He’s done a huge amount of work but I was most drawn to his self-initiated projects. Anderson is a conceptual designer and I found myself thinking “I wish I had thought of that” when looking through the projects. Simple, smart and really type-driven…SSRTD. Ok, that’s never going to catch on. Anyway, check out his work, it’s fun and I totally regret throwing out my spirograf.
New York photographer, Molly Surno has this great idea: a creative dinner gathering combining culinary forces with an opportunity to see local short films + animations. There is going to be an italian meal served along with handmade cocktails. I was invited by her friend and stop motion whiz kid Sarah Orenstein to submit something, but even with the two-drink minimum I don’t think I have anything outside of commercial work that’s ready for viewing. It has been a huge reminder to get back into making stuff for myself.
I think the idea is super cute, but even if you don’t go, her personal portfolio is fun to look through as well. I’m a huge fan of her polaroids. They’re very surreal-meets-kitch.
I love the concept behind this photo series, wherewedowhatwedo. Your own work station can indirectly tell an outsider so much about you as far as likes/dislikes, hobbies/toy fetishes, sane layout/insane mess. Now you can show your idiosyncrasies to the world. You can post an image of what your creative space looks like — where the magic happens — and then link it to what you create in that space: your online portfolio. It’s voyeuristically fun to browse where other people get their design on. (thanks to the serif.)
Here’s my little space. It’s missing the laptop that’s usually on there as well as several mugs of coffee….
The designer of this super cute shirt, Keith Hancox, created it for a friend of his who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as Winter Depression. It’s kind of like a clothing version of the Transitions sunglasses, the UV sensitive ink gets darker when the shirt gets into the sun.
His portfolio is worth browsing through, conceptual and simple design. (via visual eye candy site, behance)
Design for Heel Magazine, a dog publication.
Part of a Paper Not Plastic campaign.
It’s funny the random things that you come across when you google stuff. I searched for paper and guns and came across this. Kidding. I was actually searching for ideas for a possible promo design — yes, they involved paper — and I found PaperWars, an exhibition of paper recreations of classic weapons. Not only is the level of detail pretty astounding, but I really like the fact that The Death Machine series uses design to make inert an icon that is so destructive. The exhibit was organized by a cool multidisciplinary design company called Postlerferguson whose sole purpose is to explore issues of technology, culture and economics through creative strategies.
Oh how many glue sticks were injured in the making of these structures. The creators take the right to bear arms a step further and make a few of them available for purchase to be built in the privacy of your own home. If you have the patience you can buy the paper grenade kit, all you need is scissors and glue.
FOOTNOTE: my search came up with multiple papercraft examples. PaperWars was the most interesting for sure, but I had to include the steak and carrots below. OK, so the carrots look more like yams, but the fact that this steak is made of paper blows my mind.
I was perusing The Serif in my attempt at productive procrastination, where I’m technically not working but it’s easier to rationalize because I feel like I’m learning something. I came across this poster by plusminus.ca (designer Peter Crnokrak) and fell in love. It’s solid proof that beauty and political awareness are not mutually exclusive.
The poster, A_B_ Peace & Terror etc., first caught my eye because of the large type and crazy vector shape. But beyond the design, it’s based on geopolitical research showing the quantitative degree that each of the member states of the UN has contributed toward peace and terror in the world. It’s a dual sided poster, one side — the A side — shows the peace, the other side — the B side — shows the terror.
The rest of Crnokrak’s portfolio is worth looking at; I especially enjoyed reading his general about section, it provides even more perspective on his approach to design and the greater picture:
in today’s visually literate society, users can no longer be effectively engaged with vapid pretty images and banal messages. instead an appeal to the intellect must be made using image and text….when a person asks why, they are much more apt to investigate and interact with a design than when given the answer.
I was watching A&E tonight more specifically their special sci-fi movie remake of The Andromeda Strain (don’t judge me). I’m a science fiction aficionado, but even with that, I can’t really recommend watching the movie. However, I can recommend watching the new on-air design for A&E. The redesigned logo was the first thing I noticed, it’s a huge improvement on their old-school mark, it takes advantage of the shapes of the letters and the ampersand…and of course, uses helvetica.
A&E logo before the redesign.
A&E logo after the redesign.
The channel is obviously trying to make a run at being a real network, they’re spending $680 million on new content and just launched with the tagline “Real Life. Drama.” along with the new look. What caught my attention during the commercial breaks was the simplicity of the type-driven design and the subtle use of animation. It kind of reminded me of USA Network’s redesign, sort of the anti-network; flat and clean, and the promos are very character driven.
In any case, I don’t know if it was just the comparison to the bad television movie, but I’m interested in seeing where they go with it.
(Here are some photos from the TV, not the greatest image quality and unfortunately they don’t show the animation or the longer spots.)
This last weekend was a cottage retreat where life existed in its simplest form: eat, drink, beach. There are two rules for cottage weekend 1) always bring wine and 2) don’t forget the wine.
My last wine purchase as a creative sommelier — wine decisions that aren’t made around grapes or age but rather packaging design — was based on the theme of interesting labels that featured the animal kingdom. My theme for this purchase was eco-smart packaging, where wine meets social responsibility.
The decision was inspired by an article in this month’s Fast Company about the French Rabbit Chardonnay being one of the first wines to have gone from the glass bottle to the Tetra Pak. It was a quick read about the process from concept to final design decisions (ie: matte or glossy?). Among other things I’m glad that the stigma of boxed and bagged wine is disappearing, you’re no longer cheap, you’re green. According to the woman at the LCBO, all wine except for vintages will be in plastic by next year.
The choices for this particular weekend were 1) a Californian Twin Fin plastic bottle with a screw top 2) a Spanish Gato Negro Tetra Pak and 3) an Australian Baldivis Estates aluminum bag with a (not so spill-safe) twist spout.
So did the resulting weekend wine tasting confirm that you can judge a wine by it’s packaging? For the most part the wines were ok, the Twin Fin was the best of the pack and had the coolest design. The Gato Negro however definitely leant itself to a bad morning-after headache that had nothing to do with quantity.
There’s only one thing better than a really amazing photograph…it’s hearing the story behind that photograph. The World Press Photo 2008 winners are posted, and along with the photos are interviews with the photographers on the background and the context of the award-winning image.
It definitely enhances the overall experience and it might serve to draw in a broader audience than photographers and photo editors. The interviews are well done, I especially liked hearing Platon talk about getting a rare opportunity to photograph Putin. I think it’s a super smart feature for the World Press to have added.
(via great photoblog A Photo Editor)
Jamie Livingston, a photographer and filmmaker, took a polaroid photo every single day, starting when he was a student in 1979 up until he died of cancer at 41 on October 25, 1997. He called it “Photo of the Day” and for 18 years religiously used his Polaroid SX-70 camera to capture these unassuming, unposed, ordinary memories that eventually became the narrative to the last half of his life.
The fact that they’re all polaroids makes it that much more intimate, one snapshot that isn’t altered, a real moment frozen in time. Some of the images are really beautiful; but more importantly as you browse through the days/the years they slowly reveal his love of music, his budding career in film, evidence of the times through news broadcasts, what he liked to eat, who he was in love with, great friendships, and how he dealt with his illness in the end.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the simple story through the series of casual moments. The snapshots take on even more meaning when you get to the last few frames that show him getting married and dying two days later. The Mental Floss post is worth reading, he puts the entire project into perspective and gives it the narrative it deserves.
After Livingston died, there was a public exhibit and website launched using the photos called JAMIE LIVINGSTON. PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The exhibit opened at Bard College (where Livingston started the series as a student) and included every Polaroid he snapped. It took up a 7 x 120 foot space. It’s very surreal to look at that wall and recognize that almost half of a lifetime is represented there.
Thanks to artist Mel Bochner, whose “Blah Blah Blah” 2008 oil on canvas summed up my day perfectly.
The rumors are true, the Diga/Surtees buttons are finally for sale on TEN:15. It’s the first set of designer buttons for the collaborative photo project, but we want to turn it into a monthly thing. Feel free to sport the flare, they make great gifts…OR just join the collective experiment and take a photo at 10:15 am on any day and email it in.
At first glance, it’s like that strange feeling you get when you walk into a familiar space and you know something is different or something has been moved. That’s how it feels when you first see these remixed logos from Brazilian artist Mario Amaya. I love the word + picture play; taking very familiar brands and toying with your head in the ultimate corporate logo mashup. It’s totally fun and some of them are really smart. Anyway, just a bit of light viewing enjoyment…
(Thanks fancy pants Carlos for the introduction to Fubiz and enabling my procrastination tonight.)
I walk by these upside down trees every time I go to the grocery store, so it was time to photograph them. They’re part of the month long, city- wide Contact Festival in Toronto.
This exhibit is called “Tree Portraits“, they printed out 15 of Rodney Graham’s upside down tree photographs and put them on columns under the Gardiner Expressway. The photos don’t do it justice, but it’s cool seeing the images of the trees in the middle of a very urban, bare landscape. In fact, I wonder why they don’t just turn that area into a public exhibit space all the time.
I thought this would be an appropriate follow-up to the post about Petshop boys using QR codes in their new music video and yet more proof that the future is now. I got this link about Banksy (via 2d-code) tagging his graffitti with a QR code which apparently points people to his wikipedia entry. It is now officially the cool way to brand yourself from underground street art to high end fashion. Tell people who you really are with an abstract barcode on your butt. (The scarves say “game over” or “insert coin for extra life”, but the hope is to have them link to music downloads and cell phone games.
It’s all the rage around the world, but only slowly seeping into North American culture. Facebook has a space where you can create a personalized profile QR code. With the right phone — only Nokia so far in the States — people can “scan” you walking down the street and immediately see your profile page and friends list. Slightly creepy? yes.
What will really be interesting is to see the creative things that come out of this as it’s used more. An earlier New York Times article referenced what artists, like Scott Blake, are doing with old school barcodes, like his Bruce Lee giant face project (not the official name).
So you can only imagine what’s in store with these quirky QR things. And to prepare for the future, I created my own QR code for that time when more phones in the U.S. and Canada can read it, perhaps to be tattooed later onto my forearm or sewn into my favorite socks. You can too.
Lately I’ve been moving away from my motion graphics roots; sad but true. Animator friend + pigeon feeder Gab Pulecio is helping me find my way back, he sent along this link to FWA’s new motion graphics theatre site. His amazing motion folio is well-deservedly profiled in the reel section. It appears that FWA (Favorite Website Awards) is launching a sister site that will feature the favorite motion work out there.
So far, being a new site, there isn’t a lot of stuff on there, and most of it isn’t super new. But it’s cool to be able to go to one place on the web to check out the different reels of the motion design community and see bits and pieces of their work — including these freakin’ awesome opening titles for the TOCA ME Design Conference 08 done by DVEIN. Still amazing a few months later especially if you like melting, sauce, bubbles + great typography.
So I was browsing the most recent Instructables — an imaginative blog where the community shows you how to get your hands dirty making stuff – and came across some interesting do-it-yourself projects including: how to make an ipod speaker out of a Hallmark music card; how to make a web-controlled surveillance camera; and how to build a portable time machine (Vortex Distortion Space and Time Dialating Device).
Of course I immediately clicked on the time machine, not only was it a funny Napolean Dynamite reference, but I actually would like to make a time machine. The materials list is reasonable and can be found at any local store:
Alot of scrap and junk
Some thicker mount card
I have yet to attempt it, but I have high hopes. If I no longer post it’s because I’m back in 1996 telling myself not to do that thing that created that other thing, that led to that following thing that was a disaster.
Look both ways before crossing the road, don’t eat yellow snow, and always vote democrat. These were the sage words of wisdom that I grew up with.
This project from Advice to Sink in Slowly asks designers to take what they’ve learned and not only pass it on but do so in the form of a creative postcard. 24 of them are being sold in a book of postcards. It was one of those sites that just made me smile, a cute idea. Kind of like postcard versions of fortune cookies.
There’s a similar idea behind Designer Stefan Sagmeister’s website that corresponds with his recent book. He calls upon you to use all forms of media to show what you’ve learned so far in life. Any format is fair game: film, illustrative, interactive, photography, typography, motion graphics, compositing. The key is to show what you’ve come to believe as “beautifully” as you can.
At the BDA awards last year Bill Clinton was the unlikely keynote speaker — what does he have to say about broadcast design and promotions? But his talk was great. In contrast to what the rest of the BDAs are about Clinton’s message emphasized that it’s part of our creative responsibility to bring whatever branding we can to social, environmental + political issues. OK, so type layout and grid design might not be a great power, but it can be used with great responsibility to do things outside of branding cars and computers.
Why am I referencing a year old talk? Because it came to mind, when I read about the Good 50×70 Design Competition in Computer Arts. The project was created to bring new messaging and design to advocacy issues that really need people’s attention. In this latest contest, there were 7 issues highlighted (child mortality, global warming, human rights violations, hunting, STDs, war victims, water scarcity).
Designers had to choose a topic they felt passionate about and submit a possible poster for it; 210 of those posters were selected by 50×70’s international jury and those winning designs will be presented to the corresponding charities for their use as a potential campaign. The competition is obviously open to designers of all skill levels, but there’s no doubting the high level of good it can do. And hopefully as it continues, more designers will contribute.
I added my favorites from each category below.
I was also reminded of the First Things First 2000 manifesto that was actually referenced in this month’s Adbusters, again urging designers to be focused more on the creation of awareness and action. This quote from Milton Glaser summed it up with this great perspective: We’re drowning in style. But style is just the way something looks. Design is far more comprehensive. When considering a design, you have to look at the message in terms of it intention.
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
My appreciation of good type continues. Really you could throw me in the middle of nowhere with a tent, an unending supply of mac+cheese, great typography books and some dental floss.
The title of Craig Ward’s portfolio site says it all, Words Are Pictures. His work is communicative art, it’s super creative and beautiful. Both his personal and commissioned work shows that he loves everything font-related.