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As I explained last time, the Design Links Briefing has been getting a bit longer lately so (if it's okay with you) I'm going to try dividing it into two parts--two e-mails, two weeks apart instead of one per month. If you have suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear from you via [email protected]

Highlights of Briefing 62

> Visit a graphic design Disneyland
> Is there such a thing as design DNA?
> Logo design trends for 2009

And much more...Enjoy!

Chuck Green

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Visit a graphic design Disneyland

You can enjoy this site on two levels. First by exploring the fabulously rich visual environment and the vast network it opens doors to. Second, to read some interesting theories about where planet earth and our universe is headed. Genuine "wow" stuff.

Here > And now: a little visual stimulation...

Here > Don't miss the fact that, as of this writing, there are six pages in the gallery. (There is navigation at the very bottom of each page.)

Here > Comment on this post


Is there such a thing as design DNA?

The older I get, the less I seem to know about the story I am a part of. By that I mean I have come to believe that we are a part of a system we know very little about--one that continues to reveal itself to us in unexpected ways.

Take the example of DNA. Imagine how profoundly the understanding of this code (now in its infancy) will ultimately effect life on our planet.

So here's the, "is Chuck a crackpot" question: Do you think there could be such a thing as a design equivalent of DNA? Some type of underlying blueprint that map non-visual information in visual form? Is it possible there is some hidden structure to all things that design is, in a clumsy way, trying to reveal?

At first blush it sounds nutty, but consider the fact that many folks have attempted to identify just that--a formula or approach that breaks design down to some "true" or "correct" combination of dynamics--white space, grids, form and color selections, and so on.

But, I digress. All that leads me to Stefanie Pasavec's Writing Without Words. Don't get me wrong, I do not equate it to some type of literary DNA, I simply find it fascinating to contemplate yet-to-be-defined alternatives for envisioning the world around us.

Love to hear your thoughts on this--I think. Use "Comments" below--I answer every entry.

Here > Stefanie Pasavec's Writing Without Words...

Here > A detailed view...

Here > An excellent article on Pasavec's work...

Here > Comment on this post


Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: Getting It Printed, 4th Edition...


Coming soon to a theater near you: FONTS, the motion picture

Well--would you settle for Fonts, a couple of entertaining film shorts? You can thank (or blame) my son Jeff for bringing these to our attention.

Here > Font Conference...

Here > Font Fight...

Here > Comment on this post




Is this the next big thing from Google? Google Wave     

Watch Jorge Colombo paint this week's New Yorker magazine cover via his iPhone
Is this the new Windows 7 logo?
Free stuff for graphic designers: Clip art from Ron and Joe at the every-popular Art Parts

Nice to see my mentioned on Smashing Magazine's Beautiful Logo Design Tutorials


If you could redesign the license plate, how would you do it?

I have often thought about how badly the license plate needs making over. If clear identification is the goal, most plates (with their scrunched up type and incomprehensible layouts), fail miserably. If style is what you're after, the only real challenge would be to do it worse than it is being done now.

A while back GQ invited nine designers to re-envision the license plate--here are their ideas. Though these are a bit frivolous, the exercise does get you thinking about the possibilities for clearer communication, tighter security, increased safety, and better communication. But that would require state and local governments to take it seriously.

Here > License plate makeover (1.1MB PDF)...

Here > An interesting article by Mark Simonson about how many designs actually obscure the primary purpose of the plate...

Here > Looks like an international problem...

Here > If you're really interested, here's a big list of license plate links...

Here > Comment on this post


Here > In the Ideabook Design Store: The InDesign Ideabook...


Design Density demonstrates new ways of visualizing information

Density Design began as a part of a Master Degree Course in Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. As they explain it, "Using complexity as a keyword to understand reality, combining it with a continuous research for information aesthetics and representation, DensityDesign explores the emergent relationships among communication design, information visualization and complex systems."

To me it is yet another example of the fast-forward progression of design discovery.

Here > An example of a Density Design visualization--specifically, The Federlegno-Arredo System - Federlegno Environmental Report 2008...

Here > A quick way to review much of the work--DensityDesign's photostream on Flickr...

Here > DensityDesign's site...

Here > Comment on this post


Logo design trends for 2009

Here is the 2009 installment of Bill Gardner's excellent logo design trends report for As always, it is a must read.

Here > Bill Gardner's logo design trends 2009...

Here > Comment on this post


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About the briefing

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless otherwise stated, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples.

Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected]

> Chuck