A little bit of a Design Blitz

Typography & Symbols

Studio Two Three is a wonderful community print shop located in Scott’s Addition.  They offer a variety of classes, from hand lettering to lithography.  They’ve been known to use a steamroller to print giant maps of Richmond.  Studio Two Three also knows about bringing in the community much like we do here in The Village.  I believe the S23 folks put out a call for volunteers to assist with the chiseling of the woodcut used for one of the RVA maps.

I believe the print below is the 2014 RVA map.  It’s a pretty great use of typography.  All of the Richmond neighborhoods are listed in variations of whatever font is used below.  There’s some bold lettering.  Not-so-bold lettering.  Big letters.  Small letters.  It’s variety but all tied together by the constant font choice.  Then we have “RICHMOND” in big, bold letters.  And a different font.  It works.

S23 smartly used the outline of the Richmond city to hold the names of the neighborhoods suggesting to folks who may not know that one is indeed looking at a map of a city.

Studio Two Three RVA Map

Studio Two Three RVA Map



If only The Village had maps so detailed and full of useful INFORMATION.  Here’s what I like about this map: The gray with the black strip.  I have a feeling that all Lonely Planet maps use this color scheme (I could be wrong) so that one can immediately think, “Hey!  It’s a Lonely Planet map.  So reliable and trustworthy!”  Of course the blue “Lonely Planet” logo in the upper left corner can also lead one to the same thought.

This design doesn’t play around.  It’s not fancy.  You’re told that this item is a city map.  You know it’s a map of Bangkok.  This design does not play around or look for a cute, new way of saying what needs to be said.  I appreciate that.




This tote bag is pretty minimalist, me thinks.


Here’s another tote bag and another example of interesting typography.  A few years ago my husband and I were enjoying tasty burgers at Strange Matter on Grace Street.  A metal band was preparing for the evening show.  Their merch table was set up and ready to go.  They were selling tote bags along with the more pedestrian items (t-shirts, beer koozies).  Nothing screams “Black Metal!” like a tote bag, so I had to have it.

The band’s name–Wolves in the Throne Room–is in the upper left hand corner.  There’s no way you would’ve guessed that without me telling you.  Admit it.