Here’s the playlist for BBC Radio 3’s Record Review of 6 February 2016.
You can access the whole playlist by clicking this link, or individual recordings, where available, by clicking the links below. (NB individual links will, confusingly, take you to an iTunes Store webpage. If you are subscribed to Apple Music, clicking the ‘store’ button will open the album in iTunes for your streaming delight. One day, this will all make sense – Apple Music… love the service, hate the usability.)
When I was growing up, I was the only kid in my class from what was called ‘a broken home’. As such I was labelled and that label stuck. One thing I’ve taken in to my adult life is that it’s wrong to apply labels either to institutions – homes, schools, universities – and doubly wrong to let that label affect the way you see the products of those institutions.
So when I saw this on Twitter yesterday my reaction was not positive:
In my experience digital design education is broken (and has been for some time). Agree/disagree? https://t.co/sONirJ1a6h
Take a moment and read his article – it’s certainly very interesting and intended to provoke a reaction, as evidenced in his tweet.
I have a lot of time for Andy Budd – I’ve followed his blog for years and learnt a lot from him. I gave a copy of his book to a student once and have recommended it to many more. I haven’t always agreed with his opinions on everything but he’s usually well-reasoned and his opinions demand respect. I say ‘usually’ because as I continued to read I began to recognise arguments that I’ve heard a lot over the last fifteen years, but which don’t stack up to the evidence. Now I should be more careful than I have been in what follows – I’ve taken the challenge and replied to hyperbole with hyperbole. And I realise I should be the last person to criticise another for sweeping statements. Be sure to read this as a criticism of the arguments, not the person, because I know that Andy and his colleagues give a lot to the design community, and to those new to the industry. Having said that, let’s rip… Continue reading No, digital design education isn’t ‘broken’
Fonts are software as well as designs and require licensing for commercial use – something a lot of designers forget and, to be honest, even though I know it, it’s not something I’ve ever knowingly considered. The issue of font licensing isn’t exactly transparent. I’ve got a Typekit account courtesy of Adobe Creative Cloud – but have I ever looked at what this allows me to do with the fonts I download? Erm… no. Think of fonts like stock images – it’s okay to use them for comps and maybe non-profit work but the moment they’re being used commercially, you need to look at the license.
As Fastcodesign say in their article on this story
Generally speaking, there are no conspiracies involved in how respectable companies end up misusing fonts. Oftentimes, the issue is as simple as a lapse in due diligence when a designer uses a font for professional work that he or she only has license to use individually.
Hasbro are a big company, and an obvious target for this type of action – and it is legitimate given the amount of time and skill it takes to create a font (particularly a decent one). Where does responsibility lie? Is it with the designer? Or the client? Or shared? If you’re a designer (or, indeed, employ designers) it’s probably worth your while investigating this and keeping a note of which fonts you’re allowed to use on commercial jobs, and which you need a license for.
There is a completely separate issue here – the crime against typography that is the My Little Pony brand. Let’s leave that to the Design Police.