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Posts Tagged ‘Sagmeister’

John Hockenberry Takes to the Airwaves

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Apologies now from this end of the continent, as our keyboard fell silent yesterday eve. Wolves.

Now we play catch up, and first stop comes via the Kingpins of South Colfax at Design Observer who alert us that John Hockenberry, the only design conference moderator to win our hearts, will be getting his own radio show at WNYC. If you’ll remember way back when, that’s the world from whence he came:

The show marks John Hockenberry’s return to his roots in public radio–where he was one of the medium’s original innovators–after 15 years in network and cable television. For his work at ABC and NBC, he has earned four Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and a Casey Medal. Hockenberry is known for his pioneering online content, and currently sits as a Distinguished Fellow at the prestigious MIT Media Lab.

Hocks will co-host the show with Adaora Udoji starting in early 2008 during the drive-time slot, but they’ll start airing some specials as soon as November of this year. What could this mean for public radio? Witty wordplay concerning processed cheese spread? Racy comments about sustainability? Duets with Sagmeister?

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Core77 Sows Creative Seeds

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Core77′s Coroflot site has launched Creative Seeds, a new blog all about giving creatives the tools they need to succeed. In addition to featuring portfolios from the Coroflot community, they’ve launched with a really interesting piece by Petrula Vrontikis about how creatives take credit for the work of a team. We also like a cool feature named “What do you look for in a designer?” where they ask top peeps like Paul Budnitz and Sagmeister what they look for when hiring juniors.

USPS’s Terry McCaffrey Predicts Star Wars Stamps Will Rule the Universe

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Terry McCaffrey is chair of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, of which the blogosphere’s fair Jessica Helfand is a member. She’s the latest in an illuminated list of design names like Bradbury Thompson and Meredith Davis who’ve served (apparently Steven Heller was on it once but attended two meetings, found the committee too bureaucratic and quit).

But with all those big names, 50,000 letters from the American public annually, and the collecting community clamoring for single color engraved designs–it seems like when it comes to stamps, everyone has their own agenda.

Until the Elvis stamp they didn’t do anything contemporary (remember the old or young Elvis contest?). The USPS was only allowed to start making a profit two years ago, but they made $26 million on Elvis–and that’s mostly from collectors. They’ve also made $53 million for breast cancer research from a 1999 stamp.

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Here’s the crazy thing about stamps: When they make mistakes, people want them more. For example, McCaffrey learned today that in the Buckminster Fuller stamp based on that famous Time cover, the artist made a huge mistake and put six sides on his geodesic dome-head instead of five. Mirko Ilic was good enough to point that out from the audience. Whoops.

Maybe they should purposely make a mistake on the upcoming Star Wars series (available May 28) since McCaffrey predicts it will blow the lid off the USPS. At first the committee didn’t want it because it honored living people, which is against postal rules, but McCaffrey argued that it’s not Harrison Ford, it’s Han Solo. They’re printing 500 million, just to start.

Sagmeister and Kent Nichols (who are either brand new BFFs or old friends) manned the peanut gallery throughout the presentation, cheering “I love you, Stampy!” If that’s the official term of endearment for McCaffrey, then we say, Stampy, we love you, too.

More Y Conference coverage.

Sagmeister Asks a Ninja

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We know what you’re wondering…what the hell is a ninja is doing on stage at the Y Design Conference? Ask a Ninja creators Douglas Sarine (dressed and in character as Ninja) and Kent Nichols began their presentation by answering that very question.

Ninja: What are we doing at a design conference?

Nichols: Well, you’re wearing all black. Don’t you fit in?

But fitting in became irrelevant once they showed the latest episode of their web show, which amazingly featured an interview with Blades of Glory stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. Ninja was upset they didn’t kill anyone with their “blades” of glory. This is a show that started in their tiny West Hollywood apartments.

Nichols and Sarine first started down this dark path with an animated screenplay about ninjas in Orange County, which has evolved into one of the most popular shows in history–Ask a Ninja has been viewed over 20 million times. With Ninja as moderator, they engaged in a discussion about creating with accessible tools, having an audience that pushes back, and developing a brand, but mostly they were just really, really funny.

Of all the audience questions, Sagmeister asked the best one. “I have a question about light,” he said in that sexy Austrian purr. “Is it a particle or is it a physical state?”

Ninja: You live in the light you create.

Nichols: The light you take is equal to the light you make.

Sagmeister laughed and seemed to be pleased with the answer.

More Y Conference coverage.

Helvetica World Premiere

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We just barely snagged a seat in an extremely tightly-kerned crowd at the world premiere of Helvetica here at SXSW, where the entire audience sported buttons reading “I love/hate Helvetica.” Okay, okay, everybody has been making their little jokes about “the movie about a font.” But guess what–this is not really a movie about a typeface. Helvetica is just a character in this wonderfully-made film, which just might be the best history of graphic design we’ve ever seen.

Director Gary Hustwit‘s film will lead even the most design clueless through an intelligent global survey of design. But designers won’t be bored. It’s not a simplified primer; instead, it’s the soul of graphic design–straight from the source. Massimo Vignelli preaching that there are only really, three typefaces (we thought it was five; he must be getting pickier). Sagmeister saying clean type is boring. Paula Scher explaining illustrative type. Rick Poynor explaining Modernism. David Carson epitomizing grunge type. Experimental Jetset bringing it all back around.

The story of graphic design is meant for the big screen. With the exception of a few conferences and maybe the work of someone like Hillman Curtis, we just don’t get to see ourselves like this. And damn do we look good.

Especially Erik Spiekermann, and an adorable Michael Bierut, who are the real stars of this film. Bierut delivers the best monologue in the whole movie–an awesome treatise on corporate design that got the biggest laughs and a hearty round of applause.

True to subject, the film itself is simple and beautiful. There are some lovely animations of Swiss designs and cool shots of how type gets made. And there’s an exuberant quality about the whole thing–a lingering shot on a corner of a poster, the spare but expressive music, and the stunning, overwhelming ubiquitousness of this typeface that means nothing and everything, all at the same time. The film festival guy who introduced the film said this, and got a laugh from the audience, but by the end of the film it was apparent: Designer or not, you will never, ever see the world the same again.

Coincidence? Synergy? Luck? Or the Greatest Design Conference In History?

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Josh Mishell writes to inform us of something that might make up your mind up about attending AIGA’s national design conference, NEXT, in Denver this fall:

The Great American Beer Festival is the same weekend, in the same convention center. It’s a great time, 1600 beers from 400 breweries.

1600 beers, 400 breweries, and 3000 designers? Are they offering some kind of 2 for 1 deal on registration? Can we bring drinks into the mainstage auditorium? Where’s the after party?

You’ll remember AIGA’s last conference in Boston shared a convention center with some kind of college fair that had rock music thumping the floor during Sagmeister‘s presentation. At least this time he’ll only have to be heard over the clatter of people knocking into chairs as they make their way to the bathroom for the fifteenth time that day. Oh, right…and the burping.

Speak Up Asks “Now What?” and We’re Asking the Same Thing

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Armin Vit‘s posted some kind of manifesto over at Speak Up, except we’re not really sure what it’s a manifesto for:

Speak Up became notorious for its I-have-nothing-to-lose brash attitude that attacked, questioned and poked everything in its way…Designers loved it. There had never been anything like it. We were the fight that broke out in a bar that everyone gathered ’round to see and would throw in a beer bottle every now and again.

The glory days! Oh, the memories! To be a young blog again!

In the past twelve to sixteen months, however, we’ve run out of questions and even perhaps out of steam. Some of us (authors) have gone from outsiders to insiders…We have done it all. We started to get repetitive and, well, sometimes even boring.

Oh god, the real world! Mid-life crisis! Comb-over!

With this new outlook on Speak Up, we hope to bring you Design Relevance. We will do it with strong opinions and, when possible, with flair. We will share our views on what we find interesting, in the spirit that you will consider everything for its design values.

Huh? What does this mean? Values? Is this some Tony Robbins crap? We were bummed until we saw this comment:

Bah. Let’s get back to throwing beer bottles.

Woooooooo! Kegger at our place!!!

How To Think Like a Great Graphic Designer–Really

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How about this juicy exclusive? It seems that golden-throated Debbie Millman has written a book, and it’s all about how “intellect fuels creativity and how creativity fuels intellect” using graphic designers as role models. And, it’s called How To Think Like a Great Graphic Designer.

Heller‘s handling the intro, and it features a stellar lineup of Sagmeister, Carson, Bierut, Scher, Vignelli, Glaser…and, a cover design by Rodrigo Corral that we absolutely love.

And, which we have here, in all its glory.