Why Trajan and Laptops for Children Suck

Today I’m just ganking some quick links from Design Observer I thought might be of interest to many of you.

First, Bruce Nussbaum of Business Week writes that the MIT Media Lab’s “One Laptop Per Child” project is a failure—and then he says it again (oh snap). Wade into the debate yourself, but the long and the short of it, Bruce says, is this: Rather than trying to figure out how to make a super cheap laptop, designers and engineers should’ve gone to other countries to figure out what technology might be useful to school children if only it were more usable and accessible. India seems more invested in using cell phones to connect to the internet, so is this just an example of disconnected Americans asserting that everything would be better if only the rest of the world did it our way?

And speaking of potentially unwelcome top-down design: Folks (somehow) associated with the University of Kansas are pissed at the integrated branding effort that changed all the fonts—including the ones on sport uniforms—to Trajan. Enter: Trajan Sucks, the best typographic activist movement since Ban Comic Sans. I really don’t care about sports or Kansas, but I am seriously tempted to pick me up a “Trajan Sucks” t-shirt. It looks pretty likely to be mistaken for a Red Sox reference (especially the red-white-navy version), but whatever. Sometimes “branding” is a great idea, and this is not one of those times, if you ask me.

Do you (or anyone else) know where to find the version of CIRCUS font that KU used before they switched to Trajan?

I am not going to use it to sell anything, just make a suirt for a newborn niece of mine.