Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Makeness, IRL Communities & Expressive Type

Weekly Update 2018-18: Makeness creates artful broken-sounding dance tracks while I comb the online and real-life communities in Toronto, and the expressive Japanese typography of Nozaki Azusa.

Music: Makeness
Here is some experimental electronic music I can get behind. Makeness' one-man-noise-band Kyle Molleson takes us on a psychotic breakdown acid trip followed by a nice nap in the sun on his 2018 release Loud Patterns. I am digging the drastic changes between tone in songs and his apparent mastery of many, many genres. My favourite thing is when the enchanting rhythms of a song slowly disintegrate into noise, and back again.

Makeness is accompanying Unknown Mortal Orchestra on some of their tour dates, so I hope I get to see him on Wednesday. Favourite tracks include Fire Behind the Two Louis, Stepping Out of Sync and the title track Loud Patterns.

This week I (mostly) finished up some freelance work for two clients that came in at the same time. I haven't taken on freelance work in a while because I prefer to use my free design time for personal projects, but this was a nice opportunity to help out some local indie music acts.

I also managed to scour the annual Jane's Walks listings to create a weekend of walking tours for myself and my mom. I have mentioned Jane Jacobs and my love of walking tours before, so this weekend we'll be soaking up the sun and enjoying tours of the Don Valley, lost buildings of Trinity Bellwoods, Treasures of the Ossington strip (where I live!) and more.

I've got another chapter of Dungeons & Dragons coming up tonight, so let's hope that all goes well.

Last week I attempted to gain access to my website to change something in the footer, but I guess I haven't touched it since I updated my I hope I can get that all sorted at some point this week.

As a stretch goal, I'd like to begin an accessibility audit of my website as I am sure there are things I could fix. I know it's not screenreader-compatible, so maybe a goal for this week is to source out a checklist to use.

Random Thought: Communities
People tend to throw the word “community” around a lot, and I have found lately that it means different things to different people. Over the past six months, I have been becoming more and more engrossed in Facebook groups with widespread reach on a specific topic (online shopping, biking, drumming, design etc), but in the past two weeks I realized that some of these were less fulfulling to me than others. I decided to make an audit of my own to decide whether these groups were actually valuable to me, since I was looking at them in most of my free time.

I noted that the groups based in Toronto were more meaningful to me because I recognized similarities in posts and other members - not that dissimilarities are bad, but I suppose I was hoping for more "real" connections that I could potentially make some real-life friends from.

So, I joined Meetup and Eventbrite. I scoured the sites (both of which have kind of a bad user experience, by the way) and found a few different groups that are of some interest to me, including a brunch group and a biking group. I am much more excited about these groups than I was about some of my Facebook ones, which makes me think that I probably prefer the magic of in-person communities than virtual ones. Both have their place in my life, and of course I haven't actually attended any of these meetups yet, but knowing they're in my calendar (first one next week) makes me feel like I'm actually shrinking my city a little bit.

Inspiration: Nozaki Azusa
I have always admired beautiful typography, and even moreso in languages/letterforms that are not English/Roman-based. Japan's Nozaki Azusa has created a simply lovely collection of typographic compositions in Japanese that I can't take my eyes off of:

Translates to "get up early".

While I couldn't find translations for all of these, you can sort of tell their meaning from the expression of the letterforms. Really cool stuff.
I suppose what amazes me about Azusa's work is its ability to push the boundaries of readability and legibility of the language; a task only someone with intimate understanding of the language could do. I can't read it myself so I am taking some liberty in assuming this, but it certainly seems that way.

Check out more of these amazing specimens here.

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