We rarely consciously take notice of the swarm of words and letters on buildings or signage anymore. Yet inextricably linked to how we communicate and nearly invisibly infused into our culture is type design. Take a walk down one of the most famous avenues in the world and see an entire new story told by Author Gabriella Garcia as she treats us to a fascinating and thorough review of 13 miles of type faces along Broadway.
Wendy Q was nominated for the 2014 AIGA Seattle Fellow Award alongside design pals Jeff Barlow, Creative Manager, In-Store Experience at Starbucks Global Creative, Kristine Johnson, Co-Founder and Chief Design Strategist at Cognition Studio and Robynne Raye of Modern Dog. She hopes to one day, be half as accomplished as the honoree, Doug Wadden.
“This is either going to be a great idea or the worst thing ever.” And so began the call from our friend, Jeff Barlow. He had been designing materials for the CF Foundation’s Stairclimb event for many years and it was time to pass the baton. He was well aware of the disease’s history in my family (see Help Q&A in the climb to fight CF!) and wasn’t sure what my response would be. I immediately accepted.
There is nothing happy about Cystic Fibrosis, but the Q&A team wanted to inspire a passion and energy to a very worthy cause. We decided to focus on the challenge of the climb. The entire Q&A team took on the challenge in 2010 and were well-versed in what it’s like to climb 56 floors. There’s a bit of arrogance after the first few flights and when the first water stand appears, you think you’re invincible and just breeze past it with a smile. This choice is immediately regretted two flights later. Suddenly your feet feel like they are stuck in cement. Surely you’ve already climbed a hundred flights. Breathing hurts. It’s conceivable that you’ve entered the stratosphere—until you see that you’re on the 16th floor. You dream of crews bringing emergency water supplies. Somewhere near floor 48, you think that you could actually make it and see yourself winning a big golden medal.
When I was a kid in the 70s in Melbourne, Florida, there was a house where the owners painted huge murals of 19th century nautical scenes. The entire house was the painter’s canvas. I cherished the times we drove by that house. I thought it was beautiful. And you never knew when it would get repainted into a new battle scene.
I remember hearing that the neighbors hated it and people complained. And then one day we drove by and it was all white with green shutters. I don’t know if the owners moved away or were pressured to conform.
Q&A was honored to be recognized (twice!) in HOW Magazine’s September/October 2011 Self-Promotion Design Annual. Only 95 designs were featured, which included our new stationery suite (unveiled in January 2011) along with our oversized promo tabloid “mattie”. HOW Magazine is a design magazine distributed bi-monthly providing businesses in the design industry with technology tips, new design information and profiles of professionals who are influencing design.
Seattle’s Inaugural Design Festival took place September 16-25. It was an amazing undertaking that included lectures, tours, exhibits, films and street installations.
I was part of the AIGA Design Festival committee that concepted the idea of Design Marks—a trail of 8-foot tall location markers where viewers experienced how the design of Seattle’s urban landmarks has influenced the city’s culture, and how that culture has, in turn, influenced design. Twenty-five of the city’s leading design firms were invited to design an individual marker as well as a 30-90 second companion video.