Archives: January 2005
On Sunday, my friends and I made a sojourn to the downtown MoMA Design store. I wanted to check out the MUJI wares that I posted about earlier, and my friends were convinced by the promise of browsing their mostly excellent bookstore. (Icing on the cake: they have a table of sale books at the moment, some stuff is 75% off.)
MUJI was something of a disappointment to me. I love well-designed stuff that is inexpensive, which is why I so often go into a total fugue state when shopping at Target Unfortunately, a lot of the MUJI stuff looked just plain cheap. There’s a preponderance of semi-opaque plastic storage pieces which make it feel a little too Bed(lam) Bath & Beyond for my taste. Also, I personally find the texture of that plastic to be loathsome. If I was looking to outfit my dorm room inexpensively, some of those items might be of use to me, but as the grown-up person that I am, no.
What a stroke of pre-caffeinee alliterative genius my headline is, no? (Perhaps the lack of coffee is clouding my judgement.) Ahem, OK.
I couldn’t stop thinking about branding yesterday after I posted about the rebranding article over on Speak Up. It’s possible that it’s just that amazing new Bahamas logo that’s luring me with its siren song, but generally speaking, I am also continually fascinated by logos.
I’m actually working on a bigger item about the rebranding of a Big Corporate Entity, and in my research last night, I came across a site called Logo R.I.P., a commemoration of dead logotypes.
From The Architect’s Newspaper comes an article about how the next generation of architecture firms are not entirely foresaking computer, but combining their use with good-old fashioned fabrication. He profiles several firms that have physical workshops outfitted with tools like welders and chop saws which allow them to actually, you know, build stuff. Architect Gregg Pasquarelli was emphatic: “Our workshop is not just for models and representation, it is a design tool.”
The article is interesting, if very earnest (You know how earnest those architect sorts seem to be.) The clincher is ALL THE PRETTY PICTURES. Full color renderings, like the one pictured, from SHoP just make me swoon. I’m a simple girl, really.
In an act of enviable devotion, a fellow named Erik converted a typewriter into a working keyboard because the motion of typing on a real typewriter was easier on her RSI. From his site:
>p>The short how-to is thus: in a regular keyboard, each keypress completes a circuit. There’s a little circuit board in there and I mapped all the connections from one terminal to another. This was then replicated inside the typewriter by wires going from the circuit board to strips of adhesive lamÃ©, which contact their counterparts when a key is pressed. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that…
He documented his masterpiece with loads of photographs, only one of which I put here. (And since I reduced the size considerably, I think it’s definitely worthwhile to go see the shots he has on his site.)
There’s a great round-up of recent re-branding projects over on Speak Up, “an author-based, reader-supported community devoted to graphic design open to conversation and dialogue.”
There are a few other, and way better, examples there – my favorite of the bunch is for The Bahamas. This could be because I am sitting in my gallery freezing my ass off, as the snow turns to sludge outside my window, but really, objectively speaking, it’s more than that. I’m a sucker for bright color mixed together, and I love how the logo has a clean, modern interpretation on organic forms. OK, that and I really, really, really want a vacation.
Actually, the real full title is Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema but my subtitle choice is somewhat more direct, I feel.
As many of you desk jockeys know, Final Cut Pro is film editing software for Macs that costs less than $1000. Between that and the plummeting price of DV cameras, practically any college kid with either a) indulgent parents or b) one of those spiffy credit cards that they get offered at every turn, is suddenly, well potentially, capable of churning out a Hollywood quality picture. Quality + Hollywood being a somewhat dubious coupling, yes I know.
OK, some more post-caffeine ramblings on this edgy new campaign that’s got everyone talking! (yawn.)
First criticism: The URL? Not so memorable. Just now, I tried 2 headed dog. Apparently a band with such a name played a gig in LA oh, a bit over 2 years ago. (Note to band: Capitialize on consumer confusion! Update your web site!) I also hate URLS where one word end with the same letter that the next one begins with: headedDDog. It’s ripe for typos.
I think it’s a safe bet that I am not the target audience for this site. After a retina-burning flash sequence, we’re taken to a landing page where a 20-something woman cups her breasts invitingly. Tag line? “Do you like these? Play” Classy. You’d better “Invite Your Dogs” to check out this game, brah! (Oooh, look, it’s viral marketing.)
Downtown Manhattan is awash in the aforementioned snipes it’s a relatively cheap medium that lasts a long time (Have you ever tried to remove something that’s been wheatpasted on to something else? It’s not pretty.) The decay can be, as pictured in the poster collage by swoon shown here, can be beautiful in its own right.
There have always been plenty of posters around town that didn’t fall into the category of street art – concert announcements, album promotions, books, etc. Over the years though, as marketing AND consumers have become increasingly slick and sophisticated, snipes have become a legitimate vehicle for big name and big money campaigns.
The site navigation is a little wacky, but the shirts, and the information about the makers of the images on said shirts is great. Once you choose an artist/designer name from the left navigation, you’re taken to a page that has a one paragraph bio on the maker, alongside a sample t-shirt from their group. Click on the t-shirt and you’re taken to a page that shows all the shirts available from that particular designer.