Saturday, April 28, 2007

Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design

Cool! It's finally out.

Even if you're not a design, type or culture freak you're sure to dig Michael Bierut's perspective on design.

Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design brings together the best of designer Michael Bierut's critical writing—serious or humorous, flattering or biting, but always on the mark. Bierut is widely considered the finest observer on design writing today.

Covering topics as diverse as Twyla Tharp and ITC Garamond, Bierut's intelligent and accessible texts pull design culture into crisp focus. He touches on classics, like Massimo Vignelli and the cover of The Catcher in the Rye, as well as newcomers, like McSweeney's Quarterly Concern and color-coded terrorism alert levels.

Along the way Nabakov's Pale Fire; Eero Saarinen; the paper clip; Celebration, Florida; the planet Saturn; the ClearRx pill bottle; and paper architecture all fall under his pen. His experience as a design practitioner informs his writing and gives it truth. In Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design, designers and nondesigners alike can share and revel in his insights.

Michael Bierut is also a regular over at one of my favorite sites, Design Observer.

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Thanks to the smart folks at Media Bistro.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Afro Coffee

Ah, nothing better than great coffee and good design...

In the beginning it was an ordinary cafe - for coffee. But the Afro Coffee shop at Church Street in sunny Cape Town, South Africa, took it a step further and started designing a tasteful range of products around the beverage: not only beautifying the packaging design of their coffee brand Afro Coffee, but also designing the whole interior of the cafe and eventually enhancing the assortment with their own special tea brand, and fabrics - and even fashion like super cute bags with an African spirit!

Check out this great PingMag interview with the Afro Coffee member Grant Rushmere about alot more than coffee: PingMag: Afro Coffee

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Thanks to Uleshka and Verena over at PingMag

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great Advertising Makes A Lousy Product Fail Faster

Advertising Age's recent survey reminds us of the guiding philosophy that keeps a brand relevant. And yup, you guessed it, it's innovation.

Despite shifting consumer needs and wants, "Marketing must be reinvented," said ANA President-CEO Bob Liodice. "In fact, it must be continually reinvented." Reinvention, he went on to say, should be a guiding philosophy in brand building.

According to the survey, the best actions to combat brand deterioration are product innovation, refocusing marketing efforts on growth, exploring new targets, analyzing the root cause of the deterioration and completing a deep qualitative study on brand issues.

Don Sexton, a professor of business at Columbia University, said: "Sizzle alone won't do it, you have to have the steak as well. Great advertising makes a lousy product fail faster."

Read the whole thing over at Advertising Age

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Saul Bass Titles

Check out this nice little library of Saul Bass movie titles.

I really love the fact that you can click through and get a virtual frame by frame look at these awesome gems.

Dig the Saul Bass!
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Saturday, April 21, 2007

So, What's The First Thing?

Not sure exactly what The Second Thing In The Morning is all about, but I'm really digging the type.

Oh, I get it - the Gulf News, first thing in the morning. I guess I should have had my coffee first...

Advertising Agency: Team Y&R, Dubai, UAE Typographer: Vikram Divecha.

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Thanks to the kids at 2WENTY 4OUR.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who's Your Dada?

Based on Kurt Shwitters “Thesis on Typography”, this is a meld of stop-motion and motion-graphic typography all with influences pouring in from the Dada movement. The underlying idea is that the over-use of graphical elements in a typographical piece may cause the content to become unreadable.

Some very interesting work and ideas that remind me of some my favorite design classes at the Massachusettes College of Art in Boston.

Check out the short film: Thesis on Typography

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Thansk to the folks at Nice to Meet You

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

12 Breeds of Client

We all know that there are lots of different types of clients out there. If you're in this for the long haul, you eventually get to meet all of them.

Meetings run by committees are usually not my favorite. More times than not, I find that after most committee encounters I walk away with more questions than answers and most of what appear to be answers are really only cross references.

The trick, I think, is to try and find the real decision makers or gravitate towards the most interested, knowledgeable and enthusiastic few. These are usually the folks that truly appear to be interested in the meeting, and therefore the project, and usually offer the most concrete and relevant answers to questions.

Here's a quick look at one of those typical clients. I'm sure you'll recognize a few of your own.

Client Breed #9: The Decision-By-Committee Client

How To Spot One:
Usually inhabiting the world of large corporate clients, the decision-by-committee client can still be found in smaller operations where they share their decision making with a spouse, neighbor or dog. The decision-by-committee client is one who lacks a single point of authority and for which every decision must be approved by many people.

The Highs:
Since decision-by-committee clients don’t have anyone making firm decisions it is sometimes possible to just do whatever you think and sneak it through under the radar. This can easily backfire though, so be careful.

The Lows:
The decision-by-committee client at its worst is achingly slow to work with and when many people have their pet peeves you can wind up with a highly inferior product to show for the work. Decision-by-committee client almost always reduce to the lowest common denominator and if there is one person who dominates they are usually the one person you wish *didn’t* dominate.

How To Work With One:
Unfortunately decision-by-committee clients are a fact of life when it comes to working with large corporate clients and this is one reason why it is important to charge high when dealing with the big guys.

It helps to be firm and quickly identify the stronger members of the committee and target them for responses while trying to win them over by conceding lesser points and sticking to your main guns.

Check out all 12 over at Freelance Swich

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Thanks to Jack at Freelance Swich

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just thinking...

So, there's this 2006 study that found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.

Another study found that Americans drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year.

So, on average, Americans get about 41 miles per gallon.

Not Bad.

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Thanks Mark!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Type of Birdhouse

Check out these sweet little bird houses!

Go get one from the Duth design dudes over at Bom Design.

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Thanks to Swiss Miss

Blow Monkey

Wow, this is perfect. Our 13 year old is going to love this groovy monkey nail dryer! Not a bad little reward for making the Honor Roll, again! And for only 9 bux, this is the perfect little goofy gift for all the girly girls in your life as well!

Get yours over at Gadget Stuff!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Nice Clock Concept

I'm really digging the Around About. I mean, if you've got to have a clock around to remind you of the precious minutes you've got left to meet your deadline, it might as well look cool, right?

Anthony Dickens Limited is a design practice specialising in creating functional objects.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

100% Nice!

Not only is this simply an awesome use of typography, this is a totally killer ambigram advertising Artois Peeterman, Stella’s 4% sister ale. Thanks to David Rainbird over at 30gms.

Very nice.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

History Of Branding

It's a drag this site won't work in Safari, but it's still a nice little site dedicated to the lowdown and history of the worlds most powerful brands.

Go now: >>> The History Of Branding.

Have a great week!

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Very Cool Cheap Monster Art!

Wow, I just love theses!

I just scored 5 awesome creature drawings over at The Muted Skeleton Cave from Sir Aeron.

100 - 200 of 1,000 of these are going to published in an anthology book concerning monsters later this year.

These unique and imaginative drawings are monsters, inspired by the likes of Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Bruegel, Dr Seuss and countless mideval woodcuts of monsters.

Take advantage of this while these are still available. Each drawing is signed and numbered on the back and will make very cool gifts for all the monster fans in your world!

Go visit The Muted Skeleton Cave now!

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Chuck Ramone

Found this over at Freshenss Mag. via Josh Spear.

Dig the next series of Artist collaborations from Converse hitting shelves late Summer.

The Ramones will be a special pre-beat-up pair of Chucks. The cool feature is the Ramones patch replacing the Chuck Taylor patch.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Hope Jobs Hooks Him Up With A New One...

Baghdad (Iraq) - According to a picture posted on Flickr, one lucky U.S. Army soldier was saved by his iPod after the music player took a bullet from an AK-47. Kevin Garrad with the 3rd Infantry Division was patrolling the streets of Iraq when he rounded a corner and went face to face with a gun-toting insurance.

Gun fire was exchanged and Garrad was hit in the chest. The insurgent was killed.

At point blank range an AK-47 round is devastating and has a decent chance of passing through the Interceptor body armor vests used by Army soldiers, but the ipod apparently slowed the bullet enough to be stopped completely by Garrad’s vest. From the picture, it appears that the ipod was hit in the upper-right front corner and the bullet exited out the back.

Detailed view over here: iPod Flickr.


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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad's website has a very cool collection of old advertisments and different sorts of system maps.

I like! ANd you mighth too - see more over at the Union Pacific site.

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Thanks to: Information Or Junk