28 October 2009

Cinema Orange this Thursday!

As promised, this is a reminder for the upcoming Cinema Orange at the OCMA this Thursday! Hosting this months film the Newport Beach Film Festival presents Infinite Space; The Architecture of John Lautner. For details and directions hit the OCMA website. Should be another great showing!

Photo from Infinite Space website.

27 October 2009

Typefaces as elements

For all us right-brainers, this is our kind of Periodic Table of Elements. This would have made science class a whole lot more exciting! Take a look at some of the close-ups at the Typography Served website.

Photo from Typography Served website.

Drugs and crime gone type

A couple of Pentagram designers recently finished some nice work on a series of typographic posters for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that 'highlight the relative merits of drug treatment and rehabilitation around the world. The posters are a training tool specifically aimed at the Russian police, whose country has a particularly poor track record in drug treatment.' They cover topics such as estimates of injecting drug users and HIV among injecting users, needle and syringe programs, and a few others. Take a look at the series of posters and read more at the Pentagram website.

Photo from Pentagram website.

26 October 2009

Just add hot water

I love when material that's bad for the environment self-destructs or disintegrates! (see the 60day bag post also) The latest issue of Creative Review (CR) is wrapped in a plastic bag that dissolves... all you need to do is put it in hot water. See how it works here. Designed by Cyberpac in the UK, let's hope all magazines that deliver with plastic will follow suit.

Photo from the CR website.

Photo of the week

Tivoli, Italy. When you visit Italy, the drive from Rome to Tivoli is well worth it to visit the Villa d'Este, the finest Baroque gardens in all of Italy. Once the summer (key word summer, more on that later) home for emperor Hadrian, the residence was the largest and most sumptuous villas in the Ancient world. Beautiful gardens, mazes and hundreds of fountains are the prime attraction surrounding the villa built in 1550 (it's also included on the UNESCO world heritage list). It truly is an amazing place and incredibly impressive. Although there is one caveat, you must go when the fountains are actually running, that being the summer. I traveled to Europe with a former employer and one of my colleagues had read about the Tivoli gardens and thought we should visit. We were all for it, until we got there and realized that because it was January the fountains are drained and cleaned every year during the winter months. Ah, good to know. However, even without all the greenery and cascading waters, the fountains still had amazing presence and a beautiful allure. If you find yourself in Italy, a trip to the Tivoli gardens is a must. This site has some beautiful summer photos to peruse, unlike my winter photo above. Ciao!

23 October 2009

A presidential first, HOPEfully

This is no doubt a presidential first and an interesting design focused one at that. I couldn't review it any better, so here's the write-up from the idsgn.org blog;

[ A new book entitled 'Designing Obama' will showcase works from artists who contributed to the historic 2008 presidential campaign… but only if you are interested (more on that later). We know the Obama ’08 campaign was groundbreaking in many ways, but particularly in its use of art and design. Focusing on this aspect, Scott Thomas, Design Director of the campaign, has collaborated with dozens of artists and designers for Designing Obama. The 360-page book is full of artwork created (both officially and unofficially) during the campaign, along with forewords written by Steven Heller and Michael Bierut. Perhaps most interesting is the book’s Obama-inspired, grassroots publishing model. Using the new ‘funding platform' Kickstarter website that lets people invest as little as one dollar in any kind of project—Designing Obama must raise at least $65,000 by November 5th in order to see the light of day: The Obama campaign was successful because it was powered by small donations from supporters. We believe this is the right model for things other than political campaigns, so to fund Designing Obama, we have teamed with Kickstarter, whose mission it is to assist the funding of creative ideas and endeavors. We believe the Obama-like fundraising model is the perfect way to ensure the book's integrity and quality. As of today, $45,450 has been raised (but time is ticking with only a few weeks left to raise the remaining $19,550). Watch the video for more information, and to show your support visit Kickstarter. ]

HOPEfully they'll be rolling hot off the press! I'm not so HOPEful however on the level of Shepard Fairey's involvement. Although his iconic Obama Hope image was a pivotal piece in the campaign, I'm not so sure people still feel the same about his work or, more importantly, his integrity.

Photos from idsgn website.

22 October 2009

Design a tshirt for ONE

Hey designers! The ONE organization is asking us to design their next t-shirt to help advance the fight against poverty. Get all the details at the ONE website. The deadline is 3 November at 5pm!

Here's a brief overview-
We want you to design our new African-produced, fair-traded, 100% organic T-shirt. A panel of expert judges will select the top 3 designs -- and then ONE members will choose the winner by voting for their favorite. In addition to advancing the fight against poverty, the winner’s design will be printed on the African-produced T-shirts and made available to ONE members and the general public for purchase.

Photos from ONE website.

Love those visuals

It's true, but I just can't get enough! This morning while perusing my daily design sites and newsletters, I came across another great resource for amazing information design... We Love Datavis. Now that makes my day! And if the Angels win tonight... that would make my day even better! Yes, I know, how could I say that if I'm a die hard Red Sox fan? Hey, you can love more than one team my friends and if you really love baseball you want the season to be as long as it can go!

Photo from WeLoveDatavis website.

20 October 2009

Go ahead, write on the walls!

How many times as a kid did I get caught writing on something I shouldn't have? Once, not bad. And the only reason I got caught was because I wrote my best friend's name among other things. That was dumb. But even dumber... I tried to blame it on my favorite cousin. Okay, that didn't work out so well, but the new Idea Paint does! Obviously I had creative tendencies from the beginning and this product would have been perfect for a 'need-to-draw-scribble-write-on-everything' kid. Now we've all seen chalkboard paint, pretty cool indeed. But you wouldn't want to put black in massive areas on your walls. However, Idea Paint is a white paint that simply turns any paintable surface into a dry-erase board. Yes! Now that's what I'm talking about. I can finally indulge my need to write anything at anytime. Yeah, why didn't I think of that?

Photo from Fast Company website.

19 October 2009

Photo of the week

San Clemente, CA. There really is something special about the atmosphere and attitude of living in an ocean community, not to mention all the great places and icons that make it that way. A pier is one of them. Hearing the creeks of each step as you move closer to the end, it begs to bring you closer, to make you one with the ocean. To smell the air of salt and sand that linger so gently. At dusk, there's a formidable slowing of the days pace, while beachfires start to flare up and the colors of the horizon change with each passing second. And we're lucky indeed, all of that is year round.

17 October 2009

How we are wooed

Okay, when I saw this it really made me laugh. I'm a big fan of Brand Strategist Marty Neumeier, who is the creative genius behind Liquid Agency. His latest book Zag: The No. 1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands, summaries the differences in the tongue-in-cheek visualization above to answer the question on the difference between how a public relation expert goes about wooing customers versus an ad agency, a designer, etc. Very funny. (Click on the image for a better view)

Photo from @Issue website.

15 October 2009

Smart, tough and sexy

Sorry to disappoint some, but I'm talking about Tungsten, the latest font family release from Hoefler & Frere-Jones. And it really is a beauty. As described by the H&FJ website, 'That rarest of species, Tungsten is a compact and sporty sans serif that’s disarming instead of pushy — not just loud, but persuasive.' Brian Hennings, a resident designer at H&FJ, describes the process in which he creates sample art that showcases the many ways in which you can use fonts (as shown in the sample above). It's a very interesting read, check it out here. And if you're interested in that smart, tough, sexy font... you can get it at the H&FJ website.

Photo from the H&FJ website.

Wayzgoose, you heard it here first

Wayzgoose? Never heard of it you say. Well, neither had I until a favorite type foundry of mine informed me about the first-ever Wayzgoose Weekend November 20-22 in Two Rivers, WI. What could a Wayzgoose weekend possibly entail you ask? Yes, it sounds very strange, but Wayzgoose traditionally commemorates an annual gathering at the end of summer of printing staff from the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum as they used the last of the season’s pulp to paper the windows in preparation for winter. But this year, they are filling the weekend with print presentations and type talk. The highlight of the weekend will be famed type designer Matthew Carter who will unveil his latest creation 'Carter Latin Wide', his first wood typeface and the newest addition to one of the premier wood type collections in the world. Very exciting! I love type and old wood and metal type. So what does Wayzgoose stand for? I had absolutely no idea until I just Googled it... Wayzgoose.

Photos from Hamilton Wood Type website.

12 October 2009

Photo of the week

Disneyland, Anaheim CA. There are some interesting areas to take photos at Disneyland and some surprising subjects you wouldn't expect to find. When I meandered over to the Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant in Frontierland, I found these beautiful hand painted Mexican tiles in the walkway. What I liked about the pattern was it only comes together when the tiles are placed next to one another, rather than the pattern being on one tile itself. It's just a beautiful happy pattern.

10 October 2009

Essential brand ingredients

It's always refreshing to see a simple chart on the components of branding. But don't be fooled by the simplicity of the chart itself. The actual branding process is no simple 2-hour brain storming session. All those pretty little rainbow colored circles are about executing a specific vision with keen strategy and creative assets. Get the goods here from Alina Wheeler’s updated book, Designing Brand Identity.

Photo from @Issue.

Sending more green

Since I just posted about climate change, I thought I'd share news from another company making some greens efforts. Or should I say, giving customers the option to go green. For a small fee, UPS is giving us the option to utilize its new carbon neutral shipping program, the first of its kind in the small package carrier market. UPS is hoping we'll splurge on a small surcharge to ship UPS packages if it means cutting down on carbon emissions. At only $0.05 for UPS Ground and $0.20 for all other services, the offsets are cheap enough that one really doesn't even need to think about going for it. UPS will even match customer offset purchases in the next year for up to $1 million. Not bad. I'll be waiting to see what Amazon's reaction will be.

Photo from UPS website.

08 October 2009

Climate change is coming

Climate change is coming. I'm hopeful that means something good for the future of the planet. No really! The momentum is starting to spread and we're hearing and seeing a lot more about the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference taking place in December in Copenhagen - one of the greenest cities in the world. Go Denmark! It's no surprise that some level of climate change is happening, and the how and why is debatable by some. The real question remains... how does the world plan to get on the same page and finally do something about it and can we stop and potentially reverse the detrimental change that has already taken place? Perhaps not in my lifetime, but I have hope! I know there are generations of concerned citizens from every corner of the world who will not tolerate governments who squabble and squirm and wait to for someone else to come up with a plan. This is clear at Hopenhagen. Forget the stalled leaders, we need to get informed, get involved, get heard. I believe in the power of the people and that we can design a better world.

From the the Hopenhagen site...
'Hopenhagen is a movement, a moment and a chance at a new beginning. The hope that in Copenhagen this December – during the United Nations Climate Change Conference – we can build a better future for our planet and a more sustainable way of life. It is the hope that we can create a global community that will lead our leaders into making the right decisions. The promise that by solving our environmental crisis, we can solve our economic crisis at the same time. Hopenhagen is change – and that change will be powered by all of us.'

On a side note, the Economist has a good article on the subject and raises some interesting points regarding the upcoming discussions. Thanks Helene!

Photo from the Hopenhagen website.

What Swine Flu?

The fatal side of diseases is always scary, but thankfully the chances are pretty low when it comes to the Swine Flu. We should be more concerned about the Bird Flu anyway according to this chart. It would however, be more interesting to see a chart on the chances of actually contracting these diseases, because the rates would surely be higher and isn't that what people are more concerned with? So the bottom line... wash your hands and try not to worry. (Click on the charts for a better view)

Via Information is Beautiful

06 October 2009

Mark your calendars!

It's here! The Pentagram 2010 Typographic calendar has arrived! A big over sized wall calendar is just what every designer needs to feel cool right?

'Designed by Kit Hinrichs, the calendar features a different typeface each month in the classic wall or desk calendar format. Each month includes a brief description about what makes the featured font distinctive and a biography of the type designer. All major holidays for the US and UK are noted, along with the birthdays of the type designers. The 2010 edition uses typefaces available from Veer.'

Get one while they're hot at Ken Knight or Veer.

Photo from Pentagram website.

05 October 2009

Photo of the week

Carlsbad, CA. Recently while walking from the train station in Carlsbad, I came across these interesting street posters. I'm always intrigued with the composition and typography on these kinds of poster and there's always an oddity to them that makes me go back and look again. Although that may be their function, I wonder if they hit their demographic with someone like me. I look at them not for the content or publicized event, but for the design, typography, and general intrigue. For sure I'm on the aging side of their target, but they all seem interesting enough, except for the 'Burn the F#@*ing Flag Day' event. Next time you walk by a street poster, take a gander, you might find and read something very interesting.

04 October 2009

Congrats to Rio

Congratulations to Rio de Janeiro for winning the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympics games! After four previous unsuccessful bids, this will be the first time Rio will host the games. A few months ago I posted on some of the Olympic bid logos. I still feel the same in that the Rio logo needs some work. For me the heart is not a representative symbol of the Olympics. I understand the idea that athletes have heart, drive and passion (and the host city itself is passionate as well) but does it have to be so literal? Get creative Rio! We know the logo will go through a few more rounds of tweaking before the final is decided by the IOC, but I'm hoping for a fantastic, strong, unmistakable mark, that says heart and passion without a heart! Can 'The Marvelous City' pull it off? We'll see....

Photo from Wiki website.

03 October 2009

What's your gas?

I really wish I lived in an area where I could pedal or scooter my way around. Unfortunately, Southern California is not built for such journeys. It's all about the freeway. The good news for me is my commute in the morning takes roughly 22 seconds, that would be from the bedroom to my home studio. So I rack up very little mileage during the year, which is great. But some very creative people from Nike Gamechangers and Durham, NC-based McKinney teamed up for Beat Gasoline, a program that placed the future of the environment front and center. For the effort, Nike asked its audience to display their artistic and athletic skills by showing off how they use sport, rather than conventional fuel burning methods of transportation, to power their lives. To promote the online event, a series of posters adorned the Nike campus, and were distributed by Youth Noise guerrilla street teams and posted at events. And I've got to say, these posters definitely made me take a second glance. Nice! My other form of fuel, great design!

Photos from Youth Noise/Beat Gasoline website.

01 October 2009

October is here!

Ah, October. The fall is officially here! Well somewhat... here on the West Coast it's definitely a little different, but with New England blood running through my veins, I can now start baking apple pies and pumpkin bread, surveying my Halloween decorations, and purchasing a few of my favorite autumn Yankee Candles. And the excitement alone in getting the haybales, mums, pumpkins, Indian corn and gords on the stoop... well that just sends me over the edge!

But it's not just about my favorite season this month, it's about Breast Cancer too. Every single one of us has been touched by breast cancer in some way, so it's not about awareness anymore, it's about early detection and prevention. Last Sunday, I volunteered at the Newport Beach Race for the Cure for my third year with one of my clients who runs the Orange County affiliate for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The logo above was one of the many designs I did for her (One in eight women in America will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime). I'm always so inspired and amazed with the women and men I meet and talk to. Here's to all the courageous warriors out there! For more information on breast cancer and to get involved in a study, check out Army of Women. Here's to finding a cure in our lifetime!
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