Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweet Illustration

Check out Eugene and Louise, the multi-talented Belgium couple that not only create some mighty fine illustrations, they also run their own groovy little bakery in Antwerp!

And say hello to Lucy, one of their amazing and edible Marzipan character treats.

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Thanks to the smart at Ad Hunt.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Altima Coupe

I'm still on the fence about which way to go as far as a new ride goes. At this stage it's either going to be a SmartCar (not sure if I want to wait another year for it though), or, an old, mid 60's VW or Chevy truck. But now, check out the new Altima - Wow! I just might have to add the all-new 2008 Nissan Altima Coupeto the list.

I had been driving a 1994 Altima until the end of last summer and it was a great car.

The new Altima Coupe 2.5 S 6-speed, starting at $20,490 goes on sale May 25, 2007.

Go: Nissan.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Striking Images

Grab yourself a big cup of java and take a look at this labor of love/rescue mission - the amazing collection of 1950s and 60s Eastern European matchbox labels, all courtesy of Jane McDevitt.

If you've been one of the handful of folks that have been reading my That's Right blog for the last 3.5+ years you know that I'm a huge ephemera and type freak. I'm always a sucker for huge collections of what I consider to be ignored graphic design gems such as stamps, sugar packets, old tickets and the like.

Subject matter in this collection ranges from propaganda to public service announcements including fire safety, hygiene, money saving, alcohol abuse and road safety. Sweet!

Nothing like zooming in on the exquisite off registration of type and images covering the fat and gnarly, toothy paper stock.

Go: Matchbox Lables.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Beyond Eames

Just when you thought you'd seen it all as far as wooden slats and furniture, along comes designer George Mahoney at Solv.

Very nice.

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Gracias Design Milk.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Game Of Evolution

This photo really says it all, don't you think?

Paul Rand on the Play Instinct:

Q: You design as though you were playing a game or piecing together a puzzle. Why don’t you just settle on a formula and follow it through to its logical conclusion?

A: There are no formulas in creative work. I do many variations, which is a question of curiosity. I arrive at many different configurations-some just slight variations, others more radical-of an original idea. It is a game of evolution.

Paul Rand was America’s leading modern graphic designer in the disciplines of advertising, book, and corporate design. He studied at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, and the Art Students League, all in New York City, but was primarily self-taught in the ways of modernism.

Do yourself (and your clients) a favor and read the rest of Play Instinct, originally published in Steven Heller's “Design Dialogues”, Allworth Press, 1998.

Have a great weekend.

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Thanks to the folks at:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Band Logos That Rock!

The ever witty insaniacs over at Abduzeedo have a come up with a pretty cool Top 25 Best Band Logo list.

Nice job guys, but there are a few blaring omissions like Zeppelin, The New York Dolls and dude, you can't leave out Legs Diamond!

Kiss made it all the way to number 4 and The Beatles clocked in at 17.

I must say though, I totally agree with the top choice. But according to my bud Carlos Zapata, Angel should get the top spot.

What do you think? Check it out: Abduzeedo

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Smart Stairs

If you're like me, and you've got way to many books, reference and ephemeral materials, you just gotta love this smart storage solution.

More info over at Levitate.

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Thanks to Core 77 and Design Milk.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

From the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.

The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope.

A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus.

The birth of a brand is achieved with publicity, not advertising.

Once born, a brand needs advertising to stay healthy.

A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.

The crucial ingredient in the success of any brand is its claim to authenticity.

Quality is important, but brands are not built on quality alone.

A leading brand should promote the cateogry, not the brand.

In the long run a brand is nothing more than a name.

The easiest way to destroy a brand is to put its name on everything.

In order to build the category, a brand should welcome other brands.

One of the fastest routes to failure is giving a brand a generic name.

Brands are brands. Companies are companies. There is a difference.

What branding builds, subbranding can destroy.

There is a time and a place to launch a second brand.

A brand's logotype should be designed to fit the eyes. Both eyes.

A brand should use a color that is the opposite of its major competitor's.

There are no barriers to global branding. A brand should know no borders.

A brand is not built overnight. Success is measured in decades, not years.

Brands can be changed, but only infrequently and only very carefully.

No brand will live forever. Euthanasia is often the best solution.

The most important aspect of a brand is its single-mindedness.

In this fun read, marketing legend explains why good marketing is essential to good business, and uses many examples, both successful and disastrous, to illustrate his point. It's

This one's considered as an industry bible, go get the book by Al & Laura Ries: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.

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Thanks to the smart folks over at Logo Orange.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crude Awakening

These are just a couple of the amazing shots from Crude Awakening, a project my good buddy and fellow MassArt alumni Karen Cusolito and her husband Dan Das Mann conceived and produced for Burning man last year along with Black Rock FX, Mark Perez, Pyrokinetics, Nate Smith and MonkeyBoy.

The installation contained nine figurative steel sculptures standing 30 feet tall and weighing 7 tons each. They bow down in their various poses and reach forth in worship of a 90' tall wooden oil derrick symbolizing our religious relationship and dependence of fossil fuel. The project climaxed on September 1st, 2007 when the structure was burned down in a ball of explosive fire.

Freaking awesome and breathtakingly amazing!

Lots more imagery and commentary about the project, theconcept, and it's execution over here: Crude Awakening.

Congrats Karen!

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Bad ass shots courtesy of Tristan Savatier.

Totally Lunar

Well, tonight's the big night, for some of us anyway...

Starting at 7:01 p.m. PST, and lasting for the next three hours and 26 minutes, the moon will move completely under the shadow of the Earth in a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse can be seen in the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

Too bad the forecast for San Antonio tonight is: Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers. Areas of fog after midnight. Lows in the lower 60s.

Oh well, guess we'll have to wait until the next total lunar eclipse - December 2010.

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Photo: Scott Nielsen—Bruce Coleman, Inc./PictureQuest

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oil of Olay

Perhaps Fidel Castro might have been able to extend his iron-fisted rule of power had he only used some Oil of Olay.

Nice stuff from Saatchi & Saatchi, Russia.

That's Right,


Gracias Freddy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The History Of Visual Communication

From the 40,000 year old cave and rock paintings of Lascaux, France, to the emerging design genre of desktop wallpapers, if you're at all curious about how we got from there to here, you'll enjoy this comprehensive yet brief springboard to understanding The History Of Visual Communication.

Courtesy of Alpha Auer, this is a great read for the serious aspiring visual communicator and/or designer. The site walks you through the long and diverse history of a particular aspect of human endeavour: The translation of ideas, stories and concepts that are largely textual and/or word based into a visual format, i.e. visual communication.

Bookmark this one y'all, it's a great reference site: The History Of Visual Communication.

Have a great week.

That's Right,


Thanks to The Design Observer.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clean & Crafty

Check out these too cool & crafty bathroom ideas from over at Craftzine.

First up is the Hitchcock-inspired Psycho bathroom. And I'm really digging the Yellow Submarine version.

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Tune in to the latest HMK Mystery Stream here: Episode 044: Three Hearts.

And check this out: Happy Valentine's Day!

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Mastercard's got a new name, Mastercard Worldwide. Not to mention a complete rebranding and well, uh, what the hell?

Is it just me or is the middle circle off center? And what were they thinking by dropping the crisp and clean interlocking circles - the core essence of their mark?

Wow. The more I study this I can only wonder... Did they really think that by adding more circles and gradients it would make it's once instantly recognizable logo better? Dang. This is just flat out lame.

Somebody over at Mastercard needs to Google restraint...

Details on the de-evolution over at: Mastercard Brand Center

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Once again, thanks to Freddy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Story Of Stuff

This is so awesome. Check out Annie Leonard's The Story Of Stuff. The perfect educational springboard for both young and old alike regarding consumerism and its impact on you, me and our one and only planet Earth.

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.

It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

If I were president I'd make sure The Story Of Stuff was shown to every student in every school in every country.

But I'm not the president and I'm just as tired as everyone else as far as waiting on the government to Change and fix things so I guess it's up to everyone reading this to share this, plant the seed and start thinking about not only where all this stuff comes from , but where it all goes when we throw it away.

If we really want to Change things, watching and sharing The Story Of Stuff is a step in the right direction.

That's Right,


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chocolate Scrabble.

Genius. Chocolate Scrabble, a dark chocolate candy bar. Eat your own words, and enjoy it. Get yours over at: Mary & Matt.

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Western Romance

Here's a cool little set of choice vintage magazine covers in celebration of both the Stock Show & Rodeo and St. Valentine's Day down here in San Antonio: Western Romance

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Window Revenue

Just in time for the recession, companies like WindowGain and NeoScape are doing what they can to brighten up those unsightly boarded-up and/or broken-window storefronts. Their mission: turn empty urban windows into digital message displays.

“It’s an innovative way to activate empty storefronts with new technology,” Randi Lathrop, who has overseen pilot projects in Boston, tells the Boston Globe.

Nice thinking. Almost anything looks better than those makeshift boarded up windows.

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Thanks to David Gianatasio AdFreak.

Dog Coach

Now that's a group of smart dogs. Looks like you're in good hands with these dog coaches. But actually it's Dazy not Daisy and Ringo is still working on dotting the "i" in his name...

Agency: .start, Munich
Creative Directors: Marco Mehrwald, Thomas Pakull
Art Director: Felix Ranft
Copywriter: Bjoern Pfarr

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Gracias Freddy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


In 1930, Goro Yoshida and his brother-in-law Saburo Uchida created Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in Japan. Four years later, they created their first camera, called the Kwanon. It was named after the Kwanon, Buddhist Bodhisattva of Mercy. The logo included an image of Kwanon with 1,000 arms and flames.

Coolness of logo notwithstanding, according to the Canon site, the company registered the differently spelled word "Canon" as a trademark because it sounded similar to Kwanon while implying precision, a characteristic the company would like to be known and associated with.

There's a few more nice examples of logo evolution from the smart folks over at: Netorama.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

San Antonio: I Love It Lame!

This is from David Gianatasio at Adweek:

The city of love is ... surprise! San Antonio, Texas! I always thought it was Paris. And not Paris, Texas, either. Scorpions and ZZ Top (the band in one case, but not the other) spring to mind on those rare occasions when I ponder the Lone Star State.

But a press release from Bromley Associates set me straight. There’s a new campaign about all the things there are to love in San Antonio, but it will remain largely under wraps until Feb. 14. “We’ve already begun running teasers in the media and via direct mail, so it’s the campaign name and logo that are embargoed.” Fair enough. We won’t print the logo or divulge the slogan, though if some clever reader figures it out, well, that’s just the luck of the draw. Think Texas ... love ... Valentine’s Day.

No doubt, there's lots to love down here in my hometown of San Antonio, but as far as slogans go, you simply can't beat 'Keep San Antonio Lame". Or as my buddy Carlos Zapata put it in his letter to the editor of the San Antonio Current:

Let’s face it, San Antonio is a BIG small town. I think John Lisle of 99.5 KISS FM put it best when he described San Antonio as, “the Barney Fife of metropolitan cities - we have a gun, we just don’t have any bullets.” I really do enjoy reading the Current and being in the advertising business; I think that it is a very good source for advertisers. But come on, I think you need to forget where you live. Just embrace San Antonio and its lameness and stop wishing it were something else. If you need cool, head up to Austin. Embrace San Antonio and our choices without judgment. Keep Austin Weird and please KEEP SAN ANTONIO LAME!

Right on Carlos. And while we're at it, why not crank up our jingle, thi perfect S.A. tune from local rockers Speeder, as our anthem in every bar and nightspot in town at the stroke of midnight, every night: Hey San Antonio!

Have a great weekend and Keep San Antonio Lame!

That's Right,


Dogs Rule

Advertising Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles

A new trend of families leaving their pets behind after losing their homes to foreclosure has animal rights advocates concerned across the country, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The leading animal advocacy group says an onslaught of new home foreclosures has led to an increase in animal abandonment reports.

“Abandoned pets face a grim future,” the Humane Society asserted in a press statement. “Many pets trapped inside abandoned homes aren't found until they're on the brink of starvation. Those lucky enough to reach a shelter have about a 50-percent chance of being adopted.”

Man, I wish we could handle more than our 2 sweet rescue pups Ringo and Dazy.

Have a heart, take the first step and if you're able - do something: Humane Society of the United States. You won't regret it - Dogs Rule!

That's Right,


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Maison et Objet

“Faced with an unappealing daily existence and uncertain future,” text on the wall explained helpfully, “it’s time to strike a new attitude!”

In the absence of much practical direction from the official sources, and given the disparate merchandise visitors had to sort through in a few days (Jan. 25 to 29), the Maison et Objet seemed like a good opportunity to put the discipline of trend forecasting to the test.

Would journalists and forecasters at the show reach a consensus, independent of outside influences, about where things are headed, or would they pick out patterns that suited their own tastes, looking for “the trends you want to see,” as Michelle Ogundehin, the editor in chief of British Elle Decoration, put it?

Ms. Ogundehin and four others whose business it is to spot what’s coming next were asked to accompany a reporter on separate rounds of the show and to describe trends they were seeing.

Results of this exercise may surprise skeptics. Choosing different examples and using different words, the five broadly agreed on a few distinct currents in furnishings design and on some reasons behind them.

Read the entire Sabine Rothman Putting Trend Spotters on the Spot piece in today's The New York Times.

Or, head straight over to Maison et Objet and decide for yourself.

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Heads Up

Check out this wicked fun collection of Head Props and then some from those keen-eyed Ephemeral Phreaks over at Swapatorium.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fire Table

Me like: Fire Table!

And while we're at it: Six Out-of-the-Hearth Fireplaces

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Gracias to the kids over at Cool Hunting.

Write On

Agency: Vitruvio Leo Burnett, Madrid
Creative Director: Rafa Antón
Art Director: Sergio Lobo
Copywriter: Francisco Cassis

Nice work guys.

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Thanks again Freddy...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC?

Styles make fights — or so goes the boxing cliché. In 2008, they make presidential campaigns, too.

This is especially true for the two remaining Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporters covering the candidates have already resorted to traditional analysis of style — fashion choices, manner of speaking, even the way they laugh. Yet, according to design experts, the candidates have left a clear blueprint of their personal style — perhaps even a window into their souls — through the Web sites they have created to raise money, recruit volunteers and generally meet-and-greet online.

On one thing, the experts seem to agree. The differences between and can be summed up this way: Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC.

This is a great read - thanks to Naom Cohen at The NY Times.

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The Rolling Bench

Smart Korean designer Sungwoo Park (and his design gang) came up with a simple solution for wet benches and chairs. The slats on these benches can rotate to the dry side by cranking the handle. Brilliant.

Nice work guys.

More info: Yanko Design.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

The Power Of Choice?

Yee Haw! We get to vote on the best design for our new Texas License Plates!

Wait a minute... Why does this remind me of our choices for the Presidential election?

Oh, I see, it's not really a choice at all, unless you call choosing the thing that sucks the least and calling that Democracy...

Oh well, after you VOTE there's also an opportunity to comment. Here's what I wrote:

Although the traditional design I voted for still has some nasty gradation in the design, it's the most classic and simple of the "choices".

I really wish someone over at the TexDOT would pay attention to what's happening with the graphics and elegance of the type and font decisions being made and used in some of the current REAL and TRUE Texas traditions and campaigns like Frost Bank and Shiner Beer. These plate design options look like they we're designed by a kid on a PC with free fonts and 2 hours photo shop experience.

Think back to our awesome plates of the late 50's and early 60's - clean, simple and highly readable from a distance, what a concept! It's 2008 and we're still using bluebonnets? Lame. It's design like this that perpetuates the stigma of Texans being unsophisticated and ass-backwards. We appreciate good design - I only wish it was evident in something as mandatory as our State License Plates...

Less Is More! Simple Works. Think about it.

Anyway, the last day to vote is February 11th. Like that matters...

That's Right,


This Ain't No Disco!

This Ain’t No Disco {it’s where we work} invites Agencies from across the world to show their inner sanctum and like Pandora’s Box, once you look inside nothing will ever be the same again.

I'm really digging this clean and hip entrance lobby of Miriello Grafico in San Diego, California. So much cooler than displaying paintings done by the boss's wife...

Visit lots more places that understand that the right working environment is conducive to productivity and great work over at This Ain't No Disco.

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The True Underdog Wins!

All I can say is it's about time Charlie Brown won something!

This spot was the highlight of the Super Bowl for me - Go Charlie Brown!

And hey look - my quote made Jeanne Jakle's column in the San Antonio Express News:

Best showcase for an underdog: The Coke ad mimicking the Macy's parade that featured balloons of cartoon underdogs — including, well, Underdog and the most beloved tortured soul of all, Charlie Brown. Mused H. Michael Karshis, a local advertising designer, "It was the perfect way to use the classic underdog, Charlie Brown — particularly since the outcome of the game had the underdog team winning."

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Sunday, February 03, 2008


Hmmm. This rebranding makes me wonder, brah - how could they totally ignore all the visual possibilities of what could be done with that big W or the B...

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Thanks Fred.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Choice Vinyl Cover Art

The Ferguson Trio. A righteous, rocking threesome for God with a honey of a hotrod and trailer. “Sing the Gospel” on Praise records.

I love cheesy lp art, check out these awesome Album Covers and you know, the art of 45's, like this French classic from 1961 can be pretty sweet as well...

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