Ten Most Important Fonts

Kanye West gets emotional over fonts.

He’s not the only one.  Paul Shaw:

If Akkurat is so special (and it seems to me to just be one of several worthy attempts to find an alternative to Akzidenz Grotesk and Helvetica) then I would love it if you give your rationale as a post. Tell us why it will have a massive impact.

I am not sure why you think these are typefaces most relevant to Americans? Other than Yale, Clearview and Retina they are available to everyone and I am sure are used elsewhere besides the USA. (And I think James Montalbano and Don Meeker would love to get Clearview used in a European or Chinese highway system.) […]

For those who are championing Gotham, please give a rationale. Is it because it is popular? or because it is an alternative to Futura (with a more legible lowercase a)? or because it was used for the cornerstone of the beleaguered Freedom Tower? or because y’all just love the Port Authority Terminal?

That was Paul defending his list of what he considers to be the 10 most important typefaces of the past decade.  The list is beautiful, but the real joy is found when reading the ensuing discussion.  Designers argue like fencers.

Bonus: Care to get emotional over Calango’s motional font, Moshun?

My favorite is the P.

[Paul Shaw’s font dissertation @ imprint via Kottke]


September 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art. Leave a comment.

New York to Berlin

Overnight flight.

Cristoph Niemann tried to make the best of it.


[Christoph Niemann @ the New York Times via Kottke]

September 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Comics. Leave a comment.


You may recognize Cab Calloway. He’s not the real draw here. Wait for them.

[via Tim Carmody @ Kottke]

September 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

The Smoke Ring

The misconception: America’s marijuana laws are draconian compared to the Netherlands, whose citizens can sell and smoke weed all day, errday.

Not so.

Sure, there are Amsterdam shops that sell to both tourists and natives, but they’re operating illegally under the auspices of “tolerance.” To avoid incredible financial penalties, they must maintain a small inventory, they can’t sell much to any one person, they can’t post ingredients, they can’t sell to minors, the list of rules goes on.

If you don’t nail a perfect gram on the first chop, you have to make the weight by laboriously shaving brown flour into the scale pan while the customer volubly wonders who let this fumbling idiot behind the bar. Compounding my professional stress is the computerized inventory system, which, as a prophylactic against embezzlement, is finely tuned to track near-atomic quantities of product that might go missing. (For example, the system builds in a standard deduction for the sticky crumbs of hash residue that cling to the edge of the kitchen knife.) It’s like working at a Starbucks where the customers are cranky zombies, where a latte costs fifty bucks, and where a stray speck of coffee grounds falling underfoot will probably mean an ass-chewing from your superintimidating manager.

We may not have as tolerant a government on this side of the pond, but our slow path towards semi-legalization leads to a more concrete destination.

Conversely, America, via the sturdier Trojan horse of medical marijuana, looks poised to chart a wiser course, through policies that more closely resemble full legalization than “tolerance.” While Dutch dollars still flow to Baltic thugs, states like Michigan license small-time growers to provide for certified “patients.” American legalization would also almost certainly include FDA regulation and chemical analysis of the product for sale. […]

By liberating cannabis from the symbolic company of heroin, cocaine, and Ecstasy and grafting it to the sympathetic litany of “glaucoma, cancer, and AIDS,” America’s cannabis activists have, by all appearances, begun extending marijuana’s roots into the culture to depths undreamed by the Dutch. At the start of 2010, Los Angeles alone had nearly as many dispensaries as Holland has shops, one of the reasons that Dutch weed professionals sound like Dust Bowl Okies when they talk about California and the other markets emerging in the United States.

Interesting article throughout. Told from the perspective of a journalist who had to work at an Amsterdam marijuana coffee shop for a week.

[Wells Tower @ GQ via the Browser]

UPDATE. Highly relevant scene from Pulp Fiction:

Thanks Kottke.

[image via SBS film]

September 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 3 comments.

Blind Soccer

The face mask is to level the playing field because some players are just mostly blind.  Much like visual soccer, communication is paramount.  The rules state that before you try to steal the ball from an offensive player, you must shout “voy!” before engaging.

Incredible ball skill, regardless of sight.

[via Kottke]

[image via William Pictures]

September 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Video. 1 comment.


Not a skateboarder. Never was. I am a big sucker for well done skateboarding videos though. Here are two non-conventional greats.

A jaw dropping craft project that must’ve been a daunting task:

This next one is distilled joy. Perfectly paired with the music and the skills are silly good:

[via Johnny Cat @ Neatorama and Kottke respectively]

August 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Where to Find Original Ideas

[Stephen Fry via Neuron Culture via Kottke]

August 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.


It’s probably too early in the day for this, but here’s Tim Carmody on constellations:

After the Coper­ni­can rev­o­lu­tion, a con­stel­la­tion isn’t even a con­stel­la­tion. Instead, it’s a two-dimensional flat­ten­ing of a three-dimensional real­ity. Actu­ally, we should prob­a­bly say a FOUR-dimensional real­ity. The light from stars at vary­ing dis­tances, leav­ing their sources at var­i­ous times in the dis­tant past, gets mis­taken, from our earth­bound point-of-view, as a simul­ta­ne­ous two-dimensional pattern.

[via Snarkmarket]

[image via Wikimedia Commons]

August 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Smarts. 3 comments.

Election Criteria

We’re on the cusp of election season and I think I have a new prerequisite if a candidate wants my vote:

You must have seen all five seasons of the Wire.

I got this idea from the new Mayor of Reykjavik (the capital of Iceland), Jón Gnarr. This guy used to be a punk rocker, a comedian, and an actor, but now he’s running the show. Gnarr didn’t win a majority, but did garner a plurality. In seeking out a coalition partner he,

… ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”

There it is. I’ll get my prospective ballot ready and e-mail the contestants one by one. I can’t think of any better selection criteria given the wide-spread duplicity of the average politician (i.e. I don’t trust their proclamations).

[More about Mayor Gnarr via Kottke & The NYT]

[image via Televisual]

August 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Kottke Love

Tim Carmody is a brand new guest writer for Kottke.org and he’s just wonderful.
I have hundreds of syndicated websites constantly gushing into my RSS reader. It doesn’t take much negligence to have thousands of unread posts. Most of the time, I’m forced to skip much of the content.
I never skip Kottke.
In fact, you may have noticed that I frequently rehash their wares. It’s become one of the few sites that I consider required reading. Here’s Tim:
Most popular blogs, like most popular media, regardless of genre, spend 99.9% of their time reacting to and arguing about something that’s just happened, or is about to (maybe) happen. Jason’s aesthetic has always been different, because he’s always been just as excited about older things that have just been uncovered or rediscovered, marvelous objects and ideas in weird corners of the web that nobody’s paid attention to, or that have only just made the transition from analog to digital to become part of the web conversation.  […]
So this week will be devoted to things you’ve either forgotten about or have never seen before. I’ll be highlighting posts, articles, and projects that do this well wherever I see them, and rummaging through some dusty card catalogues myself (including some right here at kottke.org) to find things that deserve to be back in circulation.
[via Kottke]
[image via The Internet According to Adrian]

August 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 2 comments.

« Previous PageNext Page »