Thursday, December 18, 2008

The single bright light of creativity

While browsing my email, I opened an update from fontbureau®. A news bit caught my attention.

I quote, "Cyrus Highsmith’s Eleventh Digit

No, Cyrus Highsmith doesn’t have an extra finger (although that might explain his prodigious output!). “The Eleventh Digit” is the title of a workshop Highsmith presented in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October. “The idea was to invent a new number that appears compatible with the others but cannot be confused with any other character. It gets the students thinking about the structures of glyphs, the role of handwriting in their evolution, and the design of a glyph as separate from its structure. It’s pretty fun.” archives/114

Side note: Highsmith's font "Escrow" has absolutely gorgeous numerals.

While in school, during a creative problem solving session, our professor, Victor Papanak (google him) gave us a challenge. Gaining weight was an issue in 1970 too and we were to come up with as many ideas as possible to solve society's problem. The two that stuck with me were: letting wild (preferably man-eating) animals roam the streets; the other was four-foot high curbs.

While there were many in-between, (and yes, we did think of and discard potato chips that gave you diarrhea, and now we have Olestra®) we held on to a few of the most far-fetched ideas to help create a spectrum. It kept bringing us back to possibilities that really, were simply impractical but would work.

The more good, or at least, in my judgment, effective, design I see, I also see the free-for-all thinking that is necessary to get out of the obvious solutions and into creative outer space.

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