I have always loved the design, animation and personality of the characters in the music group Gorillaz which were created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The duo has a new project called Monkey Journey To The West which is a live action stage show that uses acrobats, singers, contortionists, martial artists, and animation to retell the story of the Monkey King, Tripitaka, the Dragon Prince, Pigsy, and Sandy on as adventure in search of the holy scriptures in India. The trailer looks pretty cool, I love the design and I will be buying tickets since it be playing here in NYC at Lincoln Center from July 6 – 28.
Read more of: Gorillaz designers new show – Monkey Journey To The West »
The more mobile sites and mobile apps I design the more I appreciate designers who are able to do more with less. The ability to boil complex processes down to simple interactions and visuals is incredibly hard so when I someone who did it well I appreciate it more than ever. That happened this week when I saw WTHR which is an insanely simple and beautiful iPhone weather app. The interface shows you the current weather and 7 day forecast in Fahrenheit and Celsius with the only words showing the current weather conditions and temperature. It’s the kind of beautiful that draws well deserved comparisons to the work of famous industrial designer Dieter Rams.
Plus I Want to support and app that has a disclaimer like this “*WARNING: Daily use of the WTHR™ App may cause bouts of joy, happiness and in some extreme and severe cases, audible gratitude from your eyeballs. In some case studies users also gained acute symptoms of good design choices and a bias towards well made things. Results may vary.”
Read more of: If Dieter Rams made an iPhone weather app it would be WTHR »
Billie Achilleos and Chameleon Visual have created 20 animals to promote their small leather goods line that recently debuted in the windows of Louis Vuitton’s New Bond Street Maison. I personally am not a fan other products but I continue to love and admire the risks they are willing to take with their brand and their products through these types of partners ships with artists like Billie Achileos, KAWS and most famously Takashi Murakami. You can see more photos of the creatures and windows here.
Read more of: If the Hampton’s had a petting zoo: Louis Vuitton’s animals »
I came across the Dollar Rede$ign Project today which is an interesting exercise by a number of artists to look at how to redesign the US Dollar. I especially liked the work of San Francisco based design studio Dowling | Duncan who made a number of interesting changes including using different colors for different bills, keeping the width of the bills the same but varying the height to make it easier to identify how much money you have and changing the orientation to a vertical format which the way the majority of people hand over their money. They also chose imagery for each note that directly related to it’s value so the $1 is the first African American president, the $5 is the five biggest native American tribes and the $10 is the bill of rights. They then overprinted the imagery with infographics and pattens relating to that particular subject matter. You can vote for your favorite between now and September 30th when the poll closes and a winner and two runners up will be named.
Read more of: Dollar Rede$ign Project »
Born Magazine is dedicated to collaboration between art and literature and their latest creation called Zoology is a collaboration between of the poet Sasha West and designer Ernesto Lavandera. The visual storytelling style has beautiful simplicity of design and motion with dots reforming into multiple images to match the language of the poem. It is refreshing to see something simple and beautiful that was created to just be a pure experience devoid of call to actions and sponsorships.
Read more of: Zoology – beautiful simplicity of poetry and design »
I was cruising through Behance today and came across Barton Smith’s self initiated re-design of Facebook. The comps and video are a little small but can you see his design is a really nice, streamlined and organized take on their site. Things like the publisher toolbar that let’s you post content from any page, the streams’ 2 tiered filter and bottom ticker are smart changes that Facebook would do well to consider for their re-design. This type of thinking would move the site forward by keeping and enhancing functionality and stop their trend of stripping their site further and further down into a more and more generic mediocrity.
Read more of: Facebook facelift »
I interview and talk with a lot of young designers who always smile as they hand me a business card they have spent 80 hours designing, printed with a 6 color process, a spot varnish and a die cut on hand made paper which they have then stapled to a an off center Xerox of their resume that they created in Word entirely typeset in 12 point Courier. Your resume is the first design impression you make on a new client or employer so why are we all content to “design” it in a word processor? Word, and really all Microsoft Office programs, are where design and typography go TO DIE!
I want to create a site called The Visual Resume project that would a platform for me to launch my personal crusade to change the thinking of designers that they have to represent themselves and their talents with something as vanilla and unimaginative as a Word document. We have to use our talents to create something more visual, more imaginative and more engaging to represent ourselves. I took a first pass at doing it to my own resume two years ago with moderate success and I have a new version in the works that will be finished soon.
My favorite example of a designer who has done something really unique with his resume is Dustin Curtis who created a death clock that tracks his progress through his life in real time to his predicted death on March 23, 2068. I love it because it is completely original, it is a living document and would if it was mine it would remind me everyday that I need to get off my ass and do something with my life.
I challenge you to stand out from the crowd and put your talents to use to create a resume that truly represents you and your talents. Post in the comments any examples you like or an example your have already created for yourself.
Read more of: Beyond Word – A death clock resume »
Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows that I love to cook and get a lot of inspiration from the process. I recently started writing another blog on cooking and that process made me realize how few well designed sites there are for cooking equipment and ingredients. The best one I have found actually just launched for Chocolatier Pierre Marcolini. The site has a really nice minimal design direction and interface that consistently heros the product throughout the site. I also like the way the design will dynamically adjust to different window sizes so the placement of the site elements always stay well positioned in relationship to the photography. It is surprising that for a subject matter that is so photography rich that you don’t find more sites that take advantage of the material. If you have any favorites post it in the comments.
Read more of: Now if I could just invent digital taste buds… »
Obama’s Design Director of New Media talks about how design and interactive helped win the White House
Over the past year I wrote more than once about how much I liked what the Obama campaign did with digital design and media during their run to the White House. A few weeks ago I had the chance to meet and hear from the guy behind that work named Scott Thomas who spoke at the 99% conference. This video culls the highlights from his presentation at the conference and catches up with him afterward to find out more about his theories on simplicity and his plans for working in politics in the future.
I also have to give props to Scott Belsky who I am lucky enough to know, is the founder of Behance.com and one of the masterminds behind the 99% conference. I had sworn off conferences all together because of my previously documented conference coma but this one conference I will return next year. Also if you have a chance to hear Scott speak take advantage of it because he has a lot of great insights from talking with a lot of great creative minds and groups about how to make ideas happen.