How a magazine publisher challenged the conventions of legibility for the sake of style

In 1929 the Condé Nast publishing group brought Russian-born Mehemed Fehmy Agha—who had been working for the German edition of Vogue magazine—to America as art director for House & Garden, Vanity Fair, and the senior edition of Vogue.

Considered avant-garde at the time, Agha introduced sans-serif typefaces, the practice of…

As the great typography joke goes: Comic Sans walks into a bar and the bartender says, “We don’t serve your type.”

In 1994, Vincent Connare, who had previously designed type at Apple and Agfa/Compugraphic, was working at Microsoft as a typographic engineer. While testing a trial version of Microsoft Bob—a program that simplified the navigation experience for novice desktop computer users—he noticed that something wasn’t meshing with the interface.

The program…

To competently communicate in our changing society, designers need to be equipped with a broader view of knowledge outside the field of graphic design

Graphic design is an art based on the foundations of visual communication, and as designers we are becoming more responsible for interpreting cultural, historical, and societal messages into our work.

Knowledge in multiple disciplines has become increasingly necessary for a designer to successfully achieve higher levels of faculty in message…

The real question is, rather, am I right for user experience design?

Illustration of a UX designer at work in front of a computer

AsAs a creative agency/visual designer ex-pat who’s spent the last few years working in agile product development — in addition to 6+ years teaching university design courses — there’s one question I regularly get from both seasoned designers and students alike: “How do I get into user experience design?”

Often…

Tracing the development of transitional serif letterforms and the impact of the Baskerville typefaces.

An image from Megg’s History of Graphic Design showing the title pages from 2 of Baskerville’s earliest works

By the early 1500s Paris had supplanted Venice as the epicenter of typographic arts, and the more precisely cut letterforms of Francesco Griffo were gaining in popularity on traditional old-style letterforms: Those influenced by the quill and cut in the spirit of the first roman typefaces developed in the 1470s…

Applying a cinematic technique to drive better outcomes

Recently, when thinking about the evolution of how I manage client relationships, I reflected on Deep Focus Cinematography. If you happen to be a student of film, you’re likely familiar with the term as a hyperfocal technique made famous by director Orson Wells in Citizen Kane nearly eighty years ago.

A series on the connective tissue between UX and copywriting

Many modern punctuation marks have roots in oral traditions, serving as visual cues in written form that aided in the verbal delivery of texts. But until the 15th century, punctuation in written text was used variably; and appeared wildly haphazard.

The introduction of mechanical type in the mid-1400s led to…

Jon Robinson

Principal, Experience Strategy and Design at Slalom. Creative director / design educator exploring connections across UX, CX, and branding.

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