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Archives: November 2013

Swiss Spritz! Helvetica the Perfume ‘Smells Like Nothing’

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Now that the literal feasting of Thanksgiving is over, the retail gluttony can begin. We have a feeling that you’re eschewing “doorbuster deals” in favor of web-surfing your way to elegant gifts (that don’t require resorting to fisticuffs or even leaving your home), but what do you get for the design-minded person who has everything? The answer, of course, is nothing—in the form of Helvetica the Perfume.

Technically, it is two ounces of distilled water, but to the typographically savvy, it is the olfactory equivalent of Max Miedlinger and Eduard Hoffmann‘s sans-serif marvel: pure, modern, neutral, and profoundly Swiss. Decanted into a glass bottle labeled in 24-karat gold Helevtica Bold and tucked into a letterpressed box, the limited-edition fragrance is yours for $62 from Guts & Glory.
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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Quote of Note | Ian Buruma

(Balthus)“To be sure, the marvelous paintings by Balthus of the twelve-year-old Thérèse [Blanchard], dreamily gazing at the viewer with her white panties showing (Thérèse with Cat, 1937), or the painting reproduced in the catalog of the nude Laurence Bataille (daughter of Georges Bataille) stretched back, cat-like, in a chair, while a sinister-looking person draws the curtains to throw light on her naked form (The Room, 1952–1954), are unsettling, but not because of anything pornographic….What is disturbing about Balthus’s pictures of girls is not just the age of his models, but the atmosphere, which is creepy, full of dread and latent violence, and yet extraordinarily beautiful. Girls are trapped in angular, often torturous poses in tight gloomy spaces. There is something in Balthus’s art of those claustrophobic Victorian novels about children locked up in dark attics.”

-Ian Buruma, writing in The New York Review of Books about “Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations,” on view through January 12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pictured: Balthus. Thérèse Dreaming (1938)

Talkin’ Turkey with Norman Rockwell and Chef Tony Mantuano

Deborah Solomon‘s new book, American Mirror (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), reveals that Norman Rockwell wrestled with severe depression and was consumed by a sense of inadequacy, but today let’s focus on the turkey—specifically, the plump bird in Rockwell’s Freedom from Want. An image of the oil painting, part of a series illustrating President Franklin Roosevelt’s four freedoms, appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. The work is on view through January 27 at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of “Art and Appetite,” an exhibition that explores the tasty tradition of food and drink in American art. The museum cooked up this video with chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia that begins with Rockwell and ends with helpful tips on dressing your Thanksgiving turkey.

Design-Apart Debuts ‘Living Showroom’ in NYC

A new showroom aims to dispel the myth that bespoke design is difficult to produce, tricky to access, and crazy expensive. We sent writer Nancy Lazarus to experience “artisanal products in a real-life setting.”

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Diego Paccagnella2Custom design comes to life in a new take on the traditional showroom. Design-Apart, known for delivering bespoke Italian design through its online marketplace and design services, recently launched its first “living showroom”—a real apartment where people live, cook, clean, and work—in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.

“I thought we could do more to present Italian designs than traditional showrooms do. There are so many showrooms out there, but they’re just aesthetic,” explained Design-Apart founder Diego Paccagnella (pictured) at a recent press preview. “Here we live and interact with design, giving people a deeper experience of living in a place designed by Italian artisans.” He and his family are living there for a year.

Paccagnella and Stefano Micelli traveled around Italy to source designers. “We selected companies not by their size or by how famous they are, but more for their flexibility in producing customized projects for clients,” said Paccagnella. “The objects here are built by artisans and they consider the people who live here,” Micelli added.
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Rineke Dijkstra, Laurie Simmons, Hong Hao Among Photographers Shortlisted for Prix Pictet

(Hong Hao)
Hong Hao, “My Things No. 1″ (2001-2002)

Back for its fifth go-round, the Prix Pictet has announced the eleven photographers shortlisted for the purse of 100,000 Swiss francs (approximately $110,000, at current exchange). The entry-by-nomination international photography competition sponsored by Swiss bank Pictet & Cie seeks to promote sustainability, and this year’s theme is consumption. Selected for the shortlist by a jury that includes previous winner Luc Delahaye, architect Wang Shu, curator Elisabeth Sussman, and Martin Roth, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, are: Adam Bartos, Motoyuki Daifu, Rineke Dijkstra, Hong Hao, Mishka Henner, Juan Fernando Herrán, Boris Mikhailov, Abraham Oghobase, Michael Schmidt, Allan Sekula (who passed away in August at the age of 62), and Laurie Simmons.
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Design Jobs: Amazon, Daily Mail Online, ThinkGeek

This week, Amazon is hiring a stylist, while Daily Mail Online needs a photo editor. ThinkGeek is seeking a graphic artist, and Brilliant Earth is on the hunt for a digital designer. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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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.

It’s Here: Your 2014 Typography Calendar

2014typographycalendarOnly 60 calendar shopping days ’til 2014! Keeping track of time takes on a typographical twist with the 365 Typography Calendar, which sets each month in a different typeface. The calendar is the brainchild of Pentagram veteran Kit Hinrichs, who produces it through his San Francisco-based design office. “So many people, designers included, have no idea who designed the beautifully crafted typefaces that are very much a part of our everyday life,” he says. “I wanted to enable people to become more aware of type as a designed object.” The dozen typefaces celebrated in the 2014 edition were nominated by members of the illustrious Alliance Graphique Internationale, and in addition to holidays, the calendar notes the birthdays of the type designers along with their brief biographies or explanations of what inspired the design.

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Quote of Note | Ellen von Unwerth

(Ellen von Unwerth)
Ellen von Unwerth’s “Kissing Booth” (2002)

“Shooting film is a little bit more exciting. It’s more precious, and it’s more technical. You take it out and even the assistant is proud. Everything seems to be more electric. With digital you shoot and shoot, and it doesn’t cost anything. The moment is not as precious.”

-Ellen von Unwerth in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. An exhibition of her photographs, “Made in America,” is on view through January 4 at L.A.’s Fahey/Klein Gallery.

Karim Rashid Sings!

change the worldLook no further for your Thanksgiving dinner soundtrack, design fans, because Karim Rashid has cut an album. The globe-trotting bundle of hot-pink charisma has added electro-pop music composer to his resume with “Change the World,” released this week on iTunes. The EP, which includes three songs in eight mixtastic variations, features the vocal stylings of Rashid transmogrified through Auto-Tune and set against pulsating dance beats.

The lead track, “Nutopia,” a musing on love and design (“I fell in love one too many times / I designed one too many things”), sounds like a brooding robot’s cover of Tom Tom Club, which is to say we’ve had it playing on a loop since Tuesday. Many of the lyrics—heavy on dreams for a fluid, biomorphic world—recall Rashid’s 2001 manifesto, “I Want to Change the World,” while “Love Kolor” is a more playful pop arrangement about his chromatic obsession (rage on beige!) in a gray, gray world. Think pink!

Seven Questions for Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott

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Lippincott worked to unify the brands of merged airlines Avianca and TACA. The three-year project culminated in the recent unveiling of a bold new visual identity.

rick wiseWith a client list that includes 3M, Delta Air Lines, Hyatt, Samsung, Starbucks, and Walmart, Lippincott has spent the last seven decades combining strategy and creativity. (The recent brand face-lifts of Stanley and eBay? All Lippincott.) At the helm of the firm, which is part of Marsh & McLennan-owned Oliver Wyman, is Rick Wise, who oversees innovation in Lippincott’s design and strategy practices while also advising clients on their branding issues. The Wharton alum made time to chat with us about some recent Lippincott projects as well as his branding pet peeve, what’s on his desk, and why the Taj Mahal never gets old.

Lippincott turns 70 this year. How are you celebrating?
It’s a big year for us. We’re celebrating by both looking back on how the industry has evolved, honoring the moments Lippincott has influenced and the iconic brands we built, as well as looking ahead to what the next 70 years will bring. For instance, in May of this year, we designed “Pencil to Pixel” in collaboration with Monotype—an exhibit documenting the past, present and future of typography. As part of this, Lippincott developed an exhibit of its own—curating artifacts and designs throughout our history. As part of that we also moderated a roundtable discussion on the future role of design and brand expression with executives from Coach, Warby Parker, Virgin America, Chipotle, and eBay.

Tell us about a recent Lippincott project that you are particularly proud of and why?
We are very proud of the work we did for Avianca, the Latin American airline formed by the merger of Avianca and TACA airlines. We worked hand in hand with Avianca for three years to create a new unified brand, developing the new logo, aircraft livery, plane interior, visual system and frequent flyer program. It’s a really beautiful system for an airline that aspires to be the regional leader. But what we’re most proud is our work helping build a unified brand from the inside out—making sure the cultures were aligned, the employees were energized, and most importantly the customer experience could live up to the promise of a unified pan-Latin American airline.

As a specialist in brand strategy, what brand (aside from your current or past clients) would you single out as an emerging brand to watch?
I’m a huge music fan, and it’s been really interesting to watch the growth of Beats by Dr. Dre. It’s pretty amazing to see the brand they have created in just a few years, focusing on the overall music experience. They have taken a page out of Apple’s playbook by focusing on innovation delivered in great packaging and design, and took a product many thought might be obsolete and made it relevant again.
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