Alexandra Baker is one half of Asheville, NC-based studio DNA Illustrations, specializing in medical graphics for editorial and commercial clients. Along with partner David Baker, she has some "20 years of experience working with images dealing with surgery, anatomy, disease process, patient education and immunology."
Baker's been on track to be a medical illustrator—a highly specialized niche which requires an eye for detail and a steady hand, not unlike medical practitioners themselves—since her undergrad days at UGA, and her work has garnered many accolades over the years.
Seeing as our sister site Coroflot hosts portfolios from the world over, It's always interesting to see where members hail from. Karl Mynhardt is a perfect example: he's one half of Cape Town, South Africa's K&i Design Studio, which he and his wife Ida (hence "K" and "I") launched last year. They've since won a Design Indaba Emerging Creative award alongside a growing list of local clients, as well as campaigns for international brands.
Although 'zines have been a popular format for artists, writers and provocateurs since the '70s, in China, an independent arts press is a relatively new phenomenon. Welcoming visitors at The Factory in the Dashilar hutong design district was a collection of over 100 Chinese zines on display. The exhibition, PAPER INSTINCT, takes an interesting look at the bubbling DIY youth culture in China.
Art and literature chapbooks were displayed side-by-side with more polished lifestyle catalogs. I particularly liked the illustration and comic books, although the photography books have more cache in a multi-lingual context.
Once again, Core fav Noma Bar will present new work during London Design Week, on display at Outline Editions' booth at DesignJunction. His latest series of work abides by his simple yet compelling vector aesthetic, a handful of visual puns with punchlines for titles.
L: "Ouch"; R: "Open Face"
In lieu of the "specially commissioned, Heath Robinson-esque embossing device/sculpture" (as in last year's exhibition), Outline Editions is offering new limited-edition prints from Bar, as well as Kristjana S. Williams, Anthony Burrill, Marion Deuchars, Malika Favre and more.
L: "Fatal Attraction"; R: "Therein Lies the Tail"
"The Last Emperor"
21-23 New Oxford Street
London, WC1A 1AP
Hours: September 19, 3–9PM; September 20, 10AM–7PM; September 21–22, 10AM–6pm; September 23, 10AM–5PM
For anyone who was old enough to understand irony in the 90's, Seinfeld was one of those cultural touchstones that has arguably jumped the shark: the infamous Kramer print wasn't quite as ubiquitous as the Tarantino film poster as a dorm room decoration, but its one of the countless ur-memes from the seminal sitcom.
Last month, Melbourne was graced by a special exhibition from Herman MillerTHEN X TEN: The Power of the Poster at fortyfive downstairs gallery space in Melbourne. "Simply designed to communicate a message, posters are all too frequently the tools of advertisers. But under the direction of a keen eye and talented hands, posters have the power to spark action, elicit emotion, and join the ranks of art."
Unfortunately, we didn't have a chance to see the show in person: the celebration of the print format, featuring classic posters from the Herman Miller archives alongside ten newly commissioned works, was only on view from August 14–25.
Thankfully, our friends in Zeeland and Australia HQ Sydney have documented the exhibition quite thoroughly, with photos from the opening, including Creative Director (and Curator) Steve Frykholm's talk at RMIT, and a few installation shots, as well as images of the work.
Steve Frykholm (1986)
Kam Tang, whose work is pictured above, writes: "A departure from the padding of traditional office chairs, Aeron's Pellicle material was like a new dawn; I wanted to capture that in my design by taking the chair out of the office and transforming it into a landscape." Check out additional artist statements here.
In the last entry you saw me preparing roadtrip directions. Rally racing drivers need to prepare directions too, with each step containing way more information than us civilians need. For one thing, they're operating in three dimensions, being as concerned with road pitch and angle as they are with directionality.
Actually, strike that—they're operating in four dimensions: At the breakneck speeds at which they travel, they need to factor in time and pre-calculate which way the car ought to be drifting—leftwards, for example—when they hit a particular berm and leave the ground, so that the leftward momentum will bring them back down safely onto the road at the end of that step.
Obviously a rally driver cannot afford to take his eyes off of the road, so a navigator rides shotgun to call out the "plays," as it were. They carry what are known as "pacenotes" in place of what we'd call directions.
If I screw my directions up, I go five miles out of my way and lose ten minutes. If rally drivers screw their directions up, they go five feet out of their way and lose their lives over the side of a cliff. Because of this, they need to record a lot of information in each step, which can be a combination of little sketches, icons and/or rally driver shorthand letters and numbers. For example, what would be a mere left turn to you or I, to a rally driver might be a decreasing-radius downhill left-hander. The navigator must communicate this to the driver more quickly than that would take to say, so they develop a verbal shorthand.
As you can see in the variety of pacenotes below, there's no established standard for how they ought to be drawn; it largely depends on the artistic and organizational tastes of the drawer or whatever graphics program they're using.
As for who's drawing them, that's the responsibility of the navigator, who's also called the co-driver. In the video below you can see the popular motorsports competitor Travis Pastrana pre-driving a rally course with his co-driver as they work out the notes. You can also get a sense, as they tackle the course full-speed in the second half, how crucially important the pacenotes are. It is literally the difference between life and death.
As fascinating as it is to watch trained industrial designers do their thing, I find it equally interesting to see non-designers doing design without realizing it.
To set this one up, I have to go back in time a bit. In 1990, I was a teenager who needed to drive from Alfred, New York to Oakmont, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. It was a couple hundred miles and there were no major interstates connecting the origin and destination. Furthermore this was pre-GPS, pre-internet, pre-cellphone; the only thing I had was a road atlas, something they used to sell in every gas station.
Even at 18 I'd been on enough solo roadtrips to know how to do it: You needed the atlas, a ruler, a pencil, three differently-colored pens and a notebook.
First you broke out the atlas and used a pencil to draw a straight line between Point A and B.
The problem was that traveling between states, Point A and B were on different pages, so you had to find some border town that was visible on both maps, try to figure out if that border town was the shortest distance between A and B, and use that as Point A-and-a-half.
Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
The objective was to create a visual identity for the Swiss Fine Fragrances and Cosmetics company Valeur Absolue, that would invigorate the Fine Fragrances market.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
What's the latest news or development with your project?
After creating the visual identity for Valeur Absolue, we have recently also developed the packaging for their new perfume range. In addition, we have been working on the design of their communication and point of sale campaign, which will be launched soon.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
The client really pushed our boundaries for this project; we did almost 10 rounds of reworks. But it was worthy; sometimes, even if we get tired, it's good to have a client that push us till our limit. The visual identity we've created was very well received and they have been delighted with the end result.
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
Thirty minutes before we were due to send the 10th round of creative executions for the client to evaluate, with everything almost ready, Gustavo Piqueira -- the head of Casa Rex who was also the creative director of this project -- had one last idea for the brand design. So, we raced to complete the last design excecutions and still get them to the client within deadline. And guess what? That was the visual identity selected and released by Valeur Absolue.
Fan fiction, or "fanfic," is the phenomena whereby fans of a particular fiction series like Star Wars or the Harry Potter books begin writing their own spin-off stories to share with other fans. Writers get points from the community for both how interesting their stories are and their fidelity to the universe of the original; for example, no one gets kudos for writing about Han Solo running an auto body shop in Massapequa.
The closest industrial-design-related thing I can think of to fanfic are those RC guys that we saw in the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier post, though you could argue that, impressive as it is, it's not quite ID. But an interesting graphic design version of fanfic just came to my attention: Darren Crescenzi, a Portland-based Brand Designer for Nike and a Game of Thrones devotee, has essentially "re-branded" the house sigils from George R.R. Martin's five-tome epic. (By "house sigil" I mean coat-of-arms, a family crest; click here to see an earlier post on the subject.)
As reported by Fast Co., Crescenzi re-interpreted what were of course only written descriptions of each sigil mentioned sporadically throughout the books, and found himself engaged in a massive graphic design exercise:
"That endless pursuit of visual consistency [required at Nike] was one of the driving forces behind the look and feel of the poster. I never thought of the project as a series of logos; The approach was much more that of creating an icon set."
Crescenzi's finished product, which comprises some 42 crests on a poster, is undeniably beautiful. However, he is selling them as prints, which somewhat alters the project from being a labor of love to a vehicle for profit. That makes us very curious to see GoT author Martin's take on them, as he is famously prickly about fan fiction, particularly where it concerns profit.
Data visualization, as a specific form of graphic design, is as much a phenomenon of the Information Age as the Internet itself, not least for the sheer amount of data that we generate and consume on an ever more granular level. Besides the fact that we've all seen plenty of examples of bad data viz—even as companies and clients increasingly adopt the format—and particularly egregious examples overcomplicate the matter. Yet this is precisely why data viz remains a promising frontier for the creative expression of quantitative information: at the far end of the specturm, data sets can serve as parameters for mathematically-derived abstract artwork, but those that clearly and compellingly represent a vast amount of data are arguably even more beautiful, as exemplars of visual communication.
Which is a long way of saying that this "Wind Map" by Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas (a.k.a. Hint.fm) is pretty effin' awesome. Just as the natural world continues to amaze and inspire us, so too do we strive to understand and harness the power of nature: besides capturing the mercurial fluid mechanics of variations in atmospheric pressure, the zoomable wind map demonstrates, say, the regional feasibility of wind power.
Parallel to the growing appreciation of food, we're seeing more and more designers tackle the issue of how and what we eat, from product design to intensive research to enviable interiors. In this spirit of food-related creativity, a new London-based publication called The Gourmand offers a highly visual yet brilliantly understated journal of food and culture, something like Apartamento's foodie cousin. "The Gourmand was born as a means to share this exciting cultural shift and to celebrate food as a catalyst for creativity."
Our friends at Sight Unseen highlighted perhaps the most relevant feature from the debut issue, which is available now: the collaboration between art director Jamie Brown and photographer Luke Kirwan. Brown's expository text for "A 20th Century Palate" complements the compelling imagery to a tee: "There are few things that rival my insatiable hunger for colour and pattern, my appetite for food is one. Combining the two would surely go down well."
The concept was born—to represent design movements of the 20th century through specially arranged plates of appropriate foods, finished with hand cut patterned paper table cloth backgrounds.
In anticipation of significant new releases across its expansive portfolio of product offerings, Microsoft has unveiled a new logo, the first major update in 25 years.
From Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs. This wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.
The original 1987 logo
The design team at the Seattle-based tech juggernaut has reduced the iconic 'waving' flag ideograph into a rather more abstract array of four squares, Zen-like but for their colors. Similarly, the typographical decision to replace italicized Helvetica Black with Segoe feels a bit fresher, in keeping with contemporary brand identities.
Starting today, you'll see the new Microsoft logo being used prominently. It will be used on Microsoft.com—the 10th most visited website in the world. It is in three of our Microsoft retail stores today (Boston, Seattle's University Village and Bellevue, Wash.) and will shine brightly in all our stores over the next few months. It will sign off all of our television ads globally. And it will support our products across various forms of marketing. Fully implementing a change like this takes time, so there may be other instances where you will see the old logo being used for some time.
We're excited about the new logo, but more importantly about this new era in which we're reimagining how our products can help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.
For a bit of commentary, our friend Don Lehman's posted a bit of incisive industry insight into the new logo over at his Tumblog: "It's a little generic, but nice looking. It's clean and simple. It looks the way you would expect a Microsoft logo from 2012 would look like. Most people won't know there was change. That's a good thing." (It's also worth checking out the 'Microsoft Inc. Logo History' sidebar on Wikipedia.)
We've seen some pretty spectacular thesis projects by up and coming designers over the years, but never before have any of those projects involved a 6+ month-long road trip through small towns all across Sweden. Erik Olovsson, who recently completed his Master's Degree in Graphic Design - Storytelling at Konstfack, noted how easy it is "to be sitting in the office and surf design blogs instead of finding inspiration from reality... It's rare that a designer gets a deeper insight into the client's business." With that in mind he bought an old motorhome, cleaned it up, gave it a bright new graphic paint job and hit the road seeking face-to-face interactions with small business across the country.
The crux of his mission is his strict no-fee policy. Instead of money, he takes payment for his design work in trade, with a preference for goods or services that will help him on his way. "Perhaps something to eat? Gasoline? New tires? A new hairdo? A hot shower?" he suggests. So far he's traded a t-shirt design for a massage and web advice for cinnamon rolls. Overall he's found that when no money changes hands the client/designer relationship is much more collaborative and equanimous.
He recently held a concert on the roof of his van, did the brand identity for a Swedish-owned mango factory in Burkina Faso and completed a poster for a letter writing group (check his blog for images of the group's founders' Wes Anderson-esque vintage letter writing suitcase). It's too bad that his thesis didn't include plans for a Designjet, as we'd gladly cook him a hot meal in exchange for some modern Scandinavian design. Currently, he's in Östersund, and you follow his journey on Instagram at #eriksdesignbuss or on his blog, where he posts images of his travels as well as his work in process.
Malika Favre's Hide and Seek tells the story of an intriguing and sophisticated woman travelling from one pattern to the next, hiding from the unsuspecting viewer. The woman sometimes reveals herself to us for a short moment in time, only to run away towards her next mysterious destination.
Fascinated by patterns in everyday life, urban surroundings and architecture, French born Malika Favre has put together Hide and Seek, her first solo show in London. Malika's work is bold and minimalistic, exploring the relationship between positive and negative space.
The viewer fills in the gaps literally and figuratively: "Working within a narrative core, she always likes to play with the viewer's imagination."
The artist notes that "there is such beauty and intrigue in those repetitive concrete balconies, I felt like creating a series of abstract prints based on the architectural patterns that no one really notices." Thus, "the prints on show work together as a series of optical experiments, [which Malika hopes] will make people see the beauty in their everyday surroundings, leaving with a smile and feeling sightly dizzy."
The video (after the jump) is a tantalizing taste of what's to come...
I've been observing the growth of mobile in the developing world for years now, ever since I encountered texting culture on a trip to the Philippines years ago, long before SMS caught on in the United States. Behind a small anecdote like this are big numbers and trends.
Certainly, "World Bank" and "compelling infographics" are two phrases designers rarely think of together, but as Reboot designer Mollie Ruskin noted, visual communication couldn't be more important:
We have found that many of our colleagues in the social sector undervalue the role of communications design. This perspective is understandable—when creating a $200 million program to overhaul a nation's water and sanitation system, the significance of fonts and colors and layout can seem quite minor.
Yet this stance has real drawbacks. No matter how well that water program might get put together, its purpose and intentions must still be communicated to a range of audiences: government officials who need to support the program, community members who are asked to participate, and international policy makers who may decide when and how the money is spent.
And so it was great to see the new infographics in place, which make big, complex statistics about mobile for development easier to digest and interpret. Take, for instance, the big bold graphic noting that 75% of the world has access to a mobile phone—a staggering number that seems only more likely to grow in the coming years. Or the illustratations of potatoes, grain and bananas, to show the increased income of farmers in India, Niger and Uganda, respectively, thanks to mobile applications.
The biggest callout box is text, beautifully illustrated to drive home a simple point: "The mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve." Whether you're a World Bank economist or a freelance designer reading Core77, that's definitely something to think about.
Let the graffiti games begin. With the Olympics just mere days away, street artists have been making their presence known around England.Â Even Banksy couldn't resist an opportunity to show his satirical support with these two new pieces. One stencil features a javelin thrower armed with a missile while the second is a portrait of an Olympic pole vaulter in mid-jump landing in the direction of a filthy mattress below.
Equally impressive is other Olympic-themed work that has cropped up all over. This timely McDonald's jab (in case you aren't aware McDonald's will be the only French fries, or 'chips' sold at London Olympic venues) by an unknown artist was photographed by Pogorita outside the Brighton tube station.
Even this piece of a female diver plunges headfirst into an open toilet captured by Tim Callaghan makes quite the provocative statement. And a multi-colored pigeon by Ronzo depicts city birds getting in on the action.
Seeing beautiful street art in London? Leave a comment on where we can see more work below!
Who would've thought? Graphic designer Cathy Schaefer reunited with her classmate Ken Karlic after they parted ways upon graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over 25 years ago. Although they're currently working together as Splice Design in Baltimore, Schaefer's career trajectory included an extended stay in New York, where she cut her teeth at Chermayeff & Geismar (she struck out on her own Mexico City before returning to the States).
Knoll was one of her main clients during her time as Senior Design Director at the storied graphic design firm.
The work clearly reflects the Mid-Century Modern heritage of the company, yet it also looks so fresh that it could have been created two days ago... when she uploaded the images to her portfolio on Coroflot.
Inasmuch as the work speaks for itself, she provides only a brief description: "An updated graphic identity unites four merged companies under the umbrella of an international leader in modern furniture design."
The mission of The Noun Project is to collect, organize and add to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language so they can be shared in a fun and meaningful way. The symbols are free, simple, and high quality—not to mention truly delightful.
In this conversation with the Designers Accord, we learn from The Noun Project founders, Edward Boatman and Sofya Polyakov, how a shared visual language can be the connective tissue across disciplines and geographies, and why you don't need to be a designer to be an effective communicator and change-maker.
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Designers Accord: The Noun Project strikes a perfect balance between function and folly—providing amazing quality scalable icons for everything from the universal human icon to a sasquatch. Share the background of how your initiative came about—what was the initial inspiration and who's involved?
Edward Boatman: The Noun Project is one of those ideas that slowly grew and evolved over time. I think the starting point was my sketchbook. One summer I started to draw the things that used to fascinate me when I was a child: Sequoias, Trains, Cranes, Combines and a lot of other "nouns." After doing this for some time and creating a nice stack of sketches, I thought to myself it would be great if I had a drawing that depicted every single concept or object in existence.
Then a couple years down the road I was working at an architecture firm putting together a lot of presentation boards and I was frustrated that I couldn't quickly find icons for very common things such as airplanes, bicycles and people. I thought about taking my old noun concept and tweaking it a bit to solve this real world problem I was experiencing.
I started talking to my really good friend Scott Thomas and my wife Sofya Polyakov about building on the original idea. We decided the biggest impact could be made by building a platform for visual communication. Symbols serve as some of the best tools to overcome many language, cultural, and even medical communication barriers. Having designers from around the world engage in creating a visual language doesn't just create symbols for what already exists, it also creates symbols for what we want to see in the world—things like Community Gardens, Sustainable Energy and Human Rights.
Sofya Polyakov: We launched the site on Kickstarter in December 2010 using mostly symbols that already existed in the public domain, like the AIGA transportation suite and the National Park Service symbols. The response was incredible—we received tremendous support not only from the design community, but also from the autism & special education communities, teachers who wanted symbols to help kids read, librarians, app developers, etc. We were written up in TechCrunch, The Atlantic, Fast Company, PSFK, Engadget, as well as a lot of international blogs. Half of our traffic still comes from outside of the United States, which is something we really value because it's fascinating to see how people from around the world "see" the same concept. For example, what does a symbol for "Protest" look like around the world? You can now go to The Noun Project and find the answer.
DA: You've already built amazing momentum—from sketchbook to meme. What does your team look like and how do you carry this forward?
EB: As the CEO, Sofya is the brains behind the operations side of running the business and also handles all of our marketing and community outreach. Scott and his team at Simple.Honest.Work have done an amazing job managing the design, development and UX of the site. I look after the growing collection of symbols to make sure we adhere to high design and user comprehension standards, and I also work with the international community of designers who are creating them.
SP: We also recently got accepted into the Designer Fund, so we've been very fortunate to have incredible mentors and advisors from Twitter, Groupon, Pinterest, Stanford's d.School, Google, 37Signals, and others. Besides being some of the most talented designers today, our mentors are also incredible people. I honestly can't think of too many industries where someone so successful, whose time is so valuable, just volunteers their time to help out a start-up. It's amazing to have so many talented people around you who want you to succeed.
New York design fans were treated to a small reprieve from the heat wave last Friday at the closing party for Herman Miller's Soho Pop-Up shop, with Metropolis Magazine and House Industries. To celebrate the finale, House Industries teamed up once again with The Awesome Dudes from Philly to offer guests tote bags screen-printed onsite with a variety of typographic designs.
Metropolis paid tribute to the relaunch of Alexander Girard's textiles, and House Industries exhibited recent work from their projects for Eames, Girard and Herman Miller.
LifeCycle certainly expected ads from DDB Singapore to raise their profile, but the creative team's recent wins in the Outdoor category of the Cannes Lions have brought the international spotlight to the local bike shop with two locations in Singapore.
How often does a good ad comes along? and how often does a small local business get a chance to work with an award winning agency? LifeCycle had the opportunity to work with a team of great creatives from DDB Singapore led by Thomas Yang and Andrew Hook (Creative Directors), whom created the LifeCycle's outdoor and print ad campaign titled "Terrain," "Roadmap" and "Cityscape."
Each one is accompanied by a brief poem. "Cityscape" reads:
You live in a little box.
You get into a little box that drives you to another little box.
And you spend your day thinking little boxed thoughts in your little box.
Till it's time to leave for the other little box.
Unbox yourself. Get a life. Get a cycle.
journeying to the Elevator,
bravely navigating past Office Politics,
catching your breath at Cape Watercooler before
you venture to the unknown land they call the Pantry.
Step out. Get a life. Get a cycle.
The artwork is beautiful in itself, but I'm also interested to see that the ads aren't specific to LifeCycle or Singapore itself; rather, the clever use of bicycle components in silhouette speaks to the appeal of alternative transportation in cities the world over. Thus, they're a serendipitous visual complement to, say, the Bicycle Film Festival, which celebrates the very same.
After cruising down '95 for the first three days (Philly, DC & Richmond) of his road trip, Dave has ventured inland for the second leg of his cross-country circuit, which sees a couple studio visits in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA. Keep up-to-date with all of the adventures on Route 77 by following @DaveSeliger on Twitter!
Day 4: Charlotte, NC
As I'm finding with many experiences on this road trip, I really didn't know what to expect heading down to Charlotte, NC. While doing my pre-trip research I discovered that Charlotte had what seemed to be the biggest hotbed of graphic design in the Southeast. So I did the only thing I could think of and sat down for some mouth-watering BBQ with top-notch designers Rachel Martin, David Sizemore and Matt Stevens (whom I've covered before).
Graphic designers Rachel Martin, Matt Stevens, and David Sizemore
The question on my mind was why graphic design in Charlotte has thrived in a world primarily dominated by the social media- and start-up-driven Bay Area. Each of the designers I spoke with in Charlotte has had their own unique path to success. Martin runs her own design studio and chooses to work only with "socially responsible" groups and "good people who do good." Stevens left a firm after a decade-long career, spent 90 days with Facebook, and is now finding his way on his own. Finally, Sizemore works for a large branding firm by day and does freelance illustration by night.
Design seems to flourish in Charlotte both because of and in spite of the location. Martin came from NYC where she was "just a number," but in Charlotte, "I can shine and do my own thing." Stevens had some perspective on the topic given his recent stint on the West Coast with Facebook. "The West Coast is more saturated with talent," said Stevens. "Everyone out there is extremely talented and it pushes you to raise your game." Stevens also described how there is more of an "education piece that has to happen with a lot of clients" in Charlotte about what exactly design is and how it best improve their business. But Charlotte is also just a "great place to live," with nearby mountains and beaches, as well as a low cost of living, an extremely attractive prospect for any young designer.
A city like Charlotte also creates an environment for a more tight-knit community of designers. "It's a very sharing community," said Martin. Projects and clients are passed along when a designer is too busy, while design collaborations that help reinforce the community self. One of Sizemore's upcoming projects is even centered around neighborhood-specific t-shirts that represent pride in one's location and community.
We also talked about design in the age of the Internet. Although the Internet is not new at all, its applications have become more increasingly intertwined in our lives, especially as designers with portfolios of our work. "I have a big stage now," said Stevens. "There are few limitations if you're making good stuff and putting it out there." This stage allows designers, like the ones in Charlotte, to no longer have to worry about doing work on the national or global scale just to gain recognition; a local project can now become just as famous internationally through utilization of the interconnectivity of the web. Designers can then focus on what Stevens, Martin, and Sizemore see as the more satisfying local projects.
Lastly, design is an opportunity, if not a responsibility, to make the world a better place than you found it. "Architects have a civic duty to design buildings that improve society," said Martin. "Graphic designers should also have that civic duty to shape the world through good design." [Ed. Note: David Berman makes a more emphatic statement about this notion.]
Helvetica. It's a font. It's a movie. And now it's a set of cards. Tennessee designer Ryan Myers has released Helveticards, a gorgeous set of playing cards with—you guessed it—Helvetica as both the type for the cards but also the cards' primary subject matter.
As Myers explains on his site, "I wanted to take a new approach on how the cards are used and bring them to a more usable and modern design." Indeed, the cards themselves read more like a study in typography, with one big, gorgeous character as the centerpiece. The further utilize the font, Myers spells out each number ("Five of Hearts", for instance) in black and white. And even the suits lack serifs: the clubs, for instance, are basically three circles collided together, with no stem.
Printed in high gloss, the cards are almost too nice to play with, more apropos of a gallery exhibition than a casino room. But at $10 for a deck, they'd make a fine addition to any designer's studio—or poker table.
Reporting by Temenouzhka Zaharieva. Images by Michail Novokav and Dimitar Dimitrov.
"Can happiness be manipulated?" was my natural question after Stefan Sagmeister, one of the most interesting guest speakers at the Sofia Design Week 2012 Professional Forum. "Yes!" Sagmeister answered, "Happiness can be trained like we do with fitness training."
Austrian by birth, based in New York, the designer has had his own agency, Sagmeister Inc., since 1993. Last month, all of this changed when Sagmeister Inc. relaunched as Sagmeister & Walsh with an eye-catching announcement (warning, NSFW) to prove that "we'd do anything for design." Using his own body to make a design statement is not new for Sagmeister—he also employed this tactic with his famous AIGA poster from 1999 advertising a speaking engagement at Cranbrook by carving the details onto his torso.
With a stellar list of clients, including Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, The Guggenheim Museum and Levi's, Stefan Sagmeister certainly needs no introduction. He explains that he is trying to stay small and to work only on projects which he finds interesting, but they include a wide range: the design of magazines, advertisements, posters, installations, films and books. His work often involves experiments in which the main protagonist is himself.
Sagmeister has an established tradition: every 7 years he closes the studio for experiments—a year-long sabbatical in exotic places. "The sabbaticals are the best strategy that I have come to in my life", said he. On the last such leave in Bali he began working on a feature length documentary that explores happiness and that seeks to prove whether people can consciously increase their own happiness. [Editors Note: See the review from Sagmeister's screening in New York City last fall] The film is still in production. The organizers of the festival explain that Stefan Sagmeister agreed to speak at the forum of Sofia Design Week provided that we contribute to its implementation.
In a rather cheeky gesture to celebrate Her Royal Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, a creative team at the London office of Leo Burnett is pleased to present a Pantone palette in the form of Queen Elizabeth II, dressed in a full spectrum of vibrant hues, "from the Primrose Yellow she wore at Will and Kate's wedding in April 2011 to the tasteful Lilac Snow outfit she wore last year during a visit to Northumberland." Noting that the past six decades have seen the queen regnant bedecked in "a full spectrum perfectly colour-coordinated ensembles," Will Thacker and Blake Waters have created a "bespoke, limited-edition, numbered colour guide."
Designed to capture and commemorate some of the Queen's most memorable colour choices since her coronation—featuring PANTONE Colour references and citing the date and location that determined her outfit colour choice.
Waters shared the (possibly apocryphal) tale of their inspiration:
It was a balmy Wednesday when Will Thacker and Blake Waters were enjoying their afternoon tea in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, at another Royal Garden Party.
Doubling up on the finest cucumber sandwiches, they found it hard not to notice another splendid block colour outfit worn by her Maj'.
After much debating and a couple more Earl Greys, the pair decided to celebrate her success at wearing one colour so gracefully.
More information is available here, including color notes such as:
PANTONE 13-4411 Crystal Blue "Blue is a colour staple in the Queen's wardrobe. It's a colour that communicates constancy and it is also symbolic of her devotion to the British people. Blues traditionally have calming properties and she is often seen wearing them during difficult times. Blue is also seen as de-stressing so it's no surprise she was sporting a serene blue to a Royal Garden Party in 2010.
Designers! This is your last chance to enter the Core77 Redesign Challenge for the DESIGNED IN USA Logomark! After much discussion, you asked and we delivered a challenge to let you flex your communication design muscles to redesign the USA brand certification logomark for Designed in USA.
Current design for the Designed in USA Logomark
Between now and midnight PDT Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 designers are invited to submit your redesign of the DESIGNED IN USA Logomark. Entries will be judged by the editorial department of Core77 and the Creative Team of RKS, and the three best will be determined and revealed. Winning designs will then be added to the website for download and use by the design and business community. Designs will be judged on the basis of creativity, appropriateness, applicability, and iconic potential. Good luck!
Winner: $150 from RKS and $100 Gift Certificate to Hand-Eye Supply and opportunity to work with Lance Hussey to refine the final design.