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Now Read This: Louise Fili’s Grafica della Strada

grafica della strada

fili book sideLouise Fili has done it again. The designer of all things bello, including stunning packaging and branding for the likes of Jean-Georges, Tiffany & Co., and Sarabeth’s, turns her Italophilic eye to signage in the pages of Grafica della Strada: The Signs of Italy, new from Princeton Architectural Press. The chunky yet compact book is a photographic diary of sorts, revealing the most inventive restaurant, hotel, street, and advertising signs spotted by Fili over three decades’ worth of Italian travels. “These signs chart the highs and lows of Italian typography, from a classically elegant gold leaf script for a Turin jewelry store to a very spirited (and unreadable) type rendered in orange and blue dimensional plastic letters for a shop selling doormats in Rome,” notes Fili by way of introduzione. “From the sublime to the ridiculous, each and every one, in its unique way, is dear to me.”

Learn HTML Online, Just as Nature Intended

html yo

Admit it: Your seven-year-old nephew could out-HTML tag you any day and you think that a Cascading Style Sheet is something with a thread count. That’s where Mediabistro comes in. Our mothership has just confirmed its next online course in HTML and CSS, and it’s never too early to start planning ahead. Over two fun-filled sessions, web design design guru Laura Galbraith will guide you through a variety of web page production techniques, from column-based layouts and search engine optimization to semantic markup and advanced CSS styles. The online learning fun begins November 24, and soon you’ll have brought a pre-designed webpage to life through the magic of HTML. Preview the course syllabus and register here.

Ayse Birsel Explains It All

birsel

Intriguing future book alert! According to the readerly repast that is Publishers Lunch, designer Ayse Birsel has inked a deal for Design the Life You Love, “a playful, creative, interactive book that teaches readers how to use Birsel’s own design process to think like a designer, and design the life they love.” The co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an expert at deconstruction at reconstruction, will publish the volume with Ten Speed Press.
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Quote of Note | Edward Mendelson

applescript“AppleScript was invented during the Great Schism of 1985-96, when Steve Jobs was banished from Apple and building a rival computer system called NeXT. When Jobs reclaimed infallible authority in Cupertino, he killed off most of the projects begun in his absence, but he had the good sense to preserve and encourage AppleScript, perhaps because it recalled his own countercultural beginnings. Unlike the dignified messages typically displayed by Apple’s software, one of AppleScript’s error messages reads: ‘Way too long, dude.’ Today, in the advertising photos on Apple’s web site almost all of the faces belong to beautiful, generic teenagers ecstatically networking with their posses. In contrast, the only face visible on the web page describing a recent AppleScript offshoot, Automator, belongs to the gray-bearded, broad-cheeked, and admirable manager of both Automator and AppleScript, Sal Soghoian, looking pleased to be his middle-aged, jazz-playing self.”

-Edward Mendelson in “Faith and Works at Apple” on The New York Review of Books blog

Superior Interiors: NYSID Showcases 90 Years of McMillen

McMillen Inc. turns ninety this year, and the New York School of Interior Design is celebrating the august firm with an exhibition that explores its legacy of superior interiors. Writer Nancy Lazarus got a behind-the-scenes look at the country’s oldest continuously operating interior design firm during a recent visit to NYSID.

30's Cosmopolitan ClubThe white gloves worn in the 1920s, when McMillen was founded, are long gone, but the renowned interior design firm carries on many of the traditions that have accounted for its longevity, said Ann Pyne. As McMillen’s co-president and daughter of the founder, Eleanor Stockstrom McMillen Brown, Pyne shared her inside perspective at a recent NYSID panel discussion. The event coincides with a 90-year retrospective exhibit, on view until December 5.

“Walking into the McMillen office gives you the feeling that you’ve arrived at a company that knows its business,” said Tom Buckley, principal and founder of Brown Buckley, and a former head of McMillen’s design department. “Mrs. Brown had a very progressive mind and was a forward-moving businesswoman.”

As Pyne sees it, the firm’s design authority, non-negotiable business models, devotion to education, and attention to finishes are the cornerstones of its success. McMillen interiors also adhere to the “discipline of the room,” while promoting a sense of conviviality and coziness. That foundation has stayed with McMillen alumni long after working at the firm, noted Buckley.
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Kickstart This: Stickable Pixels

pixel art

Return to a simpler, eight-bit way of life, be the next street art sensation or just get your Ellsworth Kelly on with pixel art. Seattle-based startup 1×1 has taken to Kickstarter to make its colorful, self-adhesive squares a reality. A $30 pledge will get you a box of 14,800 pixel stickers that can be applied to glass, metal, or any other smooth surface. Budding pixel artists have until November 10 to back the project.

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Mark Your Calendar: Michael Graves ‘Past as Prologue’ Symposium

denver central library

Stock up on Peeps and reserve your ticket to “Past as Prologue,” a just-announced symposium that will be held “in honor of Michael Graves on the occasion of his fiftieth year in practice.” Organized by The Architectural League of New York and hosted by Parsons The New School for Design, the November 22nd confab will consider Graves’ deep influences on the disciplines of architecture and design. Tackling subjects such as architectural pedagogy, drawing, and the design of objects (fingers crossed for a session on “the Hitler teapot”!) will be the likes of Billie Tsien, Steven Holl, Paul Goldberger, and Museum of Arts and Design director Glenn Adamson, with a day-capping conversation among Graves, Peter Eisenman, and Adele Chatfield Taylor, the former director of the American Academy in Rome. Tickets are now available: they’re $25 each, but League members and students can attend gratis.

Quote of Note | Pete Wells on Keith McNally

cherchemidi

“[O]f course, he worries about the interiors. Cherche Midi’s is lovely. Outside is a dystopian intersection. You’d never know it in the dining room, which feels intimate, almost private, although of course every face is on display, bathed in light the color of apricot jam.

For three decades, Mr. McNally has been rooting around in the same Lego kit: distressed mirrors, chipped subway tiles, bottles backlighted to look like stained glass. In his hands, these well-worn tricks give restaurants the battered nobility of a vintage Saab. When anyone else tries, they end up with a 1986 Ford Escort. Sets and lighting will never be the whole show.”

-New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells in his recent review of Keith McNally‘s Cherche Midi, which opened in June on the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery in NYC

Design Jobs: Kohler, Shutterstock, The Lucky Group

This week, Kohler is hiring a senior art director for its digital department, while Shutterstock needs an image reviewer. The Lucky Group is seeking a photo studio manager, and is on the hunt for a design director for ADWEEK. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

kohler130

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.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Infographics (But Were Afraid to Ask)

daniel zeeviReady to respond to requests of “Show me the data!” with more than a sad little bar graph? The Mediabistro mothership is now recruiting would-be data visualizers for an online course in infographics that can “engage an audience in your brand, cause, or mission.” Guided by digital communications pro Amanda McCormick, whose resume includes projects with New York City Ballet, Bitly, and Bertlesmann, students will get up to speed with online tools (we’re looking at you Many Eyes) and develop a robust spec for a data visualization. The infographical fun starts today. Learn more here.

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