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Posts Tagged ‘Armin Vit’

Barack Steady: Obama’s Design Wins

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The standard disclaimer applies: We at UnBeige do not endorse political candidates (unless they buy us stuff off our Amazon wishlist) and we are not a partisan organization (unless you count our steadfast Scientology affiliations).

We’ve touched upon reviews of the Presidential-hopeful logos before (back when Newsweek invented the typeface Ventura). But over the weekend, as we were analyzing the outcome of Iowa caucusing and preparing for tomorrow’s New Hampshire primarying, we had the same realization that Armin Vit had over at Speak Up: Barack Obama‘s identity has evolved into a real winner:

From the day this logo was unveiled I received many e-mails asking whodunit and commenting how much they liked it and how different it was from all other Presidential candidate logos. Ever. The logo was designed (jointly or separately, depending of what you read into each firm’s blurb) by Chicago-based Sender LLC and mo/de: “We were looking at the ‘o’ of his name and had the idea of a rising sun and a new day,” explains Sol Sender, “The sun rising over the horizon evoked a new sense of hope.”

Vit focuses on the “______ for Obama” banners that can be found in the People section of his site (also pretty nice), which each seem to be a subtle but considered branding exercise. We’re not sure where he stands on No Spec or anything, but how soon before we start seeing some “Designers for Obama” banners?

Update: Prescott Perez-Fox posted a very funny response to the post:

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Test Your Knowledge of Fonts, Jeopardy-Style

Over at Speak Up our friends have found the equivalent of a type nerd indicator. Last Wednesday’s Jeopardy Tournament of Champions episode featured the category “Knowledge of Fonts” and Armin Vit faithfully reproduced all the questions and answers from the Double Jeopardy round. The consensus from the comments is that answering font-related questions (okay, answers, whatever) written by non-designers is tougher than you might think. We wonder how our new buddies Hoefler and Frere-Jones did?

Bantjes Trumps Vit In Layer Tennis With Obvious King vs. Riggs Overtones

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There’s no asterisk affixed to her name just yet (denoting a win), but from a quick swing through the forums, it appears as though the victor in this week’s historic inter-Speak Up league Battle of the Sexes Layer Tennis match is one Marian Bantjes. Playing exclusively in Illustrator (an obvious advantage for the vectorous one) Bantjes paddled Armin Vit‘s behind through a series of imagery evoking tennis balls, butterflies and Britney Spears.

You can scroll through each artful volley and read play-by-play by Heather Armstrong to see proof that this match was definitely one for the ladies. Actually, we didn’t see much of a contest at all; Bantjes kicked major layer ass.

Armin Vit Reviews the ODG: It Ain’t All That, Cuz

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The web is a-blaze with linkage to the smash hit single by the ODG, aka the Original Design Gangsta, aka Kyle T. Webster, apparently the only person intelligent enough to capitalize on our wealth of naturally-rhyming design jargon. But Armin Vit would like you to know that even though everyone in the world gave it mad props (our review is even quoted, with an appropriately-calibrated star rating), he didn’t, like, get all jiggy with it. In Vit’s typically cranky, against-the-grain review, he reveals his hatin’ tendencies:

Perhaps, by now, you have realized that I am turning up the volume on the sarcasm knob, and I am about to balance it out with some snobby treble. So let me get to my point: I find ODG to be the least bit funny. I didn’t crack a smirk, not even an approving nod, much less any tapping of my feet or bobbing of my noggin’ to the beat as I watched it. I wanted to join in the harmless fun and be supportive of the rarity that is design humor, but I couldn’t make myself jump unto the bandwagon.

When Design Attacks: London’s Logo Really Making People Sick

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You asked for it, you got it! A high-flying design scandal that’s front page news! The question is, what does this really mean for anyone? We’re not sure! But we sure are excited! So excited that we’re feeling really dizzy!

London Olympic Logo Flap Recap
Once again, the epilepsy report from Reuters; over 50,000 people simultaneously puke; Mayor Ken Livingstone says don’t pay Wolff Olins; but Wolff Olins didn’t make the video, they swear; but Armin Vit likes the video; Daily Mail readers can do better; CNN viewers can do better; even–gasp–the SUN can do better!; Adrian Shaughnessy bemoans the loss of his hamster; Lord Coe cries into his shepherd’s pie.

Critic Recap
Peter Saville: “cheesy”, “brave and confrontational”
Stephen Bayley: “puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal”
Michael Johnson: “I’m sure a lot of people will hate it”
Jessica Helfand (on the BBC!): “destructive, abrasive”
Adrian Shaughnessy (also on BBC!): “ghastly, dreadful, impoverished, bad, unmemorable, trying to be trendy…”

You know, after looking at it so much today, it almost feels like an old friend. An old friend who used to be really big back in the ’80s until he started doing a lot of blow and and hanging out behind this pub in Brixton wearing the same hot pink jumpsuit from the ’80s instead now it’s covered in razors and broken glass and you accidentally make eye contact and he starts reaching out towards you screaming “Please, please! Just a few pence! I don’t got no one else! I ain’t got nowhere else to go!”

Kingsley vs. Poynor vs. Vit vs…Aw, We Can’t Keep Track Anymore

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Gotta love the potential, at least, in this free-for-all. M. Kingsley takes Rick Poynor to task for his scathing essay in the current issue of Print (not online yet, by the way) which eviscerates Speak Up…starting with Armin Vit‘s manifesto, which we wondered about ourselves.

But from there, it gets a little nasty. There’s hints at a purported rivalry between Speak Up and Design Observer, the supposed “real” reasons why no Speak Up essays were included in the most recent Looking Closer 5, and a general edited-offline vs. community-based-online debate.

We’re not ones to say who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to blogs and mags, but let’s just take a moment to notice one thing: It took almost three months for Poynor to respond in Print (and in print) to what Vit casually tossed into the online ring on February 13. Vit responded to Poynor’s Print piece in two days, and is just begging for some kind of rebuttal. Does Poynor succumb to the blogginess and jump in the ring?

Serving Inspiration (and Gelato) at the Portfolio Center

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Hotlanta delivered with a 90-degree day as we made our way to the sizzling little school we used to frequent only a few years ago. As always, the walls were slathered with fine work, the halls buzzed with laughter, Hank Richardson played tennis in a classroom, and students carted boxes of projects in various states of completion up and down the stairs. It was great to be back.

As promised to our incredible audience, we’re posting the links to the many, many people we noted in our presentation who’ve inspired us recently, which also reads like a Best of UnBeige list. Here goes: Steve Delahoyde and the cool kids at Coudal, Dave Werner and his killer portfolio, UnBeige 2006 Crush Ze Frank, Stefan Bucher‘s Daily Monsters, proud parents (of Speak Up and other little things) Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit, Materials and Applications, Treat Street (shhhh, don’t tell!), Jen Bekman and Hey, Hot Shot, Kate Bingaman and her Obsessive Consumption, the lovely Marian Bantjes, Sally Hogshead‘s Radical Careering, Debbie Millman and Design Matters (with Steven Heller today!), Eric Mahoney aka Samurai Love God, Dan Rollman‘s awesome t-shirts, Khoi Vinh‘s Subtraction, Nathan Davidson and his Unibrow, and Keith Scharwath, Aaron Rose and all of the Beautiful Losers.

Thank you to the kind people at the Portfolio Center for having us back and of course, to Ciao Bella Gelato, our favorite gelato in the whole wide world.

Carin Goldberg’s Key Gets Copied

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We remember seeing Carin Goldberg‘s super cool illustration for the NY Times real estate magazine Key and thinking, wow, that’s such a great idea.

Thanks to Armin Vit, we now know at least one other person who felt the same way.

Survey the carnage here.

How ironic that it’s for a website named Discover Alternatives.

HOW, You Ask?

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Our friends at HOW were kind enough to remind us that their annual conference is just around the corner–June 10-13 to be exact–and in order to save a few bucks, you’ll want to sign up before April 13. They just keep adding UnBeige favorites to the Atlanta lineup: Chip Kidd, Steff Geissbuhler, Deborah Sussman, Gary Baseman, Armin Vit, Hillman Curtis and many many more. Early Bird registration ends this Friday, after which you’ll be paying full price and have nothing left over for tickets to the all new World of Coca-Cola.

Speak Up’s New Direction Includes Fart Jokes

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We’re not exactly sure this is what Armin Vit was talking about when he threatened us with Design Relevance, but if this is relevance, then bring it on.

Vit dives into Mike Judge‘s Idiocracy, a freaking hilarious film set in the future where corporate branding has dumbed itself down to all-too-real low. Starbucks and Carl’s Jr. logos now look pissed, while Fuddruckers turns into–well, you can see it up there for yourself. We’re not allowed to type it.

Point being is that the movie has some pretty awesome commentary on consumer culture and yes, it’s all about design and logos, and yes, Vit ties it all up together neatly. But he forgot the masterful interface and title design of the greatest part of the movie (watch the “a” in “Balls”).

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