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So far ceci has created 48 blog entries.

WEBSITE REDESIGN

This blog has been silent for a while but we’ve been very busy here at sorodesign with a lot of exciting projects. With spring beginning here in Buenos Aires and fall arriving in North America, we’re going to return to blogging more often. Look forward to a lot of new posts about book design, plus we’ll be talking about several of the projects we’ve completed over the last few months.

Also, we’ve just recently completed a redesign of our own web site sorodesign. com and expanded our portfolio. We redesign the site every year, so this is our 3rd redesign. If you’ve not visited us lately, then click over and wander around.

By |September 1st, 2008|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , |Comments Off on WEBSITE REDESIGN

FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 3: Grading & Striking

Don’t forget this is Argentina, a state university, miserable salaries, hundreds of thousands of students (300,000 students at the University of Buenos Aires), old buildings, etc.

Of course we love it, that’s why we do it. Last Friday the Teachers Unions were on strike and we decided to support the strike since at the end, it is for a better education to everyone, for us, for the students.

Despite our support for the strike, we decided to have class anyway, but a different type of class than normal. We had the students bring in their first assignment TP 1 (Trabajo Práctico 1/Practical Work 1): The finished monogram with a series of variations and a grid. After receiving all the works the students were going to have a theoretical class with slides to learn about the next assignment.

Due to the strike we decided to go to school and receive the works, after that we stayed working on the results of TP 1 and the head of Type 2 gave a little talk to the students explaining what the strike was about.

Here’s how we grade:

First, all the teachers get together with the head and establish the parameters for the grades. From those parameters, each teacher sets the standard for their group (remember that we are 5 groups of 33 students & 2 teachers to each group). Then we compare each group’s standards with each other and set the grading structure.

By |May 3rd, 2008|Categories: literary, teaching|Tags: , |Comments Off on FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 3: Grading & Striking

FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 2: Reviewing Mock-ups

Briefly Class 1: Each student’s assignment was to make a monogram for an Argentine comedian.

This will be a typical review class: As soon as the students get to the classroom, each one with a few home-printed mock-ups of the monograms, they go to a corner of the room and tape all the works to the wall. They also bring their chairs and notebooks and we all sit in a semi-circle in front of the works.

Someone choses a work (usually its me because nobody wants to be first) and critique it: we see what works and what doesn’t. The designer of the work tells why she chose that font, what changes she did to the font, what concept supports her design, and what problems she encountered.

The idea is to guide her so that she herself finds the best way to improve her work. After we are done with one work, we take it from the wall and then that student picks someone else’s work and says why she chose it and it goes on and on until the wall is empty.

In the process all the students can participate, and the idea is that they can take advantage of everybody’s work and answer the questions that are common to many. Sometimes we get into very interesting discussions that make this the best part of the class.

Apart from the resources that the students want to look for, we provide them with apuntes or notes: a few pages with material indirectly related to the topic. In the case of this assignment, they received three. Here a bit of the notes:

Apunte 1: Parts of the letter

Apunte 2: Raices Typographic

Apunte 3: Typographic variables

By |April 30th, 2008|Categories: teaching, typography|Tags: , , |Comments Off on FRIDAY TEACHING | Class 2: Reviewing Mock-ups

TEACHING TYPE in BUENOS AIRES | Class 1

The new academic year in Argentina has started! (Yes, schools in the southern hemisphere are on a different schedule than all of you in the northern part of the world; here in Buenos Aires university classes run from the end of March to mid-December ).

The course actually started April 4th and my idea was to post after every class (classes are on friday from 2 to 6pm) but since we always get together with the other designers at the end of the class to have coffee and talk type, I get home late and tired, so the postings will be Saturdays.

Welcome speech
The class began with all the typography students together (Type I & Type II) for a presentation of the course Tipografia Cátedra Gaitto by Jorge Gaitto -the head of the cátedra. (In another post I’ll have to explain how the cátedra system works). There are a lot of people in both courses: 380 students enrolled in Type I & 170 students in Type II (and yes, you need to pass Type I to get into Type II).

Type I is typography basics, and the course ends with the creation of a font.

Type II (which is what I teach) is about doing things with the type, basically Editorial Design. The course starts with a series of exercises that lead to the actual book & magazine design which is featured later in the year. The course ends with the design of a publication.

We divided the 170 students of Type II into 5 groups with 2 teachers each, and as the result I’m in charge of a group of 33 students. The head of Type II (Carlos – my mentor) introduced the team and talked about the kind of work we’ll be doing during the year and then assigned the first work to the class: TP1: Monograma.

Finally, I get together with the students in my group and we spend some time talking about typography: ligatures, monograms, logotypes, font families, variables, and the concepts for developing the work. Each student’s task is to design a monogram for one of ten historical Humoristas (i.e., dead Argentine TV comedians). The next class will be correción of mock-ups. (Off-hand, I forget how to translate correción into English).

At 6.20pm we were still talking about design, type, etc….

The classroom -Carlos introducing Tipografia II

By |April 12th, 2008|Categories: teaching, typography|Tags: , |2 Comments

HELVETICA FILM SCREENING in BUENOS AIRES

One of the disadvantages of living in the southern hemisphere is that many interesting things that happen in the rest of the world never make it here, and I was fearing that the screening of Helvetica was one of those. I didn’t want to buy the dvd and watch it at home since I wanted more of a social-typographic experience.

About a year after the release of the film & thank to the people from t-convoca, last Saturday I finally got to see the film just like I wanted: in a theater with a crowd of typography enthusiasts. It played at the Fundación Gutenberg Auditorium, and after the screening there was a little presentation about the soon to start Typography Biennial Tipos Latinos 2008. Thanks to those who brought the film to Buenos Aires!
h.jpg
The film was actually better than I expected. I already knew that many big designers were interviewed in the film, but I was happily surprised by the fact that it was not a Helvetica Love Fest. The film is a more realistic approach to the phenomenon -yes, a font that has become popular like a car make- and there’s people that love it and people than hate it and both are equally valid.

I have to say that I’m not a modernist (anyone can tell by looking at my work), but to me Neue Helvetica® is a terrific font family, though I’d die if I had to use it always, even with all the variants (51).

And finally, here’s my favorite of the family Neue Haas Grotesk: 35 Thin (super delicate & perfectly organic shaped)

NeueHelvetica® 35 Thin

By |April 4th, 2008|Categories: typography|Tags: , |2 Comments

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year to all our readers!

By |December 31st, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , |1 Comment

DESIGNING BOOK COVERS

We’ve been busy designing book covers the past few months. The online portfolio has been updated and we’ve also created a PDF portfolio for download.


book cover designs

By |November 20th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Busy, Busy, Busy

This blog has been quiet for a while but here at sorodesign we’ve been busy, busy, busy. Obviously, business is going great but that has left little time for blogging. We’ll be back to that soon. Jeff is also now back from a trip to the U.S. and brought back a lot of design goodies, all worthy of blog posts. And soon we will have a bunch of new designs for the portfolio. Stay tuned!

By |September 24th, 2007|Categories: Book Design|Tags: |1 Comment

TRAVEL GUIDES by the chapter

If you travel a lot then you know the problem of carrying around guidebooks: they can be large and you often don’t use half the chapters in the book. A travel guide friend of mine actually recommends ripping out the pages that you don’t want from a guidebook in order to make it lighter, easier to carry around.

Lonely Planet is introducing downloadable chapters of its guidebooks. The price of each chapter varies but it seems to be around $2.50 or so. It reminds me of the TravelFish guides to southeast Asia that we wrote about last month.


lonely planet

So far, Lonely Planet only has chapters from its Latin American guidebooks available for download. This concept is particularly good for travelers on the road. In many countries it’s very difficult to find English-language travel books.

By |July 25th, 2007|Categories: e-book design, publishing|Tags: , |3 Comments

THE VALUE ofAUTHOR WEBSITES

Agent Kristin has a post on her blog Pub Rants about the importance of an author having a Web site:

I ended up chatting with a B&N book buyer. She said that the most important tool an author could have is a website.

And I agree. The buyers do actually look at author websites and potentially use them for their internet marketing.

She also has some excellent tips about how authors should get creative with their Web sites. Go read the post.

By |July 17th, 2007|Categories: author websites|Tags: |2 Comments