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The Post in Which Your Long-Serving Co-Editor Makes a Clumsy, Sob-Filled Exit

Way back around the end of 2005, I received an invitation from mediabistro to step in as a guest editor for a vacationing Eva Hagberg, writing a few posts for their relatively new design/art/architecture blog, UnBeige. The assignment was for a couple of weeks, but then, somehow, I never wound up leaving, and here I still sit, some six and a half years later. Our Editorial Director, Chris Ariens, claims that stretch makes me the longest-serving blogger in the entire organization. So, of course, now that I’ve gotten the gold plaque saying as much, as well as this $25 gift certificate to the Olive Garden of my choosing, it seems like a good time to say farewell.

In all these years I’ve been working here, and over a mind-boggling number of posts (some of which even made sense), I’ve been blessed to have shared a space with some absurdly fantastic talent. I’ve had the sincere pleasure of working with my original co-editor, Alissa Walker, helping to build the bones of the powerhouse that UnBeige is today (as well as teaching her everything I know and am therefore responsible for roughly 96% of her success). From there, for more than four years now, having the amazing fortune to serve alongside Stephanie Murg, whose dedication to solid reporting and quality writing constantly inspired me to try and focus more on the posts themselves than trying to make a clever pun-filled joke in the headline, followed by a jarring batch of pun-filled ramblings (unfortunately, I am only human and that didn’t always stick). And there aren’t thanks enough in the world to properly offer up to all the staff at mediabistro, who took a chance on a kid from Chicago, only to never come to their senses and fire him after about the second week.
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Twitter Along with UnBeige

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Ever wonder which Muppet was Ingmar Bergman‘s favorite?* Curious as to the recent autumnal aesthetic of fashion designer Alexander Wang?† Wondering who Francesco Vezzoli described as “the Cindy Sherman of the pop music world”?‡ Answers to these questions and many more can be found on our UnBeige Twitter feed. Are you following us? UnBeige, in Twitter form, is your source for terse and downright laconic breaking newsbites, event snippets, and links of interest. As you may have noticed, the mediabistro.com tech wizards have added to the sidebar at right a handful of our most recent word bursts (limited to 140 characters), but you can sign up to follow all of our twittering, and start twittering yourself here. Hey, if it’s good enough for the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright

*Animal
†Street urchin turned bordello ringmaster with a velvet-flocked palette of black, wine, and ink
‡Lady Gaga

UnBeige: Where Designers Read Design

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Thanks to everyone who voted on our UnBeige tagline poll. Most of you preferred “Where Designers Read Design.” And so it is…

UnBeige Needs a Tagline

We love that our UnBeige community is so engaged – you provide us with story ideas, you attend our events, you even design our logo.

Well now we want your help in choosing a new Tagline for the blog.

Which UnBeige Tagline Do You Prefer?(online surveys)

(Read that last one fast, it may make more sense)

We’ll keep the voting open until Tuesday and reveal our new Tagline on Wednesday.

Gray Lady Embraces UnBeige

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Photos: (left) Lars Klove for The New York Times, (right) William Zbaren for The New York Times

It’s been a tough week for the world’s financial markets, but we’re fresh out of confetti here at UnBeige headquarters. In today’s New York Times, we’re featured in the charming and indefatigable Penelope Green‘s piece on shopping with design bloggers. “Because design bloggers are expert sifters and seekers, as well as tireless sorters and linkers, spending more time online than is perhaps ocularly prudent, they make the keenest guides to all that is urgent, odd and delightful in the design world at any given moment,” writes Green, who has us nailed in the ocular imprudence department. Among our favorite new homegoods for fall: a coffee table on which you can roast marshmallows, Harry Allen‘s old-school roller skate cast in resin, and a cartilaginous clothes rack designed by UnBeige reader Lincoln Kayiwa of Finland. Check out the all the blogger picks linked from the main story.

Meet Our Guest Blogger: Mary Beth Klatt

guest blogger.JPGYou’ve read Mary Beth Klatt‘s news-stuffed posts on UnBeige before, but as half of our editorial team prepares to head off for a week of pre-Fashion Week fasting, Pilates, and sartorial palette cleansing, we thought we’d tell you a little more about our trusty Guest Blogger. Mary Beth is a Chicago-based writer specializing in architecture, design, and fashion. You may have seen her writing in such publications as Readymade, Craft, Chicago Home + Garden, and USA Weekend. She’s also a cartoonist and an accomplished sewer. “My closet bulges with hundreds of dollars of fabric and my office spills over with spools of thread and unfinished garments,” she tells us. When she’s not battling notions or pinch-hitting for Team UnBeige, you can follow Mary Beth’s creative adventures on her blog, The Lazy Milliner. Hats off to Mary Beth for spending this week with us!

So, I, Um, Don’t Know How to Say This…But I’m Leaving You

Uh oh. You already know something’s up because I’m not writing in the third person, huh? But I assure you, it’s not you (and it’s not we), it’s me. Exactly two years ago today, Steve and I took the UnBeige reins, and as you may know, two years is practically a lifetime in blog-years. I decided that this was as good a time as any to make a change, a decision that was only slightly influenced by the fact that this is the very same night that Lost returns to television (8/7pm Central).

Over the last two years my life has changed in ways that I can’t begin to explain in what I hope will be a short and sweet post. I’ve traveled all over the country, met my heroes, and hopefully, introduced you to a few worthy people and causes along the way. When I started at UnBeige I was terrified by this big scary design world that, frankly, I didn’t know nearly enough about. Now I look over there at that blogroll and I see a list of my dearest friends.

Thanks to the dearest of all those new friends, Steve Delahoyde, and that’s saying a lot since we have still never met in person. Steve is such an effortlessly funny human being–he is the only person in the world I can count on for a solid laugh at 7am–and I will miss being his partner in crime. But I would never have felt comfortable leaving if it wasn’t for one Stephanie Murg, who has leapt into this role with grace and wit. Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend Keith Scharwath, who provided me with so much support, advice and good tips that thanking him every time would have made it seem like he was writing this blog instead. Thank you to Jen Bekman and Eva Hagberg, who left gigantic, like, size 12EEE shoes to fill. Huge thanks to both Bryn Mooth and Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who recommended me for the gig in the first place. And to Laurel Touby, who has always been a big inspiration to me, but especially when she sold mediabistro.com for $23 million freaking dollars.

Finally, thank you to everyone out there who read this over the years, all 15 of you, even though four of you are my immediate family members and read this blog even though you have no idea what I’m talking about. I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing next (although I’m fairly certain you won’t find me anywhere near a computer for the next week or two), but you can always find out what I’m up to at my personal blog, Gelatobaby. And if you want to be kept abreast of my situation, just drop me a line at getthescoop AT gelatobaby.com. I’m sure we’ll meet again.

Love, Alissa

UnBeige Looks Back: See You In the Future, Mr. Powers!

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Maybe because it’s so fresh in our mind, but non-designer Michael Wolff‘s Dr. Evil impression sure does stick out as our favorite design memory of the year (Wolff photo courtesy of Jessica Perilla). Not this time, Mr. Glaser!

Here’s to many more non-banal moments in 2008. You can see our ten favorite 2007 stories here.

Have an extra-bubbly New Year’s Day for us.

UnBeige Looks Back: The Year In How Cool It Was To Be Chip Kidd

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Who did the baddest book cover design of them all? He did.

Who won a National Design Award and then DJed the afterparty? He did.

Who got his house profiled in international publication after international publication? He did.

Who got his first novel optioned then put together a very thick monograph then cranked out another novel to be released in the near future? He did.

Who fronted a band on the side? (And they’re good!) He did, he did.

And he does.

He’s our courageous creative, our multitasking man, our Artbreak hero, our UnBeige crush of the new year, Chip Kidd. Yes, Chip, you’re a legitimate Rock Star in our hearts now.

UnBeige is counting down our biggest stories of 2007, all day, right here.

UnBeige Looks Back: The Year In Name Badges

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Now that we’ve found ourselves appropriately post-holiday jetsettled (the irony of that made-up word just kills us), we’re not terribly sure what to do with ourselves without some kind of a design event to attend. In fact, we’re not really sure where we are at the moment. Thank goodness we have these name badges for reference because we’re having a hard time remembering where in fact we went. Let’s see…

We got schooled at Schools of Thoughts.
We sipped Shiner Bock at SXSW.
We found answers at the Y Conference.
We got down with Dwell on Design.
We saw what was NEXT with AIGA.
We grooved at the National Design Awards.
We razzled Art Basel and dazzled Design Miami.
And we cried (in a good way) at Cause/Effect.

UnBeige is counting down our biggest stories of 2007, all day, right here.

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