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Dumb Ways To Die — Melbourne Metro PSA

This is one of those “I wish I’d worked on that” projects. The art, music and writing all come together perfectly in this charming little animation. A stellar example of the power of design + storytelling. Instead of another yawn-inducing PSA (cough, cough, NY Metro) we’re treated to a fun, funny cartoon with gorgeous characters and an infinitely hum-able tune. No surprise that it won 2 Lions at Cannes and has 50 million views on You Tube. Bravo.

Apple’s Elliptical Future

I couldn’t help but notice that Apple’s new Mac Pro tower design shares a striking similarity to it’s new headquarters in Cupertino, designed by starchitect Norman Foster.

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The New Men’s Fitness Logo

I’m liking the knockout apostrophe in the new Men’s Fitness logo. It’s a gorgeous little brand detail that doesn’t impair legibility in any way. I also think the switch to a blockier font is a nice subtle comtemporization of the logo. (Is that Tungsten?) The capitalization, while admittedly less visually interesting, seems appropriate for the direction they’re moving with the brand — BIG & BOLD. I suspect they probably sell a lot of ads for booze, body spray and energy drinks in this magazine. Regardless of the douche demographic, it’s a nice manly logo evolution.

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Stranglelove Next, A Hand-Drawn Typeface

Everyone can appreciate the warm folksy feel of a good hand-drawn font. But drawing aesthetic letterforms is time consuming. Fortunately, Stranglelove Next by Pablo Cruise solves that problem. Inspired by acclaimed designer, Pablo Ferro’s wonderful opening title sequence in Stanley Kubrick’s, “Dr. Strangelove”, the Strangelove Next font family contains a narrow version, a wide version, and a mix of the two for a lively, surprising look. You can grab it over at FontShop.

Trending: Sideways Movie Posters

Yes, it’s a fine visual metaphor for the emotional and psychological state of the characters — but when every movie-poster-designer does it at the same time it’s kind of lame.

COALITION: A Sexy, Dangerous, Stencil, Sci-Fi, Sans-Serif Font

Several months ago I spotted the logo for Showtime’s, HOMELAND, and was immediately struck by the bold, brutal, blocky font with the stenciled “E”. No sooner had I learned the identity of the font — COALITION, by TracerTong, did I spot it again, in the trailer for MS ONE, Maximum Security.

Stencil faces are trending right now; (ESPN, The NFL, etc.). I’m a huge fan of House Industries’ UNITED Stencil, and am always on the lookout for something similar. The problem with many stencil faces however, is that all those extra lines and spaces impact legibility, particularly onscreen or at small sizes. COALITION avoids this pitfall, by limiting the stencil to the A,E and F characters. The bonus feature of COALITION is the built-in texture, imbuing the font with a rough hewn, spray painted immediacy.

Tong describes his typeface as a “Gears of War-type font”, invoking the hyper-violent sci-fi shooter as his inspiration. Amazingly, it’s still available as a free download over at DaFont. Get it while it’s hot!

NIKE Kobe Sysytem Font

Nike’s new font for the Kobe System is pretty sweet. (Not as nice as the Dragon Tattoo font, but still very striking.) If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a custom design (NIKE + Weiden & Kennedy) otherwise, it might be a variation on something by Buro Destrukt.

NFL.com, Web Fonts & Branding

NFL.com has elevated their branding game to a whole new level with the addition of their very own custom designed web font, NFL End Zone Sans. The font, which appears to be a web-variant of Font Bureau’s, Antenna, has a wide variety of beautiful weights, widths and styles, providing a fully immersive branded web experience. Note how beautifully the dynamic scale shifts work on the pages. And the surprising legibility of the condensed font, even at small sizes. I also think the decisions they’re making about capitalization are particularly effective.

Compare NFL.com to ESPN.com. Ouch. The ESPN site suddenly looks almost as dated as it’s ludicrously tacky set designs.

To learn more about the emotive properties of web fonts, check out Stefan Münch’s  High-Fidelity Branding lecture, here.

The Girl With the Dragon Typography

Sharp. Sexy. Dangerous. Perfect. Reminds me of the work of the late, P. Scott Makela.