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Archives: September 2006

Black and Red and Zeldman’s All Over It

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It’s one legend on another legend. Magazine Master Roger Black, who we’ll be having Cheerios with on October 20, launched his new blog and Web Master Jeffrey Zeldman gives it the once over:

Black’s back! Black blogs! Site design by Rob Hunter. Love the “simplify” button. Red-and-black visual joke works, but shade of red needs fine-tuning. Having to employ drop-shadows on every character of body text (only Safari supports this) should be clue, if one were needed, that the background color doesn’t work.

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OH YEAH! Kool-Aid Man, the Colonel Take Ad Week

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We couldn’t have predicted it better ourselves, but Kool-Aid Man, along with Colonel Sanders, will be inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame:

The Kool-Aid Man, 36-years after his introduction, was named the 2006 Advertising Icon together with KFC’s Colonel Sanders in an on-line poll conducted by Advertising Week throughout the month of September. Kool-Aid Man celebrated with a walk down the Madison Avenue Hall of Fame this afternoon at 3 p.m.

You hear that? Grab a 12-piece bucket of Extra Crispy and stir up a pitcher of Tropical Punch. It’s time to celebrate. OH YEAH!

And From the Ashes, a Shady Architect Is Born

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Covering a topic that no other magazine in history has ever dared to cover before, new publication Architect has announced its official launch.

Now here’s the bad news:

1) Architect’s publishing company Hanley Wood recently acquired two magazines, Architectural Lighting and Architecture, folding Architecture. Word on the street is that everyone but the lighting staff were booted and there were no severance packages given to Architecture’s employees

2) Abbott Miller designed the new mag, we’re sure will be beautiful (and will not look like the mock cover above which was created a year ago), but do we seem to remember something posted by William Drenttel in the comments of a Design Observer article about Architect:

Ned Cramer has been named to be the editor of a new magazine, Architect, to be published out of Washington DC by Hanley Wood. They have contacted a short-list of Jop van Bennekom, Green Dragon Office (Lorraine Wild), Bruce Mau Design, Pentagram (Abbott Miller), Lucille Tenazas, Thirst (Rick Valicenti) and Winterhouse (Jessica Helfand + William Drenttel). After portfolio reviews with Hadley Wood management, they have proposed a round of free designs.

Spec work and no severance! That’s a great way to start a magazine.

Update: Abbott Miller writes to tell us there was no spec thing–he indeed got paid:

That whole story was odd to me because I was never asked to do anything on spec. Ned Cramer asked me to come to present my work at a meeting. Once the story broke on Design Observer I called Ned to say that if being considered meant doing any spec work at all, I shouldn’t bother to come meet. He assured me that they were not expecting anything like that. Right now we are working to bring the first issue together.

Whew. Now we just have to start that pledge drive for the former staff of Architecture.

Winterhouse Design Writing Awards Announced

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As writers about design, we proudly present the first two winners in what we’re pretty sure is the only design writing competition in existence, the Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing & Criticism:

Thomas de Monchaux will receive the Writing Award for his three submissions: “Constructing the Melnikov House,” “Solving for X: Dek: Calculating Idealism Among Young Architects” and “Here Come The Jets!: Notes on a Stadium.”

Katherine Feo will receive the Education Award for her submission: “In Defense of Stupidity” (we’d like to read all the winning entries but this one sounds right up our alley).

Both will be properly celebrated at the Design Legends Gala on October 25 in New York. More about the esteemed winners:

De Monchaux is a writer and designer. He has written for Architectural Record, I.D. Magazine, and The New York Times, along with journals such as 32BNY and N+1. He majored in art history and history at Brown University, and later studied architecture at Princeton. He lives and works in New York City and is currently assisting Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano of the firm LOT-EK at Columbia University’s “Housing Architecture Studio.”

Feo has just completed her M.A. in design history at the Royal College of Art in London. She received her B.A. in painting and social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. Currently, she is working as a research assistant at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and is a visiting lecturer in the department of illustration at the University of Westminster.

The Oldest, Stickiest Brand in the Whole of Britainia

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This writer is off with his lovely girlfriend now to take in a much needed weekend in a quant little town bordering the Mississippi, but before we hit the road, we thought we’d leave you with this little bit of fun for a Friday afternoon. It was announced yesterday by the Guinness World Records people that Britain has found its oldest brand: Lyle’s Golden Syrup. At over one hundred and twenty-years old, and still looking like it’s using the same labeling, the brand proves that ambiguity sometimes pays off in the long run. Because, really, who remembers their chief competitor in 1885 “Tom’s Sugar Syrup That Is Yellow In Color and Can Be Used As a Topping For a Variety of Food Stuffs”?

The famous green and gold tin of Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup has officially been recognized as Britain’s oldest brand. Almost unchanged since 1885, it was entered into the Guinness World Records book yesterday. Research shows that it is recognized by 86% of shoppers. Scottish businessman Abram Lyle first realized that the syrup, a by-product of sugar, could be sold on its own as a treacly spread. There are now many products available including coffee syrup and ice cream topping. Lyle, who formed a sugar refinery in 1865, merged with the company founded by Henry Tate in 1859 to form Tate & Lyle in 1921.

RISD Rolls Out the Red Carpet (because the place just had unfinished hardwood before)

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The big-big school in the little-little state, The Rhode Island School of Design and Michigan, respectively (man, we hope that joke lands), is planning a big to-do on October 7th to celebrate the opening of their amazing new Fleet Library. It’s super impressive structure and a very innovative layout. We really wish we could make it to the opening, but we’ll have to settle for living vicariously through you. Here’s some:

On October 7th, Rhode Island School of Design will dedicate its new Fleet Library. The new facility transforms the first two floors of a historic Beaux-Arts bank building into a contemporary and versatile visual arts and design library that meets the many needs of the creative student body through innovative, sustainable design, and the top nine floors into live/work spaces for over 500 students. The entire project was designed by RISD alumnus, Nader Tehrani, principle of Boston-based architecture firm office dA and the opening dedication will feature a new projection, For RISD, from acclaimed artist-alumna Jenny Holzer.

Stella McCartney Stellar McCard-y

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We’ve had fun with this before, both here and in our own little personal lives, so let’s have at it and go another round. Do you like seemingly pointless promos that involve celebrities? Do you like it when you then get to read the PR muck wherein said celebrity says how excited they are to be involved or some other form dribble? And would you like it, because you’re here at UnBeige, for it to have something, however vaguely, to do with design? If so, then you’ll appreciate this short story that popped up on our radar today:

Designer Stella McCartney has just turned her talents to a bank card. She developed a swirling blue pattern for Coutts & Co. Her aim was to combine the “intricacies” of a banknote with aspects of the British countryside, said the bank. Stella McCartney said: “It was refreshing to be asked to design something I’d never done before.”

“It’s about time you get to spend your hard-earned money with an account card that looks good.” It will be offered to new and existing customers of Coutts, the international private banking arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

You Might Not Recognize Him at First, But You Probably See Seetharaman Narayanan Every Day

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For some of us mired in various computer-related drama over the last three days, there’s nothing more comforting than turning on our iBook and seeing all our folders back in place, without spinny-rainbow-wheels getting in our way. And then it was especially nice to see this interview with Seetharaman Narayanan, engineer at Adobe, with one of the longest and oddest names you’ve most certainly noticed every time you launch Photoshop. A little scary is the Seetharaman Narayanan Fan Club on Flickr where Seetha lovers encourage you to offer up photos that “you feel would make Seetharaman proud.”

Thanks to Spencer Cross.

Follow the Bearded Man Into Space…In Comfort and Style!

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Space.com, which we read every morning to make sure that there aren’t any planet-killing asteroids headed our way, has just released a really interesting story somewhat about the interior design of Richard Branson’s SpaceShipTwo, the first of Virgin Galatic’s mighty fleet, a sample of which is up now at NextFest in New York. We’ve got to say, it looks pretty nifty, especially with the abundance of black lights used. We know, personally, looking at anything we had on that’s white and glowing because of them would take our minds of hurdling into the cosmos at a billion miles per hour (“Look at my shoelaces! That’s so awesome!”).

Future passengers aboard Virgin Galactic spaceliners can look forward to cushioned reclining seats and lots of windows during suborbital flights aboard SpaceShipTwo, a concept interior of which was unveiled by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson Thursday.

“It won’t be much different than this,” Branson told reporters here at Wired Magazine’s NextFest forum. “It’s strange to think that in 12 months we’ll be unveiling the actual plane, and then test flights will commence right after that.”

How To Get Yourself Short-Listed

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We just got the top secret heads up about the very cool newsletter Very Short List–which seems to be a full 20 days after Gawker’s top secret heads up. They must be on the So-Very-Short It’s-Not-A-List List.

This daily digest, which they’re calling the “Daily Candy for the Creative Class,” is what you need to know about entertainment, media and culture, hand-delivered to your inbox by Simon Dumenco and Kurt Andersen. Today’s Pick, for example, covers David Bowie’s recent turn on “Extras.” It’s a good bet so you have at least one semi-unique thing to bring up in conversation each day until everyone else ends up subscribing to this and someone blows your cover (sorry if we just ruined your schtick). We also very much like the little pie charts and Venn diagrams that accompany each story.

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