Thursday, March 27, 2008

Into the Wild

Well, I'm afraid this will be the last post for a few weeks. We will be moving from the UK back to the US and will be without internet for a while. We are also taking a slight detour through South Africa... for a little safari, beach and wine tasting. In the spirit of this trip, here are some pix from the "Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year" show, currently on at the National History Museum in London.

Click here to see more of the entries.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Paper Sculpting

Jen Stark creates some amazing paper sculptures with colored paper and layering techniques. Her work has been written up in numerous magazines, and she has held solo art shows of her work. I would LOVE to see this in person, but for now the internet will have to do. Enjoy.

Click here to explore more of her work.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Pantone universe

Pantone has certainly taken steps lately to move into the realm of the everyday consumer. Or at least, into the realm of designers' everyday lives.

While designers live by their inks and color chips, Pantone is now creating a range of everyday products called: Pantone Universe.
They're teaming up with interesting retail partners as well. Fendi (!) will sell a limited edition bag with a market set, and Uniqlo will be making cashmere sweaters in 20 different Pantone colors.

You can purchase coffee mugs, Pantone house paint, furniture, notebooks, and now glasses and sunglasses with interchangeable colored arms. I can certainly see the appeal of being able to match your glasses to your outfit!

To see the full range of Pantone products, click here.
For the eye wear website, click here.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fug Style

Interesting article by Eric Karjaluoto of SmashLAB via his "ideas on ideas" blog. It really made me think about my approach to design. I think designers often fall into the trap of thinking that a "style" is a "solution." Sometimes it is, but usually it's not. Below is an excerpt from the article. Click here to read the full post.

Design is such a multi-layered practice that it’s often difficult to define. That being said, I believe that the word “design” is increasingly confused with “style”. For example, to most “I like the way it’s designed” means that they like the way that something looks.

The visual aspect of what we do is highly important, and style has a place in that. For example, if we want to connect with a particular audience, employing a style can sometimes be helpful. That being said, it seems that style often leads efforts. We have to break this habit.

Searching for the next cool new thing

This season we have “glowy” vector/bitmap collages and rather cute hand-drawn patterns. The following season will inevitably bring something equally novel on first sight, which we will quickly tire of as we are inundated by it. In the pre-web world, things rolled-out more slowly, and as such didn’t hit with the same force; however, better distribution systems allow this eye-candy to be dispersed rapidly. As soon as a particular style is hot, legions of designers reverse-engineer the treatment, and imitate it until it’s everywhere.

The challenge here is that as we are bombarded by these styles, designers, by their own accord and that of their clients and peers, gravitate towards reiterating whatever the style-du-jour happens to be. (Think of the swoosh logos of the late 1990s.) It’s easy to do, the pay-off is immediate, and for a short while, one’s portfolio seems deceptively strong. Most times though, this work is void of the research, strategy, and logic that are necessary to do something effective. As a result, it’s in fact a big pile of shiny bullshit.

In turn, we’re left with scads of generic work that doesn’t hold-up for any length of time. There’s no design there, just polish that quickly tarnishes requiring another coat. In the meanwhile, budgets are exhausted, clients are left to with an out-of-date “look”, and designers are seen as stylists: kooky kids who like to do fun, pointless things. At the risk of being melodramatic, I believe that this approach diminishes the value of our industry and limits our opportunity to contribute to higher-level discussions.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Funnies

It's a cold, rainy day here in London, and it's a Monday. Therefore, some humor is in order. Enjoy!

Cat Man Do:

Let me in:

Breaking News

My little blog's banner design has been shortlisted over on "Logo Design Love" in the category of Design and Photography Blog Logos! Yay :) Take a look at some of the fun entries here. It's nice to see my little ducky spreading its wings...

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

CD Release

I've recently had the pleasure of working on this CD design for Matt Gunston. Matthew is a friend who took a break from his "day job" to work on his music career. Luckily, he's really good! We've just completed the design, the music is great, and it's ready to go. It's a little bit blues and a little bit rock and roll. All songs were written and performed by Matt Gunston.

Click here to listen for yourself.
Or click here to visit Matt's MySpace page.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Flash Symbols

Oh, this is lovely! For anyone who has ever wanted to pull their hair out using Flash. It's time to fight back... Watch and enjoy.

Click here for the show.

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