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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Heller’

Laurence King’s Twelve Desks of Christmas

You can keep your five golden rings and arboreally ensconced partridge. We’ll take eleven exotic writing utensils, ten action figures a-leaping, and a Sesame Street screen saver. All of these wonders and more await you in Laurence King‘s “Twelve Desks of Christmas.” The London-based publisher behind covetable and creative titles such as Angus Hyland and Steven Bateman‘s Symbol and 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design by Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne engaged in a little office voyeurism this holiday season, posting photos of 12 mystery desks and inviting the world to guess whose was whose. Here are a few (recently de-identified) highlights, from our desk to yours:


See those books? He wrote all of them! This is the desk of Steve Heller.
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Get to Know SVA’s D-Crit Program, Meet Milton Glaser (New Date!)

dcrit.gifHere’s your chance to get the scoop on the graduate program that we can’t stop talking about and meet the legendary Milton Glaser (you know you ♥ him!). On Saturday, November 17, the School of Visual Arts’ Design Criticism department will host an afternoon of presentations and informal discussion about its MFA in Design Criticism, better known by its rapper name, D-Crit. Students past and present will talk about their experiences, delightful D-Crit chairperson Alice Twemlow will provide a program overview, and faculty members Adam Harrison Levy (BBC documentary producer) and Karrie Jacobs (Metropolis columnist) will discuss the courses they teach. Stick around to hear the man, the myth, the Glaser reflect on the nature and role of design criticism. We hear that coffee, mimosas, and donuts will be yours for the taking, and if you ask nicely, they might let you peruse the twelve-volume reprint set of Domus that we spied in one of the D-Crit classrooms on a recent visit. Register here. And read on for a look at the department’s stellar fall lecture series. Read more

SVA to Offer Advanced Degree in Branding

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(Photo: John C. H. Grabill, 1888)

Eager to make your mark in the world of branding? Look no further than the School of Visual Arts, which today announced a new advanced degree program focused on the intellectual link between leadership and creativity. Beginning in the fall of 2010, the one-year Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) in Branding will “examine the power of design thinking as a way to combine creative skills with problem-solving and decision-making processes,” according to SVA. Who’s in charge? The dynamic duo of Debbie Millman and Steven Heller, who conceived the program and will serve as its co-chairs.

The curriculum will encompass cultural anthropology, behavioral psychology, commerce, and creativity, from brand valuation and market research methodologies to package design and a summer thesis project that will challenge students to develop and launch a real-world brand. Among the faculty on board are Pamela De Cesare (Sterling Brands), Dan Formosa (Smart Design), Rob Giampietro (Giampietro+Smith), Tom Guarriello (TrueTalk), and Joshua Liberson (Helicopter), with a slate of guest lecturers that will include Malcolm Gladwell, Grant McCracken, and Rob Walker. Interested in applying? E-mail gradadmissions AT sva.edu, and tell them UnBeige sent you (it’ll be good for our brand).

UnBeige’s Top Five Design-Minded Halloween Costumes

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It’s here. That day when you can dress up like anything you want, scare little children, and demand candy from strangers—all with festive impunity. That’s right, it’s late funnyman John Candy‘s birthday! He would have been 58 today. Coincidentally, it’s also Halloween (observe today’s spoooooky Google homepage graphic). You know that Team UnBeige is going as Charles and Ray Eames (although we won’t get very far trick-or-treating, as chairs are a key element of our costumes), but we thought we’d give you, our loyal and perhaps still costumeless readers, a few ideas for quick, easy, and design-minded getups for this All Hallow’s Eve:

spitzer brain cover.jpg5. ASME’s 2008 Magazine Cover of the Year. No one can get enough of Barbara Kruger‘s New York magazine-commissioned take on the Eliot Spitzer scandal. Here’s your chance to keep the momentum going through fall. Grab a suit, a blood red tie, and what we’ve always sworn is a touch of eyeliner before printing out BRAIN in white Future Bold Italic on a red ground, and you’re good to go. Trick or treat, indeed.

4. The Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion. Swathe yourself in shiny yet reptilian white plastic and carry a Chanel handbag. Don’t stay anywhere for very long. Zaha Hadid-designed shoes and Karl Lagerfeld teddy bear optional.

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In Which We Confess to Mortal Fear of Anthropomorphic Celebrity M&Ms

retton m&m.jpgPerhaps it’s the noselessness. Or the lush crop of human hair. Or maybe it’s the fact that we have no desire to let still cherubic gymnast Mary Lou Retton melt in our hand, much less in our mouth. In any case, we continue to be creeped out by by BBDO Worldwide’s “Become an M&M” ad campaign of anthropomorphized M&Ms sporting celebrity features (save for noses and joints, as this parallel candy-populated universe seems to have little use for cartilage). In addition to Retton, beaming and fresh off the beam (or is that a vault?), the campaign has M&M-ified Burt Reynolds, racecar driver Kyle Busch, and celebrity chef Bobby Flay, who brandishes a grilling implement and is dwarfed by a backyard barbeque. Meanwhile, Stuart Elliott of The New York Times recently reported that Spanish versions of the ads began appearing this week. Here at UnBeige HQ, we’re skipping the so-called “shell-ebrities” and sticking to custom-ordered M&Ms that we’ve had printed with the myriad visages of Steven Heller that lined a wall at last year’s Masters Series show at New York’s School of Visual Arts.

Finally! Emigre Becomes a Blog! Kinda. Not Really. No, Not at All.

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When Emigre went bye-bye, we cursed, we cried, we accepted that anything in print that good would never find its way online again. But what to our wondering eyes should appear? Emigre essays and interviews online, as their physical back issues sell out!

First up is Emigre #30, aptly named “Fallout” because of its theme: A response to a controversial Steven Heller essay named “Cult of the Ugly” that was published in a 1994 Eye. In addition to Cranbrook student David Shields–one of the designers of the publication that inspired Heller to write the “Ugly” essay–Michael Dooley interviews Mr. Keedy, Ed Fella and Heller to get the full story. So why read it now?:

For those of you who missed the typographic debates of the 90s, or for those nostalgic for those turbulent times in design, these interviews are not to be missed as they define a historical moment in graphic design.

There’s plenty more where that came from, too. We recommend oldie but goodie “Saving Advertising” that Jelly Helm wrote in 2000 (still very relevant today, although sadly, advertising is not). Also recently posted is an interview with born-again blogger Rick Poynor, who coincidentally announced his first retirement from the blogosphere when reviewing the final issue of Emigre. And there you go, the internet is suddenly cool again.

Heller, Ewen and Jeys Find Out “Where the Truth Lies”

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With a clever wink and a nod to its ultra-timeliness during this election year, “Where the Truth Lies: A Symposium on Propaganda Today” is an all-day conference on February 15 at the City University of New York. Organized by Steven Heller, Stuart Ewen and Mary Jeys, “Lies” will examine where the truth ends and where the spin begins.

Renowned food critic Milton Glaser delivers the keynote for a fun-filled lineup moderated by David Brancaccio of the PBS show “NOW,” and throughout the day there will also be propaganda films curated by Jeys. And how about that poster design, by Michael J. Walsh, Brian E. Smith, with photography by Harry Zernike? We feel ourselves sweating and blinking nervously just looking at it.

“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.

John Maeda’s Wife Bet Their Five Daughters He Wouldn’t Land RISD Gig

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It seems even the King of Simplicity feels vulnerable from time to time. New RISD president John Maeda reveals that during the selection process he was feeling less-than-confident in his ability to snag the gig. In this interview with Steven Heller, Maeda says that fate and even his family was rooting against him:

Really from the beginning, I thought I’d never have a chance at getting the job. Once it had materialized as a possibility I recall my wife, Kris, betting all my kids–five girls–that “Daddy can’t get this job.” Add to that I showed up 30 minutes late for the interview, as I was stuck in a meeting at MIT that I couldn’t leave. Somehow I got the “callback,” and after that point somehow remained during each phase of the process.

And how does he feel since he told them so? Well, that’s his favorite fortune cookie message above. Words to live by.

Update: We were just alerted that our headline could also read as if Kris Maeda bet–as in wagered–their offspring against John’s chances at RISD presidenthood. We assure you that the Maedas are not, nor they ever have been, involved in the vicious underworld of child-gambling.

Core77 Owns Up to the Great Tobias Wong Switch

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When the guy to the left took the stage pretending to be Tobias Wong (the guy to the right) at Core77′s Design, Wit and the Creative Act, Stephanie’s BS radar blipped right away. However, this was a panel on design wit (more disturbing perhaps was the fact that the crowd of designers didn’t seem to get the joke). A few months later, Core77 has finally delivered the punchline. So who was this impostor?

Rama Chorpash, chair of the Undergraduate ID Dept. at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and a great designer to boot, did what can only be described as a pitch-perfect job of presenting Tobias’s work (and later answering, Q&A as Tobias, remaining authentic to the designs as well as the philosophical underpinnings of the Wong oeuvre.

You can watch video of the event for proof of his acting skills; Chorpash never breaks character, and neither does Wong (oh, how we wish we could say the same for Jimmy Fallon). Wong assumes Chorpash’s identity during the cocktail hour and praises Wong’s “genius,” a priceless little moment in design wit itself.

Also up, and every bit as funny, are videos from the rest of the presenters: Ze Frank, Paul Budnitz, Steven Heller and Kelly Dobson.

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