Newsletter 124 – January 2007


Number 124 – January 2007 – ISSN 1470-1863

Graphic Design – E-Learning – Typography

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0— ‘Left to Right’ – new book

There’s a theory that visual communication
has become more important in the modern world.

This could be the result of internationalisation,
or the need for brevity, clarity, and speed.

This idea is explored in David Crow’s study
of modern graphic design, which covers the
last century up to the present day.

It’s a beautifully designed and elegantly
printed book. I was pleased to note that
it featured designers from my local ex-
Polytechnic, now Manchester Metropolitan

These include Peter Saville and Malcolm
Garrett – both of them influential
designers of the 1980s new wave.

Left to Right

0— Pub quiz – Question #1

Which watch is from 8.00pm to midnight at sea?

0— Extreme Leisure Pursuits

Watch the video of Terje Haakonsen being
helicoptered to the summit of a 7,000 foot
pinnacle in Alaska. He then skis down the
almost vertical face, hands-free – and lives.

Hold on to an armchair whilst you watch.
As my dad would have said: ‘It makes your
bum go – Threepenny bit – half crown’.

Extreme Leisure Pusuits

0— Pub quiz – Question #2

Which drug is extracted from Foxglove leaves?

0— ‘Moodle: E-Learning Course Development’

Just in case you were wondering, Moodle
is a new educational software program. It
permits you to upload your teaching materials
then have all your students’ work marked,
recorded, and managed. And it’s f.r.e.e.

This is a new guide to designing your
courses to fit within the program. It shows
how Moodle is constructed, and how to use its
quizzes, tests, and assignments.

The best part is that most of these can be
marked automatically, by computer, according
to criteria which you determine as the teacher.

This software program has swept into FE and HE
like a whirlwind, replacing progams such as
Blackboard and WebCT (now one company).

Learn more about e-Learning techniques here:

Moodle: eLearning Course Development

0— Pub quiz – Question #3

What kind of stone is marble?

0— Penspotters – All about fountain pens

Enthusiast Rick Conner has a great web site
devoted to everything you ever wanted to know
about fountain pens.

He covers how to find them and collect them;
how they work; how to repair them; famous brands;
even the history of fountain pen ink.

It’s a treasure trove for writing apparatus geeks.


0— Pub quiz – Question #4

In which year were East and West Germany unified?

0— ‘A 2 Z and More Signs’ – new book

This is a compilation of two best-selling
albums of quirky typography in one bumper book.

It’s packed with all sorts of unusual letter
forms, font sets, signs, logos, and what we
would now call dingbats.

Examples include elaborate display fonts, shaded
letters, monograms, a selection of ink blots,
adverts for Joan of Arc laxatives, labels for
matches, cigarettes and drinks, a two-page spread
of ampersands, and novelties from Mexican
graffiti and Asian medicine labels.

It’s a visual treat, and a very attractively
produced book with specially faded pages, round
corners, and a thoroughly retro feel about it.

A 2 Z and More Signs

0— Pub quiz – Question #5

In which city is Barajas airport?

DELETED ITEM [out of print]

0— Pub quiz – Question #6

What is the current name of the Roman city of Deva?

0— ‘The Fundamentals of Typography’ – new book

AVA are the publishers of stylish books on
graphic design. This is no exception – an
introduction to the principles of typography.

It covers everything – from the history of
letter forms and writing systems, right up
to the latest stages of digital letter forms.

It’s packed with illustrations on every page,
and all the topics covered are illustrated by
real examples from commercial publishing.

The Fundamentals of Typography

0— Pub quiz – Question #7

For which medical discovery did Roentgen
win the Nobel Prize in 1901?

0— ‘Pattern’ – new interior design book

Tricia Guild is an interior designer whose
adverts for fabrics and wallpapers grace the
pages of many glossy magazines.

She is particularly given to hot, bold colours
and vivid patters – both of which are celebrated
in this sumptious new book.

It looks at examples of patterns from all
sorts of sources – botanical illustrations,
ethnic prints from India and Latin-America,
abstracts and geometic inspirations from
contemporary painters.

The colour photography is magnificent.


0— Pub quiz – Question #8

Which ballet dancer died on the
same day as Dizzy Gillespie?

0— How to Improve your Spelling

We’ve added some new guidance notes to our
f.r.e.e downloads section. These take
beginners through some of the basic rules
of spelling. There is no magic bullet
solution to this problem – except to take
and interest in the way words are built.

How to improve your spelling

And if you’re one of those people who think
that the rules of English spelling are
impossibly complicated – help is at hand!

Mark Twain came up with a great scheme for
simplifying the process. Check here to see
his suggestions put into practice:

Spelling reform

0— Pub quiz – Question #9

Which nation introduced chocolate to Europe?

0— Fancy that!

The website of John Prescott, the
grammar-challenged deputy Prime Minister,
proudly boasts that it has had 2,771 separate
visitors and 6,836 page views since it went
online in late August 2006.

Just to put that into perspective, our own
humble site (not subsidised by taxpayers’ money
like Mr Prescott’s) has recorded 623,993
individual visitors – which is 225 times more.

0— Pub quiz – Question #10

In which country was Antonio Salazar dictator?

0— Reader’s Letters and Corrections

— Going on Holiday —

Eagle-eyed John White, writing from leafy Altrincham,
points out that the name of the famous chanteuse is
Billie Holiday – not Billy Holliday, as we stated in
our last issue. He will be glad to know that the
senior proof reader has now been sacked.

— A Linguistic Feast —

And polyglotic Alida Bedford, from the University of
Portsmouth, has this to say about language teaching:

“English (or any other language) as a 2nd language is
nothing to do with political correctness. A foreign
language is a language you learn in your own or
another country, that is not commonly used in that

For example, I learnt French in the UK, so I learnt
it as a foreign language. When learning a 2nd language,
this is when you go to another country to live/study
and learn the language commonly used. I learnt
Castillian Spanish whilst working in Spain. I HAD to
learn how to use Spanish for particular purposes as
I was working in the country, as well as learning
the basics.

It is actually better to have language learning &
teaching for speakers of other languages, as this
is more factually correct. Most people in the world
are bilingual, and go on to learn other languages.

The teaching side is known as TESOL, when referring
to English.”

Now you know.

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 Which watch is from 8.00pm to midnight at sea?
ANSWER: First watch

#2 Which drug is extracted from Foxglove leaves?
ANSWER: Digitalis

#3 What kind of stone is marble?
ANSWER: Limestone

#4 In which year were East and West Germany unified?
ANSWER: 1990

#5 In which city is Barajas airport?
ANSWER: Madrid

#6 What is the current name of the Roman city of Deva?
ANSWER: Chester

#7 For which medical discovery did Roentgen
win the Nobel Prize in 1901?
ANSWER: X rays

#8 Which ballet dancer died on the
same day as Dizzy Gillespie?
ANSWER: Rudolph Nureyev

#9 Which nation introduced chocolate to Europe?

#10 In which country was Antonio Salazar dictator?
ANSWER: Portugal


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