people have been obsessed with davinci’s sketch books for centuries, but is this a pastoral art like diary keeping and letter writing? the sketchbook project mobile library is taking a definitive stance and bringing the creative musings of over 27,131 sketchbooks from 135 countries. you can get your inspiration on in one of the 40+ cities they visit across the country or peruse the digital collection at your leisure.
3D printing got its start in the mid-80′s on a scale much like the computer, it was large and in-accessable to the general public. fast forward almost 30 years and 3D printers are becoming a tool for makers and product innovators at a table-top dimension. people are finding a way to create and customize just about everything from toys to furniture, and now records. amanda ghassaei has explored bringing music back to “vinyl” at the individuals command.
with records currently limited release commodities or collector oddities the art of album covers has become an even greater niche market than those that collect the music ephemera of that bygone era. will 3D printing bring record albums to a new generation and foster a new stock of cover artists in the tradition of storm thorgerson and his like?
product trends have featured the downsizing from mini to micro in just about everything imaginable. will the next demand be for individualization? if the fashion industry is any indication products may become at least aesthetically customizable, if not an infinite smorgasbord of options, to make your next widget all yours.
have you ever found yourself in a target store or viewing an advertisement for the iconic chain and thought to yourself: it would be awesome to design for target? their love of simplicity and affection for the power of white space nearly makes me giddy. not to mention their collaboration with great designers and brands of varying disciplines, like the new shops concept and the recent campbell’s warhol soup cans. target inhouse, target’s “internal creative studio” is behind much of this eye candy, and they have launched a new website that features the work of their “collective of designers, copywriters, art directors, developers, information architects, production designers, account executives, art buyers and producers.” they also have a blog where you can follow the development of many of their creative wonders.
no it is not an obscure math course you avoided like the plague in college, it is a community-inspired type endeavor. the phraseology project is an on-going typography experiment that allows followers to submit words or phrases that the team turns into a type study. this creative community was concocted by drew melon, and has since become popular enough to require the contributions of four other type-lovers.
when we talk design we think of the tangible product that the process yields, but there is often a human application that can inform the way we think and behave. here are two projects that approach design on a more conceptual level that work to change behavior through the design of experiences.
last week we caught a glimpse of neenah’s newest environment’s paper promotion, designed by chen design associates, on their blog. we knew we couldn’t live without this paper sample and contacted our local neenah rep, john ewalt. he kindly came to our office to not only to bestow an updated selection of paper samples, but also brought the [un]block piece. it was like christmas morning. we were trying to contain our excitement, and keep our paper sniffing to a minimum, as john walked us through the package detailing some of the awesome features.
within the folder you will find pages that have an exposed, perfect binding on both spines. to access the individual books or “blocks,” you tear them apart along the perforations, ending up with a series of four booklets. each book’s content is meant to facilitate the creative process. the booklets, of course, also demonstrate the environment’s paper in all of its glory. within you will find full floods, foils, metallic inks, and embossing.
once the results of voting have settled in, and the media finds something else to talk about, the election process seems to always be reviewed under a microscope. inevitably, an abundance of opportunities for design to improve the voting experience become apparent. watch todd oldham critique the ballots in brief and identify possible improvements. how would you like to see design improve the election practices?
the sfmoma is collaborating with a series of designers/firms to rethink the branding of the united states. their partnership with mgmt to produce (re)flag has generated a series of flags that are a statistically accurate representation of our nation. mgmt has removed the aspirational veil of unity and abstract symbolism to bring a more literal portrait of the states of our union more perfect or not. could this sometimes sobering analysis of our national reality prompt a behavioral change-of-heart like a good long look in the mirror, or will it fall on deaf ears as the theatrics of politics trumps real human issues?
if you are a design magazine junkie, you are in luck. “works that work” is a new magazine that promises to be the national geographic of design publications. the first edition is due out at the beginning of next year and will be available in digital and print versions. if this news gets you as excited as the prospect of christmas morning you can do your part to make this project a reality with any of the 8 levels of sponsorship.