Obama’s Art with Dumb-Quote

I Think I'll...

The Obama’s are redecorating the White House walls. Ed Ruscha’s “I Think I’ll…” (1983) (shown above) was one of the pieces selected for placement. It was borrowed from the National Gallery. Typographers and graphic designers can spot this work’s shortcoming with a deep rooted embarrassment. There’s an error with the apostrophe in “I’ll…” This malformed apostrophe is known as a dumb quote. Its proper form should curl to the left.

The error is exacerbated by the fact that the piece was hand lettered. One would think that such a process of transposition would have left time for a correction. This shows it’s not a typing error but an ignorance of the proper use of the Latin alphabet.


 
Posted by on May 28, 2009
Filed Under Fine Art, Typography | 6 Comments
 

  • Ed

    I don’t know anything about this artist, but could it be that the subject whose voice is transcribed in this piece is of a more common education level? Probably not, but I like to give the benefit of the doubt where I can.

  • Debi

    You should know this artist. Upgrade your asthetic education level and learn about him. HIs is very important. And worthwhile.

  • http://rosendorf.us Theodore Rosendorf

    Debi: Please bear with me a moment. I was referring to his use of the dumb quote, not his fine art skills. I happen to like some of Ed Ruscha’s work. His lettering is great, but that dumb quote is just bad. I hope you understand the distinction.

  • Maria

    Did anyone ever think that the “Dumb Quote” font happend to match better as a straight line as in the use of some fonts. All the other text in this painting is sans-serif, so why mess it up with a “curled” quote mark? Artistically if used, that would stand out as a sore thumb. It is an art piece not a novel. I think it is perfect with the quote mark used!

  • http://www.markzonder.com/ Amy

    You should know this artist. Upgrade your asthetic education level and learn about him. HIs is very important. And worthwhile.

  • http://typedesk.com/ Theodore Rosendorf

    Maria: a curled or bent quote isn’t specific to type with serifs. It would actually stand out less with a proper stroke.

    Amy: I do know of the artist and I respect him, but this doesn’t make me like the dumb quote. No one will hold it against you if you choose to accept whatever Ed Ruscha creates.