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Milton Glaser Versus Global Warming

glaser gwIf you, too, had the best of intentions but just couldn’t manage to sit through the PowerPoint deck-plus-Al-Gore-on-a-plane-B-roll that is An Inconvenient Truth, Milton Glaser has boiled down “global warming” and “climate change” into a new campaign that calls out these terms as the clumsy euphemisms they are. The bottom line: “It’s not warming, it’s dying.”

With his signature inform-and-delight tactics, Glaser pairs this grim yet clear-eyed slogan with a roiling green orb that suggests the planet Earth viewed from space—as its expanse of life-sustaining terrain recedes into blackness. On Friday the message debuted as a billboard at New York’s School of Visual Arts, where Glaser serves as a faculty member and acting chairman of the board (look for the billboard on the western exterior wall of SVA’s East 23rd Street building). Spread the word—and the orb—in button form: available in $5 sets of five here. SVA also plans to distribute free buttons on college campuses nationwide.

Twitter Along with UnBeige

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Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having jumped on the microblogging bandwagon. Look to the official UnBeige Twitter feed, for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and free candy (OK, we’re still working on the physics of that last one). The Mediabistro tech wizards have added to the sidebar at right a handful of our most recent word bursts, but you can sign up to follow all of our twittering here.

The West Elm-ification of Gracie Mansion

capizMeticulous historic preservation of a landmark interior meets…West Elm? (If you listen carefully, you can hear interior designer Jamie Drake sobbing quietly in the corner, near the lone pair of Schumacher velvet-upholstered John Boone chairs that has not been replaced by beanbag poufs.) Such is the worlds-collide aesthetic ushered in by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his brood. Last week the family moved from Brooklyn to Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence nestled on the banks of the East River in Manhattan, but not before making a pit stop at West Elm. The Williams Sonoma-owned purveyor of artisan-inflected midcentury homegoods donated $65,000 of Capiz Orb pendant lights (pictured), sofas, desks, chairs, and pillows to the de Blasios–chump change compared to the $7 million of private funds made available for the Bloomberg administration’s Drake-led restoration. In an editorial that appeared in yesterday’s New York Times, writer Alexandra Lange considers “The Mayor’s Showroom” and why it might be preferable to live in a museum after all. God save the Zuber wallpaper.

Quote of Note | Takashi Murakami

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“I have this idea for a sweet comedy about death. A middle-aged author of e-books, with middling sales, retreats deep into the mountains of Japan to build a grave for his recently deceased father. After getting scammed out of all of his money, he falls into despair, but for some unknown reason he is visited by a savior in the form of a middle-aged woman. And then his divorced wife from ten years ago appears unexplainably too. Then this young woman with whom he spent a single night in a club many years ago is being treated for an incurable disease in the mountainside sanatorium, and she comes to him for emotional support. I’d love to do that story.”

-Artist Takashi Murakami discussing his filmmaking aspirations in a recent interview. Also on his wishlist? “Some form of a collaboration with J.J. Abrams.”

Wanted: Bookish Designer for Poised Promotions

cambridge.jpgWant to be the only designer on your block employed by a company founded by a 1534 royal charter? Well, here’s your ticket to legitimately name dropping Henry VIII at parties and more review copies than are prudent for an urban dweller. The New York City office of Cambridge University Press is searching for a senior designer to work his or her creative magic on promoting some of the around 1,200 new books it produces each year (and that’s not even counting its historic Bibles list!). The ideal candidate, who will will lead brainstorming, concept development, and design of integrated marketing campaigns for the English Language Teaching group, has advanced understanding of branding, typography, and grids/visual systems and is a pro on InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

Learn more about and apply for this Senior Designer, Cambridge University Press job or view all the current mediabistro.com design/art/photo jobs.

Favorite Thing: Dyson’s New Bladeless Fan

dyson fanIt was only a few years ago that James Dyson and his crack team of engineers (all of whom we like to imagine wearing jaunty striped shirts as they labor to incrementally yet significantly improve upon previously undesirable household appliances) debuted the Air Multiplier, a bladeless wonder that did for blowing what Dyson’s streamlined vaccuums did for sucking. A new range of the distinctively shaped fans is here, and it’s even cooler—literally.

Dubbed “Dyson Cool,” the new fans are up to 75% quieter than their predecessors, a fact that has not escaped the watchful ears of those at the delightfully named Noise Abatement Society, which has—with no bells and whistles—awarded its Quiet Mark to the new Air Multiplier technology. Dyson engineers managed to hush the fan by reducing the turbulence of high-velocity air, cancelling out specific tones: notably those buzzy ones at 1,000Hz, which are similar to the frequency of the noise produced by the incessant wing beats of mosquitoes. This feat was achieved in part by the addition of something called a “Helmholtz cavity,” which we like to imagine was also the name of a young Dyson’s garage band. The price for all of this innovation? Dyson estimates the R&D costs at $65 million. The desktop AM06 model will set you back $299.99, but you’ll be all the cooler for it.

Have a suggestion for our next Favorite Thing? E-mail unbeige@mediabistro.com.

Design Nerd? There’s an App for That!

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When’s the last time you heard Alex Trebek call out categories such as SERIFS, TWENTIETH-CENTURY LOGOTYPES, or SAGMEISTER CLASS? We bet our cache of potent potables that it’s never. Enter Kevin Finn. The Australian, who we last encountered in his capacities as editor and publisher of Open Manifesto, has created DESIGNerd 100*, a design trivia app that tests your knowledge of typography, publishing, advertising, branding, contemporary design studios, packaging, motion graphics, and more. And in building out the first volumes, Finn went straight to the experts, tapping Stefan Sagmeister, Steven Heller, and Lita Talarico to contribute their personal questions (100 each).

“I’m a self-confessed design nerd, passionate about all forms of design,” says Finn. “I simply wanted to share design knowledge with other design enthusiasts, but in a fun and engaging way.” Among the well-designed twists of the app, available through the iTunes App Store (an Android version is in progress), are the bonus facts studded throughout the game. (Did you know that Jonathan Barnbrook’s Mason typeface, was originally called Manson—after the serial killer Charles Manson and in a nod to the extreme opposites the typeface was intended to express? Emigre Fonts dropped the “n” after complaints started to pour in.) “New volumes to add to the series are underway,” promises Finn, “as are plans to launch the trivia game as a standalone app that will house all volumes in the series.”

Anonymous Tips: Because Sharing Is Caring

who could it be now.jpgIf we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy murder plot, thanks to our “Anonymous Tips” box, which the Mediabistro tech wizards have placed at the top right of this page. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Type in your news—design happenings, gossip, movements of the Revolving Door, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “send.” We’ll get the news, you’ll retain your air of mystery.

Katz Marks the Spot: New Art Billboard to Welcome Whitney Downtown

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Alex Katz’s 2012 painting Katherine and Elizabeth (Photo courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise)

Worried that the spindly and shape-shifting “W” of the Whitney Museum’s fledgling graphic identity will be insufficient to guide visitors to the door of its new downtown home? Alex Katz to the rescue. The artist (and erstwhile J. Crew model)’s 2012 canvas, Katherine and Elizabeth, will welcome the museum to the Meatpacking District in the form of a 17-by-29-foot billboard on the facade of 95 Horatio Street, located directly across Gansevoort Street from the southern end of the High Line and the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney. Announced today, the public art installation will be the first in a planned five-year series organized in collaboration with real estate developer TF Cornerstone and High Line Art.

Design Jobs: Princeton University, Atlantic Media, California Academy of Sciences

This week, Princeton University is hiring a visual design strategist, while Atlantic Media is seeking a design director for the National Journal. California Academy of Sciences needs an interaction designer, and the NYC Department of Transportation is on the hunt for a graphic artist. 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.

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