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: video

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.

Beau Lotto: Optical illusions show how we see

It now appears far more interesting to understand color as an element of human evolution and survival, as opposed to merely an element of design.

“All his work attempts to understand the visual brain as a system defined, not by its essential properties, but by its past ecological interactions with the world. In this view, the brain evolved to see what proved useful to see, to continually redefine normality.”
—British Science Association

Beau Lotto is founder of Lottolab, a hybrid art studio and science lab.

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.

Chris Ware’s Building Stories…. this thing is insane/extraordinary even by Chris Ware standards

I am blown away… yet again. What may appear at first glance to be the output of an entire career (photo below) is in actuality, just the multiple components of Building Stories, the latest project from Chris Ware.

From The Smithsonian:

The first thing you’ll notice about the collected Building Stories is that it’s not a book. It’s a box. It looks more like a board game than anything else. However, inside this box, there isn’t a game board and there aren’t any pieces. Instead, there are the 14 distinct books that compose Building Stories – ranging in style from standard comics to flip books to newspapers to something that looks like a Little Golden Book. Importantly, there are no instructions on how to read them or where to begin. While these books do indeed trace the lives of a small group of people (and a honeybee), the linear narrative is irrelevant –we’re just catching glimpses of their lives– and reading through the encapsulated stories is reminiscent of flipping through a stranger’s old photo albums.

Unboxing Chris Ware’s Building Stories from Digital Cultures Lab on Vimeo.

And (below) Chris Ware talks about Building Stories:

“Dumb Ways to Die” is awesome

OK, I just watched this for the 3rd time today. Love the song, love the animation. If you think it’s impossible to combine ‘horrifying’ and ‘adorable’, then just click on the video below. I almost can’t believe that this is simply a public service ad for Melbourne Metro Trains safety. There is a quality to this that makes it feel almost effortless – and I mean that in the best sense. You can easily see where someone would want to soften the lyrics and visuals – just to not offend, just to “be safe”.

Being not safe is exactly what makes this great. There’s more info below the video, or click right over to the Herald Sun for the full article.

And yes, it has it’s own website, and animated gifs!

Via: Herald Sun (Australia)

Featuring a variety of cute characters killing themselves in increasingly idiotic ways the video is designed to demonstrate the danger and stupidity of messing around on platforms, tracks and level crossings.

“This campaign is designed to draw young people to the safety message rather than frighten them away.”

“We set out to find an innovative way to reach young people who see themselves as indestructible. We felt images of body bags were more likely to have an impact on their parents, so we wanted to engage with young people in a way we think they might appeal to them a bit more.”

“Some people might have an issue with us making light of what is a serious topic, but if we can save one life or avoid serious injury, then that’s how we’ll measure the success of this campaign.”

“The campaign evolved out of discussion with platform staff and drivers who witness people risking their safety around train stations and at level crossings,” said Leah Waymark, General Manager Corporate Relations, Metro Trains.

“The ‘dumb’ theme had its gestation in those initial responses. It was just an overwhelming theme of their feedback.”

Storytelling on the Web

Storytelling is how we promote ideas, establish brands, and even define ourselves. It’s become clear how perfectly suited the web is for video. I’m referring to quality filmmaking, of course. This often gets obscured by the (somewhat astounding) fact that 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute—often making the good stuff hard to find.

I’ve gathered four videos that I’ve watched multiple times. All four are sports-themed, and, in my opinion, all four are very successful at what they’re trying to do.

In order, there are first two very emotional mini-documentaries: Royce White on Draft Day and Danny Webber’s First Football Game. Followed by two very commercial pieces: Pepsi’s “Uncle Drew” and Budweiser’s Hockey Flashmob.

Kirby Ferguson: Embrace the Remix

New York filmmaker Kirby Ferguson speaking at TED

From the TED website…

What’s a remix? In Kirby Ferguson’s view, any piece of art that contains a recognizable reference to another work–a quote from a lyric, a borrowed riff, a filmic homage. Which makes almost everything a remix, from a Led Zeppelin song to a classic film from George Lucas. His deeply researched and insanely fun four-part web series, “Everything Is a Remix,” dives into the question: Is remixing a form of creativity, a production of the new on the shoulders of what precedes it, or is it just copying? He comes out firmly on the side of creativity, calling for protections for people who, with good intentions, weave together bits of existing culture into something fresh and relevant.

And be sure to watch the complete 4-part series.