30 November 2008

Sydney Opera House Architect, Jorn Utzon, Dies

Jorn Utzon died yesterday, November 29th at the age of 90. Jorn was the designer/architect for the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House has grown to become one of the most recognized symbols of Australia and architectural achievements. Jorn spent his early career working and studying with Alvar Aalto. In 2003, Jorn Utzon won the Pritzker Prize, considered architecture’s highest honor. For additional information please see Jorn Utzon's obituary in the New York Times.

Stamps by Design

The Royal Mail of Britain will be issuing this great series of stamps to celebrate British Design. The stamps will be available in the UK on January 13th of 2009. The stamps show some of the UK's great design contributions from the mini skirt, to the Concorde to the Mini. In 2008, the USPS released a series of stamps celebrating Eames Design and 2009 looks like it will be just as good with the Royal Mail. Here is to the continued celebration and acknowledgements of our craft!

(via Creative Review)

29 November 2008

LIFE Photo Archive

The image giant LIFE has teamed up with web search giant Google to host a photo / image archive. This great new resource includes millions of images that are fully searchable through Google. The website states-

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

The images are available in a preview and a larger format. I downloaded a few images and they seem to be averaging about 3" x 3" at 300 dpi. This will make a great resource for image references, historical references and general research. Be sure to check out the LIFE / Google image archive see how it will help you.

26 November 2008

Ten Must Have Typefaces Used By Book Designer

Looking to add to your list of must have typefaces? The FondFeed has created a great article on the Top Ten Typefaces for Book Design. The article is illustrated with examples of each of the fonts, alternatives for each font, a brief history and links to purchase them if you need.
The list is composed of the following 10 typefaces-
ITC New Baskerville
FF Scala
FF Scala Sans
Adobe Garamond
Trade Gothic
The FontFeed is proving to be a great source for updates and information about the world of typography. Now it's time to start designing a book or two!

25 November 2008

New Gatorade Design

Finally a nice design update to the beverage market. After the "new" Pepsi look, which I saw in the store today, that looks more like a housebrand then a leader in the beverage market, Gratorade got something right. The "G" branding with the traditional bolt of lighting which has represented Gatorade for many years are branded nicely and give the bottles a fresh and current design.

I only have one problem that I still feel needs to be addressed. The bottles are designed with a recessed plastic "grip" on the multi-sided bottles. When the bottles sit in ice they tend to fill up with water in the recessed area behind the label. Then the water drips everywhere while you are drinking. Can't Gatorade solve this bottle design problem? Give me a chance and I know I could work out a creative solution. Nice update with the labels, but how about the bottles next?

(image via The DieLine)

24 November 2008

Rembrandt in Southern California

Last week while visiting the Getty Museum in LA I felt diminutive while looking at several Rembrandts. I have seen painting by Rembrandt as I have travelled the world in NYC, London, Amsterdam, Paris, DC and Jerusalem and every time I view one I am amazed. The details that he has painted are phenomenal. Rembrandt was able to capture the skin, the whiskers, the eyes, life itself. When you view them, they feel as if you are looking at a photo. Then you think and realize these are painting that are almost 400 years old. I stood in awe and stared.

There is a great website devoted to Rembrandt paintings in SoCal. If you are in the area, make the rounds and see these amazing works. I know you will stand in awe as I do every time I have the honor to see a Rembrandt in person.

21 November 2008

Pantone Shoes

If you are looking for that something something for your designer friends, how about a pair of Pantone Shoes?

SeaVees, Purveyors of California Casual, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Pantone, the world–renowned authority on color. True to their inspiration, each SeaVees style is named to honor an influential date in 1960’s California-cool history.
With the creation of the 09/63, SeaVees celebrates the founding of Pantone, and the release of the first PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM in September 1963. For the first time in their 45 year history, Pantone has allowed an external design team into their hallowed archives. SeaVees has selected seven vintage colors from the original Pantone color guide. The palette, chosen from the only authentic guide known to exist, epitomizes the cool, casual style of California in 1963. The series production has been restricted to 1,963 pairs.

(via Design Through Process)

20 November 2008

Getty Center Museum Visit

Yesterday I had the joy of visiting the Getty Center Museum in LA. One of my past students, Clyde is working there in the exhibits design department and offered to give a tour to my Environmental Graphic Design class. The class had a chance to see and explore the design that goes into each of the exhibits that the Getty puts together. We looked at the many ways to set up the exhibits and saw the long process that goes into making the exhibits at the Getty some of the best around. My fullest thanks go out to Clyde for showing us around and explaining in detail all the hard work that goes into getting the show ready for the public.

If you are in the area, make sure you check out the "Dialogue Among Giants - Carleton Watkins" exhibit that is currently showing. This exhibit explores the wonderful photographs of Carleton Watkins between 1850 and 1906. It is a great collection of images from Yosemite, San Francisco, and around other parts of California.

I completed the visit by seeing my some of my old friends Rembrandt, Monet, and van Gogh. The Getty collection is full, diverse and breathtaking.

18 November 2008

Swiss Stamps

This great stamp design to help rain awareness about world hunger comes from Switzerland.
(via acejet170)

New Yorker Cover

This beautiful cover designed by Bob Staake is for the New Yorker. Great work

Freeway Fire

I have been busy the last three days working as a Fire Captain on the "Freeway Fire" in Yorba Linda and Brea areas of California. I was assigned to the fire at 4 pm on Saturday. Our task was to assist in the extinguishment of homes burning and prevent the fire from spreading to additional homes. The photos are some that I was able to take over the last 72 hours.

14 November 2008

Bond Friday - Pentagram Does James Bond

To finish off Bond Friday, I found this work done by Pentagram. This hardcover book of the Bond stories was designed by Angus Hyland and Fabian Harrman. The design is clean, sophisticated and cosmopolitan, so shaken and not stirred.

Angus Hyland and his assistant Fabian Herrmann have designed the hardback edition of Penguin Books’ Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories. The book collects together all of Ian Fleming’s Bond short stories in a single volume for the first time and includes stories that inspired the Bond film classics From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, The Living Daylights and of course, Quantum of Solace, the latest in the series. (via Pentagram)

I will be off to spy around the bookstore to find my copy.

Bond Friday - James Bond Books

What has been around longer then Bond films, Bond Books by Ian Fleming. Read a great interview of designer Michael Gillette who created the last set of Bond bookcovers for Penguin Books at this link.

Bond Friday - James Bond Posters

The history of James Bond 007 films is long. As this history has progressed so has the history of graphic design. I found two great sites to get your Bond on to celebrate the opening today of the newest Bond film, Quantum of Solace. The first site is found on FirstShowing.net that gives a nice quick over of Bond posters. The second site comes from JamesBond007.net which has a HUGE gallery of over 529 Bond posters from around the world for each film. At this site you can see posters for Goldfinger from Japan, Denmark, Italy, and on and on. This is the expert site for all graphic design secret agents.