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19 SEPTEMBER 2014

New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual

"In the 1960s, the New York subways were a mess, sign–wise. Station names and metro lines were spelled out in a hodgepodge of sizes, shapes, and styles. The original mosaic tiles had been joined by cut stone and terracotta–all of which clashed with newer enamel signs. They were not only inconsistent in terms of style but also in where they were placed, so straphangers didn't know where to look for directions on how to get from point A to point B.

In 1970, following the merger of the IND and BMT lines, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) hired Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, designers at the firm Unimark, to put an end to the typographic chaos. The system they devised still informs signs made today and is painstakingly outlined in a 174–page manual"

(Belinda Lanks, 15 September 2014, Businessweek)

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TAGS

1960s1970Bob Noorda • Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit • Christopher Bonanos • clashing design • communication designdestination identificationdirectional information • directions • fastidious detail • graphic communicationgraphic designer • Hamish Smyth • Helvetica • hodgepodge • inconsistencies • Independent Subway System (IND) • information design • instruction manual • International Typographic Style • Jesse Reed • Kickstarter • letter combination • manualMassimo Vignelli • merger • metro line • metro station • Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA • Michael Bierutmodern design • modernist graphics • New York City • New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual • New York subway • Niko Skourtis • official font • organisation and communicationPentagram Designrationalisation • reissue • sans-serif typefacesignagesignage designsigns • spacing • spatial orientation • standards manual • straphanger • style guidesubwaysymbol system • system signage • train station • typographic chaos • typography • Unimark • wayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 DECEMBER 2012

Sinclair ZX81: semigraphical / pseudographical characters

"If you press GRAPHICS (shifted 9) then the cursor will come up as : this means graphics mode. If you type in a symbol it will appear in its inverse video form, & this will go on until you press GRAPHICS again or NEWLINE. RUBOUT will have its usual meaning. Be careful not to lose the cursor  amongst all the inverse video characters you've just typed in. ...

Right at the beginning are space & ten patterns of black, white & grey blobs; further on there are eleven more. These are called the graphics symbols & are used for drawing pictures. You can enter these from the keyboard, using graphics mode (except for space, which is an ordinary symbol using the  cursor; the black square is inverse space). You use the 20 keys that have graphics symbols written on them. For instance, suppose you want the symbol , which is on the T key. Press GRAPHICS to get the  cursor, & then press shifted T. From the previous description of the graphics mode, you would expect to get an inverse video symbol; but shifted T is normally <>, a token, & tokens have no inverses: so you get the graphics symbol  instead."

(Steven Vickers, 1981, Sinclair Research Limited)

Fig.1 "graphics mode" table from Steven Vickers (1981). "Sinclair ZX81 BASIC Programming", Second Edition 1981, Copyright 1980 Sinclair Research Limited (converted to HTML by Robin Stuart).

2). Matthew Eagles (2008). "ZX81 VDU" TrueType font which replicates the letters, numbers etc. displayed on the screen of the ZX81.

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1980s19818-bitbasic geometric shapesblack and white • block graphics • computer historygeometric figuresgeometric shapes • graphic symbols • graphical building block • graphics mode • history of computinghome computerindustrial archaeologymanualmonotone • PETSCII • pictorial systemspixel matrix • pseudographics • semigraphical characters • semigraphics • Sinclair Research Ltd • Sinclair ZX80 • Sinclair ZX81 • sixels • symbolsymbolstypefacevintage technologyvisualisationZX81

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 MAY 2011

The rapidly changing demands for communication design

"One indication of the rate of change being experienced by professionals who design communication is how quickly our work and our work contexts become obsolete. Thus, only ten years ago, Zachry [71] observed that, 'In this time, countless professionals have devoted themselves to developing manuals, reference sheets, guidebooks, keyboard templates, online help systems, etc. that – to varying degrees – have been used and abandoned as technologies change' (p.22). In less than thirty years, communication designers have gone from documenting Fortran compilers [42], through cognitive analyses of documentation users' tasks with minimalist manuals [10, 29] through SGML markup challenges [26] to DITA [2], Wikis [23], and visual representations of the activities of communication designers themselves [32]."

(Brad Mehlenbacher, p.59)

Fig.1 Alan Kitching (September 1975). 'The Antics computer animation system', Interactive Systems Conference

2). Mehlenbacher, B. (2009). Multidisciplinarity and 21st century communication design. SIGDOC'09: The 27th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication Proceedings. Bloomington, IN: ACM, 59–65.

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communication designcommunication designers • design communications • design professionalsdiagramdocumentationFortranguidebookinformation graphics • keyboard template • manual • Mark Zachry • obsolescence • online help systems • rapid change • rate of change • reference sheet • SGML • technological changevisual communicationvisual designvisual languagevisualisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2008

Digital Artists' Handbook

"The Digital Artists Handbook is an up to date, reliable and accessible source of information that introduces you to different tools, resources and ways of working related to digital art.

The goal of the Handbook is to be a signpost, a source of practical information and content that bridges the gap between new users and the platforms and resources that are available, but not always very accessible. The Handbook will be slowly filled with articles written by invited artists and specialists, talking about their tools and ways of working. Some articles are introductions to tools, others are descriptions of methodologies, concepts and technologies.

When discussing software, the focus of this Handbook is on Free/Libre Open Source Software. The Handbook aims to give artists information about the available tools but also about the practicalities related to Free Software and Open Content, such as collaborative development and licenses. All this to facilitate exchange between artists, to take away some of the fears when it comes to open content licenses, sharing code, and to give a perspective on various ways of working and collaborating.

The digital artist handbook is brought to you by folly and has developed out of ongoing consultation with artists working with technology, which has shown a need for removing the barriers for artists to use digital tools. The project is supported by Arts Council England."

(folly and GOTO10)

Fig.1 Olivier Laruelle "Invisible commitments", installation [http://goto10.org/floss–art–lecture–rurart–fr–27th–may–2010/]

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artistsArts Council Englandcreativedigital art • Digital Artists Handbook • digital culturefreehandbookinstructionlibremanualopen sourcesoftwaretrainingUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 NOVEMBER 2007

Fifteen Uses Of A Corporate Wiki

Dr. Todd Stephens, Saturday: June 2, 2007 10:03 PM
1. Collecting Business and Technical Requirements;
2. Corporate Dictionary;
3. Meeting Agendas, Notes, Attendees, and Attachments;
4. Organisational and Professional Biography;
5. Status Reporting (Project, Personal, Program, Departmental);
6. Release Notes and Issue Tracking;
7. Product and Service Documentation;
8. User Manuals, Guides, and Best Bets (Tips);
9. Policies and Procedures;
10. Brainstorming, Innovation and Patent Processing (Many Eyes);
11. Intranet Replacement;
12. Metrics Reporting;
13. Along with RSS, notification of upcoming Events or Announcements;
14. Error Reporting, Tracking, and Resolution;
15. Locating Like Minded or SME within the Enterprise.

TAGS

biographybusinessbusiness communicationcorporate communication • corporate wiki • dictionarydocumentationguidemanualreportingSMEwiki
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