Liquid Treat AgencySpy AdsoftheWorld BrandsoftheWorld LostRemote TVSpy TVNewser PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC 10,000 Words GalleyCat MediaJobsDaily

feedback Not Just the New B(oys)-school…

I posted earlier this week about about the absence of women amongst the founders of Stanford’s new Design Institute. Shortly after my post a reader wrote in:

Not only don’t they have any talented, accomplished women among their
founders, they don’t have any people of color either!

Then she provided me with a bunch of good links:

An article from How Magazine about latina illustrator Susan Guevera, with a sidebar about black illustrator Overton Lloyd
Jules Arthur
What is Color Design? (Core77)
unburro design studio (warning scary flash-with-audio interface!)
AIGA on Cross-Cultural Design

Readers ♥ UnBeige

p10109958_ph_hero.jpgI have been getting all kinds of UnBeige love this week. People are emailing in to say they like the blog and then providing me with interesting anecdotes which I am happy to share here:

From an editor:

I’m a design junkie too – and an editor.. I presume by your love of Albers that you made it to the show at Cooper Hewitt [ed. note: Sadly, I did not]. I took down a quote from the show:
“Creation means seeing something in a new way. Simplicity means the reduction of complexity. To be simple today is a social obligation. Good design – proportion of effort to effect.” – Joseph Albers
How’s that for summing up a generation bent on modernity?

From a fellow East Village denizen:

I love Unbeige. I especially appreciate your pain over the unraveling of the Bowery. I’ve been following your grief, and I think you must live in my living room.

And from a designer:

Hi Jen! Thanks so much for linking to me. I already got a job offer from it!
You’re doing a great job …..

And finally, I think it’s an empty promise, but this came in from Miss Representation after I praised his misanthropic tendencies:

At last! Someone grasps my essence. I will now stalk you.

Chicago Dogs in Good Company

millenium13_lg.jpgA reader sent me a great rundown in response to my post last week about the new dog park scheduled to be built in Chicago’s Grant Park. The anonymous tipster writes:

* $150K for any public works project is peanuts in Chicago, I expected a bigger number, so I don’t think this has our usual political payoff undertones.
* The spot in Grant Park is just a few blocks South of Millenium Park which has tons of press recently with the Frank Gherry band shell, etc.
* With M. Park opening, many of the old office buildings in the neighborhood are quickly (and successfully) converting to high-end condos. Overlooking the M. Park/Grant Park grounds.
* The Mayor lives about 10 blocks South of the dog park spot.
* There is another dog park to the north in Lakeview/Lincoln Park neighborhood that is not nearly as nice, but perhaps more interesting…it is actually a Dog Beach, with a gated and secure area that you can let your dog roam and play in sand and surf.
* One other item… Grant Park has perpetual rabbit problems…they’re everywhere in the Spring! (The city pays someone to trap and release them outside the city!) Maybe more dogs is just what we need in Grant Park. Or maybe the fence is to protect the dogs from the hordes of rabbits.

Henry Wolf: 1925-2005

wolfbazaar.jpgThis just came into my Anonymous Tips Inbox (send me one yourself by typing a note in that little box over there—->): “Guess I’m just a little surprised that no mention has been made that Henry Wolf, a magazine designer, art director, photographer, passed away a few days ago.”

Asked (albeit somewhat passive aggressively) and answered:

Design Observer posted an item about Wolf’s death yesterday… “Known for his superb cover designs for Esquire, Harpers Bazaar and Show among many others, Henry Wolf died this week, at home in New York City. The Viennese-born art director was 80.”

The New York Times ran an obituary. (Registration required. If you don’t wanna do that, I recommend going to Bugmenot to get yourself a username and password.)

There’s an essay by fellow designer Milton Glaser on the AIGA site, which includes a slideshow of many of Wolf’s amazing magazine covers and photographs. From that essay:

In the sixties, Henry chaired a conference he called “Art, Love, Time and Money,” a title which is about the most reductive expression for the totality of human experience I can think of.* These four themes emerge as obsessive elements in most of Henry’s work. Finally, what separates Henry from his peers is his special capacity to evoke the best from those who work with him. It is a rare and special gift.

*Here, here Mr. Glaser.

Crimes Against Urbanity (Correction)

2005_02_evpent.jpgIn my frenzy of self-interest about the new project going up on Bowery and Fifth Sts., I posted this image courtesy of Curbed and though I didn’t explicitly say so, it could easily be assumed that it was a rendering of what awaits the denizens of 5th St. In fact, I thought it was myself because, I admit it, I’m a skimmer. Lock clearly states in his post:

“East Village penthouse” – oxymoron no more! See, for further proof, the development at 525 East 11th Street pictured here.

So, no word (or picture) yet on what’s being built on that corner. There’s a Block Association Meeting this coming Tuesday night that I’m contemplating attending, maybe I’ll find out more then. Thanks to eagle-eyed readers Gregory Dufner and Garth Johnston for showing me the error of my ways.

Font-astic (the Sequel continues)

57405.jpgAs I was saying earlier, I got an IM late last night from Stephen pointing me to some interesting comments on Print Magazine‘s recent redesign by Abbott Miller of Pentagram.
The first pointer was to blogger Cristian Paul’s response of “dizzying pain” (!) when he received the current issue. Cristian writes:

Whoa, wtf is this, a Russian underground knock-off of my American design magazine? What about the Colors-like cover photo? Why is it so thin? Looks like airport read. Under the new logo I’ve got this “Design Culture Type” thing! What does it mean? Where is my “America’s Graphic Design Magazine”, a? Oh, God, have mercy, these people just shattered my youth’s sweetest memories.

[Ed. note: Ah, the sweet hyperbole of youthful indignation!]

On the pro side, we have graphic designer Rob Mizell weighing in at the Typophile forums*. The entire thread is a good read – there’s lots of insightful analysis, both pro and con, about the choice of Gotham Rounded Book, Medium & Light a new set of typefaces from Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

*This is also where I got the scan from the redesigned issue, pictured here.

What’s Up With That? (Continued)

boc_pack.jpgLast week I posted what I hope to be the first in a series of What’s Up With That? items about Solo’s new and, to me, egregiously over-designed coffee lid. That same day, I got an anonymous tip* from a reader:

about 8 years ago (?) I.D. Magazine (in its heydey) had a great story on coffee-lid design with photos of over 20 different designs for coffee lids in use today…it was GREAT. I.D. used to do this kind of ‘expose’ on everyday objects on a monthly basis…it was a great regular feature.

I just did a bit of Googling a few moments ago and found a link to the article by Phil Patton. Alas, there are no photos (it’s a reprint for his journalism portfolio, I believe.)

The other thing I discovered is that ID gave the lid I was grousing about a 2004 Best of Category Award in their Annual Design Review. They also came up with a far less dorky picture (above) of the lid than the one I initally posted here (which was snagged off the Solo site itself.)

They go into enormous detail about the lid design and even have a Q&A with Bryce Rutter, the principal from Metaphase Design Group (their site has a lot of ridiculous Flash included sound, don’t say you haven’t been warned before you click here) which is responsible for the design.

I stand by my original post. I still think it’s ridiculous, excessive and wasteful to boot.

*I LOVE those anonymous tips, by the way. Keep ‘em coming.

Triple Mint : Correction

I just got a note from Kim over @ Triple Mint:

Thanks for linking, but the sub head is “New Development Design & Living” – That’s three separate subjects. It’s not “& Design Living” I could have added commas, but that’s technical…

I’m not surprised at my own misreading, being pre-caffeine and all. (Plus: Monday. Gah.) But I think the comma would make it all a lot clearer. Even when transposing the “&” and the “Design”, I find myself scratching my head wondering what “New Development Design” is. I am certain that my former intern, copy editor extraordinaire, and soon-to-be Time Out: Chicago TV columnist, Margaret Lyons, would agree.

Crimes Against Urbanity (Bklyn Edition)

ugly2-thumb.jpgOver at Brownstoner they have an item detailing some of the atrocious new construction going up in South Williamburg. Flipping the Bird at Williamsburg Developers has a bunch of snaps (including the one I posted here) of ugly buildings in various stages of completion.

Finding ugly architecture in B’burg is something akin to shooting fish in a barrel. The row houses are all pretty dismal, cheaply constructed when they were erected however many years ago. The public housing is, well, heinous public housing in the menacing bunker-like brick construction vein. I don’t mean to raise the hackles of the 718 hipsters – I know all about the (subjective) wonders of Williamsburg. It’s just that architecture is not one of them.

I would love to go farther afield with Crimes Against Urbanity: LA, DC, San Francisco, Dallas, bring it on! Send your urban atrocities to jen AT unbeige DOT com.

You Write (So I Don’t Have To)

35.jpgAt some point (soon I think) I’m going to stop being giddy every time I get a reader tip. As it stands now, I get giddy. Soon enough, this will all be old hat, much to the relief of my friends too – They are all being subjected to a lot of emails and IM’s along the lines of “Didja read it? Huh? Huh?” or “Did you see my post about [blah de blah].” Ah, the blush of blog youth.

A lot of stuff in the Blogosphere is new to me, because, well, it is. This is my first foray into blog land, and I am thrilled to have a more productive outlet for my nuanced (read: obsessive) Google skills. It’s clear to me that something I look at with fresh wonder (cue angel music here) will be old hat to other sites. For instance, the Japanese fruit juice pacakaging was blogged about on Gizmodo waaaay back in June. So, Gizmodo, I tip my hat to you.

On to reader feedback:

The image posted here was pulled from this link sent to me by reader Sergej Rinc, who is apparently a Master Consultant for Web Integration.* He wrote:

this was a three minutes task. Google, image search for “banana juice”, 2nd picture, find blog entry, via elbewerk, via Gizmodo, via SorobanGeeks, entering “fruit” in ‘Recherche’ search field (OK, I’ve tried juice, banana and third fruit), link Touchez ce que vous buvez, link to BP is unusable (same as from all other links) but then in forum (29 messages) I’ve found:
[Editors note: the link I posted above]
which is a link to gallery image of all packages by (some) firm. I’m most curious how kivi package feels ;-) .
And my French or even Japanese is no better than yours :-) )). Maybe I should leave current job and start offering search services :-) . Finding exhibitor’s name won’t be free … must go |-(.

Sergej Rinc, Master Consultant for Web Integration

Serej, I too am curious about the Kiwi package and respectfully suggest to you: don’t quit your day job.

Andrew Hearst, of the sparkly new blog Panopticist was a font of design related links yesterday evening. I’m not going to give it all up right this very minute, but one very amusing link he sent me, (with the caveat “This is awesome, but I think it already got circulated a lot in the design
world a year or two ago”) was to an episode of Behind the Typeface, chronicling the history of Cooper Black in the same tradition that VH1 would profile, say, Britney Spears. You need Flash for to view Behind the Typeface and it’s a little long, but worth it, I feel.

Now I am off to caffeinate and come up with some fine fresh content for you.

*This title, along with his curious domain extention (.ws) has been the source of IM speculation by my domain name expert pal. More information on this as soon as I’m able to extract it from him.