Now that the London Olympics have (sadly) come to an end, we can all go back to watching crap reality TV. Oh, and getting excited about Sochi and Rio.
After the not so warm reception of the London 2012 logo a while back, it’s nice to see a really beautiful logo waiting in the wings for 2016. Below is a short film about the agency and thinking that went into Rio’s Olympic logo.
I’ve been meaning to post about Wayne White since the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival went down here in Durham in the spring. I got a chance to catch the biographical film about White’s life, “Beauty Is Embarassing,” and it was incredible.
Wayne White is a subversive illustrator, art director, sculptor, animator, just-the-right-amount of crazy folk artist.
For those of you out there who don’t realize that you already know who Wayne White is, here are a few images to jog your memory. Wayne is the creative genius behind all of this (warning: if you’re a child of the 80′s, you may have some visceral reactions):
Pee Wee’s Playhouse – Wayne was part of the small team that designed and built all the crazy shit on Pee Wee’s set
Beekman’s World – Never did get into this one, but still full of insane, glorious 80′s maximalist imagery.
Smashing Pumpkins “Tonight, Tonight” video – Ah, the good old days, when MTV played music videos.
And Peter Gabriel’s acid dream video for “Big Time”
But what I didn’t know about Wayne until I saw the documentary about him, was that he’s also an extremely talented, classically trained painter with a bone to pick and a dirty mouth. His word paintings (typically painted on top of crappy antique store paintings) are what put him on the radar, or in some cases, in the crosshairs, of the fine art world.
He also plays the banjo, sculpts massive installations, and dresses up with a giant LBJ head and goes galavanting around town. The documentary, Beauty Is Embarassing, is raising money through Kickstarter to do an independent distribution. I’d highly encourage you to kick them a few bucks, and if there’s a screening in your area, go see it.
Frustro is a typeface by Hungarian designer Martzi Hegedűs based on the impossible figure called a Penrose Triangle (which you may be familiar with since The Verge adopted it as their logo). At a quick glance, the letterforms seem to be simple 3-d renderings sitting on an isometric grid. But if you look closer, you can start to see how the letters make impossible connections and simultaneously occupy several different 3d constructions at once. It’s as if you took a 3d letterform from two different angles and mashed them seamlessly into one form. Following the forms, it’s as though parts of the letters are sitting on the page while others are simultaneously standing off of it. Blink your eyes and they switch places. Pretty slick and well done. Now I just need to find a reason to buy it when it comes out.
There’s something amazing about putting the two terms ‘guerilla’ and ‘wayfinding’ together. Guerilla connotes a small group of revolutionary riffraff, usually running around under cover of darkness and/or bandanna, just generally fucking shit up. Wayfinding is a kinda the opposite of that, a service provided for order that reminds me of being in a museum and not knowing where the bathroom is. But Matt Tomasulo, a friend of mine in Raleigh and general civic-minded rabblerouser has found a great way to put the two together.
In early January, he and a few pals spent a dreary night engaging in some good ol’ guerrilla wayfinding. They printed up a series of simple signs letting the public know that it was just a short walk from where they were standing to a museum, green space, or point of interest not too far away. Brilliant in it’s simplicity, and meant to empower pedestrians to retake bipedal ownership of their city, people loved it. But unfortunately capital-R Raleigh didn’t – mostly because the signs were illegal. At that point though, word had spreadlikewildfire, and with a bit of hustling and a lot of signatures, Matt was able to convince the city to reinstate the project as a pilot program and the signs are (I believe) on their way back up.
Since I’ve known Matt, I’ve always had a ton of respect for the guy. He’s a civic-minded guy using his entreprenurial skills (go buy a shirt/tote from CityFabric) to back his civic-minded projects. His vision is having a two-pronged business; one side of it is selling merchandise that encourages conversations about place, but the other side is funded by the first, and consists of big thinking projects that use the city as the canvas for his design.
Building off the success of his Walk Raleigh campaign, Matt’s got a second Kickstarter project up right now to fund an open-source platform for creating your own guerilla wayfinding signs, similar to the ones he created for Raleigh. On the site, you’ll be able to put your starting point (where the sign gets posted) and destination, and print out a pdf with the signature “It’s a ___ minute walk from here to ___.”
Raleigh’s lucky to have someone as creative as Matt walking the streets and seeing it as an opportunity for better design. I’ve tried to poach him away to Durham, but for now, I’ll have to witness his work from up I-40.
Lots of news out there today in the tech world about the out-of-nowhere announcement from Apple that Mountain Lion is coming this summer. After we all collectively sighed and chuckled and realized, damn, we should have seen that coming, we can move on to more interesting matters like what it means for the future of interaction design. Read the rest of this entry »
One hour of video is uploaded to Youtube every second. That’s kinda hard to comprehend, so some smartypants over there put together a slick website to illustrate just how big that number really is. And the whole site is done with CSS and HTML animations and svg elements – no Flash! If anyone can track down who the illustrators are, I’d love to know. Really well done.
A while back, I posted about a little side project I’d been working on and was raising Kickstarter money to try to get off the ground. Well thanks in part to the generosity of you good-lookin’ OKGreatsters, we were able to raise the money we needed, and as of just a few weeks ago, Bound Custom Journals is a real live company.
I’m pretty damn proud. From the beginning, Bound was something that first and foremost, we wanted. When Joel (my biz partner) was going on a road trip a few years ago, he thought surely teh internetz would be surely able to create a custom journal with exactly the content he needed for the trip – calendars for planning, maps for marking sweet spots, blanks for sketching, lines for writing. But unfortunately, it didn’t come through, so we set off to make it real. Because we wanted one. At the very least, we’d have our own journal.
But it turned out that a lot of other people wanted one too. Kickstarter for us was just as much about validating what we thought was a good idea as it was about raising some capital to get things going. It was a thrill – I don’t think email will ever be as fun as it was during those 50 days.
Fast forward through about 4 months of late nights of designing, coding, beer drinking, and a decent bit of profanity (mostly by my ridiculously talented brother, and Bound CTO, David, when deciphering shipping APIs), and we finally pushed our site live and caught our breath while we planned the next steps. We enjoyed another beer, and then got back to work improving the site, adding content, and telling the world.
All this to say that I’m excited that Bound Custom Journals is live, and I think you should check us out. Find us at boundforanything.com, or just click the link in the ‘Friends’ section in the right column. And if you have any ideas for content, products, or just want to say hey, drop us a line or leave a comment.
Emory Allen is a whimsical and painterly illustrator of beasts, expressive characters, and typography. About 80something days ago, he started a project called “An Exquisite Beast”, which I’ll just let him explain:
You know what, I’m not even going to post a piece of it, because the limited width of a blog post doesn’t do his work justice. So go to the site, and start a-scrollin’.
Aaron Kizer is a speed painter. I had no idea something like this existed, but damn, this is cool. Watch the video above to see him live-painting a portrait of Steve Jobs. For about the first 2 minutes, it’s all abstract blobs and lines, but somewhere around 3 min in, all the sudden Steve pops out of nowhere. Pretty amazing stuff.