Clippings — week of 14 September 2015

I injured my left achilles tendon last weekend. Putting any weight on the foot was painful, and I had to hobble my way around everywhere this week. On the day following the incident, my Watch buzzed and told me that it was time to stand. It seemed like the system was explicitly advising me to withstand more pain. I recoiled. With knowledge of the most intimate details about myself, I expected it to know that I was injured too. But how could it? For something so smart, I realised how basic it could be. I turned off the standing reminders.


Pitchfork review of No No No by Beirut →
I missed the release of Beirut’s album No No No last week. It has received some mixed reviews, with Pitchfork rating it only 6.7 out of 10. While I agree with points mentioned around its lack of complexity, I can’t help but to like the new tracks for Zach Condon’s silky voice and catchy melodies.

Famous writers on keeping a dairy →
Maria Popova begins her article with an advice from Madeleine L‘Engle that really resonated with me.

“You want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you,”

I pour the most unedited emotions into my journals. I learned through the many failed attempts that it’s easier to write for my eyes only. The idea of people rustling through my writing is frightening, but it’s the only way that I can remain truthful. As a deeply self-conscious introvert, it’s been liberating to celebrate, whinge, exclaim and ramble on without an audience. It’s a living testament to who I am.

Adrian Frutiger Dies at 87; His Type Designs Show You the Way → RIP Type Design Legend Adrian Frutiger →
The legendary Swiss designer and typographer Adrian Frutiger passed away last weekend. I still remember cutting out irregularly dispersed letters that made up words like Octopus, all set in Univers 65 in order to conduct physical kerning exercises at design school. I never warmed up to Frutiger as a typeface, but the grotesque Univers and geometric Avenir made my heart beat. They were the first few typefaces I ever purchased as a student.

An interview with master calligrapher Seb Lester →
I’ve been following Seb Lester’s work for a while, and I’m happy to see that he’s finally being widely recognised through social media. It’s interesting that he‘s steering towards art from the commercial design realm that he belonged to. Another must-read is Seb Lester’s how to get started in calligraphy written by the man himself.


Offline reading

How to write short: word craft for fast times written by Roy Peter Clark was an engaging book I read this week. Being a book on writing, it was unsurprising that I wasn’t caught on any ill-constructed sentences. It was simply an immaculate read. However, the sheer number of chapters and ideas were slightly overwhelming, and the brevity of some left me wanting more. As a whole, the book seemed a little scattered due to the format. There certainly wasn’t a shortage of ideas and advice. Highlighting and jotting down passages and thoughts, I found it appropriate that the most interesting chapter was around marginalia as a genre of writing. I’ve always been precious with physical books, and I maintained that I would rather have cramped hands than wispy creases on the spine of a paperback. So my method of marginalia doesn’t live in the margins physically, but they’re mostly there in my commonplace book. The contextual exchange between myself and the author inside the book is a romantic notion, but I doubt that I could ever change my ways.