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graphic design

Introducing Archigrams: Famous Buildings for Your Walls

archigrams

Having been refused subscriptions to the likes of Wildlife Treasury and Sweet Pickles during our formative years, we’re suckers for flash cards. Combine their didactic delights with posters and architecture and you’ve got Archigrams: minimal, informative prints of famous buildings ranging from Gerrit Rietveld‘s Schroeder House to the Gherkin (a.k.a. 30 St. Mary Axe by Norman Foster, no relation to Sweet Pickles). “The idea came to me years ago when I was an architecture student at UCLA, studying for my architecture history exams,” says Michie Cao, now a graduate student in interaction design at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She returned to the idea as part of a project for her SVA course in Entrepreneurial Design.

“As designers, we tend to be perfectionists and want to hide our ideas from the world until it’s one-hundred-percent developed and perfect. Unfortunately, that often prevents us from actually building it and getting the objective feedback we need to take the next step,” Cao explains. “The goal of this class was therefore to teach us how to use our networks, build a community base, and to learn how to test ideas out in the real world.” Her Archigrams Kickstarter campaign of last month raised $11,258, nearly four times the original goal, and production is now underway. Cao took time to tell us more about the concept, her sentimental favorite building, and how you can get in on the architectural fun.

michie caoHow would you characterize the initial response to your concept?
Mixed! My initial concept of Archigrams was essentially a set of visual flashcards for modern architecture, and the first people I showed this to were classmates, friends, and Reddit. Many people, especially designers and architecture people, told me they loved the prints. Others told me they were turned off by the idea of flashcards, because it invoked bad memories of high school. From there, I iterated and played with all the ways I could frame my concept—first, by completely eliminating the informational aspect of it and then, incrementally bringing it back. Finally, I arrived at the concept I have now, which is that they are beautiful prints, supplemented by tidbits of important information every architect knows. My Kickstarter campaign took a while to catch on in social media, but after getting featured on various blogs and websites and as [a Kickstarter] Project of the Day, it finally got the exposure it needed and took off.
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Quote of Note | Stefan Sagmeister

warhol covers

“He seemed to put a tremendous amount of energy into those covers; they are very carefully designed and beautifully produced. When he created them, he used his fame and star power. By that I mean it was unlikely that an unknown artist would have been able to persuade record companies to spend the extra money to produce art with those extreme production challenges and difficulties. Think about it. Having a zipper on an album cover? That was not an easy feat. It was expensive and it destroyed the records next to it. And the banana? With the peel, that you could actually peel. That also required extra cost and added necessary attention to production. Both covers are very interactive. The most legendary and memorable designs have always involved the viewer.”

-Stefan Sagmeister on Andy Warhol’s album covers for The Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers) and the Velvet Underground in Thank You Andy Warhol by Catherine Johnson (Glitterati)

Sneak Peek: Sagmeister & Walsh’s New Identity for Jewish Museum

jewish museum id

Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh of Sagmeister & Walsh are following up on “Six Things,” their mesmerizing, happiness-inducing 2013 exhibition at New York’s Jewish Museum, with a new graphic identity for the institution. It debuts tomorrow with a divine dominant blue and a deliberate script typeface that evokes the cadence and squared verticality of the Hebrew alphabet. Designed to evolve with the institution, the new identity system is “inspired by ancient sacred geometry fused with a sleek contemporary aesthetic,” according to the museum. The logo mark, logo typography, patterns, and illustrations were drawn on the same geometric grid from which the Star of David was formed. And stay tuned for the new website, also a Sagmeister & Walsh production. It debuts in June and will feature 3,000 collection objects (over 10% of the collection) with the goal of increasing to at least 20,000 works in the next five years.

Chicago Design Museum to Open Permanent Gallery, Archive

For the past couple of years the Chicago Design Museum has been going about its mission “to unite, inform, and inspire” in pop-up mode. The nomadic institution has exhibited the work of design stars such as Marian Bantjes, Ed Fella, and Debbie Millman, whose 2012 “Look Both Ways” show of large-scale visual essays was part of the Windy City debut (founders Tanner Woodford and Mark Dudlik piloted the concept in Phoenix). Now the museum is looking to settle down, with a permanent space that will serve as both exhibition space and archive. The new HQ debuts this summer, just in time to celebrate the AIGA centennial with an exhibition that will “reintroduce Chicagoans to the last century of design from our city,” according to Woodford, who has big plans for the future. “Beyond this summer, we intend to explore design across other disciplines—architecture, interior, product, furniture, fashion, and more.” A Kickstarter campaign is now underway to make these ambitious plans a reality. Would-be backers have until the evening of Friday, May 2 to show their support.

Wanted: Designer with Good Taste

food+wine

Are you a die-hard Top Chef fan? Do you have strong views about “flavor profiles”? Were you able to enjoy Julie & Julia without becoming distracted by the hideous costume choices for the Julie character? Then clear your plate for this job opportunity: the epicureans over at Food & Wine are looking for a new cook—and by cook, we mean editorial production assistant—to join their New York-based team. Ingredients of a successful candidate include two cups of “proficiency in InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, Bridge, and Microsoft Office,” one cup of solid editorial production experience, and two heaping tablespoons of technical curiosity, all sprinkled with an abiding faith in squash. Interested in user experience and evolving digital production processes? That’s icing on the Black Sesame Chocolate-Banana Loaf Cake.

Pack your knives and apply for this production assistant (design/editorial), Food & Wine job or view all current mediabistro.com design/art/photo jobs.

Tea Time with Geoff McFetridge

While Americans pound coffee and gobble sleeves of Milanos, those in more civilized—if less productive—nations know the restorative power of a pause that involves a fresh cup of tea. Bigelow Tea joined Los Angeles-based artist and designer Geoff McFetridge for tea time and captured the creative magic that can happen in the couple of minutes it takes to to steep a cup of tea. The contemplative short, directed by Bucky Fukumoto, is part of Bigelow’s “While You Were Steeping” series.

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv Redesigns Saul Bass’s Avery Logo

avery logo CGH 2

It’s been almost four decades since Saul Bass whipped up the jaunty Avery logo, its leaning red triangle of paperclips a beacon on many a binder, label, and even the collection of Hermès knockoff totes rolled out under the “Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery” brand. But change is afoot, and the new parent company of the office and consumer products division of Avery Dennison is looking to place a giant divider between the primarily business-to-business company Avery Dennison and the consumer products brand now known simply as Avery. Enter Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who were challenged to create a new visual identity for Avery. It had to be distinctive and modern while retaining the brand’s recognition in the marketplace and (d’oh!) work within Avery’s existing package design, which was to remain unchanged—all as the ghost of Bass peered over their shoulders and whispered strong opinions about the capital “R”. Their solution? Keep the off-kilter red square, and move it behind a redrawn Avery wordmark.

Wanted: Designer Who’ll Give Peace a Chance

peaceReady to use your design skills to resolve violent international conflict and increase peacebuilding capacity? You’re in luck, because those are among the goals of the United States Institute of Peace. The independent, quasi-federal institution is in need of a graphic designer to join its Washington, DC-based team of problem solvers. Your quasi-diplomatic mission, should you choose to accept it: establish and maintain consistent design standards, create web- and print-ready publication designs, and design high-quality products that communicate ideas effectively with branding consistency and within budget.

Click to apply for this graphic designer, United States Institute of Peace job or view all of the latest Mediabistro design jobs.

Behind the Scenes with the Google Doodlers

Youngsters who want an inside edge on this year’s Doodle 4 Google contest can see how the pros do it as Time pays a visit to Google and meets the 10 artists and three full-time engineers dedicated to whipping up the beloved doodles—just in time for the special Valentine’s Day collaboration with This American Life‘s Ira Glass.

Tel Aviv Architecture Gets Illustrated Tribute

tel_aviv

A stubborn Israeli landlord is partially to thank for a delightful new Tumblr. When that building owner refused to extend Avner Gicelter’s lease, he and his partner were forced to search for a new apartment in central Tel Aviv, which in 2003 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of more than 4,000 Bauhaus and International Style buildings. “That process awakened my dormant passion for Tel Aviv’s unique architecture, and I got more interested in the buildings than in the apartment we were looking for,” says Gicelter, a graphic designer. He decided to share his interest with the world through Tel Aviv Buildings, a site inspired in part by Jose Guizar’s Windows of New York. “I wanted to use this simple yet very honorable way of design to show my love for my hometown and its most beautiful buildings.” We asked Gicelter more about the project and some of his favorite Tel Aviv buildings.

How do you describe the architecture of Tel Aviv?
I don’t really have a professional way to describe Tel Aviv’s architecture, only a point of view as a designer—in Tel Aviv’s central area (where you can find most of my illustrated buildings) there are two major architecture styles: the eclectic style which was active during the 1920s and 30s, and the International Style which was the major architecture movement during the 1930-50s and led UNESCO to name Tel Aviv as a world heritage site for its International Style architecture. I think that the difference between these two styles creates an unique and very interesting dialogue throughout the street of the city. In my opinion this dialogue is the best way to describe Tel Aviv’s architecture.

How do you decide which buildings to illustrate?
I start by walking throughout the city’s old areas. During that I shoot photos of buildings I find interesting, whether it is their architectural style, the way the residents designed their balconies or the presence of the building in the street. After choosing and shooting the buildings, I illustrate them with the pictures as reference.
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