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Just call me “Senior Fun Czar” from here on out

1 Apr

The venerable German toy manufacturer Playmobil issued a new product line today: Playmobil Apple Store. Frankly, I don’t think any of you can call yourselves real designers unless you pull out your iPhones immediately and order the limited-edition collector’s edition scale model with the optional line pack.

Better yet if you do this while sitting on an exercise ball in skinny jeans while wearing a trucker’s cap with an ironic slogan on it.

Check out the love:

 

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MeeWha Lee lecture & reception today!

31 Mar

Reminder:

Lecture: March 31 @ 4:50 to 5:50 p.m. in A/C 149

Reception to follow in the Allen Priebe Gallery.

Design Management 101 / MeeWha Lee

Design students at UWO should not miss this opportunity. And have a look at the show in the Priebe beforehand– it’s up right now. From the show announcement:

This exhibition presents a design manager’s portfolio in a manner to both inform and inspire students of graphic design.

MeeWha Lee studied Design at Seoul National University in South Korea and at the University of Iowa. She has taught graphic communications design at two universities and has worked for three Fortune 200 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies as Design Director. This portfolio comprises her Brand Design and Innovation work from her CPG experience. Currently, she is Associate Director of Design & Innovation at Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods, Inc.

Exhibition dates: March 8 to 31, 2011.

 

Mark your calendars now: 3/31 @ 4:50 p.m.

10 Mar

Design Management 101 / MeeWha Lee

Design students at UWO should not miss this opportunity. And have a look at the show in the Priebe beforehand– it’s up right now. From the show announcement:

This exhibition presents a design manager’s portfolio in a manner to both inform and inspire students of graphic design.

MeeWha Lee studied Design at Seoul National University in South Korea and at the University of Iowa. She has taught graphic communications design at two universities and has worked for three Fortune 200 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies as Design Director. This portfolio comprises her Brand Design and Innovation work from her CPG experience. Currently, she is Associate Director of Design & Innovation at Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods, Inc.

Lecture: March 31 @ 4:50 to 5:50 p.m. in A/C 149

Reception to follow in the Allen Priebe Gallery.

Exhibition dates: March 8 to 31, 2011.

Long live print design, no matter the platform

24 Feb

Above: a sample page from The Daily. And I still love Portlandia, btw.

I was really interested to read this article over lunch today, as I’ve been craving to read more about what happens when we take traditional typography and layout techniques and apply them to digital media. I wish it was longer, but it’s a good general overview. Regardless of what you think of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, The Daily, his new iPad-only publication, is an intriguing mix of traditional print design and 21st-Century technology. It’s a little vanilla overall, but  it’s a new new world out there, and legibility should always come first. (Digital Trends has a good review of the user experience.)

“It’s comforting to see the well-tested tropes of print design translating to digital,” writes Ty Fujimura. “Paper itself is doomed to antiquity, but the design theory developed during its reign is effective and just as relevant for other media. Web content has traditionally been restricted to unexciting, homogeneous design by technological limitations. But advancements like HTML5 and devices like the iPad are freeing designers to create imaginative, stimulating interactive design rivaling what they could do in print.”

Since the introduction of the iPad, I’m interested in not only designing for the screen, but reading off of it as well. If I could only control the compulsion to continually click on links….

“It’s air, you know. It’s just there.”

23 Feb

{My first repost, on the occasion of yet another class seeing Helvetica.}

I just showed Gary Hustwit’s documentary, Helvetica, in my type class this afternoon. I have now seen it six or seven times, and I never fail to learn from it. What I most appreciate about this film is the breadth of perspectives and emotion relating to what was first called Haas Neue Grotesk: acceptance, reaction, re-acceptance, boredom, satisfaction.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines from the film (thanks to IMDB):

You can say, ‘I love you,’ in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy. Or you can say it with the Extra Bold if it’s really intensive and passionate, you know, and it might work. Massimo Vignelli

The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface, and that is why we loved Helvetica very much. Wim Crouwel

It’s air, you know. It’s just there. There’s no choice. You have to breathe, so you have to use Helvetica. Erik Spiekermann

I think I’m right calling Helvetica the perfume of the city. It is just something we don’t notice usually but we would miss very much if it wouldn’t be there. Lars Müller

I’m obviously a typeomaniac, which is an incurable if not mortal disease. I can’t explain it. I just love, I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it: they are my friends. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I get kicks out of looking at type. It’s a little worrying, I admit, but it’s a very nerdish thing to do. Erik Spiekermann

When you talk about the design of Haas Neue Grotesk or Helvetic, what it’s all about is the interrelationship of the negative shape, the figure-ground relationship, the shapes between characters and within characters, with the black, if you like, with the inked surface. And the Swiss pay more attention to the background, so that the counters and the space between characters just hold the letters. I mean you can’t imagine anything moving; it is so firm. It not a letter that bent to shape; it’s a letter that lives in a powerful matrix of surrounding space. It’s… oh, it’s brilliant when it’s done well. Mike Parker

It’s The Real Thing. Period. Coke. Period. Any Questions? Of Course Not. Michael Bierut




I (Heart) Little Golden Books

22 Nov

I can’t imagine that anyone reading this hasn’t encountered a Little Golden Book at least once in their lifetime. I bought a small stack of vintage titles for Rinn this weekend, and it only renewed my love for this venerable series. Every book features the distinctive golden spine and (in my humble opinion) the best script font ever, as seen in the logo/wordmark.

The first twelve titles were published (during wartime) in the fall of 1942, and new titles have been coming out ever since. Though the parent publisher has changed several times (LGB were started by Simon & Schuster and are now owned by Random House), Golden Books were printed for many years by Western Publishing in Racine. According to Random House, Little Golden Books were designed to be affordable at a time when most children’s books were considered to be a “luxury” for many families. Nearly 70 years later, they remain among the most affordable of children’s titles — especially when you buy them second-hand.

Of course, I also find them to be a fascinating record of recent history. See, for example, the images below. And compare Gordon’s experience as an airline passenger with your own! (And is that a gentle stab at train travel? Hmmm.)

“You can say ‘I love you’ in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy.”

16 Nov

I just showed Gary Hustwit’s documentary, Helvetica, in my type class this afternoon. I have now seen it six or seven times, and I never fail to learn from it. What I most appreciate about this film is the breadth of perspectives and emotion relating to what was first called Haas Neue Grotesk: acceptance, reaction, re-acceptance, boredom, satisfaction.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines from the film (thanks to IMDB):

You can say, ‘I love you,’ in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy. Or you can say it with the Extra Bold if it’s really intensive and passionate, you know, and it might work. Massimo Vignelli

The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface, and that is why we loved Helvetica very much. Wim Crouwel

It’s air, you know. It’s just there. There’s no choice. You have to breathe, so you have to use Helvetica. Erik Spiekermann

I think I’m right calling Helvetica the perfume of the city. It is just something we don’t notice usually but we would miss very much if it wouldn’t be there. Lars Müller

I’m obviously a typeomaniac, which is an incurable if not mortal disease. I can’t explain it. I just love, I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it: they are my friends. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I get kicks out of looking at type. It’s a little worrying, I admit, but it’s a very nerdish thing to do. Erik Spiekermann

When you talk about the design of Haas Neue Grotesk or Helvetic, what it’s all about is the interrelationship of the negative shape, the figure-ground relationship, the shapes between characters and within characters, with the black, if you like, with the inked surface. And the Swiss pay more attention to the background, so that the counters and the space between characters just hold the letters. I mean you can’t imagine anything moving; it is so firm. It not a letter that bent to shape; it’s a letter that lives in a powerful matrix of surrounding space. It’s… oh, it’s brilliant when it’s done well. Mike Parker

It’s The Real Thing. Period. Coke. Period. Any Questions? Of Course Not. Michael Bierut