NYT Article announcing Dataminr for News: Earlier this year, several producers at CNN received an alert from a new digital news gathering tool that they were testing: A teenager in Los Angeles had posted a tweet saying that the pop music heartthrob Justin Bieber had been arrested.
CNN’s Los Angeles bureau followed up on the tip by calling the appropriate local precinct. The police confirmed that Mr. Bieber had just been arrested on burglary charges, but wanted to know how the cable news network could possibly have known that.
The answer is Dataminr, a software tool designed specifically to analyze billions of Twitter postings for patterns that could indicate breaking news. On Tuesday, Dataminr becomes commercially available to news organizations, some of which — like CNN and Gannett — have already been testing the software.
This was designed at Behavior and is no longer available for download.
Read the process at http://designnotes.info/?p=7990 and download at the Apple App Store on iTunes.
Read about the process at http://designnotes.info/?p=6163 and download at the Apple App Store on iTunes.
Read the process at http://designnotes.info/?p=7990 and download at the Apple App Store on iTunes. Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This app uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed by Etsy, Inc.
You can read more about the process at http://designnotes.info/?p=4272
View the site at http://designsalaries.aiga.org/
Read about the process at http://designnotes.info/?p=5793.
Read about the process at http://designnotes.info/?p=6731. It should be noted that the site is no longer live.
Having been in NYC for the past seven years now I’m still trying to get used to Thanksgiving. To be honest I never got the idea of it in Canada either as it’s happens so early in October while here it’s near the end of November. For me I tend to reflect on the past year January 1st. On the first of the new year I go through the ups’s and downs of the past year, consider the successes and what I want to achieve in the next year.
This year a day after Thanksgiving I decided to start grouping photos from the past couple of months. It gives a view through my eyes of what I’ve been thankful for. The order of the images for the most part are chronological as the orders naturally developed.
ON THE STREET
Looking back at November, the first thing I saw was the quantity of photos I shot. This was the first full month with my iPhone 4S and the weather in NYC this November was amazing. I can’t recall seeing a better fall month since I was in NYC. This was also the first month that a majority of my images were published first on Instagram and passed to Flickr second. The catch is that almost all my images for this post are being pulled from Flickr because it’s an easier way to host the images. With the talk of Yahoo being acquired, broken apart or something in between, it will be interesting to see where Flickr is this time next year.
Lightning bolt on the street #walkingtoworktoday
DeckPub getting closer to a private beta release candidate… Published deck on the iPad
Really old MTA color system #talktome @AIGANY @AIGA
Design intervention which creates interaction -Design intervention antenna design sigi moeslinger #talktome @AIGANY @AIGA
Forbes covers at Forbes
Working from home instead of #walkingtoworktoday
Took a different walk this afternoon
Surprised more leaves haven’t changed color along the Hudson river
Such a nice morning to be outside
Madison trying to pay me for treats
Pool time in the fall #walkingtoworktoday
Yeah for breakfast meetings
Happy that it’s still iced coffee weather #walkingtoworktoday
Shot with Photosynth’s iPhone app
Early morning #walkingtoworktoday down 31st
Washington Square Park
Manhattan in the afternoon
Manhattan in the evening
Foggy morning in Manhattan
Old school newsstand tagged up #walkingtoworktoday
Cloudy 180 of Madison Square Park & Flatiron Building
Info design on the street #walkingtoworktoday
Enjoying a crisp fall NYC morning stroll down the Hudson river
Early morning leaves
Earlier this morning on Park Av
180 inside Madison Square Park
Top secret foosball practice facilities with @robertgorell for #WGDFC
Love this coffee place #walkingtoworktoday
Type light #walkingtoworktoday
Raining gold on Thompson st #walkingtoworktoday
Concrete being set #walkingtoworktoday
The fancy #wgdfc trophy
The #wgdfc indesign leader board with rulers
180 of the #wgdfc
A year of no practice has resulted in @gesturetheroy best results in five years at #wgdfc
Nice play on the Love Me sticker floating around
Tons of smoke coming from midtown near Macy’s
Looks like 34th is completely closed with fire trucks almost no traffic in front of Penn station
Trapped in Matthew’s office
Test driving the Nooka Zizm
Type on Wooster st
I’m thankful for FreshDirect
…and the guy that was able to get eight different bottles into six slots
Madison is ready for the holidays
Blue sky above the Hudson river this morning
Xmas trees about to go up in Washington Square Park #walkingtoworktoday
Washington Square Park updated from yesterday #walkingtoworktoday
365 Design Effectiveness #walkingtoworktoday
Enjoying @changeorder home made granola this morning
I spent some time this afternoon hanging out at Nooka’s office with good friend Matthew Waldman. Anyone that knows Matthew knows that he loves showing off his new products. This time around he showed me the Nooka Zizm. I had seen some images on his site but was surprised to see how differently it looks in person. I wasn’t so sure about the angled glass from the images on his site, but in person I really liked it. The face was completely legible from all angles. I also like how the watch looked like on an angle on my wrist. You can take a closer look at the specs at http://www.nooka.com/zizm-ti-p-383.html]]>
If I knew a month a go what I do now, I wouldn’t have believed it. Everything imaginable and unimaginable happened. I survived intact and am here to think back about it. I suppose it’s a warm up of the things to come. Until next month, same time, hopefully same place, below are some of the things I was able to catch.
Sunrise this morning
Walking in Soho down Broadway & Broome #walkingtoworktoday
Newspaper from across the apartment hallway #walkingtoworktoday
NYC city worker painting a traffic light #walkingtoworktoday
A billboard on west broadway that almost works #walkingtoworktoday
Only in NYC would I eat outside with a view of the Holland Tunnel
New York Post front page today
Flatiron Building #walkingtoworktoday
Press button for luck
Roof view tonight
This is what a crushed garbage can looks like
I really like this info design integrating wine & type at Maialino
Water fountain at Washington Square Park #walkingtoworktoday
Looking at Manhattan from the Brooklyn side
Time to review how this week went meeting at team GT
There’s always cool stuff going on at @Nooka
Trapped on 36 & 6 with this rain
A bit of haze out the window
red skies outside the apartment
luv the typography on this door #walkingtoworktoday
Piano player underneath the arc in Washington Square Park
Not #walkingtoworktoday in LA
Madison is ready for Irene
I’m pretty high up and have yet to hear any issues with wind on the windows by #Irene
The Hudson looks pretty much the same as a week ago
Scion iQ Press Reveal
Scion iQ Press Reveal
Over thinking info design on how to ring a bell #walkingtoworktoday
Filming in Washington Square Park #walkingtoworktoday
Quote on the door: We dream in the skeletons of skyscrapers #walkingtoworktoday
I dropped by on Friday after work to catch up with Matthew from Nooka. While I was there he showed me a couple of the newest time pieces that have just been released. The one that caught my eye was the Nooka Zub Zoo 40. I think it’s their first watch designed to swap wristbands easily with different colors. Instead of screws or pins, these bands simple slide out. I’d be curious to see what a black Zub Zoo would look like with the inside band as white. Since I was there I thought I’d shoot a couple images of the Zub Zoo 40’s. One thing that is hard to notice from the product until it’s put on is the ergonomics and shape. The straight on view is very straight. Once on the angles really come alive to fit the wrist. I’ve got a lot of Nooka’s, the shape of this one might be my favorite one to date. There aren’t many issues with the watch though I did find that the buckle design makes it slightly difficult to take off. I had to put my finger under the strap to push it out. The watch is a little light for my liking. I tend to like a lot of weight with a watch. That’s a minor thing as I suspect most people prefer it the other way around and have it light as possible. In terms of the design, I’ve heard that the Zub design, this is what some of the other watches will transition to. That’s great as I think it’s a real nice evolution of their line.
Aside from the new Zub Zoo design, there’s new packaging from Nooka worth mentioning. It’s entirely one piece of papper cut and folded to make a really strong box. As you can see above, it’s a really intricate design to get everything to fit together nicely.
While I was at Nooka I met Kotomi from IDEA which is based in Tokyo hanging out at Nooka too. After I was finished shooting the Nooka stuff we all headed out for dinner where she showed us some pretty cool design stuff that comes out of IDEA. Below are some of my favorite design’s that they have.
Publisher’s Note: Anyone that’s visited this blog knows that I try to mention Nooka as much as possible without over killing it. They’ll also note that there’s an ad from Nooka on the right rail—they’ve been a great supporter of this blog. I’ve also worked with them on the redesign of their website that I mentioned in this post. With all that said this post like everything else I mention form Nooka is from the point of view of a fan and not as someone that just got paid with a briefcase of cash.
When I first saw a prototype of the Zayu it was an instant favorite. It had similar face to a couple of the other Nooka’s that I owned but had evolved it enough to be something new. The worst thing a designer can do is show another designer something really cool, and than mention that the cool thing won’t be available for months. So for the last six weeks I’ve been emailing weekly to find out when the Zayu would be finally out. It came in this week so here’s the pics I took above and below is an interview that I had with Matthew of Nooka while he was still in Japan for Tokyo Design Week.
MICHAEL SURTEES: Can you talk about how the Zub Zayu came to be. To me it looks like an evolution of the Zot, Zen and outer shape of the Zirc together.
MATTHEW WALDMAN: The zirc is my favorite design we’ve released in terms of form. It sits on the wrist almost weightless as the weight is transferred to the wrist bone when worn correctly. It also allows the watch face to be worn over a sleeve. Unfortunately we as a brand need to get better at telling these kinds of stories as well, and I think this was lost when we launched the zirc. Wanting to tell this story to a broader audience (i.e. More democratic price point) was my main motivation that led to the design of the zayu. To be honest, as a designer, I am never 100% satisfied with my own work and combing the appeal of the zubs with the things I like with our higher end models is definitely an evolution.
MS: One of the other features mentioned in the press release is a new battery power saving mode. I remember you mentioning during Design Week talk with Joey Roth that batteries are what’s constraining the features that a watch can do. Has the new battery technology influenced the design of the Zayu?
MW: Unfortunately it’s the old technology that forces us to innovate in this way. Necessity is the mother of invention right?
MS: A couple practical words that I’m picking up a lot in the press release and from other blogs is time capsule, ambidextrous, and asymmetrical. That’s a bit of a shift from the futuristic philosophy that I’m used to hearing. Has Nooka’s philosophy shifted much from the last year?
MW: Who says the future is not practical? It’s all rooted in futurism. The Zayu is a universal communicator of both time and cool—what can be more Nooka?
MS: Speaking of the future, are there any materials that you’d like to use yet haven’t been able to because of cost or are hard to manufacture?
MW: Tons! low power ELs, kenetic electric batteries, flat integrated LCD and OELD, self-cleaning surface coatings, bio plastics… The problem is that being a small company, we can never afford the license fees and minimum order quantities. I’ve reached out to the 3Ms and Duponts of the world, go to the industrial trade shows and we are active with the material connexion here in NYC, so making the effort is not the issue. Perhaps some high level people reading your blog will see this and reach out to do some cool collabs?
MS: One of the strongest brand attributes that Nooka has in my opinion is how fans share what they love about the company on Twitter and Facebook and how you and others at Nooka seem to respond to almost everyone online. How do you all keep up ?
MW: Convergence! I have Twitter and facebook on my iPhone so there’s no excuse not to check in. When I’m traveling I ping people in the Nooka lab to pick up the slack. Of course, it’s a bit of an addiction as I love attention, however virtual it may be.
MS: This time next year what can fans of Nooka expect to see that’s being thought about right now?
MW: I hope apparel, new strips (belts), new sunglasses, more watches and expanded fragrance offerings.
MS: Any plans for any more pop up shops in NYC or are you focused more selling online at Nooka.com?
MW: BOTH! Thanks to you and Yumi Asai, nooka.com looks HOT and i’d love to see more purchases there. We are planning more pop-ups as well as they are doing well in Japan for us. I’ll keep you posted.
MS: What’s the most misunderstood thing about Nooka?
MW: That our product is a really the philosophy of universal communication and not the physical objects themselves. Also, people think we are a larger company than the 8 people start-up we are which actually can get in the way of some things. Of course, it’s not a bad problem to have I’m always told.
I’ve been really lucky in 2010 so far. It has also been incredibly busy. While transitioning from Daylife and before starting at Behavior I had the opportunity to work with one of my favourite brands to design their new site in terms of UX. I’m not a huge fan of the word UX as I see it as part of the natural part of design, but I’ll save that discussion for a different post. Essentially I worked with Nooka to see what could be improved in terms of people finding products, creating systems for Nooka to talk about their story and facilitating an even better sense of community between Nooka and the fans that celebrate their designs.
I started with these six topics to focus on the redesign:
1. Audit Site
· What is in the site, what are the major categories?
· What is working?
· What doesn’t work?
2. Who is visiting this site
· Who are the people (what are their goals)?
· Gather feedback via blog, Twitter & Facebook (what do you like, what don’t you like)
3. What are the priorities
· When a person comes to the site, what roles does they play?
· What do we want them to do?
4. What is the story we’re trying to present
· What does Nooka want to express?
· What is the typical media release?
5. What is the strategy for growth and evolution?
6. What are the types of pages and the roles?
From there it was a matter of listening, asking questions and collecting the data. From that it was a matter of sitting down with the Nooka team to set a plan of attack. The main people on the redesign team was Yumi who did the visual design and the lead developer was Leslie. Providing feedback during the meetings and development were marketing and sales.
There’s a lot of details but to keep it on a high level I’ll mention a couple themes that focused on the redesign. As a huge fan of Nooka I’m asked quite often which watch someone should get. There’s a couple basic questions that I’ll start with that focus on the idea of telling time. From there it is a matter of deciding on a band and color. If we could design a home page that allowed people to get a broader sense of what Nooka has to offer we felt that people would be more willing to explore and focus on options. Another important aspect of the redesign was taking the different roles that someone might play in coming to the site. We used the product detail page as the core element and built a foundation around that. Each page shows a number of related products. Each section and category gives an overview to compare. Some fans know the product inside out and just want to see the new stuff—so there’s a section for that.
Being online is extremely important. I look at Matthew and the amount of time he spends on Nooka’s Facebook Fan page and Twitter account and wonder if there’s anyone else that spends that much time engaged with the people that enjoy his products. We wanted to take that spirit, include marketing and news information into one section. Nooka 360 was a section to create a system that allows marketing to be released in a timely manner yet not loose those personal connections. As with any site launch there’s going to be some adjustment in the next couple of weeks. Part of the plan was to release the site, gather feedback for a month and make any adjustments as needed. With that said if something feels kind of strange with the site as you explore, please let me know and I’ll pass it on to Nooka.
There’s a lot of reasons why I wanted to work with Nooka on this. I think it might have been five or six years ago I was complaining about their older website before I even knew Matthew. I was introduced to him via Tina to interview him for a blog post. From there we’ve been friends ever since so when the opportunity to help a brand that I truly respect, I wasn’t going to say no. It was also perfect timing as I was about to leave Daylife and could do a lot of the work before starting at Behavior. I had been on the old site so much that I had a pretty good idea what some of the pain points were. After spending a lot of time going through the site and looking at the issues with fresh eyes along with the team and listening to fans, a lot of the grid and systems designed itself.]]>
From time to time I’ll get press releases that I’m not sure what to do about. They’re something that comes with the territory when a person has a blog. It’s pretty rare that I’ll do a post that’s come from one but with that said sometimes there’s some interesting information that I wouldn’t mind passing on. It just didn’t feel right to post something on Design Notes.
With that said I do have the bandwidth to test something with Link Drop Today. From time to time if I get something that fits with what I like I’ll post it at Link Drop Today with a title of Press Release. That way there’s no confusion about what is my content vs me passing along info. Because I’m not charging for this type of post I’m going to be somewhat selective with the number of press releases I’ll publish on a weekly basis along with the type of content. Types of information that I’m looking for are event notices (not just NYC), product design and misc. things that fit into the context of Link Drop Today.
Because I’m trying this for the first time, and Nooka has been a supporter since I started, I used Nooka as the first test. It also acts as a good example of how I would treat the content. Essentially I was emailed a pdf along with a couple jpgs. All I did was take the first pdf, saved it as a jpg and reduced the size to fit into the post. If you click on the image it takes you to the pdf, and there’s a link to the site at the bottom.
If you’re interested in passing me along a press release for consideration, or have any questions please email me michael [at] michaelsurtees.com]]>
We’re half way through February and I finally feel that I’m back into a good rotation for Link Drop. The first couple weeks we’re a bit tough for me to get into the groove with. It was equal parts trying to start the new site Link Drop Today and partly figuring out when the best time to post stuff. I’ve also been testing out how I pass on these links through Twitter. For the most part I now know when to send something out or to keep it in house before I pass the link along. Enough about process, this week was about energy, Facebook and process. I’m not sure how energy popped up a couple times aside from having that post about design questions in the back of my mind. I celebrated a milestone yesterday with Design Notes turning five. I’m either doing something pretty well or pretty slow—I suppose time will tell how I keep the blog interesting for myself. As always if you have any suggestions on how I can make things better, please shoot me an email.
The McQueen Question.
There’s much to be said about Alexander McQueen and what happened last week. While I wasn’t versed closely with his design’s he seemed like an interesting character who had an impressive future ahead of himself. In terms of what to point towards in reaction I found the Sartorialist’s post The McQueen Question. worth mentioning in terms of a business—will it continue or stop? Lots of great comments in reaction to the question.
How to Make It in America, the Mixtape
It would be hard not to keep an eye out to the online marketing of How to Make It in America from HBO. While the show hasn’t even been on tv yet it seems like they’ve been able to cut through a lot of the noise that comes with a new show. Of course it might not hurt that I’ve been bombarded with ads on Facebook or that I’ve seen the first episode on YouTube. The show feels a couple years late but compared to most stuff on tv these days it should do pretty well. Back to their marketing—their mixtape that is hosted on Facebook is pretty good and worth a listen. Even better is that you can download the tracks.
78 Reasonable Questions to Ask about Any Design
Found via Dailogue Through Design, 78 Reasonable Questions to Ask about Any Design by Stephanie Mills suggests a lot of things a designer should think about.
Speed, death and interactive graphics
Great post from Greg Speed, death and interactive graphics talking about how the NYT displayed the info of the the Olympic luge athlete that died, and how other display information could influence how news is shown and discussed.
Really cool idea about LAPTOP REFLECTIONS. A camera was set up to take a screen shot and image of the user at the exact same moment. As a rational, they talk about the screen: “The screen sees me the whole time while I am looking at it, I am not embarrassed by it, it is neutral, invisible even, I don’t register its existence, it is just a glowing surface. The screen is inextricably connected to my life. It is a door that I pull shut behind me, which gives me access to a space where I can disappear. It is my gateway to information, it is my space for communication, it is a space where I carry out my work and enjoy myself. I entered into this connection and I am addicted to it”.
Martin John Callanan has created some static and animated comparisons of Text Trends worth taking a look at. He describes what’s going on by “using Google data it explores the vast search data of its users. The animation takes the content generated by search queries and reduces this process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency searched for over time, presented in the form of a line graph”.
Leech Plug: Tell Your Electronics When to Stop Sucking
A small way to reduce energy is to unplug items when not in use. While that might seem easy enough there’s still the issue of those items that are being recharged like a mobile device or camera battery. In the post Leech Plug: Tell Your Electronics When to Stop Sucking No Smarties shows a practical design that pops the chord out of the socket once the charge is complete. That way no excess energy is spent.
Twitpics from Space
CNET has a great photo gallery from Japanese astronaut Souichi Noguchi Twitpics from Space. He’s been taking photos as he passes the earth and sending them down on Twitter. While we’ve all seen images taken with sophisticated cameras his images offer something fascinatingly new yet similar because he’s using a normal everyday camera.
Font Aid IV: Coming Together
Font Aid IV: Coming Together is a contribution to the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti through Doctors Without Borders. For twenty dollars you can purchase the ampersand type set that “represents the idea of people coming together to help one another”. Impressive how almost 400 designers contributed on the project.
Life-size Dinghy Model Kit
Micheal Rylander points to this great art piece of a model boat made at life size from artist Michael Johansson.
Electric Bike by Yuji Fujimura
Speaking of energy saving devices, the idea behind this Electric Bike by Yuji Fujimura is that a person while riding can charge their laptop or power up the display area on the bike.
Future Algorithm of the Social Web
Continuing on my theme last week of looking at Facebook the post Future Algorithm of the Social Web by Rachel Tipograph piqued my interest. Generally speaking I think on occasion people put way too much weight into letting a computer decide choice options for information. With that said if you were to ask someone if they were happy with the type of information that Facebook displays on their news feed the answers is probably not. It’s not entirely Facebook’s fault, people’s interest change. Unless people have the option to tweak what interests them there will be issues having a computer predict what they will like by simply measuring clicks and time spent. That is only going to marginally improve a person’s experience.
Side effects of developing for yourself
Here’s a good contrasting post to the idea that a designer (or developer) shouldn’t take their own personal experience out of the process when they work on a project. Marco Arment talks about the Side effects of developing for yourself…
Nooka has been a great supporter of Design Notes and Link Drop Today since I started. Because of that support it always feels a bit weird posting about them, however I do think their stuff kicks ass which means from time to time I’ll pass along stuff that I think is worth mentioning. I don’t do sponsored posts which mean if I like something from a supporter I’ll write about it because I want to. So with that said I do think it’s worth reading Nooka’s Nookafesto, a reason d’etre for a couple reason. Every company or designer for that matter should from time to time reflect on who they are and what they stand for. I like Nooka’s example because they’re putting it out there as a work in progress. They’re fans will let them know if it’s working or not. Something more of companies should have an ear out for.
Early Quora Design Notes
While the title Early Quora Design Notes sounds kind of familiar that’s not why I’m pointing to Art Papers post. Why I am reading it is because it gives a great breakdown of their process for developing Quora up to it’s current version. For those that haven’t developed a lot of products there’s some great insight into how they’re working things out.]]>
Unexpected Narratives and Creating the Right Conditions
Last Thursday I traveled from NYC to Dallas to Arlington to hang with the AIGA Dallas Fort Worth Chapter and present a talk I titled Unexpected Narratives and Creating the Right Conditions. Jimmy Ball and the the Chapter treated me extremely well and made the experience great for me. I’ve attached the deck and made note below of all the posts that were covered in the talk.
1. STORY LINES
Walking to work in 60 Seconds, my 20/20 at #makethink AIGA Design Conference 2009
Watching the sun interact with design
New York City Colour Study Before the Crop
36 days of New York Sky: January 16th 2008 – February 20th 2008
New York City Colour Study Timeline
New York City Colour Study – Time when photo was taken graph
A Couple More New York City Colour Study Experiments – the old school animated .gif and weekly view
Starting the #walkingtoworktoday photo project
Experimenting with Fragmented Medias while #walkingtoworktoday
Unexpected Narratives and Creating the Right Conditions
Five reasons why I blog
Deborah Adler ClearRx Interview
An interview with John Gargiulo, owner of Swich in NYC
The Person behind Nooka: an interview with Matthew Waldman
Alissia Melka-Teichroew (@alissiamt) Interview: designer, founder of byAMT, curator, and maker
QuadCamera and ToyCamera Interview with Takayuki Fukatsu, creator of iPhone Apps
A great conversation with Swissmiss (Tina Roth Eisenberg)
REVIEW COPY: Look Both Ways by Debbie Millman
REVIEW COPY: I Miss My Pencil by Martin Bone and Kara Johnson
Banksy at work in NYC: Broadway & Howard St.
My walking experience with the AIGA NY ALPHABET/CITY: A WALKING TOUR WITH TOBIAS FRERE-JONES
The Flo in Florent
My Link Drop Process
Link Drop Today Release Notes
Video on Agile Design from my Creative Mornings talk is up
Working on Getty Images SmartGalleries by Daylife
3. HYBRID GRAPHIC DESIGN
What is the logo worth?
Face pics are the new logo
Company Deal Announcements
Branding Issues: Flickr + Yahoo + Microsoft
Lean Pocket Info Fail
Confusing MTA Subway Turnstiles
the Locksmith’s Business Card
Flexing scale, marks and other consistent things that brands could be
Branding abstraction in the real world (at least in NoLita)
Quotes to remember as a designer
4. CONTENT IS THE NEW UI
My News Flow on Flight 1549
Web actions du’jour
What Graphic Designers need to understand
How my iPhone evolved how I tell stories
Sketching out a blog post loop
Thinking about twitter feeding facebook status
More buy and vote on demand, and distributing things in digital
Podcasts are now magazines, magazines are what newspapers used to be, and music files are now…
24hr music app for the iPhone
Showing Competitors on a Product Site
Inside Out with Invader in NYC
Still photography and video evolution
Sure, people sometimes call Twitter the lazy web, but I also call it the helpful web. Case in point, Nooka is a supporter of DesignNotes and has an ad on my left rail. I’m also a big fan of the brand and its design—it would be hard not to. But when I wanted to post about the new Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S I wasn’t sure how people would react reading this post and seeing the ad on the rail. So I asked… The general consensus of friends that I trust said it’s fine as long as I’m upfront about the support. So yes Nooka is advertising on DesignNotes, and no they did not ask or influence how I wrote this post. Hopefully that keeps things transparent.
If you’re familiar with DesignNotes I do post a lot about Nooka and shoot a lot of pics too. What I really like at the base level of Nooka’s time pieces is that they’ve chosen to visualize the measurement of time in an original way (that has many people emulating now), that is actually very intuitive. Typically units in the bars are represented geometrically with squares showing hours and minutes. At a glance it’s easy for me to know how much time is left in an hour much like a second hand of a normal watch works.
However that’s not really what I want to talk about today. A couple months ago when Matthew invited me to the Nooka studio showing some unreleased Nooka things, I was really interested in how his new line of gem like cuts transferred from his time pieces to his fragrance and belts. A simple branding trick to measure the success of a brand’s visual communication is to place a thumb over the logo. If a person can still identify the brand, the design is doing what it needs to too. In much the same way, if a person where to take off the Nooka logo and compare the products of in this post, they’re very much part of the same identifiable family. In terms of brands that I interact with on a daily basis, there aren’t that many examples that I can think of that do that well. I might be misquoting Matthew but I think he attributed the shapes to glam futurism. It certainly has that type of feel.
Of all the cases from Nooka, I’m starting to think that the Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S is my instant favourite. It’s bright, has an awesome heavy weight to it and the band is constructed nicely. There are very few days when I’m wearing any of my Nooka’s that someone doesn’t ask about it. “How does it tell time” is a common one, but people are also drawn to the uniqueness of it. With this latest one it really turns the volume up with the silver chrome. I’m not usually a fan of big shiny things, but this time I’m willing to make an exception. Things that are heavier feel more luxurious—nothing new with that. But the combo of weight and brightness really make the watch nice on the wrist. As the watches evolve, so do the bands. While I really liked the clasp of the Nooka Zon, it’s now been tweaked to perfection. Instead of disconnecting, the band opens like suicide car doors.
Nooka has been around for a while, but over the last three years that I’ve known Matthew I’ve been pleasantly excited each year to see how things have changed for the better. There seems like a definite trajectory of moving into a number of different design categories. The Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S feels much more classy than the pop colors that the rubber watches provide. But with that said each has a place at the table that is smart just like those that are a fan of the brand. Don’t believe me, just check Flickr and Twitter to see what fans are showing and talking about—again there aren’t a lot of core fans like Nooka’s. That’s a design case study in itself.]]>
Friend and supporter of DesignNotes, Nooka is showcasing 16 customized NookaNooka’s November 11th at the Red Bull Space from 12:00pm to 7 pm, 40 Thompson St, NYC. A couple months ago while hanging out in the Nooka space I saw a couple of the characters above. The yellow one from Shin Tanaka was probably my fav. Should be fun…]]>
+ PROCESS 15 Posts
+ DESIGNNOTES 13 Posts
+ PACKAGING 10 Posts
+ TYPOGRAPHY 8 Posts
+ NYC 19 Posts
+ INFO FLOW 13 Posts
+ TIME 6 Posts
+ Misc. 15 Posts
+ BOOKS 8 Posts
+ TECH 9 Posts
+ PEOPLE/EVENTS 25 Posts
+ INTERVIEWS 12 Posts
+ DOGS 2 Posts
It’s been a while since I actually thought about why I design, after all it’s what I do all day long and for most of the evening too. But I thought it would be interesting to look back at a statement that wrote before I moved to New York about my world of design. Continue Reading…
What Graphic Designers need to understand
After reading the less than compelling outline about why members of the AIGA should remain members by their national president Richard Grefé titled How Is AIGA Helping Designers Survive the Recession? I wondered if graphic designers will ever get where things have been for a while and where they’re headed. Creativity and marketing the power of design (and thinking a star system is really going to make everything better) is a nice model for the nineties when every other article in business magazines were emphasizing design. Typically that press was about industrial design, but any mention of design helps everyone. Possibly the more eye rolling points with the AIGA outline is that people should still go to events (d’uh) and that people should stay strong. Sigh. Another point was about upgrading a designer’s skill set – it’s something I think about a lot myself. But if you don’t know what you’re doing with the tech. you’re not in any better of a place. Continue Reading…
Putting stuff out there
“Nearly all the best things that have come to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” quoted by Carl Sandburg. I found this quote via the post Good Unexpected Things by Roger von Oech. The timing of reading it was fitting for me on a number of levels. Yesterday I was talking to a talented designer that creates fascinating patterns for both fabrics and digital media, something that I really haven’t been exposed to before. We got to talking about blogs and how they happen and the stuff that happens once you put something out there. Even if your blog only reaches ten people, that’s ten people you would have never been in touch with before. It’s almost been a year here in NYC for me – I’m now heading back to Canada. Hopefully for just a couple days though as I renew my visa. Be warned that the next couple of days posts may go nostalgic. While I almost completely agree with the Sandburg quote, I do think you have to have a plan to get what you want, the method and execution is probably going to be unexpected. You have to be able to see what’s in front of you and make the most of it. Continue Reading…
It had to happen sooner or later, that just dumping a link on my blog and mentioning “it’s interesting” wouldn’t be enough. Now that I’m in the final countdown (for instance this is the last Tuesday that I’ll be working in Edmonton) in moving to NYC, I’m just about ready to move on with my blog. It started as an experiment, not really sure what to expect. Last Christmas I had a lot of time to think of where I wanted to take things, both with my career and my blog. I felt that it was time to move on from Blogger and perhaps with the name design*notes. I changed blogging platforms to WordPress and if you noticed the url of this blog it doesn’t say design*notes but sidewalkpressed. It was one of those small reminders of where I wanted to get to. When I finally moved to NYC the name of my blog would change. Continue Reading…
51% Design or Design just as much as you have to…
There’s an old saying in advertising about it being correct 50% of the time—people just aren’t sure which 50%. In the print world (which is just about dead), they’ve got one shot to get the content and design right before it hits the presses. When I think online I consider it to be the thing that has an infinite life. You can always update it. The only time something online ceases to be alive is when someone forgets to renew a domain name or the files are accidentally destroyed. Continue Reading…
Fighting the temptation of making things too tight within the design process
When I think about my design process and how it relates to how do I come up with an idea I’m reminded of a Paula Scher inspired quote. I don’t remember the exact phrasing but it went something like this. The sketch of the logo may have only taken a moment to draw, but it took 25 years of observation to get those five seconds of inspiration. While that is true, it doesn’t go far enough in talking about how that sketch becomes the thing in the computer that then goes out into the world. Getting that initial spark into a flame is something that is on my mind. With those rough sketches and ideas for a visual identity or more closely related to me at the moment – web sites, how do you keep it feeling like something that people will want to use. I illustrated the question above with my left hand. One is quite loose while the other is completely tight. The thing that I’m noticing these days (and perhaps all along my design career and even in school) is that I’ll take my initial loose idea and through a series of revisions make it too tight. It then becomes a process of adding and subtracting of elements, but that’s when it get’s even tighter (and worse), the freshness that made the visual design in the first place is gone. So then I go back to the first step which was probably the best of the designs in the first place. My question to you if you’ve read this piece is this – how do you stay aware of your design in progress and not make it too tight that the initial freshness grows as opposed to being killed off by being to rational? Continue Reading…
Shifting Design Positions as it Evolves
After reading Kevin McCullagh’s Core 77 article Design is changing in myriad ways. Are you? I started making a number of connections to other posts that I’ve come across lately. Kevin writes “game changers map out future opportunities by exploring the interplay between their current know-how and potential new applications for it in a changing world” and he goes on to explain how this is done. That statement was preceded by explaining in detail about how design has always been in flux though today the evolution is creating multidimensional issues that didn’t have to be considered at any other point in history. For those designers that see their work as a matter of communication and not as an offline vs. online thing, this article speaks to their transitional ability already. If you grew up on print and remember the days of Linotype Kevin’s article is worth purusing. Continue Reading…
Every once is a while I’ll go over why I design, and how I work to accomplish that. Last night I asked my self what e x a c t l y is my process for design and this is what made sense to me… The reason why I have a passion for design is that it gives me the chance to create better interactions through thinking and execution. My process is a mix of rational steps and practical applications. Looking at what needs to be accomplished I’ll ask what the end goal is and why and work backwards. Through a lot of questions a number of options open up. Through visualization of those answers from the questions, ideas and testing – a solution materializes. There’s more testing, putting it up to see what sticks and moving on to tweak it and see it live. The beauty and curse of the web is that nothing ever ends, but just grows and evolves over time, so it’s important to get feedback on what’s working and why some things aren’t so they can be changed when appropriate. Continue Reading…
A conversation with Chef Ferran Adrià & Chef Jose Andres on Charlie Rose
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. Continue Reading…
It’s probably a little too soon to be talking about information overload, but how do people actually make choices when there’s an abundance of options? Who do you trust, the billboard or a friend that can talk about why they like or dislike something? In the next couple of days I’ll be getting a new cell phone and carrier, hooking up cable with high definition options, finding a bank and probably a couple other things that I can’t think of at this point. With all the stuff out there, the only way that I can make an informed choice is by asking people… How do you do it? Continue Reading…
Learning by Design
Debbie Millman, a friend and someone who I admire has posted one of her best blog posts about what she has learned. There’s 10 graceful points that most designers can take something away from her experience, learn and get better. About a year ago Debbie visited Edmonton for a talk titled “Design Stories from New York” for the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada Alberta North Chapter. We filmed the talk and you can watch the entire presentation at http://abnorth.gdc.net/millman. While Debbie’s 10 points from her blog entry are not mentioned directly in the video as such, a lot of her ideas are talked about in part 3 of the video presentation. Continue Reading…
What isn’t design?
Recently I had a surprising conversation that had me defending the merits of design. I was competing against the assertion that design was nothing more than wrapping paper – a bow of all things. Then there was the oil change analogy, why should design be seen as more important than getting your car serviced? At this point, I’m going back on memory, so the exact details may have been slightly different. However the reality is that design is more then just the “thing you see”, the pretty picture, the bright colours, the flash and awe or that it is on the same level as an oil change. It would be easy to claim that design is about solving problems, but again it’s more than just that. I’ve asserted in the past that the execution of a design is a minor part of the process and the majority of the time of design is figuring out the intention of the action that you want to produce. There’s the idea of making visible what is not visible, creating form and making meaning where there once was none that I like to think design helps facilitate. Along the same line of design, where design is trying to save the world, I don’t think design can act alone. Through facilitation with other professionals, such as anthropologists, sociologists, psychiatrists, social workers, philosophers, tech people and others that observe and act, designers can be part of the solution for an optimistic and better world. Continue Reading…
Quotes to remember as a designer
For me personally, I don’t think there’s two more important quotes out there for a designer to consider. Zuzana Licko in an interview mentions “you read best what you read most” in 1990, while more recently during the 2008 US Presidential Election a student quipped “if the news is that important, it will find me”. They’re universal truths that are applicable to almost anything. It’s not a tech. thing, it’s not a print thing, it is a people experience thing. Everyone interprets their experiences the way they choose to—whether it’s consciously or subconsciously. Those two above quotes sum it up. If a designer reminds themselves about that every once in awhile, the action a designer needs to make becomes a lot more possible. Continue Reading…
Re: How do you stay creative?
The GDC listserv is a great place for design conversation, whether you’re a GDC member or not. Among the contributers, there’s Gabino Travassos who is currently residing in Calgary. One of his on going projects is Mote Magazine which is a must visit if music is something you’re into. Recently on the GDC listerv the question of creativity arose. One of the best responses came from Gabino. Below is his comment replicated with permission. Continue Reading…
Quotes & Paper Joy
was thinking that I could get a couple things across with this post that combines the idea of quotes and an interesting NYT article Start Writing the Eulogies for Print Encyclopedias that has implications for more then just print encyclopedias. Until joining Daylife I really didn’t pay a lot of attention to quotes as an element that could be separated from an article or news story. However as an entry point for reading the entire story it makes quite a bit of sense. It’s a sound byte that pulls you in quickly. While there will always be technical limitations to what can be pulled in through programs, I found it kind of fun to just create the above image without worrying about any of that. I could make the quote as a graphic – meaning I could use any typeface, make it big, different and illustrative as I felt. Of course it was time consuming so it also wouldn’t be practical to do something like that everyday. In any case it gives me future ideas that can be implemented on a larger scale within constraints. Continue Reading…
Guidelines for moi
Over at Uniquely the Epitome, Marc Rapp asked a bunch of creative types (including me) to write down some laws that they follow. Here’s Marc’s original post: IT’S THE LAW ( AT LEAST FOR TODAY ). I don’t know if I could say the below nine points are necessarily laws so much as they’re guidelines that I try to follow for the most part. You may have even read one or two of my points somewhere else originally. There’s probably another ten or twenty that I could squeeze out, but then the list just becomes a list that is skimmed over. Thanks for the invite Marc… Continue Reading…
Five reasons why I blog
When David Airey passed me on the question five reasons why I blog, I almost skimmed over it as I thought it was the same questions that was floating around a while back about five things. But obviously the questions are very different and hence I feel compelled to respond if for no other reason then it gives me a chance to see what’s changed from when I first started my blog three years ago. I’m not going to send this question out to anyone else I know, but I’ll leave it open for anyone that visits here to do the same questions on their blog. If you do, please send me an email b/c I’d be curious to hear why you blog. and yes Maddie is beside me most mornings as I do my first post… Continue Reading…
New York Magazine Interview, afterwards
A couple months ago I received a call from New York Magazine asking me if I wanted to take part in a new feature that would have designers going around the city taking photos of things that interested them in terms of culture outside, in subways, on storefront windows etc. If I said yes, this would be the first of its kind for the magazine. That was probably the second most memorable phone call related to anything New York. For me the first was actually getting the design job I wanted about a year ago. I was extremely excited but also reserved. I told a couple people I knew about the article, but until I saw it published you just never know if it’s going to happen. Continue Reading…
My contribution to Speak Up’s Stop Being Sheep Volume Three
I received an early gift from Speak Up yesterday. It was volumes Two and Three of it’s publication Stop Being Sheep. Each year they gather notable comments from the site and place it in print. It meant a lot to get these two books as I’m quoted in the third book, speaking up on Target’s abuse of the word design in a recent commercial. The books have a sentimental value b/c I’ve never seen my name in print anywhere. Two years ago I was profiled in the Edmonton Journal newspaper for my sense of style ironicly, but that was a long time ago and had nothing to do with design. Anyways, it’s those small things that you can’t buy that give me great joy. Reading over the comment again, it made me take stock of what I have and haven’t done to stay true to where I want to go. Continue Reading…
How my iPhone evolved how I tell stories
Comparing how I integrated blogging with other websites only a couple months ago to what I’m doing now with my iPhone – it’s evolved more then I would have first thought. There’s a number of reasons for this. Part of it has to do with me using more platforms to tell my story. Previously it was just flickr and delicious that I would use to integrate content that I created. A number of new sites have come into the fold for me now; facebook, virb (you’ll notice that friends in facebook and virb are quite different – maybe that’s worth a post in itself…), twitter and Tumblr. I use each of those other sites differently and for different period of times of course. What has me most excited is the quick mobile posts that I can now do with Tumblr via my iPhone. Continue Reading…
Maddie on my face as I try to blog
I wasn’t planning to post this image of Maddie trying to get my attention as I typed away on my previous post, but if it made my friend Tina laugh – maybe you’ll find it kind of funny too. As a side note it is interesting that a lot of design people have weims and viszla’s. Is it b/c they’re perfect? Continue Reading…
Waking up early again
When I turned thirty a couple months ago, I never had any regret about hitting that milestone. I’d had a good run up to that point – there’s been a lot of opportunities in both personal and professional life that has always kept me interested. I thought I was ready for more of a challenge professionally, as the saying goes you should be careful for what you wish for. The night I turned thirty Tamara surprised me with a party. At first it was a little scary b/c it was so unexpected, but it was also a lot of fun. At the time I didn’t realize that my career would follow the same unexpected surprises after that night. Continue Reading…
Diagram about DesignNotes
For a while I’ve been thinking about how my blog integrates a couple other sites like flickr and delicious and in turn how that has feeds into each other for content. Where I work once a week there’s a creative meeting where one or two people present on something that interests them. It allows people to hear about interesting things that everyone else might not be aware of. Today was my opportunity so I decided to talk about my blog. I went through a bit of the random process about how a post comes together, but to also mention that I use my blog as a tool for rapid prototyping. What I mean by that is that DesignNotes allows me to experiment very quickly with a lot of tools of communication. That’s where my diagram above comes into play. I just started a couple connections of other sites that I use and how that becomes a crazy loop. There’s all the visual stuff that people see and read, but there’s also the backend that involves understanding stats on why people come to my blog, what my tags are suggesting about the patterns of things that interest me, and as an experiment to see public blog and a semi private facebook site I have. I could go on and on about it, which I will at a latter date – but I thought it would be helpful to give some context into what all those lines are connecting to. Continue Reading…
Looking back on my del.icio.us tags, what are they telling me?
I’ve probably spent more time thinking about whether I should or should not ever tag anything new that I find interesting with “web 2.0” then one person should. Actually I started to notice my own self trend a couple months ago on my blog when I started to shift from the tag “web 2.0” and tagged more so with the word “culture”. Part of the evolution is that a lot of the web 2.0 social like applications are not that new, though they’re expanding ideas of how people communicate and interact and in theory moves culture along. I’ve also started to clean up my bundles of tags inside del.icio.us – the simple way is to fit all tags into one, two or three of the category bundles is Business, Education and or Entertainment. They’re so general it would be hard for not one of my tags to fall into place. A second level of bundles that I’m considering is Culture, Social and or Technology. If I actually have the time to do those bundles of tags, the last three bundle levels would possibly include Geography, Personalities and or Vague Title of Design. Continue Reading…
10 things I’m getting used to in NYC
· Placing dollar bills in vending machines
· A doorman
· Lacoste Stores
· Being able to walk where I need to go, no more car
· Taking a dog in an elevator when she needs to go
· More options on coffee as opposed to just 2nd Cup and Starbucks
· Subscribing to newspapers and magazines
· Apartment laundry service Continue Reading…
design*notes: One Year Later
Last Saturday I passed the one year anniversary of publishing design*notes. It’s funny looking back on it now, but I started this blog b/c of flickr. I was curious to see how I could integrate images with a blog and now we’re here. I also just wanted to share things that interested a designer like me. If there’s any advice I could give, it would be this. It’s never too late to start a blog and you’ll never know where it will take you. The biggest question I get is why are the comments turned off? I simply got tired of getting spammed all the time, it was tiring to delete all the junk. If there’s a positive, it’s the private email conversations that have evolved from something I’ve posted about. Continue Reading…
Year 3 in NYC Today
Today is one of those small reminder days that I look forward to. Three years ago I woke for the first time in NYC for work. One of my many goals in Canada for NYC was to be able to walk to work. My first job actually influenced where I wanted to live. It also helped because I had no idea about any of the boroughs of NY. So far I’ve managed to keep up the walking mantra for now. I think for most people if they were to look back for the past three years they’d notice it’s been pretty crazy for them too. Between career and life evolutions this period has been rapid. Continue Reading…
Let’s Hypothetically Say You Lost your Mac Book Pro…
Chances are if you are fairly mobile w/ work you have at least one laptop. If you’re a designer you’re more than likely to have a Mac Book Pro. If you’re a designer w/ a Mac Book Pro you probably carry the thing w/ you quite often – especially if you plan to do work after hours. If it’s the end of the week you probably are going somewhere after work w/ the laptop before heading home to the apartment. Hypothetically speaking (of course), let’s say you live in Manhattan and you rarely visit Brooklyn. Friends have a party there, you decide to check it out and you end up at a cool pub but aren’t paying too much attention to the name b/c it’s in Brooklyn and it’s unlikely that you’ll be back anytime soon. Normally you’ll sit down, put your laptop bag beside you and have a couple drinks. But this pub’s a bit different – it has a foosball table and it’s pretty hard not to not want to play. Foosball matches are played, drinks are consumed and everyone is having a great time – maybe too good. The night is over and you grab a cab back to the island.
Making something understandable as opposed to just simplifying
Sometimes when you come across something that is just perfect you have to just take a step back to try to understand why it’s great. An easy way for me to do that is by taking a ton of photos of it (or blog about it) to see what I can gain from a second view point. Before opening the tag package from my new Freitag bag I had no idea as to what was going to open up in front of me. 99.9% percent of tags for a bag are unremarkable – it’s an after thought, why bother doing anything with it? You’re going to buy the bag so why bother. It’s an unfortunate theme that isn’t just about bags. Design being taken advantage of is not a new theme by any means but to see how Freitag made a story about who they are is quite inspiring. Another theme is to cut information for the idea of simplification. Again that’s a bit of a misleading idea. Somethings are complicated, cutting content doesn’t help. Make it understandable instead. Continue Reading…
I haven’t jumped on the MUJI bandwagon w/ full force yet. I think in part b/c the space is so cramped inside their store location in SoHo that it’s tough to enjoy anything. Maybe when there’s less people to dodge its easier to browse. The one thing that I am pretty excited about w/ MUJI is something that they don’t even sell (I think). It’s their packaging for glass stuff. It’s a fairly simple pattern cut out of paper – but the tactile quality is such that is has a great amount of spring to it. No need for bubble wrap. There’s a lot of give and take with the paper that it turns it into another material altogether. I hope to find more discoveries like that the next time I’m there. Continue Reading…
The perfect bottle cap?
For such a simple task as opening a bottle of sake, I don’t think this cap could have been any clearer on the instructions. I suppose you could ask why, as in why bother informing the person about which direction to twist the cap to begin with? But if you’re going to take the time to do something on the cap, at least do it well. Continue Reading…
My Field-Tested Poster by Spike Press
A couple nights ago I came home to a package I’ve been waiting for. It was my Field-Tested Poster by Spike Press that was designed for Coudal Partners 2008 Field-Tested Books. They sent me one as contributer to the guide. Honestly the images on the Coudal site don’t do the poster justice. The poster in person has so many dimensions to it. Tons of depth, thickness and colour. IMHO screen printing should be classified as an art. There’s simply no comparison of something digitally output compared to something printed by hand. My photos don’t do the poster justice either, but I’ve taken a number of them and posted them to flickr.The photos above show what I mean about hand details. 1. The texture created by overlaying the ink on top of each other, 2. the awesome knockouts of colour and blocks, 3. the blotches of ink on the back side, 4. and the full poster unframed… Continue Reading…
Type that’s true either big or small
It was fairly serendipitous that for the last couple of Link Drop’s I’ve posted stuff from the blog of the Turkish design studio Antrepo. Digging around for a new typeface for a couple projects that I’m working on for myself I noticed that they had created something that spoke to some of my digital and print sensibilities together. A typeface that would work at a small sizes w/ the anti-alias off, while at bigger sizes stay true but not jagged. It’s called Modul 300 dpi Base at can be viewed at www.antreposhop.com/product/modul-300-dpi-font I’m still experimenting w/ it, but so far I like. Continue Reading…
The Flo in Florent
On the weekend my friend Caren and I went to Florent one last time. I didn’t have a long history with the dinner like some that may have been going there for years, or remember the times they would go there after partying till 4 in the morning or even had a business account there. But it was the first place Caren took me to eat while visiting nyc back in the day. She thought I would appreciate the designed aesthetic of the place. And of course I did which spoke to the unpretentious humour that was visible where ever you looked. I thought the above sign really spoke to that attitude. It sounds like the dinner isn’t exactly going to close after all which is good b/c people will still be working etc, but it will be fascinating to see where the past design aesthetic evolves into. Continue Reading…
area/code business cards
Of all the presenters at the PSFK Conference, the one that shifted my thinking the most in a different light was Kevin Slavin of area/code. They’ve taken the idea of game to the outside of streets. Between the technology, using maps of cities and the social aspect of play mashed together, it was something that really made me reconsider my environment and the role of play. I ran into Kevin briefly after the conference where he gave me his business card which is seen above. Continue Reading…
Say what you mean w/ a click
While I really like Noah’s brad tags site, I think www.dearadobe.com up’s the ante through context of “the why”. As far as I can tell the context is created through user submissions and is rated via one of three simple responses. That info is then correlated into the top 25 gripes. And to the question most people would be asking – does Adobe run this site? The site’s response “No, this site is not run by Adobe. It started from a conversation between Adam and myself complaining about Photoshop. Both of us being web design nerds, we figured ‘Why not create a forum for people to vent? Who knows, maybe Adobe will listen.’” Continue Reading…
Puma vs. Adidas; or art and marketing speak
If you’ve got four minutes I’d watch the two videos above to compare. One is a pretty good idea while the other smacks of an event that I suspect only marketing people would go to and probably think of as a cultural significant moment in their lives. What I really like about the Puma video that’s short enough to watch is they’ve turned a room into something pretty cool with some simple video techniques in a manner that I think a lot of other people could build of off. Adidas on the other hand presents a long video that shows a kind of dumb idea at best. Connecting painting to a white room and being able to express yourself in their padded environment seems a bit unreal. Continue Reading…
Virgin America Safety Video worth watching
What’s the most unmemorable part of a flight aside from making sure that your flight has not been canceled? It’s the government regulated safety procedures talked about inside the airplane. You’ve probably tried to ignore the talks about how to put on a seat belt, finding your exit, not smoking in the rest room, finding a life jacket near your seat and the possibility of getting more oxygen from masks, etc zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yes it is a ridiculous bore. However Chet Chat with Chet passed me on a video that suggests that maybe that boring info can be made interesting. Chet’s from Anomaly who in part created the actual video designed for an airplane that you might want to watch in your free time. While I’m not a huge fan on the illustration style from Wild Brain in San Francisco, the storyline works unpredictably well. I can appreciate knowing that people that have actually seen it in it’s natural environment cheered. I doubt any other airline would try to think in a new way. Continue Reading…
Over at the American Museum of Natural History yesterday
I visited the American Museum of Natural History for the first time yesterday, and it was scary. I think the second time will seem elementary but until then I can only speculate. Part of the problem may have been coming in through the back. But even still it shouldn’t haven been so confusing. I didn’t know what to expect or where I could go. For a while walking around was disorientating, and I never knew when I needed to pull out my ticket to show that I had paid for the general things. The map should have been a help, but it failed for one simple reason. There was no way to know where you were at any given moment. A really simple indication would have been to mention on a wall whether it was N, E, S, W. Ok, maybe not on every wall, but enough that I could flip the map in the right direction. Colour would have worked just as well. Continue Reading…
Walking Madison down the Bowery Saturday (and Sunday) morning I started shooting some type. The tip off photo was on the side of a delivery truck. If you’re a fan of typography and typefaces how could you walk past old faded white letters like my first image? As I continued walking other examples popped up. The only thing that I sort of skipped over were when shooting was the standard marks of tagging. It wasn’t that interesting to me and for the most part could be seen anywhere. What I was looking for was examples that if I said “this is something from the Bowery” it might have more resonance. Continue Reading…
First there was the architecture of Bowery, then came the typeface of Bowery, the extension of that is the dingbats of Bowery. A dingbat is not to be confused with those that are walking on Bowery to the New Museum, but “is an ornament, character or spacer used in typesetting”. There’s a lot to classify so I picked a handful that Madison and I saw on our walk this morning on our favourite walking street—Bowery. There’s the cryptic stencil sticker, the fancy liquor poster pattern, the where things get done icon (not to be confused with you’re only allowed one phone call), this is where you can plug in your radio icon, love can be found on this street icon, close box, water in case there’s fire image, the number of feet away one should stand away from sign, this way up mattress box, and the decorative cage on window image. There’s probably a couple that I missed so I’ll have to keep my eyes open tomorrow when I go back.
Social Activism as Design through Typography
When I started eagerly reading the Sunday NYT Magazine article the Road to Clarity I thought it was going to deliver a compelling mention of the process that design can be used to help create a better environment. And for the most part it does help explain what legibility in typography can do to help people read things from far distances. It also describes the passion that designers are willing to go through to see their ideas turned into reality. In this case it’s about changing the typeface that is used on American Roadsigns. Imagine dealing with a government bureaucracy to change a typeface so people will get two more seconds to read a sign as they drive by. Continue Reading…
While it’s still debatable if twitter is still more of a time waster than not, I do have to admire how people have taken a simple idea and modified it to their needs. Recently I started following a bunch of feeds from the NYT on twitter. Bare with me as I list them all off – a general nytimes, nyt_books, nyt_arts, nyt_food, nyt_world, nyt_style, nyt_metro. That in itself isn’t that significant but what is more interesting from my own personal use is that when some of those stories are sent out I’m clicking more so then if I was on the homepage of NYT. I used to visit the parts of NYT that showed what was most popular and most emailed articles. Now the headlines are more important to me then usage patterns of others. The other thing that I find interesting from a visual design side is that these headlines are devoid of any enhancement from a designer. It’s as default as a headline can be. Continue Reading…
Text to Speech, Text Reader Software – Will Typography Still be Relevant?
As I listened to Gerry Leonidas talk tonight, it allowed me to focus on my process and confirm the direction that my compass is pointed. Playing the what if scenarios game in my head as the questions slowly trickled out of the audience, I asked Gerry if typography will be relevant if text reading software hits mainstream. What if everyone stopped reading and just listened? Will there be a role for the typographer? He answered the question as someone that is distrustful of technology would expect, you base the process on a methodology and transfer what you know to the new medium. Ok, he may not have said it exactly like that, but that’s what I have in my notes. Continue Reading…
Ortho-type is a very intriguing concept for typeface design. I think it takes the idea of multiple master and perhaps open typeface to a new practical level. It’s described as “An experiment in dimensional typography” at processing.org which it is, but it offers some very interesting tangibles if it were released today. Most typefaces when manually stretched and compressed look awful. However with ortho-type, the distortion always seems in proportion. Ortho-type could work really well as a display and information typeface where space could be limited. As a three dimension space, it would be put to best use on a monitor. The only question would be on how it translates to smaller sizes like unibody 8. Continue Reading…
It’s not something that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, but after looking at ABC Button I didn’t realize that in a systematic way you could create any letter with a 3 x 3 base unit grid. There may be other buttons out there that have nine holes in them, though I haven’t seen them before. It’s a really cool idea. Having all those holes in the button allows you to create some great words. If you happen to visit the ABC Button: Der Button you’ll not only be able to see some images of the buttons in action, but you’ll also be able to download the typeface that was influenced by the buttons for free. Continue Reading…
Our New Architecture Tradition
Last weekend Madison and I decided to extend our weekend walking loop. Usually we’ll do a lap between 42nd st and 14th st on Park ave. I like heading north to see Grand Central Station and back down to see what’s going on around Union Square. We weren’t really tired by the time we had reached our south destination so we kept on walking. By the time we had reached the Cooper Union things started popping up together that I hadn’t really paid attention to. While it’s hard to ignore Cooper Square Hotel (yes I like the design of the outside of it, never been inside it), seeing it beside the new building for the Cooper Union and in viewing distance of the New Museum I realized that I had just stumbled upon a new walking architecture tradition for Madison and I. So this weekend we did the same walk and I decided to take a couple photos. Continue Reading…
Now that I’m walking to work again when weather permits (about 35 minutes to do), there’s so many things to notice. The final part of the walk is through SoHo where I will be more often than not talking about some of the things that are catching my attention for the foreseeable future. I’ve talked briefly about Street Art that’s typically on walls outside but I haven’t really mentioned anything about the actual street. Within a block of each other I noticed the
two three street/sidewalk images above. I’ve also noticed some images of stickman though I never have my camera with me to actual take a pic of it yet. I like the contrast between the two three images, one highly polished while the other is quite rough with the stencil and the stickman taking a beating on the road. Two are going to last a long time while the other is not which lends nicely to the contrasts. Continue Reading…
Orange Bicycles in New York
There’s a lot of things things one can take for granted living in New York as there’s so many new places to check out. One area that I try to visit once every six weeks is Central Park. My favourite area is the line that makes up the mall. Walking towards Central Park I passed Bryant Park which is in the midst of Fashion Week with all the tents on the grounds. Aside from all the fashion people floating around outside the gates the other thing that caught my eyes was a bright orange bike with the simple url dkny.com. The uptight designer in me wants to laugh it off as a silly stunt, though the civilian in me was still caught by the bright colors and I still remember the url today. Continue Reading…
Another NYC Taxi review…
Ask a designer about their opinion on just about anything and they’ll have a response. Ask a simple aesthetic question to a civilian about whether they like something or not, you’ll no doubt get an answer. The thing is though, almost everyone forgets after the design has been executed that there was an original brief, usually a process of give and take with the client, and then there’s also the x factor that all influence the outcome. Everyone has an opinion on the new taxis in NYC, but there’s a lot of elements and questions that kind of make it an interesting exercise to talk about. I’m actually surprised it’s taken a couple weeks for the opinions of the NYC Taxi to take off. I don’t think the talk really got off the ground until the NYT blog post http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/nyc-taxi-logo/ There’s even a template to design your own taxi logo.Contine Reading…
Just another Saturday morning walking Madison
Walking Madison every morning I never know what I’m going to end up seeing around NYC. The weather has been slowly getting better which is great because Spring can’t come fast enough for me. I’m not much of a horticulturist fan, but even I have to admit that it’s nice to see stuff in bloom. Most of the treks are fairly unremarkable, Madison and I will see a couple things that kind of make us go hmmm, but nothing blogworthy. But since I had my first iced coffee of the year (my unofficial signal that spring is here), I thought I’d show a couple things that we came across Saturday morning. Continue Reading…
Down the street where Macy*s is
Today is Thanksgiving in the US, of course this is obvious if you live there though maybe not if you’re in Canada or elsewhere. This is my second November Thanksgiving. It’s a little weird to be honest. For almost my whole life I’ve been used to the holiday in October when Canada recognizes it. Now that I’m here it’s a little hard to get into b/c it feels like just another day (and Tamara went to visit her family today in Canada). But of course it isn’t just another day if you live a block or two away from Macy’s. Continue Reading…
What was 11 Spring Street
The simple question would be was it worth it? You have the option to do anything you want on a Saturday in New York and you decide to stand in on something for a couple hours – only to be rewarded with the chance experience something that will only be here once. But the bigger question is what do you do with that time? Standing in line seemed like such a painful obstacle, but really where would you rather be? You can’t live through a lens yet it’s hard not to want to capture every moment. That’s how I saw it. Continue Reading…
As I watched the video clip from PSFK asking the question of “Where Do You Get Inspiration?” it got me to think about my first real full time week in NYC. As much of a cliché as it is, NYC would be where I’m getting my inspiration from. But maybe not for the same reasons as you think. For me, there are so many talented people here that you have to always be striving to get better. No matter how good yesterday was, today you have to be smarter, faster, more observant, and listen better than you ever have before. Then there are the people on the street. 99% of the people are wearing interesting clothes, they’re not always nice looking but in their choice of clothing it tells a story or pattern of action of where they’re at in life. There’s also the visual culture out there too that makes you rethink concept, typography and execution constantly, but I can talk about that design inspiration another day. Continue Reading…
Did I ever mention how I feel about NYC?
…and I how I would recommend every designer start a blog – you have no idea what it can lead to. Continue Reading…
Branding abstraction in the real world (at least in NoLita)
Walking a dog in NYC isn’t like a dog anywhere else in the world. In the sleepy suburbs it’s repetitive, in other urban areas it tends to get predictable. For me almost every morning presents something slightly different—usually a good slightly different though once in a while you’ll run into a not so pretty scene. Weekends I tend to extend the normal walk with Madison to Bowery. I’ve documented that a couple times both talking about architecture and typography. This week I was going to talk about posters (which I will probably post about soon), but something more interesting happened. One of the things I look forward to after walking on Bowery is turning around and going back on Elizabeth St. It’s one of my favourite streets in NYC because I tends to be a lot quieter then a lot of the streets west of Broadway and the shops still seem real and less likely to be found everywhere else. Continue Reading…
Saturday night was Manhattanhenge in NYC. Named by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, there’s a brief period when the sun while setting will line up directly with the streets of NYC. This year it was May 30th, around 8:17. pm After watching this phenomena for the past couple years I had a pretty good idea where I wanted to take my photo this year. In years past I’ve tried to get the Flatiron Building in with the sun. This year it was going to be the Empire State Building, it was just a matter of deciding what street to be on. 34th Street was the obvious choice—but it became clear to me that a lot of other people were thinking the same thing, and that the street was going to be pretty busy with car traffic. So I went one street south which was a smart idea. There was almost no traffic and I had the street to myself (and image) which isn’t exactly that common in Manhattan. Continue Reading…
Walking around NYC finding the David Byrne Bike Racks
On my last Link Drop post I posted a link to the Gothamist about David Bryne’s bike racks. I thought it was an interesting idea but didn’t give it too much attention about seeing them in person. However being asked about it on twitter I thought that maybe I should. So over the long weekend I mapped out my best route of attack for seeing all of the bike rack designs. I thought it would be a great way to see different parts of the city that I probably wouldn’t have made a destination of seeing. Plus I was hoping that I’d come across some interesting stuff along the way to photograph. Continue Reading…
The old and new MetLife Signs above New York
A couple nights ago I noticed a new addition to the typography skyline of New York. A second updated version of MetLife, not on the MetLife Building but from a different building a couple blocks away. Not sure what the scoop is, but does that action suggest that something different is going to be replaced on the MetLife building? Keep in mind that you can only see the new sign at night when the light is turned on, during the day it’s invisible in its current state. Continue Reading…
Walking on Top of the High Line
Like a lot of fans of the High Line, the opening of the first section a day early was a welcome surprise. It surpassed any hype that I had put on it myself. But to be honest I would have been happy with just about anything that gives a walking path with a new view of New York City that hasn’t existed before. I’ve also been following the construction for the past three years when I moved here. Back when they had limited public tours of one of the more northern sections I jumped all over that experience. I was also fortunate some time back to hear Diller Scofidio + Renfro talk about the High Line in the IAC building. That culmination of background experiences made the walk that much more fun for me. Continue Reading…
Circled ring in Union Square
When I was walking home a couple weeks ago through Union Square I didn’t really think much of the crowd that circled a couple people. I tend to avoid those types of groups. But as I got closer I heard a thud, a bunch of oooohs and then just as quickly I saw an arm swing back. It was obvious that two people were fighting and the crowd was watching. I was a little sickened and left. It was until a day or two later when I read about fight club via PSFK and andiamnotlying. Having that background info it didn’t seem so bad for me to approach the circle last night when I saw it happening again. Keep in mind that I’m not much of a fan of the caged fighting of UFC. But I was curious to see how the whole Fight Club in Union Square worked out. For two guys fighting it was incredibly quiet. Everyone watching had an intense focus. Sure there was also disbelief that the fighting was happening, but they weren’t about to stop it. Continue Reading…
36 days of New York Sky: January 16th 2008 – February 20th 2008
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. Continue Reading…
Comparing the New York Times Building Top with Other Building Tops in the Area
One of the first buildings I see when I wake up and the last one before I go to sleep, the new New York Times Building is in my view from my apartment. What’s ironic is that up until recently I still thought the top of the building was still under construction. I just thought that there was scaffold left to be taken down. I’m not sure if that view is entirely seen from street level, but from high up it looks kind of weird during the day. Not so much at night. I’ve walked by the New York Times Building and close up it looks pretty cool. But from a distance it’s not the landmark shape you would have expected. Continue Reading…
Watching the sun interact with design
Usually I save my self narcissistic sensibilities to myself, though lately I’ve been talking a bit too much about my new apartment view of Manhattan – just ask the friends that sit around me at work. But with that said I thought it would be cool to mention how the sun interacts with the skyline of both the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building during certain hours from my window. It’s subtle but if you know what to look for it’s really something to take notice. The fact that the sun hovers over the Chrysler Building just around 6 am and then around 9 am with the Empire State Building is pure design beauty. Of course you have to realize that the earth shifts just a little each day, so by this time next month (or the month after that) the co-ordinates the sun might not be exactly as they were on this day with the photos. While I can’t say for any certainty, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that sun and these buildings play together so well. Next time you notice a great building, take a look at the surroundings. There might be more to it then just haphazard placement. Continue Reading…
Manhattan fog this morning
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. Continue Reading…
How I Find Good Stuff on the Web
One of the topics that came up while I was having lunch last week w/ Swissmiss was our systems for checking stuff out on the web. For me one of the ways of getting around using an rss feed reader which I deplore is to use tabs. For me I bookmark blogs and place them in folders in Firefox that then become tabs that I can open. What that means is that within a couple minutes I can open between 35 – 60 blogs and sites. In the past on DesignNotes I’ve gone over why I don’t like rss feed readers so I won’t bore you with the explanation aside from the fact that rss feed readers make reading blogs seem like a never ending chore. My tab method is as follows. I’ve named them M1, M1B, M2 etc… the M1 is a bunch of blogs that I check out quite often during the day and as the folder numbers progress the less I check them out. The last folder (M5) is for new blogs and sites that I’m checking out. It’s a test phase to see whether after a couple weeks if they’ll make the cut to be placed in one of the other folders. Continue Reading…
My News Flow on Flight 1549
When I found out 23 minutes after Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson river via skype, like everyone else I wondered wtf. But rewinding my time line about 45 minutes before the plane went down, I was having lunch with a couple friends talking about plane crashes that Gladwell talks about in his book the Outliers. While I don’t think his theory works within the context of the Hudson River landing, the timing was a bit freaky. Continue Reading…
Screen view and other observations from the SVA MFA Interaction Design Lecture Series last night
Last night (Wednesday Jan. 14th, 2009) I took in the third in a series of SVA MFA Interaction Design Lecture’s. The previous two lectures that I took in at White Rabbit were pretty good. I can’t say enough how much I like the idea of the series (though not the name DOT, DOT, DOT – isn’t there already a magazine called that?), not just for the people that are presenting but having SVA’s newest program getting a lot of those in the industry together in a low pressure setting to hang and talk. I’m not going to review the four the people that talked last night but instead mention a couple more conscious and unconscious things I noticed during the four presentations. Continue Reading…
Sketching out a blog post loop
Every once in a while I get the chance to take a look back on a how a post was created and the loop it made. One of those times last year was looking at how one sticker on the street started a lengthy bounce around on my different web outlets. This time around its more about visualizing the site posts that were combined to create my original post on Football and Chess (and design) and what that spawned. A couple days after I made the football and chess post I received a comment about another post talking about football (and design) that I should take a look at. From the other side with that football post that Scott Burnham wrote I suspect that he saw some traffic coming from my post. He then in turn posted about my post which I am now posting – quite the loop eh? Continue Reading…
New York City Colour Study Timeline
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. Continue Reading…
New York City Colour Study – Time when photo was taken graph
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. Continue Reading…
A Couple More New York City Colour Study Experiments – the old school animated .gif and weekly view
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. Continue Reading…
Passing on Watches
While I’m not at the stage where I’m collecting watches as investments I really, really like them. One of my fav. companies is Nooka – I’ve mentioned Nooka a lot over here at DesignNotes so if you’ve spent anytime you know what I’m talking about. I came across an old but still going post at Core77 about cool watches that I was going to post about. I even took a photo of my fav. Mondaine and Nooka together as the image for the post. But for some reason I never got around to mentioning it, then last night another Nooka story sort of came full circle so I thought I might as well add it here. Continue Reading…
Since the new year I’ve started a couple personal projects to keep my eyes active. Now that I work in SoHo I walk to that area almost everyday from my apartment that’s in the garment/midtown area. I walk by a lot of cool looking stickers – it’s hard not to look at for the sake of interest. I started to collect these stickers by shooting them with my iPhone and sending them to my tumblr site called Copywronged at http://copywronged.tumblr.com. After a couple of days of that I thought it would be interesting to map out the locations of where these stickers were at. It’s an incredibly easy thing to do and gives me a chance to play as a mobile blogger. But with a lot of these online projects they have unexpected bursts of exploration/learning. Continue Reading…
Daylife Photo Matrix
Last week I mentioned that Daylife had started to launch an updated site. Things are still moving quite quickly so I’m going to wait a while before I talk about some of the bigger design changes. But one small thing that I thought would be fun to mention was the Photo Matrix that can be found on the Photo Hub page. Daylife receives great photos from Getty, Reuters, the AP etc all the time. I wanted to show in a linear fashion how all these images coming in make a unique pattern. One way of doing that was to break each image down to it’s simplest color combination and stack those colors into bars like a matrix or dna strip. When you stack the image not only does it make a compact view for a lot of images it creates and interesting method for exploration. Down the road there’s a couple more things that I’d like to see happen with it. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could embed something like that on your own blog and show your last 30 posts images with the intention of clicking on a bar to get to that post? I could never say enough great things about Flickr (except for when it disables features after their servers crash) and yes it’s a great tool for searching. I thought it would also be interesting just to show some of the color influences as I progressed with the idea of the Photo Matrix. Here’s a couple pages that caught my eye as I was working through the concept: Memento + Swiss New Graphic Design + 3 – 2 – many. Continue Reading…
My Top 20 Albums of 2007 Visualized
The great thing about year end lists in music is that chances are you’ll find something that you missed through out the year. The album that I found (or so I think as I’ve only been able to hear one or two songs from) was Roisin Murphy’s Overpowered that I found via Refinery29. Too bad it’s an import that I haven’t been able to find yet. But I digress, the other thing about music lists is that there’s a lot of them out there. So to make my list more interesting to myself I decided to see what the patterns of my choices would show me. I decided a 2 x 2 grid would give me some options to visualize my listening habits via time and two sources that I used a lot through out the year. This was the year that I started to get tired of KEXP’s playlist and started listening a lot more to a station in Minnesota (of all places). Maybe my tastes are mellowing a bit, but I really like listening to Minnesota Public Radio’s the Current. I also like listening to the NYT Music Popcast, I knew that there was a number of albums that I bought after their reviews. So I was interested in how everything over the year would compare. Continue Reading…
Top 15 Albums of 2008 from Michael Surtees Visualized
Just like last year, I’ve thought it would be interesting for me to plot out my top albums for the year. I changed the data axis of the 2 x 2 grid as my music habits shifted quite a bit from 2007. I barely listened to internet radio from a real station and I didn’t bother listening to any music review podcasts from NYT. I can’t really pinpoint any one source for knowing what to buy aside from an assortment of music blogs. It was interesting to note that I bough almost every one of those albums via my iPhone for what it’s worth. I decided to swap that info with a subjective credible vs. embarrassing axis as we all can relate to not wanting to admit to everything we listen to. While I don’t know anything about how the music industry decides to release albums I was curious to see what months were more successful than others for my listening habits. The reason why I’ve chosen 15 albums and not 20 is that I couldn’t think of five more albums that I wanted to add. I don’t think there’s much more to add except that four of the top five are from the UK. Is there anything that I’m missing? Continue Reading…
Diagram of a Blog?
Everything about this diagram is spot on but there’s a small problem. It’s describing Design Observer’s user comments, but is Design Observer really a blog? Not that it really matters what the classification of a site that hosts essays – I’m just saying there should be a different term for that type of site. Personally to me a blog should be dirty, the language isn’t perfect but passionate and the likeliness of the writer being published by mainstream publications is low. While I don’t have much experience with zines, to me the parallel is similar to a blog. A blog is a tool for those that don’t have any other outlet to be heard. Continue Reading…
Here’s to Twothousandnine
Today’s the day where you get to make a wish that comes true. Use that responsibility wisely. Continue Reading…
How do you live life to the fullest – the 2008 Publikum Calendar
Nada Ray, the editor of the ongoing Publikum Calendar passed me on a nice email talking about this year’s 2008 calendar. People familiar with DesignNotes will recognize this year’s curator as friend Debbie Millman. If you happen to be in New York on February 22nd you might want to check out the closing reception. More information on that event is below. Continue Reading…
Ever since getting an email from Jennifer Daniel asking for my address I’ve been excited to check my mail box. She wanted to send me a copy of the http://httpcolonforwardslashforwardslashwwwdotjenniferdanieldotcom.com/calendar/. It came last night. I had been to the site though what I opened I wasn’t expecting. The scale is quite impressive – I’m not sure what size I was expecting but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t poster size. I think they’re
24” x 36” 18” x 24” though I don’t have a ruler to check the exact measurements. I’ve taken a pic of each of the posters on flickr – I highly recommend checking out the photos in detail, the months are quite nice. My fav. is a toss up between the maze of June and my birthday month of September. If you like what you see you should buy a set for yourself on their site. Continue Reading…
Thanks for the past year
Suggesting that the last year has been quite the ride would be an understatement. I like using the time between Christmas and New Year’s as a chance to look back over the last year and set some goals for the new one. Around this time last year there was no way to predict the ups and downs that would follow for me. Somehow I survived everything and I can’t wait to see what happens next. It really is crazy how fast a year can go. Part of the reason why DesignNotes exists for me is to capture those things that keep me interested and a chance to look back at it as an archive. What I didn’t expect was how much I would learn from others that spent time on DesignNotes and posted a comment or sent me an email about a particular topic or idea. In the new year I might slow down a bit with posting everyday and spend more time discussing points that people make over here. The one thing that bothered me was that I didn’t talk more to what people commented on. On a different note I’d also like to mention how cool it was to see DesignNotes placed on a lot of new blogrolls this year. Thanks so much. I hope that I can pay back the favour with updating my list in the new year. So with today being the last day of 2007 I hope that you make the most of the next one. Please keep me updated, after all we’re not a bunch of bots but people interested in what’s going on. Continue Reading…
I can’t help but rave about my new watch, the NOOKA ZEN-H. The idea of measuring time in a different way is very cool. It’s almost like a new philosophy. Analog watches are good for slight glances to see how much time is left in an hour, but most digital time pieces have forgotten this feature and just spit out numbers. That’s why something like the ZEN-H is so special. The bars create a relation from hours, minutes and seconds in units that have more to do with space and how much has been used and is left. Designed by Matthew Waldman, I’m surprised that there aren’t more watches out there that show time in a new construct. Continue Reading…
If there’s one regret about my latest adventure, it was that I never took my camera out to capture the obvious activity going around me in New York. I shot some graffiti, the one of a kind signs, a bit of architecture, people here and there, but what is sorely missing is the daily advertising on billboards, the signs inside storefronts and the sound. Ok sound it going to be a bit more difficult to capture visually, but still. These missing elements of inspiration hit me hard yesterday when I went for my daily lunch stroll through downtown Edmonton. At that point I realized what I’m missing. It was the attitude, the bravado, the need to go for that bigger accomplishment. The “design” of the communication wasn’t great, but it’s what they’re saying. Nothing around here says that in the advertising, signs or stores. It’s mild, beige and not really standing for much at all. On the flip side, if Albert Einstein is correct that imagination is more important than knowledge, then it is up to the individual to reconcile their surrounding environment. It is up to that person to take responsibility and create their world. Perhaps it’s easier in some places then others. Imagine the world you want, it’s the only one you got. Continue Reading…
Face pics are the new logo
I’m trying to decide whether or not to have an image of myself on the sidebar of my blog. I’m guesstimating that 30% to 40% of the blogs I visit daily have themselves pictured. The old school designer in me has up until now thought that a logo was sufficient – but it got me to thinking. If I look at all the different social networks that I’m experimenting in, twitter to flickr to facebook and some of the client tools like tweetdeck – a logo is really not relevant as much as who I look like. I’ve thought about the pressure of the avatar before, but I think it’s worth considering again. Here’s the thing, I don’t think it matters as much what you look like just as long as you look interesting. With the constant flow of comments coming in from Tweetdeck, comments from people avatars seem real vs logos which feel like a bot is posting. Continue Reading…
Two degrees of Hi, a likemind success story
There’s probably an infinite number of way to start this post, so I’ll just pick the one that first comes to mind. A number of weeks ago I was sitting at my computer at Renegade wondering why a person that I had e-mailed a couple days previously hadn’t bothered to get back to me. After having my coffee I turned the cup around to see this quote. It seemed right to take the pic and shoot that person one more e-mail. Though not entirely ironic, they never really got back to me, but in turn the photo introduced me to at least two new people that I didn’t know. Continue Reading…
“It could have been a lot worse” was something that I haven’t heard when describing what happened yesterday. Like everything going on in the world it’s extremely difficult for me to understand how people deal with tragic events. One of the Sunday morning shows that I try to follow is This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Near the end of the program they do a in memoriam which eventually leads to the list of military deaths for the previous week. There’s the names, cities and probably most personal their age. It’s never easy to watch and even harder to understand, both for the families and friends that knew those people. Every morning I get the paper version of the NYT. I can’t recall one morning where the cover photo was actually something positive. I think that kind of stuff neutralizes the emotions of the average person watching from the sidelines. Obvious questions about how the massacre at Virginia Tech could have been prevented will go on for a longtime. And tied into that will be the role of technology. Continue Reading…
Why is empty space usually seen as a negative?
As the packing has progressed for the move, our home has been turning back into a house. With every object that is sold, given away or packed, the surrounding area gets a little emptier. When you consider the word empty, does it hit you as a positive thing or a negative? My guess is negative, but if we really consider things, empty should be seen as a positive. Optimistically it allows for anything to be done. There’s all this potential. Continue Reading…
I think there’s something to the simplification of icons. This hand reminds me of the idea about design that something is complete not when there isn’t anything more to add, but when there’s nothing else can that can be taken away. Continue Reading…
Flexing scale, marks and other consistent things that brands could be
We’ve all been taught that consistency is branding is a key aspiration for the designer. It kind of goes without saying of course. There needs to be a system in place where certain elements need to play in a manner that makes sense. People also should also be able to expect certain values to hold through when they come into interaction with a brand. But wouldn’t it be more interesting if things were not exactly turned upside down in terms of the idea of consistency, but allowed to flex a bit? Continue Reading…
the Moral Authority on Graphic Design is Over.
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. Continue Reading…
Difficult Assignment: Personal Portfolio
As I was looking through the online portfolio of Oliver Munday (which is quite good btw) I noticed a small line at the bottom of the site. It said it was built with Indexhibit. Curious to see what Indexhibit was a clicked on the name and landed at www.indexhibit.org They’ve essentially created a downloadable system that allows you to show your work quite easily. The template can be easy or visually complex as you want it to be once installed. The history section of Indexhibit has some fascinating pieces of information. “The more people who used it the more invisible and archetypal it became. During two years over 200 people responded, forming a community web project promoting content over complicated website designs.” How nice is that? They do give links to all of those sites which really demonstrates how a simple framework can really make original visuals. Continue Reading…
A quick rant about design blogs and one good photo blog link
I think this post is going to start off as a bit of a rant towards design blogs in general. I’m tired of seeing blog posts with the same “stuff” that a million other design blogs have already covered, I’m tired of going to some blogs that seem to be happy to promote one or two studios every time they sneeze, I’m tired of people publishing interviews with the same “personalities” over and over again. If people want to promote their friends (I do it myself) treat it that way and don’t pretend to be speaking for the entire design community. Sadly I can not think of one single design blog that has a critical eye that I’m not somewhat skeptical about with their intentions when writing. If you know of a blog that isn’t like that please send it my way. Continue Reading…
I have no experience in theory like Urban morphology and as the post from Spacing Toronto and newspaper Toronto Star suggest, a Canadian city called Mississauga is “trying to create a more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly downtown”. The above image compares a really small slice of major cities around the world. I like the patterns and they no doubt speak to the heart of the city, but they’re also very misleading too. It’s a mistake to read too much into planning like this. My only living experience within the context of the above cities is New York. Most of Manhattan is fairly navigable once you get the hang of the streets and avenues. Sure it was planned to some degree but it doesn’t speak to the people that actually live there. There’s a certain “drive” for lack of a better cliché that really makes people who they are in New York. I don’t have a ton of friends, but the people that I like to call them that make the city much more interesting once the awe of the buildings slowly fades away. Urban planning can’t make those relationships. I suppose that speaks to things being over designed in general too. Urban density vs urban sprawl also suggest different living patterns too. Both have their issues but I don’t think one can replicate the other with much success. Continue Reading…
I couldn’t help but notice the circular shape of the Spaceport America building concept. The ariel view looking down shows some cool abstract shapes that really speak to the new frontier in travel. The building is designed from the top down as much as from the inside out. Even the road sweeping curve carved into the earth reinforces the overall shape of the complex. I could imagine returning to earth and seeing that abstract circular shape hundreds of miles up. It got me to think about other circular shapes that may have been used as an influence for deciding to make the building round. Continue Reading…
Average Rating vs. Popularity
I’m working on a fairly interesting project that will have the ability to visualize information from a ratings system. How that information will be taken into consideration is still being decided. I’ve been looking at iTunes and they have two similar methods to help people make a choice for what’s hot. My twofold question is this, 1. what’s easier for you to understand – an average star rating or a popularity strip, and 2. have you used those ratings systems to make a decision? Continue Reading…
It seems natural that someone would connect the dots that flickr is more than just about sharing photos. It’s a real time observation of what’s going on with people. I’ve seen announcements, adventures, places, japanese snacks among many other documentations. Trendwatching.com has observed the pattern and classified their steps about “virtual anthropology”. Read all about it at www.trendwatching.com/newsletter/newsletter.html Continue Reading…
Is it bubble wrap if it doesn’t pop?
This isn’t the most serious post I’ve done in a while, but it’s a question that has been bugging me for some time now. Recently a package arrived in bubble wrap, but the plastic bubbles didn’t pop. When they were squeezed the air just dissapeared – no POP. I’ve placed both types beside each other, on the left is the real stuff while the other side is faux. Sure the plastic stuff looked like bubble wrap, but where’s the satisfaction if you can’t pop it afterwards like this? Continue Reading…
While the concept of placing player’s “dna” into ink is kind of newsworthy, I wonder if Adidas missed a great opportunity to give back to something greater. Why not tie the whole thing into bringing attention to blood shortages? I don’t live in New Zealand, but I’m going to guess their blood-banks could always use more donations. There are an infinite number of ways that they could have passed on the message of how easy it is to give, show people how it helps their community, and what it feels like after you’ve donated. A simple line of text on the back of the poster, a small card or just an url would have effected a lot of people. Continue Reading…
Reading and Listening to Print is Dead
In my last post mentioning Newsweek’s website, and more to the point about how there’s so much info in their site that I wished that I could hear everything by someone reading the info while I’m working on my laptop. An author has already done that in a smaller version about his new book Print is Dead, Jeff Gomez also runs the blog of the same name Print is Dead. At the website http://printisdeadbook.com/ Jeff in his own words has given away about a third of the book to be read online and on top of that he’s read the intro that you can listen too. In upcoming days he’ll have more audio of the book. Continue Reading…
Evolving from an Internet Radio Program on Design to Authour and Member of the Library of Congress; Debbie Millman and her new book How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer
When I first read on a blog that Debbie Millman was going to be publishing a book with interviews from other designers, I wasn’t as skeptical as Steff Geissbuhler writes in his email to Debbie after she inquired for an interview, but I did wonder about the need. After opening the book last night I learned that it’s best not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Continue Reading…
Are covers important now?
I don’t think it’s a huge leap to suggest that digital distribution is changing the respect for covers of books. Amazon has just come out with their own piece of hardware that allows people to read things digitally. After looking at the horrible product shots for the Kindle and saw the cover image it shows for the book, it got me to think about the relevance of book covers. It’s not a new question, but if I compare how Amazon shows the cover art vs. the way it looks on their digital display vs. the image that Audible has – does the cover really help sell the book or even make it more “real”. The alternative is no image like those text ad’s that Google displays (which from a selling point has been a success), or is there something else? Why not more fluid covers for the digital realm. Sites that care about accessibility can be resized depending on the browser or computer. Facebook can tell if I’m coming from an iPhone or Firefox. Maybe digital covers could do the same thing – in a sense it becomes it’s own thumbnail website. It’s just an idea. If things continue on the path it’s on, covers will become oblivious. Continue Reading…
Comparing design annuals from the UK, Canada and the USA
I recently got my hands on the Society of Publication Designers Spots Illustration Annual 2005 and noticed something that I had never seen that much of before. The work was placed in context. For that annual, each illustration had two pages. On one side was the original illustration while the image on the other side of the page was seen inside the newspaper or magazine it was commissioned for. It was interesting to compare the two images beside each other, but also to note what really worked in in the real world and what worked as a thumbnail in space. That got me to think of a couple other annuals that I somehow collected over the last year. So I pulled out my D&AD Annual 2006/44, Graphex 06 (GDC BC), 365: AIGA Year in Design 27 along with Society of Publication Designers Spots Illustration Annual 2005 to see how each of them compared to each other. There’s a couple different levels to this comparison. There’s the different missions of each organization, for the most part the represent different countries and different ways to communicate. But with anything that is compared today, there’s exceptions to all those categorizations and it seems definitions are up for grabs these days. Continue Reading…
Reading and watching on your iPod, are these really digital magazines?
There’s been a couple photo applications on the video iPod that have challenged the idea of reading magazines. The first that I became aware of was Tiger (btw the cover image has a semi nude women on it, so use your own discretion) – a screen based art magazine that has started to transfer their content for an iPod download. It’s never been a printed publication so the experimentation is a natural evolution. On the more commercial side there’s Perooz.com From their site you have semi access to mens magazines like GQ to FHM. Their downloads are accessable to the iPod and a number of cell phones. It’s not the full magazine, most of the content consists of women and a couple text interviews. The template format is weak. There’s zero consideration of typography. It’s text set up in photoshop with no intention of what is readabilty. It’s also interesting to question the content, though it shouldn’t be such a surprise. The target is young males that are interested in tech toys. But could this format be used for more productive things? Only time will tell. Lifehacker has an article that talks about Perooz too, “Perooz” mobile magazines on your iPod, Zune or other mobile device. Continue Reading…
Citing search in a book when the content won’t be released
I’ve been slowly reading Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein in advance of the next UX Book Club: NYC later this month. I’m only a hundred pages in but it seems like a pretty decent book. While it isn’t a fast page turner I’d recommend it as something designers should read. It falls into that genre of Donald Norman kind of reading about human interactions. Continue Reading…
Book Spine Patterns
On Monday night I spent a couple brief moments in Tokyo Bar. On the wall there was a ton of books that had their spines exposed. From the image I took a viewer can see a lot of bright colours. On a closer inspection they were all written in Japanese which made a different type of pattern to those like myself that have no idea how to read that language. What those books reminded me of was the patterns that made up the spines of Wired magazine, and in a strange twist National Geographic as a repetitive yellow element. Continue Reading…
Distributing Design Publications Today
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. Continue Reading…
BusinessWeek – Innovation of the Week Podcast
My New Favourite Site
A Virtual March Towards South Korea
What’s your internet?
Mapping my iPhone space
My morning tweets—a different kind of file experiment
Can you exist without a permalink?
Banksy at work in NYC: Broadway & Howard St.
here are some benefits to working in SoHo aside from dodging tourists. I just saw Banksy in action on Broadway & Howard St. I caught the tail end of the the piece going up just before it started to pour rain which was kind of fitting considering the subject matter. Continue Reading…
My walking experience with the AIGA NY ALPHABET/CITY: A WALKING TOUR WITH TOBIAS FRERE-JONES
Where do you begin when you’re one of only twenty three people that gets to walk around New York with Tobias Frere-Jones hearing about his observations on type and how it influenced the great typeface Gotham? I know of one individual on the walking tour that had a hard time sleeping the night before b/c she was that excited – I’m sure she wasn’t the only one. On Hoefler & Frere-Jones’s Blog, there’s a google earth map of the entire route. I think it ended up being about three and a half hours of type bliss. Continue Reading…
Paintings from Paula Scher at Maya Stendhal Gallery
I spent some time Saturday afternoon in Chelsea looking at a couple shows that I’ve been meaning to see for a while. I was pleasantly impressed with the painted maps by Paula Scher and somewhat underwhelmed by the theatrics that surrounded the collection of work from Banksy. The unauthorized gallery show of Banksy’s work at the Vanina Holasek Gallery tried way too hard in its display of the images and in essence made it seem embarrassing. There was an incredible contrast between Banksy’s display with the paintings of Scher’s at the Maya Stendhal Gallery. If you suspend the idea that Banksy’s work should only be seen outside the gallery setting and allow more people to have access, that gallery wasted a great opportunity to elevate his work. Between the brutal angles of turning the work on edge to the splashes of paint on the walls to the fake police tape for Banksy’s images – I just have to wonder what were they thinking? Keep it simple and clean. Getting past the actual gallery setting I saw quite a few images of his that I’ve only seen on websites and magazines. There was also other stuff that I hadn’t seen previously. It’s definitely worth visiting if you’ve never seen his stuff before in person, but the collection seems to get lost within the attention it’s trying to draw from the contrived environment. Continue Reading…
Kenya Hara in NYC
It would be hard for me not to mention at the outset that it wasn’t entirely easy to listen to Kenya Hara’s talk with the AIGA NY Small Talk series. It had nothing to do with his carefully considered words, but just the delivery. Of course english is not Kenya’s first language which should negate some of my issues. If the talk had been entirely spoken through an interpreter questions of how much bias in word selection would have been asked. Did they repeat every single phrase the way he meant it to be? So… Continue Reading…
T STYLE at the NYT
How do you take a supplement and make it important? Tonight at the AIGA NY event T/STYLE: JANET FROELICH AND STEFANO TONCHI it was suggested that it takes one part understanding of typography, one part team, one part stylist, one part photographer and one part editor. It’s not by coincidence that I suggest typographer first and editor last. As much as editorial fashion in the know jokes go, the typography of T STYLE will be their legacy. Continue Reading…
Some notes after hearing Anthony Dunne
Last Wednesday night Anthony Dunne gave a presentation at Parsons the New School for Design. Described on the postcard for the event, Anthony Dunne is a professor and head of the Design Interactions Department at the Royal College of Art in London and a partner in the design practice Dunne & Raby. Below are a couple images from the Dunne & Raby website that struck me as memorable and worth mentioning afterwards. Continue Reading…
Taking Pictures of the Creative Time wall and meeting William Wegman: what was Day 2 of Design Week
The second day of my design week started off by wondering if it was going to pour rain or not. Taking the risk that it wasn’t going to be raining that much I headed down with Maddie towards 10th Ave. (between 18th & 17th Street) to take a closer look at the Creative Time wall and to take some close up pictures. As I was walking sideways with my camera trying to make a long stitched shot of the wall, I heard the familiar question that a lot weimaraner owners get – “can I pet your dog”? He seemed polite enough and usually I can tell by the tone if they’re an owner of a dog or not. If they have a dog they’re usually more relaxed b/c they know what it’s like to have someone come up to their dog, where as someone that doesn’t have a dog is much more quick to throw their hands out and ask almost as an after thought. So I gathered he must have some experience with dogs. As we started talking he found out that we’re both from Canada, Maddie’s age and a couple other small chat things. As the conversation went back and fourth I found out that he had three dogs which also happend to be weimaraners. Until that point I didn’t realize who he was, but it is extremely unusual for anyone in NYC to have three weims. He then told me their ages (three, five and eight), and then as an introduction said I’m William Wegman. Continue Reading…
Marian Bantjes has a heart for designers
Not only did Marian Bantjes draw out 150 different hearts, she had to do at least five different Michael’s which is quite a feat in itself. Take a look at all her Valentines HERE. I’m just happy to see that she hasn’t totally forgotten moi since I moved to New York from Canada… Continue Reading…
Massimo Vignelli Talk
Finally, a design talk where I can say that I left afterwards with a smile. If anyone is wondering who they should invite for their next big talk – put Massimo on the top of the list after you’ve considered swissmiss. By far Vignelli has been the best individual that I’ve seen talk in NYC. The talk was way longer than the average 55 minute lecture I’m used to seeing. I didn’t end up leaving F.I.T. until after nine. And I would have stayed another hour if there were the questions to keep him on stage. Continue Reading…
Me at the World Graphic Design Foosball Championship 2006 (WGDFC)
WGDFC 2006 was a great way to end a busy week. Foosball, beer, designers and some friendly competition. Organized by the office of paul sahre and the studios of karlssonwilker inc., it was a great venue and they ran it pretty smoothly considering how many people were there. Lillian Coryn and myself did our best to represent Renegade. In the end we had two loses and one win. With a little practice we’ll score a lot more goals next year. Continue Reading…
Jeffrey Zeldman talk w/ AIGA NY
One more thing about Designism
Notes from Ellen Lupton talk
Pretty Serious Fun with Maria Sharapova
Saskatchewan Design Week Wrap Up
Helvetica – the therapy session
Mission Street Food, how I wish I was back in SF for one more meal
Inside Out with Invader in NYC
Hanging out at the media preview of 400 Years Later, CITE Goes Dutch. Stuff around ICFF
AIGA NY: Stories from the Front
Quotes from Shepard Fairey at Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
Notes from AIGA NY’s Smart/Models Event
Pecha Kucha NY #6
Something I’ve never seen at a design talk before
Hearing Dan Saffer talk about “Tap is the New Click” for IxDA NY at R/GA
An interview with John Gargiulo, owner of Swich in NYC
Deborah Adler ClearRx Interview
The Person behind Nooka: an interview with Matthew Waldman
Alissia Melka-Teichroew (@alissiamt) Interview: designer, founder of byAMT, curator, and maker
QuadCamera and ToyCamera Interview with Takayuki Fukatsu, creator of iPhone Apps
A great conversation with Tina Roth
DesignMaven Revea!ed (Part One)
DesignMaven Revea!ed (Part Two)
Interview with a Cookie Designer
Pasqualina Azzarello Interview
An interview with Ilkka Terho, CEO of Valvomo
Hi, I’m Maddie
If you care about your stuff, make sure people can duplicate it]]>
I’m a huge fan of anything that shows time in a slightly non typical way. Nooka is a great example of that. Another is QLOCKTWO who has been making the blog rounds. The clock basically shows time in words, every five minutes. While the jpgs of the clock are ok, to really get a sense of the coolness you have to have it in front of you working live. Luckily if you don’t feel like buying the big one, there’s an iPhone App for .99 cents. While I wish it could take over my wallpaper, pressing the app button is all I can use for now.]]>
This week’s version of Link Drop has a healthy does of me at the beginning. When I read about other bloggers and their exploits, sometimes I think it’s cool to see, other times perhaps not. So if you’re in the perhaps not camp, please scroll quickly to link #4. Overall I came across a bit of everything, there’s lot’s of publishing stuff, both online and print. I think I keep coming back to that topic because it’s how people are broadcasting messages today, something we should all be in the business of. I also found it interesting how Armstrong integrated his message into a number of different outlets that again I think we can all learn from. Did I miss anything worth reading?
Video Notes from the Field
Being asked to pass along a quick thought about digital & design to potential students headed to that field, I choose to mention how digital is different than print. “Digital isn’t a one-time shot, but a constant upgrade”. For me to be included with a lot of people that I try to learn from myself on the post was quite cool to see.
The Aggregator That Newspapers Like
Some days I find it harder to explain what Daylife is then others, especially when I start mentioning Select. This article did a pretty good job explaining things on a high level and about some of the history behind the news service I work with.
Three New Foodists
I like food, I like to write—what better reason then that to start contributing to this food blog when the urge hits?
I wish I had come up with this idea first. Marking off blocks on NYC and documenting what’s around the street. Photos and google map included.
visualizing MLB hit locations on a Google Map
Really interesting post that started off with looking at data from a no hitter baseball game that morphs into something else.
MaxFunCon: Merlin Mann on Doing Creative Work; The Sound of Young America
A great podcast that I listened to a couple times. Everything he says is true and I’ve told myself with various words for a while now. After listening to the twenty eight minute podcast you might try some creative work that you’ve been stalling on.
Gawker Media revenues up 45% in first half
A positive sign that online publishing is moving forward and might be worth getting in the game sooner than later.
This American Life’s Ira Glass Points Toward the “Wide-Open” Future of Journalism
I kind of wish this article went a bit further instead of enlisting a couple traditional pull quotes and reaction from someone that heard the talk. Maybe traditional journalism still has a way to go.
A New Page
I haven’t had time to read this yet but seemed very appropriate considering how people are starting to read more and more on screen.
Interview: NPR’s Dick Meyer Discusses NPR.org Redesign, Visual Vocabulary
I pulled a various articles about the NPR.org redesign, interesting to read a couple people’s take from the inside.
NPR Moves to Rewire Its Approach to the Web
Article number deux on the the NPR.org redesign.
Making Books, 21st-Century Style: An Interview with Rick Smolan
I couldn’t help but wish there was an online version of the book they were talking about. What does that say about me?
Total Insanity: Commerce Restaurant to go Cashless
Interesting idea, not sure why they wouldn’t keep both options of cash or plastic available. The comments in reaction are fascinating.
5 live sketching tips every designer should know
Makes sense to keep up on this kind of thing.
STAGES: Art for the Lance Armstrong Foundation
This looks very cool and is on view in NYC.
Bike Porn 3 – Trek’s “Stages” Bikes
A cross section of the bikes Armstrong rode in the tour.
NEWS///LANCE ARMSTRONG SURGES BACK TO ACTION IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE ON A MARC NEWSON TREK TTX ART BIKE
Sorry for the allcaps—that was how it was in the post. The bike in view feels like a cross between a tank and some carbon fiber weaponry.
Amazon Acquisitions infographic
A timely info graphic on all things Amazon.
I really like the concept of this flat piece of material morphing into something else usable with some cut lines.
Lessons from a failed meeting with a Social Media Guru
This is quite the post, I have my guesses who it’s about but I have no way to verify. Either way there seems to have been a communication break down.
I wanted to post this because the bike and digital outlines looked cool.
James Perse surfboards
Same for these surfboards. These are works of art. I’d put them on my wall if I had the space, and cash…
Things go better with persistent branding
This diagram is kind of telling. Actions (or non actions) speak quite loudly.
Top ten problems in file prep for print
This is for the print people out there that can’t figure out why their printer hates them.
I’d like to put all my top secret digital files on this. Too bad twitter didn’t do the same thing.
Where Goldman Sachs screwed up (understanding the anti-$GS populist rage)
Another article that I haven’t had time to read just yet, but am going to over the weekend.
iPhone Apps Design Mistakes: Over-Blown Visuals
Interesting starting point for those thinking of designing apps.
Unofficial Rules of the App Store
The potential for this site is quite important. If people regularily contribute it could give a good indication of what mistakes not to make. It could also be said that Apple should keep things open, but that’s a different debate altogether.
Chris Anderson’s Free adds much to The Long Tail, but falls short
Another review on the book Free.
9 kinds of coffee (infographic)
I’ve never seen a diagram comparing all the different types of coffee goodness in relation to each other before.
World’s Top Ten Identity Firms
While this list probably still holds true I couldn’t help but wonder if they all seem a bit “old”.
Poll Results: The Best Music Of 2009 (So Far)
I’m not a big fan of this list but it gives a good idea of what NPR thinks is worth listening to this year.
Yale Grad Designs Nooka Pop-Up Shop in NYC
Interesting background story on the Nooka pop up shop that I didn’t know about while visiting.
Barcelona at UBPA at Expo 2010
Tons of great architectural photos.
How Twitter Actually Hurts Street Vendors
This reminds me a bit about flash mobs, but with mobile food.
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With only a couple weeks left I thought it was time to visit a friend to DesignNotes blog, the Nooka pop up shop. When Matthew told me about the idea a while ago I was intrigued to see some of his new products that he had been mentioning for a while. There was a new wallet, a vegetarian friendly belt (sans leather) and a fragrance. What I didn’t expect to see was all the collaborative watch projects he has done to be on display too.
Often I talk about the benefits of digital. Online is great for this, that and everything else. But what it doesn’t do well is show jpgs of things in real life. That’s why a seeing products in person gives an entirely different experience and why a pop up shop that can display designs in person is helpful. Sure you’re reading about this online, and hopefully my photos convey scale, but to walk around enjoying everything in person is much more fun.
Nooka has a unique cult following that transcends a lot of logic. People are always mentioning it on twitter and shooting pics on flickr. Matthew probably interacts with his fans on a level that I haven’t seen anyone else attempt. His blog allows him to pass on info about the culture around Nooka which I think is cool. So to see all of that extended to a store for a limited time was nice. Now if there was a way to connect all that digital stuff to the outside world what an experience that would be.
If you’re curious to see the Nooka pop up shop and you’re in NYC, it’s located at 330 east 11th street for a limited time.]]>
This morning I shot out a couple quick tweets within minutes of each other. They all were somewhat link intensive. For my own curiosity’s sake I wanted to put those tweets together and see what the related outgoing links in their native format looked like via screen shot. While all the tweets were related in that they were viewable online, one piece of info came via email, one was an mp3 file while the last was a jpg. All digital bits but different in their output. It’s easy to take digital for granted and lump everything together. However when a person takes a closer look at the file extension they’re not the same at all.]]>
It’s a simple question, there’s an event going on and there’s lots of media coverage from both news sources and blogs but how am I going to get all of it in one place? I’m a bit of a design geek plus I work with Daylife so I thought it would be interesting to combine those two things and pull in everything that is going on with ICFF. I’ve built a custom page http://topics.designnotes.info/page/icff with a couple different headline modules that are based both on being the latest headlines and others that capture the older but more in depth articles. The thing is though, a lot of info is going to be passed along different media channels, so I’ve also included people talking via twitter about ICFF—that way a I can get the latest listings asap and not have to worry about searching twitter for that. There’s also a ton of people that will be uploading their pics to flickr about ICFF, so I’ve put that module in too. The last thing I wanted to include was a lot of jumping points to other topics that are related to Design Week so I can go deeper on their news.
To save you the time here’s all the topics I’ve chosen to cover:
Please let me know if I’m missing something
Alessi, Alissia Melka-Teichroew, Artemide, B&B Italia, BluDot, Chris Kabel, Christien Meindertsma, Cooper-Hewitt, CONRAN SHOP, Council Design
Core77, Designboom, Design Glut, Design House Stockholm, Design Lombardo, Design Within Reach, Dezeen, Droog Design, Established & Sons, Fabrica
Forma Fantasma, Frank Gehry, Gaia & Gino, Gregoire Abria, Harry Allen, Hella Jongerius, Herman Miller, ID Magazine, Interni, Itoki
Jan Habraken, Job Smeets, Joy de Vivre, Karim Rashid, Kartell, Luc D’hanis, Ligne Roset, Lindsay Adelman, M Studio
Magis, Material Connexion, McMaster-Carr, Metropolis Magazine, Molo, M2L, MGX, Mocoloco, MoMA, MOOOI, Moroso
Moss, MPDI, Museum of Art & Design, Nacho Carbonell, Nooka, Paola Antonelli, Patricia Urquiola, Philip Starck, Princeton Architectural Press, Ron Arad
Rich Brilliant & Willing, Sofie Lachaert, Surface, The Future Perfect, Tord Boontje, Tom Dixon, Van Esch, YLighting, Vitra, Yves Behar, 3Form, 5.5 designers
What’s great for me is that I’ll be able to find info that doesn’t rely on any one source, so the design world and blogs can’t slant things in just one perspective—plus I’ll still be walking around to a lot of openings and be heading inside the ICFF. So I can blog about the things that grab me and allow others to talk about what’s important to them. And—if there’s something missing on the page that you wished was there, please let me know.]]>
Last week as I was going through the blogs I came across a post from Nooka talking about a couple people that had visited the studio recently. One of the guys was Jeff Sheldon who happens to design shirts. Matthew had shown a shirt a couple weeks previous to that with a huge & on it. I can’t remember if if Matthew at the time had mentioned where he got the shirt from, but when he did pass on the shirt info I was like hmm, that looks like something I’d want. So above is the image of my big blue & shirt that came in the mail today. As far as graphic T’s go I thought it was something type people would appreciate. And since I was in a giving mood to myself I also ordered Bradbury Thompson inspired One Hundred. When I was looking at the shirts in detail I thought it was cool to see an availability scale. Though I wonder who benefits more from this info—the seller or buyer?]]>