Custom Letters is an evolving category that includes calligraphy, sign painting, graffiti, stone carving, digital lettering, hand lettering, paper sculpture, and type design.
"Pryde and I came across it one day in an old stable, on a sack of fodder. It is a good, hearty, old English name, and it appealed to us, so we adopted it immediately." That's how The Beggarstaffs, a short lived but influential paring of graphic designers, got their name. [more inside]
Matt Dorfman is one of the creators of Mammal Magazine. Here's his client work, personal work, blog, and his wedding invitation.
JOIN THE COOLCATS MVMT. So-Me is the art director for Ed Banger Records. His job description includes touring with his muse Busy P, living with Justice, directing music videos, fashioning t-shirts and album art, designing Coca-Cola bottles, contributing to art exhibits, and just being a Cool Cat. [more inside]
You may have already noticed some of the visual tricks in these logos. Or maybe not. (I never saw the b--- in the T-------- logo before.) Or maybe you just think these are too obvious for words and there are much better examples out there. (via)
Wu Note Records. Covers of Wu-Tang Clan (group and solo) LPs done Blue Note-style by graphic designer Logan Walters. A few more here.
Downloadable original logos and badges for restoring old woodworking machines. Via Old Woodworking Machines and the Draplin Design Co.
We've very much enjoyed the beautiful work of the NYT graphic and infovisual design staff before, but what about when those glorious graphs and interactive adventures don't turn out as expected? Still pretty neat.
Journalism may be going through a painful period but thanks to the web the once lowly information graphic is finally growing up to be all it never could on paper. Especially the New York Times seems to currently stand out in how frequently and quickly they build amazingly detailed and insightful interactive features. Consider the tracking of US Airways Flight 1549 or the piece on raising its engine from the Hudson. Other recent highlights: 9,955,441 parking tickets issues in NYC mapped by street, The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 — 2008, Ansel Adams's Yosemite, the view from the 10-meter platform explained, A look at the language of presidential inaugural addresses 1789 to the Present, A Map of the number of medals that countries won in summer Olympic Games, Going to the End of the Line, The 44 Places to go in 2009, an explanation of how the Pentagon responded to criticism of then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, The Soyuz Spacecraft, How the Towers Stood and Fell and many, many, more. [more inside]
Forbes magazine runs an article promoting Crowdspring, the "design crowdsourcing" website, and calls professional design "snooty". Professional designers go absolutely crazy.
UK design studio The Designers Republic has apparently gone out of business after 23 years. [more inside]
How to make a newspaper out of blog entries. Ben Terrett and Russell Davies explain how they turned their friends’ (and strangers’) blog posts, Twits, and Flickr photos into the thousand-copy broadsheet Things Our Friends Have Written on the Internet 2008.
Christoph Niemann illustrates: his sons' obsession with the NYC subway (previously), bathroom tile art, New York cheat sheets, and his experiences with coffee (illustrated with coffee on napkins). Check out his excellent portfolio of illustrations and don't miss the ones on illustrating. You can see Niemann talk a bit about his work here.
Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples. News websites can be intriguing to examine from a design perspective. Regardless of what type of news they cover, they all face the challenge of displaying a huge amount of content on the home page, which creates plenty of layout, usability and navigational challenges for the designer. The lessons that can be learned from examining how news websites address these challenges can be valuable for designers who work with other types of websites, including ones with blog theme designs.
Cormac McCarthy as “gay porn.” Literary site Bookninja holds a contest to rebrand literary classics with jarringly (but hilariously) out-of-place new cover designs. [more inside]
Over 2500 dust jackets of American and European books from the years 1926 through 1947. Here are some that caught my eye: Burned Evidence, If You Know What I Mean, Ikaria, Murder for the Millions, Dream of the Red Chamber and A Farewell to Arms. Finally, I can't help but link to a German book about Russian book jackets, the subject of an old post by Alvy Ampersand.
Olympic logos from 1896 to present. Tons of trivia too.
Art of the Poster 1880-1918 has high-quality scans of 162 posters. The images can either be viewed through a zooming window in the browser or exported in enormous resolutions (export image link in top left corner of image page). Here are some of my favorite posters: Scribner's Fiction Number, Between the Acts All Tobacco Cigarettes, Palais de la Danse, Starnberger-see, Read the Sun, Cercle Artistique de Schaerbeek, Bosch-licht, XXV Ausstellung Secession and Cabaret du Chat Noir.
Propaganda is now officially hip. Barack Obama's presidential campaign has struck a palette with those interested in good, effective design. Shepard Fairey was recently given the opportunity to create a screenprinted poster for Obama's campaign, which sold out quite quickly. Next, his campaign turns to artist Scott Hansen, aka ISO50 for his visual art and Tycho for his music. Mr. Hansen's poster employs his idealistic and nostalgic style, yet more direct than his typical dreamy work. It's quite lovely.
Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 NYC subway map is back Yours for the low, low price of 299 bucks for one copy of the limited edition of 500. (Previous MeFi comments on the famed design, which the New York MTA eventually shitcanned. [Via.])
The Gallery of Graphic Design has a huge collection of magazine print adverts from the 30s to the late 60s. The images are fairly large and organised/searchable by year, product, magazine and advertiser. [via]
Apostrophe Atrophy highlights dumb quotes appearing in print, an unforgivable graphic design gaffe.
Just toggle the checkbox in InDesign/Quark already!
Just toggle the checkbox in InDesign/Quark already!
The Pelican Project - six decades of Pelican book covers.
Design Police : Bring bad design to justice
FillCell is a sort of graffiti wall of mini-posters drawn with very simple tools (to impressive effect, in some cases). Flash - drag the background to see more of the wall.
A Website about Corporate Identity. A large archive of corporation logos with design credits, typeface identification (or, at least the typographic roots of the ID's.) and Pantone color information. Not at all complete, but it's a very nice start. Hopefully it will continue to expand. via: Grain Edit (design blog)
MakeMyLogoBigger Cream is a clinically proven formula which embiggens your logo, gets rid of annoying whitespace, adds SEO magic crystals and reams of powerful marketing text! See Also.
“Blue Monday” Owners’ Club Photos of actual original “Blue Monday” sleeves (Peter Saville die-cut design) as brandished by their owners. Also You Are There! photos of searching for “Blue Monday” in the wild and finding it. (Creaky old frame-based site)
He had me at "Peter Saville's Factory Records logo is cut from the same conceptual cloth as the P.I.L logo."
Matthew Ingram at Stylus pontificates various band logos, revealing some secret origins and offering some perspectives on consistency and cultural signifiers built into them.
The website of the ridiculously awesome Newseum has been revamped and relaunched in anticipation of its October reopening. Check out the redesigned Today's Front Pages and Analysis sections - and go here for frequent, fascinating evaluations of current front page graphic design (archive). Browse the downloadable front pages of notable dates in recent history (e.g. Katrina, 2004 tsunami, 9/11). Watch discussions of some of the most recognizable Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and check out the interactive archives of past exhibits. You can also pay your respects at the online version of the Newseum's Journalists Memorial. (previously)
Lest we think the London Olympics are unique in their remarkable bad taste, oddee.com brings us some of the most unfortunate logos ever.
Business POV It is a forum for state-of-the-art business journalism using an innovative format: online video. Viewers can watch new, completely original, locally produced video profiles of companies, people and products that fall into our three main interest areas: innovation, entrepreneurship and the creative culture (advertising, graphic design, architecture, the arts). New content is posted Monday-Friday. Check out the archives section (Jason Fried, from 37 Signals is interviewed). Enjoy!
Lettermade This ongoing project, started in 1998, is aimed at documenting, appreciating, and recontextualizing vernacular letterforms and typography. (Design dorks rejoice!)
The website of London's Design Museum contains a wealth of resources. Explore the illustrated history of architecture and design, from the Anglepoise lamp to Buckminster Fuller. Read an interview with Dan Houser of Rockstar Games. Ponder the evolution of the humble chair.
Language in Common thinks about quitting[pdf]. Or starting a new job at your old job[pdf]. Or becoming a better lover[pdf]. At work. And they notice that others are thinking too.
Some people keep track of their receipts. Others keep track of their goals. And then there's Nicholas, an artist/designer and DJ who chronicled his 26,059 iTunes tracks played, his 859.5 social drinks (including 293 Stella Artois) consumed, his 30,724 airmiles traveled, and, yes, his 49 cat photos in his own personal 2006 Annual Report. (via Coudal)
Alan Fletcher has died. One of the world's finest graphic designers, the co-founder of the legendary agencies Forbes, Fletcher & Gill and Pentagram, has left us after an 18-month battle with cancer. He leaves behind a huge amount of stunning work, and a profound influence on the world of graphic design. A retrospective of his life and work is opening in November at the Design Museum in London.
Mandership is mostly concerned with graphic and industrial design, interface engineering, typography, semiotics, and visualization, but it's more. Learn about how the Declaration of Independence wound up in the Ukraine (did it?) a short history of telephone numbers, book spines, and of course simplicity of design. From the same folks who brought you the Optimus keyboard. (previously)
"Covers is dedicated to the appreciation of book cover design."
March 8 is International Women's Day. And I stumbled across some stunning graphic design, a collection of classic Russian posters, the history of the poster as a form of protest, this cool pin to wear tomorrow, and much much more. Take a moment to commemorate a special woman tomorrow.
Teddy: A sketching interface for 3D freeform design (in Java). Noodle around with the online applet (see the tutorial for instructions; there's also a demo in .avi format), or download the program so you can save your creations. An even niftier upgrade is available, SmoothTeddy (.avi demo), but SmoothTeddy doesn't have an online version to play with.
A literal cornucopia of online web design resources to help you keep on top of specifications and sites related to CSS, accessibility, graphic design (color tables and theory), DOM, typography, and much, much more...