Typeaffair

The Return of Stan Smith

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“Sometimes simple is better,” says Stan Smith. On 15 January Adidas will relaunch the shoes which bear the name of Stan Smith. Originally called Robert Haillet, after another tennis player; in 1965 the Stan Smith shoes were the first leather tennis shoes ever made. They were designed by Horst Dassler who was the son of Adolf “Adi” Dassler; the founder of Adidas. “Shoes with bells and whistles and different colour stripes and styles. They’re trendy. But, the Stan Smith shoes have become trendy because they’re so simple,” adds Stan Smith — the tennis champion.

Sources: the Guardian, YouTube.

14 January 2014

Stories of Thirty-Six Typefaces

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The SHOW INFO websites were created by the second-year graphic design students at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie; under the supervision of their lecturers Sam de Groot and Jakub Straka. Each of the thirty-six mini websites document the lives and the origins of popular and influential typefaces.

11 January 2014

I’d like to kick of the year 2014 with a selection of colorful covers of the Armenian Pioneer magazines dating back from 1980’s. There are more then sixty issues in my collection; there are two issues from 1979 and the rest are the issue from 1980 to 1985.

Pioneer was a Soviet monthly magazine for schoolchildren and since Armenian was part of the Soviet union(1920–1991), there was also an Armenian version of it. Unfortunately there isn’t much interesting information available that I could find about the Armenian edition of this magazine. Only that according to Wikipedia; after the collapse of the Soviet Union the magazine in Armenia has been renamed to ‘Աղբյուր’ pronounced ‘Agaphiour’, which in English means spring — source of water.

I didn’t scan all of the covers, just the ones that caught my eyes. To view them in larger sizes visit this flickr set, additionally in there you’ll find eight more covers.

8 January 2014

Arek: Best Foreign Language Feature of the Year

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Four days ago; on December 18, a FontShop Newsletter was sent out featuring best typeface releases of the year 2013. Amongst a selection of 25 beautifully designed fonts is Arek.

Arek is an awarding winning Armenian/Latin typeface designed by Khajag Apelian in 2009/12 at type]media (one year master program at The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague). Having a rich calligraphic flavor, it’s a highly versatile font suitable for use in different typographic settings and is available for purchase through the Rosetta Type Foundry (and not only).

21 December 2013

Amazing Mr. Carter

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He is perhaps one of the most influential type-designers ever. I just finished reading (for the second time) a very inspiring interview with Matthew Carter; featured on MyFonts’ Creative Characters newsletter and if you enjoy reading stories of great men then you should read it too!

12 November 2013
“Your first mistake might be assuming that people are rational. Your second mistake could be assuming that people are eager for change. And the marketer’s third mistake is assuming that once someone knows things the way you know them, they will choose what you chose.”
Seth Godin
15 August 2013

Fatum is the New Regular

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Meet Fatum. A newly released, ultrablack, slab serif typeface for people who appreciate the big things in life. It was designed by Sveta Morozova from Russia, for ParaType. Looking at the shapes I get the impression that at first the designer created a rectangle and then continued forming the letter shapes by chopping of tiny bits and pieces. The result is very expressive and the typeface looks very lively, despite of the subtle contour of the letters. Definitely, a great addition and a very useful typeface for printing on t-shirts or anywhere imaginable where a friendly attention is needed.

21 July 2013

Nadine Chahine on Typography, Football and Food

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Nadine Chahine is an award winning Lebanese type designer. In 2005 she moved to Germany and soon joined Linotype as a specialist in Arabic fonts. She received her PhD from Leiden University where she focused on legibility studies for the Arabic script.

About two weeks ago Ms. Chahine appeared on Deutsche Welle’s Insight Germany programme and gave a very educational and entertaining interview. During the broadcast she described how language influences our thinking, I found this very interesting. Among other things, she also talked about what’s the life like in Germany compared to Lebanon, the fonts which she has designed, football cheering and etc. In-between the interview they also showed two short videos about the Gutenberg Bible and the great guru of typography Erik Spiekermann.

15 July 2013

Roses on Your Path or Vardavar

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On a certain July afternoon, when the heat is particularly oppressive, the Vardavar holiday is celebrated throughout Armenia and in countries where Armenian communities are significantly present. On this day, anyone who’s passing by the streets is liable to be sprinkled with water and no offence can be taken.

Many feasts and festivals dear to the Armenian people have their roots in pre-Christian traditions, such is the festival of Vardavar. After Armenia became a Christian state in 301, the Vardavar feast was replaced with the Transfiguration while still retaining the customs and symbolism of the pagan holiday Vardavar, which was closely associated with the goddess Asdghig.

During the festival of Vardavar; homage was paid to goddess Asdghig by adorning her statue with multitude of roses (vard, in Armenian). (The Armenian novelist Raffi(1835-88) vividly illustrates the festival in his novel Samuel). According to one legend, whenever the goddess walked barefoot, her feet bled, and from the drops rosebushes sprung up.

But the name Vardavar may not have anything to do with roses. Vardavar may be composed of the Sanskrit words: Vard meaning water and var meaning sprinkle. Thus, the association with the adoration of water, as well.

Today, things have gone a bit beyond adoration. It’s become a total water fights day, usually started by children, but often dragging in everyone else, as well. See it for yourselves, watch this short video

Photo source: newsyblog.net

7 July 2013

“SHIFTED” — Super, Amazing Transmission Commercial

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Today was one of those days when I wished that YouTube had an auto-reply button on it’s videos. My Persian-Armenian friend who’s currently residing in California sent me a quite unusual video commercial of an auto repair shop and I’ve been watching it over and over again for the last 30 minutes. Probably the most arousing car repair commercial that I’ve ever seen, congratulations to its makers. See it for yourself, it’s hilarious.

1 May 2013
In the past years my visits to the church have been rare and I can never observe any religious event without remembering how as a young boy I was fascinated by the elaborate dresses which the highest priests wear during the church rituals. I wonder what young people think of the liturgy today?
I was having a tea at a friends place when she showed to me this image(above). Out of curiosity I asked her about it’s origins and this is what she had to say — “I was being shown old family photos most of which were black and white from 1920’s and amongst these photos there was a series of colored pictures which were of the anointing of Karekin II during his consecration as Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. This event took place on 29 of May 1977, Sunday. Part of the ritual is to appear as the live bride of Christ wearing a transparent veil also know as the bridal veil.”

In the past years my visits to the church have been rare and I can never observe any religious event without remembering how as a young boy I was fascinated by the elaborate dresses which the highest priests wear during the church rituals. I wonder what young people think of the liturgy today?

I was having a tea at a friends place when she showed to me this image(above). Out of curiosity I asked her about it’s origins and this is what she had to say — “I was being shown old family photos most of which were black and white from 1920’s and amongst these photos there was a series of colored pictures which were of the anointing of Karekin II during his consecration as Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. This event took place on 29 of May 1977, Sunday. Part of the ritual is to appear as the live bride of Christ wearing a transparent veil also know as the bridal veil.”

16 April 2013

Art Worth $30 Million Found in Long Island Garage

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An unknown artist’s work left inside the small Long Island bungalow where he once lived has been valued at up to $30 million. The artwork was discovered by Tom Schultz in 2006 when he bought the cottage and detached garage in Bellport as an investment property for around $300,000. Schultz, a former deli owner and a father of three, had been instructed by the cottage’s previous owners to throw all the works away, but as he looked over the collection of almost 7,000 paintings, drawings and journals, he just couldn’t get rid of them.  

"It was just someone’s life’s work, and it doesn’t belong in a Dumpster," he said. The art was by an obscure Armenian-American painter named Arthur Pinajian, a decorated World War II veteran and former comic book illustrator. He’d lived with his sister in Bellport until his death in 1999. Friends like Nick DiPaolo, who works at the local natural food store Pinajian often visited, remember him as a simple man who painted for the love of it. “I don’t believe he was selling any work at all,” said DiPaolo. “It didn’t seem to bother him at all that he was not getting recognition.”   

The anonymity ended when Schultz presented Pinajian’s works to historians and art appraisers like Peter Hastings Falk, who once appraised art from the Andy Warhol estate. Falk describes Pinajian’s paintings as lyrical abstract landscapes. One art historian called Pinajian a “brilliant colorist” who displayed “genius” in his work. Pinajian’s paintings have now been displayed and sold in galleries from New York to Los Angeles, and his art, once abandoned as trash, is being valued by some at between $25 to $35 million. Some pieces already have sold for $500,000. Fifty of his landscapes are currently on exhibit at Manhattan’s Fuller Building.  

"He wrote in his journal that he always wanted a show in New York," Schultz said. "We think he’s smiling down on us now. As for why Schultz saw treasure while others saw trash, the father of three credits his own dad, whose death, Schultz said, taught him to appreciate the value of a man’s life’s work.

Source: NBC News. Also, read this and this, or simply google Arthur Pinajian.

8 March 2013