29 June 2009

Photo of the week

Minneapolis, Minnesota. Taken at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, I couldn't help but to snap a photo while boarding the down escalator upon leaving. It has to be one of the longest I have ever encountered! Makes me wish I had made a note of how much time it took to get to the bottom. As for the theater itself, it's a must for anyone visiting the great City of Lakes.

26 June 2009

Move over Google

Searching the web just got more visually beautiful! It surely won't replace Google anytime soon, but a couple guys in Sweden are trying get away from the endless lists of blue text links and create a more intuitive experience called Spezify. Spezify searches websites, blogs, images, tweets, even video, arranging the results into a virtual bulletin board, providing an instant ‘big picture’ overview of your subject. Spezify was founded in Stockholm Sweden by Felix af Ekenstam and Per Persson, both with over 10 years of experience in the digital creative industry. Go ahead, pick a word, any word and see what comes up!

25 June 2009

So how does it work?

Information Architects creates amazing maps of the web every year. I posted this years Beta version back on 20 May (see Another amazing map). To reiterate briefly, this years map is based on the Tokyo subway and shows the 333 leading web domains and the 111 most influential people on the internet. Well, they are now progressing and posted a video sneak peak! Although I can understand and am thrilled with the intricate design of information in the map, I have no clue how it 'works' and how they arrive with all this info... but they are challenging us to a competition to tweet them on how we think it works. Since I am out of the competition, I'll leave the engineering-equation, left-brained and whatever other work to everyone else (especially the man in Charlotte, who really does know everything). Good luck my friends! You'll get a free poster if you can identify how they do it!

Photo from Information Architects website.

24 June 2009

New(s) headlines

We all know to recycle the newspaper. But since newspapers are becoming a thing of the past, instead of just recycling them, why not reinvent the newsprint altogether? That's just what D&AD Yellow Pencil winners, Dentsu of Tokyo, did. They won honors for their Newspaper to New Paper project for designing a package for a street vendor that sells farm-grown vegetables and fruits. The brief required something original, easy to use and low cost. The result is fun, eye catching and very usable indeed! Read more about the brief overview here.

Photos from Osocio website.

23 June 2009

Where is LA?

The latest documentary film from director Gary Hustwit, of 'Helvetica' fame, has been out and about for some time. His newest endeavour 'Objectified', about the complex relationship with manufactured objects and the people who design them, has made it around the world, but has yet to make its Los Angeles debut. A date has finally been set for San Diego on 10 July at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Copenhagen, Austin, Las Vegas, New York, London, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Minneapolis, Toronto, Cleveland, New York (again), Columbus, Dublin, Savannah, Belfast, Barcelona, Portland, Tulsa, London (again), Zurich... the list goes on. Where are you Objectified?! We're all waiting patiently, really, we are.

Photo from HelveticaFilm website.

22 June 2009

Amazing layers

This is one show I definitely will not miss! In conjunction with the magazine Faesthetic, 'This must be the place' show at the Scion Space in Culver City runs through 11 July and looks most fascinating. Artists were only able to work in black and white plus one other color - and the color of choice was teal. One participating artist, Matthew Curry, weaves intricately layered illustrations that keep the eye moving with wonder and amazement. (as seen above). Catch this incredible show before it ends and see more of Curry's work at his design studio.

Photo from Notcot website.

Photo of the week

San Francisco, California. I'm always intrigued with the way light hits a subject and the shapes it creates. This photo was taken while I walked down New Montgomery Street in SF a few years ago. Shadows in an urban environment are always appealing.

20 June 2009

Get your board on

Today is International Surfing Day. I have never tried surfing, don't read surf blogs or the daily surf report, nor hang out at the beach very much. So why would I know it's ISD? It's hard not to be aware of what's going on in the surf industry when you live in one of the '10 Best Surf Towns in America,' according to this months issue of Surfer Magazine. I'm sure I'll try surfing one day, I'd be a fool not to in this surfing mecca of a community. But for now, I'm just as content to take in the omnipresent surf vibe, it sure makes for a relaxing, kick-your-shoes-off way of life here in the Spanish Village by the Sea.

Photo from ISD website.

19 June 2009

Diversity winner

Congratulations to Yael Alkalay for winning Design 21's logo contest for UNESCO's International Festival of Cultural Diversity. In Ms. Alkalay's words, 'The symbol is inspired by the urban environment and the nowadays digital life. It combines architectural shapes of the city with an oversize pixels shapes.' While I like the concept, I do think it could have been executed better and a different font could have brought the design as a whole to a much more refined status. I think the runner-up judge's pick, Shades of Unity, shown just above by Seattle-based designer Deja Engel, was a strong candidate for first prize.

Photos from Design21 website.

18 June 2009

Be(cause) it's Hollywood

So, I've been seeing this logo around a lot lately, thanks to the support of some big Hollywood names who have managed to grab the promotional spotlight for a good cause. Perhaps you have too. A beautifully designed logo in addition to Hollywood hitters wearing and supporting the cause... it's a win win situation. But what about all the other wonderful organizations that do great things for those in need that don't have a stand out logo or the Hollywood backing? Let's make sure we pay attention to the yet unknown causes that need our help just as much as the ones who have been hogging the spotlight. I'll keep everyone posted on some when I find them. Oh, and if you really don't recognized the logo, the organization is Omnipeace whose mission is to promote peace, education, human rights and end extreme poverty in Africa by 2025.

Photo from Omnipeace website.

16 June 2009

Personal branding

When I first saw Australia-based designer Christopher Doyle's brand guide, I went crazy! His personal identity guidelines are hysterical (well, maybe for brand designers). Normally when we think of a brand guide, it refers to a manual outlining a company's absolute look and feel with brand do's and don'ts included. But Chris made it personal, really personal, and way too fun!

Photo from the Doyle guidelines.

15 June 2009

Photo of the week

Paris, France. It would be quite nice to bicycle through the streets of Paris during lunch today. Stopping in a cafe for a take away lunch to eat at the Jardin du Luxembourg park...

12 June 2009

Online voyage

So... you're not vacationing anywhere special this year or jetting off to some exotic locale for a little R&R. That's okay. The great folks at Good have traced the most famous trips in history with an online interactive map to save you money and make sure the kid in the row behind you doesn't kick your seat back the entire flight. So sit back and enjoy your flight (or ride), the destination is up to you!

Photo from the Good website.

Real time logo

It's about time! (no pun intended) Seems Apple finally tired of their Quicktime logo and decided to update the old plastic looking blue Q cum clock version with a cleaner yet more exciting version. I like the fact they removed the second hand and extended the descender of the Q further into the center. I'm not so sure about the color purple, it will probably grow on me, but maybe that's what makes it exciting. It's still a simple, clean logo update that will surely pose no problem to sales for Apple. See the evolution directly above.

Photos from Brand New website.

10 June 2009

Classy trash

The Swiss have redefined a mundane everyday item into artful expression, the trash bag. Take a look at these garbage bags in Speicher Switzerland which have Helvetica A’s printed on them. From the Swissmiss blog -- 'In order to throw out the trash here you need to buy region specific garbage bags which have a disposal-tax included. Each region has their own garbage bag design.' How cool is that? For the first time, trash doesn't really look like trash at all.

Photo from Swissmiss website.

Paper and ink to love

This is more for me then you, but I've added another blog role on the right... Ephemera to Love. And it's just that! I love paper and anything that inks; cards, postage stamps, vintage typewriters, carved letters, handmade notecards, letterpress printing, rubber stamps, postcards, etc. I love stumbling into a small shop on a cozy downtown street and finding the most wonderful card to make someone's day! And the National Stationary Show... fagettaboutit! So if you're looking for some amazing one-of-a-kind designed cards, check out the links, find something that speaks to you and order them from the talented creator. And let's be honest, who wouldn't love a handwritten note in this crazy email ridden world? A hand written note says so much more than words on a computer screen.

Photo from Poppytalk website.

09 June 2009

Recipe share

Here's a quick, easy and delicious dinner! But the taste will depend on what salsa you chose, so use something with kick! I like using acclaimed Mexican Chef Rick Bayless' salsas. You can find the salsas here. Now, make no mistake... I am a salsa hound and I like it hot! I have tried almost every bottled salsa on the market (I have had very poor results making my own salsa). His Frontera Habanero salsa is hands down the best hot salsa on the market, trust me on this one! I doctored the recipe a bit and added 1/2 cup of the habanero salsa and used only half the can of fire roasted tomatoes, used whole wheat tortillas, substituted with Monterey Jack and added one 4.5 oz. can of diced green chiles. Click here for the recipe. Enjoy!

08 June 2009

Photo of the week

San Francisco, California. While attending Compostmodern last year (a one-day sustainable graphic design conference), we were all mingling about outside the building waiting for the doors to open. I noticed a girl having a smoke away from the crowd in front of some trash bins. I couldn't help but to notice the holes in her stockings, the trash on the ground and the painted Tow Away curb. It was a story line just waiting to evolve, like the first scene in an indie film. I often wonder where the story would go from here...

04 June 2009

Posters that rock

I think you know this already, but... I love posters! Especially when they look wacky, generate a second glance and you can't help but to decipher what all the content means (or not). Iranian-born Canadian filmmaker Eileen Yaghoobian's latest film is finally starting to get some real press about the creators of those outrageous posters. The movie, Died Young, Stayed Pretty, premiered at the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival and is a documentary about the underground poster culture in North America, from the '60s psychedelic masters, like Victor Moscoso, to the gig poster crew today. From the website, 'They’ve created their own visual language for describing the spotty underbelly of western civilization and they're not shy about throwing it in the face of polite society. Along the way, they manage to create posters that are strikingly obscene, unflinchingly blasphemous and often quite beautiful. Yaghoobian shows these artists for what they are: the vivisectionists of America’s morbidly obese consumer culture.' Now that statement I'll have to ponder... but personally I think the movie simply exposes us creative types for the geeks we really are. See what you think... watch the trailer on the movie website and while you're there check for screenings in your area (or not).

Photo from Died Young, Stayed Pretty website.

03 June 2009

After the fall of the wall

Its been dubbed the 'poor but sexy' city and it has been trying to rebrand itself and make it more attractive to big business. The city is Berlin and although it has a reputation for being a hip, affordable city and therefore a magnet for creative types, it lacks wealthy investors it so desperately needs. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Berlin in 1995, not long after the wall came down in 1989, with the company I worked for to visit our European publishers. We all mentioned how incredible the city was even back then, creative, energizing, cutting-edge... and how even more incredible it would be in another 10 years. You could just feel the inhabitants eagerness to move forward and create a new, revitalized city for themselves and Berlin. Well, those ten years have passed and more. It's hard to believe just 20 short years ago a country was divided by a concrete wall. It's a concept that seems more like 100 years ago, at least. I don't think it's so much the number of years, but the fact the world has changed so rapidly since then. Twenty years... it's not all that much time really, but it's been enough time for Berlin to see beyond the wall and its definition.

On 9 November, Germany will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the start of Germany's reunification. Berlin is planning many events leading up the the anniversary of the fall in hopes of positioning it as a world city and to attract those wealthy investors. Included is the launch of a citywide branding campaign to squash its abrasive demeanor stereotype with a 'friendliness initiative' (that must be a city branding first). Personally, I've never thought of Berliners or Germans as being unfriendly people, I guess my experience was a positive one. To me, Berlin is still is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, regardless of the fact it lacks the wealth it desires. Guten tag!

02 June 2009

It's a fold

Here's something you've probably never seen before. The amazing folded paper work of Simon Schubert. Let me repeat that... the folds only paper work my friends. Just look at what his folds can do! His scale and perspective are unbelievable. See more of his incredible work here.

Photos from Simon Schubert website.

01 June 2009

Photo of the week

Berlin, (East) Germany. After watching Kate Winslet's Oscar winning performance in 'The Reader' last night, I thought it only appropriate to post a photo of Berlin this week. I took this photo while walking around East Germany after taking a bus route into the post-communist side. What I like about this photo, taken in 1995, is the contrast between the dour concrete flats sitting atop a foundation of newly sprouted green grass with just a hint of winter snow lingering. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
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