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This morning I received a mysterious email from the person(s) behind The Considered Ensemble letting me know about their site. While there isn’t an about section or mention of who is behind the site, it looks like it’s going to be an instant fav of mine. The concept is pretty simple, explain in your own words what you’re wearing. It’s user generated content working quite nicely. While most fashion sites out there are all images sans words, this is the exact opposite which makes it much more interesting. Everyone has a story that’s worth reading. It’s also genius that they curator can decide what to publish and what not to—everyone has to email their submission.
At first glance the design of the site looks fairly straight forward, possibly even simple. But just like the content there’s more than what just meets the eye. The type is set in a firm confident manner that suggests that they know what they’re doing and the taxonomy classification is pretty sophisticated too; you can filter through brand or colour. Like most things that get me excited, I’m curious to see how this site grows and evolves over time. Though hopefully it won’t change too much…
This week’s version of Link Drop was a week late and while I hate excuses there’s a pretty good one. Last weekend I was redesigning the format of Link Drop when my computer stopped working. I wasn’t exactly happy about that so I decided I’d continue finding good stuff on the web to remember and keep working on the design when I got my computer back. It’s now Friday and I’m happy to report Tekserve did a great job of fixing everything. So with that said hopefully Link Drop next week will be a bit easier to read. As always, I’ve jotted down some of the themes that flowed with what I saw.
The Agency Problem
This kind of sums up things for me in terms of design today. While I’m not running a multi billion dollar design agency yet, I question why even online design is treated like traditional print projects. The online is handed over to the client with no proof if the thing will actually work. That’s why I wanted to talk about agile design and wondered out loud how more companies should be thinking that way…
Tuft vs. Turf
The flow and motion of the plastic was really changed up their outside view. From the street is must be quite the view.
Reading Ahead: Managing Recruiting
A fascinating comparison of finding people via all the social networks out there to older processes of using a recruiter to screen people.
The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009
Working with a startup I was naturally interested in this post. As weird as it seems, perhaps government agencies are a good candidate to be thrown into start up mode considering the changes both in technology and social communication tool. Brochures are no longer how information is passed along (or at least I hope it’s in conjunction with online).
Summer is just about here. It’s getting nice n’hot, the humidity is about to get a lot worse and there’s a long weekend coming up asap. Things are good in NYC at the moment for me which I’m really grateful for because there’s a lot of slowness going on around North America. Who knows when it will end, but hopefully it will make people stronger and smarter going forward. This week’s version of Link Drop is a bit smaller than usual. I was pretty busy and people had ICFF on their minds I think. The themes are similar in some cases as there’s tons of tech, typography and other artforms, but there’s also stuff about parks, maps and of course NYC. Again, if the weather is nice where you are—get outside and save these links for a rainy day…
I found this app via swissmiss yesterday—really great way to explore NYC via a map. It’s not perfect as it can’t do routes but more then makes up by allowing someone to see what business’ are in any building in the city. I was always curious to know who was behind where I work in SoHo, now I know.
Another great mashup using twitter and maps. I think the ui could be slightly tweaked but as a concept that works it’s quite amazing. The center of the screen locates the latest tweets from the geography. By moving the screen to different parts of the world you can see what people are talking about. The more you zoom in or out, the info changes according to area.
Design Glut: Candlestrip
Walking around one of the off site design shows timed for ICFF, these candles were one of the things that made me stop for a moment. (I can’t believe I just blogged about candles btw…)
What is Graphic Design?
While on vacation last week Andy was cool enough to have coffee with me. We talked about what graphic design is and was… Nice to see something online that I can pass on now about the idea.
I don’t usually post portfolios because there’s enough sites out there that already do that. But I thought I’d make an exception for the speculative Olympic poster work he has on the site. Really nice ideas. Too bad the Olympics don’t pay designers for work like they used too.
Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas
I’ve been thinking about the fact that there might be some great ideas out there at the moment but we have no idea if they’re any good as they’re being thrown against a two sided wall of the good ol’days way of thinking and the other side that is still unknown.
I feel as though this week just started and it’s already Friday. Good weather, good company and being in NYC will do that to people. But with that said there’s always time for the interwebs and below are some of the sites that I thought were worth a second look. There’s a bit more weirdness this week and less graphic design—coincidence? For this edition of Link Drop I also had a bit more coffee then usual, hence the erratic diagram. Till next week, though I’m not sure how I’m going to simultaneously post a Link Drop and a live presentation at the same time…
The Battle Between Art & The Algorithm
Apparently design lost the battle with art and now art has set its sights on the algorithm. Is deciding how something is weighted in a myriad of ways based on rational—or is it art. I think it’s art if design myself if you know what to look for.
Microsoft sales fall for first time in 23 years
I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned what has happened to Microsoft this year. There’s some smart connections being made in this piece. Not to beat a dead horse for me, but the fact that I can take a pic and push it on to the internet with a message within a minute from start to finish is amazing. Am I using any tools from MSFT to do that? No…
Twitter Clients Are a UI Design Playground
This is interesting—did twitter plan to to harness the crowd to make a better UI because they really didn’t know what they were doing, or did they create such a bad experience it pissed off enough people that they decided to make their own better UI? Funny thing is, if twitter was the music industry they would have tried suing their users where as twitter encouraged it.
Scorecard | The National Design Awards
I thought the question that they brought up about Architecture Design and Interior Design was worth mentioning. I had no idea, but I’m neither an architect nor an interior designer…
Psst, have you heard…
I liked the idea of visualizing how things are spread via the promoters, passives and detractors.
Fascinating view of how the Gameboy (often ignored by designers as a great object) evolved and reflected the time as the years went on.
“NPR maps the Energy Grid”
I find these kind of maps fascinating on a couple different levels. There’s the proximity of lines to actual cities (or distance from them), and the patterns the lines make that outline energy.
100 days of Obama’s Facebook news feed.
It would be easy to dismiss this visualization, but it’s actually quite impressive. It’s in a format almost everyone recognizes, there’s humour, there’s history and some of it is actually plausible.
That google seems to be wrecking every industry out there. But if it’s so bad why hasn’t anyone stepped up and made it better?
Telling amazing stories
Simple points to consider, hard to execute when all three measurements of 1. Collecting consistent data, 2. Designing meaningful visualizations and 3.Telling amazing stories are actually more subjective than you think.
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.
AisleOne (ASL1) aisleone.net
A clean curated design blog that emphasizes grids, typography and whitespace done well—very calming blog.
i [love] marketing. (ILVM) anaandjelic.typepad.com/i_love_marketing
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) blog.ashleysimko.com
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) byamt.wordpress.com
The image selection is always compelling as it is unique. Lots of photography and industrial design stuff.
Graphpaper (GRPR) graphpaper.com
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.
Kottke (KTKE) kottke.org
A ton of diverse links, it’s hard to be bored when there’s a source like this out there.
PSFK (PSFK) psfk.com
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.
Swissmiss (SMSS) swiss-miss.com
A bellwether blog for all other reblog design sites, the number of people that gravitate to what is mentioned on this site is incredible.
UnBeige (UNBG) mediabistro.com/unbeige
There’s a constant flow of news in the design world from fonts, furniture, art and architecture
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Keeping with the spirit of constant change and evolution I’ve made a couple adjustments to this week’s Link Drop. I’m changing the name of it back to just Link Drop from Link Drop Contextd, and shortened the date info. I’ve also included a quick theme overview of the twenty five sites that I thought were worth taking a closer look. Within the format of checking out what interested me, it’s not a huge surprise that technology played a part in a lot of the sites, but so did paper and even tactile quality. There were also a lot of pairs which usually trigger something for me.
A smart combination of words to create formulas on stuff that people are thinking about.
Data Store: Facts you can use
The Guardian has organized content in such a way that you don’t have to be an engineer to grab data. By making those figures accessible people can think more about the question they want answered as opposed to being snowballed by visuals that don’t really move a story forward
I like the fact that I can read about the why and the how of his process.
This diagram jolted me more than lot of other stat diagrams. But is it perfect as it could be?
One of the assets that a designer has is the ability to draw connections where others may not see any. Another skill is keeping their mind open to new things that they know nothing about. That first skill of connections has been worked out to perfection with my friend’s new blog Pattern Pulp. The second skill is something that I’m trying to perfect as I don’t really know much about pattern design. Shayna’s blogged about twenty posts that are all worth a read, or just a look. She talks about pattern inspirations, designs and how they seem to fit into fashion and culture. The only minor quip I have is with the header of the blog – not sure if it’s needed (or typeface choice), but aside from that I’m expecting big things from this blog and am looking forward to see how things grow over time. Take a look for yourself at http://patternpulp.com
A couple weeks ago I came across a quick post from Ana Andjelic wondering about people who dress alike. The link from her post was a gold mine of others dressed the same way. The same day I came across Hipster Runoff asking something similar with his post What does it mean when u r in a relationship with some1 who looks exactly like u? I meant to blog about the coincidence last week but time was slammed. Then last night I came across this from the Sartorialist and thought I should throw those observations on twitter. Why – b/c that’s what you do these days…
I really wasn’t going to pursue any other energy after once that tweet went up, but Faris via twitter asked me “is it vanity driven attraction i wonder? or like finding like”? First I’d be curious to hear what anyone out there thinks about that. My quick response was that “I blame it on vanity based fear and lack of expanding on what they already know”… After having a couple hours of sleep I still feel that way. But with that said I’m pretty much guilty as anyone else following a certain look dependent on what I do. I’ve got a healthy amount of nice black clothes that could possibly tip me off as a designer. Dressing like your friends isn’t a new idea or even a groundbreaking observation, but what piqued my interest was that most of the above images of people look exactly the same. Like a team uniform with out the numbers.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I came across this timely window display from (MALIN+GOETZ) walking through Chelsea this morning. It’s pretty tough from my photo to make out the top of the window that asks what kind of skin type are you? What is quite easy to see is how they took a lot of popular political people categories and made it unique for their shop.