Arcade Game Typography

I have nothing but praise for those who study niche topics like these. Toshi Omagari of MonoType, studied typography at Musashino Art University in Tokyo. He’s worked alongside big brands like H&M, and he’s previously contributed to Google Noto, and more notably introduced Tibetan Script support to Google Noto which is spectacular work. He helped resurrect Metro Nova from the dead.

Omagari has a limited-release book coming out (sufficed to say, it’s already sold-out but you can buy the paperback version here on Amazon). He has meticulously researched the wonderfully niche topic of video game typography and it’s freaking awesome:

The first book of its kind – a definitive and beautifully designed survey of ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s arcade game pixel typography. Exhaustively researched by author Toshi Omagari (a celebrated typeface designer at Monotype UK) Arcade Game Typography gathers together 250 pixel typefaces, all carefully chosen, extracted, redrawn and categorised by style, and each with an accompanying commentary by Omagari. The title also features 4 illustrated essays on videogame typography theory and practice, documenting the unique advantages and challenges presented to designers of these bold, playful and often quirky alphabets.

A beautifully produced celebration of the eclectic typography featured in hit games such as Super Sprint, Pac-Man, After Burner, Marble Madness, Shinobi, as well as countless lesser-known gems. Unlike print typefaces, pixel type often has colour ‘baked in’ to its characters, so Arcade Game Typography looks unlike any other typography book, fizzing with life and colour.

Love this bit about the original 1978 Space Invaders typography (image below):

The original game, and most of the clones, featured the above typeface, copied from Tank 8 with a minor modification to M.

Photos via Read-Only Memory
Left page: RoboCop 2 (Data East/1991), Captain America and the Avengers (Data East/1991)
Right page: Spider-man: the Video Game (Sega/1991), Xexex (Konami/1991), X-men (Konami/1992)

100 Drone Light Show

Firefly is a company focused on delivering highly choreographed drone shows for venues, performances and entertainment. It takes a lot of time and money to get FAA certified these days for piloting a single drone. Programming a fleet of these is really remarkable, and takes some serious planning and skill. If you ask me, this much much cooler than a fireworks show.

The Mask of Sorrow

Image via Wikipedia, Сергей Ковалев

From Wikipedia:

[The Mask of Sorrow] is a monument perched on a hill above MagadanRussia, commemorating the many prisoners who suffered and died in the Gulag prison camps in the Kolyma region of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. […]

It consists of a large concrete statue of a face, with tears coming from the left eye in the form of small masks. The right eye is in the form of a barred window. The back side portrays a weeping young woman and a headless man on a cross. Inside is a replication of a typical Stalin-era prison cell. Below the Mask of Sorrow are stone markers bearing the names of many of the forced-labor camps of the Kolyma, as well as others designating the various religions and political systems of those who suffered there.

Treasures in the Trash

New York has an entrenched and somewhat mystical entanglement with waste management over the course of its history. For the past 34 years, Nelson Molina, a former DSNY worker has collected and maintained an incredible (but unofficial) museum of 45,000 collected objects that were thrown out to the curb by New Yorkers. The short which follows Molina, offers us a glimpse of the collection. The short is titled, Treasures in the Trash and is directed by New York based filmmaker, Nicolas Heller.

My favorite line from Molina is so poetic:

Before you throw something out, think about. Everything can have a home.

Since the museum resides inside an active garage for the Department of Sanitation, it’s not open to the public. But, that could all change with your help! From the video’s description:

The collection is not open to the public since it is in an active garage, but our hope is to get a proper space with the help of this film. Please visit nycstrongest.org/future-museum to donate!

According to Atlas Obscura, you can also email tours@dsny.nyc.gov to schedule a private tour of the MANEAST11 garage’s collection.

Cugurt

I’m especially proud of this one. I was honored to be one of the production assistants on set for this short film. In fact, one of the shot locations happened to be at my old apartment in Brooklyn! It had a particularly remarkable set of stairs. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I was thrilled to be part of this (thanks Rico!).

If you ever get a chance to work on a short film, take it. It’s so rewarding to help make a script come to life.

Now, onto the main attraction. Cugurt is directed by Rico Turrubiarte, produced by Kaitlin Scott and the Director of Photography is Rachel Anne Klein — all dear friends of mine. A brief synopsis:

After the death of his only friend, a lonesome man finds happiness in a mysterious pizza delivery.

Enjoy the show!

Sculptures of Stuff Crafted From Brightly Colored Paper

Okay. This… is just mind-blowingly cool. Just take a peak at this super cute bowl of pasta! The bowl, the fork, the pasta, the veggies… I just can’t. It’s too good. The quality alone has me spellbound, and for whatever reason — reminds me of Katamari Damacy gameplay.

Love these little vignettes. The pastels and compositions of appliances remind me of the vintages ads General Electric and Amana used to run in the 1960s.

Still feeling hungry, huh? Take a bite out of this tasty pizza!

You can see all of her images in this series, here at Colossal. Alternatively, you can visit Lee Ji-Hee’s website here for the entire catalog of her work, or follow her Instagram.

A Forgotten Ben Enwonwu Painting Resurfaces in a Texas Attic

Ciku Kimeria for Quartz writes:

Imagine finding an almost-forgotten portrait of your mother in your family house, doing a Google search on the artist’s name and discovering that what you own is a precursor to the artist’s best-known work that sold in 2018 for $1.6 million.
This is exactly what happened very recently to one of the members of the Davis family in Texas.

The portrait, Christine, is the latest remarkable find of work by one of the most revered African artists of the 20th century, Ben Enwonwu. The captivating sitter is Christine Elizabeth Davis, an American hair stylist of West Indian descent.

Christine travelled a lot in her life, working in Ghana before moving to Lagos with her British husband in 1969. There, they befriended Enwonwu and Christine’s husband commissioned the work as a gift for his wife in 1971 before they eventually moved back to the US a few years later.

What a remarkable discovery!

I love tales of once-lost-paintings resurfacing. It’s pretty rare for these things to happen, and oddly enough this is the second time Enwonwu’s work has been re-discovered this way.

For the uninitiated, Ben Enwonwu was a Nigerian sculptor and painter — he’s a notable artist who’s probably most known for his contributions to African modernity in Art History. He created incredible public works, has an impressive array of paintings, and was a celebrated artist not only by the Royal Society of British Artists, but around the globe.

As the Quartz article points out, the portrait, is of Christine Elizabeth Davis. She moved to Lagos in 1969 and befriended Enwonwu. Later, during the 1975 military coup, the Davis family left Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the States and settled in Texas. The painting had been in the family’s possession since its last exhibition in 1978.

Haruki Murakami’s Epiphany

From The Age:

As a teenager, Murakami had read “all the great authors” – Dostoevsky, Kafka, Flaubert, Dickens, Raymond Chandler. He spent his lunch money on pop and jazz records. He wanted a lifestyle that guaranteed maximum exposure to the warmth of Western books and music, so he opened a jazz club where the music was too loud for conversation and read books at the bar until his customers considered him anti-social.

And then there was an epiphany. “Yes, epiphany is the word,” he says.

It is, he says, the only truly weird thing that has ever happened to him. He was watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp one day in April 1978. A US player called Dave Hilton hit the first ball way out into left field. And at that extraordinary moment, Murakami realised he could write a novel.

I began reading 1Q84 a little over a year ago (I’m a slow reader, and admittedly horrible at starting books and not finishing them). I don’t have a long-form review of 1Q84 (other than you should go read it), but I think it’s worth picking up. So, I won’t claim to know or fully understand Murakami’s entire catalogue. But they are ensconced in beautiful and complex vistas I crave to visit and know. Parallels, strange events, pregnant mysteries and enigmatic characters that are his hallmarks — and they are fun.

I just love Murakami’s apocryphal “epiphany.” Not only is it an apt for the author, but it should be more widely known that Japanese Baseball is 100% more badass than the American League.

PS: this ultra-rare version of 1Q84 produced by the international imprint, Harvill Secker is absolutely stunning:

1Q84 used to be produced in three volumes, but now it is commonly bound as one. The iconic cover and jacket, was designed by Chip Kidd, the same creative genius who designed the infamous Jurassic Park jacket:

Photo by @swallace99