Well, I gave you fair warning and now it’s a reality. As you can see, I didn’t overstate my artistic limitations. It’s pretty amateurish. Of course, after announcing the prospect of a redo I expected to lose interest and move on. To my surprise, though, I stuck with it. I ordered books on logo design and, get this, I read them. Now I’m screwed; I’m besotted with typography. That’s not good. No, that’s a disaster.
Of the thousands upon thousands of fun, rewarding hobbies, gardening, say, or coin collecting, I had to stumble on typography. I’ll pay a heavy price for this misadventure. It’s a pursuit tailor-made for mind-numbing, excruciating, pathological obsession and who has the energy for that?
Truly great typography demands neurotic, compulsive behavior. Seriously. When done properly, setting a single headline can take weeks, selecting the most delightfully expressive font for the tone and subject is only the start. You’ve got serif, sans serif, slab, gothic, grotesque, script, stencil; weights and widths and sizes. Oh, and what about the styles — bold, light, italic, all caps, small caps, outline, et al. Then, too, there’s leading, kerning, alignments, and on and on and on.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am in my element.
But why the curious urge to master the manipulation of type? I don’t work with print materials any longer. More baffling than that is the fact I don’t even have a printer. But here I am, totally preoccupied with all things type, which makes no sense. I don’t know what I expect to accomplish, but it’s a gas learning about this stuff. It changes the way you look at things.
For instance, I was in the checkout line at Target, bored and aimless, when my eye fell on the Altoids squashed between the Tic Tacs and BubbleYum. Although I’m a big fan of Altoids advertising, I’d never noticed the typography. My loss, too, because it’s gorgeous. Look.
I bought every flavor they had — just for the typography. They’re not breath mints. Heck, no, they’re eye candy.
Apparently, the tins are highly sought after items, precious little gems. Check out pinterest if you don’t believe me. Or eBay. Altoids tins are a cottage industry. They’re being collected; they’re being bought and sold (at eye-popping prices) and traded; they’re being repurposed into everything from first aid kits to mini-flashlights to tiny stoves to candleholders. And here I thought I was obsessive.
Anyway, there’s the new logo. I was so preoccupied with the font I forgot a tagline. Sorry. That, too, will require typography, so help yourself to a mint while you’re waiting.