Archive for January, 2010

[pdx] Presenting The César E Chávez Blvd Blades (with Bonus Beech Street)

Posted in Portland History, Sign Design, Street Blade Gallery on January 30, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2312.As I mentioned yesterday, I was going to have César E Chávez Blvd blades for posting today. And I do try to live up to my promises. Here we go.

The unveiling and a ceremony happened in front of the Central Christian Church, 1844 SE César E Chávez Blvd, at the cross street of SE Stephens Street. Across the street is another church, the Temple of Praise, and nothing against the Central Christian Church, but it made a much more attractive backdrop (and it was easier to lens the pics from the former’s parking lot, actually …)

The new Blades are the recently-evolved Type 3’s, and the same sensitivity to leading, kerning, and tracking are evident. That’s still a good looking Clearview sign, dang it!

The type is the right size, easy to read, aware of its baselines, and the generic and the block index align very nicely. This is a tightly-designed piece.

The signs will co-exist on SE 39th Avenue for the next five years, as per standard PDX practice. The buzz I heard (I thought it was via Mayor Sam’s twitter stream, but I’m wrong, it seems) is that they’ll come down and be sold or auctioned off for charity’s sake. I’ll look for confirmation of that.

Despite the ballyhoo of the signs being installed “from Hollywood to Hawthorne”, they were only installed at one place each in Hollywood and Hawthorne. The above is Hawthorne’s intstallation. The following two are from the so-far sole Hollywood installation, the overheads at the Broadway/Sandy/39th plenum, just north of the Banfield Freeway:

This is the overhead looking west on NE Broadway from CEC. Yet another evolution for Portland street blades: The overhead blade looks like the car-level blade – note the formatting of the generic and the block index, and the directional:

A very high-information sign, indeed. If you go south on NE 37th Avenue, just a couple blocks west, and approach the traffic distrbutor that encourages you to choose either Halsey Street eastbound or CEC soutbound, you’ll now notice the directional sign points to César E Chávez Blvd South, and they’re all in Clearview now.

Yes, I luves Clearview. Sosumi. I’m a type obsessive as well as a street blade obsessive.

Moreover, the inclusion of the accute accents impart a definited sense of sophistication. One of the things I regret about English is no diacritics, no umlauts, no accents. Well, just write about CEC Blvd, and you have them (Fellow sign obsessive Ben Lukoff also reacted positively, and he, too, has a good eye).

Oh, yes, the bonus: the Type 3s are up at the corner of NE 57th Ave and Beech Street, too:

Actually, this is along the side of 57th along the cemetery fence, but you can’t miss it. An embarrassment of riches today, for sure – history no matter which way you look at it, and attractive, grown-up-city street blades slowly but surely populating the best city in the world … my home, Portland, in the state of my birth, Oregon.

O yea.

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[liff] Gang Aft Agley – César E. Chávez Blvd Pix To Come Tomorrow

Posted in liff in PDX, pdx, PDX Street Blades, Sign Design, Street Blade Gallery, typography on January 29, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2311.As I tweeted and announced on @SJPKDX and earlier today:

They’re hanging the first Cesar E. Chavez Blvd sign today, at the corner of CEC/39th and SE Stephens Street in Portland. I’m planning on being there with a camera to get the first pictures on line – if possible.

As it turned out, not possible. Such is the gentle tyranny of having a third-shift job in 10-hour shifts. I did get straight home, straight to bed, and didn’t wake up until after 1 pm. Sic transit gloria.

But I did get a report from KGW-TV to share with y’alls. Here it is:

It gives you a good idea of what the overhead signs look like, and they most likely look a great deal like the street-level blades.

Of particular and delightful interest is the accent marks over the vowels e in César and a in Chávez. In Spanish, these indicate which syllable is to be stressed and, I understand, only occurs over the vowel. Presumably, this is why we pronounce the name SAY-sar SHA-vez instead of say-SAR cha-VEZ. What’s delightful about it is that, as Ben from Seattle tweeted at me, they don’t have those on Seattle’s street blades – and I’ve always felt Seattle’s were a bit more sophisticated than Portland’s.

Well, that’s the genius of Clearview. FHWA sign fonts apparently don’t have this standard.

I better stop writing or I’ll have nothing to accompany the pix with. Tomorrow morning, when I’m on my way home from that third-shift job, I’ll trip on down to 39th/CEC Blvd and get some pics for the files which I will perforce share here, and the taking of which will be unencumbered by having to rush through Friday traffic and not getting enough shut-eye.

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[design] Redwood City CA: Funny, Slightly Sarcastic Speed Limit Signs

Posted in Graphic Design, Sign Design, Street Blade Gallery, Teh Funnay on January 28, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2310.Redwood City, California, understands one thing about delivering a message: if you do it with humor, people will more likely remember the message. On the streets of Redwood City, then, observe that this municipality likes to remind you that there are such things as speed limits with a message delivered on wry:

Yeah. C’mon, big boy, it’ll still be there when you get there. Get on your big-boy pants and obey the rules.

And if you still want to speed, remember, you’ll just get scheduled for traffic school on a weekend day you’d rather be somewhere else:

Are we getting through to you yet?

Thanks for the smiles and the photos to my SF Bay Area Semiotics Bureau Chief, Sharon K.

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[type] Free Font – An Homage To M.C.Escher

Posted in DIY Font Design, type design on January 27, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

One of the people who use the free web font maker Fontstruct have come up with a nifty thing, a font which is an homage to M.C. Escher and the Penrose Triangle:

Pretty cool, I think.

FontStruct is a free web-based app which allows you to use a tile-based interface to make your very own fonts, which can be downloaded as TrueType and shared for free. I’ve used it and it’s fun; I heartily recommend it to all you budding Gutenbergs and Alduses out there.

Bookmark, will you?

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[logo] An Update To The Channel Surfing Series-WPHT Channel 8

Posted in logo design, tv logo design, TV Logo Library on January 26, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2309.I’m pretty happy to announce a donation to the gallery I did sometime back called “Channel Surfing”, where I gathered a great number of TV station logos (which I adore) and commented on them.

This is an addition to the Eights, and comes to me from Matt Locker, via email. He described it thus:

I saw your collection of “Channel 8’s” – here’s another.  WPHT was a cable-only on campus commercial station on the Campus of William paterson College.
PHT stood for Pioneer, Heritage, Towers …the names of the dorms…

Since WPHT wasn’t a broadcast channel, I’m intrigued that they took an approach like this, but in the library there are quite a few cable channels that adopt the broadcast logo look, so it’s hardly unprecedented. Here’s what Channel 8-WPHT’s logo, based at William Paterson College (now William Paterson University) in Wayne NJ, looked like:

Nice looking logo! Tightly-designed, all parts of the logo – the letter forms and the digit – look good together and harmonize. Gets, as I like to say, the job done. What I especially enjoy is that the letterforms look as thout they were designed to to the digit. Overall, the whole thing looks as though it were from the school of visual thought that gave birth to the KGW logo from about 1976-1978 or so.

Thanks, Matt! And, hey, I guess I accept submissions to the gallery, so if anyone has anything interesting they’d like to share, heck … send it along! Clicking “Blog Contact” in the header image will do it for you.

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[liff] You See, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Posted in art, liff, Teh Funnay on January 26, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2308.Some people take Monday to unnecessary extremes:

On Friday afternoon a woman taking an adult education class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art accidentally lost her balance and fell into “The Actor,” right, a rare Rose Period Picasso, tearing the canvas about six inches along its lower right-hand corner.

Good news – the damage is repairable. It’s not like she stumbled through the middle of the painting. Bad news – she still goes down in history as That Woman Who Tripped And Holed A Picasso™.

At least I get through my Mondays without damaging world treasures. Countin’ my blessin’s.

(via Just Out blog)

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[Address_Nerd] Seeking Cesar E Chavez Blvd

Posted in Portland History, Street Blade Gallery on January 24, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2307.I’ve been keeping a keen eye out for the blades going up to begin the evolution over on 39th Avenue to remake it over to SE/NE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.

Whether you like it or now, it’s going to be part of city history now. The warp and the woof.

You know what would be keener than the eye I’m keeping out for them? If I could somehow be the first Portlander to get a picture of the first new CECB blade going up. I heard there was one over by SE 39th and Belmont or Taylor or somesuch, but no joy there.

Anybody know?

Anybody heard anything?

Just saying.

Just -ah- throwin’ that one out there.

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