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Archives: April 2009

Ellies Roundup: Wired, War Photography, and Dead Gorillas

ellies09.jpgLike your nerdy nephew, the American Society of Magazine Editors just can’t get enough of Wired and war photography. After collecting 2009 National Magazine Awards for general excellence in the 500,000 to 1,000,000 circulation category and best magazine section (for its “highly browseable, information-packed” Start department), Wired again won the Ellie for design, triumphing over Bon Appétit, Good, GQ, and New York. The magazine’s design, masterminded by creative director Scott Dadich and design director Wyatt Mitchell, also won last year. Meanwhile, Platon‘s New Yorker photo portfolio of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan bested the visual feasts of Bon Appétit and Gourmet as well as Bruce Weber‘s take on the big easy for W.

Meanwhile, it was déjà vu all over again in the photojournalism category, snapped up (for the second consecutive year) by National Geographic, this time for a piece that asked the age-old question “Who Murdered the Virunga Gorillas?” photographed by Brent Stirton with text by Mark Jenkins. But there was one surprise: in its first ever win in the photography category, GQ was lauded for “captur[ing] the essence of a person, an idea, and even a product within the broad range of celebrity portraiture, fashion, reportage, style, and humor.”

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

Print Wins Second Consecutive National Magazine Award

print apr09.jpgWho says print is dead? At tonight’s National Magazine Awards gala, held at Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, Print nabbed its second consecutive award for general excellence in the under-100,000 circulation category, besting such esteemed fellow finalists as Aperture and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Print was singled out for its February, April, and October issues produced under former editor-in-chief Joyce Rutter Kaye. This “Ellie,” named for the elephantine Alexander Calder-designed award statuette, is the graphic design magazine’s fifth. Before its recent back-to-back wins, Print previously won for general excellence in 2005, 2002, and 1994.

NYT Graphics Dept., Francisco Costa Among ’09 National Design Award Winners

NDA 2009.jpgThe John Maeda-chaired jury has spoken, and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum today announced the winners of the 2009 National Design Awards, which gives you just over five months to figure out what you’ll wear to the October gala. Those in the know will be clad in Calvin Klein Collection, seeing as the label’s creative director for womenswear, Francisco Costa, is the winner of the National Design Award for fashion design. Costa is no stranger to the NDAs, having served as a juror last year. Meanwhile, in this, the awards’ tenth anniversary year, a new (tenth) category has been added: interaction design, recognizing “an individual or firm for the innovative design of digital technology.” The inaugural winner? Perceptive Pixel, the three-year-old company behind the “magic wall” displays that have become all the rage on networks such as CNN, Fox, and ABC. Here’s the full list of 2009 National Design Award winners and finalists:

Lifetime Achievement: Bill Moggridge

Design Mind: Amory B. Lovins

Corporate Achievement: Walker Art Center

  • Finalists: Dwell Magazine, Heath Ceramics
  • Architecture Design: SHoP Architects

  • Finalists: Architecture Research Office, Michael Maltzan
  • Communications Design: The New York Times Graphics Department

  • Finalists: Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Project Projects
  • Fashion Design: Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection

  • Finalists: Thom Browne, Rodarte
  • Read more

    Design & a Deal, Downtown this Tuesday

    The Tribeca Film Festival may be winding down this weekend, but the creative energy will continue downtown as some of the best design minds gather Tuesday night to talk about what’s new in design. Five cutting edge designers will share their secrets about creating compelling campaigns and connecting clients to customers through innovative advertising, branding, and interactive design. And they’re doing it in this harsh economic climate.

    Click here for more information and use the UNBEIGE25 code to get $25 off your ticket. A deal, downtown. Nice.

    Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge Chair Set to Auction to Test ‘Design as Art’ Market


    Do you have a million dollars on you right now? Have you been standing for a long time and your legs are getting a tired? If you answered yes to both, we have the perfect opportunity for you. Marc Newson‘s Lockheed Lounge chair will be heading to auction soon in London, largely used to test the waters and see if the design-as-art market is still alive and kicking or if most buyers are keeping their purse strings tightly sealed. Other copies of Newson’s chair, which was used in Madonna‘s music video, Rain, giving it some extra cache (though with whom we’re not entirely sure), were sold back in 2006 and 2007, setting records for the work of a living designer. So, with those pre-bust numbers in hand, it’s been decided that it should go up to bat once more, apparently the perfect chance to see who is still out there looking for chairs that cost a million dollars:

    “It’s the seminal piece of contemporary design,” Kenny Schachter, a London-based dealer in contemporary art and design, said in an interview. “Everything in the market is measured against this. It’s traded as regularly as an IBM share.”

    Getty Trust Cuts 200+ Positions, Institutes Budget Trims and Expects Exhibit Delays


    Following seemingly every other museum in the country and across the world, the J. Paul Getty Trust is the latest to suffer cuts due to the struggling economy. This week, the organization announced that it would be cutting more than 200 positions (some vacant, but 91 employees will be leaving), will pull their spending way back, and expect to delay upcoming exhibitions and purchasing. They have also said that they plan to not implement any new raises and that their higher ups will be taking a six percent pay cut. All of this, of course, stems from the Getty’s investments turning sour and shrinking endowments, something we talked about back in the middle of March when Trust president James Wood was just hinting at when the axe might fall and employees would start losing their jobs. Here’s a bit about the money situation:

    [Spokeswoman Julie Jaskol] said the cuts will include reductions in the number of exhibitions and less money for acquisitions of the ancient Greek and Roman, pre-20th century European and photographic art that the Getty primarily collects. Employees will meet with department heads Wednesday and Thursday to get details of how the unprecedented cuts will affect them; until then, Jaskol said, the Getty won’t provide more details on the budget.

    Rem Koolhaas Talks Sustainability in Front of His Temporary Building


    Starchitect Rem Koolhaas popped up in a weird little interview with Reuters this week to talk about how he envisions the immediate future of his profession, given that no one has any money anymore. Of course he said be believed that new buildings would be less flashy and more “socially responsible.” Though it felt a little strange that he was saying all of this as he stood outside of his newly opened Prada Transformer temporary exhibition hall (by definition, something that is inherently non-sustainable). Granted, he talks about how it was “constructed at reasonable costs” but mostly said it was a good way to take people’s minds off these hard times, which we read as “it cost a lot and let’s not focus on that right now.” One party in particular probably not eager to talk about the price is Prada itself, which just released its financials from 2008, which found the fashion empire’s annual net profit down more than twenty percent. Though, to be fair, they claim a lot of what they took in was immediately reinvested back into the company. But if they had even a slightly rough go of it in ’08, one wonders if we’ll be seeing any more publicity-grabbing things like the Transformer again any time soon.

    Pantone Teams with SeaVees on Vintage-Hued Sneaker Line

    seavees pantone.jpgPicture it: California, 1963. There are oranges and avocados, beach towels faded into chalky pastels, and swarms of surfers toting vanilla-hued longboards etched with bold stripes of eggplant and teal. That’s the old-school California cool palette that shoe company SeaVees plucked from the Pantone archives for the color authority’s latest consumer-directed collaboration: a limited-edition sneaker collection. Named for the date of Pantone’s founding and the release of its first color matching system, SeaVees’ Pantone Universe 09/63 collection is available in seven vintage Pantone colors, with each style sporting a backstay heat-emboss of the 1963 Pantone logo and three-digit Pantone number, for maximum design street cred. Available in men’s and women’s sizes, the sneakers are selling for $125 a pair at the SeaVees website and stores worldwide. Hankering to be the only one on your block with sneakers in PMS433? Act fast. Production has been limited to 1,963 pairs.

    Target Readies Tracy Feith-Designed GO International Collection

    tracy feith for target.jpgFor fast fashion fans, the summer of 2009 is shaping up to be a battle of the bohemians. Think more is more—for less. In the wake of H&M’s April 23 launch of its limited edition Matthew Williamson line (a second summer installment enters wider distribution on May 14), Target will debut its latest GO International capsule collection of women’s apparel designed by resortwear darling Tracy Feith, whose Manhattan-made apparel is usually obtainable only through his four stores and a handful of other boutiques nationwide. Ranging in price from $14.99 to $139.99, the Feith-designed Target collection hits stores on May 17 and includes the look pictured at left along with colorful printed tees, dresses, A-line skirts, and ruffled tops. And bring on the beachy prints: bright-blue, pink, and yellow florals; stylized leaf-bark; “crazy daisy”; and picnic tablecloth-worthy tropicalia. Click here for more looks from the collection, which will be available through June 20.

    Dirk Barnett Named Creative Director of Maxim

    Barnett.jpgFresh off his much-lauded redesign of Blender (may it rest in peace), Dirk Barnett (at left) has been appointed creative director of lad mag Maxim, publisher Alpha Media Group announced today. Before shaking up things at Blender, Barnett worked for The New York Times Magazine‘s Key and Play spin-offs, where he oversaw art direction and design, including the original design for Key. With 9 medals and 93 merits from the Society of Publication Designers already under his belt, Barnett may well add to his stash of honors next Friday when SPD announces the winners of its 44th annual awards at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. According to the invite, dress code for the gala is “black tie preferred, muzzles optional.”

    (Photo: Brent Humphreys)

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