Cartongate: Peter Arnell Speaks

February 26, 2009

Today’s 3 Minute AdAge features Arnell Group CEO Peter Arnell defending his agency’s Tropicana carton design.


Bloomberg Has A (Design) Posse

February 24, 2009

Long before most of us even knew what an Obama was, NYC Mayor, Mike Bloomberg had the politico-graphic design game on lock down. Back when I used to intern at Graphis, I relished the days when I’d get to peruse the many boxes of entries sent in by designers all over the world. I remember holding in hand a copy of a Vince Frost designed magazine, and nearly fainting with excitement. I was but a lad and suffered the occasional bout of design-induced syncope.

Around the same time, Bloomberg had sent over a couple boxes of things: letterheads, calendars, t-shirts, and the like. I was amazed at how well designed everything was. All the pieces were thoughtfully designed, making use of a simple color palette of orange and white, a unified system of typography, and an overall aesthetic that was business but with a freshness one wouldn’t exactly expect from a politician (though Bloomberg is obviously more than just a politician).

A couple years down the line and Mike is ruffling a few feathers by seeking a third term as mayor, but it’s no big surprise that he’s doing it in style. Head on over to mikebloomberg.com and have a look around. It’s not necessarily a content-heavy site but it damn sure looks good.

I’d love to know who’s responsible for his design work. Top-notch stuffs!

link: mikebloomberg.com


take a GOOD look at foreclosure

February 23, 2009

The abysmal housing market isn’t all bad news. Anne Trubek shows some of the positive things happening in one Cleveland community. It’s bittersweet but it’s better than just plain bitter.

Link: This Is Also What Foreclosure Looks Like


Cartongate

February 23, 2009

The big story today is PepsiCo’s ‘New Coke’, as The NY Times is calling it. Only months after releasing their much talked (and blogged and blogged and blogged) about Tropicana carton redesign, they’ve decided to switch back to the Strawrange, citing a strong outcry from their ‘most loyal customers.’ Cool. Looks like we’re going to have the privilege of experiencing yet another shelf-off.

Do you think major rollbacks like this affect the credibility of designers?


Music Is Magic Is Hesse Is Children’s Television

February 20, 2009


still from the December Cheryl promo video

Freshly awoken from last nights Cheryl party, ears ringing though not entirely soaked in blood this time, I spent the morning thinking about music. There was a moment last night when a certain song came on and the entire party began jumping up and down in unison. The spontaneity of the jumping and the divine appropriateness of the act itself can only be described as ‘magic.’ I often think about the world’s steady current and, sure enough, while using the john this morning (come on. like you don’t read on the toilet!) I came across this passage that illustrates the exact feeling about music I’ve been having today.

The words of this Chinese writer point fairly distinctly to the origins and to the real although almost forgotten meaning of all music. For in prehistoric times music, like the dance and every other artistic endeavor, was a branch of magic, one of the old and legitimate instruments of wonder-working. Beginning with the rhythm (clapping of hands, trampling, beating of sticks and primitive drums), it was a powerful, tried-and-true device for putting large numbers of people “in tune” with one another, engendering the same mood, co-ordinating the pace of their breathing and heartbeats, encouraging them to invoke and conjure up the eternal powers, to dance, to compete, to make war, to worship. And music has retained this original, pure, primordially powerful character, its magic, far longer than the other arts.
from The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

Damn you, Hesse! Why you gotta be writing all good and stuff?

Well, since Hesse pretty much stole my thunder, I’ll leave you with this video (I bet you can’t share youtube videos, can you Hesse?!). It’s practically a line by line adaptation of this post.

I bet you’ve never seen an elephant do that before! Oh, and this shot is kind of amazing.

Links:
Pocoyo!
The Glass Bead Game


How (Not) To Write Like A Designer BUT Blogging Is Totally Cool!

February 18, 2009


Somali Pirates prefer Direct Deposit

When starting this blog, I was more concerned with the writing aspect of it. Whether relating a certain topic to my experiences as a designer, or simply doing a bit of research and writing about design history, my intent was (and still is) to weave some kind of narrative into my posts. Despite my love for the game (the game=graphic design), if I could make a living as a writer (or Somali Pirate), I probably would. That being said, I’d be foolish to not share this article from Core77, How (Not) To Write Like A Designer. Design writer, William Bostwick gives five tips on how to write about what we do.

While the article focuses primarily on writing copy for clients, the tips apply to any kind of writing. Maybe not blog writing though, because we all know that Blogilslavakia is a land of lawlessness — abound with grammatical misfires, unnecessary quotations, and scriptural disarray. But that’s what makes it so much fun!

I remember reading a few years ago that blogging was eroding the English language. I’m not so sure about that. I like to compare bloggers to the hobbyists who ushered in The Age of Radio, or the artists, writers, and designers who created the 60s counterculture magazines. Granted, a lot of us are in it for the clicks, but I don’t have to be older than I am to say, never before has there been this much writing on design. We can’t all be making ourselves dumber. Or are we?

Anyways, someone should do a How To Write Blog Like A Designer article. I’d do it but I’m rather hungry at the moment. I’m also having a tremendous craving for Raisinets, whose original wrapper (thanks Candy Wrapper Museum!) actually makes me want Cracker Jack(s?) instead.

yumm

Or maybe I’ll just have a Shaquille O’neal Mr. Big bar.


Linkheavy

February 16, 2009

I haven’t done a linkheavy post in awhile. Here’s a bit of today’s weather.

NY Times Magazine has a great piece on the NBA’s most underrated player, Shane Battier. It’s relevant to this blog because it talks a bit about the numerati and the role they play in professional sports. I’ve been following Shane Battier since he played at Duke. It’s good to see he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves.


Cover Art for Yeah Yeah Yeahs new album It’s Blitz

I’m really digging the artwork for Yeah Yeah Yeah’s upcoming album, It’s Blitz. Sometimes all it takes is a photograph. I really hope they don’t feel compelled to put any type on it.

I’d be lying if I told you I had ever actually read a Harry Potter book but maybe if they had these penguin style covers designed by MS Corley, I’d be more compelled to pick one up.

The Boom Is Over. Long Live Art. The NY Times is on fire this week. This wonderful piece takes a look at past economic downturns and how they shaped the art worlds immediately after them. There is mention of Fab 5 Freddy and Basquiat, two artists whom, until recently, I had no idea were related. If you’re wondering what designers do to make it through tough times, here’s a link to Michael Bierut’s tips on getting through a recession.

Somehow I missed the memo about Cake Wrecks. Hilarious!


photo by Jeff Baxter

MOMA takes over Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue Subway Station! I hardly take the subway anymore but this is pretty cool.
(via swissmiss)