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: design

Inside The World’s Hippest Underground Newsstand

About The Newsstand: An independent media take over of the Newsstand at the Metropolitan Avenue station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Located at the intersection of the G and L trains, the Newsstand sees thousands of commuters pass by every day. This new shop will feature independent magazines and zines from around the world, curated by Lele Saveri of the 8-Ball Zine Fair especially for alldayeveryday.

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From The New York Times

The rumble of trains and the beeps of swiping fare cards don’t seem to distract shoppers huddled inside a tiny newsstand at the Metropolitan Avenue subway station in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Some customers squat, flipping through literary magazines and novels with titles like “Killing Williamsburg.” Others thumb through booklets of photocopied Polaroids. There isn’t a daily paper or a gossip magazine in sight, and almost no one looks up when a curious commuter asks, “What is this place?”

This place is the Newsstand, a pop-up shop that has transformed an ordinary subway space into a store for independently published magazines, books, comics and zines. In a digitalized world, it is a small haven for printed media.

Continue to the full article

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

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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.

Finally, a brilliantly simple blueprint for professional sharing online

Via: The Pastry Box Project

Mediocre ideas, showing up, and persistence.

me3I don’t have much advice to give, but if I have any, it’s that little recipe.

Truly great ideas are rare. Jokers like us will probably never have one. That’s OK. We have mediocre ones all the time and they work just fine. I once had an idea to start a blog about CSS. I sucked at writing. I sucked at designing. The vibe at the time was that everything important about CSS had already been written. Nobody told me.

I didn’t just have the idea, I did it. That’s the showing up part. Hands on the keyboard, go. I barely knew what I was doing. I stumbled through even following simple walkthroughs on how to install the software. Executing your ideas is never overly comfortable.

Then never stop. Don’t get distracted by some other idea and prance away to that tomorrow. Keep doing it until you’ve done everything you set out to do and everyone and their mom knows it. I didn’t stop blogging when barely anyone read it for years. I didn’t stop when people told me I was dumb or wrong. I didn’t stop when redesigns were met with vitriol. I didn’t stop when faced with mountainous challenges like inexplicable server failure, legal trouble, and theft of the site itself.

Oh, plus, try not to be a dick. I’m convinced that helps.

This thought was written by Chris Coyier and first published on Saturday, 18 May 2013.

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.

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Meet the 621 parts of a 1964 Smith Corona typewriter

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We are currently knee-deep in a trend of highly contrived (though admittedly, often visually attractive) “infographics”. And then here comes an idea so bold, so clear, so simple, and (dare I say) so obvious, that I feel like this may finally expose the absurdity of those over-designed monstrosities we currently categorize as informational graphic design.

Statement from Todd McLellan:

Things Come Apart is an expansion of the original Disassembly Series. This new set of images explores retro to modern daily items that have, are, or will be in our everyday lives. The book “Things Come Apart” published by Thames & Hudson will be available May.

And from Thames & Hudson:

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living

Welcome to Todd McLellan’s unique photographic vision of the material world: fifty design classics—arranged first by size and then by intricacy—are beautifully displayed, piece by piece, exploding in midair and dissected in real-time, frame-by-frame video stills.

This book makes visible the inner workings of some of the world’s most iconic designs. From SLR camera to mantel clock to espresso machine, from iPad to bicycle to grand piano, every single component of each object is revealed. These disassembled objects show that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood, while beautifully illustrating the quality and elegance of older designs. Stunning photography is interspersed with essays by notable figures from the worlds of restoration, DIY, and design innovation who discuss historical examples of teardowns, disassembly, and reverse-engineering.

Each photograph is itself a work of art and offers a reinterpretation of our familiar world. They connect people with the child-like joy of taking something apart to see how it works and will appeal to anyone with a curiosity about the material world.

Things Come Apart from Todd McLellan Motion/Stills Inc. on Vimeo.

Behind the Making of ‘Born & Raised’ art by David A. Smith

You just would not expect this level of craftsmanship for a commercial job — especially now that packaging for 12″ vinyl is long gone.

The Making of John Mayer’s ‘Born & Raised’ Artwork from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

David A. Smith is a traditional sign-writer/designer specialising in high-quality ornamental hand-crafted reverse glass signs and decorative silvered and gilded mirrors. David recently produced a wonderful turn-of-the-century, trade-card styled album cover for popular American singer/songwriter John Mayer.

This film captures the ‘Behind The Scenes’ creation of the ‘Born & Raised’ and ‘Queen of California’ artwork, as well as 2 unique reverse glass panels, hand-crafted in England by David A. Smith.

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.

Who Made That Pantone Chip?

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Via: The New York Times:

In the early 1960s, as Lawrence Herbert drove to work in a blue Cadillac with cherry red seats, he mulled over a problem: How to create a “universal language” of color. Herbert, the owner of the Pantone printing company, had just produced a retail display card that helped shoppers choose pantyhose. He had to hand-mix the subtle beiges of each swatch, because it was so difficult to buy the exact shade he wanted from an ink manufacturer. Each company defined colors differently, and when you ordered “wheat” or “taupe” or “cream,” you couldn’t predict what you’d get.

The solution, he realized, was to create a unified color system in which each shade was expressed as a number. “If somebody in New York wanted something printed in Tokyo, they would simply open up the book and say, ‘Give me Pantone 123,’ ” Herbert says; 123 (a daffodil yellow) would look exactly the same the world over….

[click through for full piece at nytimes.com]

360° Color: A Peek Inside Pantone from Base on Vimeo.

Why Subtraction Is the Hardest Math in Product Design

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Via: wired.com:

Simple doesn’t just sell, it sticks. Simple made hits of the Nest thermostat, Fitbit, and TiVo. Simple brought Apple back from the dead. It’s why you have Netflix. The Fisher Space Pen, the Swiss Army Knife, and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual are some of our most enduring products. All are marvels of simplicity.

Yet while many mechanical marvels of simplicity remain true to their original form, most electronic ones do not.

Travel back in time to use your parents’ first microwave and you’ll likely see a box with three buttons (High, Medium, Low) and a timer dial. By contrast, one of LG’s current models boasts 33 buttons. Do I hit Auto Defrost or Express Defrost? And what the hell is Less/More? None of these make my popcorn pop faster or taste better. And it’s not easier to use. Why do products become more complex as they evolve? ….

[click through for full piece by Mat Honan for Wired Magazine]

And exploring this topic means this is an appropriate time to appreciate the long-time favorite “If Microsoft designed the iPod Package”