Saturday, December 27, 2008

826 Valencia

Founded by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's editor), 826 Valencia is a nonprofit tutoring center with a twist. Eggers & team found the perfect location for their tutoring center, but were told that due to zoning, they were required to also have a storefront. In true fashion, the team involved decided that a Pirate Supply Store would be best. Let me clarify, this is not a store that sells pirate toys. This is a store that sells supplies to pirates. We're talking glass eyes, peg legs, hooks, and parrot food.

Recently, 826 Valencia enlisted the help of San Fransisco design firm, office, to develop the store's new identity along with about 50 new products. The results are fabulously fun and creative. All proceeds go directly to benefit 826 Valencia's writing programs, which have now extended to New York (Superhero supply store), Boston, Michigan, Seattle (Space Travel supply store), LA (Time Travel mart), and Chicago (Spy store).

This is the culmination of creativity, design and community service at its best. You can watch Dave Eggars' Ted talk about this initiative here. It's well worth the 24 minutes.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best self-promo

From Because Studio in the UK. This goes under the "wish I had thought of that" category.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cute overload

Love, love, LOVE these adorable paperweights from züny, whose tagline is "Makes your life funny & easy." What a nice sentiment to strive for :) These are the type of items that just make me smile. I love collar as an added touch. I'm having a hard time picking a favorite. Donkey or elephant??? Maybe the giraffe?

Unfortunately I don't see any US retailers listed on there site. Perhaps you can have them shipped. It would be well worth the effort!

Click here for the züny site.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Women of Design

There are a handful of "rock star" designers in this world. People that most people in the design world are aware of, in awe of, or in envy of. Most of these tend to be men. And this is due to the fact that there are simply more men than women in the roles of creative directors and business owners. But now there is a book out from HOW celebrating the women of design. While I think it's a bit silly that we need such a book in 2008, I acknowledge that we do. It's nice to see some familiar and not-so-familiar names gracing it's pages. This is a great gift idea for any designer you may know. Ahem.

Here's a write up and sample pages from
Under Consideration:

The immense body of work produced by graphic designers around the world is astoundingly varied, rich and widely celebrated. Yet in publications, conferences and other public realms, women designers tend to be outnumbered by their male counterparts whose appearances, work and achievements are constantly in the spotlight. Luckily, it’s a reversing trend. While this book does not attempt to relieve the imbalance, it does bring full attention to the wonderful work, careers and contributions of women designers, writers, teachers and entrepreneurs around the world.

The women in this book have been divided into three groups, representative of the time in which their influence was most heartily felt: Groundbreakers, Pathfinders and Trailblazers. These three generations have helped shape the modern landscape of design. Explore the work, ideals and ventures that have helped define the last fifty years of the graphic design profession. Learn about the women who helped establish design’s relevance, importance and impact — and the ones who carry their tradition into new territory.

Sample Spreads
Sample, Louise Fili

Sample, Chapter Introduction

Sample, Carin Goldberg

Sample, Fanette Mellier

Sample, Debbie Millman

Sample, Irma Boom

Sample, Quote Alice Twemlow

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

So long gone

Sorry for the lame lack of posting lately. I'll blame it on work, and vacation, and choosing sleep over blogging. But I'm back on it.

I guess I'm still missing London, so I just had to blog about these UK stamps celebrating icons of British design. I love the simplicity of these stamps and how they really hero the object. No fear of white space here. Yay! From Creative Review:

Stamps of Approval
Posted by Mark, 26 November 2008, 10:43

A set of first class stamps are to be issued in January next year commemorating ten icons of British design. The Royal Mail’s new series offers up a discernably nostaligic look at some British Design Classics, largely culled from the 1930s and 1960s.

RJ Mitchell’s Spitfire, George Carwardine’s angelpoise lamp, Harry Beck’s map of the London Underground network and Edward Young’s designs for Penguin (below) all originate from the 1930s.

The series of ten also includes Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s telephone box (his K2 design is from 1926) and Robin Day’s polypropylene chair for Hille Seating from 1963.

While the design of the Mini (originally launched in 1959) has moved with the times and the 1965 mini skirt is still a classic of contemporary fashion, classic designs like the Routemaster bus (manufactured between 1954 and 1968) and Concorde (1969-2003) have been retired relatively recently.

The stamps will be issues on 13 January 2009. A “prestige stamp book”, issued alongside the stamps, will provide a more extensive background and history of the designs.

To mark the Mini’s 50th and Concorde’s 40th birthdays, Royal Mail is also issuing a “generic sheet” of 20 stamps (Mini series designed by Magpie; Concorde by Neon) and “medal covers” for each which have been designed by the Royal Mint Engraving Team. All stamps and sets will be available from

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