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

Support the Hamilton Wood Type Museum

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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!

Redesigning Google (from theverge.com)

Via: theverge.com:

Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution • The new Google way is weird, but it’s working

….We went to Google looking for the person responsible for the new design direction, but the strange answer we got is that such a person doesn’t exist. Instead, thanks to a vision laid out by a small team of Google designers, each product team is finding its way to a consistent and forward-looking design language thanks to a surprising process. They’re talking to each other….

[click through for full piece]

The wording of their headline does not specifically reinforce or challenge the idea that there actually is a single correct way of accomplishing good design. We’re well aware of how Apple’s design has been led by Jonathan Ive — presenting the world with what appears to be the ideal model of corporate design leadership. Simply put: having one lead voice. But Google is not Apple — and frankly, the entirety of Apple is not as unified as it looks at first glance.

[and while I’m on the topic….] Certainly all of Apple’s products — hardware and physical packaging — have that Apple aesthetic, but have you looked at the icons in your dock lately? Pages, Numbers, iMove, etc… all look like Microsoft products. What would it take to redesign these icons to match the Apple brand? And the Calendar, which instead of having that sleek and clean Apple look, actually opens up to some sort of faux leather-like texture at the top and goes further in this cheesy direction to actually mimic the remnants of slighty torn away pages? Is it the intention to keep these apps looking this way? And if so—why?

OK, I saw this image (below, Calendar App second row center) so here’s the deal—if your Icon is suitable enough to serve as decoration for adorable cupcakes, then it does not have the Apple aesthetic. And if you have the need for adorable cupcakes, you’d be wise to contact my friend Sara.

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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

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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]

The New York Times | 2012: The Year in Graphics

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From The NT Times, December 30th, 2012:

2012: The Year in Graphics

 Graphics and interactives from a year that included an election, the Olympics and a devastating hurricane. A selection of the graphics presented here include information about how they were created.

Also: you can follow @nytgraphics on Twitter for updates when new interactives are published.

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a table today, but….

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The Map Table by Birky Design.

From the Birky Design website:

Tailored for your special place in the world, our map tables are crafted from solid hard wood using a blend of traditional and modern techniques. All our wood is sourced from Scottish FSC accredited woodlands. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.

Some more images here…

And few things give me more joy (perhaps sadly, that is not an exaggeration) than a great video of people making beautiful stuff.

BIRKY Design – making the Map Table. from BIRKY Design on Vimeo.

BIRKY Design are pleased to bring you a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into how we make our map tables. From the original planks right through to polishing up the table top, this film shows the process from start to finish.
Our maker was Graham Murdoch, based at the Real Wood Studios in the Borders. Also starring Alec Jordan, a boat builder and CNC-cutter in Fife.

Videograoher – John Duncan, JD Productions.
http://www.john-duncan.co.uk/

And while we’re talking about great video of people making beautiful stuff, I love watching the craftsmanship in this video of the making of the $50,000 (yes, fifty thousand) Leica M9-P Special Edition Hermès. Oh well, the video is gorgeous and you can watch it for free!

The Making of the Leica M9-P »Edition Hermès« – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas from Leica Camera on Vimeo.

Watch the making of the Leica M9-P »Edition Hermès« – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas, introduced in Berlin at the “LEICA – DAS WESENTLICHE” on May 10, 2012.

This limited edition is a celebration of the friendship and collaboration between Jean-Louis Dumas, the former president of Hermès, who died in May 2010, and Leica Camera AG.

Designing Typefaces: Erik Spiekermann talking with Gestalten TV

Graphic design can change your life from Edenspiekermann on Vimeo.

Erik Spiekermann talking with Gestalten TV about the process of designing typefaces. Listen to him finding handy analogies to music, the rhythm of spaces and the silence between characters.

The Universal Arts of Graphic Design | Off Book | PBS

From PBSoffbook:

Though often overlooked, Graphic Design surrounds us: it is the signs we read, the products we buy, and the rooms we inhabit. Graphic designers find beauty within limitations, working towards the ultimate goal of visually communicating a message, be it the packaging of a product, the spirit of a book, or the narrative of a building. Utilizing a language of type and imagery, graphic designers try to make every aspect of our lives defined and beautiful.

Featuring:
Debbie Millman: http://debbiemillman.com/
Emily Oberman: http://www.pentagram.com/work/#/all/all/newest/
Drew Freeman: http://afreeman.co/, http://www.pentagram.com/
Steve Attardo: http://stevenattardo.com/

The story behind New York’s Subway signage

Via: The New York Times Magazine (12/7/2012)

Who Made That Subway Signage?

In 1966, Bob Noorda, a Dutch-born designer, spent three weeks navigating New York’s subway system, pretending to be a commuter and trying to follow the signs from one train to another. What Noorda found was chaos: the walls bristled with arrows and impossible-to-follow instructions. The New York Transit Authority was hoping that Noorda and his firm, Unimark International, could fix the problem.

It was an era when graphic designers hoped to reinvent the world, and Marshall McLuhan declared, “We become what we behold.” The team at Unimark wore lab coats, and at one point they drafted a manifesto declaring their allegiance to sans-serif type. When Noorda and his partner Massimo Vignelli took on the subway signs, they didn’t just update them — they invented what they thought of as a new grammar for New York City. They used minimal text, arrows only when necessary and color-coded discs to indicate different train lines. The discs were Noorda’s masterstroke….

Continue to full article

And recently the Sierra Club has created a subway-style map of national parks (below) with the legend “so incredibly not to scale”, further confirmation that this design will live on forever.

Gratuitous design? Count me in!

While designers love to throw out words like substance, purpose, reduction and sustainability, please remember that all goes down the toilet when a piece of exciting design is laid in front of us (not to mention all that talk is largely bullshit to begin with — but I’ll save that for another post).

Through an extraordinary attention to detail and stunning design, Theory 11 has managed to turn a deck of playing cards into a fetish item for design fans. A stroll around their website displays a quite a range of beautiful packaging: the Collector’s Edition Laser-Etched Wood Box Set, a metallic “Industial Edition, and much more.

A few samples here…

Ahhh… here we go. The thunderous cinematic score. And, of course (of course?), the pyramids and hieroglyphics, because—why not?  Add a somewhat bored-looking magician flipping cards around in what appears to be, perhaps, the fitting area of an upscale bridal salon? Anyway, this accompanying video is… um… I really don’t know what the hell it is…

And actually, now that I think about it, I’ll just stick with these, thank you.

The story behind “Keep Calm and Carry On”

From Barter Books

A short history of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster. After being forgotten for more than half a century, a rare original of the now famous WWII poster was rediscovered in a box of old books bought at auction in one of the largest and most popular secondhand bookshops in Britain – Barter Books.

When the bookshop owners had the poster framed and put up in the shop, customer interest was so great that in 2001 the couple started producing facsimile copies for sale – copies which were soon copied and recopied to make of the Keep Calm poster one of the first truly iconic images of the 21st century.

Keep Calm and Carry On from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.