Saturday, September 27, 2008

Information Graphics

Given America's current economic woes the documentary I.O.U.S.A. deftly uses information graphics to represent the situation in such a way that information is a main character in the film.

Interview with Brian Oakes

I.O.U.S.A. the Movie

NYC Bike Rack Design Competion

Urban environments are experiencing an increasing number of bikers, and NYC has sponsored a competition to find a bike rack suited for a city streetscape that recognizes the need for security, ease of installation and maintenance, and efficient use of space.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Don't Design the Box: Merchandising

Here is a warning provided by designer Christopher Fahey not to miss the point of product packaging by getting carried away with the marketing aspects of presenting a product to the consuming public.

Don't Design the Box

"Merchandising can be defined as the strategy and implementation of how a product is presented to customers as they decide whether or not to adopt or purchase. It is the aspect of design that focuses on a product’s desirability (as opposed to its utility, price, usability, etc.). It is where product design and advertising intersect...

Merchandising is the strategy and implementation of how a product is displayed in stores, how it shows up in photography, how it is described on a web site. It’s a consciousness of — and responsibility for — the final step in the product supply chain."

- Christopher Fahey

The video below is a parody of Microsoft's packaging approach if it was applied to the iPod.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Technology: E-Ink

Esquire Magazine introduces the first E-Ink (electronic-ink) cover on newsstands in October.

How E-Ink Works

Design History: Yves Saint Laurent

This reflection on the career of YSL, repeats a conclusion I mentioned a week ago on how important it is for a designer to understand SHAPE.

"More particularly, in St. Laurent’s work, while this change was in part one of fabric and visual reference, it was most significantly one of geometry, of form, of shape, of profile. That first post-Dior collection essayed a sort of triangular dress sillhouette, followed by something linear, then by something convex, and on and on. One quality that ostensibly distinguishes “designing” from its sister “styling,” as modes of applying form to objects, is the seeming constancy of the former, and the seeming changeability of the latter. A good design solution is a good design solution, goes the argument, regardless of the calendar or clock. But as for style, what’s lively in April is deadly in September."

- Thomas de Monchaux

Thomas de Monchaux Remembers YSL

Apple: Upgrades its IPod Franchise

How does a company who has arguably the most successful consumer electronics product introduced in the last generation maintain its relevance?

NYTimes Article

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Interface Design: Google's New Web Browser-Chrome

Google introduces their new web browser using illustrations to communicate the story of its latest product. Do we need another browser? Well if Google thinks it has value then could it be that the web browser will become the new operating system?

NPR's: Audio Review

Chrome Comic Book

Analysis: Poplar Mechanics

Article: How Google Will Change the Users Experience on the Web

Article: Industrial Design and Human Factors

Appliance magazine has a great online interactive magazine. This month it features an article on Industrial Design.

Appliance Magazine

Interactive Article on Industrial Design

Design Educator: John Meda

"A designer is someone who constructs while he thinks, someone for whom planning and making go together," says Mr. Maeda, cocking his head, widening his eyes, moving his hands as if he were shaping a pot. Mr. Maeda considers himself post-digital; he has outgrown his fascination with hardware and is driven by ideas. "I want to reform technology. All the tools are the same; people make the same things with them."

Illustration by: Ismael Roldan

WSJ Article


Boston Globe Article

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Shape of Things

On a recent trip to NYC, I realized how important it is for a designer to understand shape. In this case I am thinking of shape as the form or outline of an object.

This was a conclusion that was partially formed by seeing the popularity of the converse sneakers on so many New Yorkers. I thought how well the low profile of converse "all star" worked with the slim leg/ saggy bottom jeans that so many new yorker's have adopted. And so, the look (shape)that these two pieces of clothing create is part of their overall appeal. The the slim slacks and the low profile of the "all star" make a union that highlights the owners legs and feet, allowing them to be visually connected in away that works so well.

Shape is also a concept that I am currently teaching in my Typography class. And so, I realize how one most develop the ability to see figure and ground relationship such that beyond seeing the object one can also see the space around it.

Pharell talk and sings about his Chucks.

Converse Video