Friday, September 19, 2008
I love how understated the creative typography is in this Tibor Kalman design. The sans serif font is mater of fact and doesn’t draw attention to itself. The image is a split composition, inviting comparison of the text on red with the photo of beautiful Joan Chen. She looks seductive, confident, and her gaze is direct. Her gesture, the act of smoking, the setting, and her “wild” shawl create an appearance that is anything but innocent. The “O” on the left is level with the smoke ring emerging from Joan’s mouth, the focal point of the photograph. While the text, “it’s very important for a woman . . . to always appear innocent” and the provocative image of Joan Chen disagree, the renegade “O” floating in a sea of red mirrors the spirit of the photograph.
About the font: I don’t have a positive ID. I looks like Helvetica Bold, but the J doesn’t look right and the s’s don’t match.
Ed. Hall, P. & Bierut, M.: Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Princeton Architectural press, 1998, p198.