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Daniel Pelavin
Give or take 84 years
posted:
With its origins in the city of Cologne, Germany in 1709 and described by its creator as reminiscent of “a spring morning in the mountains of Italy in the middle of a field of daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain,” eau de Cologne quickly became the favored scent of the royal houses of Europe and, ultimately a generic term.
 
The images on this calendar were re-created from early 20th century labels, with care taken to avoid “improving” or “correcting”  the original designs and typography. The dates coincide with those of 2014.
 
Wishing every day of your new year to be rich with sweet and fragrant experiences.
When too much is not enough
posted:
In an effort to break away from my usual reserved and shy nature, I offer my appreciation to folks at Adobe for making some wonderful things happen. Thanks to Lisa Hanna for getting me involved (and Jeff Severtson and his crew for making my incoherent babbling look almost credible). Thank you Brenda Sutherland and Terry Hemphill for this.  And finally, thank you Soul Pancake for showing me answering my cellphone during an interview to an audience of 3000 people in the LA Convention Center at Adobe Max.
Zero Days
posted:
Zero days is how much time you have left when a hacker finds a vulnerabilty and is able to break into your system and steal your data. This is certainly troublesome with personal data but, raises big stakes for government networks. For this reason, developers sometimes face insurmountable obstacles meeting federal cybersecurity requirements. Enter GitMachines a startup that was awarded a Knight Foundation grant for developing an all-in-one package that streamlines the verification process and lets developers focus on innovative software that automatically meets security standards.
 
A toolbox? Invisible protective shield? Building bocks? Kit of parts? You decide.
 
Following my standard procedure of panic, procrastination and last minute sketching, I somehow produced incomprehensible scribbles which laid out three possible options for this illustration for the Washington Post with much appreciation to Meredith Bowen for her patience and willing suspension of disbelief.
Annotating sketches is often a useful way of getting the point across and hedging against my artist-as-fraud syndrome.

Trying so hard to keep it simple and let the icons do their job.

The final piece: all the necessary elements connected like the parts of a plastic model kit.

A new font
posted:
Spurred on by a pathetically noble urge to make my work "unique" and "distinctive", I rarely use fonts, instead preferring to make up my own characters and piece the words together letter by letter. The fact that I am passionate about letteforms and get a perverse pleasure from hours and hours of toiling over their intricacies is also a factor in this madness. The result is that I end up with lots of partially completed alphabets and use them in a repertory way, completing missing characters as needed.
 
The obvious next step in this progression is to convert them into fonts and finally, gather up all the courage I can to foist them on an unsuspecting public. In this way, I have sent nearly 20 fonts out into the world and have a dozen more waiting for me to decide that they don't suck. While font sales don't make up a huge part of my income, still, it's enormously satisfying to note an occasional sale and have the satisfaction of knowing that they are being used by designers across the US, in numerous countries around the globe and New Jersey.
 
Another one of my obsessions (there are many) is with trying to emphasize a tactile sense in my work to enhance and strengthen the impression it makes. So, celebrating Apple's latest misstep in the introduction of new iOS icons and flying in the face of exaggerated rumors of the death of skeuomorphism, three of my last four fonts have been faceted or detailed to give them dimensionality.
 
This is the meandering story of how my latest font came about, beginning its life as "Top Shop" based on a cover of Succesful Farming for Matt Strelecki, morphing into "Forge" after a book cover comp for Paolo Pepe at Random House, testing its mettle (no pun intended) on a cover of Houston Press for Monica Fuentes, spending 12 weeks being refined under the inspiring tutelage of James Montalbano of Terminal Design and ending up as "Forgia" in honor of Louise Fili and, so as not to steal the thunder from an existing font by Rian Hughes of Device Fonts.
Raised letters with "bumps" for an article about farm shops with the capability to repair anything from a rake to a multi-function combine.

Testing Forgia's underlying letterforms on a few different assignments.

The complete set of character ready for modyifying to embossed letters.

First attemp at creating embossed characters using Adobe Illustrator's 3D extrude feature.

Failed first attempt at converting characters into line art suitable for a font.

Aha! Using multiple appearance attributes, rasterizing and finally applying image trace gives the desired effect.

Rivets provide the final touch.

Multiple windows of Fontlab Studio showing Forgia broken up into five different fonts, one complete and four of its individual components. The process of converting characters to a font, only slightly less difficult than removing your own appendix with a rusty shoehorn.

A somewhat ghastly demonstration of Forgia's ability to be set in multiple colors.

Here we are on myfonts.com, only one hour old!

The full range of five fonts.

At home on the Pelavin Fonts website along with all its brother and sister fonts.

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