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Archives: September 2012

Gap Names New Creative Director, Head of Design

Big news at Gap Inc., which has tapped Rebekka Bay (pictured) as creative director and executive vice president for Gap global design. Beginning October 1, she will be responsible for product sold online and in the nearly 1,600 stores in 42 countries in which Gap operates. No pressure. News of the appointment comes more than a year after Patrick Robinson was sent packing.

Bay knows fast fashion. She conceptualized, developed, and launched COS, the “timeless modern tactile functional” brand of H&M parent Hennes & Mauritz. Since 2011, Bay has served as creative director at Copenhagen-based Bruuns Bazaar, overseeing the design of “contemporary, edited, and precise” women’s and men’s apparel. “Over the past 17 years, a passion for design and a deep understanding of what consumers want have driven Rebekka Bay’s thriving career,” said Art Peck, president of Gap’s North American division (and Bay’s new boss, along with Gap International President Stephen Sunnucks), in a statement announcing the appointment. “Her designs are timeless and covetable.” Bay will be based in New York, managing design teams there and at the 1969 office in Los Angeles, and will work closely with Pam Wallack, who leads the Gap Global Creative Center.
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What Does Color Sound Like? Listen Up with Neil Harbisson

You and your Pantone fandecks have got this color thing all figured out, at least from a visual perspective. But what does color sound like? Before you seek answers through illegal substances and/or the synesthesic genius-musings of Vladimir Nabokov, spend a few minutes with Neil Harbisson. The self-described “cyborgist and colorlogist,” who’s trundling off to Trondheim, Norway next week for the Meta.Morf Biennale, was born totally colorblind. He took the stage at this year’s TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh to explain how he has found color in a grayscale world.

Pantone Goes Nude with New ‘SkinTone Guide’

We’ve come a long way from that “Flesh” Crayola crayon (the Civil Rights Act nudged the company to rename it “Peach” in 1962). This week, our color-obsessed friends at Pantone debut their SkinTone Guide (pictured), which promises to “match and reproduce lifelike skin tones in a variety of industries.” A boon for those toiling in the color-correction trenches, the 110-hue fandeck and accompanying software is based on more than 1,000 human skin measurements—taken by Pantone pros with non-invasive gadgets such as spectrophotometers and spectro-colorimeters—that represent a broad range of ethnicities and age groups. “The semi-translucent nature of skin makes measuring and reproducing skin tones in print and manufacturing an extremely challenging process,” explained Pantone’s Giovanni Marra in a statement issued yesterday. “By starting with actual skin tones and working back to define a SkinTone color space, we were able to catalog the most realistic and reproducible skin tones.”

Early Bird Rates for Mediabistro’s Social Media Marketing Boot Camp End Tomorrow

On October 18, Mediabistro brings you Social Media Marketing Boot Camp, an interactive online event and workshop. The event includes keynote speakers, how-to sessions, and strategic assignments to provide dynamic training on social media. By the end of eight weeks, you will create an integrated strategic plan, using various social media platforms, to build an engaged audience and convert traffic into sales.

Early bird rates are available today. Save $100 when you sign up before they end tomorrow, September 20.

Our speakers include:

Michael Bepko, Global Online Community Manager, Whole Foods Brian Carter, Author, LinkedIn For Business
Keidra Chaney, Digital Content Strategist, The Web Farm Lauren Cucinotta, Branding + Editorial Manager, TEDx
Jennifer Dubrow, Global Social Business Transformation Leader, Inside Sales, IBM Frank Eliason, Senior Vice President of Social Media, Citibank
Jim Hopkinson, Digital Marketing Strategist + Blogger, The Hopkinson Report Barbara Pantuso, Director of Product Strategy, Huge
Dr. Jay Parkinson, Pediatrician and Social Entreprenuer Andrew Patterson, Director of New Media, MLB Advanced Media
Dave Pickett, Social Media Editor, University of Chicago Amy Porterfield, Author, Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies
Brian Ries, Senior Editor, Social Media, Newsweek & The Daily Beast Jennifer Rubio, Social Media Marketing Manager, Warby Parker
Steven Tristan Young, Director, Acquisition Marketing and Brand Awareness,

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In Brief: Yahoo Tweaks Logo, Green Building Week, Louise Gray Toys with Barbie

• Yahoo! is making subtle adjustments to its logo. It’s out with the registered trademark symbol, suggests a recent Instagram post by CEO Marissa Meyer. “One of our new Yahoo!s Andrew was really bugged by the registered trademark symbol at the end of our logo; he’s gone on a mission removing all the R’s from our site and our campus,” she wrote alongside this photo of an ousted purple ®. “This is one on the random R’s we pulled off a wall :)

• It’s Green Building Week. Do you know where your compost-fed roof garden is? The World Green Building Council has united 90 nations representing more than 20,000 organizations for all sorts of conferences, tours, educational events, and gatherings around this year’s theme: “Green Buildings for Great Communities.” Learn more and find events near you here.

• Who knew that Louise Gray was a Barbie girl? On Monday, the British fashion designer and textile whiz unveiled a spring 2013 collection that “celebrates the modern woman,” including Barbie. This film by Alexandros Pissourios shows Gray’s fresh take on the 59-year-old doll. Synergy alert: Her punky pieces will hit stores just in time for next year’s “Chaos to Couture” Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Design Jobs: Time Out New York, The Washington Post, Palm Springs Life

This week, Time Out New York is hiring an associate art director, while The Washington Post needs a news photo editor. Palm Springs Life is seeking an art director, and Charlotte Magazine is on the hunt for an associate art director. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great design jobs on the UnBeige job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented UnBeige pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Font Drama! Voters Squint, Typographers Wince at Poorly Designed Ballots

Election season is in full swing. The good news: only 48 more days of retina-searing signage (note to candidates: running for school board is no excuse to use Comic Sans). The bad news: once you get to the voting booth, there may be fresh design hell to endure. Earlier this year, a poor font choice—Calibri, 14-point—on a petition sparked a ballot brouhaha in Michigan. Justices on the state’s Supreme Court ended up discussing matters typographical in arguments that lasted for nearly two hours. “It strikes me that there’s a lot of uncertainty here,” said Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. of L’Affaire Calibri.

Even a design capital like New York City is not immune. Ballots used in last week’s primary election set the candidates’ names in wee 7-point type, prompting a flood of complaints, according to a report in today’s New York Times. “Particularly galling to some voters was that the tiny names often appeared beside a vast, unused white space on the ballot, raising questions as to why the designers simply did not enlarge the fonts,” noted writer Michael Grynbaum, who had the good sense to solicit an expert opinion (and later to deploy a pastry-based analogy):

“Wow, that’s tiny!” said James Montalbano, the founder of Terminal Design in Brooklyn, upon seeing a sample ballot. “Those names could be 40 percent larger and still fit.”

Mr. Montalbano knows legibility. He is a co-designer of Clearview, a font now recommended by the federal government for use on highway and street signs around the country.

“These names should be much bigger,” said Mr. Montalbano, who seemed somewhat aghast, a cake master considering a Pop-Tart. “The position they are running for is bigger than their names. Whoever designed this, it just seems like it’s a mess.”

“This was not designed by a typographer, believe me,” he added.

UnBeige, Now in Handy Pocket Size!

cell phone rainbow.jpgSure, UnBeige is published online, but we actually compose all of our posts on a candy apple red Olivetti typewriter before turning them over to Eero, our technology-savvy web monkey, who beams them into cyberspace (he also handles all of our links). Now Eero tells us that UnBeige and the rest of the Mediabistro blog family have joined the future with mobile-optimized sites that are easily browsable on your smartphone. Should you routinely carry one of these gizmos on your person, you need only type into the browser to be redirected to our mobile-friendly page. Problems reading UnBeige on the go? Drop us an e-mail.

Annie Leibovitz to Receive $50,000 Wexner Prize

A 2011 self-portrait by Annie Leibovitz and the Wexner Prize sculpture by Jim Dine.

There’s no mistaking the golden corpse that is Oscar or the atom-thrusting, lightning-winged Emmy gal, but we’ll gladly trade you both for a Jim Dine hammer, gnarled and gleaming. Such is the distinctive statuette that accompanies the Wexner Prize, awarded every so often (beginning in 1992) by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio to “living artists working in any medium or discipline whose achievements reflect bold originality, innovation, and creative excellence.” The fourteenth recipient is photographer Annie Leibovitz, whose work is the subject of a major exhibition opening September 22 at the Center, which has already readied a Twitter hashtag for the occasion: #wexannie. Leibovitz joins an esteemed group of past winners that includes Merce Cunningham and John Cage, Gerhard Richter, Issey Miyake, and Spike Lee. Aside from that smashing hammer—tools for both building and breaking apart, Dine, an Ohio native, saw them as symbols for the creative force that drives artists—she’ll receive a check for $50,000 (no snide comments, please).

“Working with Annie over the last fifteen months to produce her exhibition at the Wex, her ‘candidacy’ quite naturally emerged with all the clarity and authority of one of her photographs,” said Wexner Center director Sherri Geldin in a statement issued this afternoon. “The more than 200 Leibovitz photographs on view at the Wexner Center this fall attest to her stunning achievement across more than 40 years of relentless photographic pursuit. That these works continue to so profoundly move us decades after they were shot is but one measure of her mastery.” Leibovitz will be presented with the prize at a ceremony on November 10 at the Center. She’ll also discuss her work in a public talk that weekend.
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Georges Seurat Masterpiece Comes to Life, Bursts into Song at Art Institute of Chicago

(Photo: Michael Litchfield)

Who says Pointillism is dead? Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884” (1884–86) came to life yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago, where figures from the well-known painting appeared at the top of the Grand Staircase leading to the Impressionist Galleries. Standing in front of a full-sized replica of the beloved canvas that had been stripped of many foreground characters (thanks to the digital manipulations of Michael Lande), the costumed ensemble broke into song: “Sunday,” from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George. The painterly flash mob—alas, sans monkey—was out to promote Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s upcoming production of the the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, which opens September 26 under the direction of Gary Griffin, and features Jason Danieley as George and Carmen Cusack as Dot/Marie.