Blog

Flags, Parody Sites, Johnston100…

Amy Vainieri

Design Director, Forum One

"What We're Talking About" is a blog series featuring the articles, websites, topics, and trends that the Forum One team has been chatting about.

Last Fall, we chatted about Roman Mars’s Ted Talk on vexillology — the study of flags. If you haven’t watched it, please do yourself a favor, take 18 minutes out of your day to do so — it’s more than worth it. In his talk, Mars calls the Milwaukee flag “one of the biggest train wrecks in vexillological history.” From a design standpoint, he’s absolutely right. I mean… look at it. Likely some folks in the city heard the talk, given the announcement they made last week about the release of their new People’s flag. The new flag, designed by Robert Lenz, embraces the principles of flag design and is a simple, striking, and vast improvement from the existing version. Unfortunately, the old flag isn’t going away completely, but let’s hope the people of Milwaukee embrace the new, fresh design and it becomes nationally recognized as the city’s emblem. It already looks great in all the applications displayed in the rollout — there’s a long way to go to match the flag’s iconic Chicago or D.C. counterparts, but maybe it’ll get there one day.

We had a chuckle about Hooli.xyz, the website for everyone’s favorite Google stand-in from Silicon Valley. If you haven’t gotten into the HBO comedy, we’d recommend giving it a try for its mostly-spot-on take on the tech world. Hooli.xyz isn’t the first movie or TV show parody website out there — Frank Underwood 2016, anyone? — and I would argue it’s not one of the best, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. These kinds of sites can be a great addition to a show/movie’s marketing strategy as they tend to get sent around quite a bit if they’re done well, but they’re also fun to look at as cliche takedowns of real websites. Monsters University is one still of the best examples out there, even three years later. Whoever designed it nailed the type of language and content found on a real college site, in addition to the great small details throughout. Who wouldn’t be interested in taking HIST 130: History of Traditional Monster Civilizations

This week, our friends across the pond voted on whether to stay or leave the European Union, but we found another bit of news out of London to talk about as well — the retooling of the iconic typeface that’s been used across the city’s transportation system. Johnston is celebrating 100 years of use, so to mark the occasion, Transport for London worked with Monotype to make some updates to the very-recognizable and lauded design. New weights were added to Johnston100 as well as a new ampersand and hashtag, amongst other improvements. Check it out next time you happen to hop on the Tube.

And finally, did you know that a leatherback sea turtle’s mouth is the stuff of nightmares?

Written By

Amy Vainieri

Design Director, Forum One