Whenever I head off into the Great Outdoors I do like to be prepared, which is really just the Scouts way of saying ‘planning for the worst’. Fortunately, ‘the worst’ for a few days away (certainly here in the UK) usually just means inclement weather with a fair certainty of rain, so with this in mind all of my ‘valuable’ (read not-exactly-waterproof items such as smartphone, car keys and wallet) go into a small dry bag which is duly stuffed into my rucksack.
I’m sure anyone who has ever had to call a tradesman into their home may well recognise that pre-quote sinking feeling – often accompanied with a lengthy inhalation and pained ’sympathetic’ expression. As someone who likes to try and take on most DIY jobs out of both curiosity and reluctance to shell out unless absolutely necessary (I mean, how hard can it really be?), I have discovered the painful line between learning on the job and professional experience more than once.
I love typography – there, I said it. Although whilst I can’t confess to being a true type nerd (mentioning no names Rich Rutter), I am happy to spend plenty of time geeking out over x-heights, ligatures, weights and a whole host of other tiny details to find the ‘perfect’ typeface for whatever I’m working on.
The process of ’sweating the details’ is something I’m sure plenty of designers will associate with typography and is testament to how much effort goes into designing and crafting a typeface. Traditionally these ‘details’ have been constrained to the shape and space that individual glyphs occupy and their relationships to one another – type designers have had no consistent method of embedding additional attributes into a digital typeface – no way of communicating any intentional usage or personality past outlined physical form.
Striding along a narrow footpath that slices up the side of a steep Lakeland fell, you pause to admire the majestic view – “is that Bow Fell in the background? How much further until I start heading for the tarn?” you muse. Pondering this, you pull out your well-worn and trusty Ordnance Survey map and check your bearings – perhaps you double check using your compass – reassured, you continue on your way, revelling in the natural beauty and the feeling of being away from it all.
The aesthetics of everyday objects can be a tricky one to get right, particularly when those objects have technical specifications that impact their overall design. I personally can spend a lot of time researching said technical specifications only to be disappointed by the aesthetic qualities on my shortlists.