Spotted a couple Eurasian hobbies over the last couple of days. Small falcons that catch and eat insects in flight. All just on my regular walk.

_ These weeknotes are turning into lists of things I wanted to look into, instead of things actually done, read, looked into. To fix: not rely on bookmarks alone but consult daily notes from my own practice as well. Keep writing those daily notes.


Concept mapping

_ > The connection between Maps and Cynefin is Max Boisot's I-Space. Says @swardley. See also. Knowledge assets moved to top of the reading stack. Long live

_ A pithy critique of one-size-fits-all solutioning in The Usual Suspects (Operating Model anti-patterns) by Adrew Blain. For example, on customer journeys:

Customer Journeys are great focal point in some contexts. However, it is also entirely appropriate for some parts of your organisation to be organised around business processes, platforms, capabilities, value streams or objectives.

Content architecture

_ So very spot on by @TatianaTMac. Paraphrased:

“Content modeling for content management systems combines figuring out how to do something both resiliently and flexibly, balancing the human tendency to break rules”.

_ The Training Is Coming From Inside the CMS is an interesting look at how to surface what kind of help text and guidance was needed, and where to put it in context of the actual tool.
via @storyneedle

_ Here's @hiredthought making sure he doesn't have to start from a blank page.

Visual research & printmaking

_ I never got the hang of email lists, but here's a public listserv to support interdisciplinary research into matrices/printing surfaces (eg cut woodblocks, etched and engraved metal plates, litho stones).

_ Currently reading: Reading Images. In our increasingly Western visual culture, visual literacy is an important skill but underrepresented in education, if at all. The authors propose an analytical framework for reading images. Quite heavy on the academic jargon and long-running sentences, but so far, worth it.


_ Linked Riddim Warfare by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid last time, and returned to it a couple times more. Holds up well. _ Mono, but still looking for their debut album Under the Pipal Tree that is not amazon or apple music.

_ #weeknotes 2021-21

“It is the business of the future to be dangerous”

Leadership is an obsolete legacy tech. Small groups of 20 to 100 people are the primary organisms within human society – in contrast to individuals, corporations, and nation states. – @jornbettin in response to one of those dialogic twitter threads by @swardley. Just like hierarchy, linearity does not sit well with complex scenarios, see this thread on the problems with roadmaps as timelines.


The “information explosion” may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation—or even the first species—to wrestle with the problem of information overload.


_ Styling underlines with CSS was what I was looking into last week. On the internet, you can find a lot of helpful info on building the internet. Here's a classic deep dive on the topic of designing link underlines. Once again via Scratching the Surface

_ Structured content bits: > The metadata construct of a thing determines its ability to scale. @hpdailyrant. I'm wondering if this would be specific to assigned, or pre-loaded metadata. Content can accrue additional metadata during its lifecycle: ratings, shares, number of views, age, references. When writing, Ian Lynam reminds us to consider the balance between timely and timeless. This seems to speak to the same point, but applied to the content itself, not its metadata.

How to categorise content by Elle Geraghty. Useful set of ways of analysing and grouping a bunch of content.

Information: A historical Companion, via @storyneedle

_ Buying fonts is fun and can quickly become costly. Mixed feelings about this new hobby. But: Tryptich is fun, affordable and based on a cool concept.

_ Sounds – Dj Spooky*: Riddim Warfare, Synthetic Fury, – ScannerfunkNew EsoctrilihumDisparaitre

#weeknotes 2021-20

“Mark-making is where design and writing hold hands” *

Yvonne Lam on usefulness/comprehension of making vs. reading large diagrams. The act of drawing the diagram is where the understanding happens, not while reading it back. Related to where Dave Snowden claims that any model that can't be quickly drawn on a napkin is not very useful. Maybe multiple smaller diagrams work better than one big one. I would think so, especially when multiple zoom levels and/or perspectives are involved. Also, the drawing process has a linear progress, starting from an empty canvas, gradually building up the model, so that understanding can follow along. A finished diagram does not tell that part of the story, especially if in the layout there is no clear and obvious way in.

@ruthmalan adds important considerations. If the value is in the doing while, it becomes essential to consider who is there when it happens. Otherwise the diagram might be just another tree in the forest that nobody heard fall over.

So again, it comes down to the process of drawing the diagram. Repeatedly, with different audiences as needed.


Oh, this beautiful little thread about an even smaller little psalter (containing the Book of Psalms often with bonus tracks) from around 1280. There's mentions of “puzzle” initials with “frogspawn” penwork and I need to learn more about the terminology around this. This glossary helps and this is a lovely explanation of how different parts of the text on the page relate, but I'm specifically looking for the anatomy descriptors for illuminated initials.

Related find: Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture


Starting a newsletter is the best thing you can do for your design system. Newsletters as human-readable release notes plus context and empathy?


Reading too much about writing instead of writing but: – Writing for the design mind by Natalia Ilyin.* – FireSigns: a semiotic theory for graphic design by Steven Skaggs – This thread


Sounds: – Still in high rotation: Parallel 1 – Finding out about Sleaford Mods via this very funny video. Blog maggot! – The rough and basic setup of Sleaford Mods reminded me of Heavyweighter by Sensational. – My answer to that tweet asking for top 5 bands listened to in highschool. With bonus insight.

_ #weeknotes 2021-18

_ Weekendje weg in Schoorl: Tapuit, Zilvermeeuw, Kluut, Huismus, Tjiftjaf, Scholekster, Spreeuw, Gele Kwikstaart, Slobeend, Merel, Graspieper, Blauwe reiger, Groenling, Bontbekplevier, Fuut, Grutto, Meerkoet, Grote stern, Kneu, Kievit, Boerenzwaluw, Witte kwikstaart, Koolmees, Kauw, Wilde eend, Pimpelmees, Kraai, Waterhoen, Ekster, Roodborst, Torenvalk, Buizerd, Grauwe gans, Kokmeeuw, Zanglijster, Aalscholver, Nijlgans, Lepelaar, Bergeend.

_ “This 12th-century drawing is my favorite picture of a knight on horseback ever.”

_ “You don't look for 'em, but I think every composer's got some idea of ideal proportions that suits personal taste. You take your raw material, your notes, your visual elements or whatever it's gonna be, and you strike up balances between loud and soft, fast and slow, many and few, thick and thin. It's like cooking, or building a mobile. The contrasts help define the structure, and at the same time they're part of the elements that are being structured. Know what I mean?”

From Interview with the Composer – Zappa Wiki Jawaka.

_ Graphic Designers Have Always Loved Minimalism. But At What Cost? By Jarrett Fuller, yes, he from the Scratching the Surface podcast.

_ Elementary cellular automata, by Seth Brown.

_ Sounds: – A new DJ mix to capture the best of a vintage Nineties Japanese dance music sound. Think of it as retromania for retromania.. – Eschaton Mémoire by Chaos Moon is a black metal masterpiece.

_ #weeknotes 2021-16

The impossibility of silence by Ian Lynam. Writing for designers, artists, and photographers. Introduces useful concepts to consider without getting prescriptive. Guidelines, not rules. Made a few things click for me. Good stuff.

_ Promising results of three short monoprinting sessions over the last week. See header image. First pass in black ink combining two cut-out capital letters and assorted patterns. Second pass consisted of printing a solid square of yellow ink over each page. Another even shorter single printing session together with M. produced even more exhilirating results. But that's all still in the exploratory phase.

_ You all did see No. 10 Family office right?

_ MIT Press offers open access to Design Issues. Via brilliantcrank.

_ Inks and paints of the Middle East.

_ Finally succumbed and purchased license to use Brabo, the eloquent type I mentioned here before.

_ Sounds: Misnomer by Four Tet. I Hadn't Known (I Only Heard) / So Now... by Matthew Herbert. Gnosis by Spectral Lore.

_ #weeknotes 2021-15

Moving from pocket to a converted, yearly paid pinboard subscription because Maciej asked nicely.

_ 36days of type so far and a compilation of the first four. And this one, which just kept growing as I drew it.

_ Looking forward to dive into The Impossibility of Silence.

_ A small update to, a large header image. It captures some of the essence of the Calligraphic Space theme I'm working with.

_ I can't retrace how I found it, so I'll just thank the universe (or the youtube algorithm), because Tchaikovsky's Hymn of the Cherubim really is of transcendent beauty.

_ #weeknotes 2021-14

again: publishing as artistic practice

Another plug for Scratching the surface, a podcast about design criticism and practice. It's shaping up to an impressive catalogue of interviews about design, criticism, architecture, writing, publishing, education with people who work across those different but connected domains. I put one one for when I go for my walk.

_ The grammar of ornament, beautiful. Need to check, but I think Johanna Drucker references this in her book Graphesis.

_ I'm setting up a printing forme that will fit eight A5-ish blocks into a 46x64 cm sheet of paper. I turned a first series of prints like this into small booklets, zines. Looking forward to produce a new series of works this way. This time I want to connect this with my Calligraphic Space themed pieces.

_ Speaking of Calligraphic Space, 36 days of type has kicked off. Main channel is Instagram. I'm posting processed scans of hand-drawn versals copied from this manuscript.

_ A database of sans serifs sold in 19th-century Germany by Dr. Dan Reynolds.

_ Music via stereogum's Black Market for March, featuring Esoctrilihum and Mare Cognitum and Spectral Lore and Forhist (by BaN's Vindsval) and Bríi (by Kaatayra's Caio Lemos). Lots of good stuff coming out.

_ #weeknotes 2021-13

_ Plum Blossoms and Bamboo, by Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783-1856). Via@JapanTraCul

_ “Pysanka is the Ukrainian art of decorating eggs

_ Complaining about open source projects is good. Thought provoking thread by @DRMacIver

_ “Solvitur ambulando.” – it is solved by walking. via @cox_tom

_ 36 days of type starts april 5.

_ #weeknotes 2021-12

A smallest history of the drop cap and more.

_ Paged.js is a free and open source JavaScript library that paginates content in the browser to create PDF output from any HTML content. This means you can design works for print (eg. books) using HTML and CSS.

_ A Drupal core proposal for an editor specific toolbox menu. More diagramps here.

_ “I want to make sure that I’m an artist that not only lives through her music but the art is in life. The reason I can do all of these things is because they all are in the same world.” – Dawn Richard


_ Street artists: Highway star (Deep Purple cover)

_ #weeknotes 2021-11

God zij genadig hem die leest - Hij vergeve hem die schreef.

_ Honour your obsessions, says Rob Walker in the art of noticing

_ How to get excited about Drupal again. Addendum: collaborating with wicked smart and super nice people.

_ Moving to Linux.

_ “Visions of the end”, a virtual exhibition exploring medieval & Renaissance artworks inspired by the Apocalypse, or Revelation, of John of Patmos. Via.

_ Revival of an unknown woodtype

_ Tsundoku: acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them.

_ #weeknotes #2021-09