Letters to the Editor

From the week of February 13, 2003

I love this music community, and I will do what I can to support it.

Tommy Nahulu, president
Colorado Music Association

Well, I'll Be DAMed

A clash of symbols: Regarding the January 16 Off Limits commentary on the new identity for the Denver Art Museum, I feel compelled to respond.

I am the creative director at MetaDesign responsible for this identity. Your comment about "no homage to the building's famous architecture, a hallmark of the DAM's former logo (which worked just fine for thirty years)" unfortunately misses the point. The previous logotype, which vaguely represented the original Ponti building, was very loosely applied and had both recognition and representational difficulties; it did not even say the name of the institution. If you add to that the upcoming presence of the new Libeskind building, which is a stark stylistic contrast to the existing building, representing both with a symbol becomes unwieldy -- and frankly unnecessary. The buildings themselves will be the symbols, so why represent symbols with symbols?

And, as for the comments regarding the use of Quark and Illustrator, MetaDesign is one of the leading typographic design firms, having designed some of the most-used typefaces of the twentieth century, including Meta and Officina. The typography you see is not "paint straight out of the tube," but a considered redrawing of the classic Akzidenz Grotesk and Trump fonts -- a contrast that represents both the traditional and contemporary posture of the museum.

Identities are not judged by whether they are "imaginative" or not -- that is the purpose of the buildings, the collections and the experience of the visit. Identities are judged by whether they are appropriate, not whether they satisfy some immediate urge for playful decoration.

I ask the critics to wait ten years and then comment on the identity. That is the true test of whether an identity works or not.

Brett Wickets
San Francisco

The Pry Files

Total recall: I do not desire to continue a running debate in your paper's Letters column, but I must reply to Frank Whiteman's letter in your January 23 issue. I hope Mr. Whiteman was not attempting to mislead your readers as to my actual opinions when he stated that, in reference to my earlier letter opposing the Bush administration's "Total Information Awareness" computer database, "It seems okay with Mr. Quet that thieves, criminals and mischief-makers can receive and record this info on the phone or the Internet or retrieve it from computers, but he does not want government employees to do this." It is obvious that no one on the correct side of the law actually wants criminals getting anyone's personal information. (And I agree that criminals stealing our personal information is a very real problem.)

But -- and I may be wrong -- his letter makes it seem as though he, on the other hand, is actually in favor of the total invasion of our privacy that is proposed by the administration, as long as it is "the Government" doing the invading. I do not think the "If Total Information Awareness was outlawed, then only outlaws would have TIA" argument has any real validity. I mean, if the government was (and I'm not saying that it isn't) going around doing almost anything else that is illegal (or immoral) to the American people, then anything else that "thieves, criminals and mischief-makers" also do would be okay?

I believe, as others also must, that our government should spend more resources (much more than it does now) on preventing criminals and (yes) employers from getting access to our private, personal and once-secure information than it spends on getting that same information for itself. Because otherwise, the government, I am sorry to say, is the criminal.

Leroy Quet

Pointed Criticism

The big sleep: Regarding Jason Sheehan's "A Beautiful Dine," in the January 30 issue:

I'm falling asleep reading Sheehan's articles. Get to the point!

Burt Wolf
via the Internet

Waiting to Exhale

Alternate reality: Regarding Jason Sheehan's Bite Me columns (most recently, January 30) on a possible smoking ban, I see how he could think that business would be hurt by not allowing smoking in bars (in particular). But in reality, this simply is not the case. Where I live, bars and restaurants are still packed to overflowing. Business is excellent. The only difference is the lack of smell. For a while, smoking was allowed in hotel bars (for the convenience of international guests), and I could not see that their business had increased during the period when they had an exclusive place for smokers. (Many bars and restaurants in California have patio dining where smoking is allowed, since it is technically outside.)

Samantha Hampton
Thousand Oaks, CA

Smoke 'em if you got 'em: Jason Sheehan's smoking articles are a breath of fresh air (pun most definitely intended). I myself am not an iron-lung-carrying smoker of three packs a day, but I do enjoy a cigarette while in the midst of the perfect cocktail. Or, as Teddy from Stand By Me so eloquently put it, "There's nothing like a good smoke after dinner."

I just wanted to let you know I thought Jason did a very good job of bringing out some very pertinent facts concerning the economy, other alternatives and how narrow-minded the Smoke-Free Denver folks truly are. Campaigns like this become nothing but a game between sides, each one using whatever makes it look good while portraying the other as the smoking Son of Satan.

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