Going through No Layout is sort of like visiting Printed Matter in NYC. Both have a ton of visual things to look at and flip through though the biggest difference of course is one is online while the other has to be experienced in person. A couple days ago Daniel Pianetti of No Layout introduced me to the site via email. I like what they’re trying to do. It’s essentially showing printed books and magazines online as is—it’s not try to repurpose content for online. It’s there to be looked at and discovered. If they weren’t online the chances of me actually finding any of these titles is probably zero. Now that I know about them, if I come across them in person I’m more likely to buy a copy because I’ve already been introduced. The site itself has a couple simple features. A viewer can flip through pages and if they like the title save the issue to their personalized library. The biggest issue is that these artifacts can only be viewed—not read. There’s no way to zoom in to ready the text. They do realize this as it is noted on their Facebook page that they are working on a tool to do just that. If you happen to be bored with what is being published you might want to check out some of the independent titles they’re displaying.
After buying Project from Virgin (see above image) I’ve almost bought the first issue of most blog worthy iPad magazine apps. I bought Wired, Glamor, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, Time, Popular Mechanics, some food mag that I can’t even remember the name of and stuff that wasn’t really even an app like Dazed. I’m just about the earliest adopter out there when it comes to trying to deconstruct what media companies are doing with apps. I have not bought a second issue from any of them.
There’s a couple reasons for this—the stuff is designed for paper, not a screen. I really have to wonder if anyone that designed for the iPad has actually tried reading the type they’ve set on screen. I also wonder if they actually use a web browser to read stuff. If so, I’d like to know their reading habits on screen and if they actually own an iPad. The type is awful, there’s zero consideration for line length, leading and pace. It’s petty easy to blame Adobe, inDesign and their workflow programs. But I also have to wonder if left in the hands of developers and engineers if we’d be better off—I doubt it.
While most of Virgin’s Project looked like it was designed in inDesign there’s aspects like the type placed over video that makes me hopeful that new programs will be developed for the iPad. Print programs can’t import video. The biggest issue holding back new methods of publishing is using print programs like inDesign. Experts in readability on paper have done a poor job translating the experience on screen. I hope some of the people dropping type try reading what they’re setting for screen because it’s not pretty. Trying to replicate one experience onto another really ignores the potential advantages. Hopefully they realize this before it’s too late. I also hope there’s a publication next year that makes me want to buy a second edition.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned Stacked. Essentially you subscribe to Stacked and in return you get magazines mailed to you that are very unique and slightly off the mainstream radar. It’s a great idea that I was curious to experience myself. A couple days ago I received my first mailing that included Pin–Up from the US d[xi] was from Spain. If you read the letter that’s enclosed you’ll find out that it is run by one individual—Andrew Losowsky. In light of all the iPad hype and the closed off nature of how publications are trying to become apps, a service like this is quite remarkable.
When my friend Ray recently im’d me about a magazine he wanted to pass along to me, I was all for it of course—it had been awhile since I reviewed anything from print. When I saw the cheap blue photocopier paper coming out of a brown envelope I was like “hmm, what is this?”. My snobby design sensibilities were kicking in. As I thumbed through it I was a bit surprised at how bad it looked. Questions like why did they do this, why not just a make a pdf, were they trying to be ironically unironic etc? I think Ray could sense my unease of wanting to talk about it on the blog. I think he may have thought I was a lost cause.
Later that night when I got home I took a second look. I’m happy that I didn’t let the designer in me censor myself. From the front to the back I can’t recall enjoying a publication as much as Manzine. The form fits the content perfectly. It’s actually really well designed. At one point I went to the masthead to see who in fact did design this thing. I had to laugh as they were already in for the ride; Woz was apparently the desktop publisher. My favourite spread both for content and layout was the one about Baskerville, neon lights and pro cycling. Using the neon typeface for talking about neon while almost predictable wasn’t because it’s a really old typeface that’s hard to come by these days. Other articles worthy to note were about gravy boats and garages. When was the last time one magazine talked about all those things, and actually did it quite well?
The issue that I was reading was #2. I’m not sure when #3 is coming out though I presume it will be sometime in the winter as this was the summer issue. I can’t recommend ordering this mag enough—if you go to their site at http://themanzine.blogspot.com/ you can order a copy for a couple dollars. Plus the site has bunch of the content from the magazine to browse.
This week’s collection of stuff that I’ve found interesting via Link Drop contains a lot of new themes. There’s stuff about smell, flowers and even Whole Foods. Apple makes it’s usual appearance, though in a more positive light. I also seem to be listening to a lot of personal stories via podcasts and interviews. Hopefully if it’s raining where you are like it is in NYC today, you have some time to check some links out that you may not have come across otherwise.
After reading this, I wasn’t exactly sure what people were going crazy about. I’ve used the service a couple times and was happy with the results. The kicker is that if people don’t like using it, they’re not forced to. And don’t get me started on the proposed redesigns—the idea reminds me of the stupidity that wired did when they asked people to redesign google. sigh… I did have to laugh when it was mentioned in the article about how people have tried to redesign it.
If you’re looking for some music to listen to while going through this issue of Link Drop, I’d recommend this mix.
I actually read this post before the wired article. Kind of puts things into perspective, to a degree.
I didn’t know this designer but it still saddened me to read none the less. The Canadian design community has lost a passionate person that was doing what he loved. You can see more of his work via Mark Busse.
Interesting responses to the dreaded term Social Media. Bonous points are awarded to anyone that checks this additional link: Epic Privacy Information Center
Great idea to repurpose technology for portfolio viewing pleasure. Though I still think a blog is the best way to show what work a designer has done.
This post wins the award for longest read, but more importantly—most interesting read too. Who knew, certainly not me.
So what’s your favourite smell?
This was a last minute drop before I published this Link Drop. I’m really liking how magazines are taking a risk by showing people how they really are. Apparently the issue of the magazine is close to selling out already.
There’s no hope for design and business if Ikea is turning its back on what they stand for. Wtf is all I could say when I first read about this.
Another type story, this time not so bad. I thought the comparisons helped a lot to see what they were up to.
I haven’t tried this yet though I have seen it in action, and it helped the presentation. Good breakdown of what the tool is.
I was surprised by the reaction to this post after I tweeted about it—so for more reaction I’ve added it here.
I liked how the rational for his designs were brought out via the narrative of the questions.
Cool idea to create funding for creative projects.
This was one of the smarter ways of getting the word out about SXSW panels. The discussion in the comments section of the post is worth clicking on in itself.
All of these steps are relevant to designer’s too.
These illustrations are great. And the purchase aspect is quite easy too, though I have to admit I haven’t bought of them yet.
I’m surprised that I didn’t come across this info from more sources. If it’s true, what a coup for Apple.
If you’ve ever thought about quarantine, perhaps you might be interested in designing something around the concept.
The business implications of talking about politics when you’re the face of a company.
Sort of apt considering every other day it’s been raining in NYC.
This post is for the architects out there reading this.
I’ve haven’t surfed yet but it seems like it’s been everywhere I’ve been in NYC this summer. Sure I live on an island but it’s a bit unexpected for me.
Yet more advice for newspapers, this time about content.
A diagram that puts things into time perspective. Great terms: Rocket Ship, Hot Company, and Slow Burner.
I think these type of posts are worth passing on because they get to the reason d’etre of why someone design’s something. It also goes back to my mention of portfolios above using google maps.
It’s never a bad idea to include an interview with the artist of one of the best albums of the year.
Aug 27: Canadian model Liskula Cohen on winning her lawsuit against bloggers* Bob Garfield on his new book “The Chaos Scenario”, about the scorched landscape of traditional media in the digital age* A panel discussion on heavy metal
The interview with Liskula Cohen is worth a listen, the silence in between answers and follow up questions was a bit strange. But it wasn’t that strangeness that made me listen to it a couple more times, but more about the response to how things were settled. The rest of the podcast wasn’t too bad either.
I’m always going on about how wonderful iPhone apps are, and how they’re easier to use than real sites. This post puts that into question in a good way.
This week’s edition of Link Drop is a bit lighter than usual. The summer is supposed to be less busy but that doesn’t seem to be the case and in turn that means less time to collect and filter interesting stuff on the interwebs. The new iPhone came out which made me happy as I was getting tired of my 2nd generation iPhone that I’ve had for a couple years. I’ll post a review about that once I’ve fully tested it out. Other things that caught my attention related to process and technology quite a bit.
#CNNfail: Twitter Blasts CNN Over Iran Election
I tried to keep the amount of blog posts related to Iran, news and the social apps that were sending out information to a minimum. Fascinating to see how CNN on tv really dropped the ball with Iran in the beginning of the election only to be castigated with those people that expected more from a trusted source.
5 Ways to Redesign a City
A quick post with links to how interaction design can help redesign a city. Personally I’m not sure why the pdf had to call out “interaction design” and not just use the profession of design…
Inside the GPS Revolution: 10 Applications That Make the Most of Location
There’s a lot of interesting ideas in this one, every designer should read this.
Crowdsourcing: What It Means for Innovation
Some additional comments about crowdsourcing. Not much new insight into the idea but worth a quick glance.
Mapping a better world
Smart article about turning abstract concepts into information that people can understand while looking at maps.
Great collection of visualization posters. Lots to look at for reference, and if so inclined—purchase. The site is nicely designed too.
Flip Flop Fly Ball
If you like baseball or a fan of data visualization, this is the site for you. Surprised I haven’t heard of it before this week.
Is Design Thinking bullshit?
How could I not include a post with a title like that in Link Drop? Nothing really new again about design, but interesting how they compare “design thinking” to the ppt version of how a product is developed. Has a couple links included in the post worth looking at too.
The Difference Between Analogue And Digital Part II: Time
I’m always interested in reading about people’s experiences from the two worlds out there, real and digital. They take a comparative view of how scheduling and time works out in both of those world’s.
Not a Daily Drawing: Work for The Webby Awards and w+k
While portfolio sites have their place, working examples like this are much more powerful in my opinion. They show the design in the real world and give it a voice from the person creating the work. Plus there’s rss, so it can be distributed to those that subscribe to the blog.
Use Their Work Free? Some Artists Say No to Google
I got really mad after reading this article. It’s completely arrogant and ignorant to treat design like this. Especially when they can actually afford to pay people to be art directed.
Can You Estimate The Value Of Exposure?
Interesting post from the original NYT article I referenced above.
The Newsweek Redesign: Hit or Miss?
This post is probably more interesting for the comments then the actual post. A number of people voice their opinion on the new Newsweek design. What do you think, have you even picked up a copy in the last couple of years?
I liked the photo comparing three different adapters for juicing up an iPhone.
Flickr Mobile for Android & iPhone Shows You Photos Taken Nearby Your Current Location (Sort of anyway)
Pretty cool feature, I’ve tried it on my iPhone with ok results. It’s location is a bid broad but the concept is fascinating.
Why the iPhone will never be the biggest money generating platform
There’s a lot to consider with this post and the reference info. Interesting to note that the iPhone is about 1% of the mobile market.
The iPhone is a Subscription
A different way to look at how the iPhone is sold.
Art & Copy (Advertising Industry Documentary, Sundance 2009)
I want to see the film Art & Copy, seems like it could be more interesting then Helvetica…
Re-envisioning The Trading Floor
I kind of wished they went into more depth with the trading floor.
Whatever you do, don’t center that logo!
Funny how American Eagle Outfitters is causing such discomfort to Mr. Kingsley at Landor.
Palm Pre Launches with System Fonts by Font Bureau
I’m not sure the Palm Pre is really going to make a dent to the iPhone, but I’m always interested in reading how typefaces are developed for on screen applications.
A collection of what’s been released typeface wise for 2009 so far.
Hug Chair by Ana Kraš
I really like the balance of this chair. I wonder what it’s like to sit in…
WSDOT South Central Region Sign Shop – Flickr set
We see signs all day long every day. But have we really considered how their produced? Here’s a bunch of photos of street signs being made. Cool stuff.
I like this idea more then turning the volume to 11.
From “Top Gun” to top shot
Cool collection of photos and process on how it was captured.
girl at a window
This type of photo collection is actually quite difficult to pull off successfully.
Readerville 2000-2009, Thanks for the Memories
It’s too bad that this site has stopped. They had quite the run to say the least.
I’m not entirely sure why but I’m pretty happy how this week turned out for Link Drop. Lots of Design process, typography, NYC, social and business stuff. Art doesn’t usually get mentioned that much, but there’s a couple mentions of it. Usually by Wednesday I’m wondering if I’m going to have enough stuff that keep me interested, and it was the same this week. Yet I managed to find more then I’ve been able to post for a couple weeks—go figure.
This is one of my new favourite reading sites. While they don’t have a ton of free books to choose from, the option of having small chunks of the story emailed on a daily basis is nice. Through a five or ten minute read on a daily basis the chances of completing the book grow exponentially. There’s also a really nice UI that goes along with the options when a person chooses a book.
Focusing Design Solutions on Social Problems
Happy to read about design in a non flashy way once in a while. Using process to get to a better understanding and changing behavior is what it’s all about.
One of the most interesting aspects is the first comment suggesting that volunteering isn’t just a thing of socialists but also of religion—I just found that interesting in a non obvious way. And by my suggesting this, probably way too much of a generalization but, I’m pretty sure most people that are on the digital side have never considered how closely those two ideals in sharing knowledge are. I know I didn’t.
Making Policy Public: Predatory Equity
Every once in a while I get email from Urban Omnibus mentioning posts that they’ve put up. What I appreciate about the info is that the posts really dig into using design for improvement and talk about how they did it.
Great post for anyone that’s motivated about their career. If you’re successful you’ve probably already been in the same mindset, but it’s good to remember those ideals once in a while.
Web Visions 2009 Presentation
These pdfs are a really great source of information for people in the business of design. Like REALLY helpful—go there now and download them!
A collection of information on Agile Process—happy to see my presentation included.
The New New Economy: More Startups, Fewer Giants, Infinite Opportunity
This is why I wanted to go to a startup to learn what big business couldn’t teach.
How David Beats Goliath
I haven’t had time to read this, but I think I’m going to like it…
Not by Links Alone
Smart post that anyone interested in news, search or google should read.
Advice For NYT’s Social Media Editor: Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken—And Do A Lot Of Listening
Advice that anyone working on the interwebs should probably take a look at.
Nice simple search results page combining google and twitter.
Some tips from Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt
A collection of quotes.
Ebon Heath and his visual poetry
Really novel way of using letters in art.
Typography in China
Fascinating breakdown of type design in China.
OFFF 2009 | Sponsor Titles
I’m not usually a fan of motion design, but this is really smart though it does get a bit long. Great concept and well worth taking the time to watch the whole thing.
way shape form
Nice illustration/art thing.
Saddam’s Palaces: An Interview with Richard Mosse
I find it actually quite amazing that I can read something like this on a blog and probably wouldn’t expect to see it in a mainstream magazine. Kind of telling for the state of publishing.
Apple Pie Charts
Info design that is actually kind of meaningful and interesting. And can’t really be created on the computer the same way everything else seems to be being pumped out these days.
37 Data-ish Blogs You Should Know About
I found a couple new blogs in this list that I haven’t seen before.
2009 Indy 500 Car Tracker
Really fascinating way to watch the race within a couple minutes. There’s some interesting patterns that happen, and some that don’t emerge at all.
Interesting concept that I think can be built on.
I really like this combo of real life imagery and arrows juxtoposed together. It tells a story and then shows the actions afterwards. I don’t think I’ve come across this kind of visualization before.
This clock both makes me feel smarter and hurts my head at the same time.
Self Control App
Who couldn’t use a little help in terms of time management.
I’d like to hang out in a room drinking fancy drinks while this dj table was bouncing around. A couple super model would be an added bonous…
The book is here
Great idea from a talented illustrator, order his book from him and he’ll add one more illustration by hand. I also noticed that he was giving shout outs to people via twitter that were buying it.
Cover Story: Finger Painting
I think by now we’ve all seen the cover of the year from the New Yorker. What you may not have known is that I mentioned him in early March, which I found via twitter a couple days before that…
If you’re in Manhattan this weekend, be sure to be facing west around Saturday, May 30 — 8:17 P.M. It’s when you can see the sun fall directly down the streets of NYC.
Mannahatta in Miniature
I love looking at anything that has to do with Manhattan, especially with this project. I think I’m going to have to check out the exhibition this weekend, can’t wait to get my hands on the book at some point soon either.
Helsinki x New York
Sometimes I think NYC is small and then I read a post like this and it shrinks even more. Nice write up from a couple friends on different sides of the pond at the moment.
Heralding the Latest Street Closures
Hopefully you’re not tired of me talking about NYC because what is going on in Manhattan with the streets is very special. Super cool to see what in my backyard. I’m so looking forward to not bumping into so many people at rush hour once the roads have been taken back to pedestrians.
I’m hopping that publishing Link Drops on a Sunday as opposed to a Friday will stop after this week. I took the last week off hoping to get a lot of writing done, but life got in the way and I took the time to talk with a lot of people face to face. No complaints of course but I’m now weeks behind with what I wanted to have completed. Anyhow, I did still mange to find some ideas worth sharing.
Eliss – for iPhone and iPod touch
I’ve only played this game a handful of times so will it have a longevity—I don’t know. But after seeing this tweet I’ve said it before but Eliss on the iPhone is a milestone in multi-touch design and interaction: http://www.toucheliss.com/ You must buy it brendandawes I can’t really disagree. I’m only on stage three but I’m curious to see how my thinking with my hands and mind evolve.
Wooster In The White House – An Explanation
This post is worth pointing out for a number of reasons. First and foremost there’s a conversation that is going on that really hasn’t happened yet. Different channels have been created via the interwebs that are spreading info differently than people have time to recognize. Now that there’s a pause there’s some great conversations starting. The response post is worth a read too thoughts
no title thanks to tumblr
This is an amazing photo—reminds me a bit of HBO’s Voyeur stuff that was being projected on apartments last year. Scary thing is that it’s real, happening right now and probably just a couple blocks away from me.
A New Business Model for Digital Agencies
This was a great thing for me to read after my talk because I have a lot of questions how any agency can survive these days inside it’s current format. I really wanted to have a conversation afterwards about agile which didn’t really happen, my fault I don’t know. But I was happy to see others are asking the same thing.
Marissa Mayer, Larry Page on Journalism’s Future
Again, I like reading about Daylife via the lens of other people’s perspectives.
Total Recall: The Woman Who Can’t Forget
Haven’t read this yet, but I saw a couple people reference it out there that I know, so I might as well take a look too once I get a chance to catch my breath from running around.
Music to design to
Good question to ask every once in awhile. Maybe there’s a new fav. undiscovered group within those listings you haven’t seen before.
Nice find about the typical mta ride time around NYC. I’ve played with the idea of doing something similar for walking, but I’m not sure if it would really be that helpful.
This looks really cool.
TCHO: Graphics and Chocolate
Great process explanation of typography.
NQB WTF: Study Ball
This could be more helpful than one thinks. I’d like to give it a try to see if it’s helpful or not.
SIEGE Audio Company—The Stealth
Taking an old school idea for wires and making it contemporary. For some reason the product photo reminds me of boxing gloves.
Mies van der Rohe: demolish or not?
I think stuff like this should stay around if for no other reason then to give designers hope that you can do regular stuff and make extraordinary buildings when the right opportunity comes around.
Tilt Shifting Tokyo
Nice mix of photos and music for the tilt shift app floating around.
Here and There in Manhattan 2
This is a continuation of two week’s worth of Link Drop’s looking at Manhattan. I really like the split screen that show things similar and dissimilar at the same speed.
F.A.Q. for Y.O.U.
Scott asks a great question that allows others to share their POV on “how aspiring writers find aspiring artists to collaborate with these days.”
Cards of Change
Interesting idea with the cards you still have.
David Horvitz: FOR 2009, IDEA SUBSCRIPTION__ – collaborative open source conceptual art
Reminds me of time, energy and the ability to pass things on.
iStat: Find out what’s going on inside your Mac
I’m sure there’s other apps out there, but it was nice to be reminded how I can make my MBP run better via info that shouldn’t be that hard to see in the first place.
Big Brand 1080px Design
Seeing past the 960px grid.
Philips de Pury: Photographs
Good addition to that image above of the apartments getting their face torn off.
Amazon Turns Publisher
Sure people talk about google and apple, but I think Amazon is the thing to keep an eye on at the moment. They’re selling stuff but their also making a move on editorial that could influence things in a way that a traditional publisher could never pull off.
This was a pretty good week for me overall. I got some great coverage from Slate and CNN, and from the feedback so far, I gave a good talk for CreativeMornings. But it wasn’t entirely perfect. I ended being a part of ten15am which was probably the best for everyone involved. Sometime in the not so distant future I’ll do a post on some of the more interesting things I discovered being part of that group. Theme wise it was a bit all over the place. For some strange reason air was a big theme, along with typography. There’s also a couple follow up links from last week’s Link Drop.
Kill Your RSS Reader
Slate’s technology columnist Farhad Manjoo tests out my tab system for finding good stuff on the web
Tech Trends: time to ditch RSS?
CNN’s SciTechBlog bulds off of the Slate post about my tab system. Lots of interesting comments ensue after it’s published.
Another interesting-smart-fruitful-amazing-creative morning
A nice summation of my CreativeMornings talk that I did on Friday morning (and hence no Link Drop till Sunday).
Making Policy Public: Vendor Power!
This is a follow up link from my mention last week. Probably one of my favourite projects that I’ve come across this year, designer Candy Chang goes through the process designing something to demystify the rules and regulations of street vending in New York City.
Here & There influences
Another follow up link, this time about those crazy maps of Manhattan. Lots of interesting influences that I didn’t realize at first glance.
London Sign Fonts Tell Their Own Stories
Every city tells this story in a unique way, for this post Scott Burnham walks around London to see what they type is telling him.
Letters and bars
Taking a look at the typography of some bars around Amsterdam.
Cool to see that Verlag is now available for anyone to buy. There’s some good blurbs in this annoucement about designer and typographer working together to create something that has staying power.
15 Years of the Public Theater in 45 seconds
Amazing video showing the eclectic nature of visually recognizable theatre in design circles.
I was happy to read this post from a friend as I was curious to hear her take on the unrebranding of Tropicana.
Cool collection of design images.
My Favorite Day Of The Year
I don’t think I’ve ever read a post from a designer talking about horses—now I can say I have.
Super Views of Super Cells by Stormchaser Jim Reed
It’s the start of crazy weather season—here’s some images to kick that off.
Anti-Development Street Art Spotted in Nolita, Greenpoint
Street art with a message. Interesting take on development going on.
Islands at the Top of the World – Airships Revisited
Cool images of futuristic blimps. My favourite one pictured above looks like a while. Great visual metaphor.
Aerial Virtual tour of New York
Amazing views of New York with the ability to circle around. It would be even cooler if I could fly around the whole city aside from just a fixed point—yet it’s still quite amazing to interact with.
Twitter’s Real Power = Influence
My obligatory post about twitter doing something.
Data, Not Design, Is King in the Age of Google
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this article is getting across, but it’s still interesting to read how twitter and google are being compared in the media.
The publishers dilemma
There’s a couple options for publishers as they try to figure out the digital world that is now changing the typical value chain in publishing: authors –> agents –> publishers –> whole-sellers –> retailers –> consumers that could be turned into authors –> retailers –> consumers.
How to Save Media
More ideas about how old media should try to figure out how to survive in today’s world.
The Xerox Star UI
Fascinating description of digital dirt and how the shift of one pixel made it disappear. I also just like looking at the collection of icons for the UI as well.
The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time
This collection is fascinating for a bunch of different reasons, and not just for the list itself. When something akin to a best of list, there’s a lot of editorial consideration which Amazon in my mind hasn’t been known for in the past. Usually they’d put up a ranking that is compiled entirely of data of numbers that represent what people are buying. With this list, that has changed. A person compiled that which adds all sorts of subjectiveness into play. The second thing that struck me is that there isn’t a simple buy all button. What if I were rich and could actually afford all 100 of those albums. There’s no easy way to do that which is kind of surprising to me. Additionally I thought the comments afterwards was helpful too—other people could chime in to what they considered to be the best albums. A good counter balance to the amazon official list.
I am an Uncertain Bro.
Good collection of “no’s” a bro goes through.
Let’s face it, design magazines are not immune to the collapse of the print industry. Some magazines have already shut down and by this time next year who knows what will be left. Just like most of the old media they were behind the times and haven’t really set up the infrastructure to thrive and deliver content how a lot of people take in their information. What’s interesting to me is that I’ve come recently I’ve come across a number of smart ideas to replace the old idea of what a design magazine used to be. While I can’t rate any of the content because I’m basically just flipping through the publications on screen like a person used to do in their favourite magazine shop, there’s a couple things to note.
When a friend told me about the idea of Design Business Review I was actually quite interested in the concept of it. They’ve tried to create a relevant magazine that combines design as business, something that has been lacking in the craft friendly design magazine world. They’ve excerpted a number of issues to give an understanding of what the entire article is about. If you’re interested you can buy a
digital print version for $13 bucks. It’s up to you if you want to print it out or read it on screen. On the editorial side it seems like they’ve played it safe with the content of the first issue—can’t say for sure as I haven’t read it. Hopefully they’ll push out of the name dropping in upcoming issues that I normally expect from regular design magazines. But the main thing to take away is that Print on Demand is here and being put to good use.
From the blog of the same name It’s Nice That has upped the ante with what looks like a quality design publication that could kick the butt of the traditional magazine. They’ve taken their passion for showing stuff online and made a quality print version. Again—all I can say is that it “looks like” because I don’t have the actually thing in hand. But what I can see is via Flickr: It’s Nice That Issue #1. If a publication is taking photos like they did, you know their proud and happy to share what they’ve done. The only catch (like all print) is that a person has to order a copy and wait patiently for it to come in the mail. For someone like me who wants things asap once I’ve decided I want something this isn’t an ideal situation. But it’s an interesting contrast to Print on Demand.
FILE MAGAZINE looks to be another high quality magazine for the same reasons I mentioned above for It’s Nice That. They’ve also got loving photos of their print version on Flickr: FILE ISSUE 1. But the added community feature of letting people share their own stuff that could be in future magazines is really smart at Flickr Group Pool: FILE – Photography and Graphic Design search. While It’s Nice that can rely on their own content as they’re talking about it online all the time, FILE can keep the door open to finding stuff that they may not have otherwise seen if they stayed within the constraints of what they know. There’s no guarantee that anyone that adds their work to the group will be in an upcoming issue—but it’s a really smart way to find gems.
A couple weeks ago Blogs.com asked me if I was willing to pass them on a list of design blogs based in NYC (I considered Brooklyn as part of this list) of my choosing. I thought it wouldn’t be that tough—but of course it was, not because of the quantity but because design for me can be a fairly broad term. There’s a lot of categories that blur into each other. To help me see where the blogs fell into, I made a 2×2 grid. Within the grid I made each of them have a 4 letter name so they could fit on the grid in a consistent manner—kind of like a stock ticker. As I started putting together the list, I’d check a certain number of blogs each day with the intention of if someone could only open eleven blogs (after all I’d want to include DesignNotes) each morning from NYC, which sites would give the biggest amount of great content that wasn’t overlapping each other. I also didn’t want the list to turn into something akin to what everyone else would pick as popular blogs, but show that there’s a bigger range than the expected norm that everyone lists. The sites below are what came I ended up with. That list became known as Ten Design-Related Blogs from NYC.
I’ve always been a bit skeptical of other listings like this to some degree whether from magazines or other blogs because they felt very buddy, buddy. One could argue the same thing about me—people would be wrong to think that of course, but now maybe I was wrong to be skeptical of others intentions in the past—I don’t know. But just to be fair here’s a breakdown of how these blogs flow into DesignNotes: People behind the blogs that I’ve met in person: 6/10, People I’ve shared email correspondence: 8/10, People I don’t know at all: 3/10, Number of of blogs that have been mentioned in my Link Drop: 10/10, and People I’ve had a beer with: 4/10.
The Blogs.com listing Ten Design-Related Blogs from NYC can be found at blogs.com/topten/10-design-related-blogs-from-nyc.
A clean curated design blog that emphasizes grids, typography and whitespace done well—very calming blog.
i [love] marketing. (ILVM)
Don’t be fooled by the title, this blog is much smarter than the typical blog pushing marketing ideas. Not afraid to question the status quo out there, lots of ideas to consider.
Ashley Simko (ASMK)
There’s a constant flow of great design images, quotes and thoughts daily if not hourly placed on display. I’m curious to see this blog evolves over time.
PLUS and MINUS things (P&MT)
The image selection is always compelling as it is unique. Lots of photography and industrial design stuff.
Here’s a blog that talks a lot about UX design in a manner that’s understandable to anyone, yet isn’t holding back from great observations.
A ton of diverse links, it’s hard to be bored when there’s a source like this out there.
They cover a lot of different areas of design and marketing. If something is kind of interesting out there in a commercial sense, they’ll probably talk about it.
A bellwether blog for all other reblog design sites, the number of people that gravitate to what is mentioned on this site is incredible.
There’s a constant flow of news in the design world from fonts, furniture, art and architecture
Wooster Collective (WOST)
A great source and authority on all things street art.
There’s been a lot of talk about API’s for a couple years now. In terms of technology evolution a lot of breakthroughs have/will come via the sharing of data and how it’s implemented. But what if you’re not an engineer or have that much technology background, you’re going to be sitting on the sidelines. Sadly a lot of people that do know how to play with API’s aren’t really showing anything new and those that could have no idea how to start. That got me thinking about books and magazines. I’ve been noticing a trend to grab stuff on the net and print it out, but the catch is that they’re setting the type with their own preferences of fonts, size, leading etc. Electronic readers are also allowing people to set their own type preferences which if I follow to my own logical end makes me wonder how much longer a designer will be needed to lay out digital books. But that’s not what I’m wanting to talk about here. What I’m wondering about is if a book or issue of a magazine is sold out, how is one able to read the valuable content if they can’t get their hands on it?
I didn’t really have a case study until just recently when I went to my favourite design magazine that has stopped publishing issues. This certain magazine probably influenced me more than anything else design wise—not because of the design (though each issue is now seen as a classic), but because it was written by those outside the established norm of design, they had something to say as opposed to something to push. I went back to check out their site to see what issues they had left. Unfortunately there weren’t that many issues, most were already sold out. That’s when it hit me—if most of the issues are already paid for and sold, why not sell an image free .txt file that people can do anything with. It’s a crazy idea, but why not? The choice is that no one is going to be able to read it vs. some people that never would have had the chance to finally take in some of that info.
Kind of curious, I sent an email to the editor of the magazine asking him about my crazy idea. To his credit he got back to me pretty quickly and mentioned that the topic was quite timely as they’re in the middle of getting a 500+ page best of book together. And to be fair they do have some of the best essays already available on their site. So for now there still seems a market for books that are really designed as opposed to diy which is good. But it’s still an interesting question to consider, if publishers started selling books as .txt files would they be helping or hurting themselves? There’s those that would never had bought the publication to begin with, and those that do start playing with the text are more likely to buy better versions once they realize that diy isn’t always the best experience when it comes to reading.
Two weeks ago I stopped subscribing to the NYT print edition. It was a slow downward spiral, at first I went from a whole subscription to the weekend edition. One of the main reasons why I kept up, just for the weekend was because of the magazine. While I still don’t think the online edition does the print version any justice I decided I could do with out the print version after learning on twitter that Janet Froelich was leaving the magazine. The fact that I learned about design news on twitter should give us all pause btw…
The reason for that preface is that I had a very small sum of money that I had budget to print media consumption that I could put elsewhere. I’ve always wanted to be a reader of the economist, the content can’t really be matched and they have great advertising. I follow the Economist on twitter and I think I saw a link from them mentioning that they now have the latest edition posted online. I spent the eight bucks to see what I would get.
It turns out that they’ve broken every story into an audio file, numbered and titled it correctly. The sound quality is great and the production value is really nice. The only issue is that it’s over eight hours. I think I started listening to it on Saturday and I just finished the whole thing today. I went from cover to cover, next week I would re-order things so I get the important stuff to me first, just in case I don’t listen to the whole thing.
As weird as it is for all the different types of media to be converging and mutating into each other, the control and ability to finish something like the Economist is great. Maybe there is a future for magazines as a better version of radio in the form of a music file.
This weeks version of Link Drop Contextd has a lot more videos than usual. There’s nothing to point to why this is the case. There’s also the obligatory nods to street art and politics with technology as things that interest me. The tone of a lot of blogs these days feels like people are in survival mode but also very interested in what’s next. That’s still an open question but it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes on what people aren’t just saying but the action behind it. And that inevitably that leads to the question of will it make money? While that’s hard to judge there’s other costs involved. If you don’t do anything are you hurting yourself more?
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Brendan Dawes on the craft of making
I saw this ten minute talk a couple weeks ago at White Rabbit. I don’t know Brendan at all, but much to my surprise he had a lot of good things to say about Daylife’s api. But that’s not why I think people should watch this – his creative process about putting together random pieces as an experiment are quite fascinating. He takes three different ideas to combine them for a completely unexpected experience that otherwise would not have existed.
I kind of forgot about Death Cab for Cutie but was like hmm, this video is quite compelling. And it’s animated which I don’t think would have had the same impact otherwise.
Bailouts Spike Atlas Shrugged Sales
What can I say, this is still one of my favourite books. I guess my question is where in the US are people buying this now.
Road Map for Financial Recovery: Radical Transparency Now! and Web-Savvy Obama Team Hits Unexpected Bumps
A couple tech. infused politic posts about building from the ground up Obama style. Just makes you wonder how anything was happening before in Washington though electronic communication. thanks for the links Lindsay Ballant
Google icon design for Macworld 2009 by Ji Lee…
I prefer this logo to that stupid favicon in the toolbar of my browser. I realize that there’s a difference in scale between the two graphics, but…
Putting a Bolder Face on Google
Interesting insight into how some of the design decisions get made at google.
MoMA Prefers Its Boring Unmolested Ads and Poster Boy & Aakash Nihalani Remix the MoMA Collection
This was such a great idea in so many ways. Considering that MoMA could use a bit of spark they really closed down an option to be creative. If an art institution isn’t willing to be creative or new, what industry is going to be?
Shepard Fairey’s Lost DJ Playlist
A short interview with great questions – what was Fairey going to play at his opening in Boston before being arrested?
Infantilizing Reality with Imaginary Worlds
Those mini cities that are popping up more often aren’t exactly unique. Here’s a collection of them.
The Quick Brown – watching FOX headlines change over time
Looking at these edits is kind of interesting, it would be fascinating to see how other news organizations change things too.
Observations, Complaints, Quibbles, and Suggestions Regarding the Safari 4 Public Beta Released One Week Ago, Roughly in Order of Importance
A thorough review of the new safari browser.
If you’ve just moved to a new city and perhaps the locals speak a different language, how do you find and keep track of places you like to hang at?
I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more examples like this.
Magazine Web Site Traffic Up 11 Percent in Q4
The interesting stat from this is that most of the increase is not from people that read the paper version of the magazine. If that happens those stats would go through the roof.
Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman
I think I subconsiously have that new Objectified documentary in my head.
Jonathan Ive TV interview
x2 I think I subconsiously have that new Objectified documentary in my head.
The future of the green blogosphere
I think this concept relates to most of the blogosphere.
I’m not usually into this kind of art, but there’s something kind of interesting with these visuals.
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After reading Milton Glaser on Shepard Fairey and Plagiarism from Print magazine, I couldn’t help but think wow – what a bunch of hypocrites. But not for what you might be thinking I have a problem with. I’m not going to try to convince you of one artist’s technique of interpretation. If you’re not a fan of how Shepard Fairey uses his voice, nothing I can say is going to change your opinion. What I take issue with is that Milton decides to speak up now about it. “It’s just too close to the original observations of the photographer. It doesn’t seem clean to me.” Fair enough – but surely he’s felt that way before. Why not feel the need to call out every single designer that he doesn’t think has done something right. I have a big problem with the selective moral authority that is all too common. If you’re going to make an example of one person, I’d hope he’d take the time to call out his friends and others that in the past that deserve the same moral lecture yet somehow b/c they’re well known in the old graphic design community, people just don’t bother saying anything. I find that completely hypocritical.
That brings me to Print magazine. Again, the number of design people that they celebrate on a monthly basis with out any critical attention is kind of interesting. If they’re going to get all moral, maybe they should sharpen their focus outside of fluff and talk more about designer’s influences, sources and getting real about the fact that nothing is original anymore. I think Fairey is an easy topic for them when compared with brand name designer that they typically pull quotes from. They would never turn the tables on the people that they rely on for “authority”. The reason why 95% of mainstream design writing can’t be taken seriously is that without the recognized name quoted in the story, there’s little substance left. Conventional thinking is that if you at least have a name quoted that people recognize it must be correct and significant. While I don’t hold much hope that things will change anytime soon w/ publications that rely on the same patterns to create a story, the fact that they’re not the only voice now makes them less relevant more then ever.
I wanted to give this post a week before I mentioned anything. Last weekend in the NYT Sunday Magazine there was a great series of illustrations from the Heads of State for the article The Big Fix. It’s a timely series that is uniquely contemporary, and more to the point – great concepts. The thing that bothers me, and this a blank general statement, but the web has yet to figure out how to show great illustration on the web. PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG if you disagree. I want to see those great sites that elevate illustration like paper does. Is it kind of ironic for me to suggest that since my main method of distribution is online? Maybe, but I also think it’s a worthy challenge to strive for.
I follow a lot of headlines for a number of reasons – b/c I’m interested in what’s going on out there, and I’m very curious to see how people are passing out info, that info usually being some sort of news bit. When I design I typically lean towards trying to connect an image as much as possible to a headline to give it context, plus people are more likely to be drawn to images that look interesting to them. Conventional thought is once they’ve become interested in the image they’re more likely to click on the headline. But then there’s times when it’s not appropriate either. And what’s tripping up that theory for me is a tumblr site that has the headlines to BlackBook Magazine. I’m not sure if http://bbook.tumblr.com/ is coming from someone inside the publisher or not, that’s actually not that important to my point below.
Before I explain why that tumblr site is actually more successful than its visual real site for my point and click habits I need to mention that I’m not a huge fan of using tumblr personally. I’ve created three sites and haven’t been motivated to update them regularly. But what I will mention is that my opinion of the tumblr has changed significantly. I get more traffic from tumblr sites to DesignNotes then I do for search from Google. My seo has never been that bad so that’s not the issue, when people reblog a post and someone decides to visit, they viewer knows exactly what they’re going to get. Search from Google can be a bit of a guess and doesn’t always satisfy why someone would want to come to a site. But I digress…
Back to why I’m more likely to click on those BlackBook tumblr headlines to the nicely designed real BlackBook Magazine site: As sad as it is for a visual person like myself, the stripped down version from tumblr gives the power to the words as opposed to having my eye follow many, many different starting points. It’s not noise per say, but too many options. Of course the reverse could be said if all I saw was 1000’s of headlines with no context. The power of the writing lives and dies with the tumblr site which is kind of risky. If it’s not a great headline I’ll never click it (unless someone passes me the link at a later date), as opposed to a sub par headline but great image that may pique my interest in clicking. “It all depends” is the easy way to look at it, but it leaves things up to interpretation which is always a gray area.
While thinking about the plain headlines it got me also thinking about Bloomberg’s news site which is anchored with just headlines. Stark headlines letting the content speak for itself should be a winner for the same reason why I mentioned tumblr above. The thing is that I don’t visit that often – not b/c of the writing but b/c I can’t take the black background. It’s a personal preference that I’ve come to accept. But soon as I reverse the site to white it’s infinitely easier for me to read.
Would I recommend that every site kill all their images and just go headlines? No, most sites kind of look like everything else which at this moment in time is part of the online UX beast. That trend will change, just not tomorrow. However it would be interesting to give people a couple options on how to look at a site. Just as some sites allow for people to increase the font size or change the background colour, maybe there should be a button that stripes all the images and just gives headlines. That would be interesting to see.
This week I thought I go with quantity and quality for Link Drop Contextd and leave the commentary short and sweet and let the site titles speak for themselves. Considering how much I enjoy football and that it’s the super bowl this weekend, I’m surprised that I didn’t come across that many related links. I’m also surprised that I didn’t mention one related link about Twitter. Till next week or blog post, ciao…
WHAT TECHNOLOGY HAS TAUGHT US AT DIZZYING SPEED
Do you press the doorbell with your finger or your thumb? It’s kind of telling of your age apparently.
ORIGAMI IN THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION
After watching this video I kind of want to buy a pair of these shoes, too bad they’re not campers though.
FULLSCREEN GIGAPAN VIEWER
The zoom in this is crazy clean
DOPPLR’S MOMENT OF LONG WOW
If only every service could provide this kind of feeling in their users
My Dopplr Annual Report
Another take from someone else talking about Dopplr
9 REASONS WHY CADBURY’S EYEBROWS ARE A HIT
Never been a huge fan of this campaign, but it’s hard to argue with the reasoning why it works
Drumming Gorillas and Techno Eyebrows
Another pov of the campaign
BOND YIELD MAKEOVER
Interesting what happens when you remove elements
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a site just on beards – but I kind of am. There’s also a pretty cool poster on the site for sale.
Good article, really interesting image via txt…
CELL PHONE CAMERAS FOREVER
Amazing image of the night, very telling
HOW TO BEHAVE
I really like these diagrams and colour combo
UPPERCASE – About the magazine
I’m kind of curious to see how this magazine turns out
adaptive path » mx
I haven’t watched all these video yet, but they’re a great resource for their upcoming conference
Obama Art Report
Surprise, surprise – more Obama related stuff
I’m thinking of buying this – surprised that they’re not charging more.
Arguing From First Principles
Good reference material, has a link to Charlie Rose worth watching
Pics from the design mind Motion Event
I have the latest issue of this in my hands, good as their previous print mag. Here’s some images from the launch.
The Obama Hope Poster, Shepard Fairey and photographer Mannie Garcia
Luv this iconic poster, interesting conversation about it
What Will Save the Suburbs?
I haven’t been that interested in this column until today – good observations on the suburbs
Great concept with rubber gloves
Hope In The White House
Like the idea behind the shirt though I think more then one dollar should be the donation
Small Can Be Big
A lot of charity sites could learn a thing or two from the design and concept behind this site
Matt Owens says GOOD-bye to 2008
Info design goodness about 2008
How times have changed
City Rain: Urban Design Tetris
Great post as per usual from Greg
The Designers Republic Remembered
No one’s immune these days, there’s a lesson to be learned for sure if you’re a graphic designer
QuickPost 2: Super Bowl Ad Live-Blog.
Interesting concept, kind of interested to read the commentary once things get to the fourth quarter and many beers have been drank. Too bad it’s not open to anyone commenting…
Haven’t had a chance to read all of this info, but it looks like a great reference none the less
Design For Social Impact & Innovation
Very curious to see how this whole year plays out with this – could be quite interesting
Aren’t all tag clouds placed in some sort of context? Probably, but I’d argue that the above tag cloud is much more interesting than the usual hierarchy of text that defined by size depending on quantity of usage. I’m not even a fan of Bruce Springsteen but I was interested in the info New York Magazine pulled from his lyrics just as much as a die hard fan. They’ve broken the categories into 1. His top ten favorites, 2. his women, 3. his cars, and 4. his haunts. You can view the article from the magazine here, though if you want a better view you might just want to check out the jpg I placed on flickr b/c you have to download a pdf to see the same page on the New York Magazine website. Why it’s a pdf I do not know…
Wanting to take a look back so I can figure out how to proceed with 2009, I grabbed a bunch of notable posts that I thought were worth spending a bit more time with. Below each image I’ve made a note now that I’ve had some time away from each of the original posts. Here’s to the new year and thanks for visiting, and linking and commenting and…
This seemed like a great idea at the time, trade my shuffle with someone else and hear some new music. I ended up trading but due to my own business it took way too long to trade back with her. I learned my lesson – anyone else want to try trading?
Copywronged Google Map
I wanted to combine some of my photography with a listing of location. Another idea with good intentions, problem was it took a lot of time to map it out and I had no way of exporting the data offline if I wanted to. So after a while I stopped posting to that map.
Architecture wrapped up as a shoe
This was before things really took off with Obama, I had seen the Hope graphic floating around the web but this was the first image I saw of it actually on the streets. A while after that post someone mailed me a couple of the posters. That was a very good day.
Orange Bicycles in New York
There was an interesting discussion after I posted this – unfortunately when I installed Disqus after the fact that comment stayed in the old database of comments. In effect the person was objecting to the commercialization of the idea of the Ghost Bike. At the time I was pretty much on the opposite side thinking that a company shouldn’t have to worry about worry such things. As I’ve walked a lot through the city and seen those white bikes out there, that person may have been correct with their objections.
This project is still going on for a couple weeks, but the number of people that saw it and contacted me after this post was quite amazing. Not sure where this project will end up but up until now it’s been interesting to watch it grow.
There was three events that were sort of art, sort of design that I really enjoyed seeing. One was MoMA’s Design and Elastic Mind Exhibition, Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum and Buckminster Fuller at the Whitney. I would have luved to have blogged more about the last two exhibitions but since they don’t allow photography inside I’ll just mention that it’s a stupid policy that will hurt them more than what it will help. Banksy’s installations would be up there too in really good things to have seen now that I think about it.
Can you exist without a permalink?
Just like the Frietag instruction booklet I mentioned above, Camper’s shoes are a product that other designers should want to strive for. They are perfect for the weather of NYC and never wear out. There’s only two brands of shoes that I buy, Camper and Giraudon.
A Tagger in your midst?
Pure genius via Wooster Collective
Faux Eiffel Tower Extension
Clay Shirky on Stephen Colbert
There’s a lot of really smart stuff in this book. In my top 3 of things to read, and more interestingly I don’t think this book will date itself as much as some of the others along the same genre that came out this year.
find, define, design
then refine the redesign
do it one more time
A friend wrote this for me over im as I talked about work…
I Hate Perfume, Ideas I Love
Today’s Sky Mention
What are you doing today?
The Flo in Florent
Scrolling Through Photos
Clean iPhone psd template
Say what you mean w/ a click
For all the chatter of sites that tagged brands, I think Dear Adobe changed the game more so than any other UGC site. If I was wanting to study site concepts for company’s, this is where I would start. And no, Adobe didn’t design the site.
How I Find Good Stuff on the Web
What’s your internet?
Looking at the Nooka Zon
I think I came across magCulture’s post about 01238 closing last month as it happened. But it was until tonight for some reason when I saw the post reappear at things to look at that I thought I’d give a spin to the digital version as that’s all that’s out there now. I’ve never been a big fan of digital formats that just throw the same content from paper to screen. That got me to want to see how the flow of the magazine would look if it was stitched in one entirely long version of scroll. Not vertically like a blog, but horizontal like a scroll. If you’re curious to see what an hour’s worth of copy + pasting looks, here’s the long version that’s slightly larger than a thumbnail. What’s helpful is that it gives you a sense of sequencing that is pretty hard to replicate on the web. What the thumbnail doesn’t show is the great retro ads.
I couldn’t help but find it interesting that the latest issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine takes on the Screen Issue w/ some of the sensibilities that we take for granted when we do actually read something on screen. While that is cool in it’s own right, it’s fun to compare that issue w/ the latest post from Hoefler & Frere-Jones “On the Death and 441-Year Life of the Pixel”. The post concludes “Crisp cellphone screens aren’t the end of the story. There are already sharper displays on handheld remote controls and consumer-grade cameras, and monitors supporting the tremendous WQUXGA resolution of 3840×2400 are making their way from medical labs to living rooms. The pixel will never go away entirely, but its finite universe of digital watches and winking highway signs is contracting fast. It’s likely that the pixel’s final and most enduring role will be a shabby one, serving as an out-of-touch visual cliché to connote “the digital age.””
I don’t agree that using that digital style will become an out-of-touch visual cliché to connote “the digital age.” That visual treatment has been around for quite some time – ten or fifteen years at least, probably longer. Up until this point that style has felt as timeless as anything else typography wise that has spanned more than a couple years. Time will have the last laugh and will prove if it becomes a bad cliché, but up until this point we have a ways off before we should declare one visual style shabby when there’s still good uses of it.
You know the week has gone by quickly when Thursday feels like Tuesday – that’s sort of how this week’s Link Drop feels. It’s got a bit of photography, technology and the usual nod to other stuff going on outside and inside. On a personal note I almost get to say good bye to one of the craziest years I’ve had this weekend – both for the lows and highs. When I was twenty nine I had no fears about turning thirty – now I can celebrate the fact that I survived the year and get to look forward to being thirty one. Cheers to moi ( :
The 72-Room Bohemian Dream House
From New York Magazine: “The building at 190 Bowery is a mystery: a graffiti-covered Gilded Age relic, with a beat-up wooden door that looks like it hasn’t been opened since La Guardia was mayor. A few years ago, that described a lot of the neighborhood, but with the Bowery Hotel and the New Museum, the Rogan and John Varvatos boutiques, 190 is now an anomaly, not the norm. Why isn’t some developer turning it into luxury condos?”
How Many Web Services Can One Person Use?
From NYT: “How many more new social networking or micro-blogging or video-sharing site can one person use? Most of us don’t have time to respond to voice mail and e-mail every day, let alone check our Twitter updates and Facebook accounts and Flickr friends. And even if we have the time, do we need another site that helps us share and connect and network?”
CS4 is Here
From eismann-sf: “Adobe released CS4 yesterday. Congratulations to all those involved. From the XD perspective, this is an incredibly important release for one main reason: the CS application framework has become more unified across the point-products. In CS3, Flash, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator all adopted the similar workspace design patterns, but Fireworks and Dreamweaver retained their former Macromedia pattern. But now, in CS4, all the apps have adopted the a common workspace design pattern, which itself is updated. ”
Lazarides descends on New York City with “The Outsiders – New York”
From ukstreetart: “Lazarides are currently dominating the UK street art gallery scene and they’ve decided it’s about time they head over the Atlantic and start owning stateside. They’re going to be opening a pop-up show in New York’s Bowery and will be bringing together their artists in a unique show of some very lively work.”
The Balloon Project
From Process: “I wanted to take aerial shots over the streets New York so I spent the last few months designing, building, and rethinking of ways to not only get my camera up in the air, but to make it fire some shots when it was up there.”
Design Observer’s Fifth Aniversary Party: 11.05
From Design Observer: “Design Observer will celebrate five years with a party in New York City on Wednesday, November 5. The party will take place at Element (the beautiful 19th century bank building that became the Jasper Johns studio), located at 225 East Houston Street.”
From Kitsune Noir: “One of my favorite things to see in a student’s portfolio of work is a really cool book. For Sarah Kahn, a recent graduate of Pennighen Easg in Paris, this meant creating a book around “the emotional intellect delivered by some computing tool and functions.” That sounds pretty ominous and slightly vague to me, but what she created was a book that takes the digital world and makes it physical.”
New York Designs 2008 Threshold
From The Architectural League of New York: “The Architectural League created the New York Designs juried lecture series in 2003 to provide a forum for the presentation of innovative and accomplished work built in New York City. This year’s theme, ‘threshold,’ focuses on projects whose design mediates distinct conditions.”
Vancouver 2010 Graphic Identity
From vancouver2010: “The Host Country of every Olympic and Paralympic Games tells a unique story of culture and imagination through design and artistry. The Vancouver 2010 graphic identity seeks to unify and beautify the Games with a consistent look and feel throughout all its environments and communications. It will also allow VANOC to leave a mark in memories and in photos. Seen on the design of vancouver2010.com, brochures and publications, merchandise and uniforms, the graphic identity elements will eventually appear on buildings, street signs, banners and venues, dressing the city and venues in colour during Games time.”
Inside Google’s Design Process
From Businessweek: “While many eyes are trained on Mountain View for the official release of the new G1/Android phone from Google and T-Mobile, I got an insight into Google’s design process from the company’s VP of Product Management, Sundar Pichai, and Group Product Manager, Brian Rakowski. These two spearheaded the launch of Chrome, a browser I’m truthfully still getting used to, but whose design certainly adheres to the company’s overarching philosophy of superficial simplicity disguising sophisticated functionality (for an indepth look at Chrome’s development, check out this really fine Wired article by Steven Levy.)”
About: “I was designed by the nice people at DIY Kyoto to help you do more for the environment. And to do it in style. Of course, they also know you won’t mind saving yourself 5% to 20% on your annual electricity bills, either. With my friend holmes, I look at the energy your home is using, show you usage in graphs and charts, and help you figure out ways to save electricity.”
About: “”Slacker Uprising” takes place in the wake of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” during the run-up to the 2004 election, as I traveled for 42 days across America, visiting 62 cities in a failed attempt to remove George W. Bush from office. My goal was to help turn out a record number of young voters and others who had never voted before.”
One Lonesome Cowboy
From Creativity Online: “It was a scene to make counterfeit cops and Midwestern Moms twitch—a spectacular display of so-called limited edition Louis Vuitton bags strewn about vendor tables outside the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Turns out these babies—dolled up in the multicolored imprints created by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami—were not fakes, but the real thing. The stunt was all part of the institution’s N.Y. spin on its launch of ©Murakami, a retrospective of the artist’s work that first opened last year at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by MOCA’s Paul Schimmel.”
Aaron Koblin – The Sheep Market
About: “TheSheepMarket.com is a collection of 10,000 sheep made by workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Workers were paid 0.02 ($USD) to “draw a sheep facing to the left.” Animations of each sheep’s creation may be viewed at TheSheepMarket.com.”
Poster Boy NYC’s photostream
About: “Eventually I will stop this art form. By that time I hope that I’ve inspired enough people where I don’t have to participate in order to see the change that is “needed”. I always encourage people to take matters into their own hands. So pick up a razor and reclaim your visual territory.”
FOX Launches ‘Terminator’-themed, location-based MMORPG
From touch arcade: “FOX Broadcasting has launched a web and iPhone-based game called Ambush [App Store] that ties to its TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Ambush is a simplistic MMORPG that places the player in a virtual city and relies upon real-time iPhone GPS location information to track players within the game world.”
Muxtape – relaunching soon, in the service of bands
UPDATE: “I love music. I believe that for people who love music, the desire to share it is innate and crucial for music itself. When we find a song we love, we beckon our friends over to the turntable, we loan them the CD, we turn up the car stereo, we put it on a mixtape. We do this because music makes us feel and we want someone else to feel it, too.”
Designing the UI of Things for iPhone
From Culture Code: “We recently shared some early interface sketches of Things for a presentation on iPhone User Interface Design.”
When Did We Start Trusting Strangers
From chroma: “Impressive presentation summarizing a massive worldwide study of Social Media and Influence, from the folks at Universal McCann. Nothing too surprising, but the figures are staggering, and the visuals are awfully purty.”
About: We like animation and games so much we thought we’d make this site.
I was passed on the above slides from a presentation quite a while back designed by FB Design for the American Magazine Conference in 2005. Sadly their whole site is in flash so I can’t send a direct link. To see all the slides for their design of Vibe magazine go to www.fbdesign.com and then click on Portfolio, then go to AMC Conference. It is actually worth the clicks to see that good design is still timeless.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been carrying Issue 08 of Design Mind everywhere my laptop went. I talked about the design of the magazine in part one of the review at http://designnotes.info/?p=1479 Usually that meant to work, the odd coffee place and from time to time outside. There was something comforting about having it in my hands. As I was going reading the whole issue I tried to pin point what magazines it reminded me of. If I were to create a vin diagram with three circles, the first big ring would be design, and the other two would be the Economist and Harvard Business Review. The intersection of the three circles would be where Design Minds would fall. For the most part the content was fairly high level which this reader appreciated.
Another question I had as I read through was who was this magazine intended for? Perspective clients, other designers and strategists, internally or somebody else entirely? Again I think there were articles that reached each of those groups. The Spiekerman interview was fun yet very smart at the same time. Often w/ interviews the interviewer w/ their questions can become a distracting part of the conversation – that wasn’t apparent w/ this conversation. Plus any designer that plays w/ type will appreciate the conversation about numbers. The article about one designer’s experience w/ his Hasselblad almost made me want to part w/ my Leica D-Lux 3 and go film again (almost).
There was only one page that stuck out in a weird way. It was a concept about Re-Skinning Reality. I couldn’t figure out how the mask idea fit into the concept of the issue on Numbers. I also felt that there was a lost opportunity to use information design to illustrate the article Calculated Design. That article really illustrated the value that design that can provide on a more than just a visual level that most graphic design magazines seem to miss.
People thumb through magazines, find something to glance at and move on. I paid more attention w/ this issue b/c I knew that I would be briefly reviewing it here on designNotes. If I’m feeling a bit smarter after taking the time to read something I consider it a success. While there wasn’t a revolutionary idea inside Design Minds that is going to change the future of design I did feel like I could have a more intelligent conversation w/ friends about design.
Read REVIEW PART ONE: Design Mind from Frog Design at http://designnotes.info/?p=1479
If you’ve spent any amount of time on your favourite design blogs lately, you’ve probably read a post or two mentioning the latest issue of Design Minds from Frog Design. Typically the blog post will point to the Design Mind’s website. Number 8 is the first print version while the previous seven issues have just been on the web. I could be mistaken but I’m suspecting this issue has received a lot of attention because it became a print magazine. But isn’t print dying? While I have been thinking about that question for some time – it became a bit more tangible after I received the actual print copy from Mai who is spending the summer at Frog in San Francisco. A couple days before that she sent me a message asking if I would be interested in a copy (more info about getting your own copy HERE), and of course I said yes! Back to the question at hand for me. For the first part of my design career I spent one foot on the print side while the other foot on the digital side. For the last two years almost all the design that I’ve designed has been displayed on a screen of some sort. Having the nicely designed magazine in hand I thought it would be interesting to talk about the print and website in parallel and to see what I could learn from it.
This review is more about the function of each medium as opposed to the actual content – that post will come at a later date. As ugly and frustrating as many websites can be, the reach to people is hard to ignore. For example if I were to send any of my content from DesignNotes to a person via print it would be an enormous expense. The same content on the blog can be published fast and reach a world wide audience very inexpensively. The drawback is that I’m somewhat unhappy w/ the design template (expect a redesign). It’s also hard for me not to focus more on the communication side of the web since people can add comments. The advantage that print carries is that it’s tangible and typically tells a story in an understandable linear narrative while a site is more of a grab bag of content that expects the person to understand what they want to get from the site.
So w/ Design Minds – what’s better, the magazine or site? The cop out response is that it depends on what you’re looking for. If the content was just a magazine with out digital presence, a lot fewer people would have known about it. If the content was just like the other seven issues that were just digital – some people would have covered and read it. But maybe w/ slightly less attention. It’s really a circular argument that ends w/ the response of it depends.
On the functional side I pulled a couple examples to look at. The first is the table of contents and how each is represented in it’s format. For me the website does a slightly better job because each article is reflected w/ an image of the content while the reader is expected to read or skim the print version via words. You also only need to click once while the fingers need to flip through – not a big deal of course.
The second example is a bit of a surprise on who does a better job. It’s a city guide – in this example it happens to be San Francisco. Between the listings and potential for interactivity the web site should have been better. But it was just a listing w/ no links or visual map to show distance between each of the locations. The printed version on the other hand has a pretty simple map that shows where everything is.
In the final example that I’ll mention I compare one of the main stories w/ Erik Spiekermann. An obvious question is if you’re going to spend ten quality minutes reading the above article what’s your choice going to be? Almost everyone is going to pick the magazine for both the tangibles and intangibles. You can hold it, and to some degree have the luxury of reading something not on screen. But what would be faster? I find that I can read something two or three times faster on screen, plus if I have a point to make – I can post a comment. It all comes down to a person’s preference and what is important to them. Of course this review didn’t mention content too much. Like I mentioned previously that will come once I’ve spent some quality time with the magazine.
DESIGN MINDS ISSUES I TO VIII
Early Articles – Issue 0
Fall – Issue 01
Winter – Issue 02
Spring – Issue 03
Summer – Issue 04
Green – Issue 05
Identity – Issue 06
Health – Issue 07
Numbers – Issue 08
Read REVIEW PART TWO: Design Mind from Frog Design (Issue 08, Numbers): Design Mind from Frog Design at http://designnotes.info/?p=1486
I have to admit that up until know I really didn’t know that many publications that came out of Vancouver. That changed recently when I was contacted by Jeff who was looking to use a photograph I took to promote FILLIP TALKS: Stuart Bailey of Dexter Sinister who is going to talk in Vancouver Monday July 7th. I’ve copy + pasted the event info below…
But even if you’re not going to be in Vancouver Monday night, you should check out Fillip Review’s site at www.fillip.ca. It sounds quite interesting if you’re tired of reading about design in the same predictable ways. This is how they describe themselves: Fillip is a publication of art, culture, and ideas released three times a year by the Projectile Publishing Society from Vancouver, British Columbia. Crossing academic, artistic, and related practices, Fillip acts as a forum for critical discussion in the contemporary arts, and situates itself as a complement and stimulus for contemporary practices and discourses.
FILLIP TALKS: Stuart Bailey of Dexter Sinister/Dot Dot Dot Magazine
Monday, July 7, 6pm
Fillip is pleased to present a talk by New York based producer, publisher, and writer Stuart Bailey on Monday, July 7th, at 6pm, at the Fillip office, 305 Cambie Street, Vancouver. Bailey will discuss his work vis-à-vis the forthcoming issue of Dot Dot Dot.
Admission is $5 or free with current Fillip subscription. Given space limitations, visitors are encouraged to arrive early to guarantee a seat. Please buzz for access, or call 604 781 4417.
About the Speaker: Stuart Bailey graduated from the University of Reading in 1994, the Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the arts journal Dot Dot Dot the same year with David Reinfurt. He is currently involved in diverse projects at Parsons School of Design and Pasadena Art Center.
With Reinfurt and Sarah Crowner, Bailey operates Dexter Sinister in New York. In 2006, the group produced and published Notes for an Art School in conjunction with the Manifesta 6 art school project proposed by Mai Abu El-Dahab, Anton Vidokle, and Florian Waldvogel. In 2008, the collective participated in the Whitney Biennial, representing their signature and multifaceted approach to working across the fields of production, design, publishing, and distribution.
According to the artists, their practice “involves avoiding waste by working on demand, utilizing local cheap machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production, and distribution into one efficient activity.”
About Fillip Talks: Fillip Talks are a series of presentations that critically engage ideas and issues in contemporary art. Previous talks include Makiko Hara’s A History of Tokyo Art Speak and last month’s publishing workshop presented in conjunction with Artspeak.
The Fillip Review
305 Cambie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6E 3N4 Canada
While reading about the death of Clay Felker in the NYT, the above quote struck me for several reasons. It had to do with both the past and present of what I’ve considered a staple of design – communication. In school design was supposed to be this great equalizer where design could be communicated to help fix social issues, present information w/ clarity and for me make something out of nothing. It was a slightly utopian view to say the least. Today I look at that quote via the filter of the all encompassing “blog”. Why do people read blogs? In part it’s probably to quickly consume what they find interesting though it may never go further than a quick copy + paste link to email to their friends. The thing is I don’t think “blog” has really hit the full potential that publications once had. Part of the issue is transferring print directly to web w/ out considering it’s a different medium. The classic example is how craigslist has destroyed how newspapers made a lot of profit via their classified ads. Newspapers never adjusted for the medium and are in catchup mode. Now that online reading & consumption allows people to copy, share and edit – the potential for something pretty cool that even the elitist’s can find interesting, is interesting. Of course another word for elitist is “people in denial for being like everyone else”…
I’m not much of a moon man myself, but a while back I got an email from Zack Sultan mentioning an online publication called the New York Moon at www.nymoon.com. In his own words he describes it as something that “seeks to integrate design and journalism in experimental ways”. There’s an interesting publishing cycle – it comes out during each months full moon. The publication is pretty easy to read and integrates a lot of different mediums that make up the web – it almost makes you forget that it’s a website that is not an easy feat to do.
At the end of Roger Black’s talk last night held at Frog via AIGANY, I kind of wished he had started the talk how he ended it. My friend Vineet who I work with at Daylife asked him what he thought of web 2.0 design. The audience got a bit of a surprise commentary about how designers need to open up the reigns a bit on the online side. He referenced the popularity of the film Helvetica as an example where normal people are interested in fonts and want to have the ability to control how things look on their screen. The designers will be creating the structure but people will ultimately control the out put. Those ideas certainly weren’t there cornerstone of the talk though those ideas that he had about that are worth hearing more about from him. That concept is of particular note as I’m kind of doing something similar at the moment. I can’t say much more than that, but to hear some of the same ideas coming from someone else makes me consider that I’m on the right path at the moment though examples are not out there just yet.
Black framed the talk with his past experience’s from Rolling Stone and Newsweek magazines with a heavy emphasis on typography and how that influenced the layouts and what he was trying to accomplish to the reader. He then went on to talk briefly about Bloomberg’s internal system and how that translated to their website which is pictured above. The end consisted of some moderated questions and then was open to the audience afterwards. The talk was held at Frog which was a pretty good location for this event. It was the perfect night to have some wine on the terrace that they have before hearing one of the magazine greats.
Here’s some of my notes from the talk.
“People don’t remember the bad layouts, people back then tried things – they took risks”
“Playing against the expectation”
“Weight, stage and push forward”
“Web = blurry”
“Narrative design; YouTube vs. documnetry, Iraq vs. Vietnam”
“Web 2.0 – open it up”
News and news stories on the net are like the never ending story. Those websites are constantly updating information on a minute per minute basis. I remember not that long ago when the New York Times, Time, CNN and even the CBC redesigned their sites. With each of those advances I thought that things were going pretty well. With the redesign of Newsweek I think people’s viewing choices got a lot more advanced. There’s so many smart things going on that it’s hard to pin point any one element. This is one of the first magazine sites aside from New York Magazine that I would want to spend a lot of time with reading online. Now that the stories look interesting enough to make me want to read them, when will I have the time too? If there was one feature I would now love to have for the Newsweek site, it would be the capability to click on the story and have it read to me as I work on my laptop. It would be an interesting combination of reading and listening. For me to want to listen to the story, it would first have to look interesting enough for me to want to pay attention. Words along won’t do that, and neither would sound if I can’t get into wanting to read it with the design of it.
According to Mediaweek, the design people responsible were creative director Amid Capeci and magazine designer Roger Black consulting. The people behind the redesign were Newsweek’s Creative Director Rolf Ebeling and the Wonderfactory. I can only imagine how many people actually worked on this to bring it live…
I’ve never really thought about the number of words that are in a Google AdSense phrase, but after considering how people grab quick bytes of pop culture through magazine covers it would seem that there’s a similarity between online ads and offline magazine text. The obvious difference is that one relies on images that people are interested in while the other doesn’t. But in a weird kind of way both formats rely on what your interested. Google through search while magazines show images that people want to escape with.
I think there’s very few products or brands that could be written with the virtuosity that Leica got from the New Yorker titled Candid Camera – The cult of Leica. I can attest to a lot of the blind passion for Leica as I’m looking to get one pretty soon. Probably not the M8 (though it’s very tempting), but a Leica D-LUX-3 in the not so distant future. The overall article is quite enjoyable to read if you’re a photo enthusiast. Everything I shoot is digital these days, but I was maybe a little surprised to hear that not everyone that is doing it for a living is pure digital. My wife and I were recently having dinner with a former co-worker and her husband who’s an amazing photographer. When I asked him what he shoots, most of it is on film still – if you check out his portfolio at www.justinsteele.com you’ll see what digital is really hard at capturing. I don’t think I’ll be reverting back anytime soon myself, but to see what is still capable with film would suggest that the art isn’t going to die off so soon.
Quite a few months ago I was interviewed for the inaugural issue of the Canadian magazine Unlimited. In the article I talk about networking, blogs and how I ended up in New York. You can read the entire article here: No Schmooze, You Lose – Getting to know the right people is crucial to land that out-of-province dream job. Below in an excerpt.
Michael Surtees still can’t believe it some mornings. When he walks out of the apartment block where he’s been living for more than a year, one of New York City’s iconic landmarks, the Flatiron building, stands sentinel kitty-corner. Surtees, 29, was a graphic designer at Edmonton’s Northern Alberta Institute of Technology until July 2006, when he and his wife, Tamara, loaded up a U-Haul and drove five long days to Manhattan. Surtees had landed a coveted website design job with the Renegade Marketing Group, a firm with clients such as Panasonic and DoubleClick (the company behind all those streaming internet adds that pop up when you’re Googling).
He’d been eyeing a move to New York for some time, but it wasn’t luck, or even skill, that nailed Surtees the chance. It was networking, with a decidedly modern twist. Surtees had been laying the foundation for career advancement pretty much since he graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor of design six years ago. First, he got involved with the design community in Edmonton through the Graphic Designers of Canada, eventually taking over as the association’s president. In that role, he often invited prominent members of the graphic design and advertising communities to come and speak to members in Alberta. Many of the speakers were from cities such as New York and Vancouver, where there are more opportunities for designers. “That sort of built me a small network of people,” says Surtees.
Networking, like other forms of communication, has undergone a major evolution in the past decade alongside the explosion in communication technologies. Surtees made a point of frequenting online design forums to get his name out into the design world beyond the confines of Edmonton. Blogging on a professional subject, he says, “gives people a sense of who you are and what you stand for. It’s a lot easier to get in the door if someone has read your blog.”
It helps, of course, that advertising, design and marketing companies habitually rake through profession-oriented blogs looking for talent. Surtees set up DesignNotes at designnotes.info, where he posts his thoughts on everything from design to book reviews to his search for a pet weimaraner. Last January, he recalled his feelings prior to getting the gig in New York: “Everyday as I walked near the river valley in Edmonton I really wondered if I was ever going to have the chance to find a better place to design, or had I basically hit a really low ceiling where I was working at the time.’
Surtees has a tracker on his blog, which allows him to see the ISPs of people reading and posting. Only about 20% of visitors find him randomly through Google. Most are looking specifically for graphic designer blogs – the very people he wants to reach and get to know. In June 2006, set to take a holiday trip, Surtees posted a message on his blog asking for tips on New York sights. One reader, Noah Brier, recommended a useful guidebook. That led to further e-mails between the two men. Eventually, Brier, who works for Renegade, offered to set up a meeting for Surtees with Renegade’s creative director. Surtees had lined up a few other job interviews on that New York trip, but things clicked with Renegade and he was hired.
Surtees had hoped that blogging would lead to connections exactly like his conversation with Brier. But that wasn’t his main aim. Networking strictly to mine people for better job opportunities will eventually reveal your true colours, he advises. “If you go in with the idea that you’re just going to be friends or talk with a person to get a job, you won’t really meet very many people,” he says. “If you are really genuinely interested in them, and there is a connection over shared interests, then people are more than willing to help you as much as possible.”