Cardon Copy
July 1, 2010 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Cardon Copy takes the vernacular of self-distributed flyers and tear-offs... redesigning them, overpowering their message with a new visual language. [via]
posted by Fiasco da Gama (50 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yucky.
posted by gjc at 8:40 PM on July 1, 2010


overpowering their message

Yes, indeed. Sometimes signs need to be a tad more functional than the end result I see going on here. The No Parking sign where the pertinent information is in tiny type at the top? The Found Dog poster which removes most of the identifying parts of the photo of the dog?

It's cute and clever, but perhaps too clever by half. There aren't any of these I'd be happy to see replacing anything I put up, because the actual information-conveying has been lost.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


this is pretty cool but . . .

Design People are amazingly overrepresented on the Web. The reasons are obvious; you don't need to explain it to me. But that doesn't mean we can't point it out and try to fight back. I propose the drafting of a simple list, to contain striking examples of Design Privilege, all the little ways Design People get their way, day in and day out without even trying.

Design Privilege Checklist
1. Most websites are framed to appeal to the tastes of one niche or other. But, in order to break out, every website must appeal to my taste, by incorporating good design.
2. On the Web, the minor affairs of my people get top billing along with the major affairs of humanity. Helvetica vs. Comic Sans is on equal footing with US vs. China.
[. . .]
posted by grobstein at 9:01 PM on July 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


Yep. The originals are often quite good at telegraphing a basic, clear message -- besides, a sharpie-written original on a sheet of loose leaf is a clear indication that the message comes from an individual, rather than an organization. The 'female roommate' one and the Spanish poster for the apartment both need that context in order to be understood.
posted by jrochest at 9:04 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


the Spanish poster for the apartment

Is also misspelled in the replacement, which irritated me. Ninos ≠ Niños.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:09 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think it would be faster for me to go see them in real life than to wait for them to load on this site.
posted by snofoam at 9:15 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


The math tutor one is really nice though
posted by Flashman at 9:19 PM on July 1, 2010


Yes, all good points. However, as an amateur and wannabe designer this is a great idea. I'm always trying to conjure up design out of thin air with no direction. This leads to frustrating "designers block." Working with restrictions...like copying a found flyer...seems like a great way to exercise the ole' creative muscles.
posted by hot_monster at 9:19 PM on July 1, 2010


Yo, person tryin to find your lost cat, Imma let you finish, but I have one of the best design portfolios of all time!
posted by kipmanley at 9:24 PM on July 1, 2010 [13 favorites]


Oligatory.
posted by clarknova at 9:32 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


There aren't any of these I'd be happy to see replacing anything I put up, because the actual information-conveying has been lost.

i'm not sure, but i think that might just be a tiny part of the joke here
posted by scrowdid at 9:47 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like how most of the pictures are of the douchebag himself actually replacing the posters.
posted by mrnutty at 9:48 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mostly, I hope they found their cat.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:51 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by w0mbat at 10:01 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Replacing lost animal posters with hipster art is not cool. It's not even a design improvement. A hastily scrawled message in sharpie perfectly conveys the urgency of the situation.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:17 PM on July 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


for a piece of communication design, he dumped in a truck load of design and nuked the message. fucking annoying. the vast majority of the "improved" versions can't even be understood, and to have removed the original without permission and substituted it with his crap is just being an asshole.

this is not design nor art, just an art of full-of-himself vandalism.
posted by wlai at 10:51 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The flagrant designs dehumanizes these posters for me and makes them look like they've been ground through the marketing mill with all of its middle-managers and egoists. The exotic cat poster almost looks like something a mildly classy brothel would put up and makes the cat less a source of trouble and concern and love and more of an overpriced object.

Then again, maybe I've just become too jaded about adverts and commercials, like just about every introductory 'soft sciences' course I've taken in college. God knows all of this pragmatic cynicism is taking a lot of small joys out of my life.
posted by dubusadus at 10:56 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is what happens when hipsters and unemployment breed, right?

They cleaning lady poster is horrendous.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:04 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now this is actually a funny, clever & well designed version of the lost cat poster. Look and learn Cardon Copy.
posted by Wantok at 11:21 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


He says on the site he only redesigns fliers that have multiples, that both the originals and his redesigns exist in the community.

I guess the appreciation of this idea depends on whether you consider vernacular fliers to be pollution or hipster design to be just more noise. The artist claims that the vernacular goes unnoticed and implies that his work just might be helping someone, but the illegibility of some of the pieces belies that intent. A hand scrawled plea for a lost cat has pathos and meaning, it is direct, urgent, sincere, for real. His stuff looks like typical club fliers and book covers. I guess I could see the originals as art, but his stuff looks like marketing.
posted by bonefish at 11:22 PM on July 1, 2010


It's a thought exercise, people. I don't think he's seriously trying to "improve" the posters. He's just pouncing on them for subject matter to practice on, and perhaps even making the backhanded comment that "less is more" by making such heavyhanded designs.
posted by scrowdid at 11:23 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really like the idea - there are shades of Harry Buttle, guerilla plumber in "Brazil", except... Buttle fixed stuff, and this guy is wanking so much he breaks it instead.
If he used his design chops to make awesome signs that caught the eye and then communicated the message more effectively then the originals, it would be great.

Hopefully he'll get the message, if he hasn't already. In which case the question remains - without wankery to hide behind, is he a skilled enough designer to seriously outdo the effectiveness of the originals?

But even while the implementation is lacking, props for a cool idea, and for giving it a go.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:31 PM on July 1, 2010


It's a thought exercise, people.

No, when he's covering up people's urgent notices, it's not a thought experiment. If he was only publishing on the web, the legibility criticism wouldn't be valid, but he isn't and it is.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:35 PM on July 1, 2010


I think we'd all be better off if he turned his attention instead to cure this somehow with design.
posted by kipmanley at 11:42 PM on July 1, 2010


I think this would be much better in the other direction...take highly polished but meaningless corporate street advertising and see what it looks like in the vernacular.
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 PM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh, I missed the covering them up part, that is kinda douchey.
posted by scrowdid at 12:01 AM on July 2, 2010


He does add a side note --- "Only fliers with multiples were redesigned. Both the original and the Cardon Copy exist in the community."
posted by scrowdid at 12:03 AM on July 2, 2010


Are those people's real phone numbers? I certainly wouldn't appreciate having mine posted on some guy's attention seeking website.
posted by Pyry at 12:28 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm reading too quickly but it looks like they screwed up the phone number on the lost cat poster. 3280 instead of 3208

They also made it less usable by getting rid of the multiple tear off tabs with copies of the "correct!" numbers at the bottom.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 1:23 AM on July 2, 2010


I wonder how long it takes him to make a shopping list.
posted by crunchland at 3:29 AM on July 2, 2010



Maybe I'm reading too quickly but it looks like they screwed up the phone number on the lost cat poster. 3280 instead of 3208


Oh, that is SO uncool.

If you're gonna use people's information for the promotion and enrichment of your art school ass, at least bother get the information right. Either that or you had better deliver that cat to its rightful home with your own two Macwanking hands.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:45 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't find any of the 'before' posters that objectionable. He would definitely have had my sympathy if he had gone from break room to break room replacing shit like this and this.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:00 AM on July 2, 2010


Yeah, "call four details" on the cat-for-sale poster is just mean (but hilarious).
posted by gubo at 4:06 AM on July 2, 2010


You know what I'd like to see? A website documenting one of the people that this guy's messed-up posters affected because he got the phone number wrong; maybe the person meets cute with the person who has been getting all the calls about the missing pet, and they decide to make this art school asshole's life a living hell, within the limits of the law, more or less. Hey, I'd buy that for a dollar.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:13 AM on July 2, 2010


Good design is very important because it facilitates use or communication.

Most of these are pretty. But bad design.
posted by DU at 5:20 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


So a while back I kinda did this same schtick. I was flouncing through Harvard Square last summer with one of my boyfriends and we saw all these crazy fliers for a guy's guitar lessons. They were weird, they were clever, they made us laugh. I grabbed one of the tear-off numbers, took it home, and did one of my own. Printed out about a dozen of them, grabbed a staple gun, and posted them up in the same area.

I took pains to make sure they were legible and functional; I even made sure I had tear-off tabs that were cut for easy use.

This dude, on the other hand… he's doing it wrong. He's deliberately doing bad design. Illegible, less-functional. Sure, it's in more colors, but most of them are harder to actually read. He's obviously aware of this, given that his "mission statement" says he's "OVER POWERING THEIR MESSAGE WITH A NEW VISUAL LANGUAGE", but it's kinda assholish.

He's using his powers for evil.
posted by egypturnash at 6:29 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


How awful!
posted by Mister_A at 8:20 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Working with restrictions...like copying a found flyer...seems like a great way to exercise the ole' creative muscles.

An excellent point; however, tearing down someone else's flyer and replacing it with something that is hard to read and/or deliberately misleading is the kind of thing that will earn you a well-justified ball-tap.
posted by Mister_A at 8:22 AM on July 2, 2010


The artist claims that the vernacular goes unnoticed and implies that his work just might be helping someone

I would say it's the opposite. I'll always read something scrawled in sharpie on a piece of notebook paper, but my brain assesses these as marketing before I even really notice them, and my eyes just glide off.
posted by rusty at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm a total failure at anything involving sales, but I know enough marketing to know that sometimes, low-rent design is the message. I worked for a guy whose office was a complete and utter chaos. I tried to straighten it up and make it look corporate. He resisted. I finally figured out that his economically marginal clientele would be scared off by the look I proposed. Also, the chaos made him look four times as busy as he was.
posted by dhartung at 9:56 PM on July 2, 2010


low-rent design is the message

I don't know if it's as much of a blight where you live, but where I am, there are many professionally created temporary signs put near major commuter roads that are hand lettered, usually looking for people wanting to quickly sell their near-bankruptcy property. They're professionally produced, but look hand written (badly) though there are hundreds of identical copies, sometimes placed within sight of each other.

And some of the signs you see for political rallies -- lately with the Tea-baggers, but they're not the only ones to use the tactic -- where they specifically produce hundreds of hand painted, amateurish-looking signs, misspellings and all, and pass them out in the crowd, in an effort to convey a grass-roots, down home, 'power to the people' impression. (I've also heard that the more blantantly stupid tea-bagger signs that we liberals love to link to were supposedly made and carried by opponents of the movement in an effort to convey a message that the party is made up of racist imbiciles.)
posted by crunchland at 4:53 AM on July 3, 2010


I've also heard that the more blantantly stupid tea-bagger signs that we liberals love to link to were supposedly made and carried by opponents of the movement in an effort to convey a message that the party is made up of racist imbiciles.

Citation?
posted by hippybear at 7:28 AM on July 3, 2010


I can't recall where I read it. It might have been murmurs from the #tcot on twitter, or maybe it was mentioned in passing on Dan Carlin's podcast. But you can do a search on google for "tea party signs liberals" and find reference to it. I just did and found a page on Newsbusters that claims it's true, but I have no idea if that site is at all credible.
posted by crunchland at 4:53 PM on July 3, 2010


I just did and found a page on Newsbusters that claims it's true, but I have no idea if that site is at all credible.

You mean, Newsbusters which is edited by Matthew Sheffield, which is the blog of the Media Research Center? I don't think that's a credible source for much at all.
posted by hippybear at 5:39 PM on July 3, 2010


Another phrase you can search for is "crash the tea party." I don't mean to suggest the accusations were necessarily valid or invalid -- I just mention that I'd heard them.
posted by crunchland at 5:49 PM on July 3, 2010


crunchland: you're starting to enter into the same territory of discourse as those who use phrases such as "some say" or who ask why Glenn Beck hasn't yet denied that he raped and murdered a girl in 1990. Either say what you mean, or stop trying to push forward ridiculous claims and then backpedaling on whether you actually espouse them or not.
posted by hippybear at 6:53 PM on July 3, 2010


(sigh.) All I originally said was, I'd heard these allegations. I didn't realize this was an inquest.
posted by crunchland at 1:41 AM on July 4, 2010


Dude. You've been a member of MetaFilter for nearly 10 years, and you don't know that you can't make unfounded allegations about ANYTHING without backing up your statements with pretty good documentation?

It's not an inquest, but surely you know better.
posted by hippybear at 10:25 PM on July 5, 2010


I apologize if the assertion I made put a such crack in your tiny world view. I thought hippies were supposed to be laid back. Uh-oh. There's another unfounded allegation. I better cut it out.
posted by crunchland at 12:46 AM on July 6, 2010


You made no cracks in my worldview. You did cause me to feel that anything you say from now on will have to be fully researched, because you don't seem to be trustworthy. But that's upon your head, your lack of integrity, not mine.

You've made your point -- you pass along rumor as fact and then get huffy when asked to back it up. I've made mine -- I ask for truth to be spoken about, and want to have sources when something doesn't sound right.

Have a good day.
posted by hippybear at 7:21 AM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


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