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This is Briefing 67: Ideas, links, and articles of interest to the design mind.
Enjoy! Chuck Green
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Designers, illustrators, photographers, typographer, writers, creative thinkers--PLEASE read this...
True passion is rare.
Much creative energy and expertise is expended moving value from one hand to the other. That's not a criticism--commerce makes lots of good things possible--I am a card carrying member of the commerce thing. But I can't help but take special notice when I encounter expressions of interest and involvement that appear at least, to have grown out of a pure devotion to its subject.
I see that in a new publication--UPPERCASE magazine (2009). A magazine? Are you kidding?! Who starts a magazine in the year of Twitter? People with passion do--their names are Janine Vangool and Deidre Martin and they've enlisted the help of an eclectic collection of talented contributors--designers, illustrators, photographers, typographers, writers, and others.
The purpose of UPPERCASE is to take a look at the creative process from all angles: profiling creatives, peeking into work environments, pointing to examples of styles and palettes, uncovering interesting ephemera--they even devote a section of the magazine to brief profiles of five or six of their subscribers--an approach that (to me) demonstrates something important about their thinking.
Enough with the accolades--at this point you probably think these are relatives of mine--they aren't, I have no connection with them whatsoever. But I can tell you the first thing I did after closing the last page was to go online and subscribe. I figure that when you find a passion you share, you should support it.
UPPERCASE Magazine: Issue 2 preview...
Once you've seen it, I'd love to hear your comments below...
When the brand is the product
I saw a guy recently wearing an absolutely elaborate T-shirt. It was printed in four or more colors and what looked like gold leaf. It made me curious about the state of the street fashion industry so I started looking around to find some examples to share with you.
This may sound like I'm stating the obvious, but what makes it so interesting to me is that it appears that there is not real story or meaning behind much of the the imagery--it is just emblems, typography, patterns, and color. And that I am so conditioned to thinking of that combination of elements as having a specific purpose and meaning that it makes the whole thing that much more intriguing.
In any case, I really appreciate the quality of the design. Your thoughts?
I have a mental block about sneaker design
A couple of days ago I wrote a post on the design of street fashions, T-shirts, caps, and such (When the brand is the product). I understand the value of it, I like to look at it, I am intrigued by the designs.
But for some reason I have trouble with sneaker design. My mind does not recognize the same connection between design and footwear that it does between design and shirts and caps. I see people walking around with what looks like little sports cars on their feet and it looks weird to me.
So, in the interest of facing your fears, I sought out and sampled a site devoted to sneaker design--sneakerfreaker.com. I still haven't totally overcome my lack of interest in sneakers, but I do have a better appreciation for the craft of sneaker design.
Meet Alison Carmichael: Hand lettering artist
Alison Carmichael has a wonderful gift for all types of lettering design. You can see the depth of her talent under "Poster ads."
Complication, in most cases, is voluntary.
"The paradox of curiosity: I only want to know more about that which I already know about." Jonah Lehrer
Knowing what to design is more important than ones ability to personally design it.
"Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard" Angela Duckworth
With most marketing showing is far more effective than telling. Copy requires participation, images work on contact.
New Ford ad tagline: "Why Ford, why now, why not?" Is there such a thing as advertising malpractice?
The graphic designer as technologist
One of the great things about being a graphic designer in the year 2009 is that the playing field is almost perfectly flat. The tools cost next to nothing and clients are more willing than ever to work with you because of the quality of your work versus the size of your sign. We are judged by what we produce and little else.
But being a graphic designer in 2009 requires a skill we didn't even contemplate 20 years ago--an understanding of usability. By usability, I mean how people access information and accomplish tasks. It wasn't long ago that the primary mediums for messaging, collateral and advertisements, were pretty straight-forward. The vast majority of brochures had a headline on the cover, text and images inside, and a call to action toward the back. Similarly, though the information was situational, print, radio, and TV advertising were also presented in very predictable ways.
That has changed. Not only does the designer have to contend with communicating the message, they have to (at a minimum) understand the scope of the platforms available for presenting it.
Adobe's Scene7 site is a great place to see some of the most interesting and intuitive ways that are currently being used to present product information.
Ready for a dollar redesign?
Designer Richard Smith kicked off something he calls the The Dollar Redesign Project a while back. The idea, as he puts it, is to rebuild, rebrand, and revive currency design.
The Dollar Redesign Project...
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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.