By weekday, I’m a mild-mannered pixel-pusher. I make digital drawings, I format type, and re-touch photos for a living. I follow brand guides. I stick to the rules.
But on weekends, my alter ego takes over. I become a creative superhero. I roam the streets of Seattle in search of visual wrongs to right. My mission: save my fellow citizens from the scourge of bad design. It’s everywhere: billboards and bumper stickers, grocery store signs and sidewalk sandwich boards.
These are my superpowers:
- Spotting a double space from 1,000 yards.
- Correcting typos with the flick of a pen.
- Removing superfluous double-u’s from web addresses.
- Fixing atrociou’s apostrophe’s.
- Rescuing orphans. (An orphan — in typography talk is the last word of a sentence left on a line by
Case in point:
I found myself following this vehicle the other day. If only I could have taken my trusty red sharpie to those awkward line breaks and the unnecessarily long web address. I’m sure the driver would have thanked me with some free pest control and/or insulation.
Here’s an example that has a happy ending. This is a photo I took of a business in my neighborhood. And those are three nice, new, improperly pluralized vinyl banners they paid a sign company to produce for them — which they then hung on their building. I leaped into action, politely informing them that the plural of clutch is clutches, not clutch’s. After my tip, they had all the signs reprinted with correctly spelled words.
Crisis and embarrassment (eventually) averted.
It’s a thankless job. But, somebody’s got to do it.
After a tiring day of hero work, I return to my secret lair — “The LandPhil.” To keep my creative skills sharp in my downtime, I draw digital pictures and make acrylic paintings. For now, the city is safe again. But, I’ll be back out there again next weekend. Beware evil-doers. And by “evil-doers,” I mean people who use “Comic Sans” font, grocery stores that spell “potato” with an “e,” and anybody who uses quotation marks for emphasis.
Want a second opinion on a piece of communications you’re creating? Email it to me for a free consultation. I’ll look it over and send back five ways to make it even better. And if you have other design and branding questions, drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org