Now That’s Live Type!

I have never seen type so unruly. But I like it – a lot. This is the work of a visual artist named Tariq Yousef, who seems to be mind-bogglingly talented. It’s hard not to like work that feels this unconstrained and still sophisticated, and it’s definitely stuff I wish I had in my own portfolio. Since I’m a writer, that’s unlikely to happen, but its hard not to covet. This kind of work is an example of what can happen when someone harnesses the full capability of abundantly available technology and bends it to his will. In advertising and marketing, we have an awful tendency to copy styles and to template things that have been known to work. We do it for the sake of time and because we’re lazy. We’re also afraid that our own ideas might not actually be great or that others just won’t like them. So we end up using the “tried and true” as a nasty crutch. Going out on a limb is scary, even for creatives, but it’s the only way to really achieve anything. If you don’t risk failure, you get nothin.’ My guess is that Mr. Yousef decided to create work that pleased him, and that’s what real artists do. When you do that, you have to understand that the work may flop. But there’s the real possibility that you’ll stumble onto something new and fresh, and the world will notice. That’s the allure of the creative side of this business, and it’s what makes many of us endure the long stretches of ordinary between sudden opportunities for brilliance.

Be sure and go to Tariq Yousef’s website to see all the work ( Each is a kind of masterpiece unto itself. Credit also to Paulo Canabarro at Abuzeedo ( and to my friend Barbi Neth, a great designer who sent me this work.



  1. Pink Friday says:

    So not really on the same topic as your post, but I found this today and I just can’t resist sharing. Mrs. Agathe’s dishwasher quit working so she called a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told him, “I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll mail you the check. Oh, and by the way…don’t worry about my Doberman. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, do NOT under ANY circumstances talk to my parrot!” When the repairman arrived at Mrs. Agathe’s apartment the next day, he discovered the biggest and meanest looking Doberman he had ever seen. But just as she had said, the dog simply laid there on the carpet, watching the repairman go about his business. However, the whole time the parrot drove him nuts with his incessant cursing, yelling and name-calling. Finally the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, “Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!” To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Spike!”

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