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DesignNotes by Michael Surtees | Testing & Sprinting

Diego Rivera in Detroit

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Reading In Detroit, a Case of Selling Art and Selling Out quickly reminded me of a recent trip to Detroit. Ford had invited me to attend their annual thought leader’s […]

Street Level Info Design


No matter where I start my walk to work in the morning I tend to find myself on 30th st at some point. Inevitably I’ll end up walking under a […]

Busy Day at Dataminr

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Today was a pretty significant day at Dataminr, below are a couple of articles from the press talking about the new round of funding and what Dataminr does. WSJ LIVE: […]

Giant LEGO Star Wars X-Wing in Times Square

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Last Thursday thru Saturday there was a Giant Lego Star Wars X-Wing in Times Square. Using 5.3 million LEGO bricks and taking over 17,000 hours, the true to scale X-Wing […]

Forbes Career Advisor iPad App Release

Forbes Career Advisor iTunes

I’ve been waiting quite a long time to write this post. I’m really happy to mention here that the Forbes Career Advisor iPad app is now available. This was the […]

AIGA Colorado’s Bordo Bello in NYC


NYCxDESIGN snuck up on me pretty quickly. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get out to many events yet. Looking at the calendar there’s a ton of things […]

After a week with my new HTC One

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I had my iPhone 4S for almost two years. It was decent enough though I had wanted a larger screen two years ago. Before buying the iPhone 4S I had […]

Monotype’s Pencil to Pixel in NYC

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If you love type and you’re in NYC this weekend and find yourself in Soho, perhaps make the trek to Tribeca to see some original type (and process) with Monotype’s […]

UXD Flow


For the past couple of months I’ve been co-teaching with Luke Miller at Generally Assembly. The class is UXD with the goal of those taking the class could be hired […]

The origins of iconic images from NYC’s musical history explained


Having coffee with Sue Apfelbaum a couple weeks ago, she tipped me off about a series of articles that she was writing for the Red Bull Music Academy. For the […]

Busy days, weeks and months at Dataminr

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It has been quite the time to be designing in parallel and in some instances ahead of the speed of Twitter. The events of the past weeks and months have […]

Dataminr alerting its clients to the Twitter hoax a full two minutes ahead of major news


FROM FORTUNE MAGAZINE: SHOULD BLOOMBERG BE AFRAID OF TWITTER? Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 146 points within seconds after a hacked AP account falsely claimed the White House […]

Reviewing the First 3 Months of 2013 in Photos

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Every couple months I try to take a step back to look back and review some of the common themes I’ve found myself shooting. Now that we are in April […]

Guest Post for Mashable About RSS

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It has been quite a week for anyone that has grown to use Google Reader as the news is sinking in the Google is killing their RSS reader. There’s been […]

Typographica’s Our Favorite Typefaces of 2012, I chose Aften Screen

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Below is my review of Aften Screen for Typographica’s Our Favorite Typefaces of 2012. If you’re a fan of typefaces and want to see some beautiful cuts, I recommend visiting […]

Different postures a typical person goes through in a workday with more than one device

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I came across the above diagram for the Gesture chair from YMFY. Basically it shows the different postures a typical person goes through in a workday with more than one […]

Experiencing Sean Kenney’s Lego Piece By Piece at the Art Director’s Club

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The Art Director’s Club invited Sean Kenney to talk about his art and display some of his personal Lego pieces in a show titled Piece By Piece: The Artist Who […]

Saying Goodbye To Gesture Theory

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One of my goals when I wanted to move to NYC was to start a company. With Gesture Theory I was able to complete that unattainable goal that I dared […]

There’s something amazing about Basquiat

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I’ll be kicking myself for a while for not taking any photos of the Basquiat show that I saw over the weekend at the Gagosian Gallery. Below are photos from […]

Passive Aggressive Signs, Chelsea Edition

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It has been a long time since I went for a walk down the West Side Highway. Taking advantage of the nice weather I found myself walking in Chelsea near […]

Twittter Activity During the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

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A couple weeks ago Mashable had a post about Dataminr’s UI technology for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony. Below are two maps that show some of the Twitter activity. You can […]

January 2013 in Photos

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Here was a couple persistent themes through out the month of January. Lots of the city, typography that caught my eye, a bit of food and one special dog… CITY […]

How to open a door

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Doors should be pretty self explanatory. A person turns a knob, pushes forward, pulls back or maybe slides a handle. While I don’t agree with the statement that if an […]

Marc Brisbourne, R.I.P. Great Friend

A dear friend of mine passed away recently. When I think back to the great times in Edmonton, a lot of the time it was directly related to hanging with […]

An Evening with Les Ballets De Faile


The combination of Faile and the New York City Ballet was a great idea. An awesome art installation with the athleticism of the NYCB. The night that I saw both […]

Simple Type

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I’ve been on a bit of a type kick lately. Below are some of those messages and bits of info that caught my eye. If there’s anything that binds the […]

Haroshi vs Aakash Nihalani in NYC

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Over the weekend I took the time to visit Jonathan Levine Gallery to see Haroshi and Aakash Nihalani latest pieces. I’ve seen photographs of Haroshi’s work previously on blogs. The […]

Mashing Up Photos with Google Maps for Context


I’ve been posting photos to #walkingtoworktoday for many years now. There’s a lot of motivating factors for why I do it everyday. One consistent theme is that I want to […]

Empire State Building as a Static Presidential Election Results Billboard


Last night as the results were being mentioned on TV and talked about on Twitter there was one other method people could see the results. CNN and the Empire State […]

AIGA Get Out the Vote 2012 Exhibition

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Near the end of last week I spent some time at AIGA National Design Center. As I was walking through the Get Out the Vote 2012 Exhibition I was struck […]

Looking at the Augmented Reality Cover for the Metropolis New City App

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Friend of Design Notes Kimberly Taylor let me know about an augmented app for the new cover of Metropolis Magazine. I don’t interact with much AR these days so playing […]

Lego Building Process


I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time. Last Xmas I got back to building with Lego. At the time I spent 2 days building the Lego Volkswagen […]

Link Drop 021…. Stuff I read this week

Two more months of sprinting – August & September in photos


I hate to sound consistent but the past couple of months have been crazy. Below are some of the images that made me pause long enough to stop and consider […]

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