the church and the riddler

pairSo, a fun thing happened a couple of days ago. I got a tweet from my Swedish friend Mårten Thavenius with a link to an online photo gallery of pictures. I opened up the link and there were over 500 (!) pictures, mainly focusing on typography, from his travels around the world. It took me several hours to go through them and I came away feeling like I had traveled the world. The pictures are all amazing and I’m incredibly grateful.

Today’s pairing is using one of Mårten’s pictures that he took in Lefkada, Greece. When I saw this picture it made me realize how much we take for granted in our everyday typographic landscape. This is just a regular directional sign but because of the city it’s located in, their cultural influences play a big part in the design. The color, the typography, even the illustration. It’s beautiful in its simplicity. The dents in the sign are from shotgun bullets! Almost every sign in the area has it. Scary!

I took the picture in Akron because it looked like the Riddler had something to do with this sign. I have never seen a sign with a question mark, especially in regards to wearing a seat belt. But for me (minus the question mark), this is what a typical wayfinding sign looks like. I can’t read the sign from Greece but from what I can gather the church is —> that way. The sign from Akron: Buckle up or the Riddler is gonna getcha! Seeing these signs side by side really makes me realize how much our culture affects the design choices we make.

Side note: I met Mårten at TypeCon 2011. As awesome as the conference is, the friendships that have come from it have been even more rewarding. If you love typography, GO. For real. I can honestly say that after attending several of the bigger conferences that are well known in my profession, TypeCon is the most affordable, inspiring, well run conference I have ever been to. I made the mistake of thinking that since I have punctuation tattooed on myself and a kid named after a font, I’ll rank fairly high with nerdiness compared to other attendees. I was happy to see that I was out-nerded (by a lot) and loved every second of it. Being around other type lovers and hearing the presentations truly left me inspired. I’m not a fan of people who name drop so I won’t tell you some of the amazing people I got to meet (Ed Benguiat, Matthew Carter, Akira Kobayashi) but I will say if you love type, mark your calendars. Is it August yet?

Tweet me pics from your travels @nikki_vz to be featured in an upcoming post!

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