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?!)

“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.”

Exciting… beautiful… now please go fix it!

Link to site: Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000

I saw this exhibit a few months back – and it was well worth seeing. It was one of those lucky trips to the museum where, while there, you discover a number of unexpected exhibits that are really very good. I only just now stumbled over this part of the MOMA site where they decided to dedicate some vertuoso design to: Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000.

Actually, the design is beautiful, and would translate handsomely to a catalog or any print format. The actual “vertuoso” part that I was referring to is in the overly slick programming. A classic case pursuing every opportunity to make as many elements as possible flip, bounce, float, or scale at the mere hover of a mouse. I was soon moving the mouse very tentatively while cursing beneath my breath “I never clicked that damn thing – why is it jumping in front!

Naturally, I always want to be cautious and not rush to criticize a project that is clearly ambitious – because I can see the attempt here to make something fresh and new – but frankly this ends up mired in all of the worst excesses of an old-style Flash website. This was unfortunately art directed in a way that was completely sympathetic to the programming.

In an (apparent) attempt to showcase all that the web can be, we just end up with another case study in what happens when you try to shove a “web experience” down your visitors throat.

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.

Sadly beautiful New York Magazine cover

It’s often asked where Art Direction ends and Design begins. As the digital world has afforded individuals unprecedented control of their work, the line between art direction and graphic design has further blurred. Here is a perfect example where the art direction is the design. And I would hope that as fellow designers look at this magazine cover, the “art director” in them will be reminded that when a photograph contains this much beauty and information, then your job is to just stay out of the way and allow it to shine. The stormy skies, the familiar bright lights of Manhattan at night, and the near-perfect infographic of the devastated (dark) parts of the city. Read below to see the challenges of getting this shot.

Via: poynter.org

Architecture photographer explains how he got that New York magazine cover shot

Shooting in the dark, with a handheld camera, in a vibrating helicopter, 5,000 feet above land sounds like a photographer’s nightmare. But Iwan Baan made it look easy.

The Dutch photographer’s image of a half-illuminated, half-powerless New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy captured the nation’s attention on the cover of New York magazine.

“It was the only way to show that New York was two cities, almost,” Baan said on the phone Sunday evening from Haiti. “One was almost like a third world country where everything was becoming scarce. Everything was complicated. And then another was a completely vibrant, alive New York.”

Baan made the image Wednesday night after the storm, using the new Canon 1D X with the new 24-70mm lens on full open aperture. The camera was set at 25,000 ISO, with a 1/40th of a second shutter speed.

“[It was] the kind of shot which was impossible to take before this camera was there,” Baan said.

It was more difficult to rent a car than a helicopter in New York the day after Sandy, Baan said. And because there was such limited air traffic so soon after the storm, air traffic control allowed Baan and the helicopter to hover very high above the city, a powerful advantage for the photo.

…continue for full text

First Person: Gary Anderson “I designed the recycling symbol”

From the Financial Times….

First Person: Gary Anderson | As told to Katie Engelhart

‘I designed the recycling symbol’

I studied engineering at the University of Southern California at a time when there was a lot of emphasis in the US on training young people to be engineers. It was in the years after Sputnik and the philosophy was that America was in danger of falling behind the Russians in the technical arena. That said, I eventually switched to architecture. I just couldn’t get a grasp on electronics. Architecture was more tangible.
I got my bachelor’s degree in 1971 and stayed on to do a master’s. It was around that time that I saw a poster advertising a design competition being run by the Container Corporation of America. The idea was to create a symbol to represent recycled paper – one of my college requirements had been a graphic design course so I thought I’d give it a go. (Full text at FT Magazine online)

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.

How an Appropriate Typeface Can Save Your Life (really)

From The MIT AgeLab….

New findings released: Typeface style can affect safety

MIT AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center partnered with Monotype Imaging Holding Inc. in research that showed certain typeface styles can shorten glance time for in-vehicle displays. Results suggest that changes to font characteristics in in-vehicle interface design may be helpful in moving towards a goal of reducing demand and improving roadway safety.

A white paper released today describes the results of two recent studies, in which drivers ranging in age from 36-75 interacted with a multi-line menu display similar to a vehicle navigation system menu. Across both studies there was a clear and consistent reduction in glance time away from the road among then men. When interacting with menus in a humanist style typeface as compared to a square grotesque typeface, men took their eyes off the road for 10.6% less. A more modest difference was observed in women.

Visit their site for further info and resources

Harvey Pekar statue to be dedicated at Cleveland Heights’ Lee Road library on October 14th

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer….

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS — The late Harvey Pekar will soon become a permanent fixture of one of his most beloved haunts; the Lee Road branch of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

A statue of Pekar at the library will be dedicated at a ceremony scheduled for Oct. 14. Entitled “Harvey Pekar: A Literacy, Library Life,” the event will include a presentation by JT Waldman, the illustrator who collaborated with Pekar on his posthumously publish graphic novel, “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me.”

The famed author of the autobiographical comic book series “American Splendor” — which inspired a critically acclaimed 2003 movie of the same name — Pekar, 70, died in July 2010 at his East Overlook Road home in Cleveland Heights. A Coventry Road staple for decades, the Shaker Heights High School graduate was also an almost daily visitor, and longtime supporter, of the Lee Road library.

“That library was Harvey’s first love and second home,” said Pekar’s widow, Joyce Brabner.

(more…)

The project is explained—mostly by his wife Joyce Brabner—on Kickstarter (video above) where most of the money was raised