random notes


Big News on the Natalia Website Front

All beautiful relationships come to an end, and it is with a sigh that I break the news: This, my much-maligned yet incredibly easy-to-use Authors Guild website template-- a template that has shared life's ups and downs with me since the year 2008-- will soon vanish, replaced by a snazzy new template.

It is a conscious uncoupling. Nothing at all like our unconscious coupling, which was-- as so many relationships are-- first a marriage of convenience, then a hard-to-break habit. We've grown apart. I want the dazzle of white space and adventure. They prefer colors and frames.

We shall continue on as close friends. The Authors Guild is a wonderful writer's rights organization to which I plan always to belong. And we shall miss Abigail and Hector, its lovely web team. But we're moving the operation to Squarespace.

Goodbye to the blue banner and weird type mash-up! Hello to a Student Page that doesn't read backwards, and to a blog that has five tags, rather than 1000. The big change-over is scheduled for later in the month. We just wanted to give you some time to adjust.

Matthew Monk gives a lovely introduction to semiotics here in what may be his first YouTube video. Can't wait for the next one! I'll expect dancing.

“I want to know what things are for, how they work, what they can or should be made of, before I even begin to think what they should look like. ” Jonathan Ive

John D. Berry

“Only when the design fails does it draw attention to itself; when it succeeds, it's invisible.”
--John D. Berry

2.6 John D. Berry-- type historian, writer and typographer, Honorary President of ATypI and former editor of U&lc-- dropped by the History of Vis Com class yesterday to watch the History Mashup Board Free-for-all and give us some inside information on type design and designers. Thank you, John, for your lovely additions to the class--the welcome mat is always out for you.

Susan Szenasy

"Design is an essential activity that can better human life, if it embraces the larger ideas of what it means to be human on Earth." --Susan Szenasy

1.28 Susan Szenasy, Executive Editor of Metropolis Magazine, dropped in to review the Design for Social Change charrette projects and somehow wove design thinking, fleeing the Hungarian Revolution, the beauty of stocking forms, and a thought or two on personal ethics into a wonderful hour. Thank you, Susan!

Design is not just the province of thin people in Vans sitting in potato chip chairs.

The Albany carousel project is a real break for those of us who spend most of our time at a keyboard. Since I happened to be visiting friends in town, I went by the Project, and was welcomed in by the master carver, who took time to show me around and tell how he manages to get such good work out of a host of volunteers. If you are in Corvallis, Oregon, Albany is just a few minutes away, and it is worth the trip to see how well they are taking care of their 1850's downtown, where the Carousel project is located. Oh, to buy one of those well-maintained buildings, and create a huge, gorgeous complex of studios, shops and offices... nearby the Carousel, of course!

And the good news is that the founders of Communication Arts Magazine have a foundation. And that foundation, the Coyne Family Foundation, has just given Cornish Design a big vote of confidence--$15,000 for student scholarships!

"The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation has just given Cornish $15,000 for scholarships to Cornish College of the Arts Design students. According to their letter, “scholarships will be awarded to United States citizens and at the sole discretion of the faculty on creative merit and financial considerations.”

These scholarships are not endowed, but if our students handle their scholarships right, with appreciation and evidence of hard work, they will continue every year.
This is a wonderful boost for Cornish Design students.
We are so grateful for the generosity!

11.6 Misha Beletsky, Art Director at Abbeville Press and design historian and archivist, will be here from NYC to lecture on the History of Russian Propaganda in Notions Auditorium at 5.

It was ever thus:
"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." -- Assyrian tablet, ca. 2800 BC

and now many leaves

uh-oh, the first leaf

Radical words:

"We have to recognize that every event and manifestation of nature is “design,” that to live within the laws of nature means to express our human intention as an interdependent species, aware and grateful that we are at the mercy of sacred forces larger than ourselves, and that we obey these laws in order to honor the sacred in each other and in all things. We must come to peace with and accept our place in the natural world."

William McDonough

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