this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all
this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all.
this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all.
this is a private blog for my design students and assorted other survivors. Tro blemakers all.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and
the New York City Subway

"There is a commonly held belief that Helvetica is the signage typeface of the New York City subway system, a belief reinforced by Helvetica, Gary Hustwit’s popular 2007 documentary about the typeface. But it is not true—or rather, it is only somewhat true. Helvetica is the official typeface of the MTA today, but it was not the typeface specified by Unimark International when it created a new signage system at the end of the 1960s. Why was Helvetica not chosen originally? What was chosen in its place? Why is Helvetica used now, and when did the changeover occur? To answer those questions this essay explores several important histories: of the New York City subway system, transportation signage in the 1960s, Unimark International and, of course, Helvetica. These four strands are woven together, over nine pages, to tell a story that ultimately transcends the simple issue of Helvetica and the subway." click HELVETICA to go to story.
at this year's 100% design tokyo, next maruni presented new furniture in a joint
exhibition between maruni wood industry inc. and maysa co., ltd., entitled
'nextmaruni + HA-RU mono'.

included in the exhibition was an armless chair designed by kazuyo sejima and
ryue nishizawa

the duo first designed a similar chair back in 2005. now nextmurani has released
the chair in a wider version. the design consists of free asymmetric 'ears' which act
as the back of the chair. it is made from translucent white beechwood, which speaks
to the chair's minimalist design.

two 'ears' stand upright to form the back of the armless chair

Sunday, November 23, 2008

don't forget your blog-post research assignment is due this coming friday !

Please also remember, your portfolio, ie. all your finished projects - especially the extended layout/typesetting/magazine assignment, must be coherently assembled/collected, onto a dvd or usb format. it's due and to be handed in during our final class.

porcelain fragments from the ming and qing dynasties, 2006-2008

li xiaofeng is a beijing artist who creates clothing pieces, made from remnants of traditional chinese ceramics.

he makes the clothing from ceramic shards coming from the song, ming, yuan and qing dynasties, which are sewn together on a leather undergarment.

some of his projects include this suit jacket and tie as well as a number of mid-length women’s dresses. in xiaofeng’s studio, piles of ceramic pieces sit in bins are sorted by date, colour and shape.

‘save as: contemporary chinese art born of ancient traditions’ - is currently running at the virginia miller gallery, and is his exhibition debut outside of asia. the show runs until february 28, 2009.

alejandra laviada - photo sculptures
danziger projects, new york
october 11 - november 22, 2008

alejandra laviada explores both photography and sculpture in her artwork. she assembles found objects into unusual arrays and configurations and then photographs them. this process aims to transform the way we look at these ordinary objects. she was born in mexico city and later studied in the united states before returning home. this exhibit focuses on her most recent series, ‘photo sculptures’. the exhibit will also be her debut american solo show.

the london-based designer / illustrator james joyce recently launched his new website. under the studio name of 'one fine day' joyce produces work for the guardian, creative review,the new york times, guinness and others.

Theresa Honeywell is a textile artist who is perhaps best known for her knit-wool reproductions of consumer products. however, she has also knit a full-size cozy for a motorcycle and also has a series of reproduction tattoos made from fine lace. her soft textured projects often draw attention to their juxtaposition to the real things. While a tool belt and machine gun are actually hard and tough in reality, honeywell’s reproductions are as soft and cozy as a teddybear.

The groundbreaking ceremony for ‘the vault’ by oppenheim architecture + design will take place during this year’s design miami.

the new art complex fully titled ‘art vault & valuables services’ is located in the wynwood design district of miami. the building will serve as a storage facility for art collections and other valuable goods. investor javier lumbreras who owns similar depository warehouses in major cities around the world, leads the project. this particular structure will be 11 stories and is set to be complete by 2011.

miami and basel based oppenheim architecture + design was selected as the architect and will cover the facade of ‘the vault’ with constantly revolving panels of images. ( how cool is that ! ) inside there will be a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory and access to premium financial and insurance services as well as exhibition

Sunday, November 16, 2008

things most remarkable No's.10 & 11
for extra marks - what are they ? ... exactly .
one of them you will find rather ..... unsettling ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

the skippy racer, motion is not solely a moderne concern, what
lovely, sinuous forms. Irresistible to the hand, moving and perfectly red.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Run Wrake is an animator and illustrator. His work includes
the widely acclaimed short film Rabbit, music visuals for U2 and Howie B,
and commercials for Coca-Cola and Natwest. He lives in Kent, England.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It seems that during World War I, in Austria and Germany, there was a moment when the metal that coins were made of became more valuable than the money it represented.

People began hoarding coins, and during the war, the metal which was available was needed for the war. The shortage of metal meant people were having trouble, well, making change.

So individual cities, local banks and organizations and so on began to take it on themselves to print what were called "Notgeld," which means "emergency money" or "necessity money", mostly colorful paper notes in low denominations (although they also used linen, tin foil, porcelain, and coal, to name a few unusual materials).

Notgeld began during the war and carried on into the period before and slightly overlapping the height of hyperinflation, when it took the proverbial wheelbarrow of money to buy an egg which happened in the early 1920's.

So I suspect a lot of these notgeld were printed. And, since they were really, really beautifully-designed (this was the height of German Expressionism, after all), people began to collect them. And, since people collected the pretty ones, there began to be some competition about who could produce the prettiest.

Which goes to show that even in the worst of all possible worlds, a Europe drowning in War and famine, there were microcosms of beauty.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Belgian photographer Filip Dujardin makes images of unexpected buildings
– that is, he "combines photographs of parts of buildings into new, fictional,
architectonic structures"

Sunday, November 09, 2008

D2 you will remember - that this week, in class, on Friday, yes, this very and coming Friday, you MUST be prepared to show actually tangible, demonstratively visible, and identifiably evident progress with your mag/tableaux/layout portfolio assignment.

Yes, I know God ate your USB key, and your step-dad has run off with Radiohead, and your dog has begun to talk, again, but .... every life has its own little amusements and diversions. As you have known, from day one - this assignment is process oriented, consultative, ongoing. You simply must do this or you will fail !
Kool, with a k.
I've included the prices just to upset you, items 1 & 3 are vintage, sold as is. The milano chair is new, and has that sexy new car smell. Just kidding, it smells like a chair. Custom design is expensive.

Paul Frankl "Big Foot" Cork Cocktail Table USA 1950. The top is "Bleached Cork" with 3 splayed Mahogany Legs. This is the most sought after of the cork tables. Price $16,000

Milano Chair Wing Back Chair Inspired by Italian Design of the 1940s Frame: Alder, Legs: Walnut Cost $ 4000.00

Paul Frankl Speed Chair
New York 1930 from Frankl Studios. Baby Blue Leather with Canvas Welt. Hand Tied Springs Chair is on hidden castors. Baby Blue Leather with Canvas Welt. Price $11,000

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I've been trying to imagine the process, the preliminary
design briefs, early concept
meetings ....

(I bet they had lattes and chocolaty croissants)

The genesis of this cruel, visually illiterate, idea impoverished cabal.

The meetings where they sat about on uncomfortable designer chairs
and discussed this logo, the meetings where they agreed
that it was, irresistible - brilliant, absolutely the best one.

Those wankers chose, decided, and who concluded the business are now
infamous, and will probably remain, resolutely invisible (who can
blame them ?) a committee of amateurs, administrators
and sycophants,

you know, ...the ones who have conspired to impose
this new, "improved", and somehow, impossibly,
intergalactically insipid civic logo upon us.

Who are they ? (secretly, I think some of them work where I do)

The immediate cost to the innocent citizen was roughly
$500,000.00, but the long term effect, will be incalculable.

A branding Chernobyl ladies and gentlemen, whose half-life
of embarrassment ,will be roughly 10,000 years. About
the same length of time it will take us to get over the big O.

Ahhh, here's the file now, ohh look... it's likely the
same folks, who approved these other graphic amusements

You know, it really does look like somebodies sister or cousin, or
boyfriend designed the thing. Someone who went to desktop
publishing summer camp. Where's my bloody hammer ......

Montreal's new "groovy" logo .... aaaagggrrrhhhHHhhi ,
it's the one below

my eyes are bleeding .... aaagghhhhh...
you guys are always asking what I do on the weekends, so here,
linked , are a few snaps of me and my friends, as we are,
en flagrente
delecto. ps. I'm the one  in the ridiculous costume

Photography as a Weapon

D2 please read the linked article