letters. Herewith some examples of what I sometimes just do for sheer joy. I'm no Lisa Ridgely, but I think I do quite well.

I have a package of Bristol-board Artist Trading Cards that I got as Muse a few weeks back. I figured a good way to prepare them would be to write my name and blog URL on the back, then draw or do whatevers on the front.

Most of the way through, though, I wondered how structured I could make it. The result was this:

The top's my normal handwriting. The bottom was my attempt to give it a "typewritery" feel but putting in serifs and making it all formal and very straight. It didn't come out exactly as I expected, but the space between where you aim and where you actually get is where creativity happens sometimes, and this was very visually pleasing to me.

I tried again, experimenting:

Even better! How about the two-storey type-style minuscule g's, huh? Nifty. That top line of glyphs is my name in Shavian, the dots preceding each word being the so-called "naming" dot. Since there are no such things as minuscules or majuscules in Shavian, a dot prefixed to each proper name or noun is used to indicate such.

Well, I thought, let's go for the gusto and just lay one out totally that way, and here's how I got:

This is approaching business-card territory, and how about that? It's keen. And I drew these lines of type without any guiding lines at all, using the the x-heights to visually extend imaginary guides, taking each glyph most carefully as I go.

This was all done with a fountain pen, because on Bristol fountain pens just leave this beautiful crisp line.

Now, I did have this stack of ATC's almost all labelled, but just was having so much fun creating these letters that I went back and am in the process of adding these carefully-drafted letters to the ones that already have a looser, sloppier handrwriting on. Like this:

The result is a stack of contact cards which are unified by look but within which each is a unique thing. I let the drafted letters be imperfectly balanced and wrote things off the beam to make it all look especially ... well, handcrafted ... each one as unique as snowflakes.

Looks like Ima need more Artists Trading Cards.

Feedback is welcome, ya know.

You can also post these about the intartubez. I won't complain too much.

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19 June 2010

[liff] Meanwhile, In The Heartland, They Still Want To Be Us

Caught by twitterer @drewmaniac, and routed to Those Who'd Find This Stuff Funnay by our old friend Stan Kost @dinglemunch (formerly of Milwaukie now happily married in Orinocoflow Missouri) we see that, regardless of whether you think the bloom is off the PDX PR rose, some areas of the heartland (whether seriously or sarcastically, we don't know for sure) still aspire to Portlandness.

This was seen in a Springfield coffee shop:

The Springfield in question is the one in Missouri. I'm pretty sure the Portland they're talking about isn't the one in Maine.

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[logo design] The Turn Of The Golden State Warriors For A Logo Relaunch

First it was the Whitecaps, then the Timebers, and now the logo-redesign and re-branding fever spreads south to the SF Bay, with the rollout of the new Golden State Warriors logo. This is the version I was most familiar with:

... or some version of the State-on-basketball motif. They've had a variety of logos, including a very Mercury-influenced one from 1997-present.

Here now is the new Warriors' logo, with a bit of "back-to-the-future" ism:

The individual player's number gets located in the big negative space in the upper right there.

This harkens back to a logo which the players wore on their jerseys during the late 60s and early 70s, which featured a complete span of the bridge and the words The CITY over the top of the circle, and a return to a classic, simpler color scheme.

Although, which a name like "Golden State", a reference to a single, very local geographical attraction seems to ring slightly off key. However, the design itself is fairly accomplished, and pays the proper amount of homage, and in the layout with the number added, looks a great deal like tradition.

The San Jose Mercury-News has a nifty little article, complete with a logo/jersey history and the PMS ink colors you'd need to reproduce this look to an exactitude (because that's what PMS colors are all about, yo), at this link here: http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_15322115.

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[design] The Award for Awkward Layout Of The Year Goes To ... The Portland Tribune

... not for this front page of the 17 June edition, which is pretty much faultless. Heading up the flag page is another story on the Kyron Horman ongoing tragedy, examining an the issue from the effect it will have on Portland Public Schools policy:

Boy's case adds to PPS woes. The Kyron Horman case means something to just about every one of us, moreso to PPS who will have to deal with the aftermath in terms of security and policy.

I've always been a fan of PTrib layout. Like the approach in type, the colorful masthead; always though it was a winner.

But times are tough for print, and you've got to sell ad space any way you can, and one way to do it is to have a gate-flap, overlaying the front page on the right side - sort of the opposite of the spadea that The Big O had such a time with during the election season.

Layout, in my opinion, is about half art, half science. One has to look at where things are and where other things will wind up laying, because juxtaposition can cause amazingly awkward things. Let's fold over that ad flap on the right and find out just what can occur ...

Now, instead of adding to Portland Public School's woes, Boy's case adds to Boatloads of Fun.

Ahh ... huh.

Now, I'll add real quickly that they doubtlessly had no choice but to run the ad, and the buyer bought the front page for a reason. Layout problems may be easier solved by the armchair layout artist after the fact than in reality. I certainly don't think that PTrib was in any way shape or form trying to make any light of the issue or do anything more than just live up to the ad obligation.

Still, though, I wasn't at the layout of this issue, but I wish I was ... or at least been a fly on the wall when the layout artist was attacking this one. I did at one time apply to Community Newspapers for a layout job.

Never heard from them.

Pity, really.

Regardless of what anyone things of this or my opinion of it, you've got to admit, I think, that when you come up to a paper box like this:

... you're going to have an authentic Whiskey-tango-foxtrot moment.

And in complete fairness, knowing I tend to look more critically at layout than most everyone I know, I took it around to several friends and a few co-workers.

Each one of them saw what I saw. I didn't have to prompt them.

I wonder if I would have been able to make it come out any differently if I'd had a chance to do that layout. Would've loved the chance.

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18 June 2010

[art] A Duke's Coat Of Arms

The recent SCA Known World Heraldic Symposium was productive for me in a great number of personal ways, not the least of which the chance to test myself by producing some well-received coat-of-arms submssions proposals.

One I don't have with me involves four lions with a stripe across the middle with fleurs-de-lis on, which I'll render and post subsequently.

This design is an updating of a local SCA Duke's arms of which I'm rather pleased with. Here it is, uncolored:

The colors of the top stripe-that clear area at the top of the diagram, and that bouncing beast in the the middle, are black. The drops are red. I'm not clear on what color the coronet will be, so I won't speculate at this point.

In blazon, the technical language used to describe the emblazon (or the diagram you see above) so that it can be faithfully reproduced by heraldic artists and scribes for the sake of rolls-of-arms and tabards, craft projects, and such, you would say that as follows;

Argent, goutty de sang, an antelope rampant sable, gorged of a ducal coronet and chain [whatever color], a chief sable.
I can hear eyes glazing over already. Herewith, a quick explanation. In blazon, the SCA uses jargon derived from actual real-world coats of arms with an eye toward making it as much like real-world heraldry as possible. The terms of northwestern European blazon, where the SCA based its heraldic tradition, are derived ultimately from Norman French, which is why the terms have a French sound to them.

The description is built up in layers, starting from the background (which can be any shape; we use the "ironing-board-iron" (or, heater) escutcheon as a forwarding of visual tradition) to the last thing.
  1. Argent, the background color. Silver. Depicted as white.
  2. Goutty, the blazon term for a drop is goute. A field scattered with drops is termed goutty. There is a specific term for scattering objects across a field, that's semy, but one doesn't say semy of goutes, we say goutty.
  3. de Sang. There are a number of goutes in heraldry, whose terms are derived from what they resemble in a natural state. Red drops resemble blood, thus, a goute de sang is, literally, a drop of blood. It's a Herald's way to get romantic about it all.
  4. An Antelope Rampant. Here's where it gets twilight-zoney if you don't know anything about coats-of-arms. The beasties on a shield are not only very stylized, they frequently have nothing to do with anything in nature. That dancing beast is heraldic "antelope". it has a stag's body and legs, tufts of hair at the angles like a goat, long, serrated horns, and a kind of grotesque muzzle with a horn at the nose, and a long, ropy tail like a lion's. If you wanted a real antelope, like the ones you see in reality, you'd say a natural antelope. Rampant means the way that beast is standing, and is a precise term: rearing up, one leg down, the other three flailing to strike.
  5. Sable. Describes the color of the antelope. You'll notice, in blazon, things tend to get grouped according to color, and when you're announcing a color, it's a signal to the reader you're going to go on to describe a new thing. And, in blazon, sable means black.
  6. Gorged of a ducal coronet.  Another theme you'll see from time to time is putting something around the neck of something else. This is called gorging, and results in the thing being gorged looking like it's wearing the gorging-thing as a collar. in this case, it's a Ducal coronet, which is specifically a coronet with points resembling strawberry leaves. Strawberry leaves? Yes, it's a thing which has fascinated me for a long time too. Strawberries grow everywhere; it's not like they're necessarily noble. I don't know the color of the coronet and I'm not too sure of the blazon of that chain at this point.
  7. A chief, Sable. The name for that stripe across the top is chief, and as a charge (or, something placed in the drawing) since it occupies the region of the field (also called the chief) completely, it takes on the name of that region.
And our blazon is done. I'm remiss; I promised a short explanation. And if you didn't understand all the terms I threw about, it's okay; my intention was to demonstrate how the language describes the arms to one who understands it and who can translate it into a design exactly without ever seeing the diagram - which I could easily have done if I only had the textual discription.

If you have some interest in modern heraldry as the SCA practices it (and "practice" seems a want term indeed for something we take quite seriously, believe me) then the following two sites would be of interest:
  • An Tir Heralds, the site devoted to Heraldry and Scribal arts in this region of the SCA world we call the Kingdom of An Tir (the Pacific Northwest) is at http://antirheralds.org
  • The Society for Creative Anachronism's Heraldry Page, connecting you to the SCA at large, is http://heraldry.sca.org
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[pdx] The Bagdad Theater At Sundown

2441.Early enough for there to be some light, late enough that the lights glow and scintillate:

Just a great, classic PDX corner, in downtown Hawthorne district.

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[design] Getting In Shape For The Summer Logo Design Season

I'm starting to feel the way this guy does:

Any logo design tutorial that doesn't being with "pick up a pen and paper" is really just a production lesson.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it don't go calling it design!

That's like tightening a bolt on the car and calling yourself an auto mechanic.

Thomas Clemmons' Robot Friday is at http://robotfriday.com.

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[art, liff] CSI: West Miami Beach, Bad Bird Drawings Dept

Pointed at by Twitterer Amy Vernon (@amyvernon) and more fully documented in her tumblr post (http://amyvernon.tumblr.com/post/711857742/that-is-the-actual-drawing-used-on-the-news-see) we conclude that it was a slow news day in West Palm Beach, Florida when a pissed-off bird decided to buffet the heads on ladies walking their dogs down a certain street or other.

ABC station WPBF, Channel 25, interviewed two now-freaked-out ladies and asked one of them to make a sketch, and here's what she came up with:

This was actually put in the report, apparently to humiliate the poor woman.

Oh, they scoffed at cutting arts funding in the schools, but you see what comes of it now? Hmm?

West Palm Beachians, be on the lookout for the above bird. If you see it ... well, I'm not sure what to tell you here. Rehab might be in order.

See the whole report at http://www.wpbf.com/news/23460004/detail.html, if you can stand the suspense. Or something.

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15 June 2010

[net liff] How To Be A Very Popular Blogger In Several Steps, Or Die Trying

I have declared it to be sarcasm day on this blog, and this next post is written with that accord.

Having been blogging since 2004, and now having almost 2500 posts under my belt and up to one (sometimes two) regular readers, I find that people on the street ask me "Sam, to what do you attribute your success?"

I then answer in slow, complete sentences while calling for help on my cell phone (TracFone, yo, it's the future).

One day, after watching one of my admirers being led away under sedation, I asked myself, "Self," (I asked myself), "just how is it your blog can reach the heights of popularity, attracting sometimes tens of readers a day and a loyal following of at least several square blocks?".

And then I reminded myself, my name's Sam, not Self.

But still, it's a good question. Being so cool people don't know I'm cool takes three things: finesse, strategy, and a third thing I forget. But it also takes a blog! And if you want to know how to be uberpopular, like me, there are a few things you must, absolutely, in order and in toto do. Now, I'll be honest here: you have to do them all, preferably simultaneously, and in a public place if possible. If you leave out just one step ... and I can't emphasize this strongly enough ... they'll come and take away your blogging card, and you'll die alone and neglected. However, if you're reading something like this, then you're already alone and neglected, so no change there really.

Ready? Too bad. Here we go.

1. Be Yourself.

You, my friend, are a special and unique flower, and a child of the universe, and everyone is special to everyone else. And, sure, you're going to look like a bunch of characters on a backlit screen to someone, but your specialness will shine through the 1's and 0's.

2. Be All Things To All People

The average internet user doesn't like too many surprises and too much diversity. Broadening your appeal is the surest way to appeal to as many people as you can. So what if you're not a 14 year-old girl who loves Miley Cyrus and plays Yu-Gi-Oh cards? If you come off like someone who might be, you've won the battle right there.

3. Write Narrowly on a Subject You're Expert In

Let's face it, people respect experts. Doesn't matter what it is, they adore passion and love a learned person. You know everything worth knowing about Tuvan throat-singers? Blog away! Before you know it, links will flock in from all over and Google AdSense will be your beeyotch.

4. Write Broadly On Things Of General Interest

Experts are fine, but sometimes they can be real elite snobs. Who needs to be reading that all day. If your interests are a mile wide and a molecule deep, speak on whatever trips your light fantastic! Your readers need to understand that you won't let a lack of knowledge stay your courage to tackle amazingly abstruse concepts! Just read up on Wikipedia, and blog away!

5. Be Safe and Comfortable To Others

They used to have a saying: "Nobody ever went broke by buying IBM". Similarly, nobody ever lost out by riding with the herd - you hear about thinking outside the box all the time, how do they know they're outside that box? By all us conventional thinkers inside the box! Remember, the last word in conventional wisdom is wisdom.

6. Be Iconoclastic and Daring - Break Boundaries!

There's a lot of safety in numbers, true, but sometimes it takes a real rebel ... like, say, Carrot Top and comedy ... to move us all forward. Follow the herd if you wish, but don't be afraid of a little intellectual off-roading! Unless you don't have an intellectual 4-wheel drive!

There you have it. Your cut-and-dried, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, guide to guaranteed wealth and fawining fans on the intartuebz. Follow all them, and you'll be as one with the Universe ... leave just one out, and you will be damned to a 2400 baud connection in the afterlife. And do them all in order! Unless you're an iconoclast, in which case maybe not!

GUARANTEED TO WORK. Unless they don't of course.

This post will self-destruct in five seconds.

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14 June 2010

[pdx, logo design] Timbers Logo Hatin' Group Tones It Down A Bit, Offers Alternative

I knew I should have taken a screensnap of that page.

Earlier today I wrote about how Timbers supporters who'd put up a protest page on Facebook, and I can't remember what the title was, but in the realm of rhetoric, it was something of a blunt instrument.

Looks as though cooler heads prevailed over there. A more conciliatory tone has prevailed. The Facebook protest page, which is still here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=101065469943747, Now has the title Timbers Front Office, Let's Find a CREST Solution (full caps on the word "Crest" theirs), and the profile pic has changed.


And after:

Less teh angree. Counting to 10 does wonders, I guess.

There seems to be an evolving design over there, and it is actually pretty nifty:

It's not too bad, really. I like the "1975" year of founding across the middle. Nice touch.

Looks like there may be peace in the valley at this rate.

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[logo design] On The Other, Other Hand: A Whitecaps FC Fan Likes The New Timbers Logo

After surveying the unahappy side of the new Timbers Logo deal, I did find a kudo to the new logo ... from a Whitecaps FC fan who thinks the Vancouver organization pretty much ashcanned a bunch of team history and tradition with the new Whitecaps logo look:

What a novel approach, the Timbers decided to respect the traditions of their own club, and to consult with its fans. Furthermore,  the Timbers actually chose their own colours and their own logo.  Had the Whitecaps decided to consult their fans they might have heard what an offence to the teams history the new uniform and logo are.

The only gesture towards tradition in the new Whitecaps uniform is the blue in the bottom half of the logo which is supposed to be “Whitecaps blue”.  Sadly, you can’t see Whitecaps blue in the new Whitecaps uniform unless you get your microscope out. What sad disrespect for the traditions of our team!

Ironically, I liked the new Whitecaps logo:


And so it goes.

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[pdx liff] Apparently The New Portland Timbers Logo Doesn't Please Everyone

One thing I learnt a long time ago are the first two rules of Timbers Army:

Rule One of Timbers Army: You do not taunt Timbers Army.
Rule Two of Timbers Army: You do not taunt Timbers Army.

Successful or no, I do know that one of the things you face when updating/changing a logo or look to which many passionate fans have become attached is that not everyone is going to think it shiny. Some people will really hate you for this.

The attempt to rebrand Tropicana OJ stands as an excellent case study in this. Some time last year, Tropicana decided it was time to update the look, go beyond the iconic straw-in-the-orange. Funny thing was, though, nobody realized how iconic it was until they did away with it, or how many loyal customers invested good will and warm fuzzies in it until it was gone. Tropicana didn't change their look - they killed a trusted friend of their customers, who set up a storm of protest not seen since NBC tried to take Star Trek off the air back in 1967, which resulted in the return of the image to the packages. I drilled down a little more in-depth at http://zehnkatzen.blogspot.com/2009/03/tropicana-oj-redesign-fail-brand.html .

While it's too early to say how much impact what I've seen of the Timbers Army's aggregate opinion has on the visual and logo style going forward, the pointed opinions have been sharply pointed, indeed.

In a post on the rather soccer-oriented blog Pitch Invasion (URL-http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2010/06/14/portland-timbers-new-logo-fail/) author Tom Dunsmore draws an opinionated take on the whole thing, declaring it a FAIL, and not mincing words (emphasis mine):

“You can’t fake this,” screams the Timbers’ MLS site, a not-so-subtle nod to the Timbers’ fans well-known antipathy to the Seattle Sounders marketing machine a little further north. Many supporters in the Timbers Army supporters’ group seem to view the new logo as a plastic imposition on Portland’s soccer tradition that the MLS team was supposed to be building on.

The 74 page thread that has grown in the couple of days since the announcement on the Timbers Army messageboard is full of vitriol about the logo’s cartoonish look and fighter plane styling. As is de rigueur these days, a Facebook group has been set-up to protest. The Timbers Army are not going to let this go easily.

The current logo has its roots in the crest of the first version of the Portland Timbers, the NASL side that existed from 1975 to 1982. The new one was developed by a marketing company called Rare Design, whose portfolio is remarkably extensive in its number of mediocre American sports team logo designs. Yes, the Timbers’ MLS logo incorporates a number of elements of the club’s traditional crest, but only in a manner that suggests mere lip service is being paid to that beloved identity.

Portland’s supporters, “organised” in the Timbers Army with the simple credo that you are Timbers Army if you want to be Timbers Army, have built their remarkable culture around that identity and the history of the club in Portland. It’s been a messy history, but it’s one that has been tied to that logo off and on since the 1970s, an age in American soccer.
There exist in that article two photos that are remarkable in their accidental emotional content. One, here (http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs301.snc3/28637_1461876837813_1560230850_1139959_1982065_n.jpg) features a great deal of "digital" (as in with a finger) editorializing by a group of Timbers addicts in the foreground. While not overwhelmingly rude, one should only view it out of the range of children who are prone to ask what that finger is supposed to mean.

The other one ought to go down in some sort of history, because it really does illustrate the awkwardness that has obtained when big money starts to build on the foundation that passionate fans construct. This picture from Photobucket user "yabollox" suggests that some of the more opinionated fans took thier concerns right to team owner after the ceremony:

Linked to from Yallbollox on photobucket. Copyright remains with author.

Now, this is just a moment in time. One supposes anything could be happening here within reason; one thing that probably wasn't happening is an "I love you, man" moment and that Precious Moments figurines were given out after. The presence of the guy in the red-white-n-blue and the red cap says that this was the same group who where giving the new logo the bird squadron in that other photo.

For many people, sports loyalties are pretty much a religion. If you want everyone on board, you definitely want the hardcore fans. And if you haven't won the Timbers hardcore battle, one wonders if, regardless of the spiffiness and slickness of the new look and how much one says it pays sincere homage to the past, you've won the war.

The new-logo-hating facebook group, if you're wondering, is right here:
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12 June 2010

[logo design] Breaking ... The New Portland Timbers Logo

2434. Unveiled, within the last hour, at a ceremony in Directors' Park in downtown PDX ... well, here's the new logo for your Portland Timbers (clipped from the site):

It's a nice updating. I don't know if I'm completely in love with it, but the more I look at ti the more I enjoy it.

Gone is the ribbon round the axe and chevrons with the team name. It's now incorporated. The chevrons have been reduced to one which merges around the front of the axe with the team name on ... curiously, the name itself has the city as the star rather than the team name. 

The good news about the logo is that the new design, while spiffed up, doesn't lose the old. The double-bitted axe. The green and yellow colors. The video presentation makes reference to all the things that inspired the old logo, the forests and what not.

In the end, I think it's a logo that will work for the new major-league Timbers. I will miss the old one tho - seriously, I think they should have stayed with that. But if they weren't going to, they at least came up with a design that pays homage in all the right ways, works, and isn't ugly at all.


10 June 2010

[map design] A Nation Where Boring, Oregon Stands Tall

Latterly having caught our eye, a map of the USA which includes towns like Boring ... and only towns like Boring:

© 1987 D.Jouris/Hold the Mustard. All rights reserved.
The copyrighted image may not be reproduced, altered, or transmitted in any format
Clicky on the map to embiggen.

Boring stands tall in the Pacific Northwest, but an Oregon labeled "Boring, Remote, Needy" sounds more like an advertisement than a gripe. As a native Oregonian, I can tell you this.

Hold The Mustard
sells many such cards and most are quite teh funnay.

Thank you to David Jouris for the permission to post.

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[pdx] Concept For Defenders Of A City Built On An Ancient Unicorn Burial Ground

The fab artist at Robot Friday does these amazing sketches, you see, and I think this is the perfect defender for weird ol' PDX;

Yes. A ninja pirate riding a skeletal unicorn pony.

This is full of awesome.

And Robot Friday, by Thomas Clemmons who I enjoy muchly, is here: http://www.robotfriday.com/

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