Jason Keisling

Practical Typography

Category : graphic design, typography · No Comments · by Nov 13th, 2012

From Chapter 6.2 of Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Choose typefaces that suit the task as well as the subject

You are designing, let us say, a book about bicycle racing. You have found in the specimen books a typeface called Bicycle, which has spokes in the O, an A in the shape of a racing seat, a T that resembles a set of racing handlebars, and tiny cleated shoes perched on the long, one-sided serifs of ascenders and descenders, like pumping feet on the pedals. Surely this is the perfect face for your book?

Actually, typefaces and racing bikes are very much alike. Both are ideas as well as machines, and neither should be burdened with excess drag or baggage. Pictures of pumping feet will not make the type go faster, any more than smoke trails, pictures of rocket ships or imitation lightning bolts tied to the frame will improve the speed of the bike.

The best type for a book about bicycle racing will be, first of all, an inherently good type. Second, it will be a good type for books, which means a good type for comfortable long-distance reading. Third, it will be a type sympathetic to the theme. It will probably be lean, strong and swift; perhaps it will also be Italian. But it is unlikely to be carrying excess ornament or freight, and unlikely to be indulging in a masquerade.


Category : quotes, typography · No Comments · by Nov 11th, 2012

“Typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition: An essential act of interpretation, full of endless opportunities for insight or obtuseness.”―Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

A great idea to simplify items we carry.

Category : graphic design, problem solving · (2) Comments · by Nov 10th, 2012




theGOODbook™ 5 is a leather wallet, iPhone 5 case and sketchbook all in one.

Designed to consolidate the many items we carry in our pockets everyday.

Handcrafted in Portland, Oregon USA.

Time Lapse of Hurricane Sandy in NYC

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by Nov 2nd, 2012

A great video on design process

Category : graphic design, problem solving · No Comments · by Nov 1st, 2012

2012/09 Tom Foulkes & Michael Johnson from CreativeMornings/London on Vimeo.

Pumpkin Carving

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by Oct 21st, 2012

Halloween is almost here and I got festive today with some pumpkin carving! I decided to create Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.




“I’m Thinking Arby’s…”

Category : graphic design · No Comments · by Oct 5th, 2012

…should reconsider their new logo design.

Arby’s recently updated their logo for the first time in almost four decades. A logo is a company’s identity and what helps a company distinguish itself from other brands. A logo should be memorable, distinctive, and appropriate to the company’s purpose and target audience.


The new logo has several issues:

Will easily be outdated: A good logo will last over time. The new Arby’s logo is restricted to current trends and in several years will be about as stale as their sandwiches.
Unnecessary visual elements: Only one barb is needed. There should be a strong element that attracts the viewer’s eye and is memorable. If a logo utilizes more than one barb, they often fight for attention and create tension within the logo. In this case, there is the hat and the slicer-appostrophe (I think it’s supposed to be a slicer, anyway). The apostrophe is minimal and is overshadowed by the hat, so it really isn’t necessary. It could have simply been left unaltered (without the white streaks) and the logo wouldn’t have lost anything.
Poor relationship between type and image: The 3-d hat does not relate to the 2-d typeface. Also, the modern typeface doesn’t pair well with the older southwest-style hat. Imagine wearing an old western cowboy hat with an 80’s jumpsuit. I actually posted a blog months ago with a “typographic puzzle” where one matches shoes with the typeface that fits them.

Here are what some other designers are saying about the new logo:

Bloomberg Businessweek asks four design professionals—99designs’lead visual designer Kyle Lin, Little Red House’s design partner Michelle GambleRivington Design House’screative director Brion Isaacs, and Pratt Institute’sGraduate Communications Design Department adjunct professor Graham Hanson—what they think about Arby’s new, digital-looking logo:

Kyle Lin: Overall, I think it’s a vast improvement from the “before” logo. It has youthful, casual appeal. I like how they brought in modernized aspects of their older branding in updated ways. The new apostrophe’s supposed to represent a meat-cutting blade, which works well with their new positioning. Gotta love the hat.

Michelle Gamble: The old logo had charm and familiarity. This lacks charisma. The hat tries too hard to be an app and has no relationship to the logotype, apart from color. Without the name recognition, the logo evokes more of a “tech” feeling.

Brion Isaacs: The 3D effect has no place in this logo and looks forced and is executed poorly. Sucks. It seems like Arby’s is trying too hard. The whole glossy thing is so out of touch. There’s this retro throwback now, which is kind of cool. The old logo was familiar and classic; it’s a nice piece of Americana.

Graham Hanson: The typography of the old logo evoked Western themes and consequently “paid off” the stylized and simplified cowboy hat/lasso. Now you have what are really abstract shapes with typography that provides no visual cues. The unique essence of what set Arby’s apart from other fast food has been lost.


A Clever Seatbelt Advertisment

Category : advertising · No Comments · by Sep 25th, 2012


The Peculiarium: Keeping Portland Weird

Category : portland · (1) Comment · by Jul 27th, 2012

The Peculiarium is perhaps one of the most awesomely bizarre convenience stores I’ve seen. The place if full of unique decor and props–everything from bigfoot to alien autopsies. I talked to the person working (who was very friendly) and she said that most of them are homemade. Since opening and using homemade props, they now get many random people bringing them stuff to put in the store. Here are some pictures I took in the store.

Riddle me this:

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by Jul 23rd, 2012

There is an incandescent lightbulb, which is currently turned off in an upstairs room. You are downstairs, standing next to a panel of three light switches (all of them in the off position). One of them controls the lightbulb. The other two don’t do anything. You must figure out which switch controls the bulb, with some restrictions.

1) You can do whatever you want to the lightswitches, as long as it’s either turning them on or turning them off.

2) After fiddling with the lightswitches, you can go upstairs and check the bulb.

3) You cannot see the bulb nor any light shining from it from where you’re initially standing.

4) You cannot make multiple trips up and down the stairs.

5) The lamp is in the ceiling and you don’t have a ladder.

6) You are a mutant with 15-foot-long arms, so #5 is moot.

So, you fiddle with the switches, you walk upstairs and check the bulb, and then you immediately decide which switch controls the bulb.

How do you do it?