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Supercool’s Seven … Deadly Sins of Design

Categories: Silly

To commemorate our seventh anniversary, we've compiled a cheeky little list of seven design no-nos, to help keep us focused on continuing to produce intelligent, well-considered and effective design over the next seven years …

1. Vertical type
Q. How hard to read and awkward-looking are these messages? A: Very. So do not do.

2. Clipart
It's pretty hard – nigh-on impossible in fact – to make clipart look good. Perhaps sometimes nothing is better than something.

3. Overdesign
There is a point where the design just needs to stop; this giant Swiss army knife may've drifted quite a way past that point …

4. Comic Sans
Use of this font anywhere other than for Microsoft's talking dog should be very seriously thought through. Very seriously.

5. TMI
Too much information i.e. content crammed into one space makes it difficult for people to take things in, so designers should always encourage clients to KISS; it's the best way.

6. Rainbow of colours
What to do when you're struggling to put together an appropriate colour scheme? Use every colour under the sun, of course! (Really, don't.)

7. Double spaces
There's no need to leave double spaces between sentences. You're probably not using a typewriter or monospaced typeface, so one space between sentences in a paragraph is perfectly adequate.

It's not an exhaustive list but, hey, we only needed seven! Here endeth our short guide to design absolution and here's to another heavenly seven years of Supercool design.

A world of typography in Brum

Categories: Our work, Useful/interesting

Last week, a website we designed and built for The Typographic Hub - a new BCU initiative which works to promote the history, theory and practice of typographic design - went live.

Caroline Archer who runs The Typographic Hub tweeted about the website launch (as did @supercooldesign) and, with no promotion other than online 'word of mouth', news of the launch spread fast. And far.

On day one, the site had 1,181 unique visitors from 57 countries; there were news stories about it not only in English but also French and German; US-based typographic and design deities Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Gary Hustwit publicised it and asked others to show their support; countless people retweeted and tweeted about it … all that within the website's first few hours of life. Wow!

Typography's a passion of ours so we were delighted to be involved with this project right from the off – and to then get such positive feedback about the site's design from graphic designers all around the world? An amazing bonus.

Best of all though, we know how much hard work went into getting the Hub up-and-running, so it's heartening to now see it finding so much love and attention across the world; it's already proven itself as an important, valued and growing global resource.

I reckon that's great for typography – and great for (typographic) Birmingham.

Redesigning (and remembering) a classic

Categories: Learning things, Nice stuff, Our work

Ah, the 12 Days of Christmas – a well-worn seasonal classic and no mistake. But can you ever remember how many lords there were a-leaping? Or maids a-milking? Or, for that matter, drummers drumming?

We always struggled … until now.

To welcome in the festive season, we've designed a handy visual reminder to help you recall how many of what or whom were given by 'my true love'. (And it really was a generous if unusual array of gifts, all told.)

Want to view/download a pdf of the whole 12 days design? No problem; here you go:

Use it as a crib sheet when singing the song! Be amused by the funny little illustrations! Groan and *eye roll* at the naff wordplay!

Whatever you do; we hope you have a warm and wonderful festive season.


Stocking-filler for festive fact fans: The 12 Days of Christmas – also known as Christmastide – starts on 25th December and ends on 5th January; the evening of which is known as Twelfth Night. True.