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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bierut’

“Studio 360′s” Design for the Real World Now a Podcast

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For years you’ve been hearing people like Michael Bierut and Paola Antonelli and Steven Heller chat about the inane and insane highlights from the design world on PRI show “Studio 360.” That segment, named Design for the Real World, is now a bi-weekly podcast, which you can retrieve using the magic of iTunes. Says host Kurt Andersen (just imagine this in his voice):

“From the very start, we’ve considered design a crucial, thrilling part of “Studio 360′s” purview, which is why our longest-running regular feature is Design for the Real World. We’ve enlisted dozens of graphic designers, industrial designers, architects, artists and design critics to explain why they’re fascinated — in many cases obsessed — by some particular everyday object, from baseball caps to Post-Its to vacuum cleaners to the industrial wasteland of northern New Jersey to a certain Rolling Stones album cover to the redesigned $5 bill. And now we’ve turned all of those illuminating, inspiring manifestos into nifty 2-3-minute-long podcasts. I hope you enjoy them.”

Already downloaded to our iTunes playlist are segments about lipstick, sheetrock and the zipper, and this week‘s Design for the Real World features cookbook author Meredith Deeds talking about the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, a “kitchen tool that revolutionized baking and became a status symbol in the process.” Indeed, our petal pink version is one of our first stops when we give house tours. Listen to the segment here.

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Bierut On Modern Typesetting For Designers: Like Having “As Much Sex As They Wanted”

No! No, no, no, no! What are you crazy? Of course you cannot read Virginia Postrel‘s article about type in this month’s Atlantic online! Are you out of your mind?

But what you can do is watch a video of Michael Bierut (looking adorable, especially during that opening stroll) talkin’ type to accompany this mysterious piece about “a revolution in typeface design.” And we swear to god, Bierut makes a comparison between photo typesetting and birth control that we’re pretty sure is unprintable here. It’s no “It’s The Real Thing. Period. Coke. Period. Any Questions? Of Course Not.” But it’ll do.

The article opens (we say it opens but that’s so ironic since the opening is really all we have to work with here) by describing the artistry of Bierut’s type-only Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design (designed by Abbott Miller):

Yet the book is a graphic extravaganza. Each of the 79 essays is set in a different typeface, ranging in age from Bembo, designed in 1495, to Flama, created in 2006. This profusion of typefaces would have been inconceivable when Bierut, 50, was starting out as a graphic designer. ‘I’m not sure in 1982 I could have come up with 79 different text fonts,’ he says.”

You can also read this interview with Gary Hustwit, which Postrel conducted by phone, so she probably didn’t get to see Hustwit throw up in his mouth a little after being asked for the 1,456th time the only question that any interviewer has ever opened with: “Why make a film about a typeface?”

Now. Luckily for you, friends, we are trained in the ways of magic, allowing us to conjure up this top secret no-registration-required link to the story in full. However, like all magic, there’s a catch. That link will expire in three days. Use your powers wisely.

AIGA NY Holiday Party to be PC-Compatible

AIGA NY has opened their annual holiday party up to the masses, so what was once a simple party for AIGA members will now be the THE/ NEW/ BIGGER/ ANNUAL/ AIGA/ NY/ HOLIDAY/ DANCE/ PARTY/ FUNDRAISER/ SPECTACULAR on December 9. And might we also add FREE FOOD/ GRIND-O-RAMA/ PASS OUT ON STAIRS/ SAY INAPPROPRIATE THINGS TO YOUR BOSS/ HIT ON DEBBIE MILLMAN.

In addition to the usual tradition of designer-designed gift-wrap given to all attendees (along with a free drink, cha-ching!) there will be an auction, presided over by none other than author, mole man expert, and Windows-running impresario John Hodgman. Up for bidding are some tasty, tasty treats, like a private tour of MOMA’s Design Department by Paola Antonelli and Christian Larsen, custom calligraphy by Marian Bantjes, and the item we’ll be sending in a field rep for: Michael Bierut‘s Voice for Your Phone Greeting.

Really? He has to say anything you want him to? And you get to record it?

MUJI Takes Manhattan

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This is the day that New York designers, and Michael Bierut especially, have been saving their paychecks for. The first stateside MUJI threw open its SoHo doors this morning with a little press preview, then got bombarded by the regular peeps at noon.

Initial reports are positive. Apartment Therapy‘s been stalking the scene, with reports of free bags. Racked (who we snagged that photo from) says lots of nice clothes but not so much furniture. Gothamist worries about sizing discrepancies, measures up the prices, and brings a nice slideshow. Now the countdown to the Midtown location, which should open in the new New York Times Building in time for the holidays. Better hurry up, Christmas is tomorrow if we’re measuring by how long the decorations have been up at our local mall.

UPDATE: There’s more! Core77 has photos and a haiku (free gift was pencils–sweet!) and Racked remains, well, obsessed.

Pick the Winner of Print’s Student Cover Competition

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Which of these would you like to see in your mailbox come April 2008? For the first time ever (and that’s since 1964, when they started doing such things), Print is opening up the decision-making for its Student Cover Competition, putting the three finalists–Brandon Maddox, Katty Maurey and Blaz Porenta–online. You can view the finalists’ reasons for doing what they did, and vote.

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Or maybe you’ll want to consider our write-in candidate, Michael Bierut‘s 1979 entry, as featured in his unearthed portfolio. Never you mind that he’s no longer a student, we’re sure he can get around that somehow.

In our eyes, it’s still a clear winner, after all these years. All they have to do is change the date.

Heller Good! Two New Books to Celebrate Steven Heller Week

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It’s fitting that during Steven Heller Week, the one person who has written more design books than any man or machine on this planet would have two new books coming out. Add titles #3,124,342 and #3,124,343 to your library today: Becoming a Digital Designer, which he co-authored with one of the greatest dancers on this planet, David Womack, and New Vintage Type, which he co-authored with one of the best storytellers on this planet, Gail Anderson.

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And because we know you can’t stop/won’t stop when it comes to getting your Heller on, don’t forget tonight’s chat with Michael Bierut at 7pm. It’s yet another chance to check out that beautiful exhibition by Kevin O’Callaghan, which runs ’til December 1.

Update: The Great One himself says the show has been extended until December 8, giving you a whole ‘nother week to bask in Hellerosity.

Heller Good! It’s Steven Heller Week on UnBeige

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To commemorate his induction into the equivalent of the School of Visual Arts Hall of Fame, we’re declaring this week Steven Heller Week here on UnBeige. While we believe that we’re the blog with the most Heller Love™ in the universe, it turns out our devotion is not alone. AI-AP’s DART ran an awesome interview with Heller, “Polymath at Large” last week. Today, “Zippy the Pinhead” artist Bill Griffith devoted his strip to Heller’s legacy. And tomorrow at SVA, at 7pm, he’ll be talking with another object of our obsession, Michael Bierut, to celebrate the massive exhibition, designed by Kevin O’Callaghan (which opens with a reception tonight).

Stay tuned for coverage of the aforementioned event, and more daily Heller than even the Daily Heller can deliver.

Official UnBeige AIGA NEXT Roundup

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Even though we still can’t get that Command X theme music out of our head (damn you all, Open, Agoraphone and The Plasticines!), we’ve finally had a few days to contemplate the AIGA NEXT conference in its entirety. Although we had a slight peek at the innerworkings while serving on the planning committee, in the end we were just sitting there in the audience watching, as surprised (and/or delighted) as you were. Here are the highs and lows:

Command-ing the lead: We admit, we had our doubts about a “Project Runway” for graphic design. But not only was Command X the highlight of the conference, it gave great insight into how design actually works–and how fast, funny and brilliant designers are. Winner Nichelle Narcisi‘s incredible finale also ended the conference on the perfect teary, triumphant note.

Talkin’ ’bout my generation: Maybe it was simply in line with the theme (“Next”), but we can’t applaud this conference enough for shifting attention to the youngsters. The brilliant Command X forged seven new young superstars and the 20 one-minute presentations that opened the first night were all by up-and-comers (and better than we ever remembered). It was great to see the older and wiser take a backseat to youth for once.

Someone get this guy an agent: Drew Carey should not have gotten Bob Barker‘s gig on “The Price is Right.” That job should have gone to a man who is long overdue for his big showbiz debut, Michael Bierut.

Everything in moderation: Golden-voiced Kurt Andersen was the best moderator we’ve ever seen at one of these things. Witty, efficient and blissfully deadpan, Andersen asked incredibly intelligent questions tempered with just enough cynicism to keep things real.

Three people we’re running away with: Janine Benyus, Marian Bantjes and Alex Steffen wowed us with solutions that proved great design is natural, personal and sustainable, and, in the end, always–always–beautiful.

You can’t win ‘em all: Of course, there were a few duds. Momus‘ mainstage presentation was probably brilliant but unfocused to the point of befuddlement. Wrapping a design conference with an awesome visual application that doesn’t work on Macs was a big mistake. And even though it made good diversity efforts, the lineup was incredibly New York-centric. One might even argue specifically SVA-centric.

Worst information graphics: Upon entering the Denver Art Museum for the closing party, guests were handed a map which hinted at treasure troves of food and drink stashed in various corners of the galleries. Never mind that the Denver Art Museum is a perplexing heap of angular ADD (Daniel Libeskind must design like he talks), the ambiguous map forced us to mount great expeditions in search of circulating lamb lollipops and the elusive chicken potstickers. Luckily, the martini bar was in plain view.

Best party: Duh.

Best overheard quote in design history: When another designer worried that a former employee may have been bipolar, Dana Arnett brought perspective to the situation: “Bipolar can work, though. They present one idea, then they present another totally different idea. It’s great for clients.”

Sure to see traffic spikes this week: Design Observer lead with the most overall impressions, mentioned in many affinity sessions, at least seven times on the mainstage, and in all the conference materials as a sponsor. Second place goes to Very Short List, which got two plugs on the mainstage (Andersen is a founder, ahem).

Okay, we get it, you’re Democrats: We stopped counting the anti-Bush attacks after we hit the number of years he’s been in office. We know that designers are traditionally left-leaning. But any Republicans in the audience would have been pretty darn uncomfortable, and we’re not sure that’s altogether appropriate.

On the other hand…: There was something to the fact that the same day Al Gore won the Nobel Prize, one of our own jetted up there to work closely with him on his Alliance for Climate Protection. Or maybe that because of AIGA, people across the country will be be voting on redesigned ballots next election. Or maybe it was just AIGA president Sean AdamsJFK-like good looks. Whatever it was, we swore we felt a huge shift happening in the world of design, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

All UnBeige AIGA NEXT coverage.

Command X: Get Out the Vote

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Here we are at the final round of Command X, the world’s first graphic design reality show held live at the AIGA NEXT conference in Denver, Colorado. Because we know you’re wondering, yes, judge Brian Collins is back, and got to hang out with Nobel Prize-winning Al Gore yesterday in San Francisco to work on his Alliance for Climate Protection, which is coincidentally the organization that will benefit from his Nobel Prize money. Collins told us that the media was swarming outside his hotel when he got there, but Gore still made time to take the meeting. Oh, he has Ghirardelli chocolates for everyone. It’s just like the Hershey store.

Back to the show and the challenge: to get 18 to 26-year-olds to vote. It’s a much more sober round. Kelly Dorsey, usually very funny but this time quite serious, had a nice subversive logo. Matthew Muñez was articulate again, but a bit loose in his concept.

Beginning with a great audience participation gimmick, it is Nichelle Narcisi‘s “except you” campaign that brings down the house, in a stunning standing ovation before Michael Bierut even does the applause-o-meter. He says he was expecting something more like…sausages? Narcisi is quick: “You like that Helvetica, don’t you?”

***Deliberation***

Noreen Morioka‘s been bawling since she had to make her decision. Emily Oberman and Bonnie Siegler are playing their “American Idol” roles to a T. Collins promises to turn his and Morioka’s flirting with Muñez into a dinner (what we wouldn’t give to be at that affair). Morioka will not stop crying. Bierut: “There’s no crying in graphic design.”

Matthew Muñez gets second place.

Kelly Dorsey gets first runner up

And of course, Nichelle Narcisi wins.

All AIGA NEXT coverage.

Dirty Dancing Observer Party

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Sometimes at these conference things it’s nice to escape the pristine white hallways for a hot, filthy little basement packed thick with grinding graphic designers. Where legends of print, stage, screen, the airwaves, and a movie about graphic design take the stage for guest DJ sets. Where you not only don’t know which body part is being violated by which person’s gyrating sweaty loins, you don’t care because Kevin Smith is playing Prince and you just gotta dance, dammit. Oh yes, this was the Design Observer party.

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Head DJ Smith with Debbie Millman, throwing out a little J-Lo.

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Laurie Rosenwald was anything but “tired”; Gary Hustwit, who spun his own real records, prepares to take the stage.

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Host Michael Bierut looking dapper, Bill Drenttel (we can call you Bill, right?) becomes possessed by the demons of the dance floor.

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Randy Hunt gets jiggy; Marian Bantjes‘ hot bow-topped boots.

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Dancemaster David Womack takes a break to compare tans with Nik Hafermaas; Eric Heiman can’t control himself.

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