Whoa… you damn well can’t do that anymore!
This is what graphic design looks like
Dyslexie, A Different Kind of Beauty
Well, if it isn't the old typeface bait-and-switch
Seeking a full-time position in hurricane logo design
Today I am a Red Sox fan (did I just say that?!)

Category Archives: culture

The Pixel Painter

hal-lasko

Via: ThisIsColossal.com

Meet Hal Lasko, mostly known as Grandpa, a 97-year-old man who uses Microsoft Paint from Windows 95 to create artwork that has been described as “a collision of pointillism and 8-Bit art.” Lasko, who is legally blind, served in WWII drafting directional and weather maps for bombing raids and later worked as a typographer (back when everything is done by hand) for clients such as General Tire, Goodyear and The Cleveland Browns before retiring in the 1970s. Decades after his retirement his family introduced him to Microsoft Paint and he never looked back. Approaching a century in age, Lasko is now having his work shown for the first time in an art exhibition and also has prints for sale online.

Watch this touching documentary short directed by Josh Bogdan which tells how Lasko discovered an entire new artistic career well into his 80s.

MOCAtv | The Art Of Punk | Dead Kennedys + Winston Smith

dk-sketch

From MOCAtv:

On this episode of The Art of Punk we hit head on with the art behind the legendary Dead Kennedy’s. From the chaotic, surreal, madness, of collage mixed with political folly that blazed their LP’s and gig flyers; to the razor edge ultra simplistic four simple line DK symbol. In San Francisco we corner founding Dead Kennedy’s member Jello Biafra, and discuss his own warped inspiration for the many sleeves and posters created in the early days of the band. Back in Los Angeles we talk with pop surrealist artist Tim Biskup about how the DK’s affected and twisted his own young mind, and Steve Olson graces us with a few words of wisdom. Finally we meet up with master collage artist, and designer of the DK’s symbol, Winston Smith in his North Beach art studio, and talk about how he was drawn into the early Bay Area punk scene – and his long and creative artist relationship with the Dead Kennedy’s and Jello Biafra.

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s surprising baseball card collection

Via: ESPN:

Quick quiz: Where can you find the largest publicly available collection of baseball cards? If you said the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re right!

But here’s a trickier one: Where can you find the second-largest collection of baseball cards?

The answer, surprisingly enough, is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Yes, really!

Here’s the back story: Long before the existence of baseball card conventions, memorabilia shops, eBay or chalky pink bubblegum, there was a guy named Jefferson Burdick. Burdick, who was born in 1900, was an electrician by trade. On the side, he was the most obsessive collector geek of his day, assembling history’s greatest collection of early American printed ephemera, including more than 30,000 baseball cards, some of them dating back to the 1880s. In those days, of course, baseball cards were mostly giveaways with tobacco products, and they didn’t yet have stats and other data on the back.

Anyway, as Burdick was moving into middle age, he began thinking about where he wanted his collection to end up. Baseball cards weren’t yet hot collectibles, so the idea that his cards might have commercial value never occurred to him. Instead, he proposed giving his collection to the Metropolitan Museum, which basically told him, “Sure, we’ll take it — as long as you catalog it and organize it first.” So Burdick spent years making daily trips to the Met, where he painstakingly put all his cards into albums. (continue to full article)

And much more about Jefferson Burdick here.

burdicks-grave

Sign Painters (official trailer)

This may be my first “must-see” movie since Helvetica, and before that? I don’t know, maybe Religulous? OK, so how freaking small has my world gotten?

[…um, that was just a rhetorical question]

From the documentary’s Press Release:

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

In 2010 Directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, with Cinematographer Travis Auclair, began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.

Edward Gorey Google doodle

Illustrator Edward Gorey would have turned 88 today.

And from the documentary The Last Days of Edward Gorey (planned release 2014) by Christopher Seufert, shot with Edward Gorey’s approval and active participation from 1996 to his death in April of 2000. Edward Gorey talks about his influences.

Finding Vivian Maier

finding_vivian_maier_film

From vivianmaier.com:

Vivian Maier was a mystery even to those who knew her. A secretive nanny in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, she died in 2009 and would have been forgotten. But John Maloof, an amateur historian, uncovered thousands of negatives at a storage locker auction and changed history. Now, Vivian Maier is hailed as one of the greatest 20th Century photographers along with Diane Arbus Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Weegee.

1075_3col….intensely guarded and private, Vivian could be counted on to feistily preach her own very liberal worldview to anyone who cared to listen, or didn’t. Decidedly unmaterialistic, Vivian would come to amass a group of storage lockers stuffed to the brim with found items, art books, newspaper clippings, home films, as well as political tchotchkes and knick-knacks. The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief…. Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof…. (vivianmaier.com)

Also… Check out Artsy.com, an excellent resource for Vivian Maier and much more!

Support the Hamilton Wood Type Museum

hamilton

From woodtype.org:

Hamilton is moving at the end of March, 2013. We are currently assembling teams of volunteers to help us with this task and you can lend a hand. You can donate to help us defray the costs and sign up for one of our moving crews on the calendar page. We are attempting to raise $250,000 in short order to get 30,000 sq. feet of printing history packed up and ready for a new home, wherever that may be. PLEASE consider a donation today. If you’re in the creative field let your employer know we need them as well. They can contact museum director Jim Moran at Jim.Moran@woodtype.org to learn more. You can download a donation form here or click below to give online. View the official press release here.

Get all the information on their website.

Some photos below – but don’t miss their wonderful Flickr archive!

Michael Bierut | Graphic Design Criticism as a Spectator Sport

tropicana

Via Design Observer:

….In 2009, PepsiCo Americas Beverages commissioned Arnell Group to redesign the packaging for its flagship juice brand, Tropicana Pure Premium. Thanks to the internet and social media, what followed the introduction of the new packaging were not a few unnerving backyard conversations with eccentric neighbors, but an outpouring of complaints from consumers as well as demands that the suddenly beloved previous packaging be reinstated. The New York Times told the story.

It was not the volume of the outcries that led to the corporate change of heart, [PepsiCo North America President Neil] Campbell said, because “it was a fraction of a percent of the people who buy the product.”

Rather, the criticism is being heeded because it came, Mr. Campbell said in a telephone interview on Friday, from some of “our most loyal consumers.”

“We underestimated the deep emotional bond” they had with the original packaging, he added. “Those consumers are very important to us, so we responded.”

The response was to throw out the new package design and return to the old. The people had spoken, and not for the last time….

[click through for full piece]

Bloomberg Businessweek talks to Massimo Vignelli about the redesigned American Airlines logo

“I will not be here to make a bet, but this [new logo] won’t last another 25 years.” —Massimo Vignelli

AArebrand

Via Bloomberg Businessweek:

What do you think of the redesign?

It has no sense of permanence. The American flag is great. I’m designing a logo now for a German company, and I’m using black, red, gold, and yellow. Why? Because national colors have a tremendous equity. They’re much more memorable. It rings the bell of identification. But the American flag has 13 stripes, right? Not 11. Did American add only 11 stripes [to the flag on the tail] because they are in Chapter 11? I don’t think two more stripes would have been a disaster. And there are only two colors shown instead of all three. So is it a different flag?

What about the new logo?

Now they have something other than Helvetica that’s not as good or as powerful. Then they did a funny thing: Some may see an eagle [next to it], some may see something else. And they don’t even say it’s the eagle—they say it could be the eagle.

When we originally designed the logo, I designed without the eagle. They wanted an eagle. I said, “If you want an eagle, it has to have every feather.” You don’t stylize and make a cartoon out of an eagle. Somebody else did the eagle, by the way.

You didn’t design American’s original eagle between the “AA”

I refused to do it. We started without it, and the pilots threatened to go on strike because they wanted the eagle on American Airlines. There’s always been the eagle. But I wanted the eagle to be real. As a matter of fact, the post office eagle, I think, is terrific. If you do an eagle, do an eagle with the dignity of an eagle. Don’t make Mickey Mouse out of an eagle. That was my theory at the time. The office of Henry Dreyfuss did the eagle. They were hired to do the interior of the planes. They were the office that originally gave us the assignment of the corporate identity. Dreyfuss was the consultant to American Airlines. The eagle was OK. It wasn’t great. I’m not sorry to see the eagle go.

What were you trying to achieve with the original design?

Legibility, which is a very important element of an airplane. So we used Helvetica, which was brand new at the time. And we wanted to make one word of American Airlines, half red and half blue. What could be more American than that? And there were no other logos then that were two colors of the same word. We took the space away, made one word, and split it again by color. It looked great. The typeface was great. We proceeded by logic, not emotion. Not trends and fashions.

[click through for full piece]