The Lines Between

Again on the topic of renaming my website.

I had been playing for a while with the concept of a bizzarrorama: a place or an instrument to see weird and obscure things.

(behold a page of my sketchbook after four days of cycling under relentless rain in Bavaria)

I brought it as far as designing this frankly illegible logotype for it, using it as an outlet for my private passion for black rainbows.

I really had to put so much work into it to decide to drop the idea: firstly, although i don’t reject the fetishist/BDSM meaning of the word “bizzarre”, I didn’t want it to be directly associated with my design work. Secondly, I found it really difficult to give the word bizzarrorama a decent typographic presentation: too many doubled consonants. Thirdly, the word is too long and illegible anyway, and one of the reasons I want to move from is because it’s slightly too weird – not necessarily for my taste, but for its usability as a remarkable and catchy URL.

After deciding to drop bizzarrorama, I dedicated two pages of sketchbook to an ongoing one-man-brainstorm, sketching out ideas and logos on them over a couple of weeks.

visual brainstorming

This was quite useful to gather ideas and compare them, try out other visual elements next to the typography and in general have one place to throw things into whenever they casually occurred to me. Interestingly, however, the one idea that I kept from this came from another source, namely the first drafts I wrote for my essay on space. Quoting myself:

In Michel de Certau’s terms, design work could be described as the movement with which a tactic attempts to become a strategy by creating a visible and identifiable object that grants it a unique place within discourse.

and then, emphatically running onto a tangent:

Design is like a plant that grows in the cracks between pavement stones, eventually turning the street into a garden.

I won’t necessarily stand behind this dramatic definition of design work, but I like the idea of design as something happening between the lines, in fact turning the voids between the lines into new “proper” lines. I began to obsessively think about the “the cracks between”, “between the lines” and other similar formulations.

At this point I would like to quote Guy Debord in the 206th thesis of The Society of the Spectacle and appropriate what he calls “the insurrectional style (…) of replacing the subject with the predicate”. This would be slightly dishonest though, because in that particular section of the book I only have a vague understanding of what he is talking about; hence I will only say that my theoretically limited designer brain found it funny and catchy to turn words around (which aren’t even subject or predicate, for all that matters), and create the phrase “the lines between”, laying an accent on that void space full of potential instead of having those stiff lines of predetermined meaning on the foreground.

At present, I am still playing with this title in my mind (and sketching out logos for it occasionally). I think I like it.

the lines between

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