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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 116: flowers, traitors, and fonts

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make January 23, 2023 a bit better.


1. Artist of the Week: Emily Van Hoff

Emily Van Hoff is a Chicago-based graphic designer, hand letterer, art director and artist. Her most popular works are "modern, heirloom-worthy textiles" that she created with traditional quilting and embroidery techniques. Van Hoff said, "It’s exceedingly rare, but when I do stumble across that perfect thing, it’s like meeting a brand new bff. That’s why I make what I make: to provide you that thrill of discovery."


2. What we're listening to: "Flowers" By Miley Cyrus

The first single off her eighth studio album, "Flowers" comes right in the middle of a Miley Cyrus renaissance. Whether you know her as the Disney darling or the twerking young adult, there is no doubt that in the past few years Miley has ditched the gimmicks and honed in on her incredible talent. We cannot wait to hear more when Endless Summer Vacation is released this March. For now, blast this breakup anthem.


3. What we're watching: The Traitors

Deception, lies and betrayal are the name of the game as three Traitors infiltrate a group of 24 players and use their skills to eradicate 'loyal' contestants trying to win $250,000 in silver bars. With Alan Cummings as host, this fun show is a mix of your favorite reality tv show and an Agatha Christie mystery.


"The Times (New Roman) are A-Changin," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken quipped in a message to staff. After almost 20 years, the U.S. State Department is retiring the use of Times New Roman and switching to Calibri, moving away from serif fonts in an attempt to make information more accessible to people with disabilities. The new font is also the default on Microsoft products, and per the tweeted screenshot, was recommended as an accessibility best practice by the Secretary's Office of Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with other departments. For our non design folks, an oversimplified definition of a serif font is a case type with "tick marks," see above. This move follows a larger push in brands and within the design community to continue to be more inclusive in fonts and color choices. Color accessibility enables people with visual impairments or color vision deficiencies to interact with digital experiences in the same way as their non-visually-impaired counterparts. Besides being the right thing to do, there are legal implications if brands don't adhere to ADA principles. In 2017, plaintiffs filed at least 814 federal lawsuits about allegedly inaccessible websites, including a number of class actions. Various organizations have sought to establish accessibility standards, most notably the United States Access Board (Section 508) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is great to see the design world leading the push for accessibility, one that will change how people with disabilities can interact with the government.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Priming Priming occurs when an individual's exposure to certain stimuli influences his or her response to subsequent stimuli, without any awareness to the connection. These stimuli are often related to words or images that people see during their day-to-day lives. Let's use the example above. When presented with the words "bread," "juice" and "milk" we are more likely to unconsciously connect them with the word "soup." The same can be said for the words "towel," "shower," and shampoo." When we see the same letters provided as before, our mind jumps to "soap" instead of "soup." Psychologists have found that units—also referred to as schemas—of information are stored in our long-term memory. These schemas can be activated by sights, sounds, and smells helping us to access those memories. In short, our brain fills in the missing information the best it can based on the context clues around it.


Shoppers at Thick Mall, a pop up in Chicago, dug through tables of T-shirts, racks of vintage dresses and nightgowns, and bins of secondhand shoes.Credit...Lawrence Agyei for The New York Times 6. Good News of the Week:

  • Brooklyn's Alternative Approach to Gun Violence Shows Promise (GGG)

  • 988 Lifeline sees boost in use and funding in first months (NPR)

  • No rhinos poached in Assam in 2022 for 1st time in 45 years (HT)

  • 'An amazing opportunity': Portland motel repurposed into temporary shelter (KGW8)

  • Thick Mall, a Market for ‘Size L and Up,’ Fills the Gap (NYT)


The super group boygenius is back, with Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julian Baker dropping three singles ahead of their March 2023 album: "$20," "Emily I'm Sorry," and "True Blue." Each of the women wrote one of the singles, so the collection feels like the perfect picture of their individual and group styles, warming the air with harmonic indie tunes that tie the songs together. This is the second album from the group, who received critical acclaim with their 2018 self-titled EP.


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