Why design will ruin your life

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Casey Hickey's picture
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Why design will ruin your life
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Hi typophiles/designers,

I'm putting together a book listing reasons that design will ruin a person's life. It's not solely about typography, but the largest chapter is devoted to it. Suggestions/contributions are welcome, and will be credited (I don't plan on publishing or selling it, and if I did, it wouldn't be for profit.)

Examples from the text:

"You will take a long detour around Illinois to avoid seeing a poorly kerned sign."

"You have a carton of acid-free orange juice from 1983, and think it's still good."

"You are prepossessed to dislike any person that is an orphan or widow."

I'm looking forward to hearing any input on this. Just don't bother telling me that I have really horrible ideas, I already know!
Thanks,
Casey

Nathan's picture
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Joined: 2 Jan 2006 - 5:31pm
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Of course the last reason, on the last page, must be something like

"It will make you want to write a book, on why design will ruin a person's life"

Dennis Hill's picture
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You will take a long detour around Illinois to avoid seeing a poorly kerned sign.

Sometimes they are worth getting a photo of. I saw one photo for a video store called FLICKS that had tight tracking, and when the LI got together it changed the meaning of the word. I'm betting the sign company ended up having to redo it.

Casey Hickey's picture
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“It will make you want to write a book, on why design will ruin a person’s life”

heh, well said. Maybe if I get lucky, I'll be able to add "The creator of this book has since been institutionalized."

Vincent Connare's picture
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'You will have numb fingers from carpal tunnel syndrome'

Dennis Hill's picture
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During one creative period where I used a touchpad for making some kaleidoscope art thingies until the end of my pointing finger got painfully sensative for months from tapping for clicks. That was years ago, and now it still is sensative. Mind you I'm not a designer, but I was pretending to be.

Tim Daly's picture
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am
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"you have a Pantone reference for your tea"
Get yours here

Tim

Casey Hickey's picture
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Fontplay,
I took a look at your site, and enjoyed this quote:
http://www.fontplay.com/images2/rotor.jpg
Is that factual?

>“you have a Pantone reference for your tea”
That's fantastic.

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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Joined: 15 May 2005 - 11:40am
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Design has done nothing but good things for me.

I, however, am my own worst enemy…

peace

Dennis Hill's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2006 - 3:52pm
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I took a look at your site, and enjoyed this quote:
http://www.fontplay.com/images2/rotor.jpg
Is that factual?

It was on a list of trivia facts. I didn't bother to check, but it sounds silly enough to be true.
: )

Norbert Florendo's picture
Joined: 9 Jun 2005 - 2:21pm
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WHY (TYPE) DESIGN WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE --

You legally have your name changed so you can have a cooler looking monogram.

Your vanity license plate reads, “DINGBAT”
Your vanity license plate reads, “GLYPHER”

You love the movie “Fontless in Seattle”

You were accused of sexual harrassment because you mentioned “interobang” at the office.

You were accused of sexual harrassment because you said “Joanna has nice ascenders”.

People tire of you saying, “It’s Ellipsis… not dot.dot.dot.”

You’re thrown out of the cineplex for booing during the movie titles

Your bumper says “STOP FONT ABUSE!”
Your bumper says “TO HELL WITH HELVETICA!”

You keep getting “World’s Best Designer” bobble-heads for your birthday.

You’re the only one who thinks type when you hear “Stymie Black”

You’re introduced to a hot (your gender preference – babe/hunk) at a cocktail party as a “designer” and she/he says, “Like Tommy Hilfiger?”, and you say, “No, like Hermann Zapf” and you suddenly get the feeling you’re going home alone again tonight.

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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Joined: 15 May 2005 - 11:40am
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I guess "You might be a redneck if" was more influential than I hoped…

peace

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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I don't know but I'll buy the book just for the "pantone reference for tea" and for "Joanna's nice ascenders".

Mili Carr's picture
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Joined: 17 Jun 2005 - 1:36pm
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I can't help noticing bad kerning in ads etc, especially when in public transport. It interferes with the message.
I also spoil enjoyment of pictures by wondering, how it was done.

nick cottrell's picture
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Joined: 14 Oct 2005 - 12:47pm
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papyrus.

Mike Diaz's picture
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Your rear-end has gone flat from sitting in front of the computer too much.

Instead of reading, you just look at the words.

Helvetica is a lifestyle.

You buy fonts behind your spouse's, life partner's, or your own back!

There's hope for tacky Los Angeles when public transportation steps up to the plate with Scala:
www.metro.net

You get 'vahclempt' when a new font get released.

Your kid asks you, "Daddy what color is this?" and you say "Sweety, that's PMS 321 Teal uncoated."

Mikey

Chris Rugen's picture
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Joined: 19 Aug 2003 - 11:00am
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A Major Reason Why Design (or, more specifically, typography) Will Ruin Your Life

You have to work hard on tiny things for hours on end so no one will notice that you had to spend hours on end working hard on tiny things. Then get them to pay you for it.

Casey Hickey's picture
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Joined: 7 Apr 2006 - 2:07pm
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Wow, thank you everyone for the replies so far. Chris, you're my hero.

Roballoo!'s picture
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Helvetica is a lifestyle.

That should be on a t-shirt.

Why design will ruin your life:

* One too many X-acto knife accidents.

* Too much time on Typophile :)

Casey Hickey's picture
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* One too many X-acto knife accidents.

That one fits me well. I learned the hard way a few years ago not to do book binding while you're sick. The sad part is I was more worried about "rubrication" on the book than I was about disecting myself. Thankfully, I can still count base ten with my fingers.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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aha. self-rubrication.

Norbert Florendo's picture
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Ol' Dezcom must be pretty tired getting this bobble-head for Father's Day! :-)

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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LOL!!!

ChrisL

Chris Lozos's picture
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You know design has ruined your life:
if you make your icon out of glyphs from a typeface you designed;

You get a vanity plate with the name of that typeface;

Then you make a Christmas card using all type in that typeface and have a very bad visual pun in it;

And an online friend posts a picture of you as a bobblehead!

ChrisL :-)

Chris Lozos's picture
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You know type design has ruined your life if you are not satisfied being a type A or a Type B personality and want to be a complete opentype superpro character set personality.

ChrisL

Casey Hickey's picture
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At this rate the book could turn into a twenty-volume set. Who will volunteer to help me bind it all!? I guess this leads us to "You enjoy talking about design more than you like doing it." I think I've gotten to that point.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture
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You will accept doing jobs that pay almost nothing (hell, nothing) because in spite of there being very little financial reward involved, they are cool projects, and, after all, you are in love with design, right? Even if it ruins your life. :-D

Casey Hickey's picture
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>> You will accept doing jobs that pay almost nothing (hell, nothing) because in spite of there being very little financial reward involved, they are cool projects, and, after all, you are in love with design, right? Even if it ruins your life. :-D

I think you hit the nail right on the head with this one.

Brad Isbell's picture
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Danger signs: Driving down any interstate or commercial street becomes little more than an excercise in fontspotting and legibility analysis. Billboards are your primary source of road rage.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Don't forget bumper stickers too!

ChrisL

Brad Isbell's picture
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Silly of me to forget bumper stickers. I keep trying to find an arrow key in the car to kern those green signs, too.

Dennis Hill's picture
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I just spent a good part of my night trying to solve the problem of adding hyperlinks to physical places and things, including myself. I was baffled as to why it wasn't working. When I woke up I finally realized what the problem was.
: )

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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You become illiterate.

BTW:
> to see if everything was nicely aligned.

Ah.

hhp

Peter Gurry's picture
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Joined: 30 Mar 2005 - 12:15am
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You start judging books, not so much by their cover, but whether or not they've used ligatures on the inside.

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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Joined: 12 Mar 2006 - 1:10pm
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oh it wasn't design that did that to me, hrant...i was born like that!
Hugs

paul d hunt's picture
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Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:44pm
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you throw up a little every time you see a prime mark instead of an apostrophe.

Bruce Schneider's picture
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If you have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), the rest of your life will be spent in the pursuit of perfect type kerning.

Oh, wait, you're going to do that anyway…

You have no problem discussing PMS in public… and can't figure out why people stare at you when you do.

You've had a traffic accident due to exceptionally good or bad kerning on a billboard.

Your friends have been caught by their wives lusting after porn online. Your wife caught you lusting after fonts online.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> i was born like that!

But of course men and women are not born differently...

Trust me: it's never too late.

hhp

Bruce Schneider's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006 - 11:59am
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You try to Command-Z real life events.

Chris Lozos's picture
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I tried to command+Z my income tax and it didn't work :-(.

ChrisL

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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>Trust me: it’s never too late.

Hrant, actually it is a bit too late if you are dyslexic.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Dyslexics are hard-wired to adulate Modernism?

hhp

Tim Brown's picture
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You come across a glyph that resembles one of your distant relatives.

You print it, with the distant relative's name underneath, and put it on your bulletin board at work.

You receive odd looks while explaining it to other designers who come by, but you keep it on the bulletin board anyway, and then....

The distant relative, who is in no way a designer, who will never, ever understand how an uppercase G reminds anyone of anyone else, actually VISITS YOUR OFFICE without notice and asks why their name is up on your bulletin board, and "what's the G for?"

Thank goodness for typophile. :)

Chris Lozos's picture
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G wizz Tim! How could he not understand anything so clear :-)

ChrisL

Casey Hickey's picture
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>You try to Command-Z real life events.

I've actually spoken to many designers who have instinctively tried to command-z something that can't be undone. Maybe Staples should have a big Command-Z button mass-produced in addition to their "Easy Button." On that note, I was in there with a friend who needed to place a special order to have copies made. The process was an absolute hassle, so I brought over one of their easy buttons. We both pushed it, but nothing happened.

>Dyslexics are hard-wired to adulate Modernism?

The only dyslexic designer I know owns a copy of Grid Systems in Graphic Design. I wouldn't say he adulates Modernism, but the two of them are definately on speaking terms.

Tim, that's too good to be something you made up. I think we all need to have a big typophile group hug. "It's okay, we're here for you!"

Joe Pemberton's picture
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Joined: 8 Apr 2002 - 3:36pm
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Design will ruin your life because when you're not actually designing you'll spend hours on web sites talking about it.

Stuart Sandler's picture
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Design will ruin your life because you want to give fonts and clip art as (paid) presents to friends and family members but you first have to explain what they are . . .

:D

Jonathan Gene Ullery-Smith's picture
Joined: 8 Dec 2005 - 7:36pm
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>You try to Command-Z real life events

thats funny! i swear that thought has run through my mind when i was doing something stupid - like locking my keys in my car. APPLE-Z! APPLE-Z! APPLE-Z! DOH!

I think that and billboard-kerning-induced road rage resonate most with me

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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Design is a direct connection to God.

Cynicism is befuddling…

peace

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Ah, the Sufi Bauhaus School.

hhp

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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Prelude to the Ceremonies of the Whirling Dervish
by the Erguner Brothers

We create the universe…

peace