Japan Does It Better

Japan Does It Better

Smithsonian.com has an interesting article on Japan’s culture of improvement, as in, when they find something they like, they refine it to the point of perfection. The article specifically takes a look at three very American topics, bourbon, jazz, and workwear, and illustrates how some very determined Japanese are transforming them.

In Japan, the ability to perfectly imitate—and even improve upon—the cocktails, cuisine and couture of foreign cultures isn’t limited to American products; there are spectacular French chefs and masterful Neapolitan pizzaioli who are actually Japanese. There’s something about the perspective of the Japanese that allows them to home in on the essential elements of foreign cultures and then perfectly recreate them at home. “What we see in Japan, in a wide range of pursuits, is a focus on mastery,” says Sarah Kovner, who teaches Japanese history at the University of Florida. “It’s true in traditional arts, it’s true of young people who dress up in Harajuku, it’s true of restaurateurs all over Japan.”

(Photo by Raymond Patrick)

Bobby Solomon

April 14, 2014 / By

Busy Illustrated Scenes by Monica Ramos

Monica Ramos

Monica Ramos creates fantastically busy scenes peopled with wonderful characters and a great sense of energy. Born in the Philippines but now living and working in Brooklyn; Monica has worked on commissions for clients such as The New York Times, Rookie Mag and Oh Comely!. For me there’s a touch of Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo about much of her work and for a boy who spent many days lost in search of Waldo (or as I knew him “Wally”) this is no bad thing.

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Philip Kennedy

April 14, 2014 / By

Sponsored – Tuaca Cocktail Napkin Art Contest

Tuaca Cocktail Napkin Art Contest

Tuaca Liqueur is inviting artists of all backgrounds to share what ignites their creativity, on what is arguably the perfect canvas for serendipitous inspiration.

The idea is simple: Draw, doodle or illustrate whatever it is that inspires you on a cocktail napkin. Then, snap a photo of your creation and upload it to the virtual gallery at TuacaArt.com. One grand prize winner will be awarded $5,000 while 5 contestants will be selected for a $500 prize. Qualified entrants must be 21 years of age or over, reside in the United States and submit their artwork by 4:59pm CT on April 30, 2014.

For complete details and rules or to just check out the gallery, visit TuacaArt.com.

(Napkin image by Kirsten McCrea)

Bobby Solomon

April 14, 2014 / By

‘Gastrotypographicalassemblage’ Finds A New Home at The Culinary Institute of America

Gastrotypographicalassemblage

Gastrotypographicalassemblage is a a massive 35 feet long by 8.5 feet high installation which combines two of my favorite things, typography and food. Created by Lou Dorfsman in 1966 (along with the help of designer Herb Lubalin) to grace the walls of the CBS building in Manhattan, the piece featured over 1,650 individual letters spelling out culinary terminology and expressions, as well as 65 food-related objects. Unfortunately the art was removed when the building was sold in 1989 though thankfully it was saved by designer Nick Fasciano and Dorfsman himself from remaining in the dumpster.

For the past 25 years though the work has been kept in storage, looking for a new place to reside. Thankfully The Culinary Institute of America has found it a home in it’s Hudson Valley campus. The video below tells he story of Gastrotypographicalassemblage and it’s recreation at the CIA. It’s great to see that such a wonderful piece like this didn’t get lost in the shuffle of time.

Bobby Solomon

April 14, 2014 / By

Comic Neue – A Designer’s Attempt At “Bettering” Comic Sans

Comic Neue - A Designer’s Attempt At "Bettering" Comic Sans

I never expected to seriously be writing about Comic Sans. The occasional reference for humor is a low hanging fruit to any typography writer but here we go. In all seriousness, let’s talk about the world’s most hated typeface because designer Craig Rozynski challenged himself to redesign it.

First, let’s look at the history of Comic Sans via Just My Type by Simon Garfield, because I believe that the world is too harsh on Vincent Connare. You might say he’s the person you curse under your breath when you see that passive aggressive note about cleaning the microwave at the office — but really he’s only partially to blame.

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Carli Krueger

April 14, 2014 / By

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