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Archives: December 2006

End of Year Goodness With Springwise

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Everyone likes the year-end lists, right? We believe that’s why people invented the concept of a year in the first place, so they could combine things in full and choose the best and worst of most anything. Spingwise, one of our favorite sites that’s just a blast to visit, whether we know anything about the day’s topic or not, has a batch of year end “best of the best” links. Granted, not a lot of it has to do with design, but there’s loads of good ideas in there. You’ve got Top 10 Financial Service Ideas, the Top 10 Life-Hacking Business Ideas, and a whole batch more. If you’re looking to kill some of the day, because really, what’s going on this week that you’re actually going to be working, this is it.

Model Moves to CSS, Men Swoon

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Proven by phenomenon like that Lonelygirl15 thing, men like the pretty girl with the nerd brain. So it’s likely that this will be spreading like wildfire. It’s an interview with Larissa Meek, a former Miss USA contestant who is now a designer and web developer. Interesting interview though, not just for the weird combinations — especially when she moves back and forth between talking about her stints modeling and bad reality television and being the senior designer at a web firm.

The year was 2001. I was 22 years old. A month before I had bombed my top 5 question at Miss USA then became a recently laid-off 3D animator. I felt lost. I needed to work and there was very little opportunity for 3D animation in St. Louis, so I turned to the web as a way to promote my artwork and modeling portfolio.

I studied 3D animation in school so the familiarity of timelines and motion made Macromedia Flash an easy transition. Thanks to hundreds of books, great resources on the web and a passion for visual stuff I learned web design on my own. Today my focus is on css/xhtml based sites.

Happy Birthday, Dear Bauhaus!

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Our friends at Artkrush pointed us towards these birthday wishes for the Bauhaus school, which is celebrating 80 years of right-angled glory.

The article points to how the building’s iconic design fell in and out of favor over the years, yet it certainly seems to be in step with today’s cool kids:

Fans of the late 1990s trend for urban loft living will feel at home among the untreated concrete surfaces, while anyone who has shopped at Swedish furniture superstore IKEA will find the plain and functional furniture and light-fittings familiar.

The building plans to celebrate with a gray rectangular cake.

If the High Admission Price Doesn’t Kill You, the Radiation Surely Will

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A fun story for a slow day, found while knocking around BoingBoing. Not really much worth telling you about, commentary-wise — it’s all in the story and the image:

After the 1979 partial meltdown at Three-mile Island in Pennsylvania, Disney theme park designer Art Riley jokingly proposed repurposing the site as an amusement park – seen in this concept art found recently on Ebay. Good news: meltdown was contained. Bad news: fun park wasn’t built.

Keep reading that post. It gets even better.

Thinking About Business During Your Time Off

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If you work for an ad agency, design firm, or anything moderately creative, you’re probably off this whole week, as are we (except, of course, for writing for UnBeige, because the news doesn’t stop for holidays). Design Matters, has a nice, short simple little piece about being off these couple of weeks and doing some thinking about your business:

Thinking is so often overlooked, since many designers tend to enjoy doing: designing, creating, making. It’s the leisure of unstructured time over these next few days that allow the opportunity for thinking.

Big picture thinking: Where are you headed next year? Where is your design business headed? Are you content with your positioning? Are you content with your client relationships? Are you noticing your employees enough? Are you making it possible for them to do great work?

The Redesign That Went Flat

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Big news this week in the world of sport, is that fancy new NBA ball, supposedly redesigned for absolute perfect play and released earlier in the year, is getting a recall and the league is going back to the regular ol’ one come January 1st. Here’s from the Berkshire Eagle quoting the AP story:

Touhey, the vice president of marketing for the Springfield-based sporting goods manufacturer, said he believes there is still a need and a desire to improve the ball. When that happens, Spalding will be open to using the two-panel design developed by Lenox marketing firm Winstanley Associates. “We think it will still be redesigned. Nothing has changed,” Touhey said. “In our mind, the current ball is still not the best product we can offer. We think the process will continue.”

And related, Sports Illustrated has a little bit more info about the ball, but uses that to launch into other failed ideas in sports. Some fun stuff in there.

America’s Unfunniest Videos

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The so-called experts come out in droves this time of year to deliver their sanctified Best-of and Worst-of lists. But this compilation of “The worst commercials on television,” published on Slate, is a winner for one reason–the quality comments from regular Joes. Like the insight from Kate Mance concerning the brown-spattered Domino’s still above:

I await any insight you might have on why someone thought it was a good idea to have a mascot for a food product that brings to mind Hanky the Christmas Poo.

See for yourself.

BusinessWeek’s Girl Branding Experts Talk Irresistibility…and Sex

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From BusinessWeek:

Here’s a lesson in how to create a face for your brand that will be irresistible to girls and will blow away the competition.

What’s lovable, snuggly, irresistible, collectible, obsession-worthy, and can rapidly blow your brand right past its competition?

You’re intrigued, right? That’s two irresistibles and two kinds of blowing, by the way, in as many sentences.

The “Girls of 3iYing” have written this article with the secret for a can’t-fail brand identity–a character icon.

We’ve heard of 3iYing before–a branding company which specializes in targeting teen to college-age women. But what’s up a bunch of “girls” writing articles named “Man-Eaters of Madison Avenue” and “When Sex Isn’t Sexy.”

That second one opens “Hey, want to talk steamy sex with 10 teen girls?

Um, gross?

For Khoi Vinh, the Answer Is No Ware

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You may not know it, but web-star Khoi Vinh is also one of the biggest comics fans around. In his recent article, “Comics for People Who Hate Comics,” Vinh visits one half of the “Masters of American Comics” exhibition (not the half that’s hidden in the Federal Witness Protection Program). He reveals that there’s one comic artist who just doesn’t do it for him and the comics industry in general: Chris Ware. Read on, including the comments, where a few of Those Who Know argue the whole “should accessibility equal popularity?” issue.

Dumb + Money: Architects Forced to Make With the Stupid

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You remember in grade school when there would be that one kid who, when some popular film or album came out that everyone loved, would go just a step too far and buy everything out there that was in some way related to said film or album? “It’s my twenty-seventh day wearing a different Smokie and the Bandit t-shirt, but I don’t care! Man, did I love that movie!” Well, those people are grown up now, they’re rich, and they’re starting to build things that look like the tech junk they enjoy — Endgadget has been following both the guy who is planning the iPod building there in Dubai as well as the one, in Australia this time, who thinks it’d be awesome to make a skyscraper look like a cell phone.

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