A note on the D-card:

 

In 2011, Toby Curnow and Arch MacDonnell at Inhouse Design invited me to contribute a ‘D’ for the Designers Institute of New Zealand’s membership card.

The brief was to take a ‘D’ from something I’d done. I looked at recent projects but it turned out they were no help at all, being vowel-based with AEIOU and Sound Tracks.

Because I was building my own studio at the time (this was back in 2011), I searched around the site in the forest for a potential ‘d’ or ‘D’, but only a ‘G’, an ‘O’, a ‘B’, several ‘A’s (always ladders), and an ‘L’ presented themselves. In the end, these problems made the result much more interesting.

While one or two may read my response as a tad provocative, it is so much more than that. It’s about the space created — an imagined space. The missing letter in the known sequence makes us pause for a second: it makes us think.

Set in one of the most vernacular of fonts of all time, OCR-A(an optical character recognition font designed by the U.S. Bureau of Standards in 1966), ‘ABC_E’ plays to the language of democracy, and in turn opens the window for interpretation.

If you read the wonderful Wikipedia definition of ‘optical character recognition’, it is described as “the mechanical or electronic conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text ... widely used as a form of data entry from some sort of original paper data source ... a common method of digitizing printed texts so that they can be electronically searched, stored more compactly, displayed on-line, and used in machine processes such as machine translation, text-to-speech and text mining. OCR is a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence and computer vision.” Wow.

While OCR-A was released by the American Type Founders in 1968, its European counterpart, OCR-B was designed by Adrian Frutiger in collaboration with engineers from the European Computer Manufacturers’ Association. I wonder if without such a font, we would be where we are today?

The intention of the D-card is “to make membership more tangible for people, to attach some real benefits for members.”

Will this work for the Designers Institute? I do hope so. At the very least, ‘ABC_E’ offers up the space to think.

 

/ Catherine Griffiths, 2013

 


 

04 writing & critique


Porto Design Summer School
Fifth edition, 3–15 July 2017, Porto, Portugal
July 2017

Notes from ‘Designing the perfect photobook’
A short t
alk as part of a panel discussion, PhotobookNZ
March 2016

A meditation
Sir Ian Athfield, 1940 — 2015
by Catherine Griffiths
Architectural Centre, NZ
April 2015

A Playlist : CG >> CG
by Catherine Griffiths
DPAG Late Breakfast Show, NZ, Aug 2014

Body, Mind, Somehow: The Text Art of Catherine Griffiths
by Gregory O’Brien
Art New Zealand #150, NZ, 2014

Nothing in Mind
by Chloe Geoghegan
typ gr ph c, Aug 2014

typ gr ph c in Strips Club
by Catherine Griffiths
Strips Club journal, Mar 2014

In the Neighbourhood
by Catherine Griffiths
Desktop #294, Australia, 2013

Interview by Heath Killen
Desktop #294, Australia, 2013

FF ThreeSix
by Catherine Griffiths
Typographica, Mar 2013

A note on the D-card
by Catherine Griffiths
Apr 2013

Shes Got Legs
by Lee Suckling
Urbis, NZ, Jan 2013

Truly, No Idea
by Catherine Griffiths
for Flash Forward, Desktop, Australia, Nov 2012

Look for the purple lining
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Mar 2012

Q&A TBI
The Big Idea, NZ, Jun 2011

Shots in the air
by Catherine Griffiths
Eye Blog, UK, Jan 2011

John & Eye
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign 110, NZ, Jan 2011

Quite a Blast
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Jan 2011

Inner-City Modality
by Mercedes Vicente
ProDesign, NZ, Aug 2010

Beautiful World of Typography
by Catherine Griffiths
excerpt from a talk, Govett-Brewster Gallery, NZ, Jun 2009

For the record
by Catherine Griffiths
Introduction to TypeSHED11, NZ, Feb 2009

Locating Our Feet
by Catherine Griffiths
Threaded, NZ, Oct 2008

Notes on Feijoa
by Catherine Griffiths
ProDesign, NZ, Apr 2007

Life in Italics
by Helen Walters
Print, New York, Sep-Oct 2006

Writing by Types
by Justine Clark
Artichoke, Australia, Apr 2003

 


A note on the D-card



designed for The Designers Institute of New Zealand


related links

Designers Institute of New Zealand


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