Sunday, January 27, 2008

Design History: Jan Tschichold

German type and book designer Jan Tschichold (1902-1974) revolutionized modern typography through his bold, asymmetrical designs and use of sanserif typography, both inspired by the work of the Bauhaus. He proclaimed his new design philosophy through a series of articles and books, including Die neue Typographie, published in Berlin in 1928. His international renown came largely as a result of his redesign of Penguin's entire series of paperback novels just after World War II. Any graphic designer practicing today owes a debt to Tschichold's innovation.

Typographic Glossary

Friday, January 25, 2008

Design for Democracy: Lessons Learned

As we head into the heat of a new political season it is good to know that weakness in the electoral process that where identified in 2000 have been looked into and lessons documented. The question now is will the various jurisdictions take heed of the best practices and improve the voting process in ways that builds confidence and minimizes confusion among the voting public.


Article: Ballot Initiative

History of Voting


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Landscape Architect: Scape's Kate Orff

It would be important not to missed the direction that magazine's are heading with their online content. The interview below it part of a series on "Design Leaders" Dwell magazine has incorporated into its online content that adds value to its brand. And so for those with an interest in communication design, paper is only a small portion of the experience for which design can have impact.

Dwell Magazine Online

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MoMA Exhibition: Design and the Elastic Mind

This exciting MoMA exhibition opens on Feburary 24, 2008; and is organized by Paola Antonelli, Curator, and Patricia Juncosa Vecchierini, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

One of design's most fundamental tasks is to stand between revolutions and life, and to help people deal with change. Designers have coped with these displacements by contributing thoughtful concepts that can provide guidance and ease as science and technology evolve.

Several of them—the Mosaic graphic user's interface for the Internet, for instance—have truly changed the world. Design and the Elastic Mind is a survey of the latest developments in the field. It focuses on designers' ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and social mores, changes that will demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior, and convert them into objects and systems that people understand and use.

Internet Pioneers

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Beautiful Integration of Product and Interaction Design

I was first attracted by the form of this music mixer/player. The sysmetry and balance evidenced in the sculptual bevels circling its screen and touch sensitive dial, its matte black coloring, the holes at either end where this hand held device can be secured by a laynard are just a few of the things that caught my eye.
Created for the DJ's among us, but from what I can tell it has great potential to be the it device when it debuts in Feburary 2008.

Pacemaker®, is the world’s first pocket-size DJ system – a superior portable music player enabling the playing of two tracks simultaneously, equipped with an extensive range of professional audio manipulation features allowing for creative mixing between two independent channels. Any mix created can be saved for legal sharing.

Pacemaker Website

Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Update

The march towards a memorial to honor the legacy of a great American and a historical time in America continues.

Virtual Tour of the Memorial

Controversy over the Selection of a Chinese Sculptor

The Legacy of Dr. King Discussed

More controversy

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Paradigm: Open Source and the Long Tail

Chris Anderson presents his ideas on two models changing the landscape of how business win and keep costumers.He is a contributing editor to Wired magazine, and author of the best selling book, The Long Tail.

Video Presentation

Interview with Chris Anderson

Music Business Case Study Radiohead, a British band, charted new waters when it introduced its latest album online and allowing customers to pay a fee of their own choice for the download.

Radiohead Story

Typography Design: An Online Resource

It is so easy to overlook the detail of a well formed letter, which is the core of what Typography is.

The designing of letter forms that make up the words, phases, sentences etc.. that humans rely on to understand the world in which they exist.

Hoefler and Frere-Jones is a firm that has devoted itself to this exploration for two decades offers insight into the discipline by way of their website:

Article on the Firm

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Policy Battle: Patent Protection in the 21st Century

The Patent Reform Act goes before the Senate this year and has the potential to reshape our view of innovation and entrepreneurship for years to come.

NYTimes Article

Online Stratgey: Comparing Obama and Clinton's Approach

The following link provides a critque of the online strategies used by the Obama and Clinton campaigns. The philosophy/approach behind how they engage contributors can extend the relationship beyond financial support to creating true advocates for their cause if done properly.

Dr. John J. Sviokla Analysis

Monday, January 14, 2008

Auto Design: The Color of Green is Blue

Word from the 2008 North American International Auto Show is that the most noticeable new color is a saturated pale blue.

In addition, alternative energy options are being explored more cross the industry. So it should be an interesting decade to see which alternative technology will become the new standard following successful hybird fuel/battery system used by Toyota.

Design Education: John Meada Joins RISD

Ater ten years of leading MIT's Media Lab John Meada heads to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to serve as the school's 16th president. He discusses why he decided to move from a program at the leading edge of technology reseach to a school whose history is steeped in the traditional visual arts.

AIGA Article

John Meada Moves to RISD: Interview

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Panel Discussion: "The Power of Design"

Gensler's, an architectual firm, designers discuss what makes the firm unique.

Article and Video Link

Gensler's Homepage

An Eames Postage Stamp

In honor of the significant contribution made by Charles and Ray Eames,the husband and wife design team changed modern design. The United Postal Service has decided to issue a commemorative stamp this summer in their honor.


"In recognition of their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, manufacturing and photographic arts, designers Charles and Ray Eames will be honored next summer with a pane of 16 stamps designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC. If you’ve ever sat in a stackable molded chair, you’ve experienced their creativity. Perhaps best known for their furniture, the Eameses were husband and wife as well as design partners. Their extraordinary body of creative work — which reflected the nation’s youthful and inventive outlook after World War II — also included architecture, films and exhibits. Without abandoning tradition, Charles and Ray Eames used new materials and technology to create high-quality products that addressed everyday problems and made modern design available to the American public."

Article on the Eames Lounge Chair

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

MoMA Exhibition: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling

MoMA will turn a vacant lot next to its facilities in NYC into the site for the construction of five PreFab houses this summer.

The discussion and exploration into dwellings that can be easily and inexpensively built is finding a voice as new housing prices particularly in urban environs move out of the reach of the middle class.

MoMA Website

NYTimes Article

Design History: Nike and Jordan Changed the Game

Just to continue the theme of the influence of icons in capturing the minds of the consuming public when they endorse if not actually participate in the design of a product. In 1985 Micheal Jordan sign with Nike and release the first Air Jordan.

"The Air Jordan franchise created the most coveted basketball footwear in the world and changed the basketball landscape forever," said Nike Brand President Charlie Denson.

Unlike most basketball shoes to date, which were often white and utilitarian, the Air Jordan was a shock of black and red. It was initially banned by the NBA for not conforming with other players' shoes.

The shoe's pricing was also revolutionary in breaking the $100 mark, resulting in complaints of exploitation and profit gouging. This latest version will top $200, and is being sold as being ecologically sensitive.

Chicago Tribune Article

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Rap Artist (Dr. Dre) Designs Headphones?

It was only a matter of time before hip hop moguls would begin to design consumer electronic products, or at least lend their name, as they have done so successfully in almost every other sphere (i.e. TV, movies, fashion, cosmetics etc.).

From what I can tell, Beats by Dr. Dre, is a well executed venture. The branding, name, graphics, website and accompanying music are all first rate. If the physical product is of good quality it really could establish itself in the marketplace along side the likes of Bose, but targeted at a different audience. At $399, its sleek style and unique features: push to listen/mute button; microphone/headphone adapter for iPhones and hip carrying case has a very good chance at succeeding.

And, for the designer that has a well developed hip hop sensibility they could leverage this opportunity and align themselves with a rap moguls that can green light projects and bring a series of products to the market (chua ching).

Site: Beats by Monster

Time Magzine Review (2008)

Another Review

Monday, January 07, 2008

Back from a Blogging Break: Happy 2008!

Wow! Its been weeks since I last posted an item. The end of year break from my routines, allowed for opportunity to travel, reconnect with family and friends and rest. I am not exactly sure what direction my postings will take this year, but we will both find out in the coming weeks.

But what I can say is that I am looking forward to an year of new beginnings.