Pretty good video of type and a defense of comic sans. I find that comic sans is just used in inappropriate places and not specifically, a poorly designed font.

Agreed on all parts of the “Accident Axiom, specifically on blaming the victim

This axiom has two corollaries: the Inherent Risk Corollary and the Reckless Driver Corollary. The former states that in this world of unavoidable accidents, pedestrians and cyclists are senselessly putting themselves in harm’s way by traversing concrete and asphalt. If they get hit, it is a deserved consequence of their poor decision making. And the latter states that those rare instances when a driver is at fault, it is the result of that driver being a reckless and careless individual, a deviant member of society. All blame is attributed to the individuals involved. The road network and driving culture are given immunity.

I would add that using the term “accident” to describe these incidents involving automobiles and pedestrians also contributes to the “Accident Axiom”. Words like, wreck, collision and crash provide a much better picture of what might have happened at the scene of a traffic collision. An accident, at least to me, implies something of less damage, something that can be undone possibly. i realize there is debate in the nuance of the word but continuing to use it in this context doesn’t help us find a solution to it. At best, it disguises it.

I’m a sucker for animated gifs.

Maker’s is looking to make more money as the demand for their fine product is out pacing supply. There are a couple of items I see that are concerning for the future of Maker’s as a brand. One, why are they blaming the market for something they control? The consumers dont produce the product, they purchase and consume it. It just seems misguided to point at the people buying your product and saying” Hey, you over there, you’re buying too much of our bourbon. We cant make it fast enough, so we’ve decided to use water to produce it quicker.” And two, if demand is so strong, why dilute the value of your product when you can simply charge more and actually produce less? That seems like the most reasonably solution without harming the brand or the product.

Marker’s does have some data they are claiming supports this decision. Apparently they are working under the assumption that customers wont notice nor will they care the bourbon they are drinking has 3% less alcohol.

Some links to peruse

In the spirit of the awards season, a quote from Alfred Hitchcock, speaking about surprising an audience and holding the audience in suspense.

We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let us suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware that the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions this same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There’s a bomb beneath you and it’s about to explode!” In the first scene we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.

Qtd. in Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock, rev. ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984), 73.M

Wrote this letter to Chipotle maybe a month ago. Got the typical corporate response, “we are taking this seriously”.  Thought this would be a good place to save for future laughs.

Long time Chipotle fan and customer. My experience has generally been great – tremendous service, tasty food and great staff. However, there is one issue that I continue to run into at almost every Chipotle I’ve been. Call ahead orders cause the line to be extremely and unnecessarily long, treating the customers that did come in as second class to those who phoned in. As the great Peter Griffin once said, “This really grinds my gears”.
From what I can tell, call aheads take precedent within the burrito construction line. I am not sure if this is a company policy or a local restaurant’s choice but it does seem to apply to all the Chipotles I’ve been to on the east coast of the US. Why does Chipotle give more preference to those customers that make call ins? Honestly, my friends and I don’t even bother ordering anymore in the line, as the call aheads basically destroy what is setup as a line. A short story might help to explain my position a little better. Let me set the stage.
It’s lunch at a local Chipotle, the line is long, wrapping through the restaurant. Many folks want their burritos and tacos and are willing to wait in this line. A fine young man walks by and decides, today, i want that delicious burrito that Chipotle makes so tastily. As he walks inside, opening the door and seeing the long line, he realizes its gonna be a little wait. This young man, described by his friends and family as a stand-up citizen who regularly assists in the relocation of the elderly from one side of the street to the other, and also being a great problem solver, thinks about this for a moment, looks around, and notices a sign. It says “Order Online or Call Ahead, Avoid the Line”. He thinks, “Great, Ill just call it in and skip the line.” So he does just that. Standing outside, he takes his phone, calls the location he is standing in front of and orders his burrito (a chicken burrito, specifically, with white rice, black beans, pico de gallo, corn salsa, and cheese. It also has one ingredient that isn’t listed – happiness. Yet he can taste it in every bite.) He hangs up, looks back in the store, and proceeds to walk in. He walks right to the front counter and proceeds to tell the work staff he made a phone order and would like to pay and pick it up. The workers seem surprised, they had not physically received the order yet, so they rush over to start assembling his food. This interrupts the rest of the assembly line for a few minutes and the line grows longer. They get him his food, he pays, and walks out the door. He is thrilled that his food took a matter of minutes to assemble and laughs at the rest of the line as he walks out the door. Delighted by this success, he will forever order burritos this way, never once standing in line again.
A story that started out with a polite, upstanding young man ends with him corrupted by the lure of a shortcut that undermines his fellow Chipotle enthusiasts who have been waiting in line, watching him cackle with no idea of what has really taken place, while they sigh resignedly and watch their wait grow just a few minutes longer.
Ultimately, the ease of use that Chipotle wanted to provide as a benefit to people who would order ahead has resulted in a power struggle, between those who would wait in line, and those who would not. What is taking place isn’t even a case of separate but equal, it’s a case of separate AND unequal… and the power has gone to those who would call ahead. This is a problem that is worsening every day, and for myself, it makes me less inclined to patronize any Chipotle in the future. It is a shame, because all people, whether they wait in line or call in their orders, should be able to enjoy their Chipotle without having to choose one side or the other. My suggestion would be a smaller assembly line in the back of the house, that would be dedicated only to online/call ahead orders. This is just my suggestion, and surely I acknowledge there must be other ways to fix this. There should be – there can be – a solution to wrap both kinds of Chipotle patrons in a warm burrito of satisfaction, and fullness, after they receive their food.

More links to occupy your time…

American Airlines recently went through a re-branding effort and released the fruit of their work this week. Initial reactions to the AA re-branding have been mostly positive in my anecdotal reading. Even more exciting, BusinessWeek has an interview with the original AA designer, Massimo Vignelli. He touches on many of the items that I was asking myself when first viewing the re-branding video. Who’s flag is that on the tail fin? What is the new logo supposed to be? Why move away from their original type treatment? Marrimo even gets into the function of some of Americans decisions,

The paint adds so much weight that that brings an incredible amount of fuel consumption. For some reason they decided to paint the plane. The fact is, weight is weight.

For me, the new plane paint job misses the mark. At best,  the silver tube harkens back to their classic steel look, good.  At worst, the new paint is confusing, specifically the tail fin. Is it supposed to be the American flag or part of the flag? If not, then what is it, and if yes, why 11 stripes and where is the color white? It just doesnt say, “American flag”.

Related Links


In the unusual move, information is being posted to this somewhat misguided series of posts again. Similarly based websites refer to these as blogs. Im skeptical this qualifies. In any case,  a list of links that Ive found interesting recently is below for your reading. Some are design, some are political, some music, some tv, all of them will take your time.