Advertising hot shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky just launched a beta version of their new site and it is best summed up as twittertubefeed. Never short of great ideas, the folks at CP+B have turned the standard company portfolio site into a full fledged web 2.0 news aggregation/video hub. The genius part is that all the news is about CP+B. Well played CP+B. Well played.
Few newspapers do new media as well The NY Times. From their interactive features, to special blogs by artists and illustrators, The NY Times continues to publish great web content that’s fresh and relevant.
Maira Kalman’s And The Pursuit of Happiness Blog is one of my favorite ongoing features. Kalman (whose illustrated version of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style makes a great gift) uses her unique style of illustration and storytelling to school readers on the various histories surrounding American Democracy.
In the most recent post, Kalman takes us on a tour of the home of Thomas Jefferson, discussing the revered (and sometimes reviled) statesman. The entire post is a wonderful read, but this Jefferson quote about making use of time has been resonating with me for the last few days. Check out the quote below, and definitely check out the rest of the blog over on The NY Times site.
“Two days after Obama got elected, some skinny white boy named Shock with some mad beatboxing skills set up a mic and a sign that read “Free Beats” and just let anyone come up to the microphone to show off their stuff. And as a result, I now firmly believe that this guy should be hired by the city of New York as a public service, just to sit there and give out beats for anyone who wants to rap or sing or play the kazoo or whatever the fuck that hippie chick’s playing.” – from I Heart Chaos
I don’t know what any of it has to do with Obama, but it damn sure was entertaining.
Watch The Video
Dirty Projectors – Cannibal Resource (A Cappella)
There’s a shitstorm of dialogue brewing over on AdAge right now. Earlier today, Adage published an article written by world famous ad man Jeff Goodby, decrying what he sees as a gross trend in the ad world of agencies creating work simply for the sake of receiving awards. He not only finds fault in agencies, but in the award organizations who continuously award what he sees as less than effective, if not outright dubious campaigns.
As one would expect, the comments are pouring in, and it’s not just your usual comment-fodder either. Some of these folks are making truly valid points. See for yourself.
Also, this is a conversation we designers need to have amongst ourselves. Have we also become “connoisseurs of esoterica?”
Came across Europe By Designers, a slick online exhibition of European artists, illustrators, and designers on Design Observer today. The site itself is nicely designed and there’s some great work to be seen.
The exhibition reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about lately: What exactly does it mean to be a designer? The definition of design seems to be expanding daily. Often, I see work that I’d classify as illustration or fine art, but the artist is known and identifies himself as a designer.
I guess, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. If the work is good, you can call it topiary for all I care. Speaking of topiary, where’s my Edward Scissorhands sequel? Isn’t it about time?
Edward Scissorhands showcases his topiary handiwork
Europe By Designers
Carmen Gelatina by Indu Pillay
This past weekend, while I was off seeing Passion Pit, I regretfully missed what appears to have been an amazing competition of gelatinous proportions in my very own backyard. I am referring only to The Gowanus Studio Space Jell-O Mold Competition which happened on Saturday in Brooklyn. Since I wasn’t present, and eatmedaily has already done a fine job of reporting about it, follow the link to see more pictures and read about the event. Passion Pit was okay, but I doubt they compare to what went down at the competition.
If my memory serves me correctly, school is just now wrapping up for most kids around the country. However, this new video for the song Teacher’s Pet by the Old Money boys makes me think of the first day of school for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the random shots of pencils, or the attractive young ladies wielding plastic rulers, but something about it says new backpacks, wrapping books in brown paper bags, and hitting the teacher up for her digits.
The New York City leg of this year’s Bicycle Film Festival is this week, and last night I rode my relatively uncool bicycle to check out Joyride, a bike themed art show spread across a series of galleries in the lower east side. There were a few good pieces in the show, but for the most part I found myself mostly interested in the free beer and conversation.
More pictures from this show can be found here on my flickr page.
Joyride is up until June 21. Click here for more details.
Illustration by Gary Taxali — A response to Google’s request for free work.
I despise “contests” put on by companies looking for free work. I also hate when said contests are voted on by the general public i.e. the very same people who submitted to the contest. It’s basically spec work under the pretense of opportunity — and there are few things worse than spec work.
Free work with the promise of “exposure”, however, is even more loathsome than spec work. Granted, exposure is always good but when a company has a set business model and your work, though not entirely tied to the business model, may in some way benefit that company’s bottom line, it is only fair that they offer more than “exposure” for something they obviously see as valuable.
A round of applause to the NY Times for publishing this article about illustrators who declined Google’s request to feature their work on its new web browser without any compensation. Like the article says, when you’re a company as large and profitable as Google, there’s no reason to invite artists without offering to pay them. It’s not as if they’re a floundering non-profit, with limited resources, and a philanthropic agenda. Cheers to Melinda Beck and Gary Taxali for speaking out against it on record.
There will always be takers, Google. Some of us are not in a position to decline the exposure. Still, that doesn’t make it okay. For a company as “progressive” as Google, you’d expect a little more r-e-s-p-e-c-t for the artist.
also, here’s a link to Drawn’s repost of Gary Taxali’s Drawger post referenced in the article
Don’t Call Me