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Archives: June 2005

Update: Logo

Our friend Anonymous Tips wrote in and had this to say about yesterday’s Logo post:

The LOGO logo has already been changed, twice. The version you are showing is not the oldest version but it’s also not the latest. The new one has the same shape but new colors. The green is gone which makes it less eco-looking. I also think the comparison to OGO is a bit of a stretch. It’s 3 circles, what do you expect?

That’s odd–we took the logo from their official website yesterday. We checked the site again today and the same green logo is still being used, although they’ve unleashed this clock (which we thought was a parking meter):


Which colors did they use for the final logo? Has anyone seen the previous, pre-green version? Whatever happened to Martika? All serious questions we’re hoping someone will answer (okay, skip the Martika one). Please email kenny AT mediabistro DOT com if you can help.

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We ♥ This Thread …

… on I Love Music, which envisions what would happen if other evil corporations starting co-opting famous album covers for their marketing campaigns. Here are our favorite Photoshop creations (Click to enlarge):

Tricycles, Transporters, and Rectal Thermometers, Oh My!

BusinessWeek announced this week the global winners of the Industrial Design Excellence Awards, sponsored by BW and run by the Industrial Designers Society of America. There are a whopping 158 winners, and we went through every single one so you don’t have to. (Actually, we sort of glazed over after no. 129, but we’re pretty sure it was just more iPod accessories and toilets so ergonomically designed they can go anywhere. Oh darling, let’s put the toilet between the divan and the club chair!) Anyway, we were inspired to give out a couple of awards of our own. Introducing… The Beigeness. Or something like that.

· The “Why Hasn’t Someone Thought of This Earlier?” Award
This was a tie between the Self-Watering Flowerpot and the SHIFT Concept Bicycle, which will all but eliminate the humiliating (but highly comical to onlookers) wobbly stage every kid must face when learning to ride a bike. (Which we’re kind of sad about. These kids already get free music, must they get everything handed to them?)

· The Creepiest Design Award
The Alienware ALX Desktop Computer is giving us the willies, and we certainly wouldn’t want it staring up at us from under the desk

· The Ugliest Design Award
No surprises here, it’s Nike. The Nike Considered Boot. We hate this boot. Also, your fucking swoosh is backwards.

· The Best Named Design
The BenQ LCD Monitor Crazy Arm, of course!

· The Best Design to Buy Our Boss for Christmas
The K2 T1 Boot with Boa Liner

· The Best Design to Break Out This Weekend
Another tie, between PerfectDraft, a home beer-brewing system, and the equally perfect Barrel Grill (which can hold BBQ accessories and function as a fireplace!)

· The Most Over-the-Top Commentary Award
Definitely Tucker Viemeister on the NetGear Platinum II: Imagine a Finnish housewife knitting an iPod-that would give you the idea of NetGear’s Platinum II. This is technology made human. The vent details make this product feel like some kind of embroidered plastic-an intersection of craft and high technology. The cool metal band presents the technology like a digital necklace. That info-graphic band shows that it’s active in an elegant way that would fit in a lavish men’s club or a trendy spa. Easy there, Tuck.

· The Dirtiest-Sounding Commentary Award
The Stanley FatMax Handsaw: The FatMax Hacksaw is a professional-grade high-tension hacksaw with a deep cutting capacity that can be used in tight, hard-to-reach areas. It replaces the need for both a deep throat and shallow throat saw through its unique arc shape that contains a sloping front and a deep throat in the rear. The design of the FatMax also allows for fast blade changing while maintaining the proper blade tension setting. Its I-beam metal structure conveys extreme strength and durability. With the FatMax, Stanley has been able to generate greater penetration and larger market share in the hacksaw market.

· The “These Are Like, SO, 1985″ Award
The Snap Bracelet Concept. Oh wait, that’s the SLAP bracelet.

· The “Ooh, Bugaboo, you got DISSED!” Award
The ZARA 3 stage transporter (aka a high-end baby stroller)

· We Didn’t Ask for Presents, But If You Simply Must…
The iXi Bike. iXi, we would never abandon you chained to a pole!

· Our Genuinely Most Favorite Design of the Year
The iRobot Roomba Discovery Floorvac. This really is a genius invention, and it combines two of our favorite things, robots and cleanliness! How could anything beat it?

· Most Unintentionally Hilarious Accompanying Artwork
The Vigital Digital Thermometer Family – Baby Rectal.

TypeCon is Coming!


Mayor Bloomberg has declared July 18-24 to be “Type Week” in Manhattan! This is, in our opinion, quite a coup for the design community—we don’t recall ever seeing “Grammar & Spelling Week” for copy editors or “Lede & Nut Graf Week” for reporters or “Optimized Workflow Week” for the IT department.

Font freaks get the nod because of the TypeCon 2005 conference, held jointly by the Society of Typographic Aficionados and the Type Directors Club, and taking place this year at Parsons School of Design, July 20-24.

While the conference does sound dorkily cool—five days of panels, discussions, workshops, etc., on things like publication design, graffiti and tattoo lettering, blackletter typography, and calligraphy—the website advertising the conference is a bit misleading. We were very excited by the series of sepia-tinted photos that feature different fonts around New York; alas, they are simply a marketing device for Gotham as a venue and not, as we had hoped, an advertisement for a walking tour of New York’s most interesting typefaces, which is something we would totally attend.

But what’s this? There’s Mexican-themed type trivia? Dress us up in sparkles and hand us a margarita—we’re so there!

Feel free to submit your own typeface design here.


Our sunnier, more-tanned brother mentioned something about MTV’s new gay-themed cable channel Logo yesterday, so we went to the Logo website to find out what all the fuss is about (plus, we’re nosy).

The first thing we thought of when we saw Logo’s, um, logo was OGO’s, um, logo:


The second thing we thought of was: Where the hell did MTV put all the gayness? Sure, they get points for not using the rainbow flag and bonus points for not using the color pink, but the website and the new logo seem so…eco-friendly? The logo is too safe and bland, and it seems more suited for a European recycling/environmental ad campaign than a gay-themed network. Maybe they’ll have a show about 2 butch queens from Brussels who work for Greenpeace or something.

My Bad #451


Oops, oh my! I must be really out of it today, folks. Jilly-Jill-Jill just told me she did a post about the visual trends report ALL THE WAY BACK ON JUNE 8TH. Err, I was out sick that day? My Internet was broken?

It’s All Starting To Look The Same

Were we too harsh on Sprint?’s visual trends report is out and made us start thinking about how it can be really difficult to come up with an original concept and design something completely fresh. Are most designers really designing, or are they just appropriating what’s already out there? A couple of popular trends from the report:


Wicker Ball

Choo-Choo Choose A New Design Already*

nycsubway_socks.jpgWe stumbled across a collection of NYC subway maps and thought it was interesting that the MTA has produced close to 50 variations of the same subway map design since 1998. Perhaps they’re either too busy trying to get robots to drive the L train, or they’re too broke because they’re lying about their budget, but either way, we’ve been stuck with the same dreary map since 1998. Perhaps the MTA should do something about it?

They’re much more dreary when you view them all together. We’re sadists, so check them out in big and/or bigger sizes:

ooooh, that’s huge
get that fucking thing away from me!

The past few MTA designs have been pretty dull and tended to look like those subway maps tourists would actually buy in Times Square. We did like a couple of designs, especially this 1958 map and Massimo Vignelli’s elegant redesign from 1972:

Here’s Vignelli’s 1972 map compared to the current MTA map:

*Sorry, I’ve always wanted to use that Ralph Wiggum reference.

Sprint Sleeps With Both Nextel AND Deutsche Post


In the biggest corporate design orgy since, well, ever, it turns out that the new Sprint logo is actually…the bastard step-child of Deutsche Post?!?! It’s true, all too true, Brent! It never belonged to Nextel! Those long nights at the office? Just a lie to cover up the affair! And Dr. Wentworth knew all this time!!!

(Thanks to Foreign Policy designer Sarah Schumacher for going all Hiroshima and dropping this bomb on us. Good catch!)

Mr. Met Gets a Mortgage


The first rendering of the new/revised Olympic/Mets Stadium was unveiled/shown today, and it’s not horrendous, especially compared to this uninspired, toilet seat-esque nightmare. Sorry about the tiny pic, but if you look really, really, really closely, you can still see Mets pitcher Braden Looper choking.