#163 Big & Scary

#163 Big & Scary
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Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Big & Scary isn’t just Halloween 2020

What could be big­ger & scari­er & dead­lier than ghosts & gob­lins & snakes & spi­ders? How about a world-​wide virus that’s afflict­ed 37 mil­lion so far, and killed over 1 mil­lion? We’ll be wear­ing masks over masks this Hal­loween. Hope­ful­ly when we take the Hal­loween masks off we’ll con­tin­ue to wear the pro­tec­tive masks.

Jeepers Creepers’ big day

My black cat Jeep­ers is always dressed for Hal­loween. And he lives up to his name — ter­ri­fy­ing birds, lizards and gophers. (Once I noticed a black splotch on my wall, and when I got up close to exam­ine what it was, it jumped off the wall and flew into my face. It was a bat! Cour­tesy of Jeep­ers Creepers.)

In this pho­to he cer­tain­ly is big but not exact­ly scary.

Have a Big & Scary & Happy Halloween

Production notes for #163 Big & Scary:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Programs: Adobe Illustrator
Font, text: Gill Sans
Font, ampersand: Gill Sans
Plus-​size model: Jeepers Creepers

Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.

Visit DesimoneDesign.com

Chaz DeS­i­mone is the cre­ator of Amper­Art and own­er of Des­i­mone Design. He was adding ser­ifs to let­ters when he was just a lit­tle brat scrib­bling on walls. Now he’s a big brat and his entire career is design, so long as each project requires the most sophis­ti­cat­ed, log­i­cal, cap­ti­vat­ing results. Con­tact him at chaz@​desimonedesign.​com.

Thank you for sub­scrib­ing to Chaz’s per­son­al design project, Amper­Art. Men­tion you read all the way to the bot­tom here and receive a tru­ly incred­i­ble graph­ic design gift when you con­tact Chaz.

Chaz sez...
Want more?
Rants & raves mostly about design, sometimes about the universe.
An occasional bit of useful advice.
Read the blog:
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Desimone Design

#86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog & Tail of Ampersand

Happy Halloween

 #86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog
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.

So, what’s for dinner?

Eye of newt, & toe of frog,
Wool of bat, & tongue of dog, 
Adder’s fork, & blind-​worm’s sting, 
Lizard’s leg, & owlet’s wing,— 
For a charm of pow­er­ful trouble, 
Like a hell-​broth boil & bub­ble.
Dou­ble, dou­ble toil & trou­ble;
Fire burn, & cal­dron bubble.

― William Shake­speare, Mac­beth

This line, uttered by the three ugly witch­es in Mac­beth as they stir their boil­ing caul­dron*, is one of the most famil­iar phras­es asso­ci­at­ed with tra­di­tion­al witchcraft.


About that newt — is there such a thing? Were there poor lit­tle crit­ters hop­ping about with­out eyes?

Actu­al­ly, all of the ingre­di­ents in the witch­es brew are ancient terms for herbs, flow­ers and plants. Some say witch­es gave these items gross & dis­turb­ing names to deter oth­er peo­ple from prac­tic­ing witchcraft.

Shopping list

Here’s the modern-​day gro­cery list of what’s real­ly in Shake­speare’s caul­dron. You might have to seek out a real spe­cial­ty shop for some of these items, but they do exist:

  • Eye of newt — mus­tard seed
  • Toe of frog — buttercup
  • Wool of bat — hol­ly leaves
  • Tongue of dog — houndstongue
  • Adders fork — adders tongue
  • Blind-​worm — an actu­al tiny snake thought to be venomous
  • Tail of amper­sand — a curly lit­tle friend of ours (You don’t mind, do you, Bill?)

When prac­tic­ing black mag­ic, mus­tard seeds (par­tic­u­lar­ly the black seeds) cast a spell of strife, con­fu­sion, dis­cord & dis­rup­tion. Inter­est­ing­ly enough, though, oth­er types of mus­tard seeds are thought to pro­vide pro­tec­tion against witch­es. Leg­end goes that witch­es are pre­dis­posed to count­ing & pick­ing up things, so if you scat­ter mus­tard seeds around your front door, bed & prop­er­ty, the witch will nev­er have time to get to you as she will be busy count­ing mus­tard seeds.

It turns out “eye of newt” is sim­ply the seeds for a pop­u­lar hot dog mus­tard. How­ev­er, the clas­sic scene from Mac­beth just would­n’t be the same if his char­ac­ters spoke of boil­ing mus­tard seeds, but­ter­cups & hol­ly leaves.  Adapt­ed from http://​peo​ple​.how​stuff​works​.com/​i​s​-​e​y​e​-​o​f​-​n​e​w​t​-​r​e​a​l​-​t​h​i​n​g​.​htm

*Speak­ing of spell, note the spelling of “cal­dron” in the work of Shake­speare, in con­trast to the Amer­i­can Eng­lish “caul­dron.” Sans-“u” is also com­mon among British. Ear­li­er, how­ev­er, there was no “l” either: in Mid­dle Eng­lish lit­er­a­ture c. 1250 – 1300 you’ll read “caud­eron.” Basi­cal­ly, it means “warm” from the Late Latin “caldāria.”

::::::::::::::::::: TRICK :::::::::::::::::::

Please comment here.

Awak­en Past Hal­loween AmperArt:
Ghosts & Gob­lins
Bats Rats & Black Cats (2012)
Deep Dark & Mys­te­ri­ous (2013)
Creak & Quake (2014)
Creepy & Crawly (2015)

:::::::::::::: OR & TREAT ::::::::::::::

happyoktoberfest500x100(In oth­er words, hap­py Oktoberfest.)

If you missed Amper­Art #88, Brats & Beer, drink up here.

Here’s a fun list of “18 Essen­tial Words for Octo­ber­fest
from the Oxford Dic­tio­nar­ies website.

chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.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 #86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch, Park Avenue, Arnold Böcklin
Ampersand: Arnold Böcklin
Images: dream​stime​.com (manipulated)
You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#97 Creepy & Crawly

97 Creepy & Crawly

#97 Creepy & Crawly
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.

A sprin­kling of bugs for your Hal­loween treat. The trick is get­ting your ghoul­ish friends to sub­scribe to Amper​Art​.com.

chaz sez ...

P1060520Yes­ter­day my black cat, Jeep­ers Creep­ers, start­ed his Hal­loween haunt­ing ear­ly. He was star­ing intent­ly at some­thing in the yard. I went out to see…a 3‑foot-​long snake. Hap­py Hal­loween to you too, Jeepers.

Production notes for #97 Creepy & Crawly:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Cantoria
Ampersand: based on Akzidenz Grotesk but slightly modified when I turned the bugs loose
Credits for #97 Creepy & Crawly:
Bug illustrations: © Adrianhillman | Dreamstime.
 — Bugs Seamless Tile Photo

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!