Archive for January, 2012

[art] My PDX Skyline Photo – Coming To Campaign Materials Near You

Posted in Best of ZehnKatzen, liff in PDX, My Best Portland Photos, PDX Skyline, ZehnKatzen Designs on January 31, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2778.Disclaimer: This posting does not necessarily imply an endorsement of the Jefferson Smith for Portland Mayor campaign, though I do understand that he’s a pretty nice and smart guy.

It’s my extreme joy (seriously) and a thrill besides to announce that I’ve sold the rights to a photo which appears to be on its way to at least a semi-icon status. The photo is, of course, this one:

And it’s been licensed to a designer working with the Jefferson Smith for Mayor campaign for use in campaign materials through the 2012 campaign.

I’m not saying at this point who I’m voting for, but if the people Jefferson Smith gathers about himself for campaign purposes are any indication, he’d probably make a good mayor. Friendly, coöperative, and incredibly generous in spirit.

Jefferson’s campaign’s web presence is here if you’re so interested: http://www.jeffersonsmith.com/

In the past this photo has been used by others, both who’ve asked and purchased a license and … surprisingly, given my little-fishy status … those who haven’t. Those who have asked and been granted permission include a (now-former) Portland-based Liberal talk-show host and a funky music-themed spot on Belmont.

In the next posting, I’ll be touring some of the web-based peoples who didn’t ask permission. 

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[print] The Gutenberg Wireless Media Player

Posted in design humor, Print, Print Media, teh_funnay on January 31, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2776.No monthly contracts? Infinite battery life, you say? Read in bright sunlight?

Well, hell’s bells, sign me the tintype up!

[logo] The New, New JCPenney Logo. No, Really.

Posted in JCPenney, logo design, logo redesign, rebranding on January 31, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2775.The aphoristic guide to appreciating Oregon weather … if you don’t like it, wait five minutes, it’ll change … has its counterpart in marketing now.

Who would have thought it would be JCPenney?

Back in August of 2011, not even six months ago, I noted that, the preceding February, the towering American retailer rolled out the first change in its visual identity in forty years, forsaking the old for this sexy new number:

I still find it an effective updating, and rather clever to boot.

Not clever enough, apparently. Now, thanks to Ben Rippel for tipping me off to this one, JCP has changed its visual attitude yet again. This had flown under my radar again but, once I got tuned into it, I found pretty much a metric ass-ton of commentary had been squawked about it …

But I get a little ahead of meself. Here’s the new, new JCPenney logo:


A bold, red square, a solid blue square 1/4 the size of the red one aligned in its NW corner with the minuscule trigram jcp in.
Ayup. 
The first reaction is to scratch one’s head. Why change a logo that was changed just a year ago, and one  which was, as far as this commenter’s concerned, working pretty well. I liked the update. These are the times when staying with something like a logotype based on Helvetica actually comes off as kind of bold, especially given Helvetica’s reputation amongst some folks. 
I’ve read various interpretations coming from the world of logo-speak on this. They all ring pretty valid. The absolute squareness of the logo is supposed to make the shopper think of foursquare honesty, honest and square dealings and square deals (and here again the company’s history, beginning with the reputation intended to be promoted with the store’s original name, The Golden Rule, factors in). The logo, which I presume will usually appear on white (thats my memory of most Penney ad collateral) is a very patriotic palette of red, white, and blue, and it’s not lost on anyone that the positioning of the blue square in the upper-left of the mark, an arrangement that vexillologists call a canton, combine to remind one of the American flag.
So, square-deal, honest mercantile, patriotic, American, cowboy hat!, yep, got it.
It’s not a poor showing for a redesign. And, lordy, it ain’t no New Gap Logo, to be sure. Some actual design seems to have gone into this. But only a year and we’re trying on a new identity? The old new one didn’t sink in really. 
If JCP were to ask me about this, I’d say if you’re going to change logos again, at least wait longer than 12 months. Even the most venerable companies change logo looks now and again. But twice in two years? Even with the complete company image rework, the new ‘stores-within-stores’, and the delightfully creepy NOOOOOOOOO! commercials, the taint of desperation obtains. Give this one a chance to sink in.
Stick with it.
Of course there is one thing I’d like them to settle, as The Consumerist’s article remarks:

We think the first thing the company should do is decide whether it’s JCpenney, JCPenney, JC Penney, J.C. Penney, Jcpenney, jcpenney, JCP, or jcp.

Word. 
Other readings;

[logo] The New DC Comics Logo

Posted in logo design, logo redesign, rebranding on January 26, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2774.This just over the transom: word has wafted our way that DC Comics (noted that “DC” no longer is considered an initialism meaning Detective Comics, so the corporate name isn’t Detective Comics Comics, even though that’s how my brain is going to parse it for a while) has relogoed again … the last time was only 2005, six years ago. Here’s a version:

New DC Comics logo, Watchman Version
Sourced from here.

The new logo a ‘D’ applique, peeled back to reveal the ‘C’ beneath. It suggests that they can use it for a lot of customized effects for different franchises, as revealed in a graphic in this article at Designer Daily: http://www.designer-daily.com/dc-comics-logo-re-design-22643. The above is a clever play on Watchmen, which I guess needs no introduction, and in all holds a different mood and attitude than the old logo:

First thoughts about such a redesign is that of all the places that a little OTT design is in order, a comics empire’s logo might be it. Thought that the 2005 redesign was a fine bit of work and that it might have had more than 6 years worth of legs.

My mind was changed a bit when I saw the cool attitude that it helps give the DC Comics webpage:

On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s in there somewhere, though, trust me. Not too bad though. Will have to grow on me.

Stumbled on this review from a fellow Portlander who’s obviously a much more successful designer than I am (who isn’t?) which I enjoyed because she don’t like it and say so. Take it away, Sarah Giffrow. She does nail down the most salient point about it which is the logo don’t say ‘comics’. This is a subjective point, but you remember a few inches up when I mentioned that if there’s anyplace an OTT design is in order, the logo of a comics empire might be it? Same point, different words.

The new logo is sedate, serious, and clever. Whether or not this’ll fly the distance only, of course, time will tell … but comics fans are a vocal and visually-oriented lot, and will doubtlessly chime in presently if they’ve not done so already.

Agree? Disagree? Comment!

[pdx] Like A Troubled Bridge Over Water: The Sellwood Bridge Construction Cam

Posted in liff in PDX, PDX Geography, PDX History, Portland Bridges, Sellwood Bridge on January 26, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2773.Your tax dollars at work, Multnomah County (but not yours, Clackamas … just sayin’) Just announced via email: the Sellwood Bridge project’s webcam.

Clicking on that excerpted piccy should get you to the page at http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera; if it don’t, just click that link I put there.

The camera is, as you can see, on the east bank just about a block north of the bridge and pointing more or less WSW. On the right on the west bank is the old Staff Jennings marina; the hills beyond are swathed in the necropolis known as Riverview Cemetery. It’s a beautiful place along the river there, one we much enjoy.

What’s apparently happening now is that the crane in the river is doing preliminaries for the temporary supports the old bridge is going to be moved over on, where it will be a stand-in for the new span.

[net_liff] Search Terms of Endearment

Posted in net_liff, teh_funnay on January 25, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2772.The strangest search terms cause hits here. Witness:

You read it right. The missive about two back titled The Bridges of Marion County turned up in someone’s Yahoo! search where the terms where (ahem):

marion county constipation protocol forms

Yah, baby.

I didn’t know you had to fill out forms to do that. When it happens to me – not that it happens often, mind – it just sort of happens. 


As far as ‘protocol’, my guess is a lot of hard cheese and drywall should do it.

[design] A Tutorial A Day, More Or Less: #1, Calendar Page Blog Icon

Posted in photoshop tutorials, photoshoppery on January 25, 2012 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2771.Wanting to practice some photoshop, I found a tutorial that used layer styles, gradient overlay, and, oddly, inner glow to produce this:

… that is supposed to be a calendar-page icon for a blog.

Not too bad. Inner glow was kind of odd.

Here’s the tutorial – http://www.stunningmesh.com/2012/01/how-to-design-blog-calendar-icon-in-photoshop/

How close can you come?