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Design Nerd? There’s an App for That!

DESIGNerd

When’s the last time you heard Alex Trebek call out categories such as SERIFS, TWENTIETH-CENTURY LOGOTYPES, or SAGMEISTER CLASS? We bet our cache of potent potables that it’s never. Enter Kevin Finn. The Australian, who we last encountered in his capacities as editor and publisher of Open Manifesto, has created DESIGNerd 100*, a design trivia app that tests your knowledge of typography, publishing, advertising, branding, contemporary design studios, packaging, motion graphics and more. And in building out the first volumes, Finn went straight to the experts, tapping Stefan Sagmeister, Steven Heller, and Lita Talarico to contribute their personal questions (100 each).

“I’m a self-confessed design nerd, passionate about all forms of design,” says Finn. “I simply wanted to share design knowledge with other design enthusiasts, but in a fun and engaging way.” Among the well-designed twists of the app, available through the iTunes App Store (an Android version is in progress), are the bonus facts studded throughout the game. (Did you know that Jonathan Barnbrook’s Mason typeface, was originally called Manson—after the serial killer Charles Manson and in a nod to the extreme opposites the typeface was intended to express? Emigre Fonts dropped the “n” after the complaints started to pour in.) “New volumes to add to the series are underway,” promises Finn, “as are plans to launch the trivia game as a standalone app that will house all volumes in the series.”

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101 

Freelancing 101Starting August 18, learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career in our online boot camp, Freelancing 101! Over a week of webcasts series, you''ll hear from freelancing experts who will teach you the best practices for a freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. Register now! 
 

Wanted: Designer Who May Already Have Won Ten Million Dollars!

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 did want to 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.

Put the ‘Fun’ in ‘HTML Fundamentals’

Admit it. Your seven-year-old nephew could out-HTML tag you any day and you think that a Cascading Style Sheet is something with a thread count. That’s where the Mediabistro mothership comes in. They’ve asked us to tell you about the upcoming online course in HTML and CSS that kicks off just in time for you to rationalize shopping for new school supplies. Over four fun-filled sessions, web designer (and illustrator) Laura Galbraith will guide you through a variety of web page production techniques, from column-based layouts and search engine optimization to semantic markup and advanced CSS styles. And you’re bound to ace the typography sections. The online learning fun begins September 15. Preview the course syllabus and register here.

Twitter Along with UnBeige

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Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having joined the tweeting masses. Look to the UnBeige Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and our exclusive photo of Rem Koolhaas in mid-ponder—it makes for smashing smartphone wallpaper.

Learn HTML Online, Just as Nature Intended

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Admit it: Your seven-year-old nephew could out-HTML tag you any day and you think that a Cascading Style Sheet is something with a thread count. That’s where Mediabistro comes in. Our mothership has just confirmed its next online course in HTML and CSS, and it’s never too early to start planning ahead. Over four fun-filled weeks, web design design guru Laura Galbraith will guide you through a variety of web page production techniques, from column-based layouts and search engine optimization to semantic markup and advanced CSS styles. The online learning fun begins September 15, and by Halloween, you’ll have brought a pre-designed webpage to life through the magic of HTML. Preview the course syllabus and register here. Enter code SUN75 to save $75 if you register by Monday.

Twitter Along with UnBeige

twitter_sample.jpg

Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having jumped on the microblogging bandwagon. Look to the official UnBeige Twitter feed, for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and free candy (OK, we’re still working on the physics of that last one). The Mediabistro tech wizards have added to the sidebar at right a handful of our most recent word bursts, but you can sign up to follow all of our twittering here.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Infographics (But Were Afraid to Ask)

daniel zeeviReady to respond to requests of “Show me the data!” with more than a sad little bar graph? The Mediabistro mothership is now recruiting would-be data visualizers for an online course in infographics that can “engage an audience in your brand, cause, or mission.” Guided by veteran creative director Sascha Mombartz, whose resume includes stints at The New York Times and Google, students will get up to speed with online tools (we’re looking at you Many Eyes) and develop a robust spec for a data visualization. The infographical fun starts on Tuesday, July 1. Learn more here.

Björk (and Her App) Bound for MoMA: Retrospective Planned for Spring 2015

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The Museum of Modern Art has expanded from video games to apps. Pioneering this new collecting category for MoMA is Björk’s Biophilia, the 2011 app-cum-album—with interactive graphics, animations, and musical scoring—designed in 2011 in collaboration with the likes of Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of M/M Paris. We hear that the gentlemen of M/M will get the retrospective treatment at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2016, but Björk will beat them to the multidisciplinary punch: the work of the Icelandic composer, musician, and artist will be the subject of a full-scale retrospective slated to open March 7, 2015 at MoMA, the museum announced this week.

Chief curator at large Klaus Biesenbach is drawing upon more than two decades of Björkian endeavors, including her seven full-length albums, to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance. As for the installation, which will not travel beyond MoMA, expect “a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson” as well as a “newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience” conceived and realized with director Andrew Huang and Autodesk.

Kickstarter Debuts Journalism, Crafts Categories

pencil sculpture by makendoSure, Kickstarter is a swell place to raise funds for your performance art institute, innovative tape dispenser, architectural flashcards-cum-wall art, and animated film starring Paul Giamatti as a museum curator slowly losing touch with reality, but how do you go about tapping into other peoples’ pockets to realize your dream typeface inspired by the elusive giant squid or a Steven Heller fanzine or that edible (and delicious!) form of paper mâché you’ve been working on? Also Kickstarter. The crowdfunding plaform recently debuted 94 new subcategories, including typography, space exploration, and vegan food, and today unveils official homes for the fields of journalism and crafts.

“We really love the journalism projects we’ve seen already—ProPublica, CIR, Planet Money, The Texas Trib, and lots of lone innovators,” a Kickstarter rep tell us, “and we wanted to give them a proper home, and send the message that we want to see and support more of these.” As for crafts—everything from knitting and glasswork to woodworking and taxidermy—the new category is a way to shed light on smaller-scale projects. “There’s a lot to love about these crafts, from the rich traditions behind them to the imagination that comes out in each work,” notes Kickstarter’s Nitsuh Abebe. “From now on, you can see all of that artistry under one banner.”

Paul Giamatti as an Insane Museum Curator? Make It Happen!

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Picture it: A Fellini- and Buñuel-flavored tale of a museum curator grappling with dwindling visitor numbers, harsh economic realities, his crumbling sanity, and…a giant sloth! We were sold on the premise of graphic novelist Paul Hornschemeier‘s planned animated short film even before learning that the crazy curator, one Gordon Boonewell, will be voiced by Paul Giamatti. Saturday Night Live‘s dazzling Kate McKinnon has also signed on to the project, entitled Giant Sloth, which Hornschemeier is looking to fund through a freshly launched Kickstarter campaign.

“Uncompromised by the studio process, Giant Sloth combines the psychologically rich world of literary graphic novels with the all the possibilities of motion and sound that animation allows,” notes Hornschemeier. “It treats its characters not as clowns shuffling for an easy laugh, but as people. And as giant sloths. Giant sloths are people too.”
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