Paul Rand.

This was an amazing interview with Paul Rand.
“I’ll solve your problem for your the best way I know how.”
As a designer, I’d like to get to this point professionally. “I’ll provide one design for you that I believe will help you. If you want other designs, ask other designers.” In case you don’t know Rand, he’s the total master of corporate identity in the 20th century.

3 AM Girl.

The Clinton campaign apparently used stock video footage for her scary “3:00-am-who-do-you-want-answering-the-scary-phone” ad. Well, Hillary not only got called on the use of the stock footage (which is no crime) but it was done so by the child actor who was the actress in the footage eight years ago. And that child actor is a big Obama supporter. Doh. I imagine that there are a few creative directors in the Clinton ad campaign headquarters that are wishing they had hired a “real” actor to do the dirty work. Oy vey.
P.S. I use stock for my clients. Everyone does. There’s nothing wrong with it, inherently.

Hulu in Canada.

Unbelievable. I tuned in to, the nicely designed site featuring popular video clips, thanks to a link by John Gruber today. Lo and behold, I live behind some kind of iron curtain in Canada. is not available in my “country or region,” which essentially means “we don’t like your kind,” or, more technically, “our copyright laws do not apply to you.” What looks to be a promising means of corporate release of digital rights turns out to be, for now, a tease and poor one at that.


Since the massive interest rate cuts by the Fed a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking that the economy is far shakier than we are being led to believe. It wasn’t from the numbers (which I can’t say I understand) nor from some ideological belief about market economies (which I generally like). Rather, my worries about what the Fed knows and can’t tell us stems from the fact that the Fed can’t seem to stem the tide. The Fed cannot continue to bail out companies like Bear Sterns constantly, every week or every few days. If lending is shut down entirely, we will enter a massively scary economic crisis that could make 1929 look like fun. It’s truly scary. The Fed’s lack of transparency here or willingness to provide true oversight of these massively over-leveraged companies, combined with Mr. Bush’s blind confidence in their capacity, makes for lots of worries. No Fed leader wants to say the word “recession” let alone “depression” but those two words came out today for the first time (to my ears) from a number of pundits on NPR.
P.S. This piece from my pal, V.S., via Jon Stewart: “If you want to do the Jedi mind trick, you have to be a Jedi.”

Empire State.

New York State continues to undergo crazy finger-pointing and gnashing of teeth with Spitzer’s assumed coming resignation. In nice contradistinction, I found today a new typeface by one of my favorite type designers, Christian Schwartz. It’s called Empire State Building and it’s lovely, lovely, lovely. The font captures the aspirational, heady days of ornament and art deco without looking treacly, worn, or old. It’s warm without being gothic, slick without feeling corporate, and legible without relying upon 2004 to make it modern. I don’t know if it fully captures the odd beauty of the building’s interior ground floor but it comes pretty close. Oh, it’s not for sale, by the way.


I’ve always had a lot of respect for Elliot Spitzer. You might as well take look at his current Governor of New York page, because it won’t be there for long, as his statement today is listed on the website as “Recent Events.”
I’ve been listening to the shock and awe of Spitzer’s announcement that he had a “private” mishap being involved with some kind of prostitution ring and/or being a john. But while the pundits are focusing on his poor family and wife, they seem to have forgotten that Hillary must be pissed off. As the Senator from New York and a Democrat closely aligned with the good works for the Spitzer administration and fund-raising machine, she must be livid. Additionally, the pundits I’ve heard are ignoring the possibility that he was targeted for this transgression by either the Feds or some kind of Republican apparatus, whether New York State-based or otherwise. Spitzer was dangerous to the Republicans and now, I think, he’s a danger to the Democrats.


So, “Raul Reyes, a FARC leader, was killed in Saturday’s raid into Ecuadoran territory, which sparked the rising border tensions” among Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. The latter is now accused of providing $300 million dollars to FARC, which has for a long, long time, sought to overthrow the Colombia government in favor of a socialist-type government.
In lefty news, like Democracy Now, Farc is treated something like Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen organization. But it’s not. Farc is a malevolent organization, bent on kidnapping, hurting, and killing people in the name of their aspirations. The murder of Raúl Reyes, imho, should be applauded. While he was on the “diplomatic front” of Farc and not so much a military leader, he was also the public face to a very malignant organization that plants land mines, sells and profits on massive drug trafficking, recruits kids for killing, and punishes its own with more violence.
I don’t doubt that the U.S. and other countries were involved in the murder of Reyes and that Farc is only part of a reaction to U.S.-supported death-squads.
But Farc and its leaders deserve to be decimated. They killed my friend, Ingrid Washinawatok, who was in Venezuela on a peace mission exactly nine years ago in 1999, after kidnapping her along with two of her colleagues.


Okay, I’m 41. It’s a bizarre number.
More importantly, 3 million people are voting in Texas and Gary Gygax passes away.
The good news about birthdays when you’re over 40 is that you get a free pass for the day. Forgot to do something? It’s okay. Have to take a longer bath? It’s okay. Not up for cooking tonight? It’s okay. Want to buy a new book or something? It’s okay. Short post? It’s okay.

Hillary's SNL.

Hillary doesn’t have much of a chance this week but I give her credit for her SNL appearance last night.
You can tell, when asked about how her campaign is going, that she’s less than confident in her response. Maybe her campaign should have made a better video for her than this one, which looks like it was directed by a 14 year old who studied video production in Romania in 1992. It’s called “Hillary4U&Me.”