go-2.txt

This is a RECORD COVER.  This writing is the DESIGN upon the
record cover.  The DESIGN is to help SELL the record.  We hope
to draw your attention to it and encourage you to pick it up.
When you have done that maybe you'll be persuaded to listen to
the music – in this case XTC's Go 2 album.  Then we want you
to BUY it.  The idea being that the more of you that buy this
record the more money Virgin Records, the manager Ian Reid and
XTC themselves will make.  To the aforementioned this is known
as PLEASURE.  A good cover DESIGN is one that attracts more
buyers and gives more pleasure.  This writing is trying to pull
you in much like an eye-catching picture.  It is designed to get
you to READ IT.  This is called luring the VICTIM, and you are
the VICTIM.  But if you have a free mind you should STOP READING
NOW! because all we are attempting to do is to get you to read
on.  Yet this is a DOUBLE BIND because if you indeed stop you'll
be doing what we tell you, and if you read on you'll be doing what
we've wanted all along.  And the more you read on the more you're
falling for this simple device of telling you exactly how a good
commercial design works.  They're TRICKS and this is the worst
TRICK of all since it's describing the TRICK whilst trying to
TRICK you, and if you've read this far then you're TRICKED but
you wouldn't have known this unless you'd read this far.  At
least we're telling you directly instead of seducing you with
a beautiful or haunting visual that may never tell you.  We're
letting you know that you ought to buy this record because in
essence it's a PRODUCT and PRODUCTS are to be consumed and you
are a consumer and this is a good PRODUCT.  We could have
written the band's name in special lettering so that it stood
out and you'd see it before you'd read any of this writing and
possibly have bought it anyway.  What we are really suggesting
is that you are FOOLISH to buy or not buy an album merely as a
consequence of the design on its cover.  This is a con because
if you agree then you'll probably like this writing – which is
the cover design – and hence the album inside.  But we've just
warned you against that.  The con is a con.  A good cover design
could be considered as one that gets you to buy the record, but
that never actually happens to YOU because YOU know it's just a
design for the cover.  And this is the RECORD COVER.

A plain-text reproduction of Hipgnosis’s album cover for Go 2 (1978), the second studio album by XTC. Rendered in <pre> tags to preserve whitespace.

Walking the Capital Ring

A good friend and I have started casually walking London’s Capital Ring, a 78-mile walk (split into 15 sections) which covers “open space, nature reserves, Sites of Specific Scientific Interest and more”.

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Mapping InDesign tracking to CSS letter-spacing

Making a note of this since I always forget…

Tracking and kerning in InDesign are both measured in 1/1000 em, which is relative to the current type size. To map these values to CSS ems you just multiply by .001.

Here are some examples with InDesign tracking in the comments:

/* -40 x .001 */
letter-spacing: -0.04em;
/* 5 x .001 */
letter-spacing: 0.005em;
/* 20 x .001 */
letter-spacing: 0.02em;

Interesting orgs on GitHub

Since GitHub doesn’t allow you to directly follow organisations like you can users, I began collecting interesting ones over at Are.na. The criteria reflects my general interest and familiarity with the organisation, but contributions are welcome!

“… even the choice of a typeface for me is always this extremely laborious choice of trying to decide on what really makes sense for this context, what resonates historically, what is interesting in its own immediate context. There’s like a million decisions that go into that.”

Prem Krishnamurthy on Scratching the Surface ep. 13 (~23.5min). See also P!DF.

Tracker-free type on the web

A briefly-researched selection of type foundries that offer tracker-free webfont files for self-hosting:

Gerhard Richter on grey:

Grey is the epitome of non-statement … it does not trigger off feelings or associations, it is actually neither visible nor invisible … Like no other colour it is suitable for illustrating "nothing"

Design and build notes: sbaldwin.co.uk

This post was originally published on Medium, but is since removed. Strikethroughs represent some light edits made to the original.


Between client projects, I recently set aside time to redesign and build my personal website. The website is a simple online portfolio, aiming to provide context about my professional experience through writing and samples of past design work  –  all presented in a casual at-a-glance fashion. The prospect of a redesign provided a fun opportunity to explore a few new development techniques that I’d been keen to try out. In this post, I wanted to jot down some notes about said techniques both for personal reference and in case they’re of possible wider interest. Screenshots are provided as a snapshot of the site at the time of writing.

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