Archive for July 2011

Serif Vs. Sans for the web

31 July, 2011 § 0

My biggest concern when it comes to this blog is personalizing it. I know nothing about CSS and I try my best to work within the available blogger templates while still trying to maintain a minimalistic and clear design. One of the last dilemmas I faced while changing it is whether to use a serif or a sans serif for the body text. I was always under the impression that serif is more readable due to the serifs that guide the horizontal flow of the eyes. After all, there must be a good reason why all books we read are set in serifs. However, turns out for the screen it’s different.

I’ve found a great article that explains the pros and cons. The main argument that kind of does it for me is a technical one.
“When typefaces are digitized for use on computers, the letter forms have to fit within a relatively small pixel grid, often leading to what are called the “jaggies”. Many web professionals such as graphic designers claim that this relatively low resolution cannot render effectively enough the fine finishing strokes of serif typefaces, and that sans serif typefaces lend themselves more naturally to being digitized, and come out cleaner and thus more legible.”
Make sure to read the whole thing for a more extensive explanation. It’s really well researched and written with great references.

Rebirth: Lebanon 21st century contemporary art - Exhibition

17 July, 2011 § 0

The concept of rebirth seems as old as birth itself. It’s as if Man fell so in love with life the minute he set eyes on the world that the idea of it having an end was unfathomable.

In ancient Egypt the scarab was a sign of eternal renewal and reemergence of life. The Ouroboros, the snake devouring its own tail, is an ancient symbol of eternal recurrence, representing cycles that begin anew as soon as they end.

But I believe the Phoenicians were the greatest visionaries of all. For them to have created the legend of the phoenix, they must’ve long predicted the fate of their own land, the fate of Lebanon, the embodiment itself of rebirth. And we love to prove our ancestors right. We love to watch it smolder to ashes and then fight our way up again. We even brag about it. But the eternal return of Lebanon, as heroic as it may be, isn’t as admirable as it sounds. We do rise after each fall but we lose parts of ourselves each time and we’re losing track of the essence of it all. We worry only about the “eternal” part and not about the “return”. We want to burn and be reborn again because we don’t know how else to do things. And we’ve sadly managed to turn the heroic into the horrific. But I digress.

I visited ‘Rebirth: Lebanon 21st Century Contemporary Art’ yesterday, an exhibition of works by 49 contemporary Lebanese artists, on the theme of rebirth and it got me thinking about the above amongst many other things. Nothing like art to provoke thought really.

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The importance of design for the government and for politics

09 July, 2011 § 10

The above sticker haunts me.
It’s not enough that the mere presence of Lebanese taxi drivers brings the right amount of irritation to spoil the rest of your day. The sticker had to be added. Apparently, it’s part of the Urban Transport Project by the ministries of Interior and Public Works to rebuild the trust in Lebanon’s public transportation. Granted, this could be a step forward, but really, couldn’t they come up with a better, more trustworthy design? To a designer this is like an archeologist seeing a neglected historical sea castle (*cough*sayda*cough*).

The sticker itself isn’t the problem. The problem is everything else it implies. Like how discouraging it is to work in so essential a field, yet one so disrespected by your own country. Like how indifferent your country is to the potential of its own citizens. Like how your government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about how to communicate with you.

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