March 4, 2008

Information, Design, & Society

Filed under: Blogging — marcstober @ 12:41 am

A while back I added the tagline “information, design, & society” to this blog. I wanted to explain what it means.

This is an aspiration. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever write about my kids. It does mean that I see this blog as my small contribution to the compendium of information that is the World Wide Web, and I try to offer content that is unique with the hope that some reader finds it useful or interesting. Taking the words one at a time:

Information refers to my profession of Information Technology, and also to information in the related, broader sense: how we advance our goals by organizing, selecting, and disseminating words and other data.

Design can be many things; it is often visual, sometimes functional, and always creative. While design is often thought of as the province of fields like architecture, I tend to follow a fundamental design process in everything I do, from writing to making dinner. For this blog, design topics include home improvement projects, professional work, or simply better ways to experience life. Of course, design relates to information, in the design of information systems and the graphic design through which information is presented.

On one hand, society refers to blog posts about politics, religion, parenting, or what’s going on around town. On the other hand, “information, design, and society” is a powerful combination. The politics of information and the design of information systems can affect people for good or bad. If this blog is really successful, it will be because I find something valuable to say on this topic.

Now the fun stuff: typography. Originally, I set each of the words in a different font that I chose to reflect each concept, but I didn’t think the fonts were different enough and it just looked like a mess. The new font is Andalé Mono. I had first thought to type the tagline as “information | design | society,” but I thought that made it sound like I was running a society for information designers, and those vertical bars are so 90’s anyway. 🙂 I used an ampersand because they’re fun. Programmers will recognize that the double slash between the tagline and “Marc Stober’s blog” is the syntax used in some languages to separate a line of code from comments placed at the end of the same line.

Incidentally, the idea for this tagline came to me while viewing a design exhibit in the new Institute of Contemporary Art (the ICA), which I recommend you visit, especially if you’ve been to Boston before and are looking for an alternative to the regular museums.