Saturday, August 30, 2008

Marc Newson Strikes Again

Design superstar Marc Newson reworked Quantus airlines new jumbo aircraft.

I marvel at the scale of the project he and his team undertake, before this he took on Virgin's space flight aircraft (see posting 2007)

NYTimes Article

Article: Virgin Spacecraft

Flight Global Article

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Auto Design: New Leadership at Mercedes and Chrysler

The poor performance of auto companies of late seems to be helping to move the design managers into retirement. Both Ford and Mercedes design directors have moved on to be replaced by new blood. Chrysler has moved Ralph Giles into the position of Director of Design, making him one of two African American's currently leading design at a major American car company, the other being Ed Wilbun at General Motors.

Ralph Giles

Peter Pfeiffer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Design as a Business Strategy: Coke Considers Design

Coke takes a serious look at how design can extend and already successful brand.

BusinessWeek Article

Technology: Touch Screens

The touch screen technology delivered to the consumer market in the iPhone is now coming to other products.

NYTimes Article

Intel's Touch Screen Tablet

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Package Design: Tide Detregent

Rob Walker in The New York Times offers an analysis of a branding icon -Tide.

(illustration by Peter Arkle):

"the effectiveness of the original Tide package, which communicated “cyclone in a box,” he says. “There’s this great dynamic tension there. The word ‘Tide’ is bursting out of the circle, and the circle is standing out of the box. It’s almost a baroque composition; it’s like what Steven Spielberg would do if he were designing a brand.” The idea was that Tide is “a force of nature — it’s a phase shift.” After all, an effective synthetic detergent was a real innovation in 1947, a result of years of expensive research and development. The bull’s-eye look was actually borrowed from earlier P.&G. products, Dash and Oxydol. But in his memorable culture and design book, “The Total Package,” Thomas Hine noted that “some sophisticated color research” — involving a psychologist who specialized in such things — went into selecting a bright scheme that would suggest “sufficient power,” tempered with the “likable” blue that had a more “sensitive” connotation. Reaching the market just as automatic washing machines were catching on, Tide was a sensation; anecdotal accounts from the time suggest people lined up to get hold of the stuff — as if it were an iPhone."

NYTimes Article

Design History: Typography in the Publishing World

In preparation for a new semester teaching Typography course, I discovered this interesting history on type used on the magazine Vanity Fair.

Design Observer Article

New Concept: Design- art

Design-Art is a new marketing construct created by the big auction houses to boost the sales of one kind or limited edition pieces often created by Designers. Much like in the "Art" world the value for a work is created by a few well-heeled, self-appointed purveyors of taste whose opinions can create interest were there was none the day before.

Marc Newson's Lockheed Lounger (pictured) fetched just shy of $1 million at a Chirsite's auction, making it the high price piece sold by a living designer.

For this designer, this new phenomenon will make it a little more difficult to educate the uninitiated as to what design is and the value of good design to life and culture.

IHT Article

Business week Article

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fashion Designer: Patrick Robinson

The Gap has entrusted its brand in the hands of designer Patrick Robinson.

For years Gap sales have been shrinking from the highs reached in the 90's as retailers like Abercrombie and Fitch have grown in popularity. Robinson has the task of introducing the Gap brand to a new generation of shoppers.

NYTimes Article

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TV Program: Architecture School

As evidence of the growing national conversation around Design, the Sundance channel brings to television a program that focuses on the process of designing homes for the Katrina damaged area of Louisiana.

I have not seen the program but I have seen comments that state how surprisingly interesting it the process of designing and building an practical homes is.

Series Video


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Product Design: Vertical Ice CubeTray

Here is a cleaver solution to making, chilling and storing ice.

Iceorb Site/ Video

Sketching Demonstrations

Being able to visualize one's thoughts is the basis for design thinking, drawing by-hand has been losing to computer generated images to the point where many design students graduate lacking the confidence in the drawing skills, fortunately employers are not holding this against them.

But, for those with basic drawing skills in place will no doubt be found more equipped to perform basic generative development sketches if important to the employer.

Sketching Site

Black Designers Summit

I had the pleasure to attended a gathering of designers brought together to discuss the value of developing a network of black designers, and how it might offer something different than the other design organizations that currently exist.

The working title for the group is BD-13, representing the thirteen designers able to gather at this meeting held at the University of Illinois at Chicago's campus.

One common concern was the need to address the declining numbers of black design professionals. The group asked how might we work to increase the ranks of blacks who select design as a profession. It was a day of good dialog, teaming exercises that began a conversation among designers who see a problem and are ready to use their skills to find a solution.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fashion Design with a Political Message

Tracey Reese and other fashion designers have been asked to produce politically inspired pieces for the Obama campaign. Does this recognition of the fashion industry as a means of communicating a message mean that an Obama presidency would bode well for the profession of Design?

Washington Post Article

The Brand Called Obama

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Website Redesign: IDEO

One of the worlds leading design consultancy's launched its redesigned website after more than a half-dozen years. Do take a moment to see what they are up to and how they do it.

IDEO: Design for Social Impact

Friday, August 08, 2008

Typography Websites

The coming week bring with it a new semester in which I will return to teaching a course in Typography.

The following links are a resource to demonstrate and better define what type design involves.

I Love Typography Site

A List Other Sites

Automotive Design: Ford GT

Recently I had a chance opportunity to whip around downtown Detroit in a Ford GT, a 500 hp high-end muscle car, with its designer Carmilo Pardo. I would say "thrilling" is a word that best describes the experience of riding side-saddle in a supercar.

Video Interview

Carmilo's Website

Ford GT Website

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fashion Design: "The Sneaker Freaks"

There is a fascinating underground world, at least it is to this baby boomer less than hip person, the sneaker design/entrepreneurial culture.

I recently saw a news piece on the demand and design of one of a kind limited edition sneakers, shops that sale them and customers that fuel this booming business. So forgive me for being late to the party and less than fashionably dressed.

I can say that I had noticed the number of colorful and coordinated outfits on city streets, but that was as far as I thought about it. But, it appears to be one more example of the hip-hop generation's aesthetic being expressed and its power to finance new businesses who cater to this market.

Jeff Staple Interview

Staple Design

Jeff Staple's Blog Site

New Nikes by ?uestlove