Notes We need to talk about the XXL logo

XXL, a Norwegian sporting goods retailer with online shop and stores in Scandinavia, recently released a design overhaul by Kurppa Hosk. For me, the logo has been a sore eye for long and I was hoping to see a fix. But I was wrong.

Instead it was disappointing to see the logo remained the same. I’ve got no information if the design agency was ever allowed to change it. But to get closure, I’ve fixed it myself.

The left logo is not balanced. The empty space between the X and X makes look like X XL. The version to the right has a better balance of space.

My issue with the logo is the unbalanced space between XX and XL. The amount of white space should be more equal.

Highlighting the space between letters. The red area should be equal for the logo to be balanced, as seen in the revised version.

To achieve this, I’ve made the space between XX as tight as possible without touching. The space between XL is increased until it feels balanced.

Notes How I organise Figma components

As a freelance designer I work with a variety of projects and clients. Often I do consult work as UI/UX designer where the tools are already in place. This means I encounter lots of ways to organise design in artboards and components.

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Notes Avoid CSS font-smoothing

Reading the overall good "5 Keys to Accessible Web Typography" by Matej Latin, I can’t help to point out the CSS font-smoothing part where Matej recommends anti-aliased font-smoothing for light text on dark background.
If you’re looking for a lighter text, go for a lighter weight. Font-smoothing will not work for every user, you’re just "fixing" it for the few. It has also been removed from the specification. Yes, you’ll need to load an extra weight. But variable fonts are at the horizon.
Zach Leatherman visualise font-smoothing in his post "Laissez-faire Font Smoothing and Anti‑aliasing".

Notes Give 'Em Enough Rope

Rope in the shape of two V
A rope in the shape of two V.

A quick illustration for a friend. A rope in the shape of two V. I wouldn’t mind if Illustrator took some inspiration how Béziers curves work in Glyphs app.

Notes Hitting two exciting web trends

Being listed in an article like "10 exciting web design trends you can’t hide from in 2019" is a boost to the ego. At the same time, trends within web design rapidly occur everywhere. This part of being a trend, where others impulse to blindly follow, makes it less exciting. Focus on the purpose with the design. Be inspired by a trend if that solves your problems.

However, I still appreciate the link and mention Amber.

Notes Logotype for Smiling Workplaces

With a subtle wink at Microsoft …

In October – in a hit-the-ground-runnin’ kind of project – I helped Smiling Workplaces with a logo. A consult agency focusing on software solutions within the workplace, using products and technology from Microsoft.

Notes Tranemo typeface

Tranemo, a typeface work in progress from Andreas Nymark.

Notes First favourite typeface

As far as I can remember, ITC Officina Serif was my first favourite typeface. Until I was 19 years old, I used typefaces that was pre-installed on my Windows computer. I mostly made websites, with Verdana, Tahoma, and Arial as the only tools I could use.

In school, studying design, my views broaden. We read the book Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works by Erik Spiekermann, my first introduction to type design. And somehow, Officina Serif caught my eye. And typography caught my attention.

I still have a soft spot for slab serifs.

ITC Officina Serif, by Erik Spiekermann. My first favourite typeface.

What was your first favourite typeface?

Notes 20 px vs. 20 px

So, which one is it? Font size is 20 pixels for the regular weight on each row to the left. And font size on bold is (or maybe should be) 20 pixels on what row to the right?

Font size 20 pixels?

Notes Slab No. 1 again

About three years ago, I started working on one of my first typefaces. Released on Github as an open source type face, Slab No. 1 got a regular weight. I worked on it regularly pretty much until I attended Type@Paris in 2016. Then I got busy designing other typefaces. Now I’ve slowly started fixing some curves here and there. Looks like it’ll be a total remake.

(Yes, spacing is a bit generous. Work in progress. )