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Subject: Re: The Designers Republic?
From: Gunnar Swanson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 10 Jul 2001 16:31:38 -0700

text/plain (46 lines)

Andy, Master of Understatement says:
>And I think that the usual TYPO-L standards of evaluating the worth of a
>web site (does it have JavaScript, does it conform to W3C spec
>X-0FSF3121-1243, can a deaf/blind/mute person use it quite easily) might
>not be exactly appropriate for judging the tDR site.

but first asks:
>Wasn't it pretty revolutionary 7 years ago (or whenever they did their
>Emigre issue and were getting really popular)?

As much as I hated most of their work, "Hello Kitty visits Basel" was
such a bizarre idea that I had to applaud when they pulled it off. I
had seen plenty of Japanese pop retread stuff and lots of grids
revealed to be wallpaper but never the two together. And they were
the subject of one of my favorite letters to -Emigre- and not just
because it began "Fuck Jeff Keedy." (It was the one that went on to
accuse Mr. K. of being a square guy in a square glass office in New
York. As much as it pains me to ever do so, I have to confess that I
agreed with Keedy on his article that sent the rabid fan foaming.)

but I'll quibble slightly with:
>their style was (and continues to
>be) one of the most copied; but unlike Carson, I think, there's more
>substance and talent backing up what they're doing. Plus they have a good
>sense of humor.

I think David is one of those people who is usually either completely
overrated or drastically underrated. His work late '80s-'90s work was
nowhere near as unprecedented as is usually assumed but I don't think
it's just because I like him personally (even on the many occasions
when I think he's being a jerk) that I want to point out that he did
a tremendous amount of really good ground breaking work that was
often funny and sometimes smart. He put out work at a rate that
practically insured some of it would be lame and some of it was, he
failed to credit those whose work he built on, but much of his work
was as wonderful as it was influential.

Gunnar Swanson Design Office
536 South Catalina Street
Ventura CA 93001-3625

+1 805 444 4532
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