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Posts Tagged ‘Update’

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


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.

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Barack Steady: Obama’s Design Wins


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:


UnBeige Looks Back: The Year In No Spec


Compared to the firestorm of 2006, the no spec work battle was waged quietly in the trenches this year. Everyone seemed to be in agreement: Don’t do spec, don’t get your kids hooked on spec, don’t spec yourself before you wreck yourself.

And then there was the notorious no spec bait and switch, an ad placed in response to a less-than-desirable search for a designer on Craigslist. No one ever fessed up to writing it, but the positive anonymous vibes flew for awhile, until another opinionated individual came up with his own reasons for why the response was dead wrong. And we’re right back where we started from. Again.

UPDATE: Correction to the above, Catherine Morley writes to remind us that Dave D’Esposito wrote the Craigslist diatribe.

UnBeige is counting down our biggest stories of 2007, all day, right here.

MUJI Takes Manhattan


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.

Heller Good! Two New Books to Celebrate Steven Heller Week


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.


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.

Deadline Extended Until Midnight For People’s Design Award Voting; TOMS Sandals Still Leading


Except for a few nominated oddities including the Prince guitar, last year’s People’s Design Award sponsored by the Cooper-Hewitt barely blipped on our radar; the Katrina Cottage won quietly and all was well. This year we’ve got quite a sprint to the finish line including some finalists we know and love, and when it was announced that the deadline would be extended until midnight EST tonight, our inbox got flooded with emails from designers begging us to vote for them, or more impressively, endorse them.

While we cannot legally endorse any one project, here’s a quick update that we hope will inspire you to vote. TOMS shoe has held its lead for quite some time now, while the Floating Pool has stayed steadily afloat at second. Good Magazine has moved into third, and Global Green finally cracked the top five, edging out the Life Straw. The iPhone, Brush and Rinse, and “Design Matters” are other notables in top ten, with the surprise hit “Everything is ok” project dropping to 11 (Anyone else see it in Denver?). It looks like the heroic beer-rewarding efforts of Design Observer didn’t help; they slipped to #14.

Putting the blatantly self-promotional aspect of this contest aside, let us just say it’s great to see so many people campaigning for anything design-related. But it certainly looks like we’re in for a Sandal Scandal. TOMS shoes certainly have a great story behind them, but whether or not it’s “great design” is being battled out in over 100 comments. Some people are attest to the comfortability and construction of the shoe, while others are begging people to forget how they look and focus on the concept. Ah, the beauty of crowd-sourcing.

Update, 11:23pm EST: OMG! Debbie Millman‘s “Design Matters” sprints ahead of Brush and Rinse; Design Observer is back at lucky 13. How is it that we just now noticed all the bizarre comments on their entry?

The winner will be announced at the gala on Thursday.

Free Maira!


When the TimesSelect wall came tumbling, crumbling down last week, reminiscent of a certain day in Europe back in ’89, it didn’t occur to us to pilfer our share of the riches horded by the moneyed elite and denied to the nonsubscribing huddled masses for so very long.

For one, we now have a full-access backstage pass to Maira Kalman‘s illustrated blog The Principles of Uncertainty. Peruse her whimsical musings but don’t get too comfortable with them online–they will magically become a real live book in the very near future.

Update: Our dear friends at PBS (that’s Peter Buchanan-Smith) wrote in to remind us they were the designers of that beautiful book, as well as Kalman’s Elements of Style.

Packing Up the Wagon for Dwell on Design


This bird is headed north for the weekend to cover the Dwell on Design conference taking place in the fair city of San Francisco. We’ll resume regular programming as soon as we get set up in the “blogger’s bank,” a sort of wireless playpen with all the accoutrements to keep us sufficiently juiced, fed and at a safe distance from the rest of the non-bloggers (mostly ’cause we’ve been known to get a little vicious when we’re not getting a good connection).

Highlights tomorrow include Michael McDonough, Michelle Kaufmann, Alice Waters and of course, the man who has been following us to these things for quite some time, John Hockenberry. See y’all up there.

UPDATE: Read all of UnBeige’s Dwell on Design coverage.

Saul Bass On Why Man Creates

And you thought Saul Bass only made film titles. Here’s a clip of the 1968 Oscar-winning short film Why Man Creates, directed by Bass and his wife Elaine. Apparently the entire 29-minute film is available, but very expensive to procure.

Update: Our friend Christopher Simmons writes to remind us of this: “Saul Bass often gets credit full credit for Why Man Creates, though it was written by Mayo Simon.”

Allan Chochinov and Peter Lunenfeld–From the Future!


The post-lunch spot of the Schools of Thoughts conference was occupied by the “pragmatic utopians” as foccacia bread chicken sandwiches settled in our bellies. Same deal as the Jens Gehlhaar-Somi Kim lineup. Two speakers, one question: Where is the discipline heading and in what contexts will graphic designers be working?

Allan Chochinov, editor of Core77 started with a confession. He has an ambivalent relationship with product design and is afraid of the internet. We don’t know if that’s true; he seems obssessed–or at least highly amused–with viral phenoms like FRONT design furniture, Flickr Camera Toss, iPod toilets, Idealist, and how they get inserted into culture.

Opening with a eulogy to Jean Baudrillard, Peter Lunenfeld talked about “bespoke futures,” tracing the roots of futuristic design. But what he doesn’t want to see is design students just getting trained to work for big global brands (“transnatcorp des-edu” as he calls it). Actually, he says, take on the future as a client and create bespoke solutions–handcrafted, custom futures.

Chochinov and Lunenfeld are a perfect sci-fi pairing, and a real crowd pleaser. Whether it’s a “useful future” or not, points out Chochinov, this attitude is critical for design education. Although some audience members take issue with the word “bespoke” for its economic connotations, we’re gonna go with Lunenfeld’s lovable-nerd brilliance on this one. We want a book.

Update: Ryan Gallagher writes to tell us about the Camera Toss blog, including the all-important “How To” which could also be named “How Not To Smash Your Camera.”