I rarely make it into a post office living in New York City mainly because the lines are of life threatening length. The past week while I was visiting my parent’s in MA I happened to stop into the local post office and come across these gems. A new stamp set released by the USPS entitled Pioneers of American Industrial Design. Up until a few days ago I had only seen them floating around on blogs. The tactile feel of a sheet a of perforated stamps is just amazing coupled with the beautiful images of design icons. The lineup of designers includes Eliot Noyes, Dave Chapman, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Donald Deskey, Greta von Nessen, and a few others. You can get the stamps in most local post offices or online at the USPS Shop.
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Phaidon has put out a great new book that showcases the absolute minimalist perfection of Dieter Rams seemingly endless sea of work. Named for Rams’ tenth design principle Good design is As Little Design as Possible. The design of the book itself was handled by Kobi Benezeri, and I do mean handled. For someone of the caliber of Rams the book requires a certain level of finesse. Benezeri employed a sensory mesh printing on the covers and spine of the book, and lots of impeccably printed full bleed photography.
(via SeptemberIndustry »)
Growing up hip-hop and rap had this innate link to skateboarding. De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest were two of the first people I started listening to. The beats and the groove just had something to them that you wanted to skate to. Through my work I actually have had the opportunity to meet and spend sometime with Q-Tip, which for me as a fan for more than half my life was truly inspiring. All that said tomorrow Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, a film by Michael Rapaport will be released in New York and Los Angeles.
Artist Donald Judd’s main home and workspace was a cast iron building at 101 Spring St. in SoHo. Design Observer recently published an essay written by Judd in 1989 along with photos Elizabeth Felicella. Together they bring us in beyond what we would normally know and understand about Judd’s work and life. His attention to detail in things beyond his artwork, such as the furniture in his home and the care with which he renovated and restored the 101 Spring St. building. In his essay he touches on how the different businesses and repurposing of it over the years had turned the building into a dark gross place, and he in work to make it livable again he tried to bring it back to it’s original and intended glory. While making it more functional for his needs.
In this case I must quote my source Erik Spiekermann, “Supermarket brands don’t have to be ugly”. That is a true statement and the wonderful supporting example is of German supermarket chain Tegut. Their branding is anchored down by a proprietary typeface based on Spiekermann’s Officina Sans, and their other collateral elements include other of Spiekermann’s fonts along with ones from Mitja Miklavčič, and Christian Schwartz. For more info about the Tegut brand and their fonts check out the article on Fonts in Use.
(via Erik Spiekermann »)
This year a modern classic has it’s half century birthday. The 606 system was originally released and is still on offer from Vitsoe. Designed by one of my all time favorite designers Dieter Rams, the 606 modular shelving and storage system lives at that rare intersection of form and function. Few pieces of furniture and especially modular shelving do their job with such style and grace. No wonder then that the 606 system has remained a staple offering for Vitsoe for fifty years now.
This particular one is an interview with Karel Martens who is the head of the famed Werkplaats Typografie program. He riffs on curiosity and compares the beauty of imperfect type and design to the great imperfections that make jazz music so great.
(via Frank Chimero »)
The ever entertaining Aaron Draplin offers up some insight and inspiration in a series of videos shot by Jared Souney for Yobeat and Level. Draplin like many of us grew up in the skateboarding and snowboarding culture of the 80′s and 90′s, and was even lucky enough to test his design on some board graphics and other projects like that. Make sure to check out part two of this interview and a little show and tell with Aaron after the jump.
(via WANKEN »)
Sol Lewitt has always been one of my favorite artists, especially of all the folks in the post modernist movement. It isn’t that I find his pieces overly compelling. His approach to art making was highly original and although it does share some similarities with Andy Warhol and his mass production applied to art making, I think Lewitt does one thing that makes his work so much richer is the idea that the end product is not the art. Creating an often vague instruction of how to create on of his pieces. So anyone who has the instructions can create the piece and each one will always slightly vary from the other. This process based art has influenced so many people to come after. Even this whole making movement that has swept the globe as of late is in the wake of Sol Lewitt and his legacy.
In the exhibition I was most captivated by the videos and photographs of the process of fabricating the exhibit and the paintings. The instructions that were displayed next to some of the pieces in addition to the wall painting number were also awesome. The instructions, however vague being more integral to the piece of art than the final product.
The opening of the Sol Lewitt Retrospective also marked the completion and opening of building #7 at MASS Moca. Don’t worry though you have the next twenty five years to make it up there, as the exhibition is committed there for that long at the least.
Explorations in Typography by Carolina de Bartolo along with Erik Spiekermann is a wonderful new book on typesetting and how type and typesetting coexist. With the amount of time I have been spending on interface design these days the only question I have after looking at this awesome layout and typesetting resource is when does the web version come out?
(via Surfstation »)
Using some pinnacle quotes that have become almost dogmatic to the design world Michael Beirut created these program designs for a Gala and award presentation at the Architecture League on March 8th. Massimo and his wife Lella were awarded the President’s Medal(past recipients of which include John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Hugh Ferriss, Joseph Urban, Richard Meier, Robert A.M. Stern, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown) from the AL “in recognition of a body of work so influential in its breadth that it has shaped the very way we see the world.” And in some ways how we experience and interact with the world, the prime example being Vignelli’s work for the New York Transit system.
One life is too short for doing everything.
We like design to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless.
If you can design one thing, you can design everything.
If you do it right, it will last forever.
The life of a designer is a life of fight against the ugliness.
(via WANKEN »)
Who knew until just a few days ago that Jeff Bridges ran a super awesome website? I will say for one I didn’t know. The hand written type and overall vernacular is so personal and unique on the web today I really love the lack of design. His site is really one of the most enriching process archives I have ever come across.
The books Mr. Bridges has put together documenting from his perspective the making of these films is both insightful and amazing. It gives regular Joes like me a glimpse at something I will most likely never get to see. Also the off camera personalities and emotions he captures from his co-stars, and others on the crew, well known and not, are beautiful. The Making of True Grit was the way I came across his site and I think still with stands as my favorite part of the site.
If you are in the greater London area between now and the 17th of next month you definitely need to check out this show. Bass Notes, a play on the pronunciation of Saul Bass’ last name, is an exhibition entirely composed of Bass’ film posters. Often exalted as his best works.
(via Quipsologies »)
A tweet just jogged my memory about the Design Love Series on idsgn, which is highly appropriate for today. The quote above is from Massimo Vignelli, and also made an appearance in Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica.
Here is a little roundup of my favorite quotes from today’s Creative Mornings, with design legend and all around inspirational thinker Milton Glaser. Check out more photos from the event in the Creative Morning’s Flickr Pool. If you have any other quotes that resonated with you please leave them in the comments section and I would love to add them to the post.
“Certainty is a closing of the mind. To create something new you must have doubt.”
“Fail more often in order to find out what you’re capable of learning.”
“Color is one of those subjects you never fully learn.”
“Failure and ambiguity are hard concepts to sell to a client who just wants to sell more cans of tomatoes.”
“The act of making things that move the mind is our deepest aspiration in seeking the miraculous.”
- Milton Glaser
“Fundamentally I teach because it makes me feel good. It helped me certainly clarify my own objectives. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing someone’s life affected in a positive way by something you’ve said.”
(via swissmiss »)
This morning I came across this post by Giorgio Biscaro on Klat and was very taken with the simple way he talks about the details of color on the Dieter Rams design for the Braun T1000 as they pertain to function. Without using any buzzwords or tech talk Biscaro points out the subtle use of color in this device that really elevates the usability and the users understanding of it’s functions.
“I personally like the use of colours when they help identify a specific function, or when they underline a specific performance, or behaviour.”
I think this does a great job to encapsulate the understanding and practices of design that went into the T1000. This radio and the other sound products released by Braun during this period went on to define standards of design and precedents for the interface designs of technology, which spanned far beyond stereos and household electronics. These days you hear a lot of talk that Jonathan Ive of Apple has taken many design cues from Dieter Rams and his work for Braun, and my response to that is, how can you blame him?
(via klat »)
Another perfect design from Naoto Fukasawa. This modular shelving system was designed for Artek in 2009 to be debuted at milan design week in 2010 as the finish company was celebrating their 75th birthday. The system was developed based on the modular L-system designed by Alvar Aalto.
“I have always associated (alvar) aalto’s furniture designs, which highlight the graciousness of plain wood, with square building blocks. the basis for this design lies in the image of a plain wood cube with slightly rounded edges. the sections where the shelves and support brace meet affords the design a gentle feel, the kind of feeling that can likewise be attributed to a stack of building blocks with rounded edges. the intersection of the x-shaped brace is fashioned from cast aluminium and has an unadorned, rough feel to it.” – Naoto Fukasawa
(via designboom »)
Naoto Fukasawa has always been one of my favorite industrial designers. His designs are so refined that they exist in a perfect balance of simplicity and serenity, always with a high regard to function. So when I saw this watch designed by Fukasawa for Plus Minus Zero I immedietely had to post it. This watch hints at alot of my favorite parts of old military watches and specificaly old Timex watches, but side steps the predictable designs they often employ for the faces and bodies of their timepieces.
(via Minimalissimo »)
A nice simple interview with Milton Glaser talking about the concepts behind a few of the many pieces he has designed for SVA over the past fifty years. It’s really empowering to hear someone so great speak about how sometimes in his finished work the concept is lost or doesn’t communicate the way it was intended. This is nicely humbling idea that I think we, as designers, can all relate to.
(via Container List »)