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Archives: March 2007

Design Within Reach’s Spirits Are Up (Even If the Profits Aren’t Quite At the Same Place Just Yet)

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Because we find it interesting, and we keep pretending that you do too, allow us to report once again on the goings-ons at Design Within Reach. This time around, the news isn’t great, they just reported that they’re still losing money, but it’s looking like maybe their massive changes mid-last year might be turning the ship around in the other direction. Here’s from Forbes:

Design Within Reach Inc., a provider of modern design furnishings and accessories, said Thursday it expects to break even in 2007 – a prediction above Wall Street’s expectations.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are predicting a 2007 loss of 7 cents per share.

For 2006, the company put its loss at between 57 cents and 59 cents per share.

The company also said it will report sales of about $190 million in 2007, an increase of 7 percent from 2006. That year, the company’s sales were $178 million for the year.

The Awards for Those Other Olympics

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In case you’ve been too focused on 2016, like the two of us have been, you probably haven’t been counting down the days to the next Olympics. You remember. Yeah, that one, the one in 2008. However, if you were counting, you might have noticed that we just crossed the 500-days-until mark and with it came an announcement out of Beijing where they’re unveiling the new medals for the big event. We’re not exactly sure how we’re going to pull this off, but after seeing them, all filled with precious medals and inlaid on the back with jade as they are, we’ve decided that we want one or two. So how’s ’bout it Alissa? Let’s cast aside all this LA versus Chicago nonsense and get ourselves to some shot put classes. Here’s some of a whole ton of info from China Daily:

The medals are 70mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness. On their obverse side, the medals adopt the standard design prescribed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) — a drawing that represents the winged goddess of victory Nike and Panathinaikos Arena, while on their reverse side, the medals are inlaid with jade with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal centerpiece.

The Abuse Hits A Wall: Stop Cyberbullying Day

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Per all the talk about Kathy Sierra this week, Andy Carvin has decided to try to put something together as a show of support: making today, March 30th, Stop Cyberbullying Day. How does it work? Here’s from Carvin:

I decided to unilaterally declare this Friday as Stop Cyberbullying Day. What does it mean? I leave that up to you. Generally, though, I think we should all set aside some time that day to address cyberbullying. Write a blog post pointing to online resources about cyberbullying. Post a podcast about personal experiences. Create your own public service announcement about the dangers of cyberbullying and post it on YouTube. Then tag it with the phrase stopcyberbullying. If you’re uploading it somewhere that lets you type in your own tags, be sure to include it. If you’re blogging and don’t have tagging built into your blog, you can embed it with the HTML code shown here so it will be picked up by search tools like Technorati. The more people we can get blogging about it, the better, because that will catch the attention of search tools and social media websites, spreading awareness further. It will also allow us to aggregate everyone’s posts so we can see who’s participating.

What Anakin Can Teach Us About Architecture

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We adore the excellent BLDGBLOG and so does the Wall Street Journal–BLDGBLOG, Inhabitat and Archinect were three architecture sites singled out in the paper last week. But the reason we love it is because editor Geoff Manaugh stays plenty busy, not only filling the darn thing with BLDGNEWS, but by also organizing creative events, forums and seminars. Like this upcoming event on May 8 in LA, which he describes as “an evening full of talks and presentations about film, science fiction, space, landscape, and architecture”:

I have said many times before on this blog that contemporary architecture could learn quite a lot from the spatial and material imaginations on display in both film and science fiction–so perhaps this event will be a good opportunity to explore what that really means.

Read on for illustrations from the artists and designers who will be featured that night along with some nice commentary.

Nussbaum Apologizes For Poor Spelling

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Oh Nussie, Nussie, Nussie. You don’t have to apologize to us–we were just kidding.

We’re sure someone out there can help you find a spell check for your blog. But it won’t correct stuff like “Moveable” Type. For that you’ll have to use this little-known innovation.

1000 Show For BubbleBath’s Good Clean Fun

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Saliva-strewn soap never looked so good. 1000 bubble-blowers floated into Union Square Park last weekend for the first-ever BubbleBath, thanks to SVA student Anthony DeFranco. Photos by Ryan Brenizer and BubbleBath mentor James Victore.

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The Times Reports On All Things Museum-y

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Speaking of papers (and one that gets it right, says that previous link), the NY Times just put up a fantastic special section, titled simply “Museums.” It’s a whole handful of articles about, yes, museums. It’s a general picture of all across the country concerning trends, shifting focuses, and the thing we found most interesting, the gigantic boom of construction and expansion, including a fantastic interactive map highlighting what’s going down in cities across the country. Overall, some really amazing insight into the industry.

How to Correctly Bug a Design Firm for Work

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The strong minds over at Industrial Brand Creative have new essay up, “Me Go Long Time, Only $30,000,” catered specifically to the thousands of people sending them their portfolios, looking for work. It’s a great read for students, who will just be starting to venture out into this ugly real world the rest of us have to inhabit, but it’s also probably not a bad catch-up for any freelancer who hasn’t been getting as many bites of late. Here’s some:

…you’ll hear lots of rhetoric from busy people. Sometimes they take an extra moment to give more honest, personal feedback. Cherish this. Don’t expect a job from people, be happy to simply get advice, and take it (sometimes with a grain of salt). Ask if you can be back in touch sometime. From the answer you can intuit whether there might be something in the future. Then actually do it. Be good if you had something new to offer when you do.

What’s Right and Wrong Within the Business of News

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Following up on yesterday’s post linking up Bob Garfield‘s essay at Ad Age, here’s a really interesting one by way of Andy Rutledge, “10 Newspaper Myths Deconstructed,” which hopes to answer the question if newspapers have a future and if they do, what they’re currently doing wrong in jumping on board the new media express. Some of it is very biased pro-blogging rhetoric, but for the most part, it’s an interesting read. Here’s one:

Myth 5: Newspapers pages need to burst with stuff
Fact 5: Readers want nicely presented information

Print and online are somewhat different in terms of what can and should be done, but for serious companies the quality standards should be the same. Newspapers allow the biggest information design horrors online, stuff they’d never allow in a printed edition. Treat your online design as you treat your printed edition, in terms of branding, information design and advertisement.

Heller Goes Underground with Kim Deitch

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A great interview by Steven Heller over at AIGA with Kim Deitch, noted illustrator and author of “underground comix,” whose peers fall in lists that would include people like Crumb and Spiegelman. If you’re familiar with his work, you’ll really appreciate Heller going into all the details of his specific stories and his past. If you aren’t, then consider this an excellent primer. Here’s a little for a quick taste:

The big miracle in my life is that I managed to turn all that around. I believe that the essence of what I have going for me isn’t that I’m some kind of a genius. Believe me, I’ve been around that and I know it when I see it. When I do see it, I study it and try to learn something. Over time I have managed to learn enough to purge bad habits and develop better ones… I think I am actually living closer to my actual potential than a lot of people do.

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