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…
Do you have an iPod shuffle… and live in New York?
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.
This post gave me the first really big pop traffic wise for the year. There were a ton of people that thought the map was pretty cool.
Architecture wrapped up as a shoe
I didn’t see as many women wearing these shoes as I hoped (probably b/c they were stupidly expensive). But it’s still true that NYC has the most beautiful people anywhere in the world…
Actually seeing those Obama posters outside
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.
Making something understandable as opposed to just simplifying
I still luv this design, I wish everything I design could be as smart as that tag.
I was fascinated with how this post happened. Took a photo of a cool sticker, the person that designed it contacted me and this was the diagram that tracked it.
36 days of New York Sky: January 16th 2008 – February 20th 2008
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.
Looking at MoMA’s Design and Elastic Mind Exhibition
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?
Until people realize this concept they’re toast.
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?
I feel bad for whoever had to make this and deal with the text.
Love Me, next come the t-shirts – maybe on Etsy?
Here’s to wishful thinking.
Taking a quick look at Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
Of any of the books I blogged about, this by far had the most hits coming from people wanting more info on it.
This post was the start of me sketching more fluently for blog posts.
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.
Thinking about Mind 08 after the Symposium
I’ll really liked the design I did for this tag cloud, nothing more nothing less to this post.
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…
Over at Paul Smith in SoHo – MAY 68: STREET POSTERS FROM THE PARIS REBELLION, and other poster finds around New York
I hope the start of next May has some great posters like this year.
I Hate Perfume, Ideas I Love
How cool would it be to commision someone to make a scent for you?
Today’s Sky Mention
This unexpected use of my sky pics made me smile.
Looking at yourself as a Graphic Designer
Very smart diagram…
If you care about your stuff, make sure people can duplicate it
This concept was an addendum to Permalink post.
This was another post where I got back some unexpected responses. I like going back every once in awhile to read the dialogue.
What are you doing today?
While this ad could be just about for anything, there’s some subtle and smart things going on past the surface. Too bad I couldn’t embed it and had to take a screen shot.
The Flo in Florent
This is why people need to hire designers.
NPR Cancels The ‘BPP’ (Bryant Park Project)?!?
I’m still not happy about this. More surprising (or maybe not), no one has picked up the ball on voice news since. The Daily Beast is starting to pick up the pace but it’s just txt for now.
Scrolling Through Photos
I can’t say enough positive things about this startup. There’s a ton of smart things going on with them.
People interpreting news events and information
I don’t understand why this hasn’t been fixed or updated. There’s so much potential for Google Hot Trends to be a go to source.
Everyone is not just a designer, but also a photoshop expert too
It’s not bad enough that everyone wants to be a designer, now they think they can art direct photos too.
Hypothetically Say You Lost your Mac Book Pro
Possibly my best blog post of the year imho.
Clean iPhone psd template
I’m surprised that Apple never made a psd themselves so people could sketch out apps.
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.
What can I say? A lot of people are interested in sex.
Walking around NYC finding the David Byrne Bike Racks
I like to walk and this gave me an excuse to go to some areas that my normal routes wouldn’t take me.
Banksy at work in NYC: Broadway & Howard St.
There’s a saying about being lucky to be good, but you have to be good to be lucky. Sometimes it just helps being in the right place at the right time.
How I Find Good Stuff on the Web
This post kind of blew up things for me. The number of smart people that checked out my blog after this was pretty amazing. Hopefully I can build on that in the new year.
What’s your internet?
The amount of traffic I received after this post kind of made me eat my words about tumblr and ffffound. I just wished tumblr would archive things better…
The old and new MetLife Signs above New York
It’s amazing to watch the stats on how many people from MetLife check out this post everyday.
Looking at the Nooka Zon
I’m guesstimating that I got an extra 9,000 unique hits b/c of this post. A couple blogs and twitter really sent a lot of extra traffic my way b/c of that watch.
What Graphic Designers need to understand
I’ve probably had more face to face conversations about this post than anything else I blogged about this year.
In New York it’s pretty hard not to meet somebody new on a daily basis. At some point DesignNotes usually comes up. I’ve always kicked myself for never having anything on me to pass on to them once the conversation ended. Ironic considering I’m a designer who thinks about those communication issues for other people. I finally had enough of those missed conversations so I ordered myself some Moo Mini Cards. For the image side of the card I picked a random set of photos from my New York City Colour Study. The first image above is almost all of the cards put together in a random pattern. I wanted to test out how the images looked on paper as I slowly shift this project from online to offline. I kind of like how it’s working so far. If you do too, please say hello the next time we bump into each other.]]>
Since the middle of January I’ve been taking two images outside my window every morning. I wanted to be able to compare all the different colours that I saw every morning in New York. The project isn’t finished by any means, but from time to time I’ve taken those collected images and experimented a bit w/ what the data was giving me and posting about it. In the latest version I’ve started to play w/ motion – I’ve stitched all the building images together. Day after day I’m sure some people that follow me on flickr are wondering what the hell I’m doing shooting the same buildings everyday. The animated gif shows just how subtle things that are different can make a compelling view. Plus if you look closely there’s a building rising from the ground. Next time I might stitch the images in flash as the .gif is over 20mb – but for the first one I wanted to do something more old school.
In the second visualization I wanted to compare the abstracted sky images on a weekly basis. At a fairly quick glance I could compare all the Monday skies, scan a week or a month. I’m not sure if it’s just me or not but as I scroll the images start cold and slowly warm up as the months go by. I also wanted to see how things compared w/ the square grids that I’ve been working w/.
If you feel so inclined you can follow the daily sky upload over on flickr: the cropped sky and the full sky. And sorry for the huge image download and scrolling in this post, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want…]]>
I’m still working away on my New York City Colour Study, in fact today was 251. Flickr isn’t doing a great job of showing all the thumbnails on one page so I’ve squeezed them all together to show where things are at currently.]]>
I’ve been dreading this day for a while, almost as much for the day when I’ll realize that the next day I forgot to look up and take a picture of the New York sky. Today I woke up and it wasn’t in New York. Not such a big deal except for the fact that I’ve been taking a picture from my apartment for over 150 days. I knew the day would come sooner or later when I wouldn’t be there to shoot from my home. This morning was the day. I’ve decided to do two things – one, I’ll keep looking up where ever I wake up, and secondly I’ll have someone keep up the tradition in my apartment. I’ll have the new New York pics up in a couple days, but until then I’ll introduce the World City Colour Study at www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/sets/72157605682759055/ Minneapolis gets the honour of being my first.
Speaking of sky images, I was talking with Moria McLaughlin of Dog Art Today (great site btw) who suggested a great addition to the website that I want to start with images from around the world contributed by others. It’s going to take a while to get off the ground – but stay tuned.]]>
Every couple of weeks I play w/ the images I’m taking for my New York City Colour Study. Today was day 144 which allowed me to make a grid of squares 9 units wide and 16 high. I’m curious to hear from people what works better; sans white line (A) or outlined (B). If you have a moment please let me know.
Well it’s been almost a week without me mentioning anything about my New York City Colour Study so today is the perfect time to mention another unexpected result of starting the project. I’ve become friends w/ some amazing people, tried things I wouldn’t have considered previously and started other groups that will lead to new opportunities. Todays unexpected connection came via the eat/drink/design blog Kitsune Noir. Bobby took a number of my sky images and connected it to the Yo La Tengo song Today Is the Day. I was thrilled to read and see something that I started and changed to fit the needs of someone else. Check out his post and the music at http://kitsunenoir.com/blog/2008/05/14/today-is-the-day/]]>
As I continue to shoot my New York City Colour Study outside my window I try to think of ways that I can compare the days. This graph relates to what time I took the photo and the actual image itself. I’m continuing on the weekly view as some days show a pattern as to the time that I take a photo – i.e. the weekends tend to be later than the other week days. The above image is pretty small – the large (1024 x 202) view is much better and the original (4436 x 873) view is bigger yet.
As this experiment grows and evolves I thought I would mention a comment/idea that while I’ve never explicitly talked about do find quite worth while in how I’d like to see many cities and countries participate in the Same Skies, Different Places project. The comment came from Magicelle and they wrote a comment in my post “Har koja keh beravi aseman haman rang ast” which is farsi for “anywhere you go the sky is the same color”. There’s a lot of things that can be expanded from that philosophy…]]>
While I’ve never attended a Gel Conference in person I’ve definitely benefited from the content that has been placed online afterwards. There’s always notes, and photos from attendees placed in one spot. If you dig a bit further you can find videos of some of the talks. This year was no different in that you can check out how people experienced their April 24th and 25th, 2008 (and years before that) in New York with Gel.
Going back through the years it’s a good time capsule on what tools were available to share content. Back in 2003 it was mostly quotes, over time flickr allowed people to tag photos and create slide shows. Now there’s moving video that I can embed at the top of this post.]]>
After a couple months of taking pictures out my window of the the sky in New York and encouragement from friends about how to extend my New York City Colour Study I thought it might be interesting to open it up. I’ve started a flickr group called Same Sky, Different Places at www.flickr.com/groups/sameskydifferentplaces/ where anyone can place a photo of the sky where they are. There aren’t many rules except that the image shouldn’t have any buildings or other objects in view, and that you should only place one image per day. In the description field it should mention the day, time, city and country. Aside from that you just need to be a member of flickr. At some point I want to take those images and turn it into a separate site, but for now I thought it would be good just to get some images into a group without a lot of effort from anyone involved. If you happen to have any suggestions on how to make this idea better, please let me know.]]>
I woke up this morning to a thick blanket of fog for my daily New York City Colour photo. Most days the sky is quite active in the morning but today it was especially so. Between the the opacity and sunlight it made for a lot of interesting images. So every once in a while I would go back and shoot. There wasn’t any specific time intervals but I did end up making a chart afterwards to see all the times that I looked outside again. So above is those images from blue fog to blue sky.]]>
I made a couple milestones this morning visually w/ my New York City Colour Study. It’s now been 36 days collecting the uncropped view and 72 days w/ the simplified view. While the number of days isn’t significant they do make a nice number to show as a pattern. At the point there’s a decent routine though as the sun rises earlier the photos have started to follow that. I’ve also been working out in the morning again so the photos tend to come after I get back. Once the sun is up by five am you’ll notice a spike around that time. I’m really enjoying how each day collected together is making a pattern that I would never had seen otherwise. I’ve always been drawn to the simplified version which is what I originally started but the uncropped view is definitely capturing my attention as well. Between now and my last post about this project I haven’t come up w/ any new graphic devices to show information which is ok. In part I blame the photo project ten15am for taking up my attention, but also b/c I haven’t seen any other informative ways to present it. Ok, that’s not entirely true – I am planning a site for the project but that’s a couple months down the road…]]>
To be honest I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the attention my initial post of 36 days of New York Sky has received. One suggestion was to keep the uncropped version along with the cropped one. Well after 18 more days I have a version that compares the original image and sky.]]>
For a while now I’ve been taking a picture outside my front window of the New York sky. Each of those images is then cropped to leave an abstract colour. Today is day 48 and I was curious to see the relationship between all the colours and what time I actually took the photo so I made the above chart. What I wasn’t expecting was how the timeline to some degree followed when I woke up and how it corresponded with the week day. The earlier images seem to come on Wednesdays while the weekend has some of the later times. It was also interesting to see how some weeks were quite balanced while others were all over the place. I’d recommend you clicking HERE to see the full scale image as the thumbnail isn’t that great. The actual images of New York City Colour Study are at www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/sets/72157603736976953/]]>
I was pleasantly surprised with the feedback that I received with my last post about 36 days of New York Sky here on DesignNotes, Flickr, email and other people who reblogged the image. It was great timing but purely coincidental as I didn’t think much about posting it. After 36 days I had a fairly interesting geometric square of sky inside my flickr set. I’ll probably revisit the image on day 72 to see how things have progressed. But with that said I thought it might be interesting to pull back the crop and show what the original image is and what the photo looks like afterwards. I typically try to get a focus on the building to the left and then center the camera between that building and the New York Times Building (which ironically doesn’t look finished from the top). From there I just capture the sky how it is.]]>
For thirty six days now I’ve been taking an image of the sky from my apartment in Manhattan. It wasn’t until I started noticing that most mornings have a really unique colour to the sky that I thought there might be something to comparing the colour day to day. There isn’t any specific time for me to point my camera in the same direction though for the most part I’ve been taking the photograph somewhere between 7 and 9 am. As the sun starts rising earlier my time will probably adjust accordingly.
It’s a fairly uncomplicated process with the photos. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy doesn’t really matter because each day is unique. I always make sure that the crop of the sky is in a 4:3 aspect ratio with my Leica D-Lux 3. One of the cool yet unexpected things that happens when I upload the photos to flickr and place them in their set is that they create a square which is what the image above is. I always mark the date and time on the photo as extra information that I might want to use at a latter date.
I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon with this New York Sky Colour Study but over periods of time like this I might do some visual experiments with it. Between the colours and data there’s some really fascinating things I can do both online and with print. Stay tuned and here’s a link to all the images so far www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/sets/72157603736976953/
All my related posts for this can be found at http://designnotes.info/?cat=68]]>