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Posted by Ray  |  20 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)

JeromeDaksiewicz-GolfCourses-insitu.jpg

An architect and environmental designer by training, it should come that Jerome Daksiewicz's visual sensibility tends towards cleanly presented schematics. Under the moniker Nomo Design, the Chicago-based jack-of-all-trades offers everything from interiors to advertising to photography; he also had a hand in a noteworthy bicycle light project last year. (Regarding Sparse, he notes that the team is "making a few final revisions to the lights but we should be cutting tools in the next week or so (just slightly behind our original schedule).")

His latest Kickstarter venture is rather less ambitious than a new product launch... which, as Daksiewicz notes, means it will ship in time for Father's Day. Disappointed with the quality of extant golf-related artwork, he's designed a series of Golf Course serigraphs (a fancy word for screenprints) for the discerning fan.

I want to create a series of prints to celebrate the world's top golf courses but in a simple way that still captures the unique character of each course and is at home in any interior. I'm starting with the hosts of the 2013 Major Championships, Golf Magazine's #1 Course in the World - Pine Valley and one of the top US public-access courses in Pebble Beach.

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I can't even come close to pretending I know enough about golf to offer any insight into the accuracy or appeal of the prints, but the imagery strikes me as conceptually compelling as abstracted topography.

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Posted by Teshia Treuhaft  |  21 Feb 2013  |  Comments (1)

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Americans can be a little hard on Canada. A rebranding for the benefit of the United States seems a little extreme, but it does seem difficult for the average American to discuss much about Canada beyond hockey, moose and maple syrup. To help Americans, Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen recently asked Bruce Mau Design to give the USA a short lesson on Canadian culture as part of their series "Redesigns." While recent controversy surrounding the redesign of the $20 dollar bill doesn't bode well for Canadian graphic design, this concept does away with the maple leaf completely. You have to admit, if we owe the walkie-talkie, peanut butter and 20% of the worlds freshwater to Canada, maybe they do deserve a little more respect.

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"In our redesign, we begin with an assertion that Americans simply don't understand Canada. Our view is that Canada doesn't need a redesign; rather, Americans need to be educated." -Bruce Mau Design

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For the sake of fairness to our northern neighbors, the Canadian radio program Q with Jian Ghomeshi also took a shot at Redesigning America. (And lest we forget, Bruce Mau's identity for Toronto's OCAD University was the 2011 Core77 Design Awards winner for the Visual Communication category.)

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  31 Jan 2013  |  Comments (3)

corvette-logos-77.jpg

In 1977, Chevy ditched the "sunburst" design for their Corvette logo and went with (above) this clean, graphically-stylized update on the original crossed flags. The fleur-de-lis from Louis Chevrolet's family crest is still up front on the red flag, with the Chevy "bowtie" partially obscured behind it.

1978 was the Corvette's 25th Anniversary, and cars released that year got this fancy badge:

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Corvette's from '79, however, reverted to the design of the '77.

In 1980 a new decade arrived, bringing with it more angular designs. The '80 Corvette saw a weird kickback to the 1963 design by arranging the flagpoles in such a way that they formed a "V." Conspiracy theorists will see a Firebird or Thunderbird logo in their mind's eye, but I don't think those cars were truly competitive fears, as the former wasn't in the same price range and the latter wasn't in the same performance category. In any case, the logo persisted through '81.

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Buyers of the 1982 "Collector Edition" Corvette had this special badge with the throwback circle from the '63 or '73 ot '76. It's also unusual in that the fleur-de-lis is dispensed with altogether, and for the first time in years we see an unobstructed bowtie.

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For 1983 to '84, the fleur-de-lis again takes a hike, and the bowtie reigns supreme. The graphic treatment of the waving flag is dispensed with and the flags switch sides; I have no idea why, but it screams "focus group." The circle also makes a comeback.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  31 Jan 2013  |  Comments (3)

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When Chevrolet was preparing their new Corvette sports car in the early '50s, the task of designing the logo fell to Chevy interior designer Robert Bartholomew. Bartholomew's design (above) featured two crossed flags: One, the checkered flag that symbolized race victory, the other, the American Stars 'n Stripes.

However, using the American flag to promote commercial products was illegal at the time, and Chevy execs reportedly decided at the last minute to nix that part of the design. (It's not clear why they waited until four days before the car's unveiling, but you can practically picture Bartholomew sitting at his drafting table going goddammit.) Bartholomew's last-minute replacement was a flag sporting both the Chevrolet logo and a fleur-de-lis, a French symbol that was reportedly part of Louis Chevrolet's family crest. (See our post on heraldry here.)

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New badges were whipped up based on Bartholomew's drawings, and the Corvette debuted in 1953 at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

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Sadly, after that story, all mention of specific designers associated with subsequent logos are nil. What we do know is that Bartholomew's design stuck around until 1957, then underwent multiple tweaks and changes throughout the years. Amassing a photo list has proved trickier than expected, as there were multiple emblems for the hood, tail and fenders, but we've tried to put together a visual chronology focused on the nose badges.

In 1956 and '57, a Chevrolet chevron was added to the design:

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In 1958 we see a typographic update that persists until 1961:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  29 Jan 2013  |  Comments (15)

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The last significant change to U.S. currency I can remember is, we added purple to the fives (in homage to Prince, I believe). Canada's gone way further to foil counterfeiters, rolling out polymer bills a little over a year ago. Now that they've had time to circulate, this month Canadian TV personality Rick Mercer expressed his displeasure at the ergonomics of the plastic bills in this video, stating they won't fold properly and have a tendency to stick together.

In addition to this possible materials science gaffe, there may be a graphic design fail to boot: Botanist Sean Blaney, of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center, reports that "The maple leaf (on the currency) is the wrong species." Canada is known for the Sugar Maple, which has leaves that look like this:

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Norway also has an indigenous maple tree (which has been exported to Canada) and its leaves look like this:

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What's the diff? Not just botanists, but any designer, we feel, ought to note the difference. The leaves of the Norway maple have more lobes; in layman's terms, they're pointier. This is pretty obvious when looking at the Canadian flag whose leaf, albeit stylized, is clearly a Sugar Maple:

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A Bank of Canada spokesperson has denied the allegations, and given a cloudy explanation that the leaf is meant to be an amalgamation of maple leaves, which doesn't make much sense given Canada's flag. "I think it's just an after-the-fact excuse," says Blaney. "...The maple that they've drawn is quite clearly a Norway maple." Looking at the leaf above the "20" in the topmost photo, we have to agree.

Posted by Ray  |  18 Jan 2013  |  Comments (11)

TaylorSimpson-MONIKER-whatsinthebox.jpgWhat's in the box?

At risk of overexposing conceptual bicycle components today, this reader submission was too good not to post. Taylor Simpson is one short semester away from completing his baccalaureate in communication design at Brooklyn's own Pratt Institute, and he recently sent in a branding/packaging project that he completed last year. A riff on bullhorns, MONIKER is a concept for a set of "handcrafted bicycle handlebars made of genuine deer antler and recycled metal."

I originally came up with the concept of Moniker Cycle Horns while participating in the World's Longest Yard Sale on Route 127 in 2010, an event I look forward to every year. While traveling the sale, I found a pair of genuine deer antlers a local man was selling somewhere in Kentucky. As a cyclist I thought it would be clever to create bicycle handlebars made of animal horns and antlers.

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Thus, the bars consist of a set of antlers from a six-point buck, bonded to what I assume is a short length of pipe to form the clamp area and painted in a black satin finish. (For better or for worse, the second edition of Bikesnob's cockpit contest has come and gone; there was actually an antler category the first time around.)

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Posted by Ray  |  15 Jan 2013  |  Comments (7)

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Just over a week ago, the NYC Department of Transportation announced a much-needed update to street signs throughout Manhattan, an ongoing effort to simplify the unforgivingly opaque verbiage of current signage.

The 6,300 signs that DOT will replace in Midtown and Lower Manhattan include 3,300 commercial parking signs and 3,000 other signs for nighttime and weekend parking for the general public, hotel and taxi stands, street cleaning and no standing areas. The new signs reduce the number of characters needed to explain the rules from 250 to about 140, making the sign appear less visually cluttered while reducing five-foot-high signs by about a foot. The new design also places the day of the regulation before the hours of the regulation, eliminating abbreviations and retaining all necessary parking information while making it easier to read.

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Once again, JSK—Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, for the uninitiated—turned to Pentagram for their graphic design prowess as the DOT hopes to build on the success of their previous collaboration with the design firm, the previously-seen "LOOK" campaign... or, as Pentagram Principal Michael Bierut speculates, perhaps they were just chagrined by this Louie C.K. non sequitur:

(Fans can watch the second part here.)

I'm kidding, of course—longtime New Yorkers are well aware that it can take years for initiatives to work their way through the bureaucratic labyrinth of lobbyists and legislators. It so happens that this particular proposal dates back to 2011, when City Council Member Daniel J. Garodnick asserted his commitment to "syntactic clarity" in the public sphere; of the new signs, he dryly notes that "You shouldn't need a Ph.D in parking signage to understand where you are allowed to leave your car in New York."

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Posted by Ray  |   4 Jan 2013  |  Comments (5)

BarackObamaSignature.jpgvia American Thinker

From NPR via Mashable: "As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature." Beltway commentators have questioned the, er, Constitutionality of his vicarious inscription, but Obama's autograph-by-proxy apparently passes muster, obviating the need to send a physical document par avion. The issue first came up back in June 2011, when CBS published a side-by-side comparison of the two signatures (on an earlier bill) for armchair graphologists:

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This time around, Mashable has posted a short promo video of the Autopen of Interest.

Legality aside, I was particularly interested to see that the "Signature" in the logo for Automated Signature Technology is in none other than Mistral, which triggered an uncanny allusion to a very different implementation of the same font. As Willem Van Lancker noted in his in amateur review of the film (from a design perspective), the typeface was recently featured in the logo of Nicholas Winding Refn's noirish 2011 thriller Drive.

Drive-byMikieDaniel.jpgvia Mikie Daniel

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Dec 2012  |  Comments (0)

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Want to 3D print, but don't have the scratch for a 3D printer? A Polish company called Pixle has released a fun-looking iPad app called Foldify, which lets you print 3D designs out of a regular printer...sort of. Check it out:

Obviously the $1.99 app is not going to revolutionize your design firm's rapid prototyping capabilities, but at the very least, Pixle has just cut the homework time in half for every design student taking Package Design 101.

Posted by Ray  |   7 Dec 2012  |  Comments (1)

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As any graphic designer surely knows, the Internet is home to at least as many bad (or non-) infographics as it is a source for clearly-articulated, visually-compelling ones. This twofold criteria is the subject of Chad Hagen's "Nonsensical Infographics": they're certainly a treat for the eye... but the mind, not so much. Rather, as the title of the series suggests, the vibrant geometries are intended to be metacommentary on the opacity of these purportedly digestible graphics.

The science of infographics is an interesting beast. Infographics' level of success is always based on how much and how well they communicate their data—the classic form follows function. In this series, I reversed these roles—form is king and dictates what the infographic communicates. Welcome to the world of fictional visual information.

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In other words, these infographics convey information about infographics themselves: inscrutable though they may be, they are often more beautiful for it. Thus, despite its aesthetic affinity with the work of, say, Andrew Kuo, Hagen's work probably has more in common with Tatiana Plakhova's data visualizations, which express the same sentiment through radically different execution.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  28 Nov 2012  |  Comments (2)

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Up top: Ferry Porsche and Maximilian Hoffman

In the photo below, of the Frank-Lloyd-Wright-designed Hoffman Auto Showroom, at right you can see the large planter in the center of the rotating car platform. And atop that planter you can see a box with the now-familiar Porsche logo on it. But back then, in 1955, that logo was brand new.

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You'll recall that the Hoffman Auto Showroom was intended to sell Jaguars; so why, you ask, is it filled with Porsches during its 1955 opening? Hoffman commissioned the space in 1953, but just two years later his business arrangement with Jaguar had evaporated. This wrinkle happened close to the Showroom's launch date; Frank Lloyd Wright had designed a leaping Jaguar statue to go onto that planter, in the center of the showroom, and Jaguar craftsmen had completed it and shipped it over to New York. After the Jaguar/Hoffman relationship evaporated, the statue was shipped back to Coventry, so the only thing it really leaped was the Atlantic. Twice.

Now back to the Porsche logo. Porsche was a logo-less company until (rumor has it) Ferry Porsche—son of company founder Ferdinand—had lunch in New York with Max Hoffman. The suspiciously colorful story, which contains at least one geographic error, goes like this:

In 1952 while dining in a New York restaurant, Max told Dr. Ferry Porsche all cars of some standing in the world have a crest. "Why not Porsche, too?" he asked. "If all you need is a badge, we can give you one, too!"

Ferry then grabbed a napkin and began to draw the crest for the state of Baden-Wurtremberg [sic] with its curved stag horns. He added a black prancing horse from Stuttgart's coat of arms and the word PORSCHE across the top and handed it back to Max asking, "How about something like that?" With a bit of refinement and color, the famed Porsche Crest was born and today remains true to Ferry's original sketch more than half a century ago.

(The error is the attribution of the crest to "Baden-Wurtremberg," which is both misspelled, and the incorrect region.)

The Internet being what it is, another story has it that Hoffman penned the logo himself. The needle on my BS meter is quivering.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2012  |  Comments (0)

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Remember the camo-dipping technique we looked at last month? To refresh your memory, it's a good way to get a complicated pattern (provided you can acquire the material) onto a complicated surface. Well, turns out you can use the technique for really complicated surfaces—like the human hand:

While it's true I couldn't think of any practical reason why you'd need the inside of your hand to look like carbon fiber, hydrographics still has plenty of useful applications. There have been lots of times when I needed to stash my deer skulls in nearby forests where the neighbors wouldn't spot them, and this stuff really saved my bacon.

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If they had this coating in the first place, they wouldn't have ended up like this. Oh, the irony

Posted by Ray  |  16 Nov 2012  |  Comments (2)

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Wish I could make it out to Cali for this one: Rapha San Francisco Cycling Club is pleased to present All Chips On the Table: The Bicycle Art and Design of Garrett Chow, an exhibition featuring Chow's work as Lead Graphic Designer at Specialized, as well as his graphics for MASH, the urban cycling brand which he co-founded. Per Rapha:

From the co-creation of MASHSF to bicycle paint schemes for cyclocross star Zdeneck Stybar and Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, Garrett has been a continual inspiration in the bicycle industry with designs, illustrations and paint jobs over the years. The exhibit is your chance to see all of this live and direct.

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While the exhibition opened two weeks ago, a couple image sets hit the web earlier this week—shots from Mike Martin of MASH (reproduced here with permission) and Bike Rumor as well—a welcome dose of pure bike porn to supplement the tantalizing teaser photos from Rapha.

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We had the chance to talk to Garrett about his inspiration and what drives him in the studio and on the road.

Core77: You're clearly as passionate about cycling as you are about design. Which came first for you, bikes or design?

Garrett Chow: The tired cliché that as a designer, one's job never really "shuts off" sadly holds more truth than a lot of us would prefer to admit. Devoted cyclists seem to hold a similarly unflagging sense of commitment and allegiance to their two-wheeled pursuits—whether it's through constant training, watching one's diet, or wrenching on bikes, it seems like there never enough hours in the day. I'd say that both pursuits intertwine to occupy the larger focus in my life, and seemingly in equal measure.

I've been doing both for as long as I can remember. I grew up riding and drawing and making/publishing a skate 'zine as a kid—these inclinations precipitated in my study of Illustration and Graphic Design in college. I was tangentially involved in the bike industry for many years having worked on corporate-identity and branding for a friend's bike shop, Wrench Science, but it wasn't until MASH and then Specialized that I 'formally' entered the industry.

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Posted by Ray  |   9 Nov 2012  |  Comments (0)

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With NBA season underway here in the states, ESPN has shifted from baseball jargon to more bombastic neologism such as 'lob city,' 'highlight factory,' etc. Not that they'd know anything about it, but Dublin-based creative duo Mark+Paddy have invited fellow Irish creatives to 'posterize' clients—or at least their inane bromides—in "Sharp Suits," a series of limited edition prints for Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Ireland's creative community have gotten together to release a lot of pent up anger and sadness through the medium of the A3 poster, all in aid of Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Ad creatives, designers, animators, directors, illustrators and more have taken time out to dress up their favourite worst feedback from clients, transforming quotes that would normally give you a twitch, into a diverse collection of posters.

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The resulting graphics are a mix of Coretoon-worthy visual puns and cheeky graphic treatments—I've posted some personal favorites here, but all of the 70+ designs can be seen in the online gallery. The group exhibition at the Little Green Cafe & Bar wrapped up two days ago, but the prints are still available online as of press time, at the very reasonable price of €10, with all proceeds going to the children's hospital.

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Posted by shaggy  |   9 Nov 2012

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Core77's affinity for producing and following technology that blends old and new, analog and digital, was directly inherited from our new-media design shaman Tom Klinkowstein. Tom—whose tales from the 70's, of applying analog film techniques to videotape editing (with the help of iron filings to identify otherwise invisible tracks) still inspire us—now has an example of that ethos enshrined in the hallowed archives of the MoMA permanent collection: a poster from 1980 for Laurie Anderson which synthesizes a number of totemic technologies in a fashion that suits the eclectic performer. This marks an excellent score for everyone involved—Congrats!

Posted by Ray  |   2 Nov 2012  |  Comments (1)

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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."

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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.

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Posted by Ray  |  25 Oct 2012  |  Comments (0)

Kandi-InnovationLab-1.jpgKandi-InnovationLab-2.jpg

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.

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The photography highlights the tactile qualities of Mynhardt's work, as in the art direction for Wawa Wooden Surfboards and the Open publication, which won a Sappi Think Ahead Award.

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Posted by LinYee Yuan  |  15 Oct 2012  |  Comments (0)

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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.

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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.

PaperInstinct-SpecialComix468.jpgFrom Special Comix by Badger & Press. Click for full-sized Image.

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Posted by Ray  |  19 Sep 2012  |  Comments (0)

NomaBar-Birdland.jpg"Birdland"

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.

NomaBar-Ouch-OpenFace.jpgL: "Ouch"; R: "Open Face"

NomaBar-PopArt.jpg"Pop Art"

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.

NomaBar-FatalAttraction-ThereinLiestheTail.jpgL: "Fatal Attraction"; R: "Therein Lies the Tail"

NomaBar-TheLastEmperor.jpg"The Last Emperor"

Outline Editions
Stand C2
Designjunction
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

Posted by Ray  |  14 Sep 2012  |  Comments (2)

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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.

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Designer and illustrator Rinee Shah has paid tribute in a series of rather more understated prints that's recently gone viral. Where Nathan Manire's homage featured an assortment of iconic props in vector form, Shah's distributed food-related quotes and images across nine different graphics, including a confectionary roundup and an expletive-worthy treat—hence, Seinfood.

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via UrbanDaddy

Posted by Ray  |  11 Sep 2012  |  Comments (0)

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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."

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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.

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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.

HermanMiller-ThenxTen-SteveFrykholm.jpgSteve Frykholm (1986)

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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.

HermanMiller-ThenxTen-JohnMassey.jpgJohn Massey (no date given)

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   6 Sep 2012  |  Comments (4)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   5 Sep 2012  |  Comments (7)

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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.

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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.

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First you broke out the atlas and used a pencil to draw a straight line between Point A and B.

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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.

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continued...

Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |   1 Sep 2012  |  Comments (0)

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

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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.

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How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
Via Twitter.

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.

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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.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  31 Aug 2012  |  Comments (3)

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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."

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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.

Posted by Ray  |  29 Aug 2012  |  Comments (0)

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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.

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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.

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Digital artist and designer Jer Thorp brought the Wind Map to our attention on the occasion of Hurricane Isaac; so too are our thoughts are with those weathering the storm in New Orleans...