Never Use Futura

I’m really enjoying this irreverently titled new paperback from the good people at Princeton Architectural Press. Never Use Futura, by Douglas Thomas, is an incredibly thorough exploration and investigation of Futura, a bold alternative to the perhaps equally popular (and equally divisive) Helvetica. In short, it puts Futura in social and historical context. It begins with the birth of the typeface, and explores many examples of its eclectic popularity throughout modern history. Strangely, nearly as many “bad” institutions and groups have employed these letters as “good” ones have – with some surprising examples at either ends of that spectrum. There is also a look at typefaces that are similar to Futura, and finally, typefaces that were born out of Futura. Aside from being quite fascinating in subject, I found the design and layout, also handled by Douglas Thomas, to be absolutely beautiful – another reason why Never Use Futura is easy to pick up and surprisingly hard to put down. Read More

One Time For Your MIND

I’ve been dabbling in this diet for your brain which I first read about over at Fast Company. The MIND diet is a combination of two successful evidence-based diets, designed to provide your brain with the best fuel. The benefits include increased focus, energy, and better sleep; which is what attracted me initially. It’s been about a month that I’ve been sticking quite closely to this diet and I must say I feel like it’s paying off tremendously. I do feel more focused during the day, less lethargic, and more well-rested when I wake up the next day. To be honest, it wasn’t a huge lifestyle change for me, and I love how flexible the whole plan is.

Chip Kidd: Book Two

I thought I’d start 2018 by making some time to sit with this impressive new title from Rizzoli New York. CHIP KIDD: BOOK TWO: WORK 2007-2017 covers the last decade of work from a talented and accomplished artist and designer; Chip Kidd, creator of countless book covers, movie posters, and graphic novels too. Since he’s partly so well-known for his (literally) outstanding book designs, such as the cover for Haruki Murakami’s recent-ish novel 1Q84, it stands to reason that this monograph also boasts an eye-catching and impressive cover design. Speaking of Murakami, he’s one of my absolute favorite novelists ever and this title features an essay of his. Murakami just is just one of many impressive novelists who Kidd has designed covers for: John Updike, David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, and Elie Wiesel are also on the list. [See More]

Electric Dreams

As something of a sci-fi fan (both books and movies), and definitely a fan of Philip K. Dick’s work in particular, I’m pleased to report that the new co-production between Amazon and Britain’s Channel 4, “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” is thoroughly enjoyable. I’m about half way through the first season and I think it’s surprisingly well done. It features some impressive talent in the cast, great set design, top notch CG, everything you could hope for in a good sci-fi offering. The episodes I’ve seen really capture the uncanny dystopian future and sometimes paranoid vibe of Dick’s strange little novels.

The Pier Falls

I’m a big fan of English novelist Mark Haddon’s writing – he’s probably best-known for his best-seller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which I enjoyed tremendously a few years back. Since then, he’s published a couple more novels, and most recently, The Pier Falls; a collection of short stories. I don’t typically enjoy short stories for a few reasons, but I really enjoyed this collection. The stories span a wide range of styles and genres, and perhaps it’s no great surprise that I enjoyed the sci-fi-ish ones the most.

RHEK JAZZZIPS 003

Los Angeles’ brutal two- or three-day-long winter is set to start tomorrow. Then things should return to normal – you know; sunshine, palm trees, convertibles, etc. Surveys have shown that winter is the peak time for blasting some good jazz at home. Graphic designer and illustrator RHEK has recently released another great zip folder full of jazz gems and you need these jams in your life. Get ’em at Rapzips.