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Archives: February 2006

Someone Should Give These People a Medal

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We’re giddy with glee about today’s official announcement of the 2006 AIGA Medalists (especially since we’ve been keeping this a secret for a few weeks now). Please stand as we congratulate this exceptional roster of designers who have been honored with the most prestigous award in graphic design. And the winners are…

Michael Bierut, recognized for his thoughtful leadership, dedication to the profession, and inspired advocacy of the power and influence of design. (And we might add UnBeige BFF-ness.)
Pentagram, New York City

Rick Valicenti, recognized for the passion and intelligence of his influential work, his inspiration to his colleagues, and his mentorship to a generation of students.
3st, Chicago

Lorraine Wild, recognized for her work as an influential and inspiring designer, writer, historian, and teacher of design.
Green Dragon Office, Los Angeles

The Medalists will be honored at the Design Legends Gala, October 25, 2006 in New York. This award will surely prevent any of these designers from slipping into obsolescence. (Steve, you can send that $10 right back, care of Boo Ya.)

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Preparing for That Assistant’s Glory

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Here’s a good little thing that’s been making the rounds: “How to Find a Design Job While Being Young, Naive, and Full of Hope.” If you’re a youngster in school, getting ready to head out here to where people like us have somehow been able to fight our way up a few hills and stay there, you’re apt to read nothing short of ten million of these kinds of bits of advice (in any field, really). But this one is actually pretty straightforward and has some nice advice. One that hit a memory in this writer’s brain was not to round out your portfolio. We won’t reveal that he once had a reel that had a couple of good spots and short films on it which was then followed by something called “Misc. Footage” which is just as stupid as it sounds. Luckily, before too many eyes had seen it, a very wise person asked him, “What in the hell is that ‘misc. footage’ part? It’s stupid and you’re clearly just trying to fill time.” Ah, youth.

They’re Down Already, So Let’s Keeping Kicking Them

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Quickly, to stay on this topic of old, broken down things, and to return to that very sad story about magazines trying to justify their existence to advertisers, we’ve seen a couple of places the new animated web versions of that campaign. Has torn pages that fall off and end, of course, with that tag, “Magazines: Ideas that Live Beyond the Page.” Also, the main site has since launched and it’s also a bunch of fancy animation. We hate to state the obvious, but doesn’t this help to further ruin your cause by showing how much more eye-catching internet-based ads are? But hey, we see ads for radio stations all the time on television, so I guess dogs and cats can play together at times.

Thoughts on Obsolescence (that’s $10, Alissa, for using the word of the day)

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It’s as though AdAge read our post from yesterday about specialization vs. generalists, and by direct relation, big vs. small, because today’s interesting editorial by executive editor, Jonah Bloom, responding to a Creativity Magazine-sponsored talk between Alex Bogusky and Lee Clow, about the future of the big shops. Really interesting, advertising-related or otherwise, because it has everything to do with how making pretty things for money works. Here’s a bit from “Thoughts on Obsolete Business Models”:

It’s not easily measurable, yet weaving brands into culture in such a way that we no longer know where art finishes and commerce begins can occasionally yield brilliant brand results — and would differentiate an ad shop from its media, direct and interactive siblings, which are better prepared for the one-to-one, transaction-focused ad world.

Good Photos Make the Internet (and these people) Happy

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When we told you that bad photos make the internet sad, we really had no idea that later in the week, we’d have a chance for you to not only take good photos, but to take good photos of food, and to do it for a good cause.

The Ultimate Food Shoot Challenge is putting out a call for entries. All you gotta do is get one of those MREs, take a before shot, open it up and style it so it looks absolutely appetizing, and snap another shot. Then, we’re guessing, you can sit down and enjoy that government-packed meal yourself. Think this sounds impossible? May we present to you Boneless Pork Chop and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

But why, you ask? Why this delicious madness?

“The work is a metaphor for wringing beauty out of tragedy, finding rays of hope amid grim misfortune, and simply proving that we can do things better than the Bush Administration can.

We are planning to put the photographs into a 2007 calendar. Money raised would go to help in the continued aid in rebuilding the region devastated by Hurricane Katrina.”

If you want to participate, send an email to govtfood(at)yahoo.com and they’ll send you your Government Meal Packet. They also said they found plenty on eBay, if you’re picky about your food. The deadline to sign up is April 15 and the deadline for photography is June 15.

This contest supports The People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition and is sponsored by the people who brought us Make Levees, Not War. You can watch for the photos here.

Thanks to Liz Danzico for forwarding this to us.

Nice Work If You Can Get It (but really, you never will)

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Did we say we were allowed to talk about fashion stuff here at UnBeige? Let’s check the column to the right over there with all our topics. Okay, yep, there’s fashion. But even if we didn’t, yesterday’s interview in AdAge with Tom Julian, the man who has what we consider both the perfect job and the worst job ever. Reason being, the guy is a professional “trend analyst,” which is just as vapid as it sounds, albeit pretty cool. He was with Fallon for eleven years and just recently moved over to McCann Erickson as the first of his type they’ve ever hired (we’re guessing that’s because it’s difficult to tell HR, “Essentially, we want this guy to go to parties all the time, have fun, and that’s it. Also, we’d like to pay him a lot too.”). But it’s an interesting field, and you’ve got to guess that not just fashion is being influenced by people like him, as he’s one of the people letting all of this stuff seep into the culture. Anyway, good interview. Here’s a bit:

I think you have to have good eyes to understand the world of trends. It’s about looking deeper than just what someone is wearing. A lot of people say they will shop the mall. Well, most people don’t watch the bags that people carry, the food that they eat, the way they interact, the sales associates, the way they walk to work. When I shop in an environment, I will revisit each store in the morning and in the afternoon because there’s a total different pattern shift and then all of a sudden, I’ll start to see certain consumers. Again, it is voyeurism.

Equal Opportunity Blogging: WWGD?

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We didn’t mean to make it seem in that last post like we didn’t care about another certain brand of computer who just so happens to also be making a big announcement this week. So, in the spirit of fair and balanced reporting:

As of early Tuesday, Microsoft claims that the Origami, a hand-held PC device is being developed and there is even a year-old ad for it on Digital Kitchen’s website. (Can you find it?) But Microsoft now says they’re no longer making an announcement this week as planned. Maybe they couldn’t decide on the package design.

Thanks to everyone who forwards us good, on-topic laughs like this. Keep it coming.

They’re the Daddies of the Macs of the Mac Daddies

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At the intersection of designerness and nerdiness, there lies an allegiance to a certain brand of computer that often results in rather frighteningly well-designed interpretations of that brand’s products.

Pending one of those brand’s weird pep rallies/press conferences scheduled for tomorrow, Engadget announced the winners of their third “What Would Steve Jobs Do?” contest. Predictions of what Jobs will announce include the winning Apple Tablet, the iPad, and our favorite, the less-than-$100 One iPod Per Child (OiPPC), co-sponsored by Nicholas Negroponte and Bono.

Thanks to designer/nerd Keith Scharwath for the link (he thinks tomorrow’s reveal will be an new iBook or Mac Mini). These guys claim to know that it will indeed be a Mac Mini.

Me Vs. Lots of Yous

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This is an interesting discussion, and one that we’ve come up against time and time again: the specialist vs. the generalist, meaning the struggle both companies and designers are having between doing one thing really well or spreading out the knowledge to a hundred little things. Where this post surprised us was that they feel there’s more growth in specialization. Maybe that’s a regional thing, or more corporate than we’re used to, but it seems to us that they exact opposite is happening more and more. We’ve had this happen a bunch of times in broadcast work, where we’ve talked to old timers, who have said, “Yep, I’m the guy who does so-and-so. What do you do?” Then we’ve got to list the amount of weird variations in the sides of production we’ve been paid to do. Suppose it’s that shift from big agency to lots of little do-it-all boutiques. Just surprising to hear someone says that it’s exactly opposite from what you’ve supposed. What do you think? Here’s a little bit:

Recently I spoke with a partner in a large architecture/design firm. He told me that the firm was successful because everyone who worked there was a specialist in something – programmers collected data, space planners worked out layouts, some designers drafted walls and ceilings and others picked out furniture, and other specialists did nothing but contract documents. It sounded as if different teams of specialists only worked on specific segments of projects and that very few were involved in a project from start to finish.

This Entry Was Written by You!

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Geez, it’s hard to turn off the cynicism, isn’t it? That’s what we just went through as we read about Fredrik Haren’s new book, “The Idea Book.” At first we read the little selling point about it, which is that it features 150 pages of ideas for you, and 150 blank pages for you to get your own ideas onto paper. So, after reading that, of course, we were thinking of all kinds of sarcastic things to say, or make up other things to sell that don’t actually have any content (“It’s ‘You Magazine!’ The magazine you write all about you!”). But then we got into the book, looking at the sample pages they have on the site, and it does actually sound kind of cool. Basically, it’s just a book you’d use to help get your mind going and thinking creatively. So there, consider that the first and last time that this writer will ever eat his words. The usual amount of feet in mouth you’ve come to expect shall remain the same.

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