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Quick links 10/14/10 plus ‘what makes a book?’

2010 October 14

I have just spent the past six hours straight trying to design documents in a file format that is an absolute atrocity for users who will in all probability be working with them in software that I don’t have on a platform that I don’t even want. Let’s think about anything else whatsoever, for a little while.

From the Beeb: Oldest example of how people see all kinds of screwy unintended things in abstract logos/designs in history?

Open Bookmarks is a project with the general goal of keeping e-books a relatively “open” “platform,” I think. Which leads to a digression: doesn’t electronic publishing basically make the entire concept of “book” obsolete? In physical terms a “book” is a type of object, basically a publication with a square spine and some sort of (relatively) stiff cover. But what makes an electronic “book” fundamentally different from other electronic text content? Length? There’ve got to be at least a few articles on Wikipedia that are longer than some novels, to say nothing of books for children. So, what, then?

Speaking of books for children, apparently picture books are getting the cold shoulder. Say it ain’t so… I don’t think I would be in the visual arts today if it weren’t for Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Two semi-humorous warnings against pure-typography abuses: 1) enough with fancy-pants character tricks in invented corporation names, 2) enough with e-mail signatures longer than the main message (and this doesn’t even go into the lengthy disclaimer boilerplate that corporate servers often attach).

Finally, AIGA Cleveland will resume its informal night-out events next week, stopping right here in glamorous Lakewood at the Winking Lizard Tavern. I think it’s a safe bet that I will be there.

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