Tag Archives: design

Hilarity Ensues: What Does ICFA Stand For?

This is just too good to pass up.

After attending the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts last week, I started following a bunch of friendly new people on Twitter–not necessarily because I had met them, but because they tweeted with the #icfa hashtag. But a couple of the Twitter profiles were identified with names but not images, leaving me to wonder, “Did I meet or see this person at the conference?”

Naturally, I turned to Google Images, searching for a couple of names to try to match faces with names. Then, for fun, I tried a Google search for ICFA.

And holy smokes–look what I found:

  1. The International Committee for Future Accelerators
  2. The International Cemetery and Funeral Association (which at some point added another C for Cremation)
  3. The International Custody and Fund Administration
  4. The International Cage Fighting Alliance
  5. The Insulating Concrete Form Association
  6. The International Carp Fishing Association
  7. The International Casual Furnishings Association
  8. Institut de Consulaire de Formation en Alternance
  9. The International Conference on Functional Acrylates
  10. The International Children’s Football Academy

Note that 9 out of 11 (counting my conference) use the I as International, though only #8 isn’t in English (though #10 is based in the Netherlands). Also notice how the final A is used: usually as Association, but also as Administration, and (my favorite) as Alliance.

But even more intriguing is the visual rhetoric of the logos used by all these different organizations. I mean, of the following, how many of the following images are obviously attached to one of the above organizations (or would be without the words in the image)? Generic icon-creation is intriguing from a visual rhetoric perspective: is it better to be safe, yet bland?

Which leads to the pressing question of authenticity. That is, which is the real ICFA, and which is the . . .

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

That Freaking iPad

I swear. I don’t have any Apple products, but that’s more of a “I’d rather pay less for a less slick interface” decision than a political manifesto (though my wife has quite a different stance). But everywhere I turn I’m reading more about iPads (Twitter! Blogs! The issue of Wired in the basket on the toilet!) and, I admit, I’m drooling a bit at the possibilities, even as I grow sick of the hype.

Two worthwhile perspectives amidst the madness are:

Cory Doctorow’s “Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either.” One quote:

The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps.

And Steven D. Krause’s descriptively titled “Anybody who says that the iPad is the end of user-generated content or the internet does not know what they are talking about.” One quote:

The iPad has some pretty cool apps for actually making content as it is. Pages and Keynote are both pretty slick, and when it comes to layout, the touchpad might make it easier for novice artists like me to move around images and stuff by just touching them instead of dragging them with a mouse.

Instead of actually writing commentary, here’s how I commented on Krause’s piece:

Great points, especially with the specifics of what people *can* create on the iPad.

You’ve probably seen Cory Doctorow’s piece on this issue? (http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html) A lot of his problem is that the apps and software that let you create content all have to be produced by (or at least vetted by, sold by, distributed by, etc.) Apple. He’d rather see a tablet that encourages you to open it up both physically and in terms of software, so that anyone who wants can create new hardware to plug into it and anyone who wants can move beyond the App Store distribution model.

While I tend to agree with him about how exciting that model is, I also appreciate your reminder that we stay down-to-earth in our rhetoric about all this–that we not scoff at apps just because they come from the App Store. Thanks!

Meta-question: part of me likes that I tend so often to see a middle ground, and part of me is sick of that quality in myself. Thus: it’s both annoying and pleasant to see myself doing so again. Bleah/Yeah!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Third Day of Sharing: Choose Your Own Adventure

Graphic of Choose Your Own Adventure booksI can’t remember where I heard about this remarkable site: cyoa. It’s an in-depth, visual-heavy analysis of Choose Your Own Adventure books, which I grew up reading.

Be sure to check out the animations, which left me joyfully gawking. This site comes to me at a time in my life when I’m first starting to realize my love of good design. It inspires me to make all analyses beautiful.

(Why is this the “third day of sharing”? See Day 1.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized