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Uncategorized | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

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Design links a la carte

I was happy to find www.designeducation.ca this morning. It’s a great resource for those links you’ve seen before, but can’t remember the url when you try finding it again. With […]

Compass ring and the sun

Gothamist asks “How to Find Your Way When Leaving the Subway”. While a spray painted stencil idea is good, the credibility factor should probably be questioned. So design wise, what’s […]

NanoPaint, NanoDirt

Here’s an interesting idea to block unwanted cell phone conversations. It’s a paint developed to “passively block specific radio frequency ranges”. Read about it at their corporate site at www.naturalnano.com […]

Be back soon

Yearning, that’s the ticket. Yearning and heartache. Yearning and heartache and longing and—well, you get it. Leonard Cohen’s Seven Immutable Laws of Business. BY KEN KRIMSTEIN

Personal DNA

Usually I avoid those online personality test b/c I don’t have a lot of time. But for some reason I took the Personal DNA one. As I was taking the […]

Character Development

Originally uploaded by Michael Surtees Originally uploaded by Michael Surtees. Originally uploaded by Michael Surtees. Having a story behind a product is nothing new. Try imagining Nike without “Just do […]

Fingers Breakdance Clip

via goodexperience.com


look, flags! Originally uploaded by swissmiss. The Guardian has a wonderful article about inspiration titled: Divine inspiration In our craving for something we can’t count on we will often unwittingly […]

12 angles for a watch

Oliver at Noun reminds me about what makes design great. “I tried to design a watch which is as simple and as strong as possible. I wanted to eliminate all […]

Yesterday’s tomorrow, today

Swissmiss shares this gem of a site with us. Modern Mechanix is all about yesterday’s tomorrow, today.

Painting with Gum

Jason Kronenwald is an artist that uses gum as his medium of choice to create portraits of blondes. In his bio, Trident gum is mentioned as the preferred textured gum, […]

Three in one

The fine folks over at amoebacorp.com are a pretty busy group. First there’s the studio stuff, but there’s also ArtLab™ and Newsprint. In their own words “ArtLab™ was born from […]

Compare Screen Type

http://typetester.maratz.com/ will bring joy to your life if you’re into web based design, just look at the excitment that Running Map Randy above has for the site. You can compare […]

EXP Design: The trippen letter

Next week I’m going to compare the letter that I received with a pair of shoes I bought with a tiny message sewn into a pair of jeans and talk […]

design*notes featured in Applied Arts Magazine

One of the best parts of being a designer is seeing your work in action. I get a rush every-time I pass something that I’ve designed as a civilian. Today […]

Hitting the streets

Taekwondo Institute posters via Billboardom via coloribus by DDB Worldwide Pte Limited / Singapore

Designer Trading cards

Now here is an idea that’s time has come. My friend the meddler (aka, Chet Domanski) passed me on this great link to designer trading cards. The series has eight […]

Why I heart NO!SPEC

I’ve been reading a lot of spec confessionals lately from blogs via NO!SPEC. The thing is, while I support the NO!SPEC site with everything I have, I don’t have any […]

A Questioning Toolkit

Here’s some question notes I’ve copied for future reference via Communication Nation via A Questioning Toolkit Essential Questions are at the heart of the search for truth. “What kind of […]

The band photo

Curious to understand the state of “the band photo” in 2006, I went to the sxsw festival site to see what’s aux current. I’ve compiled an assortment of images that […]


Here’s a great search tool for the flickr faithful. It’s flickrleech, and you can search by interestingness, username, user id, photoset, group pool and search. thanks again for the heads […]

Hi, your name is…

To personalize or not, that is the question. Russell Davies contemplates how his hotel should welcome him at sympathy for the hotel, while Adrian from BADG shares his postcard with […]

Trends, Watching, Publishing Notes

Piers Fawkes has posted a quick blurb about trends, watching and publishing talk he gave to students at Parsons in New York. His comments on watching reminded me about what […]

Mackintosh Homeless

Offbrand documents Mackintosh Font on the street at http://www.afterthenews.co.uk/wordpress/?p=51

Your typographic skills are less than minimal

Friend Dave Weinberger has published a wonderful article about Paul Rand’s last logo with sketches to back up the story. Read Paul Rand’s Final Logo Part 2, Doug Evans + […]

Wordless Ad

Can you guess what this ad is for? Hint: it has to do with brushing your teeth. Read the blog entry about the image at at 24.


This post is for the dog owners out there. Driving home last night from work, I saw a pretty good play on words behind a SUV back window. Unfortunately some […]

Volkswagen and Google’s New Navigation System

From automotoportal.com “The central element is a touch-screen interface linked to Google Earth. Precise 3-dimensional maps, real-time traffic and route guidance updates and a search function set new standards in […]

The Secret Lives of Fonts

So how does Times New Roman rate as an essay font when compared with Trebuchet MS and Georgia? The grades and results are surprising. Read all about one University student’s […]

Thanks for saying hi!

If you’re hitting my site for the first time, I hope you enjoy the visit. Once you’ve explored all you can find at design*notes, I recommend traveling to swissmiss, Chris […]


“The mission of this blog is to educate both clients and Visual Communication designers (also known as ‘graphic’ designers) and about the nature of speculative, or “spec” work. It also […]

19 links

But much social-network research involves simply trawling large databases for telltale behaviors or activities that might be typical of a terrorist. In this case the links among people are not […]

Dialectical Motion Poster

After I had everything pasted in place, I took some white and black paint and splashed some paint on the canvas. I then attached a large string to the board, […]

Artist and researcher

For those information visualization junkies out there, Amber Frid-Jimenez has a site worth hitting up. She’s got a great portfolio site with some of her explorations. Visit her site at […]

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