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Archives: October 2005

So Those Are The Lollipops That All The Fuss Is About

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Last week or so we brought the news that the Cloepfil-ization of Two Columbus Circle was going ahead. The building’s lower floors have been hidden behind scaffolding for as long as we can remember but now, thanks to the industrious boyz at Curbed, we’ve got a picture of the lollipops.

Yeah. They’re definitely offensive.

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Teen People Gets Cooler, Or At Least That’s The Idea

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Before, in another life, we had stacks of People Magazine at our regular disposal. Now, in this new one, we’ve taken to buying (and reading) our own Star. But fond as we were of People, and sometimes miss it, as for Teen People, forget it. We’re not that young. Then again we might be induced to get even more in touch with our latent teenybopperism with the latest redesign of the magazine, courtesy of Us Weekly’s former Lori Majewski. The official relaunch isn’t until February, but the December/January issue will have a couple changes, according to WWD.

The new Teen People cover features fewer cover lines, no more neon and, for the first time posing together for a magazine (according to a Teen People spokeswoman), Ashlee and Jessica Simpson.

Because putting the Simpsons on a cover is just. so. out. there.

Bigger Is Better, At Least With Regard To Inanimate Objects

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Metropolis Magazine’s resident Canadian Paul Makovsky has realized that things are getting big to the point of it being just ridiculous. And written a story about it. A story with pictures of very large objects from a truck to an airplane to a church with two waterfalls, 9 football fields of carpet, and 7,200 parking spaces.

Jesus.

Campana Means Bell So It Made Sense That The Campana Brothers Made Some Bells

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Friday evening we crashed our way over to what some (the Tart, in particular) refer to (unironically) as The Best Store In The World. We, being beyond impoverished, can’t personally attest, but we do like Moss. The man, the myth, the macher. We were nominally there for the opening of the Campana di Campana (get it?) exhibition, up in the front space now. We were still a little too addled from the night before to thoroughly process everything, and were in the middle of trying to make friends with all the lovely people who showed up, including Aric Chen, Paola Antonelli, Pilar Viladas, Chee Pearlman, and a chick with the most badass brass knuckle jewelry EVER. Not to mention the doorman, who founded cuddle parties and tried to convince us of their merit. Unlikely. But we figured out that the work involved handblown glass bells and a lot of rope. A nice mix of rough and refined, with the added bonus of extreme sonic clunk-tacity with a couple of the thicker objects. Moss explains:

175 unique mouth-blown crystal bells of diverse size, composition and sound, incorporating surprising elements native both to these artists’ unexpected way of thinking as well as to their beloved Brazil, installed in Moss Gallery to create a horizontal campanile (bell tower) to be rung joyously during this holiday season.

We totally wanted to as-joyously-as-possible ring them, and were having a nice chat with Humberto Campana about the fact that we were actually supposed to play with it, but every time we got too close we could see Murray getting a little nervous. Must not have been childproofed.

The exhibition will be on view through December 18. All pieces are made available, individually, for sale.

Of course they are.

Moss Gallery, 146 Greene Street at Houston.

AT&T: New Logo, New Lease On Life

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We’re all for new beginnings and we love change. Anything permanent seems a little, well, stagnant, which is pretty much the reason we’ve avoided AT&T for the last always. That and the fact that Verizon will just not step off.

But now, things are changing. SBC Communications, which sounds so alarmingly generic that they must own everything, is buying AT&T. And Michael Bierut is watching. And cares enough to post to Design Observer on a Saturday.

And now, after 20 years of telecom chaos, SBC Communications, Inc., a decendant [sic] of Southwestern Bell, is taking over its former parent company: the child becomes the father to Ma, as it were. Their brand strategy lets them have their cake and eat it too. By retaining the AT&T name (“…an iconic name…amazing heritage…tremendous strength.” – Alan Siegel, Siegel and Gale), they signal continuity. By replacing the Bass sphere with a “fresh, new logo,” they signal vitality and change. Who’s going to argue with that?

Not us. We’d never argue with our bff.

The Wexner Is Open But They’re Still Being A Little Passive Aggressive Towards One Peter Eisenman

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A few weeks ago the Times did a big takedown of the Wexner Center‘s three-year renovation, all courtesy of architect Peter Eisenman’s more fluid sense of function, program, logic. Today, the center is kicking off a week of “we’re back” festivities. According to a semi-snappy press release that’s been making the rounds, “the events will celebrate the completion of a comprehensive $15.8 million renovation,” which seems very fine and friendly and it’s all good and (very expensive) water under the bridge until they call the building “unprecedented.” As in “unprecedently totally fucked up.” Wexner director Sherri Geldin is not keeping her aggression one iota in her pants.

Despite what one might initially imagine about the building, it is a remarkably generous and generative space in which to work.

Meow.

So, You Want To Design Like Barbara Kruger? Now You CAN!

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Back in the day, when we first started on the whirlwind rollercoaster that would be our bloggery, we thought about Barbara Kruger and the issues of replication vs copying vs homage vs sucking up to one of the greats. We hadn’t thought about it since, until we internets-ed our way over and checked what our bffs at Design Observer were looking at. And we found this, a treasure trove of salience dressed up like fun. The Barbara Kruger Graphic Standards Manual.

Genius.

Those Wacky San Franciscans And Their Propaganda

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Every so often we’re reminded that the world doesn’t stop outside the New York City limits. Something funny happens to us when we leave the city (an immediate loosening of titanium muscles, nesting fantasies) so we try and stick well within the confines. But there is a world out there, or at least another city where we know some people so it must count for something.

It turns out there is art in San Francisco. And tonight, there is Propaganda 2.0, courtesy of StartSoma. Political art from around the world. At Blue Cube, 34 Mason, 8pm-2am. “Performances, projections, mash-ups, spoken word, new media,” and DJs. Hot.

We Asked James Victore Some Questions And He Gave Good Answer

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This morning is our favorite morning. Because a few days ago we found James Victore, and today, he wrote back to us. We always love a little give and take, and his take, kids, is funny. Which is pretty up there, for us at least, with “able to draw” and “makes cool stuff.” His clients include Moet & Chandon, the New York Times, MTV, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

James talked to us about getting kicked out of the SVA (where he now teaches, suckas!), how he sees the graphic design field as pinata, and the relative behaviors of cream and poop. We quote.

UnBeige: My google-stalking shows that you’re self-taught. How did it even occur to you to get involved with graphic design? And how exactly did you teach yourself?

James Victore: I am self taught by default. I failed out of college and then after moving to NYC was asked to leave the School of Visual Arts. They were both right — I was a miserable student. But I was curious and knew what I wanted. So I started looking around and, like a five-year-old, started asking, “why?” all the time.

So basically I learned design the same way I learned to swear. I picked it up on the street.

UB: A lot of your stuff is eye-catchingly controversial, both in subject and form. (The racism and the death penalty poster comes to mind) How do you make sure you don’t veer too far into salaciousness or shock value?

JV: I don’t believe in shock value. But I do believe in the truth. My choice of imagery always stems from an attempt to find some truth within the subject matter.

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Sometimes A Little Cliche Isn’t The Worst Thing After All

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Our very first attempts at rampant philosophizing, once we got past the minor Nietzsche, often coalesced with the absolute terror that at some point there would cease to be original thought. At some point in the plausibly near future, we worried, all possible thoughts would have been thought, and then what would be left? Years later we’ve realized that many people do actually run out of thoughts and start imposing irrelevant critical frameworks onto pre-existing ideas as a last-ditch attempt to say something original, which for us finally explains the egregious error that is post-structuralism.

Jack H. Summerford, writing in AIGA Voice, went through a similar process although his seems to have thrown him for a smaller loop. A couple paragraphs on trying to find original wordplay with the word “blog” (we like “blahg”) and he launches into discussing the sometime value of typographic cliche and design standbys. Excerpt:

If it appears that, when an idea becomes obvious, and when obvious becomes a cliche, and when a cliche becomes part of an idea, is a timing thing, it is.

Dude.

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