Written by

Chris Gonzales


Steve Johnson

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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🎼👀: This fascinating and dynamic redesign of the San Francisco Symphony’s visual identity — by strategy and brand experience company COLLINS — uses variable font technology in awesome ways that will surely inspire lots of other designers and typographers:

Starting with traditional typography that speaks to the art form’s heritage — we used responsive and variable font technology to add an unexpected contemporary behavior — giving each typographic character the ability to immediately change form in reaction to sound and music. We also crafted a more expressive voice that juxtaposes the timeless formality of black and white with a contemporary palette inspired by the unique colors and landscape of the Bay Area. All now better designed to evoke the rich emotional range of symphonic music across an always-changing media and digital landscape.

Via Jeff Sheldon, who I agree with 100%: “Man, I wish I would have come up with that!”

🎤✍️: Until now I wasn’t aware that Kendrick Lamar, arguably the greatest rapper of today, has been a prolific note-taker since childhood. Maybe it should come as no surprise, given his intense and poetic lyrical themes.

David Perrell breaks down Lamar’s copious note-taking process and shows what you can learn from it:


🕺🧠: Speaking of David Perell, a couple months ago he shared a viral video from 2009 with a message about human nature that, as someone with big-time social anxiety and lifelong stage fright, I often need reminding of:

This video is a masterclass in psychology.

The first person to do something always looks weird. People laugh. Then somebody else joins. Then the crowds come in and the person who started the whole thing goes from looking like a goon to looking like a genius.

Tom Osman’s reply put it best: “Be the fearless weirdo.”

Love it.

🤯: Did you know that because of its franchising model, McDonald’s is more of a real estate business than a fast food joint?


🦻💬: Profoundly deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim (no, you didn’t misread that) reimagines a better kind of closed captioning — one that actually conveys the emotional timbre of what our eyes see onscreen:


📵: We’ve all read those articles about how social media is terrible for your attention span, your critical thinking, your feelings of self worth, etc. But what is it actually like to quit? That’s what Soo Youn of The Guardian set out to learn, so she interviewed several people who did it, none of whom regret it a bit.

This guy’s response hit me square in the chest (bold emphasis mine):

This is great that we’re all interconnected, and amazing what we can do online. But then you start to notice what adds up to net negatives. You realize, do I even have the time or attention to read a book any more? Do I even have the time or attention required to read an article?

When I would talk to people in real life, a lot of them would be saying: “Hey, did you see what this person said on Twitter?” or “Did you see what this person said on Facebook?” It was really shocking, because the online life ultimately means nothing. I could ask them: “Do you remember what you tweeted five minutes ago?” Nobody could remember.

🧊🎨: Current status: Being blown away by these circa-1859 paintings of icebergs by Frederic Edwin Church, which I imagine must’ve looked so alien to anyone at the time who hadn’t sailed those particular seas.

🏷📐: Game and software artist Everest Pipkin has spent several months putting together a website with hundreds of small, free, or experimental open-source tools that might be useful for whatever kind of digital creation you enjoy or are thinking of getting into, with a “focus on artful tools and toys that are as fun to use as they are functional.”

Every item is tagged so you can easily dig down to whatever you want, e.g. Game Engine, Sound Effects, Animation, Javascript, Colors, Writing, etc. You can also view the entire list as Markdown if you don’t feel like navigating the site.

Bookmark this extremely useful resource right now.

💡: Been a while since I’ve linked to something from Seth Godin. This one however is too good (you’ll see what I just did there) to pass up:

It doesn’t pay to pretend that we’ve figured it out before we have. It’s counterproductive to adopt a brittle attitude in the face of criticism. In fact, during this stage, “you’re not that good,” is precisely what we need to hear, because it might be followed with insight on how to get better.

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.