Posts from 4th April 2006

Apr 06

Corporate Font Piracy

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 430 views

After ripping off Helvetica and Palatino, the Linotype corporation made a concerted effort when it was pointed out that the upcoming (well EVENTUALLY) XP system is to ship with something called “Segoe” that looks suspiciously like a common weight of Frutiger. comparison and history of this issue

Well, the EU (trademarks and designs) judge that:

“The typefaces of both designs have the same stroke thickness. The ratio from cap-height to descender height is equal. The proportion of character height to character pitch is identical. The type face in the specimen text does not show any differences. The minuscule “a”, “c”, “e” “g” and “t” have the same proportion … blah blah… crossbeam at the “e” … blah… “c” shows the same shape … blah.. the same sweep… totally identical in both designs. blah do not show any difference.”

JUSTICE. If only we could enact this retrospectively we could wipe out Arial at last.

Architecture and Wine

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 607 views

In a region better known for its grapes, the owners of the wineries (or bodegas) of northern Spain have turned their attention to front-of-house impressions.

The Marquis de Riscal’s new bodega and hotel at Elciego in Rioja is perhaps the most daring. Designed by Frank Gehry, it resembles a gayer Guggenheim with pinkish fins and sparkling curves. It’s not finished yet and all the more interesting for it, allowing an eye into its construction.

In the Simpsons, Springfield erects a Gehry building; a conventional structure attacked by wrecking balls to knock out the angles. Not too far from the truth! Underneath the skirts lies the geometry; all girders and supports, a corset to hold it together.

On the road past the bodega, a car lay bashed in a ditch. The consequence of building an incongruous building by a busy bypass? After the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Los Angeles Concert Hall, Gehry is becoming a one-trick pony, but it’s still a decent trick.

Down the road in Laguardia lies Santiago Calatrava’s sparkling Ysios bodega. The building is glass-fronted with a choppy-waved roof and sits atop a bump in the landscape. Spring-blue skies bounced zig-zag shadows over the vines. A wedding erupted from inside. The entrance hall gave a more critical assessment, a reality of drips and buckets.

Architecture attracts architects. In Bilbao, Gehry built the museum, Norman Foster the metro (a first draft of Canary Wharf) and Calatrava added a bridge and an airport. Now everyone wants a go at a bodegas. Richard Rogers is next and, hot on his tail, Norman Foster has one too, both in Ribero del Duero.