If you design web sites for a living, you spend a significant amount of time online, combing the virtual cornucopia, looking for inspiration, and sharing with your co-workers. Naturally, the daily visit to QBN is expected, but recently, I’ve been spending a significant amount of time on Site Inspire. The concept, like so many other resources is simple. You find, you post, and others comment. But, unlike other online collections, every piece of inspiration points you directly to a web site. Although Site Inspire is flush with design firm web sites, which always look minimal and nice, it’s a solid destination for interactive designers.
I Love Dust created an illustrative alphabet for the Nike Running Club. They have some beautiful type work displayed on their site if you haven’t visited it. It’s worth a visit. From Quipsologies.
Triboro Design has been receiving some much deserved press recently, including a feature in September Industry. Triboro is powered by the dynamic married duo of Stefanie Weigle and David Heasty. Their leftovers are better than most design work I see. For more information on their work, take a look at the IDSGN feature.
If you are looking for type inspiration, look no further than the collected wisdom of Hollywood. (Well, that might be a little strong.) But, every film is a brand, and in many cases, studios have invested heavily in the creation of unique typefaces and treatments for films. Historically, it amounts to one of the largest collections of type, and because screens have evolved, like the presses on which we print, the historical record of these faces is also a historical record of technical advancement. Christian Annyas has amassed a large gallery of these works, which includes trailer titles and end titles. Steven Hill also has a nice collection of title screens. Finally, I would also recommend The Art of the Title Sequence, which looks at the art and design of title sequences.
I was looking around the world wide web for inspiration and discovered The Keystone Design Union, The KDU for short. In addition to beautiful design work, they publish an amazing collection of artwork, titled the Solstice: Aesthetic Journal. The journal is available as a PDF and is packed with inspirational illustration and typography. They also have a blog, which features work from members of The KDU.
If you aren’t a fan of the Society of Publication Designer’s web site, you should be. Beyond sporting some magnificent work, the web site hosts a number of blogs and conversations, which focus on the art of laying out pages. Grids, the official blog, is a great point of reference for emerging work, like the recent redesign of Bloomberg Businessweek. And, there are great galleries, which showcase award winning work.
I recently discovered HORT, a unique design firm based in Germany. (Oddly enough, that doesn’t keep them from using a UK URL. Or, are they an organization? Who knows?) There is something about their work that is refreshingly raw, from the multiple explorations they have done for Nike to the refined work of their identity for Calle. Their work expresses an energy that is difficult to recreate. Definitely worth a look.
High resolution copies of U&lc, the legendary typography publication, are now available for download. Apparently, the folks at fonts.com couldn’t resist the urge to create some high-resolution scans of the publication. There comments follow:
Every month, we will make one volume (a year’s worth of publications) available through the Fonts.com blog. There are, however, a couple of caveats. First, the files are big – as in “way big.” The low-resolution files can be as big as 18 MB and the high-resolution files are downright huge at over 85 MB in some cases. Second, they are not perfect. The original documents were sometimes faded, cracked or torn. That combined with a semi-automated scanning process (over 9,000 pages scaned) resulted in some unavoidable “character” traits. The final caveat is that the above plan could change depending on audience interest level (or lack thereof). So, if you love it, let us know.
Download the first three today and feast your eyes on some beautiful design.
Alphabet Relief is a beautiful type exploration that was created by Tim Fishlock. The alphabet features a series of three-dimensional letters that were made by hand and photographed. Make sure that you buy a poster. Tip courtesy of AisleOne.
Pentagram recently posted a new poster for the Yale School of Architecture. The poster, titled Structure of Light, is accompanied by a sketch of the original concept (shown above). I love to see the thinking behind these projects.
There is a new issue of It’s Nice That. It features 128 pages of incredible work, including interviews with Nick Knight, graphic designer Neville Brody, artist Miranda July, interactive designers Troika, directors RBG6, culinary creatives Bompass & Parr, and illustrator Noma Bar. There is even a short video on issue four. Buy a copy today.
On January 22 and 23, San Francisco will host another installment of Compostmodern, a conference dedicated to discussing the intersection between design and sustainability. I’ve been part of the planning process for this conference, and it is turning into a truly remarkable two-day event. In addition to a lineup of exceptional speakers, which includes Bruce Mau, Yves Behar, and Janine James, there is a full-day unconference, where attendees will engage in discussions and launch projects. Core 77 is hosting a design competition that will take place before and during the conference. And, throughout the event, there will be parties and other events for people who are interested in the future of sustainable design.
I’ll write about the conference on a few occasions, but if you are interested in attending, grab your early-bird tickets now.
Kind Company, the group that designed my favorite Alvin Lustig web site, recently launched a new design resource called Display. Display is “a curated collection of important modern, mid 20th century graphic design books, periodicals, advertisements and ephemera.” And, it is beautiful. If you have a free moment, start with the piece on Bob Noorda. It’s a fantastic introduction to the work of a great designer.
In association with Google Chrome, Chris Milk just released an interactive experience called The Wilderness Downtown. The video, which showcases Arcade Fire’s We Used to Wait, explores new functionality within HTML5 and shows how Google Chrome is pushing the limits. It’s a great example of interactivity that connects meaningful media and personalized content.
There is a great article about the Copenhagen Wheel on Fast Company. The wheel is a product of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, a lab dedicated to studying the evolution of cities through emerging sensor technologies. A short teaser that explains the wheel follows.
The wheel is remarkable for a number of reasons. First, two student design teams created it. Second, it illustrates the power of collaboration — between students, institutions, and municipalities. Third, beyond an engineering improvement, the wheel connects the cyclist to a digital ecosystem, which includes rich information, social networking, and incentives. In many ways, it is the product of the future, connecting the user to an immersive experience that extends well beyond the tangible product. Fourth, it shows us how cool sustainable solutions will become. And, at a predicted price of $600, it will be affordable.
I can’t wait to order mine. In fact, if MIT and Ducati allowed pre-orders, I would be on the list.
Another great entry into The Dollar ReDe$ign Project. This clean design from Dowling and Duncan breathes new life into the buck. Via Design Boom.
QBN has been featuring some excellent design lately. Topping the charts is some new work by Visualism, out of Hamburg, Germany.
I just started Making Ideas Happen and plan to write a complete review when I finish the book, but I wanted to share a couple of opening insights from the book. First, creativity is not enough. Every well-known creative has a system for realizing their ideas, and as Belsky suggests, that system is rooted in organization, community, and leadership. Second, a number of creative people will never realize the fruits of their labor, because they believe that creativity has to occur in an unstructured, chaotic environment. To steal an idea from Dee Hock, I think that creativity thrives in a chaordic environment, where order is brought to chaos. Third, every project, creative of otherwise, is composed of many baby steps that lead to a point of realization. Managing those steps is often the key to success. More to come, but I thought that I would share a few thoughts as I dig into the book. Get your copy and read along. I’d love to hear what you have to say.