#104 Time & Time Again

 104 Time & Time Again
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-quality printing & framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Know anyone who screws up, arrives late, forgets something…time & time again?

AmperArt #104, Time & Time Again, is about those people. The term could just as easily refer to a car that just won’t start first thing in the morning, or a computer program that keeps crashing, but it usually refers to people—& especially negative instances such as always being late, forgetting to stop at the cleaners, or getting the facts wrong. Time & Again could also have been the title, but Time & Time Again just sounds so much more worthy of a good reprimand or pink slip.

See the scenario?

This AmperArt design, #104 Time & Time Again, presents a common scenario, especially in the workplace. Can you figure it out? Well, I know you can because only the brightest people subscribe to AmperArt.com, and that means you. But if you’re in a hurry here’s the answer:

Scenario: In AmperArt #104, Time & Time Again, there is a “team” of ampersands, comprised of 5 members: red, blue, green, yellow, purple. Each row of ampersands represents a group meeting. As you can see, all are present at every meeting except one of the team, Mr. Red. He shows up now & then, missing most meetings time & time again.


That meant I was in trouble. Otherwise I was “Charlie” or more recently “Chaz.” I’m also called “Chuck,” “Char” & “Hey Asshole” but never Charles, unless I’ve been a bad, bad boy. I can still hear Mom reprimanding me: “I’ve told you time & time again!” Was I trying out my new Crayolas on the walls again? Who knows, but the phrase still rings clear in my memory.

The dreaded pink slip

Time & time again an employee is late or does a lousy job, until they are “canned,” “let go,” or “given the pink slip,” all of which mean you’re fired! (No, the pink slip doesn’t mean you’re given the title to a new car for being late.)

"I'm what?!!"The “pink slip” has become a metonym for the termination of employment in general. According to an article in The New York Times, the editors of the Random House Dictionary have dated the term to at least as early as 1910.¹

The phrase most likely originated in vaudeville. When the United Booking Office (established in 1906) would issue a cancellation notice to an act, the notice was on a pink slip (“The Argot of Vaudeville Part I” New York Times, Dec. 16, 1917, p.X7.) Another possible etymology is that many applications (including termination papers) are done in triplicate form, with each copy on a different color of paper, one of which is typically pink.¹

In the UK & Ireland the equivalent of a pink slip is a P45; in Belgium the equivalent is known as a C4.¹

Another theory:

The very earliest example we have is where a pink slip is a note sent to a typographer indicating that he’s made a mistake. If he got enough of them then he would be fired. Yet another intermediate one in 1905 where a pink slip is specifically a rejection letter from a magazine. So a writer would submit a story, & it would get a pink slip back, meaning that the story was rejected. So clearly there is something going on at around this time where pink slip is being used to refer to various kinds of rejection.²

The term is an Americanism. In other countries they have different colors to refer to dismissal from a job. In Germany the expression is to get the blue letter. In the French military, you would be dismissed with a yellow paper, carte jaune. ²

So typographers were given the pink slip? Time & time again I’ve issued the month’s AmperArt just under the wire. Better get this edition out on time before I’m canned.

Please comment here.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

Production notes for #104 Time & Time Again:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font family: Gill Sans
Ampersand: Gill Sans
Reference text (verbatim & edited):
¹Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slip_(employment)

²Jesse Sheidlower is an editor-at-large of the Oxford English Dictionary. From https://www.marketplace.org/2009/04/09/world/tracing-origin-pink-slip
You may repost the AmperArt image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#69 Stuffed & Dressed

Happy Thanksgiving!

#69 Stuffed & Dressed
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Posing for AmperArt #69 Stuffed & Dressed, Thomas T. Turkey stuffed himself into his finest tux & got all dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner.

Is that an ampertizer he’s offering you?

Colorful Thanksgiving Dinner Placeholders

Thanksgiving Placeholder

Here are your placeholders with this year’s AmperArt #69 Stuffed & Dressed artwork. Colorful and humorous—the kids will especially enjoy these. Click here or on the image to download the placeholders artwork, which you can print on standard size paper. Full instructions included.

Stuffing or Dressing?

While deliberating on the title for this piece, I wondered what the difference was between stuffed & dressed, or actually stuffing & dressing. Interestingly, it’s the same stuff (no pun intended) but called one or the other name in different parts of the country. Also, stuffing is usually cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is prepared separately. Here’s a map showing the regional preferences.

Stuffing vs Dressing regional prefs

There are many tips for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey & a great-sounding recipe for cornbread stuffing & dressing at the Butterball website. (These links are not sponsored. I’m just sharing what I’ve come across.)

Turkey Trivia Question:

What are those fancy little paper things called that are placed on turkey drumsticks (& on ampersands, at least in this month’s Stuffed & Dressed piece)? If you know, write it in the comments area. I was always intrigued by them as a kid, as they came in all different pastel colors (like pastel toilet paper—remember that?). My mom would put them on leg of lamb (the fancy paper things, not the toilet paper).

Happy Thanksgiving

to you & your family & friends, including the furry ones. (You will slip them some turkey under the table, won’t you?)

Production notes for #69 Stuffed & Dressed:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Parisian, Kalinga
Ampersand: Kalinga
Credits for #69 Stuffed & Dressed:
Turkey: Dreamstime.com
Patterns: Adobe Illustrator

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#29 Success & Nothing Less

Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Download to print special size for Balboa students’ notebooks: 8.5 x 11 inches

AmperArt #29, Success & Nothing Less, was inspired by Balboa Elementary School, for it is their motto, and it’s where I learned my abc’s, in Glendale, California. (It’s also where I learned the difference betweens it’s and its.)

The typestyle is Aachen, same as used on their school signage. The ampersand is derived from the Z in the team’s name, Blazers. The colors used in this edition are, of course, the school colors.
The phrase was made famous by Snoop Dogg on the show Entourage where he said, “Success and nothing less, man!”

One of my favorite quotes about success is by Jack Canfield: “If you love your work, if you enjoy it, you’re already a success.” I guess I’m a success then, for I love creating AmperArt and all my other graphic design.

That and many other quotes on success can be found here. And there’s a Facebook page called SuccessAndNothingLess.

The Leona L. DeSimone Award

I have always been grateful that I went to three tremendous public schools, all in the Glendale, California Unified School District: Balboa Elementary, Toll Jr. High and Herbert Hoover High School. I even went to Glendale Junior College but didn’t learn much there as I was already more focused on running a graphics business.

It was at Balboa School, during 4th Grade, that I lost my father to emphysema. I was the oldest of four, with a sister and two brothers. Our mother struggled, I mean really struggled, to clothe and feed us, holding down a job at a lunch counter in a vitamin store. Somehow she always had time for us kids and made sure we were to school on time, and helped us with our homework. All the while putting up with tantrums from me, the spoiled firstborn.

I’ll never forget seeing Mom cry when money was short, counting pennies to feed us, going without dinner herself. Or walking five miles to work in the blazing heat when the buses went on strike.

We didn’t have much money but I don’t think there was a family in Glendale any richer than ours with love.

Several years ago my sister Roslyn set up an annual scholarship at Balboa Elementary, in our mother’s name, for a deserving student (especially if their family was in similar circumstances that ours was in), and each year one of us siblings presents the award.

I was honored to present the scholarship at the end of the 2012 school year to a special student who was also raised by a single mother, and who came to school early and stayed late to work on the computers, since the family could not afford their own.

Upon arriving at the school for the presentation, I discovered the school motto is “Success & Nothing Less” so of course that would be an upcoming AmperArt piece.

This year’s Leona L. DeSimone Scholarship recipient is a shining example of one who aspires to achieve the very meaning of her school’s motto, “Success & Nothing Less.”

Production notes:
Original size: 20 x 30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Font: Aachen
Ampersand: hand-drawn, based on school team lettering

If you’re an ampersand fan subscribe to AmperArt here to receive future AmperArt editions. They’re always fun & fabulous & free. Subscribers also receive special bonuses.