SP LLC and Cuban Links

January 29, 2009


I’ve been fascinated by BBC’s (and to a lesser extent, The NY Times) coverage of those crazy ass Somali Pirates. Every few weeks or so, they do a story that just makes me shake my head in wonderment and disbelief. Seriously? Is this really happening? How much are they getting paid? Pirates are driving around town in BMW’s and flying bands in to play at their three day wedding feasts? Sometimes, I just want to sell all my stuff on craigslist and use the money to fly to The Gulf of Aden where I can make some REAL money in the pirating business.

Cuban Link

Speaking of pirates, New York Magazine, always a step ahead of the proverbial game, is further solidifying my theory that the only hip-hop group “the media” cares about is Wu-Tang by featuring a brief review (with audio) of Raekwon’s (really?) new single off his new album Only Built For Cuban Linx II. Oh, right. Ghostface is in it. That explains everything. Okay, that had nothing to do with pirates at all, but you should check out the track. It’s kinda alright, and by kinda alright I mean pretty good.


The Pusherman’s New Look: MenuPages gets a makeover

January 27, 2009

My friends and I have given 2009 a few nicknames already: Year of The Hustle, The Age of Responsibility, Year of The Penny-Farthing, and The Year of Unemployment. None, however, ring more true than one I came up with just this morning, 2009: Year of Not Ordering Take-Out Every Night Anymore. With “the economy” and recession being clubbed into our psyche on a daily basis, I’ll spare ye the budget talks but I will say, since I no longer order take-out every night, I seldom visit what used to be one of my most frequented sites — MenuPages.com aka The Pusherman.

Further proof that 2009 is/will be The Year of The Penny-Farthing

My roommate and I do sometimes get lazy, and fall back on our old habits. This past weekend we decided to order from one of the many Mexican spots in this section of Brooklyn. You’d be surprised how many there are. Because we had lost, or I had torn up in celebration of the new year, all our menus, I had to make a visit to The Pusherman. Imagine my surprise when I saw The Pusherman had gotten a makeover. Not only did he get himself a new logo, but a whole new interface. Pusherman, good to see you’re finally getting with the times. I must say, though, you’re looking a little wider than I’m comfortable with. Ya look good though. Truly.

The new logo was designed by Mucca Design. Brand New has also covered it here.

Change You Can Click On

January 26, 2009

click image to see it larger

I have to admit, before this past election, I didn’t even know The White House had a website. Okay, maybe I did, but I definitely never went to it. With the inauguration of President B. H. Obama, whose entire campaign platform was the promise of change, there’s no doubt expectations are high. The people want to see change, and they want to see it relatively soon. Well, word on the street was that at noon, inauguration day, the most important change (for the purpose of this blog anyway) happened, when THE American website was updated to reflect the Obama Administration.

Well, it’s no surprise the site looks good. What I did find surprising, however, was that, as you can see from the before and after shot, the Bush Administration’s White House site didn’t look all that bad. The new site does feel just a little sexier though. Maybe it’s the close up of Obama, giving us that Obamatude. Seriously though, the site is quite nice. I particularly enjoy the blog (not sure if that’s a new feature), and the fun facts page which features a photo of the former first kitten! I also dig that the “home” button in the navigation is the American flag. Nothing like a little visual pun when you’re feeling patriotic.

Oh, check out this shot of The White House site circa 2001. *shudders*

links: www.whitehouse.gov

50 Incredible Polish Film Posters

January 22, 2009

Every few years, someone (re)discovers Polish film posters and links to sites featuring the posters become viral again. This one has been going around in the last few days. The posters, of course, are undeniably wonderful.

50 Incredible Film Posters From Poland

via O’Bedlam

Design Smoke, Notorious (not quite a review), and tips on getting paid (literally)

January 19, 2009

still from Design Smoke interview with Jen Forss

With the abundance of blogs out there, how do you set yourself apart from all the rest? One way to do it is to have interviews. That would only make you different from about 70% of the folks out there. If you REALLY wanted to set yourself apart, you’d get yourself a video camera, a fisherman’s cap, a canoe, and a cigar, and if you’re particularly industrious, a Midwestern sunset. Then you go out and you find some of the real heavyhitters in your chosen field and you channel your inner James Lipton and record some truly compelling interview footage. Oh, right — Design Smoke has already done that and done it quite well. Featuring interviews with folks like Steven Heller (I think I might be bordering on fanboy), and Jen Forss of Non-Format, Design Smoke isn’t so much a blog, as it is a full scale production. I have to admit that when I caught wind of it, I was skeptical, but after watching the interview with Jon Forss, I was hooked. Dude had a canoe. That’s about as ‘pimp’ as you can get. I have said enough. Here’s the link already: www.designsmoke.com.

In other news, I was generously given a ticket to see Notorious this past weekend. While I’m going to refrain from writing a review, I will say it’s definitely worth seeing. If you can you should fly out to Brooklyn and watch it at The Court Street Cinema. Only there can you see the movie and have the entire crowd sing along to pretty much the entire soundtrack. It’s a messed up thought but I think hip-hop might have its first Rocky Horror Picture Show. Maybe not. Sadly, my question regarding the identity of the Ready To Die baby was not answered. Although, my friend tried to convince me that she was, in fact, the Ready To Die baby. I don’t think so, lady. Good movie though. B+

What else, what else? I only recently became aware that I could have clients pay me via paypal. I hadn’t even told anyone that I was accepting paypal, when lo and behold I got an email saying I had a payment on paypal. Funny how the world has a steady current. That being said, if you haven’t already begun accepting paypal, you should definitely get on that. This is worth checking out too: How 20 designers charge their clients.

Happy MLK day! As always, to be sure it was an actual holiday, I checked the google homepage for affirmation.

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

January 14, 2009

One look around here and you’ll see I’m a huge fan of unnecessary quotes. Most of the time, I used them for comedic effect, but more often than not, it probably just ends up confusing you. Anyway, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks is a blog devotedly entirely to the misuse of quotation marks. Hilarious.

Ed Fella and The Cranbrook ‘Style’

January 14, 2009

Ed Fella, detail from his Cranbrook Thesis Project, 1987

There isn’t many an art school whose name, when mentioned, brings to mind a specific style of graphic design. Most student work reflects the prevailing trends of the day. Cranbrook, however, is one of those rare schools with a name that is synonymous with a design ‘style.’ The graphic design work of many Cranbrook alums often treads the line between art and pure experimentation. The reason for this is due to Cranbrook’s approach to teaching, which, according to Meggs, “has long emphasized experimentation while rejecting a uniform philosophy or methodology.” I think it could also be attributed to the work of graphic design legend, Cranbrook alum, and CalArts professor, Ed Fella. His work has had a tremendous impact on not only his students, but on an entire “generation” of designers. His typographic experimentation, which could possibly be traced back to Dadaism, was a precursor to the deconstructed type now synonymous with the early to mid 90s (David Carson).

While I’ve never been big on the whole 90s aesthetic, Ed Fella’s whimsical work has inspired me since I first came across it, back in college. There’s a kind of intimacy in his work that you don’t (and probably shouldn’t) find too often in graphic design.

Phil Lubliner, Bingo, 2004

There are a couple designers working today who I’d say come out of the same tradition of typographic experimentation, and whose work I find equally enjoyable. Fellow Brooklynite and Pratt grad, Phil Lubliner’s work has a quality all its own. Alex Trochut’s work has the same whimsical quality but in digital. Lastly, and the inspiration behind this entire post, is the work of Cranbrook alum, Matthew Gavin Walsh. His site is essentially a blog, but a blog like no other, because it is made up entirely of his doodles, illustrations, and random musings. The Ed Fella influence is apparent, but Walsh’s brain is operating on it’s own wavelength. Just a quick scroll down the page and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience.