🦾 A look into our DEI journey
A newsletter about design and creativity, and how they contribute to a better world.
Welcome to Edition #38 of HUMAN
In summary of today:
The second episode of our Type Anatomy series.
Beyond Buzzwords: What we learned from our team DEI training.
Our latest inspiration and learnings from the web.
Spassky Fischer’s colourful overhaul of Mucem’s graphic communication system.
Beyond Buzzwords: What we learned from our team DEI training
At WONDERLAND, we know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential for building a successful, sustainable, and inclusive business. To this end, we recently invested in a DEI training workshop, facilitated by Trickle Trainers, to better understand what Wonderland can do to improve upon our DEI practices.
During the workshop, we learned about the importance of thoughtful DEI initiatives and a wealth of statistics on the state of DEI in the Netherlands. We also learned how to recognize micro-aggressions and unconscious bias, and how to best support our team in instances that violate DEI efforts.
Rather than providing a bland recap on why "DEI is more than just a buzzword" and "why DEI makes for a better and more profitable workplace," we asked our team what stood out from the training and what they learned. This was done nearly one month after the start date, which demonstrated truly what the team retained.
A few of our thoughts and learnings from the workshop:
Micro-aggressions are similar to mosquito bites. Comments like "But where are you really from?" or "Your English is so good!" may not seem like a big deal to someone who never experiences them. But, the constant bombardment of comments where you are consistently and subliminally being told that you don’t belong can have devastating effects. These comments can accumulate over time until they become unbearable, contributing to anxiety, resentment, isolation, and disconnection from one's community or workplace.
The insight into just how dangerous unconscious bias is was a shocking reminder of how racism will always lurk around in the shadows of your day-to-day. If everyone was more conscious about their thought patterns and how they handle their emotions in the moment, we might be on to something better that tackles unconscious bias head-on.
It is important for everyone to have open discussions with your team about what is happening during client calls and/or in the studio. Keep each other informed and coordinate after the call if you feel there is something to talk about.
Everyone is subject to unconscious biases, no matter how understanding and accepting of a person you are. Simply because of the places you grew up, the family and culture you were raised in, the friends you surround yourself with and the place you currently live, you are naturally going to have some unconscious biases. This is something you have to actively practise recognising, acknowledging, and in some cases correcting in your day-to-day life and workplace.
I think it was great that we did it. As a small and tightly knitted studio, we inevitably bring our personal perceptions and biases to work and I think it’s important to create a safe space to talk about social issues such as DEI with the wider team. I think we should do a second workshop to follow up on this and develop our knowledge on the topic, alongside proactively finding ways to implement safe spaces within projects.
Now that the training is over, we are more aware of our own unconscious biases and how we can start to address these within ourselves. Additionally, we learned how to best support our colleagues when a DEI violation occurs and how to address the incident immediately. However, like any company, the work to address our own biases and create a safer space are an ongoing effort and an aspect of our company culture that we will have to consistently update and improve.
We believe that our recent DEI training was a valuable investment in our employees and our company. By increasing awareness and understanding of DEI issues, we can build a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.
Do you have a design or creativity-related question that you would like to have answered? Mail them to us at email@example.com and we’ll take it from there.
“Type Anatomy” is a short series by Teddy Reynaud where he takes you through the fundamentals of type design.
Type Anatomy EP.2
Previously in Type Anatomy EP.1, we discussed the base of letters. How letters respect a structure and a mechanic. As result, groups of similarly proportioned letters create a relationship. It is important that these relationships, attributes or family characteristics apply throughout a font and make a consistent and predictable design. Let’s have a look at proportions and construction. Contrast, weight, strokes, logic and consistency are the core of a solid design. Does the typeface show internal consistency? Are similar design decisions made in similar ways or any specific order? Here are some basic parameters of type design.
Letters need to be similar enough to create rhythm and words. At the same time letters need to be different enough in order to distinguish them from each other. It’s the designer’s responsibility to take care of these two major points and balance them out. When asked about the rules of proportion, Jan van Krimpen replied, "There are none." Despite Van Krimpen's protest, type designers use rules of proportion, some based on classical forms.
For example, if an optically proportioned font where all letters assume equal proportions is desired, then the o can be the reference letter. An n will be more narrow. A slightly condensed o may be attached to a stem to produce the group b, d, p, q. Bowl forms are a different problem. If the counter (interior space), of the b, d ,p and q is equal to the amount of space inside the o, the letters will not have the same proportions and must be reshaped.
Case study: proportions variation between o, c and e. Because the e is a partially open shape, it admits more space and will appear more visually open than the o. Here, the middle bar is key! The bar carries some weight, but more often the e should be narrowed. Its proportion relies on the thickness and placement of the bar. A c more open than the e, is drawn with an additional reduction in width. Proportions also vary within families, from light to extra-bold weights. But letter widths are not bound by rigid rules and require different judgments.
Modern fonts attempt a sameness of proportion - not a mathematical scheme, but one with an optically equal amount of negative space within the letters, one measurement for the caps and one measurement for the lowercase. For instance, a slightly condensed o produces the group b, d, p, q. The c, e, and o make up the second group. h, n and u are the third group. With the exception of m and w, the rest of the lower-case letters will fit with some ease into one of these groups.
The categories are general because each font has its own set of proportions determined by the designer. Some have been based on a grid and others are intuitive. Proportions and construction of letter width, stroke weight, and letter spacing are the most important design features of any font. Old style or modern, they are the font's DNA.
Article by Teddy Reynaud, designer at Wonderland.
Additional credits: Erik van Blokland and Doyald Young.
This week’s interesting design and creativity finds from around the internet.
Spassky Fischer’s colourful overhaul of Mucem’s graphic communication system
The attention-grabbing deliverables from the print advertising, to the interior and exterior signage for the museum, and all printed materials (brochures, maps, calendars, leaflets). “We want the name of the museum to be read equally to the rest of the text,” they explain.
One exception was Mucem’s logo, designed before Spassky Fischer won the brief: “As we designed the posters, we made the previous logo disappear, and changed all the graphic rules. So, at the end of the day, we designed the identity, but without a logo.”
Spassky Fischer explain: “most of the pictures are made by us, to get a coherent direction. These are presented in montage, overlaid with the Neue Haas Grotesk typeface, and contoured with bold blocks of primary and secondary colour. Colour is used to make signal. The system we developed is based on three basic elements — word + photography + color… It’s the presence of the color that make it identifiable.”