Post Compostmodern

Compostmodern 2011

Yesterday, at 3:00 PM, we closed a successful Compostmodern. It was the event for which we all worked and hoped. It was ambitious. There were 18 speakers, and instead of a one-day conference, we extended it to two days. We launched an iPhone application, which will be available in the iTunes store soon. And, the entire event was organized and executed by a small group of dedicated volunteers. There wasn’t a single event planner in the bunch.

However, more important than any fact or accomplishment associated with the conference, we gathered almost 600 people together, people who are dedicated to making the world a lasting world, a world that is built upon a philosophy of sustained global prosperity. These people walked with purpose. They connected. They chatted about the future of design. And, they will go on to do great things.

When it was started in 2004, Compostmodern was dedicated to an emerging trend, a discussion about the intersection between design and sustainability. Today, it isn’t a trend; it’s a movement. We all recognize that change is needed. We need a new dream. It is the perfect challenge for the design community, who often gives shape to the dreams of others.

If you weren’t able to join us, you can continue the conversation on, and videos will be available soon. Thanks to everyone who made the event a success.

Compostmodern 2011


Compostmodern begins tomorrow, and if you haven’t purchased your tickets, there is still time. This year, Compostmodern is a two-day event, which includes a day of presentations from a number of great doers and thinkers and a day of deep interaction. It’s going to be a fantastic event, whether you are deeply concerned with sustainable design or simply interested in getting your toes wet.

Come and join us.

Print Pact

Women's Nike Premium Print Pack

Thanks to Theory 143 for the tip on the amazing Women’s Premium Print Pack from Nike. Nike, once again, proves why they are at the top of a very tall heap. The new promotion features shoes that were fabricated from old magazines. The pack features three models: The Nike Flash Macro Premium (sail/birch), Nike Blazer Mid Premium (sail/khaki) and Nike Air Rift Premium (sail/sport red). Unfortunately, if you reside in less exotic locales, like the US, you won’t be able to purchase the print pack, which is being released exclusively in Europe and China. Too bad, who wouldn’t want the power of print on their feet.

Jiro Bevis

Jiro Bevis

I came across the work of Jiro Bevis on QBN. There is something refreshing about his style that I can’t put my finger on. It has an R. Crumb meets the Internet feel.

The Year of Sustainability

A Sustainable Life

Welcome to the year of sustainability. (Not really. Every year is a year where sustainability is needed.) However, there is a great feature in the New York Times called The Sustainable Life. There are articles on love, money, food, and technology. As an added bonus, each installment features a nice illustration from The Heads of State.

If you want to learn more about sustainability, get a ticket to Compostmodern, which is this month in San Francisco. Buy a ticket today and hear from the likes of Bruce Mau, Yves Behar, and others.

Site Inspire

Site Inspire

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.

Santa Brand Book

Santa Brand Book

For those who have indulged in the exercise of branding thinking, the Santa Brand Book from Quiet Room is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. And I quote, ” A brand is like a sack on a sleigh of belief.” Awesome. Via Quipsologies.

I Love Dust

Nike Running Club Alphabet

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.

The Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle

In the spirit of the season, some nice stop motion animation from Kevin Parry. I give you The Arctic Circle. What will you do this holiday season when a box suddenly appears?


This is not a picture of an Andrew Zuckerman bird.

Andrew Zuckerman, photographer and copyright proponent, just released a book titled Bird. The book is comprised of extraordinary, high-resolution photographs that capture birds on white backgrounds. There are also a series of films that accompany the book. You can watch previews on the Bird web site or Vimeo.

Triboro Design

Triboro Design Buttons

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.



Influencers is a mini-documentary that explores the power of influence in the digital age. Through the lens of influential artists, like Jay-Z, you get a sense of how style travels, reaching an ever-growing group of people. At 14 minutes, it’s an easy watch.

Art of the Title


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.

Apple Destroyed

Apple Destroyed

Fubiz is featuring a series of photographs that emerged out of a collaboration between Michael Tompert and photographer Paul Fairchild. The photographs feature Apple products, after they have been destroyed. There is an abstract beauty in the destroyed objects, which have been shot, sliced, and burned.


The KDU Solstice

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.


Society of Publication Designers

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.

Stencil Made Modern

Glaser Stencil

Glaser Stencil, which was designed by Milton Glaser during 1970, has been revived by URW and is available for purchase through We Work for Them. At the low, low price of $35 for the family, you might as well get a license for your Mom.

Memories of an Escapist

Nando Costa Prints Header

Nando Costa has produced a beautiful series of letterpress prints, which were inspired by the artists who shaped his approach. The series includes interpretations of Hieronymus Bosch, Lygia Clark, Maurits Cornelis Escher, Wassily Kandinsky, Stephen and Timothy Quay (Brothers Quay) and Bill Viola. The prints were produced by Keegan Meegan in Portland. Take a second, have a look, and buy a print for your mom.



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.

U&lc for You


High resolution copies of U&lc, the legendary typography publication, are now available for download. Apparently, the folks at 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 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.