It’s been a bit of an up and down week over here at DesignNotes. I’ve been under the weather of most of the week which is highly unusual, and on the flip side the weather outside has been actually pretty decent. In more relatable Link Drop news, I found that the sites I spent time with has a lot of personal expressing in them. There’s a bunch of interviews, process and visualization. Intermixed with all that are the normal tech., Apple and Twitter issues.
President Barack Obama for BusinessWeek
Brad has to be my favourite photographer that I like to share my doom and gloom predictions about the print industry with. He’s also old school but in a good way. Recently he visited the White House for BusinessWeek to shoot a cover story on Barack Obama. This is his post about the experience, something that more photographers should do once their images are published.
Advertising’s revenge of the nerds
This was by far the most popular of the sites I passed along this week via Twitter. It’s hard to say if this really is a new concept or one that’s being reported on. Non creatives will always be more attentive to stats that show graphs going up. Designer’s just need to understand that and use it to their advantage.
Why Does the Best Design of 2009 Still Look Like 2000?
This was probably one of the more important articles that could warrant some more in depth consideration. Comparing some of the best in industrial design today to the past, there hasn’t been a huge leap in the design. Minor tweaks aside there isn’t much new. I think this also could be a bigger issue of business culture in general. Look at what others have done and replicate.
On the inequities of design competitions
I really like this quote so I’m copy + pasting it here “…Designers who win awards for edgy design they did for a friend’s business– with a print run of one hundred or something like that? They’ve got no art director, no creative director, no client’s representative, no agency person. Where’s the obstacle to good design there? But take something like a cheese. When I see a really good package for a cheese– I know what that designer went through to get there. It makes me want to fall on my knees and kiss that designer’s feet, that cheese. —Ernesto Aparicio”
There’s a lot of takeaways from this practical statement. Can design that is collaborative, ie working closely with those that are not as passionate about doing something new be celebrated as much as the artist that does design on the side? This example also illustrates why I don’t show a lot of images from designers web sites. For me to truly appreciate a design I need to see it in the real world. Design magazines don’t barely reflect the real world that real design flows into. If I’m going to suggest a poster is pretty good, I better be able to see it against a real wall with other posters surrounding it.
This tries to end the mysticism of art trying to be design. Good design takes time, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be having an outer body experience to do appropriate work.
JK Wedding Entrance Dance
This post pretty much sums up how media, design and marketing need to be. It’s amazing how distinct the age gap between those in online that are old that treat sites like print material, and those online today who understand it’s an ongoing conversation that can’t be predicted six months in advance. With that said I do have some doubts that the JK Wedding dance wasn’t an elaborate pr stunt by Chris Brown’s handler’s, but maybe that’s just me…
Co-opting Viral Hits to Sell More Music
PSFK reflects on the practical nature of having a copyrighted song in a YouTube video being in a video, and how that can be profitable.
Heating Up the Charts
There’s some unusual candor about the process of selecting and working with a design firm for the redesign of Billboard’s site. Interesting pov’s and observations.
how blogging really works: random acts of traction
This isn’t the only reason I blog, but it’s true that a publisher will never know what ideas take off. For me, if I post five or six random design ideas a week, over a period of months some of them will evolve into something really special. If I hadn’t started where would those ideas come from?
Can We Please Kill This Meme Now
This is why I collect stuff for this Link Drop. There’s so much good stuff out there that I need a place to filter it after seven days.
Q & A with Ingsu Liu, W.W. Norton
I like talking about the demise of print, but I don’t have any allusions that digital can be as conceptual as a well designed book cover. The above interview is with the current V.P. art director at W.W. Norton, the talk is about their process.
Building an Army of Hyper-Local, Mobile-Connected Advocates
There’s a couple interesting angles for me on this story. I first read this story from Advertising Age, but since they wall their content after a week I thought it made more sense to pass it along to the original source. A lot of people use foursquare, I can’t argue that point as I see them all talking on Twitter. I’ve never tried it for personal reasons. In any case this article does a good job a breaking down the mobile app.
Digitized Stalking Is the New World Order
Just when you thought it was safe to be online.
Designers and Citizens as Critical Media Artists
As a concept I thought yellow arrow was a pretty cool idea. The designer’s of that and other cool things talk about it.
Easy Meat Cheat Sheet
What can I say, I’m a sucker for meat charts. There’s something freakishly interesting about them.
Retail Cuts of Art from GG
A second meat like chart I came across…
The App Store and Apple’s Recent Behavior
Apple has always been a corporation though sometimes people forget this. With the iPhone and the partnership with ATT, a lot of their business strategies are being questioned.
Is Apple More Evil Than Microsoft?
Could an article like this have been written three years ago?
Detroit Book : MITCH COPE
These are images worth taking a look at. They speak volumes to those that think that what ever industry they are in is not susceptible to change.
The meaning’s behind the short phrases are great.
what brands can learn from mission street food
A different type of look at my fav. SF food place.
Design Club: Why young American designers are ganging up
Interesting concept but it’s not new like is suggested. MADE in Edmonton is doing something similar and has been going strong for over ten years.
Making sense of health care
I nice big chart about health care…
Delightful error pages
The start of a collection of error pages.
Five steps to a better design brief
Here’s a couple steps that any designer can take heed to.
Good background info about how Good magazine does it’s thing.
Friend of DesignNotes, Rob Peters looks back at Hiroshima.
Link Drops by DesignNotes
It was interesting for me to read through the eyes of someone else about my Link Drop.
One of the more under utilized functions in twitter is the favourite function. I think there’s huge opportunities to filter and find great bursts of tweets that others find interesting. Above are a couple that I pulled from what I’ve favourited as of late.]]>
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Last week I mentioned how I’m starting to post about the same themes week after week. Well this week for the Link Drop I’ve tried mixing it up a bit. There’s lots about eggs and circles. I’m not entirely sure how this happened, but when things flow whom I’m I to stop it from happening—maybe I was hungry as I was going though the sites…
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Tina Fey on Amy Poehler on branding now
I think this quote is great: “Amy is funny because she doesn’t care what you think, but she does want to make you laugh. It’s a complicated and important combination.” If only we could all have the same attitude…
Video is Justice
Lots to consider with this post—just proves that what’s released into the wild isn’t always what a person can expect.
Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died
This is crazy, and it should be noted that the Guardian is doing some interesting stuff. Last week I posted about them using twitter; The Guardian @ G20 summit and protests in London
Switch to Energy Saving Bulbs with FF Dingbats 2.0
Cool idea to get colour into dingbats, plus the images are nice.
Too much (poorly designed) Information?
Good breakdown of info design overthought. Maybe they should have stopped while they’re ahead? Good candidate for agile design?
Automatic Legends for Proportional Symbol Maps (Jenny)
Cool tool, I wonder if there’s some sort of magical/golden rule to these type of proportions.
Kode9’s “Black Sun” single came out today! You know it’s the techn-00’s when I’m waiting impatiently for almost trip hop.
It’s been a while since I showed one of these diagrams—the colour spectrum is quite telling.
The Fedrigoni Mountains
I wish this was some sort of three dimensional diagram because it would rawk if it was.
Subway Station Buttons
The MTA should steal this idea and sell buttons for $2.50 a piece. That way New Yorkers using the subway wouldn’t be overcharged…
toilet roll origami
Crazy idea—how does one come up with something like this? It would be cool to do some designs around this stuff.
This is hilarious, I wonder how many design students are going to try the same thing—and what will the reaction be from the design teacher? Shock in horror or utter disbelief in the geniusness of it…
More info on the circle, good followup after the porno circles.
Why a 24-hour Design Marathon Works
Not too sure about the 24hr thing, but the Nine Tricks of the Designer’s Trade are pretty good to remember.
Can design save the newspaper?
This is a pretty good response to the TED video of the same name. It doesn’t really surprise me that a lot of designers think this, but seriously get an idea of the economics and understand the experience that people are interacting with to get their news. Showing a portfolio of pretty pictures for five minutes isn’t going to help and it just brings down the design profession.
Mattias Mackler: Peace Revolution poster
Love the execution of this poster.
THE J SCHATZ EGG BIRD HOUSE COLLECTION
If I had a backyard I’d get the yellow one. They should really limit the colours to white and yellow—much stronger concept left like that.
Mid-Century Modern Furniture Poster by J Provost
This would be nice to hang somewhere.
“traces of an imaginary affair”
Another “how did this person come up with this idea”, but it’s kind of funny if you’re into that kind of thing. The picture is perfect, ha.
Interesting design exercise with tying illustration into the package design.
If you’re a motion designer, you might be interested in checking this out.
Coffee Top Caddie
I like this low–fi design solution.
credit card cutlery.
This seemed to fit with the above low–fi design concept above.
Effective CRM you won’t read about in Adweek
This is the stuff no one talks about (except for now), interesting observations to be read…
Happy 5th Birthday, Subservient Chicken
Great breakdown, wish more work that’s good would be written up in a format like this. Shows how the process evolved, people that worked on it and the final product.
Consciousness Raising in the Dairy Section
Fitting post to end with—lots of info on eggs that I never really thought about before.
I don’t know if I’m getting old or what, but on Friday nights I’m starting to like resetting by going through all the stuff I missed during the week. Typically this includes going through a weeks worth of Charlie Rose. I’m not going to watch five or six interviews, but as a skim through them I’ll find a gem or two. Those interviews usually have me pulling out my muji notebook to jot down some ideas or quotes. The conversation with Chef Ferran Adrià & Chef Jose Andres on Mar 30, 2009 was especially noteworthy. I’ve attributed the quotes (and text mash–ups) above to both Ferran Adrià & Jose Andres because one was speaking in Spanish while the other translated to english. I have no idea how things were interpreted so it makes sense to me to include them both.]]>
Over the weekend I had a lengthy interview with one of my new favourite designers, Alissia Melka-Teichroew. I was introduced to her work recently after she started following me on twitter. As I was going through her designs there were a couple things I came across that I recognized. It had been a while since my last interview so I thought she would be perfect person to hear about her design philosophy. Above is one quote that I pulled from our talk on Saturday. You can expect the full interview here in a couple weeks after the editing is complete.]]>
A couple nights ago I went to hear Shepard Fairey, Lawrence Lessig and Steven Johnson speak at Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. I had pretty high hopes for the event that couldn’t possibly delivered on. Lessig spoke for about 30 minutes to put the case against AP in context. You can see the slides and hear it http://blip.tv/file/1821209. There’s a decent synopsis of the entire talk at PSFK. I’ve pulled some of the notable quotes from Fairey above. What disappointed me was that in one sense I’ve heard most of what Fairey has said before. Possibly because I’ve heard a lot of his interviews already and due to the nature of what he can say due to the lawsuit. I’m glad I went to see the talk in person, but I would have preferred to have had at least one person from an opposing pov there to cause a real debate.]]>
A couple days ago I came across a great twitter comment from Geoff Manaugh of bldgblog in which he mentions “Football as a series of contradictory landscape strategies: analytic geometry. Competing ways of using a nd filling space.” I’m a fan of both North American football and soccer which I thought was apt for both sports. Then yesterday I came across another analogy, this time it was about chess and Bobby Fischer’s eulogy via Jason Kottke. Michael Paterniti wrote “This was the beauty of Bobby Fischer’s mind, even then. The boy made very clean, simple lines out of very complex problems, and when the trap was sprung, his style of chess became so transparent you could instantly recognize its brilliance: efficient, organic, wildly responsive and creative.”
I like combining stuff to see what I get, especially with quotes like above. Both of those excerpts are relatable to not only their respective sports but to the bigger picture of design from my pov. If you can follow me for a sec I’ll explain why. In Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design (Interactive Technologies) by Bill Buxton, he describes trigonometry (something that is fundamental to navigation) “more often than not they recast the problem in a different representation that simply side-steps the need for the task to be done”. In football it’s about moving ideas from point A to B by dealing with challenges, while in chess as Fischer illustrated, turning a complex process into something that was simple in it’s brilliance. Isn’t that what design is about?]]>
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.
Below is one of those quotes that’s good to read once in a while if you’re a designer or anybody else trying to do something interesting. It’s from Richard Serra’s Commencement titled If Not Now, When?
“Rather than being told which tools are available for which ends it is more useful to invent your own tools: As Audre Lorde has pointed out, “ … the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Rules are overrated. They need to be changed by every generation. That is your most important mandate: If it’s not broken, break it. One way of coming to terms with the prevailing language of a cultural orthodoxy is to reject it. It may be necessary to invent tools and methods about which you know nothing, to act in ways that allow you to utilize the content of your personal experience, to form an obsession and to cut through the weight of your education. Obsession is what it comes down to. It is difficult to think without obsession, and it is impossible to create something without a foundation that is rigorous, incontrovertible, and, in fact, to some degree repetitive. Repetition is the ritual of obsession. Don’t confuse the obsession of repetition with learning by rote. I am suggesting a form of inquiry, a procedure to jumpstart the indecision of beginning.”
Phrase of the day: “It is better to do nothing than to not do anything.” Purpose and intention behind actions, even if it is choosing to not act.]]>