You've been cited by the Design Police!

glyphobet's picture

These stickers for labeling common typographical errors are brilliant. I wish I'd thought of them.
http://design-police.org/

-matt

P.S. Apologies if this has been posted before. My searches didn't find anything, but similar attempts have failed in the past.

blank's picture

I want to be an art director just so I can stick these all over people’s stuff.

Linda Cunningham's picture

Download a set anyway, James. ;-)

Thanks for a great laugh, Matt -- these are just fabulous.

James Arboghast's picture

What Linda said.

That's a very cool and gleebtastic J in your avatar James :^)

j a m e s

Bald Condensed's picture

Hilarious. :^D

nora g's picture

... but consider the consequences ... this stickers may overtake the visual presence of helvetica in public space ;-)

beejay's picture

great except for:

the inch glyph is NOT a speech mark

Si_Daniels's picture

Yep someone should do a version in American English - at least there's no "consider using a bespoke typefount" ;-)

Bald Condensed's picture

It's not his fault he speaks proper English and the Americans don't. :^D :^P ;^)

jupiterboy's picture

I bet you are against nucular energy as well.

dberlow's picture

Yow there D.P.: your logo is ugly and backward-looking. Real police don't use red and white in tihs century. The ' glyph is not inch or inches. And if I had the time to put one big sticker over the whole thing, it'd read: "snot-nosed, typographically-tight-sphinctered, subjectivity-riddled, goose-stepping nags get nowhere on these issues with the people they are trying to 'help.'" But, I think that is not their goal which seems trictly to show what "great designers" people should think they are. Who are they again? ;)

Cheers!

fontplayer's picture

DB, that made my day. I needed a good laugh.

Nick Shinn's picture

When bad is the new good, it's hard to tell whether this is supposed to be chuckling at the dimwits who can't do proper typography, or sending up the dimwits who wax intelligently about typography while being too inept to use anything but Helvetica. Irony keeps your arse covered--it's the wanker's best friend.

blank's picture

These would make for a great Typecon event. Just have everyone pile examples of the work on a table early in the day, and give everybody a set of stickers. Then everyone takes turns marking up the work.

William Berkson's picture

>Irony keeps your arse covered—it’s the wanker’s best friend.

Warning from the Metaphor Police: do not, repeat, do not try to picture that mixed metaphor :)

James Arboghast's picture

The stickers are mildly amusing for a small audience. The wordings could have been more extreme, and funnier It's a thing good ideas can't be copyrighted.

This type has been bastardised > This type has been sodomised > Sodomy victim

Consult a typographer > Consult a tight-sphinctered typographer

Kern this! > Kern it wanker! > Kern it, you stupid wanker!

Legible from space (ha-ha, maybe they've been reading me) > Gap visible from low earth orbit > River visible from Mars.

Do not use faux bold > Faux bold is for morons. Ha!

Do not use faux italic > Phoney italic. Are we talking to a ghost on the wall on a windy day or what's the deal?

Clichéd type effect > Cheese sandwich. Rebuild it, mag wheels!

Imitation small caps > Bogus smallcaps. Avoid!

Design cliché > Design cliché disaster > Laughable quasi-hip design

Poorly cut typeface > Laughable quasi-butch aldine

Turn off hyphenation > Turn off the hyphenation, you dickhead > Turn it off the hyphenation, Bugsy

Use faux italic one more time and you're in the running for Worst Typesetter of the Century, my friend.

Comic Sans is illegal > Comic Sans is a "disagreeably facetious typeface". Do you a) Agree, b) Strongly agree, c) Super-strongly agree.

This has no personality > Oh this is wankshaft

Microsoft Word is not a design tool > Microsoft Word is a wanking machine

j a m e s

TomN-CA's picture

Now, maybe I'm wrong, but the font used for the stickers looks like Helvetica. Which makes the "Helvetica was an unimaginative choice >" sticker amusing.

If I'm right maybe I'll email them a picture of the stickers with a bigger helvetica sticker over top!

Joe Pemberton's picture

@ Mr. Berlow. Too true.

I did enjoy the lipstick icon inside the police light.

And, James, you've hit your quota for the w word for 2008. No need to get so nasty.

Bald Condensed's picture

Hey, how cum none of James' w-words got censored by the automated Typophile Censoring Thingamabob? **** that! :^D

Bald Condensed's picture

Yup, it still works... B^)

Jackie Frant's picture

You made my morning - these are hysterical.

This does not communicate - but it does oh. so well....
No matter the English.

And it makes me sorry that so many of my comrade typesetters are 6 feet under and can't enjoy it too!

James Arboghast's picture

Joe -- I am sorry if I wrote things people find offensive or nasty. It was intended as verbal "humor" only. The w word makes me laff, but clearly it puts some people off, so here it stops.

Yves -- gag me with a wooden spoon. I don't understand why more asterisks didn't replace the w words.

j a m e s

lirmac's picture

> I did enjoy the lipstick icon inside the police light.

Much as I hate to nitpick, I think the police siren is supposed to resemble a chisel-tip felt pen, rather than a lipstick – an homage to the analogue days of design!

Joe Pemberton's picture

No worries James. The half dozen references in this single thread was just too much...

Felt pen? Ah! Now I see it.

dezcom's picture

I saw the felt marker right away but then again, I am older than dirt :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I give up, what is the w word?

ChrisL

Jackie Frant's picture

Oh Chris - I don't want to call you a wanker - honest I don't....

dezcom's picture

I guess I will have to visit the Urban Dictionary just to find out what that means :-/

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Having just visited said site and perusing the many definitions written there, I find the following one, by "Pommydave" my "hands down" favorite:

>>>"2. wanker

George W Bush.
Wankers can't be trusted with their own dicks let alone anyone elses."<<<

ChrisL

James Arboghast's picture

Oh Chris - I don’t want to call you a wanker - honest I don’t....

By contrast Chris is a winker ;^) Pretty sure of that :^)

j a m e s

ebensorkin's picture

I thought it was funny. And I thought of many many signs I might have used them on - at for instance my Gym. But using this stuff would make you into a high schooler again. It has the cruelty of children in it. So I can't.

Bald Condensed's picture

If anyone's interested -- I interviewed the Design Police for Unzipped.

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks for the link Yves.

dberlow's picture

Yep! In their own words :"It’s more about an in-joke", in other words,
We didn't do this to make people feel bad about their bad design, (a constructive course),
we did this to make people feel good about other people's bad design, (a destructive course).
Fine as an "in joke", where they probably would have kept it, (if not for the publicity).

Cheers! :)

Dan Weaver's picture

Wasn't this the job of editors. Didn't they make all those little marks on your manuscripts. What, Art Directors need to do the editing job as well? Cute but a bad idea. Seperation of Church and State, Art Directors look at the visual big picture and let the editors look at the minutia.

will powers's picture

>> Art Directors look at the visual big picture and let the editors look at the minutia.

Sorry, but this is no longer valid. Editing and proofreading are fast disappearing. Everywhere. From major university presses to ad agencies to newspapers to . . . you name it.

We need all the eyes we can get on matter set in type. Including ADs' eyes and designers' eyes and typesetters' eyes. But do only the most obvious corrections yourself. Query all others on proofs and make sure you get answers from them what wrote the stuff in the first place.

You are all hereby deputized into the "Word Police" force. Go forth and do good work.

powers

Dan Weaver's picture

But Will I spell like an Art Director having me proof read is a terrible waste of the clients time and money. Its about your resources in the best most efficient manor. If I was an auto mechanic I wouldn't do the plumbing in my house. The Plumber would do a better job quicker.

fontplayer's picture

But Will I spell like an Art Director having me proof read is a terrible waste of the clients time and money. Its about your resources in the best most efficient manor. If I was an auto mechanic I wouldn’t do the plumbing in my house. The Plumber would do a better job quicker.

Insert comma after Will, period after Director. Capitalize the H in have. Apostrophe in "clients" and in "Its". Seems like a word is missing before "your resources"...manor/Manner?... (point taken)
; )

You are all hereby deputized into the “Word Police” force. Go forth and do good work.

I don't know. Seems like a lot of work.

Bald Condensed's picture

> Fine as an “in joke”, where they probably would have kept it, (if not for the publicity).

To set the record straight, I lured them out. :^P

As for "making people feel good about other people’s bad design", I really don't get your point.

I printed out the Visual Enforcement Kit, passed it around in the studio and we all had a good laugh. I didn't apply any sticker on anybody else's work and prolly never will. The thought never even crossed my mind. I think – no, I'm convinced – that's what most people will do, and that's how it should be. Why always assume the worst?

Please don't shoot the messenger; the Design Police are merely commenting on the state of a lot of current graphic design. I don't believe them to be inherently evil. ;^)

Personally I feel that the pride I put in my work entitles me to be disheartened when I see sloppy, lazy typography. And I will accept criticism whenever I blunder. Humour is a healthy way to deal with these feelings. The day we won't be allowed to poke fun anymore at something that irks us will be a sad day indeed.

Peace.

ebensorkin's picture

Yves, if you felt bashed by me I am sorry. I enjoyed looking at it too.

It sounds like our sense of this isn't so different in fact. Cheers!

Bald Condensed's picture

Naw, Eben, don't sweat it. I really don't feel bashed. I'm just disappointed by some of the negative reactions, on NotCot and MetaFilter as well, because I really appreciate this project. Some of those people commenting sound so incredibly bitter (not you, David! ;)

Si_Daniels's picture

I enjoyed your interview and was pleased to see that they saw the DP effort as mostly a joke (the best jokes of this kind always have a small element of seriousness) - contrast this with the bancomicsans folks - things got weird when the protagonists started to take the joke seriously.

Bald Condensed's picture

Actually I agree with your "cruelty of children" remark, which is one of the reasons why I never will use these stickers (except maybe to poke fun at a colleague or a good friend, someone who knows me well). I think that people that would actually use those stickers would probably use a marker pen or something else if they weren't around. It's not like the stickers will inspire reasonable people to behave like petty hooligans. :^P

It's like when they tried to blame Marylin Manson for the Columbine massacre. Backwards thinking.

Celeste's picture

I agree with Yves — I printed it myself and pasted it on a door in my classroom for my students to see, and we all had a good CONSTRUCTIVE laugh. I write "constructive" because it has reminded them of all the little things (inch glyphs used as apostrophes, faux italic, etc.) I keep bugging them with every week, and they realised I'm just not the only nitpicker out there. So they agreed to let it pasted on the door as some kind of ironic "check-list" to look at before spending the school's budget in useless (and premature) printouts.
And I love the "fire extinguisher" look, with this awful lot of white Helvetica on red background.

ebensorkin's picture

Seems like a lot of work

Yes, and there is a reason to specialize - to make sure that somebody really has the skills needed and so that there is a clear accountability. "Word Police"? More like "Word militia" or "word Gang". In the words of Nero Wolfe: Phoooey!

dberlow's picture

"To set the record straight, I lured them out. :^P"
...and it was a very nice interview. But that's not the 'publicity' I'm talking about, as they were way out before you lured them.

"...making people feel good about other people’s bad design”, I really don’t get your point."
What point? the part where the stickers are used by people without your sensitivity and compassion? or the part where these other people use the stickers, anonymously and without corrective education to go along with the stickers? Or when the stickers are used to criticize non-typographic, in some cases non-design issues?

"Why always assume the worst?" Because in the best case the stickers are never used, leading to great-looking white space. Really, totally brilliant white space.

"Please don’t shoot the messenger; the Design Police are merely commenting on the state of a lot of current graphic design. I don’t believe them to be inherently evil."
I don’t believe them to be inherently evil either. I'm not shooting the messenger, the messenger's messenger or the messenger's gun. That leaves the bullets...many of which, in this silly case, are not even targeted at the graphic design, are they now...

"Humor is a healthy way to deal with these feelings." LOL. There you go. I, "poke fun [] at something that irks us", therefore, I am. Or are you one of those typographic totalitarians who don't believe in design police police? ;)

Cheers!

Bald Condensed's picture

> What point? the part where the stickers are used by people without your sensitivity and compassion? or the part where these other people use the stickers, anonymously and without corrective education to go along with the stickers? Or when the stickers are used to criticize non-typographic, in some cases non-design issues?

Point made, I agree. But I really don't think it's the stickers that are going to have people cross over to the Dark Side. I can play all the ultraviolent video games I want (which I don't, incidentally, just for the sake of the argument) and I still won't buy a gun and start shooting people in the streets. But you are right.

> That leaves the bullets...many of which, in this silly case, are not even targeted at the graphic design, are they now...
Again, point made, but with the same reservations as above.

> Or are you one of those typographic totalitarians who don’t believe in design police police?
I believe in policing the police as a general concept, so I can't bring anything against that, but I think I'm hardly a "typographic totalitarian". Let's maybe ask some people who know me, I might misjudge myself completely. :D

ebensorkin's picture

Let’s maybe ask some people who know me, I might misjudge myself completely.

Yves, Point nicely and subtly made.

David, You are not really accusing David of being a "typographic totalitarian". You are, I think, just using a rhetorical question to put your point across.

Celeste's picture

I'm wondering how many commentators here are actually missing the point of the joke : I don't think these stickers are meant to be used at all by anyone, really. I take them for a shot at precisely the people who are all too often prone to dogmatic tight-sphinctered comments about other people's work, as if to say "Now if you are so smart, and so wise, and obsessive enough to try to eradicate all typographic errors in the world, here are the tools to do it. Bet you are pretentious enough to use them, you jerk !"

Miss Tiffany's picture

Celeste speaks volumes. I agree.

dberlow's picture

"I can play all the ultraviolent video games I want..."
You sure can. But you can't drag me in and shoot at me without my cooperation now, or can you?

"I don’t think these stickers are meant to be used at all by anyone, really."
Really!? In the repeating row of "Kern This!" stickers, is the first "Kern This!" sticker more or less 'funny/educational' than the eighth, "Kern This!" sticker? If one were not supposed use them, then one would need but one of each, Sherlock.

"I take them for a shot at precisely the people who are all too often prone to dogmatic tight-sphinctered comments about other people’s work,"
...then print the definition and remedy for each boo-boo on the back of the sticker, or somewhere in site. I'm sorry, I don't need help to draw a line between 'Let it BE', and 'Let it B.S.' But I'll try to do better ;)

Cheers!

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