The PSDA Blog

Käthe Kollwitz

Käthe Kollwitz


On recent trips to the A.G.O., we were able to behold the extraordinary charcoal drawings, etchings, and sculptures of Käthe Kollwitz, which are currently on display as part of a three-part series. In numerous macabre and gestural yet naturalistic portraits, Kollwitz renders the plight of the poor, working class, and women in early-20th century Germany.



Picking Up the Pencil and Paper

Picking Up the Pencil and Paper


Although there are obvious advantages to using computers which make them indispensable design tools, there are also ample benefits to reverting to older, more-tactile design tools which may be less obvious. At PSDA, we try to use these methods regularly to appreciate our work in new light (literally) or inspire different kinds of creativity.



Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia

Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia


Have you ever felt that letters and numbers imply certain colours, almost like an aura or personality, that come to mind when you think about them? This phenomenon, whereby the comprehension of aesthetically-neutral semantic units is accompanied by corresponding hues, is called grapheme-colour synaesthesia. It’s experienced by a portion of the population, though the exact percentage has yet to be determined.



Toronto Subway / Bloor–Yonge

Toronto Subway / Bloor–Yonge


If you take the TTC regularly, you may be familiar with what’s possibly the most prominent Torontonian typeface, since it appears in most subway stations and in much of the TTC’s print materials. A geometric sans serif, it made its first appearance with the opening of the first subway line in 1954. In typical Torontonian humility, it was introduced with such little fanfare that no one knows who designed it, their name having been lost to history.



Picas and Points

Picas and Points


While one of us brandished a ruler festooned with picas to measure a design recently, it occurred to us that picas are likely alien to most people, though we use them throughout most of our work. Both picas and points are units of measurement that are peculiar to and invented for graphic design.



Facing the Anthropocene

Facing the Anthropocene


On our most recent expeditions to the Art Gallery of Ontario, we were able to behold a poignant exhibition of photography and videography by Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nicholas de Pencier called Anthropocene. The title refers to the epoch in which humans are the dominant terrestrial force—shaping ecosystems, the climate, and landscapes, for example, more than anything else—as we now are.



Birthday Feasting

Birthday Feasting


At Philip Sung, our six birthdays a year mean six reasons to feast on delicious food from local restaurants. We may all be getting older, but at least we’re not getting any skinnier!



Design Fuel

Design Fuel


Although we’re mostly seated, design can be mentally draining, and each of us have foods and drinks that give us much-needed energy and comfort throughout our busy days. Leaving aside our common forays into the ever-bountiful cookie jar, here are our favourite quotidian foods and drinks.



Didi & Dusty

Didi & Dusty


Sometimes our show and tell sessions yield gems from our non-work lives, and Darien’s recent contribution was just that. He’s given us glimpses before of his and his friend’s drag photography—wherein they go by the names Didi and Dusty, respectively—which evokes both the glamour and paradoxical alienation of Hollywood stars from the ’40s and ’50s.



The Ford Family

The Ford Family


Another treasure from our show and tell sessions, Bill recently showed us a copy of a Volkswagon advertisement from 1965 that featured his family (the yellowed nature of which inspired the previous blog posting), revolving around a pun on their last name.