In a stroke of good fortune for design-minded gift givers with a charitable bent, Target is linking up with TOMS for a holiday collection of home goods, apparel, and accessories for women, men, and children. All items, from a scented candle and wool blanket to a denim jacket and, of course, classic slip-ons, will be under $50 each. Los Angeles-based TOMS, a past winner of the Cooper Hewitt People’s Design Award, is adapting its buy-one-give-one model for the Minneapolis mega-retailer: for each item purchased from the collection, Target is donating a blanket, meals, or shoes in partnership with TOMS and American Red Cross Disaster Relief, Canadian Red Cross Disaster Relief, Feeding America, and Food Banks Canada. Target estimates that “TOMS for Target” has the potential to provide more than 11 million meals, blankets, and shoes to those in need. The collection is set to launch on November 16 at all Target stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Target.com.
While we can’t guarantee it will make you any more likely to receive an early morning visit from the Prize Patrol (and in all likelihood employees are ineligible for company sweepstakes), we hereby alert you to the fact that Publishers Clearing House, they of the plentiful pay-by-installment magazine subscriptions and cash prize promises, is looking for a senior web designer-slash-art director to join its Port Washington, New York office. The winning candidates’ responsibilities will include planning, designing, coding, and executing mobile and web-based material, emails, and interactive experiences (many of them probably depicting giant piles of cash!). And don’t forget to ask in advance to be paid by direct desposit rather than in giant novelty checks.
Learn more about and apply for this Senior Web Designer/Art Director, Publishers Clearing House job or view all the current mediabistro.com design/art/photo jobs.
The word on the street (and by street we mean the vast array of tech blogs) is that Apple will use tomorrow’s highly anticipated media blitz for which it has commandeered Cupertino’s Flint Center to launch its iWatch and a couple of new iPhones. Also expected are mumblings about increased security amidst the iCloud breach and a cameo by Dr. Dre, who will probably be fully clothed. But we think news of novel devices, even one that marks the company’s foray into wearables, is no match for the bomb that Apple dropped on Friday, via Vanity Fair‘s VF Daily blog: Marc Newson is joining his buddy Jony Ive‘s design team. The Australian-born designer, who when we last we checked in with him was showcasing a feast of Newsonian domestic delights in an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is set to become Apple’s senior vice president of design, although he will continue to be based in the United Kingdom and work on projects outside of Apple.
IKEA is going head-to-head to Apple with its latest launch. “At only 8mm thin, and weighing in at less than 400g, it comes pre-installed with thousands of home furnishing ideas,” boasts the Swedish furniture juggernaut. And not only is no charging required, but it can be instantly shared and recycled. Also, it’s free. The user-friendly, intelligently designed device in question? The latest IKEA catalogue. Singapore’s BBH created this video—part gentle satire, part homage—to tell the world about it, through the exuberant narration of a black t-shirted Swede.
Big news in designworld this summer Friday: Herman Miller has agreed to acquire Design Within Reach for $154 million in cash. That sum, enough to buy 26,602 of DWR’s new all-black Eames lounge-and-ottoman combos, will get Herman Miller an 84% interest in the Stamford, Connecticut-based company, which operates 38 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada along with its online and print catalogue presences. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the month.
DWR CEO John Edelman and President John McPhee, who hold the remaining ownership stakes, are slated to stick around to run DWR as part of a newly formed consumer business unit of Herman Miller. DWR had revenues of approximately $218 million in 2013, while Herman Miller booked $1.8 billion in its 2013 fiscal year, during which it announced its purchase of Maharam for just a couple million more than the DWR pricetag.
“From the very beginning we decided—my co-founders and I—that we would never sell, never go public. We viewed Kickstarter as a public trust. This is a place of opportunity for anyone to make their thing happen, and it’s our job to be the stewards of it and to honor it. We were looking at growing this into a living, breathing cultural institution that’s there to represent the interests of everybody. And we think the best way to do that is to be a privately held, independently controlled organization—and that’s exactly what we are.”
-Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler in an interview with Charlie Rose for Bloomberg Businessweek.
“Ford changed the game this week when it unveiled its aluminum-intensive pickup truck, the 2015 F-150, that is as much as 700 pounds lighter than a comparable steel-bodied vehicle. To the casual observer, the anticipated 3 mpg (20%) increase gained by Ford’s high-tech ‘light-weighting’ (a term of art) may seem marginal, but I assure you it is a figure of immediate and national consequence.
[Gives example of fuel economy gain and resulting net efficiency of Toyota Prius, which averages 50 mpg, with that of low-mpg vehicles like pickups, in which the fuel-saving effect is multiplied: to nearly four times that of the Prius, in his example.] Now reckon with the Big Multiplier: 763,000. That is the number of F-series trucks Ford sold last year, a figure that on its own would make the F-series the seventh largest vehicle company in the U.S. market. By virtue of the hundreds of millions of miles rolled up by the F-series annually, you are looking at the single biggest real-world advance in fuel economy in any vehicle since the Arab oil embargo.”
-Dan Neil, in his “Rumble Seat” column in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal
From print to web to…retail. That’s the path taken by Dwell Media, which has parlayed its modern design expertise into e-commerce. The recently launched Dwell Store is stocked with products from the likes of Kartell, Flos, the Bouroullec Brothers, and Grain Design. The site will also showcase designs developed exclusively for Dwell. “Our audience constantly asks us, ‘Where can I buy that?’” says Dwell president Michela O’Connor Abrams. “I am so pleased to now say ‘at dwell.com!’” Start the new year off with a few Delfonics wooden pens from Japan ($10 each) and an Eames notebook (pictured, $20).
Watch out, Google Glass, there’s an Intel-powered bracelet on the horizon, and it will be designed in collaboration with Opening Ceremony (founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are pictured at right) and make its retail debut at Barneys New York. The in-the-works “smart bracelet” is part of a broader wearable technology initiative announced by Intel at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which runs through Friday in Las Vegas.
In addition to the product partnership, the company outlined its plan to work with the Council of Fashion Designers of America “to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate, and exchange ideas on wearable technology.” The alliance will connect the CFDA’s 400 members with hardware and software developers. “The collaborations we announced today will merge the expertise of two very distinct disciplines of technology and fashion, essential in realizing the vision of prolific adoption of wearable technology,” said Intel’s Ayse Ildeniz in a statement. “Intel’s aim is to initiate sustainable, long-term cooperation between the technology and fashion worlds beginning with today’s announcements.”
Watch your back, Richard Estes. A photo and, at right, the resulting Pixelist painting.
Make 2014 the year that your Instagram masterworks break free of their pixellated prisons and start a new life as…photorealist oil paintings! That’s the transformative promise of Pixelist. The startup offers handmade oil paintings of any image you can capture or create, with “commissions” starting at $150. How? A bunch of willing and able Chinese painters sourced by founder Will Freeman, an Emory grad now based in Hong Kong. He made time to answer a few questions about the burgeoning business.
How did you get the idea to start Pixelist?
Pixelist came from a love of all things custom and creative. We’ve spent years designing our own clothes, shoes, furniture, and art and hunting for the best craftspeople to bring them to life. So we were naturally attracted to the idea of harnessing the popularity of Instagram to revive commissioned painting.
That part really describes me and my years in China and Hong Kong. But my business partner, Conor Colwell, originally came up with the idea. Conor and I used to work together and would always bat around startup ideas on our lunch break. I took him to visit one of China’s “art villages” in Shenzhen and he was hugely impressed by the painting quality. Conor has always been into Instagram, so he thought it would be a great way to immortalize photos people already loved. I loved the idea because I was already deeply into getting things custom made.
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